There Is No Zionism without Judaism

There Is No Zionism without Judaism

HAARETZ – MAY 2006 – There is no Zionism without Judaism and there never has been. Just as the Israeli people has never had a right to the Land of Israel. Only the Jewish people. It was the Jewish people that received the Balfour Declaration, and it was they who were granted by the United Nations the legal right to establish a state. It was the Jewish people that returned to its ancient homeland, for which it had prayed and longed for, for 2,000 years. For if we are talking about the Israeli “people” — how is the right of a “people” that has existed for about 100 years greater than or equal to that of the Palestinians, who have been living on their land for about 300 years? What really distinguishes it from other colonial projects that have vanished from the earth?


HAARETZ – If we cut ourselves off from 3,000 years of Judaism, we will lose the right to our existence in our historic homeland

A.B. Yehoshua’s remarks at the recent conference of the American Jewish Committee predictably kicked up a storm on both sides of the ocean. In Israel people charged that it is not true that Israelis are indifferent to the fate of Diaspora Jewry, and in the United States they said that were it not for their continuous aid and staunch support on behalf of Israel, the country would not have survived. On both sides, again and as always, this was the usual paternalistic reaction. We know what is good for you, we help you. Without us you will not survive.

But Yehoshua’s remarks about the relations between Israel and the Diaspora, as infuriating as they may be, disturb me less than the way he described his own identity: My identity is Israeli, he said. The Jewish religion does not play a role in my life; it is the territory and the language that build my identity.

This definition of identity grants a bill of divorcement to the Jewish people, to the Jewish heritage, to 3,000 years of culture, creativity, prayer, rituals, tradition and everything that is subsumed in the term Judaism, and shows a preference for the Israeli “nation,” which “arose from the sea” 100 years ago. For Yehoshua — and many, many others in Israel — the only thing that is important, existential and relevant from the Jewish perspective is what happens here, in Israel; everything outside Israel is obsolete and its fate is to be lost. In making this claim, Yehoshua undermines and weakens the justification for the State of Israel.

The internal debate among us here on the question of the country’s borders, and the discussion of the correct way to achieve peace in our region, derive entirely from the assumption that the State of Israel has a right to exist – morally, legally and historically. This assumption faces constant questioning. The Hamas people try to undermine it, as do many other leaders in the Palestinian and Arab world. And many intellectuals in the Western world, who have adopted the Arab narrative that sees in us an anachronistic remnant of old colonialism, also try to undermine this assumption. Facing these debilitating forces is the belief held by many others in the world in the Jewish people’s right to a national state in its historical homeland. We can win the struggle between these two approaches only if we ourselves, those of us who live in Zion, believe this and feel this way.

Ultra-Orthodox disciples of the Gaon from Vilna who immigrated to the Land of Israel in the 18th century, Zionist socialists at the end of the 19th century, and assimilated Jews from Soviet Russia who fought for their right to immigrate at the end of the 20th century — they had nothing in common with regard to their perception of the Jewish tradition. However, all of them saw themselves as partners in the realization of the same ancient dream, the ancient Jewish prayer to return to the Land of Israel. All of them saw themselves as part of a special people and of the unique historical process of the return to Zion. This belief was the source of their strength and the only guarantee of their success.

There is no Zionism without Judaism and there never has been. Just as the Israeli people has never had a right to the Land of Israel. Only the Jewish people. It was the Jewish people that received the Balfour Declaration, and it was they who were granted by the United Nations the legal right to establish a state. It was the Jewish people that returned to its ancient homeland, for which it had prayed and longed for, for 2,000 years. For if we are talking about the Israeli “people” — how is the right of a “people” that has existed for about 100 years greater than or equal to that of the Palestinians, who have been living on their land for about 300 years? What really distinguishes it from other colonial projects that have vanished from the earth?

The discussion of our right to the land and the war between our narrative and theirs is not a purely philosophical discussion. At least not in the eyes of the Palestinian leaders. When the leaders of Hamas, like Yasser Arafat in his day, were or are prepared to consider recognition of the fact of Israel’s existence, but not its right to existence, they are not playing word games. That is why Arafat reiterated over and over again his supposedly historical claims with regard to the absence of the connection between the Temple Mount and the Jewish people. It was clear to him that the historical connection that is anchored and based in Jewish tradition is the basis for the existence of the State of Israel, and without it, the state will disappear, just as it “appeared from the sea.”

The difference between Israeli identity according to Yehoshua and Jewish identity is exactly the difference between the fact of existence and the right to exist. The difference is between a group of people that lives on a piece of land and speaks the Hebrew language, and the descendants of a people that is scattered throughout the world, who have returned to their historic homeland.

If, heaven forbid, we cut ourselves off from the chain that links us to the Jewish people, if we cut ourselves off from 3,000 years of Judaism, if we cut ourselves off from being the realization of 2,000 years of Jewish hope — for next year in Jerusalem — then we will lose the right to our existence. And in losing that right, we will be lost.

Perhaps the Jews of the Diaspora were insulted by Yehoshua’s blunt remarks, but we, the Jews of the Land of Israel, we must rise up against them, for this is a matter of the very fact of our existence.


  1. #1 by nooralhaqiqa on 03/16/2017 - 9:34

    Navel gazing. Navel gazing. More self-centered meandering. Jewish drivel. I am sorry but these folks are so delusional.

    OF COURSE there is no Zionism without the Talmud, the foundation of Judaism. Sheesh. Why do they still go on and on and on and on ….

    Isael is a Communist nation, founded on Talmudic ideals. But the rest of the world calls it Zionism.

  2. #2 by Blake on 03/16/2017 - 9:34

    Maybe that way now but it was the British Protestants (hastening the second coming of Jesus Christ)/British Politicians (for geopolitical reasons) who gave them that idea. The same British politicians who backed wahhabism btw for the same purposes.

    “The more guilty parties are not the Jews but our politicians who know the Jews have no such rights to Palestine but for their own purpose encourage them to think they have.” –
    Excerpt from a book called “Palestine Deception” written in 1923 by the daily mail correspondent for the middle east J.M. Jefries

    “For a hundred years Zionism had been almost as much an English movement as it was a purely Jewish one …. In the wake of the irresistible Liberal sweep which was deJudaizing the Jews, occurred a most remarkable phenomenon the Anglo-Saxon people, rising rapidly to world power, literally pitched themselves headlong at the same time into a Judaizing process. Aroused by such magnetic personalities as Knox and Tyndale the British peoples retreated to creative Prophecy, to the stern and simple democracy of the Hebrew Bible . The Old Testament in particular was studied with impassioned thoroughness . James Truslow Adams remarks that “Christ did indeed occupy a place in their [the Puritan] theology, but in spirit they may be considered Jews and not Christians. Their God was the God of the Old Testament, their laws were the laws of the Old Testament, their guides to conduct were the characters of the Old Testament.”” “They baptized their children,” writes Lord Macaulay, “by the names, not of Christian saints, but of Hebrew patriarchs and warriors .” 12 Even the old Saxon names, once household words, were condemned to oblivion . 13 “Cromwell hath beat up his drums clean through the Old Testament,” comments Cleveland. “You may know the genealogy of our Saviour by the names of his regiment .” Every attitude of the aggressive young imperialism which the Anglo-Saxon was erecting became tinctured with Hebrew philosophy. So completely was it absorbed that a large section of the English people began to look upon themselves as being actually descended from Israelites . A whole body of literature sprang into being claiming that the word British was derived from Brith and Ish of Hebrew, meaning `circumcised man,’ and that the English were descended from the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel . This conviction on the part of a large part of the British public became so great that it resulted in the forming of `The British-Israel World Federation,’ at one time claiming over five million members, and including such eminent personages as Queen Victoria and King Edward VII.

    The Hebraizing spirit attended other considerable sections of the Reformation though it was particularly at home with the Anglo-Saxon peoples, whose identification with Hebrew history and philosophy became so complete as to almost appropriate it for themselves . Lecky expressed this debt in the famous remark : “Hebraic mortar cemented the foundation of American Democracy!” In the same vein Ulysses S . Grant advised his countrymen to “hold fast to the Bible . It is the sheet-anchor of your liberties . . .” And Jean Paul bespoke his times when he declared that “the first leaf of the Mosaic record has more weight than all the folios of men of science and philosophies.” Protestant theology in particular, rested on the belief that the world of mankind was evolving towards a millennium in which holiness was to be triumphant everywhere, and that a primary prerequisite to this happy eventuality was the return of God’s Chosen People, the Jews, to the Holy Land . Supporting their position with direct quotation from Biblical Prophecy, a large group of earnest men, divines, statesmen and writers, set themselves to be the instruments to speed this desired end . Specialized histories of the Jews gained wide circulation, and it was not long before the political emancipation of Zion became a lively topic in English politics . By 1839 popular interest had become so intense that the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, after sending a special commission to the Holy Land to report on conditions there, addressed “A Memorandum to the Protestant Monarchs of Europe on the Subject of the Restoration of the Jewish People to the Land of Palestine .” From this date onwards a pro-Jewish Palestinian discussion ran parallel in the London Times with the agitation over the Eastern question . The Government, taking canny notice of this body of public feeling and being interested in the Near East on its own account, commenced to take a hand. With the entry of the murderous anti-Christian Mehemet Ali into Syria, the advocacy of Zionism became quietly identified with English foreign policy . Interest mounted rapidly in all circles . The statesman Lord Shaftsbury became so absorbed in the project that he learned Hebrew. The colonization expert, Colonel George Gawler, devoted virtually all his time to this cause, firmly convinced that Jewish repatriation was a political desideratum for England, conveniently sanctioned by Holy Writ . A whole succession of English representatives in the Near East befriended the Jews and took an active interest in their cause . It became a ruling passion with such men as Laurence Oliphant and the archaeologist Conger ‘s mountain of literature and a whirlpool of activity had by now been brought to bear on the matter . All these writers and orators pointed out the desolate, empty, semi-savage condition of the country . Various associations were formed to agitate the cause, and monster mass-meetings were held. English statesmen such as Sir Samuel Montague guaranteed publicly that “not only will the Jews be assisted in colonizing Palestine, but practical shape will be given to their aspiration for the restoration of the Jewish Kingdom .” While the interest in the fate of the Jews was most spectacular and deep-seated in Britain, manifestations of it were evident everywhere . In France, Joseph Salvador called for the assembling of a European Congress to restore the Holy Land . Here, too, Henri Dunant, founder of the Red Cross and author of the Geneva Conventions, was an ardent Zionist . Napoleon also is said to have contemplated the restoration of Palestine to the Jews. This is reported to have been one of the objects of his ill-fated adventure in Egypt and the Near East. In America the second president of the United States, John Adams, announced himself an ardent Zionist who “really wished the Jews again in Judea, an independent nation . . .” The lively sympathy for Hebrew resettlement is shown also by the petition to President Benjamin Harrison submitted by Dr . Wm. Blackstone, Chairman of the Conference of Christians and Jews, in 1891 . Signed by an imposing list of the greatest names in America, clergymen, corporation presidents and public officials, it offered an elaborate plan for Jewish colonization, declaring that “not for twenty-four centuries since the days of Cyrus, King of Persia, has there been offered to any mortal such a privileged opportunity to further the purposes of God concerning his ancient people.” By 1914 a powerful non-Jewish public opinion, favoring the enterprise as a rational historical development, existed everywhere. In England itself, long habituation to this program as well as what appeared to be obvious self-interest had committed British policy to it.” – “The Rape of Palestine” by William B Ziff (1938) – which a vulgar zionist propaganda book but that excerpt very interesting.

    “How Britains Biggest Racists and Financiers Created Zionism”

    And before I bore you to tears
    ZIONISM and WAHHABISM: Twin Cancers Destroying the Middle East (And Their Veiled Origins)

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