Still and all, the unnamed author never quite gets to the heart of the anti-Zionism/anti-Semitism dichotomy. That's strange, because frankly, it's not that hard a thing to understand:
- Zionism is the movement arising from the desire and the right of Jews to political self-determination in their native land.
- Like democracy, Zionism is not, and never has been, tied exclusively to the right or the left, to socialism or capitalism, or to any other single theory of governance. Every government of Israel, from that led by Ben Gurion's Mapai to that of Netanyahu's Likud, has been a Zionist government, despite stark political cleavages that make America's Democratic/Republican divide seem quaint by comparison. Religious or cultural, agricultural or urban, Ashkenazi or Mizrahi: there is room for all in the great nation-building project (including, by the laws of Jewish tradition and the customs of modern civilization, the country's non-Jewish residents and citizens).
- Therefore, identifying oneself as "anti-Zionist" implies precisely the opposite of what apologists would have us believe. An "anti-Zionist" is rejecting no particular policy, nor any set of policies; rather, he is denying to the Jews alone the right of self-determination extended to every other nation on the planet. For the "anti-Zionist", there can be no policy dispute, because no action taken by a Jewish state (other than suicide) is an acceptable alternative to any other action: all are conceived in sin.
|Theodor Herzl, 1860-1904|
Nation-building is the Zionist mission; disagreement, its hallmark. Challenge any group of Zionists, if you wish—other Zionists do so continually. Challenge Zionism itself, however, and your veneer of humanity vanishes to reveal the same thuggish anti-Semitism that fueled the violent, illiterate hordes in murderous rampage through the shtetls of Europe.