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Zionism

QUESTION:

What is Zionism?

ANSWER:

* According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Main Entry: Zi·on·ism
Function: noun
Date: 1896
: an international movement orig. for the establishment of a Jewish national or religious community in Palestine and later for the support of modern Israel

* According to the Oxford English Dictionary:

A movement among modern Jews having for its object the assured settlement of their race upon a national basis in Palestine; after 1948, concerned chiefly with the development of the State of Israel

* According to JSource:

Zionism, the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel, advocated, from its inception, tangible as well as spiritual aims. Jews of all persuasions, left and right, religious and secular, joined to form the Zionist movement and worked together toward these goals. Disagreements led to rifts, but ultimately, the common goal of a Jewish state in its ancient homeland was attained.


QUESTION:

What is this 'Zionism is Racism' resolution?

ANSWER:

* The Soviets were strong, mobilized enemies of Israel early on, and they remained so until relatively recently. Soviet foreign policy has been active, not passive, during this whole period and its hostilitytoward Israel was manifested in a variety of ways. I am especially sensitive to the campaign in the various organizations of the United Nations, where the Soviets pioneered and strongly supported the Zionism-is-racism resolution. The Soviets sponsored that resolution in UNESCO and in the General Assembly. The Soviets were pushing that resolution as recently as 1985 at UN meetings in Nairobi. Even when the Arab nations were ready to abandon it, the Soviets pushed to keep the Zionism-is-racism resolution on the agenda of the Women's Conference.
- Jeane Kirkpatrick, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Soref Symposium, April 29, 1990

* It had become a crime to be a Jew who wished to return to the Jewish national homeland.
- Ambassador/Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, in the introduction to "The Anti-Zionist Complex", by Jacques Givet


QUESTION:

Is Zionism a form of racism?

ANSWER:

* "[the false equation of Zionism with racism is] simply an Arab ploy to take the focus off of the real enemies of humanity. Zionism is a healthy form of nationalism."
- Edward H. Brown, Jr., chief United Nations representative for the Congress of Racial Equality

* For the first time in history, thousands of black people are being brought to a country not in chains but in dignity, not as slaves but as citizens.
- William Safire, in the New York Times (January 7, 1985) after Operation Moses, the secret rescue of Ethiopian Jews, was revealed.

* Zionism Is Not Racism

In 1975, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution slandering Zionism by equating it with racism. Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, which holds that Jews, like any other nation, are entitled to a homeland.

History has demonstrated the need to ensure Jewish security through a national homeland. Zionism recognizes that Jewishness is defined by shared origin, religion, culture and history.

The realization of the Zionist dream is exemplified by more than four million Jews, from more than 100 countries, including dark-skinned Jews from Ethiopia, Yemen and India, who are Israeli citizens. Approximately 1,000,000 Muslim and Christian Arabs, Druze, Baha'is, Circassians and other ethnic groups also are represented in Israel's population.

Many Christians have traditionally supported the goals and ideals of Zionism. Israel's open and democratic character and its scrupulous protection of the religious and political rights of Christians and Muslims rebut the charge of exclusivity.

The Arab states define citizenship strictly by native parentage. It is almost impossible to become a naturalized citizen in many Arab states, especially Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Several Arab nations have laws that facilitate the naturalization of foreign Arabs, with the specific exception of Palestinians. Jordan, on the other hand, instituted its own "law of return" in 1954, according citizenship to all former residents of Palestine, except for Jews.

The presence of thousands of black Jews in Israel is the best refutation of the calumny against Zionism. In a series of historic airlifts, labeled Moses (1984), Joshua (1985) and Solomon (1991), Israel rescued almost 42,000 members of the ancient Ethiopian Jewish community.

* Israel is only one of many ethnic democracies (such as Finland, Norway, Korea, etc. etc), that have one ethnic majority and one or several minorities that do not share ownership of the national territory. Israel's identity as a Jewish nation is no less democratic than any other of these countries. Almost all of the ethnic democracies also have an official state religion, just as Judaism is the official national religion of Israel. An official state religion, along with a dominant ethnic majority, are fundamental features of many democratic nations.
- from The Religious-Secular Conflict in Israel, by Shlomo Sharan and Ervin Birnbaum, Ariel Center for Policy Research

* Theodor Herzl on Africa

There is still one other question arising out of the disaster of nations which remains unsolved to this day, and whose profound tragedy, only a Jew can comprehend. This is the African question. Just call to mind all those terrible episodes of the slave trade, of human beings who, merely because they were black, were stolen like cattle, taken prisoner, captured and sold. Their children grew up in strange lands, the objects of contempt and hostility because their complexions were different. I am not ashamed to say, though I may expose myself to ridicule for saying so, that once I have witnessed the redemption of the Jews, my people, I wish also to assist in the redemption of the Africans.
- Theodor Herzl, founder of modern Zionism. Source: Golda Meir, My Life, (NY: Dell Publishing Co., 1975), pp. 308-309 [see JSource]


QUESTION:

Isn't this resolution hypocritical?

ANSWER:

* The Office of the High Commissioner services the UN human rights treaty bodies, which were created to implement the various UN human rights treaties. Most of the treaty bodies are composed of genuine experts who act and speak in a manner that is fair. But occasionally, especially in the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), one finds evidence of prejudice. An example of this occurred when the British rapporteur of the Committee, making final comments on the report of Israel, which is a party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (which CERD oversees), declared that the flag of Israel, which contains the shield of David, is racist and discriminates against Israel's non-Jewish citizens. The representative of the Government of Israel pointed out, in the course of his reply, that the British flag contains not one but three crosses.
- Dr. Harris O. Schoenberg , President of the Center for UN Reform Education, author of A Mandate for Terror

* When countries attack Israel in this way, it is not just to hide their own sins and failures, and not just because they are fearful for their oil supplies. It is because the government of Guinea, among others, uses torture as a means of holding on to power; it is because the Soviet Union uses psychiatric internment as a political tool - to take only two countries as examples of deteriorating standards - that Israel has to be accused of every crime.
- Jacques Givet, "The Anti-Zionist Complex"

* There are gradations on the scale of credentials to intervene in human rights discussions, and I believe that Iraq is at the bottom. Every time Iraqi representatives eagerly revive the Zionism-racism formula, I reflect on the ancient Jewish community of 160,000 forced to leave Iraq after thousands of years, and on the continued brutal suppression of the Kurdish people . When they talk of human rights I remember the innocent Jews hanging on the public gallows in Baghdad, among them, incidentally, the cousin of a member of my delegation to the United Nations whose young pregnant wife was forced to watch the execution.
- Chaim Herzog in his speech Racism, Human Rights and Double Standards

* "A world that closed its doors to Jews who sought escape from Hitler's ovens lacks the moral standing to complain about Israel's giving preference to Jews."
- Alan Dershowitz, noted civil rights lawyer


QUESTION:

Why is this resolution dangerous? Why should I care?

ANSWER:

* The UN does not hold antisemitism in contempt. On the contrary, it is notorious for its antisemitic position. It has passed hundreds of anti-Israeli resolutions. When, in 1975, it passed a criminal resolution equating Zionism with racism, the UN delegate from Costa-Rica noted that the resolution "was an invitation to genocideagainst the Jewish people."

* It would be tempting to see in this propaganda nothing more than bigotry of a quite traditional sort that can, sooner or later, be overcome. But the anti-Israel, anti-Zionist campaign is not uninformed bigotry, it is conscious politics. ...Further, this fact of world politics creates altogether new problems for those interested in the fate of democacies in the world, and of Israel in the Middle East. It is not merely that our adversaries have commenced an effort to destroy the legitimacy of a kindred democracy through the incessant repetition of the Zionist-racist lie. It is that others can come to believe it also. Americans among them.
- Ambassador/Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, in the introduction to "The Anti-Zionist Complex", by Jacques Givet

* "In logic, the State of Israel could be, or could become, many things, theoretically including many undesirable things. But it could not be and could not become racist unless it ceased to be Zionist."
- Ambassador Daniel Patrick Moynihan


QUESTION:

Was this resolution binding?

ANSWER:

* "The United States...does not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act."
- Ambassador Daniel Patrick Moynihan, quoted by JSource


QUESTION:

Is the UN body that deals with Israel/Palestine unbiased?

ANSWER:

Judge for yourselves. The UN body that deals with Israel/Palestine is the "Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People" (http://www.un.org/Depts/dpa/qpal). The members of this body are:

Afghanistan, Belarus, Cuba, Cyprus, Guinea, Guyana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Romania, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine and Yugoslavia (non-participating at present).

The officers of the committee are (as of Feb 2000):

Chairman: Senegal
Vice-chairmen: Cuba & Afghanistan
Rapporteur: Malta