- They're numerous, outspoken, and range from secular to
orthodox to one group calling itself "True Torah Jews Against Zionism."
- They believe that "traditional" Jews don't
support Zionism, an ideology they call "contrary to Jewish law and
beliefs and the teachings of the Holy Torah." They say Zionism:
- -- advocates "a political and military end to the
- -- fosters "pseudo-Judaism" based on secular
- -- coercively seeks "armed materialism" in
place of "a Divine and Torah centered understanding;"
- -- endangers all Jews worldwide;
- -- wants to disassociate Jews and traditional Judaism
from ideological Zionism; and
- -- calls Israel a "Zionist State," not a Jewish
- -- cite their concern for "peace and safety of all
people throughout the world including those living in the Zionist state"
and in Occupied Palestine;
- -- say from ancient times until 100 years ago, Jews and
Arabs lived in peace and friendship until Zionism changed the relationship;
- -- believe Zionists abandoned the Torah and traditional
Judaism, demanded political sovereignty over the Holy Land, and aroused
anger in the Arab world; and
- -- Torah Jewry doesn't recognize or support a Zionist
state; nor do they represent world Jews; even the name "Israel"
is a "forgery," they believe, because the Torah forbids violence
in the words of the prophet Isaiah who said:
- "And they will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks. No nation will lift its sword against
any other, nor will they learn warfare anymore."
- Toray Jewry says that believing Zionism protects Jews
is "probably the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the Jewish People"
and accuses Zionists of fostering global anti-Semitism. "Indeed, hatred
of Jews and Jewish suffering is the oxygen of the Zionist movement, and
from the very beginning has been (used) to deliberately incite hatred to
justify the existence of the Zionist state - this is, of course, Machiavellianism
raised to the highest order."
- Zionist founder Theodor Herzl (1860 - 1904) said:
- "It is essential that the suffering of Jews....becomes
worse....this will assist in (the) realization of our plans....I have an
excellent idea....I shall induce anti-semites to liquidate Jewish wealth....The
anti-semites will assist us thereby in that they will strengthen the persecution
and oppression of Jews. The anti-semites shall be our best friends."
- In 1920, other Zionists voiced similar ideas, including
Nahum Goldmann, later president of the World Zionist Organization and World
Jewish Congress head. Israel's first president, Chaim Weizman, said Germany
had too many Jews. In 1921, Jacob Klatzkin called for German Jews to undermine
Jewish communities as a way to acquire a future state.
- In 1963, Moshe Sharett (Israel's second prime minister
from 1953 - 1955) told the 38th Scandinavian Youth Federation Annual Congress
that Jewish freedom imperiled Zionism. Delegates at the 26th World Zionist
Congress were told that easing US anti-Semitism and freedom endangered
- Torah Jewry disagrees in affirming its desire to live
in peace with their Arab and Palestinian neighbors and abide by sacred
commandments "with a perfect heart and to delight in the radiance
of the sanctity of the Land."
- They believe: "Zionists have no right of any sovereignty
over even one inch of the Holy Land. They do not represent the Jewish people
in any way whatsoever. They have no right to speak in the name of the Jewish
people." Their ideology is "antithetical to Jewish law,"
and because they don't behave like Jews, "they desecrate the sanctity
of the land." They feel that when Israel is recognized as a Zionist,
not a Jewish, state, "Jews worldwide will be able to live in peace"
and do it alongside Arabs in the Middle East.
- "The Hidden History of Zionism"
- In his 1988 book, Ralph Schoenman explained four Zionist
- -- the notion of "A land without people for a people
without a land" to promote the fiction that an empty Palestine was
there for the taking by its rightful original inhabitants;
- -- Israeli democracy, the only "real" one in
the Middle East; in fact, Israel is democratic like South Africa was apartheid
and much worse; "Civil liberty, due process and the most basic human
rights" apply only for Jews;
- -- "security (is) the motor force of Israeli foreign
policy" because it's surrounded by hostile Arab states; and
- -- "Zionism (is) the moral legatee of the victims
of the Holocaust....the most pervasive and insidious of the" Zionist
myths; in fact, Zionists, like future prime minister Yitzhak Shamir, openly
colluded with the Nazis for their own purposes - to use persecution as
justification for a future Zionist state and more.
- It wasn't just to colonize Palestine. It was also to
exploit indigenous people as cheap labor, dispossess and disperse them,
replace them with arriving Jews, legitimize ethnic cleansing, and remove
Palestinians from their land and history. Historical records were falsified.
"Palestinians were re-invented as a semi-savage, nomadic remnant."
Mass elimination methods were justified for a "people too many."
- In 1923, hard line revisionist leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky
argued that Arab nationalists opposed a Jewish state and wouldn't accept
one. Thus peaceful coexistence was unattainable, and Jews had to build
"an iron wall of (superior) Jewish military force." The idea
was to discourage Arab hopes of destroying Israel followed by a negotiated
settlement giving Israel the upper hand to dictate terms.
- Terror was to be used the way Joseph Weitz, head of the
Jewish Agency's Colonization Department, wrote in 1940:
- "Between ourselves, it must be clear that there
is no room for both peoples together in this country. We shall not achieve
our goal if the Arabs are in this small country. There is no other way
than to (get rid of) all of them. Not one village, not one tribe should
- The secret Koenig Report, later published in 1976, said:
- "We must use terror, assassination, intimidation,
land confiscation and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee
of its Arab population."
- Chairman Heilbrun of the Committee for the Re-Election
of Tel Aviv mayor Shlomo Lahat (1974 - 1993) stated:
- "We have to kill all the Palestinians unless they
are resigned to live here as slaves."
- Former IDF Chief of Staff Raphael Eitan (1978 - 1983)
- "We declare openly that the Arabs have no right
to settle on even one centimeter of Eretz Israel....Force is all they do
or ever will understand. We shall use the ultimate force until the Palestinians
come crawling to us on all fours."
- Other Israeli leaders voiced similar extremism, including
David Ben Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, saying in 1937 that "We
must expel the Arabs and take their place and if we have to use force,
to guarantee our own right to settle in those places - then we have force
at our disposal."
- At inception, Zionists like Herzl were pragmatic, yet
devious, in believing imperial power backing was needed to establish a
Jewish state. It could have been anywhere, but Palestine was chosen for
its symbolic significance as the ancient Jewish homeland. Colonization
began after the first Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland in 1897. Herzl
- "At Basle, I founded the Jewish state....If not
in five years, then certainly in fifty everyone will realize it."
It took 51 by dispossessing indigenous Palestinians and replacing them
with Jews. Ever since, Zionism's most effective legitimacy claim is the
notion of preventing another "Holocaust." It's justified the
most outrageous crimes, characterized as "self-defense" by a
tiny Jewish minority surrounded by hordes of hostile Arabs. It seized Palestinian
land, Judaized it, created a new nation for Jews alone - undemocratic,
imperial, militant, violent, exploitive, oppressive, racist, and hostile
to core Judaic dogma.
- It's why growing thousands of Jews globally oppose an
ideology based on power, conquest, dispossession, and violation of the
most fundamental Jewish ethical and moral teachings, ones Zionists disdain.
- Not In My Name
- It calls itself a "predominantly Jewish organization
deeply committed to a peaceful and just resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian
conflict, a resolution that will provide safety, security and freedom for
Jews, Palestinians, and all others living in this region." It opposes:
- -- the illegal West Bank and Gaza occupations;
- -- the West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements;
- -- Israel's Separation Wall;
- -- the collective punishment of millions of Occupied
Palestinians and Israeli Arabs; and
- -- Israeli human rights abuses, home demolitions, land
seizures, arbitrary arrests, torture, travel and movement restrictions,
and closure and encirclements of villages and communities.
- It champions Palestinian self-determination, the right
of return, and "full equality, civil rights and economic justice for
all." It's for a shared Jerusalem and nuclear-free Middle East. It
wants an end to violence and injustice and the equitable sharing of vital
resources, including water, oil, gas, electric power, and all other essentials
to life and well-being. It wants all US aid stopped until Israel ends its
occupation and acts like a civilized state.
- It deplores Zionism and what it represents. It's activists
have chapters around the world. They organize protests and demonstrations,
hold vigils and religious ceremonies, communicate with the media, foster
dialogue between Jews and Palestinians, sponsor teach-ins, educational
forums and study groups.
- They believe that moral human beings are obligated "to
speak out and take action." They refuse to remain silent or accept
Israeli crimes passively. They're one among other like-minded organizations
that say "Not In My Name." Not now or ever.
- Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)
- JVP is "a diverse and democratic community of activists
inspired by Jewish tradition to work together for peace, social justice,
and human rights." They support the aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians
for security and self-determination. Their agenda mirrors Not In My Name
and states that "We are among the many American Jews who say to the
US and Israeli governments: "Not in our names!"
- They call on America and the international community
to end wars and violence and support Palestinian self-determination free
from occupation and oppression. They headline: "Israelis and Palestinians.
Two Peoples, One Future," free from Zionist oppression.
- Brit Tzedek V'Shalom
- It's a Jewish Alliance for Justice & Peace calling
itself "America's largest grassroots Jewish organization dedicated
to promoting a negotiated two-state resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict." With around 50,000 supporters, including over 1,000 rabbis,
they educate and organize the US Jewish community for a US foreign policy
supportive of Israelis and Palestinians alike. It conducts campaigns, holds
conferences, sponsors tours, and engages in various other activist efforts.
- Its founding principles include:
- -- evacuating Israeli settlements;
- -- non-violent solutions in place of state terrorism
and "state-initiated violence;"
- -- "a complete end to the Israeli military occupation,"
including over East Jerusalem;
- -- a viable Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders;
- -- Jerusalem as the capital of both states, free and
open to all Muslims, Jews, Christians and others;
- -- "a just resolution of the Palestinian refugee
- -- "the recognition that (US) Jews....have a special
responsibility to urge (their) government to pursue policies consistent
with the requirements of a just peace for Israel and the Palestinian people."
- It publishes articles on social theory, religion and
spirituality, social change, contemporary American and global politics
and economics, Israel/Palestine, and other topics. It features issues that
"both advance the pursuit of tikkun olam - social justice and the
repair of the world - and break down issues of contemporary concern in
completely new and thoughtful ways." It supports progressive spirituality
and challenges established orthodoxies in all spheres of thought and politics.
It's "dedicated to healing and transforming (a troubled) world."
- Its editor is Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of "The
Left Hand of God: Taking Our Country Back from the Religious Right,"
and "Jewish Renewal: A Path to Healing and Transformation." On
May 8, 2008 on the HuffingtonPost.com, writing "On Zionism, Healing,
and Israel's 60th Anniversary," he noted how Palestinians were dispossessed
of their homes and villages by Jews "determined to be as ruthless
towards others as others had been towards" them. "Yet, there
are alternatives" not taken so conflict ever since has persisted.
- As for Zionism, he described what emerged as "fundamentally
incompatible with the highest values of the Jewish tradition, and must
be rejected even as we develop a compassionate attitude toward the Jewish
people of Israel." To preserve Judaism, Lerner quotes the following
- "When you come into your land, do not oppress the
stranger: remember that you were strangers in the land of Egypt. A Jewish
state that has been unwilling or unable to live by that command has no
religious foundation and can generate no lasting support from those committed
to God and Torah."
- Doing it right requires abandoning "a naive utopian
fantasy" and building a society based on "open-heartedness, compassion
and caring for others...." Abandoning Zionist extremism for traditional
Jewish moral values is essential.
- They're "Jews Not Zionists" and quote Rabbi
Yoel Teitelbaum in 1958 speaking out against Zionist heresy:
- "....if we place all the immodesty and promiscuity
of the generation and the many sins of the world on one side of the scale,
and the Zionist state on the other side of the scale by itself, it would
outweigh them all. Zionism is the greatest form of spiritual impurity in
the entire world. (It's) polluting the entire world. (It's) polluted the
Jewish people with (its) heresy....Everything our blessed rabbis cried
out about earlier in the century about the dangers of Zionism (have) been
forgotten....It is impossible to describe to what extent the world has
become sunken in such a falsehood which is destroying the entire Torah."
- Jews Not Zionists believe that Zionism is heresy, and
"the existence of the so-called 'State of Israel' is illegitimate."
Zionism violated Torah doctrine, the very essence of Judaism. It believes
that human life is sacred and human rights aren't to be denied by those
who would sacrifice them for national security or any other reason.
- "Judaism and Zionism are by no means the same. Indeed
they are incompatible and irreconcilable." Good Jews can't be Zionists,
and Zionists can't be good Jews. According to Jewish tradition, seven universal
Noacide morality laws apply to everyone. Also the Ten Commandments for
all monotheistic religions, and another 613 obligatory laws for traditional
- They eschew violence, military power, and brute force.
They're about morality and spiritual purity. Zionists made belief in the
Torah and fulfillment of religious obligations a private matter, not a
common obligation for all Jews. They made Judaic dogma subject to party
or parliamentary votes and set their own ethical and moral standards, suiting
- Many times in Jewish history, an extremist minority misled
the majority. Worshiping the golden calf happened earlier. Today it's
political Zionism. Before its emergence, piety, decency, learning, and
belief in justice and mercy characterized most Jewish leaders. Now they're
the minority. It's why they believe a good Jew can't be a Zionist, and
a Zionist can't be a good Jew and aren't the legitimate spokespersons for
anyone but themselves. From a religious point of view, they're heretics.
- Jews Against Racist Zionism
- They include distinguished figures who speak out for
"anti-racist Jews and indeed all anti-racist humanitarians."
They decry "anti-Arab anti-Semitic racist Zionists running Apartheid
Israel and their Western backers." They're appalled by the continuing
Palestinian, Iraqi, and Afghan genocides that have killed and dispossessed
millions. They see Zionism as a threat to all Jews and humanity unless
something is done to stop it.
- Neturei Karta International (NKI)
- NKI is an Aramaic term for "Guardians of the City,"
given to a group of Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem who "opposed the establishment
of and retain all opposition to the existence of the so-called 'State of
Israel!' " They demonstrate publicly and state their belief in the
Torah and "authentic unadulterated Judaism.''
- In 1938, NKI was founded in Jerusalem to struggle against
Zionism. Most of its members now live outside Israel, many in New York
where they're prominent, vocal, and ignored by the dominant media.
- For refusing to accept Zionism, they were harassed, incarcerated,
and physically tortured by "Zionist police and agents." As a
result, they scattered internationally and established synagogues, educational
institutions, publishing houses and organizations espousing their beliefs.
- They're orthodox, but not ultra-orthodox or extremist.
They've "added nothing to nor have taken anything away from the written
and oral law of the Torah as it is expressed in the Halacha (traditional
Jewish law) and the Shulchan Aruch (codification of Jewish law)."
- They're allied with many thousands of other Jews sharing
similar anti-Zionist views. They oppose the "State of Israel (because)
the entire concept of a sovereign Jewish state is contrary to Jewish law."
It conflicts with traditional Judaism.
- They quote Talmudic doctrine teaching that Jews are prohibited
from using force to establish a Jewish state or to rebel against other
nations. "Jews are not allowed to dominate, kill, harm or demean another
people and are not allowed to have anything to do with the Zionist enterprise,
their political meddling and their wars."
- "The true Jews remain faithful to Jewish belief
and are not contaminated with Zionism. The true Jews are against dispossessing
the Arabs of their land and homes. According to the Torah, the land should
be returned to them....The world must know that the Zionists have illegitimately
seized the name Israel and have no right to speak in the name of the Jewish
- NKI seeks peace and reconciliation with people of all
faiths and nations. Of greatest concern is reconciling with the Muslim
world after decades of Zionist abuses. They support peace, justice, and
the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland.
- They decry Zionist propaganda, bullying tactics, censorship
and lies. Its weapon is state terror. Its dogma is a profound disregard
for human life and moral values. Its false idol is a "lack of truth
on its side."
- NKI notes how greater numbers of people now question
Zionism, its version of history, and values. They blame it for massive
bloodshed and suffering and believe they'll be no Middle East peace until
there's no more State of Israel, at least under Zionism. They think that
a coalition of anti-Zionist Jews and Palestinians can unite as a moral
force for peace and good in the world. They welcome the abolition of Zionism
"in a peaceful manner."
- "We're not celebrating Israel's anniversary"
- In a public April 30, 2008 petition, Harold Pinter was
among 105 prominent Jews who said "we....will not be celebrating"
Israel's May 2008 60th anniversary. They noted the 1948 slaughter and dispossession
of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, the destruction of their villages,
their erasure from history, the 1967 occupation, the continued persecution
for decades, the defiling of international law, and utter contempt for
human rights and peaceful coexistence. They stated:
- "We cannot celebrate the birthday of a state founded
on terrorism, massacres and the dispossession of another people from their
land. We cannot celebrate the birthday of a state that even now engages
in ethnic cleansing, that violates international law, that is inflicting
a monstrous collective punishment on the civilian population of Gaza and
that continues to deny to Palestinians their human rights and national
- "We will celebrate when Arab and Jew live as equals
in a peaceful Middle East," something impossible under Zionism.
- A Final Comment
- At its core, Zionism is fundamentally racist, extremist,
undemocratic, and militant:
- -- in espousing Jewish supremacy, exceptionalism, and
uniqueness as God's "chosen people;"
- -- in relying on occupation, oppression, violence and
- -- in justifying a Jewish ethnocracy based on structural
- -- in ruling by force, not coexistence;
- -- in choosing confrontation over diplomacy and the rule
of law; and
- -- by denying Arabs and all others the same rights as
- No ideology that destructive can endure. No regional
peace and reconciliation is possible until it's repudiated.
- Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre
for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at <mailto:email@example.com>firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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