Justice means being anti-Zionist

March 12, 2010

IT HAS become an accepted response from pro-Israeli entities to label those opposed to the actions of the Israeli government as "anti-Semitic" or "anti-Jewish."

This is a notion that must be dispelled outright and addressed for what it actually is. It is imperative to allow those with legitimate objections to the actions of the Israeli government to have a platform from which to voice their objections without being labeled bigots or racists. The idea that any person who criticizes Israel is naturally anti-Semitic is just dubious by its very nature, and anyone who puts it forward can certainly only be semi-conscious.

If being critical of the Zionist state of Israel automatically makes one an anti-Semite, then it stands to reason that that the members of movements such as Naturei Karta and countless other Jewish organizations that are opposed to Israel's policies are anti-Semitic. Naturei Karta consists of a group of American rabbis who are opposed to the policies of the Israeli government and are appalled at Israeli policies toward Palestinians in the name of their faith, Judaism.

So a rabbi who opposes Israel is anti-Jewish? I wonder. Not to mention countless other prominent Jews like Professors Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky who, despite efforts of the pro-Israeli propaganda machine to gag and defame them, have managed to speak out against what they believe to be crimes against humanity committed by Israel.

How can individuals such as these be anti-Semitic when they are Jews themselves? Professor Chomsky has the most Jewish upbringing one can imagine--with a father who taught Hebrew at Jewish schools, and Professor Chomsky himself working in the Zionist movement as a youngster.

What of the countless Israelis who absolutely refuse to serve in the Israel Defense Force, citing their disdain for the policies of their very own country? Are all of these people anti-Semites, or so called self-hating Jews? The answer is clearly no.

But another question deserves examining here: Why would a Jew be opposed to Zionism if it is, as Zionists would like the world to believe, an intrinsic part of Judaism?

Israel is much more a Zionist state than a Jewish one. Yes, the majority of its inhabitants are Jews by way of religion but it is the Zionist movement of the late 1800's that stirred a nationalist fervor in the Jewish Diaspora that led to the Balfour Declaration of 1917 that saw the pouring in of Jews from all over into Palestine.

The Balfour Declaration had absolutely no regard for the people who were living in Palestine for hundreds of years before the British stuck their noses in it. These people were Palestinian Jews, Muslims and Christians who lived in relative peace for hundreds of years before the advent of Zionism.

To put it into context: There was never any issue like what we see today between Muslims, Christians and Jews in Palestine until Zionism came into the picture. Blaming this conflict on religion is completely unfair and intellectually dishonest. Muslims and Jews have had a long history together from the time of the Islamic Empire that stretched from Constantinople to Andalusia, better known as present-day Spain.

The following quote from David Ben-Gurion, the first Israeli prime minister, sums up the Zionist attitude toward the non-Jewish Palestinians: "We must expel Arabs and take their places." Another quote from Yitzhak Shamir, former prime minister of Israel, speaks of the utter disregard Zionism has for the people whose land they are encouraging illegal settlements to be built on: "The settlement of the land of Israel is the essence of Zionism. Without settlement, we will not fulfill Zionism. It's that simple."

Mr. Shamir clearly had no regard for the fact that people were living on these lands he encouraged Israelis to "settle" on.

It does not take a theologian to tell you that racism and disregard for the rights of others of different faiths, creed or color has no place in Judaism.

The Jewish people have a past that is filled with loss and suffering and deserve to be admired for their ability to overcome the harshest of conditions. They are of the most industrious, innovative and spiritually wealthy people and our world would be a much worse place without them. Zionism has absolutely no business in this great religion and its ideologies are alien to and completely incompatible with Judaism. Jews who have made the decision to oppose this ideology deserve to be commended for their courage and, better yet, supported in their endeavors to make the world aware of this destructive menace.

It is also worth mentioning that awareness of Zionist atrocities is growing quite rapidly in the United States. American citizens should be commended for voicing their discontent for their government's support for Israel. The tide is turning from blind support to active protest and it is easily recognizable if you keep your ear to the ground with regard to this matter. The days of funding Israel's war machine by an average of $2 billion per year of the American taxpayer's money will come to an end when American citizens start asking questions of their leaders.

Islam and Muslims face a very similar and real challenge in the form of Islamic extremism. There is no doubt that terrorism is born from this very unhealthy interpretation of the teachings of the Koran. I hang my head in shame when I hear of the burning of churches, the circumcision of infant baby girls and the sheer backwardness of people living in societies where Islamic extremism is the order of the day. It is an indictment on Islam and thinking-Muslims and I count myself amongst those who speak out against it instead of condoning it with silence.

For far too long has the whims of man been allowed to hijack Judeo-Christian-Islamic values. But to label the struggle of the Palestinians as "terrorist" is extremely dishonest and a notion only an armchair intellectual will allow himself or herself to be fooled into thinking.

Israel has a right to exist, but will never know the peace it so desperately yearns for if it does not ask itself some hard questions. There is no doubt that the Palestinians need to do the same as their resentment can be a blinding factor in making the right decisions that will lead to some kind of resolution to this awful conflict.

But, as the clear aggressor and occupier, it cannot be denied that Israel has much more to answer for. My name is Yaseen Burt and I am opposed to Zionism.
Yaseen Burt, from the Internet

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