Zionism wasn’t always such a negative term. Today it has many negative connotations associated with crimes against humanity including fascism, racism, apartheid, and colonialism. But the truth is that Zionism is none of these things.
So what is Zionism?
Zionism is the belief in the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in their historic homeland, Israel.
The Jewish people are the indigenous people of Israel. The archaeological ruins, the artifacts, the scriptures, literature, and genetics all prove that Israel is the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people. The first kingdom in Israel was established over 3,000 years ago. Since that time, the Jewish people have been ruled by successive occupiers of the land which have included the Romans, the Babylonians, and since the 7th century, the Arabs.
The Jewish people always had a presence in the land and Jewish people outside the land always prayed towards and yearned for the re-establishment of a sovereign homeland.
In 1947 the United Nations voted to realize the Jewish people’s aspiration for a national homeland. The United Nations also voted for the Palestinians to have their own homeland in 1947 although they were just known as the Arabs who were living in that area, not as the ‘Palestinians’. However, the Arab people declined the opportunity while the Jewish people accepted the opportunity even though it fell short of what they hoped for. Therefore, the United Nations offered a two-state solution seventy years ago and the Arabs turned it down.
Almost every country in the world has been established through war, negotiation or colonialism. Therefore, Israel, as a nation-state, has more legitimacy than almost any other country in the world, if not every other country in the world since the nation was formed for the Jewish people by the United Nations.
There is a misconception that Israel was built on stolen Palestinian land. Tell a people a lie often enough and they will start to believe it. Palestinians have never had sovereignty in the land. There was never a government-run country with the name Palestine. The Arab Palestinian people have been offered several opportunities by the United Nations and Israel to have sovereignty and part of the land but have declined all those offers.
Furthermore, between 1948 and 1967 the Arab Palestinians were under occupation by Jordan. Jordan never created an independent state for the Arab Palestinians. To say that Israel was built on stolen Palestinian land is simply not true. Compare the Palestinian flag with the Jordanian flag and you’ll see that the Palestinian flag which was created by the PLO in 1964 is simply the Jordanian flag with its white star removed. It is also interesting to note that the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) which was designated as a terrorist organization by the United States government, was headed by Yassar Arafat who was born and raised in Egypt, not in Palestine.
Jews have a tragic history of persecution. If there is any people in the world that have a need for self-determination, it is the Jewish people. They have suffered through Pogroms, ghettos, the Holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition. They have been forcibly converted to other religions, culturally assimilated, exterminated, and assaulted for as long as we can all remember.
Israel is a modern democracy which has been delegitimized and demonized like no other country in the history of the world. Israel welcomes and accepts all people, regardless of their race, nationality, religion, or gender.
Jews throughout the world need to know that Israel is there to escape to should the need arise, just like it’s been there for many thousands if not millions of other Jews since it’s establishment.
I am a Zionist.
Whether you are Jewish or not, you can support the right of the Jewish people to a homeland in Israel.