Anti-Zionism is Anti-Semitism? Discussion

  • Anti-Zionism is a new type of anti-Semitism.
  • Anti-semitism has existed from biblical times.
  • The hope of the Jewish people is to become again a sovereign nation which may not be possible because today the whole world is interwoven together.

The controversy over anti-semitism and anti-Zionism is connected to the opposition of Americans today to President Trump and the claims that President Trump is a racist. President Trump has accepted Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  President Trump supports the annexation of the Golan Heights by Israel. People of America are claiming that President Trump and his rhetoric causes violence like the two recent incidents in Dayton Ohio and El Paso Texas. During the Obama administration there were also incidents of domestic terrorism.

The opposition to President Trump is connected to political competition between the Democratic and Republican parties. When the news media connects to the competition between these two political sides, it turns President Trump into a racist on one side and a hero on the other side. There are two sides to President Trump and also two sides to the acceptance of the Jewish people, the love of Israel and the hate of Israel and the Jewish people.

The question: Is anti-Zionism anti-semitism? is discussed in this video on You Tube at length.

Each person may have their own opinion on this issue.

The controversies over Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism is in the mind of the people of the world.

Is anti-semitism also anti-Zionism?

Everything in this world has two sides.  America has two sides Republican and Democrat. There are many other sides in America and in life communism, socialist, fascism which have almost no voice in America. A democracy allows freedom of speech which is permission for many sides many colors. The two sides in America Democratic and Republican both believe in freedom.  President Trump believes in freedom. The Republican party less than the democratic party reveal freedom in its name. Freedom is connected with democracy. There are many types of republics not all republics are democratic.

The majority in any land on earth naturally repress the minority. Each side has its own interests which take preference. Everyone thinks of their own self first.  It is in human nature. When America became a nation, the majority of the founders of America decided to make a democracy.  This was in contrast to their homeland nation Britain which was a monarchy. When America was founded there were minorities but the majority in power made the decisions written in the Declaration of Independence and the constitution. The majority at this time were in favor of the 2nd Amendment allowing all Americans the right to carry guns which is today in question.

At the time America declared independence, Britain a monarchy was the most powerful nation in the world. The choice of America to be a free state a democracy was to make America different from Britain.  There are two choices in government dictatorship or democracy. There are many types of dictatorships but only one type of nation with freedom.  Freedom is unlimited.  Dictatorships can be many types communism, socialism, fascism, theocracy, atheist. Since freedom is unlimited there is always controversies over its borders like today when President Trump is closing the borders in the south.  A nation with Freedom has an ideal; it needs borders and it needs laws which limit its freedom. This is the source over the opposition to President Trump.  Americans feel that his borders and decisions are limiting democracy and freedom.  They believe Trump is racist. Racist becomes an issue in a democracy because of the ideal of freedom. President Trump claims that the decisions that he has made are for the sake of democracy and America. He is building fences, making borders, using his presidential power which Americans sometimes object to as a threat to their freedom. Freedom is an ideal which needs borders and law.  Law limits freedom. The ideal of freedom is against laws which restrict freedom. However without laws freedom is anarchy.

Antisemitism (also spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism) is hostility to, prejudice, or discrimination against Jews. A person who holds such positions is called an antisemite. Antisemitism is generally considered to be a form of racism.

A dictatorship does not have the problems of a democracy. In a dictatorship there is only one side.  Any opposition to the ruler is suppressed immediately.  There is no free speech. The nation of a dictatorship is established with a law.  The law is enforced by the dictator and his congress. The dictator has a free hand according to the law to enforce the law without any restrictions. Opposition to the dictator is suppressed immediately. In a dictatorship there is no minority or majority with a voice in the government. There is only one word; the word of God or the word of the devil.

The two types of government dictator and democracy are compared to the sun and the moon. Dictatorship is compared to the moon which has no light of its own. The light of the moon comes from the sun.  The light of the sun is called freedom.  The moon the dictator is against freedom. He controls the light of freedom. It is under his control according to his decrees.

A minority can rule a nation in its land like today Alawites rule Syria when 80% of the nation is Sunni Muslim. The Jewish people were a minority living in Egypt under Pharaoh the dictator. God delivered them from bondage in Egypt and brought them into the land of Israel to build their own nation.  They conquered the land of Israel and established the nation of Israel according to the Law of Moses. The Nation of Israel has a law given to them by their prophet Moses. The Jews who were a minority in Egypt succeeded to unite and conquer the nations which were living in the land of Israel.  They built a nation and protected their nation from the nations surrounding them. The nation had sovereignty over their land for over four hundred years until they were conquered by the Babylonians. The nation went into exile. Seventy years later they returned to their land and built the second temple which stood for another four hundred years. During this time not all Jews lived in Israel. A large portion remained in Babylon. Even though they returned to Israel after the first exile for seventy years, they did not have complete sovereignty over the land like the first time. They lived under Greek and Roman rule during the four hundred years which the temple stood until it was destroyed by the Romans.

The Jewish people want to be a sovereign nation. They were once a sovereign nation in the land of Israel for over four hundred years until they were conquered by Nebuchadnezzar. Jews were once living in a Jewish State exclusively Jewish, the only voice in their nation. They want to return to this type of sovereignty over the land of Israel complete independence an exclusively Jewish State. In all places which Jews live in the world, they are a minority. They are the remnants of their nation which was conquered by the Romans. There are other voices in the world besides the Jewish voice.  The Jewish voice is an important voice in the world, but not the only voice. After Jerusalem was destroyed the Byzantine empire and Ottoman empire took control of Israel leaving signs of history in the land. The majority of the population of the State of Israel today is Jewish Israeli. Not all Israeli are Jewish according to Jewish law.

Accepting the Jewish people and their voice in the world is accepting the voice of a minority. To give the Jewish people their voice, is accepting the voice of other minorities in the world. When people will consider the importance of minorities, they will recognize the importance of the Jewish people. Fascist and Communist nations did not accept a minority in their lands.  Hitler wanted to remove the minority voice from his land. There are Americans against minorities. They want minorities in America Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Spanish to assimilate and become completely white Americans. To change over minorities by force to assimilate in America is against the ideal of freedom. To change the color of Black Americans to become white is impossible in one generation. Orthodox Jews will not assimilate since they have the connection to another nation, the Nation of Israel. American Jews living in Israel are allowed dual citizenship.  Russian Jews who immigrate to Israel lose their citizenship. Being Anti-Semitic is being anti minority in general. Sometimes jealousy creates hatred which is a reason for many people to be anti-Semitic. Jews are successful people in economics and politics.

The Jewish people became a separate nation at Mount Sinai.  Jews are guests in all the nations which they live. Their place and land in Jewish heritage is Israel.  Every nation has a land. The land of Israel is considered by them to be their land.  Jews in Talmud are cautioned about conquering the land again by force like they had conquered it at the time of Joshua. The prophets advised not to use force but to let God bring them back to the land in peace.

The movement to return the land of Israel called secular Zionism began in Europe. The opportunity for these secular Zionists came after the holocaust when Britain decided to release their control of the Middle East. Many nations in the Middle East including Israel declared their independence after Britain release their control.  The Middle East was more stable under British control. Britain’s release the nations of the Middle East to make their own independence created chaos. Jews were living in Palestine at this time and fought the war of Independence in 1948 for control of Israel to protect their own rights in their land. The British withdrawal created National conflicts in the Middle East. It is still a place of chaos in countries like Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, other places.  Israel is the most stable of all the nations in the Middle East. Israel is also democratic not opposing America and other democratic nations.

President Trump sees Israel as a place to begin to build stability in the Middle East. There is no better stable nation than Israel united with American interests. Those people who are Anti-Israel are also against America. They don’t understand the state of instability in the Middle East. To ignore the importance of the Middle East in world politics is without intelligence. The nations of the Middle East are developing Nuclear weapons. They influence the economy of the world with oil. A stable Israel gives stability to the world. Anti- Zionism is an excuse to be anti-Semitic to claim racism instead of using intellect and logic to understand the problems in the Middle East and their correction.

Anti-Zionism is opposition to Zionism. The term is broadly defined in the modern era to denote opposition to the political movement of Jews to self-determination within the territory of the historic Land of Israel (also referred to as Palestine, Canaan, or the Holy Land). Anti-Zionism is also defined as opposition to the State of Israel or, prior to 1948, its establishment.

Mixing anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism is connecting the State of Israel with religion. Many people oppose Judaism because it is a separate religion from Christianity and Islam. The State of Israel is not a separate nation from the rest of the democratic world. It wants to be part of the democratic world.  Israel became a State because of circumstances which developed after World War II not connected to Orthodox Judaism. Most leaders of Orthodox Judaism were against the establishment of the State of Israel because it could cause anti-Semitism for Jews living all over the world. Jews are not obligated according to their religion to live in Israel exclusively. Judaism connects with Israel as its homeland but the study of the Torah and the observance of the commandments takes precedence over living in Israel. Only a small minority of religious Jews consider that living in Israel is an obligation.

The establishment of the State of Israel has caused an increase in anti-Semitism like was expected by Rabbinical authorities. The establishment of the State of Israel was necessary to give safety to Jews living in the Middle East after Britain release control and the area became chaotic. Most of the Sephardic Jews immigrated to Israel after 1948 in fear of their lives.

Israel is good for America.  It is also good for all Jews living throughout the world whose lives are in danger. The nation of Israel is a reality and the Middle East cannot be ignored by the world.  Anti-Semitism is a religious issue.  Anti-Zionism against the State of Israel is a political issue.  Jews are a minority living as guests in nations throughout the world. They are only one of the many minorities in these countries. Accepting Jews in nations throughout the world is no different from accepting other minorities.  To expect all minorities to assimilate in the countries that they live in is not possible. Muslims will not assimilate. Blacks cannot hide their color and are proud to be Black African Americans. America cannot claim to belong to white Anglo-Saxon. There is a majority and a minority, both are important.

Zionist is connected to Judaism. There are still bad feelings in the world about Judaism which connect Zionism with Judaism. The more intellectual people see Israel as a political state with separation of state and church.  Religion once ruled the world but today religion is in the background an important influence to mankind to learn from the past and to improve the future.  People mix anti-Semitism with Anti-Zionism which is a mistake. Zionism today is secular and as long as the state remains a democracy it is open to the world and grows with the world. Israel today is considered one of the major nations in the world and a strong contributor to World economics.  In world politics it is not a minority.  Jewish people as a religious nation with Biblical heritage are a minority.

The power of the State of Israel frightens many nations and peoples.  It is no threat to the free world. Nations are jealous of the State of Israel which is their cause of anti-Zionism. People are jealous of Jews how they succeed in business, politics, and world society which is the cause of anti-Semitism. The Jewish people have a special heritage and may still be considered the chosen people. Every person is chosen but not every nation.

President Trump has respect for religion and also for Judaism. He knows that the State of Israel is important for America.  America is his first interest not the State of Israel.

Final Statement: Is anti-Zionism the same as anti-semitism?

David Wexelman: There is a close connection between them because already 6 million Jews live in Israel. The world needs a strong Israel which means to support Jews in their hope to build the State of Israel and as guests in other countries in the world. Strengthening Israel is strengthening democracy. Accepting Jews is accepting all minorities equally.  Palestinians living in Israel are guests in the land like Jews are guests in the land.  The land of Israel belongs to God to be the revelation of God on earth and his name which is peace. No one religion or people can claim Israel as their State. Only God and freedom can claim the land of God. Judaism is the principal religion of Israel but there should be freedom also for Muslims and Christians to worship God in the land. Zionism is a political issue. Anti-semitism is both religious and ethnic.

At the conference in England in the YouTube video above, the conclusion is: anti-Zionism is not equitable to anti-Semitism by a large majority vote. They are two issues.

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David Wexelman

Rabbi David Wexelman is the  author of five books on the topics of World Unity and Peace, and Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Rabbi Wexelman is a member of the American Friends of Maccabee, a charitable organization helping the poor in the United States and in Israel.  Donations are tax deductible in the USA.

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