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'Current Knesset is the most racist in Israeli history'


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When it comes to East Jerusalem, the law is clear: it's occupied Palestinian territory, because it was acquired in the course of a war. Under international law, it's inadmissible to acquire territory by war.

How convenient. Just about all the borders of almost every country in existence were results of war after war. And yet when it comes to Israel, which happened to gain territory by successfully defending itself against enemies bent on its annihilation, it's suddenly "against the law". Double standard once again.

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How convenient. Just about all the borders of almost every country in existence were results of war after war. And yet when it comes to Israel, which happened to gain territory by successfully defending itself against enemies bent on its annihilation, it's suddenly "against the law". Double standard once again.

Since these laws were put into place, which other country besides Israel has been acquiring land in the course of war?

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I never said Zionism was a Jewish idealism. How can you not understand that Zionism is simply a nationalistic movement for the Jewish people? We don't need your permission to view ourselves as a distinct nation and desire our own right to self-determination, which has manifested itself in part through the formation of a state of our own - Israel. I don't know what your level of education is with respect to political science, but I'll assume you don't know much (no offence intended). When I use the term "nation", I am describing a group of persons who typically share a sense of history, common purpose, and destiny. Additionally, nations typically have other cohesive elements, including but not limited to religious beliefs and cultural/political/social values, language(s), and cuisine. Unfortunately, Jewish history is marred with horrendous persecution - which contributed greatly to the Zionist movement. If the world won't allow us to live as equals among them in their states, then we must have our own where we can live freely amongst ourselves. To compare the movement of Zionism, which has persevered towards an amazing goal in the face of major obstacles - to Bolshevism, Nazism, Apartheid and other horrendous ideologies is absurd. Nobody will take you seriously if you sincerely hold such a ridiculous perception of Zionism. There is no legitimate argument to be made in support of your statement drawing equivalence between Zionism and racism. Is Canadian patriotism racism? Was America's movement and war for independence racism? Are Palestinian desires for full-autonomy and their own state racism?

At best, one can criticize the means that some Zionists utilized towards achieving the goal of Zionism, but to describe the movement itself as racist is simply incorrect. If you cannot understand this basic component of the story of Israel, you have no place even engaging in a discussion about the Israel - Palestinian/Arab conflict.

Why don't you just come out and identify yourself as an atheist?

How can you say "no land should be allocated to a specific group"? What do you think a country is? Does Canada belong to Canadians? I expected that my sincere probing into your fundamental beliefs/opinions would reveal nonsense. I'll assume that many historical events which you would describe as "black marks" were indeed heroic and necessary towards the birth of Israel. You're getting off-topic, anyways. You still have not answered one of my basic questions - are you opposed to all forms of nationalism rooted in racial/religious/ethnic/cultural identity?

That wasn't so civil.

You can't compare wearing a maple leaf jerseys and cheering for the Canadian hockey team with wanting to ethnically cleanse Arabs from East Jerusalem because you think E. Jerusalem is part of your national homeland. Your comparisons and attempt at defining nationalism is absurd.

I am not an atheist. I was born into a Reform Jewish home but I do have Orthodox relatives. I don't practice Judaism or any other religion but if a defintion is needed for your curiousity, I can be labeled as an agnostic. I just believe in being a good person and treating those the way I would want to be treated.

What about you Gabriel? What kind of Jew are you?

Zionism was, at one point, honorable. But that all changed at a very early stage. The practices to achieve the goal of Zionism is what makes it a racist ideology and movement.

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That wasn't so civil.

You can't compare wearing a maple leaf jerseys and cheering for the Canadian hockey team with wanting to ethnically cleanse Arabs from East Jerusalem because you think E. Jerusalem is part of your national homeland. Your comparisons and attempt at defining nationalism is absurd.

I am not an atheist. I was born into a Reform Jewish home but I do have Orthodox relatives. I don't practice Judaism or any other religion but if a defintion is needed for your curiousity, I can be labeled as an agnostic. I just believe in being a good person and treating those the way I would want to be treated.

What about you Gabriel? What kind of Jew are you?

Zionism was, at one point, honorable. But that all changed at a very early stage. The practices to achieve the goal of Zionism is what makes it a racist ideology and movement.

You're unable to make a distinction between Zionism as a nationalistic movement and measures that have been used by various individuals/groups at different points in time towards achieving Zionism's goals. Certainly Zionism has had a share of reprehensible supporters, such as Yigal Amir or Asher Weisgan. You are either intentionally misrepresenting Zionism by describing it as racist (there have been racist Zionists who earned infamy) or you're too simple-minded to make the distinction between terrible acts done by terrible people in the name of Zionism and Zionism as a movement.

More broadly, it's clear that you don't really care about the conflict and aren't sincere about wanting a solution. When someone like yourself spews rhetoric like "Zionism is racism", it demonstrates that either A. you don't really understand what Zionism is, and therefore you shouldn't participate in serious debate about the Israel/Palestinian-Arab conflict, or B. you're intentionally dishonest and inflammatory.... and therefore a troll.

The fact that you put so many caveats around your Jewish identity tells me that you do not identify yourself as a Jew. That's fine. As for what kind of Jew I am - I'm just Jewish. I don't hesitate to answer such a question with simplicity when asked. When asked: "who are you?" - my answer is simple... I'm Jewish. Nice and easy.

I'll also assume that you have some sort of resentment towards strong senses of identity. In your view, we're all just people. I'll assume further that you believe religion and other components of individual and collective identity are irrational concepts that people cling to. I've read enough of your posts to get an idea of what kind of person you are. The hypocrisy, however, is your excessive criticism of Israel, and by extension Jewish and Zionist identity, while simultaneously sympathizing with the concept of Palestinian and Arab identity and nationalism - why the disconnect?

Zionism has always been and always will be honourable, nonsensical posts to the contrary from no-nothings like yourself won't change that. If you really are sincere in your claims to care about justice, then you'd drop the inflammatory bullshit rhetoric. The truth is, you don't care - you just want something to be pissed off about. I'm guessing whatever elements of Jewishness are within you give you a sense of personal credibility when speaking on this issue. Here's a tip - being Jewish doesn't necessarily attach credibility to your claims.

Edited by Gabriel
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You like the Wikipedia if I recall...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conflicts_in_Africa

Huh?

Show me the comparison with Israel where you tried to make where countries in Africa are acquiring land through wars.

Simply pressing reply is not enough and is not acceptable as a response.

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You're unable to make a distinction between Zionism as a nationalistic movement and measures that have been used by various individuals/groups at different points in time towards achieving Zionism's goals. Certainly Zionism has had a share of reprehensible supporters, such as Yigal Amir or Asher Weisgan. You are either intentionally misrepresenting Zionism by describing it as racist (there have been racist Zionists who earned infamy) or you're too simple-minded to make the distinction between terrible acts done by terrible people in the name of Zionism and Zionism as a movement.

More broadly, it's clear that you don't really care about the conflict and aren't sincere about wanting a solution. When someone like yourself spews rhetoric like "Zionism is racism", it demonstrates that either A. you don't really understand what Zionism is, and therefore you shouldn't participate in serious debate about the Israel/Palestinian-Arab conflict, or B. you're intentionally dishonest and inflammatory.... and therefore a troll.

The fact that you put so many caveats around your Jewish identity tells me that you do not identify yourself as a Jew. That's fine. As for what kind of Jew I am - I'm just Jewish. I don't hesitate to answer such a question with simplicity when asked. When asked: "who are you?" - my answer is simple... I'm Jewish. Nice and easy.

I'll also assume that you have some sort of resentment towards strong senses of identity. In your view, we're all just people. I'll assume further that you believe religion and other components of individual and collective identity are irrational concepts that people cling to. I've read enough of your posts to get an idea of what kind of person you are. The hypocrisy, however, is your excessive criticism of Israel, and by extension Jewish and Zionist identity, while simultaneously sympathizing with the concept of Palestinian and Arab identity and nationalism - why the disconnect?

Zionism has always been and always will be honourable, nonsensical posts to the contrary from no-nothings like yourself won't change that. If you really are sincere in your claims to care about justice, then you'd drop the inflammatory bullshit rhetoric. The truth is, you don't care - you just want something to be pissed off about. I'm guessing whatever elements of Jewishness are within you give you a sense of personal credibility when speaking on this issue. Here's a tip - being Jewish doesn't necessarily attach credibility to your claims.

Who should drop the inflammatory bullshit? I can't take your drivels seriously.

Thank you for your attempt at psychology but there is no need. My comments are based on International law and human rights. Zionism is a racist movement because it has discriminated against and continues to discriminate against those who are not part of a particular group.

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Who should drop the inflammatory bullshit? I can't take your drivels seriously.

Thank you for your attempt at psychology but there is no need. My comments are based on International law and human rights. Zionism is a racist movement because it has discriminated against and continues to discriminate against those who are not part of a particular group.

Zionism doesn't discriminate against anyone. It's a nationalistic movement, plain and simple. You can cry out "Zionism is racism" all you want, it doesn't make it true. Either you don't understand Zionism, which is pretty pathetic for someone who clearly views herself as being knowledge about the Israel-Palestine issue, or you're wilfully dishonest.

You speak of "international law" as if it's some indisputable concept, or the highest of all moral standards. International law, whether it be UN resolution or multi-lateral conventions, can still be as misguided and politicized as domestic law. Just because some piece of paper that is considered "international law" say something, doesn't automatically make it valid. Especially considering the fact that international law, in many ways, has no teeth - and is often compiled of largely illegitimate non-democratic countries. When we've got Libya and the USA at the same table, each with an equal "say" on some "international" issue, there's something funny going on.

All of this is lost on you, however, god forbid someone might question the reason, wisdom, or legitimacy of your holy grail - "international law".

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Wrong.

Just like Nazism and Apartheid discriminated against certain groups, Zionism also discriminates against certain groups.

Nazism and Apartheid were movements that contained within them discriminatory values (Jews were less than human, blacks were less than human). Zionism doesn't advocate any type of Jewih superiority. You're wrong again. Why are you such a pathological liar?

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Huh?

Show me the comparison with Israel where you tried to make where countries in Africa are acquiring land through wars.

Simply pressing reply is not enough and is not acceptable as a response.

Countries in Africa are always fighting. Eritrea vs Ethiopia...Somalia vs Ethiopia...Libya vs Chad...Sudan vs Chad...Chad vs Chad...countless civil wars fostered by outside as well as inside sources.......

One need only look to the most famous example in the World...South Viet-Nam. Any sign of the Republic of South Viet-Nam these days? Now I wonder what happened to that country circa 1975...and why the hell aren't you doing anything to reverse it?

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I have a question for Gabriel about inclusion and exclusion.

Of course we could say that Canada is a prejudiced country because only Canadians and those accepted as immigrants can live here. But I don't think people look at it as being a question of prejudice because one can always apply to be a Canadian. The immigration process may be prejudiced (and I believe it is but that's another issue) but apparently anyone of any race, colour or religion can become a Canadian. This is inclusive.

Can anyone become a Zionist or is that exclusive to those of the Jewish faith. Like if a Palestinian decided that he supported Israel could he be called a Zionist?

Is there a body that meets and runs an official Zionist organization that is separate from the Israeli government or part of the Israeli government?

The point I am trying to resolve is that if a group excludes the ability of certain other groups to attain membership it could be considered to be prejudiced. I actually wouldn't condemn a private organization from the practice of restricting membership as long as it was private, and outside of the organization did not practice oppression against those it restricted from membership. That's something that may be difficult for a membership to reconcile. The exclusion of a group from another can be interpreted as a bias or prejudice. Men's clubs are not necessarily prejudiced against the female gender but they could be perceived to be.

If anyone can become a Zionist then it could not be considered racist in any respect but if it is exclusive to any or all specific groups then it could be.

Edited by Pliny
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I have a question for Gabriel about inclusion and exclusion.

Of course we could say that Canada is a prejudiced country because only Canadians and those accepted as immigrants can live here. But I don't think people look at it as being a question of prejudice because one can always apply to be a Canadian. The immigration process may be prejudiced (and I believe it is but that's another issue) but apparently anyone of any race, colour or religion can become a Canadian. This is inclusive.

Can anyone become a Zionist or is that exclusive to those of the Jewish faith. Like if a Palestinian decided that he supported Israel could he be called a Zionist?

Is there a body that meets and runs an official Zionist organization that is separate from the Israeli government or part of the Israeli government?

The point I am trying to resolve is that if a group excludes the ability of certain other groups to attain membership it could be considered to be prejudiced. I actually wouldn't condemn a private organization from the practice of restricting membership as long as it was private, and outside of the organization did not practice oppression against those it restricted from membership. That's something that may be difficult for a membership to reconcile. The exclusion of a group from another can be interpreted as a bias or prejudice. Men's clubs are not necessarily prejudiced against the female gender but they could be perceived to be.

If anyone can become a Zionist then it could not be considered racist in any respect but if it is exclusive to any or all specific groups then it could be.

Hey there, Pliny!

I'll do my best to answer your question. First of all, "Zionism" isn't defined by some specific group or authority - There is no analogous organization which defines membership to Zionism as the Canadian government is towards defining who is Canadian. Anyone can be a Zionist, as it's a movement. Just as someone can define themselves as an environmentalist or feminist, one can define him/herself as a Zionist. At its most basic level, Zionism is a Jewish nationalistic movement - at its core it advocates for the establishment of a Jewish state as a tool towards to objective of Jewish self-determination. After many centuries of living under the rule of non-Jews and often being persecuted, Zionism was born and evolved as a solution to our victimization. Zionism, originally, was largely a responsive movement towards the persecution of the Jewish people. Those who supported the establishment of a Jewish state and subsequent maintenance and evolution of Israel (largely the crown achievement of Zionism) can identify themselves, at least in part, as Zionists. At the very least, people can support Zionism by supporting its fundamentals - the establishment (done in 1948) and ongoing evolution of the Jewish state - Israel. It should not be surprising that the majority of people who identify themselves as Zionists are Jewish. There have been, and continue to be, however, prominent Zionists who aren't Jewish. It's an open club, if you will!

Those who claim that Zionism is racism are way off base. While there is some element of overlap that occasionally occurs between nationalistic movements and prejudice/exclusionary practises, these less-than-endearing situations should not be viewed as a natural component of Zionism (or any other nationalistic movement). When nationalistic movement develop and evolve, occasionally the movement can advocate harshly discriminatory practises. A prominent example would be nAzi Germany, which not only defined the people it was "for", but also the people it was "against" (Jews, communists, etc). Have no fear, though, Zionism doesn't contain with its core any supremacist views.

As in Canada, anyone can apply to be a citizen of Israel - regardless or religion, race, ethnicity, etc. It should be noted, however, that Jews from abroad, with few exceptions (convicted criminals, for example), are guaranteed citizenship to Israel. Israel has a Law of Return, which allows all Jews around the world to make Israel their home if they so wish it. This can be viewed as unfair to non-Jews, and somewhat discriminatory. For example, let's assume that I am an Arab businessperson living in Israel and I want to bring my family to Israel from abroad. Certainly I will have much more difficulty and will have many more requirements (sponsorship, waiting lines, etc) to fulfil in order to achieve my objective. The Jew across the street, however, who is an unemployed loser, can bring his entire unemployed loser Jew family over to Israel with much less red-tape. So me, the tax-paying productive Arab, am feeling discriminated against in one way or another. Do you see now how in some situations Israel's methods towards reinforcing its Jewish character can be controversial? Consider also that Israel engages in activities, governmentally and privately, to preserve and enhance its Jewishness. Personally I think this is excellent and needs to be encouraged. Any inconvenience or discrimination experienced by non-Jews as a result of these activities is perfectly acceptable given the greater prerogative of preserving and enriching Jewish identity in Israel. These controversies are largely the product of Zionism as a movement. There's a never-ending balancing act that goes on in Israel between balancing the country's core values of Jewishness and of preserving its Jewish character, while preserving the liberties and freedoms of its non-Jewish citizens. Let's use some perspective and context - Israel isn't barring non-Jews from the government, from universities, from professions, or from entrance to the country. There aren't any signs on restaurants stating "No Arabs allowed!".

Inflammatory trolls like naomiglover wash over the entire controversy by decrying Zionism as a racist ideology, without even conceding any legitimacy to Israel's mission to be a safe-haven and home for Jewish persons everywhere (as if that's an illegitimate objective). To people like her, all people are the same and no country should ever take factors like race/religion/culture/ethnicity into consideration when forming public policy. This is an easy argument to make for people who have no identity. In other words, ultra-individualists, as well as ultra-collectivists ("we're all citizens of the world" garbage) take great offence to Israel's Law of Return. Those of us who live in the real world, however, that there are great differences between various peoples, and some cultures/religions/ethnicities deserve some element of preservation against the natural forces of globalization/assimilation/etc. This is to say nothing of the history of persecution we've suffered in many parts of the world over many centuries. If the world can't be trusted to treat us as equals and afford us the same freedoms as everyone else, we need our own state in order to preserve our right to self-determination. This desire can, as I've mentioned briefly above, occasionally infringe in one way or another on non-Jews living in Israel. Let's be clear, though, drawing equivalence between Zionism/Israel and the former apartheid in South Africa is absurd. Citizens of Israel, be they Jew or non-Jew, are not discriminated against in fundamental ways. All people can go to university, buy property, hold virtually all positions/employment (there may be some exceptions, i.e. security positions in the government which are only open to persons with particular military experience, where applicants are almost 100% Jewish), file lawsuits/complaints, etc. Arabs have and do serve on Israel's Supreme Court, have representation in the Knesset, hold prominent positions in Academia and Industry, etc. This in no way mirrors apartheid, which is simply drummed up by trolls, anti-semites, and Israel-haters.

For curiosity's sake, here's an introduction to laws enacted in other countries that reflect their perceptions of the Right of Return: here..

I could say more but I feel like I've rambled on enough. Zionism isn't without some elements of controversy, as a state for Jews seems to suggest "non-Jews need not apply!". When looking at the reality of the situation, though, the inconveniences and infringements on the rights of non-Jews, in my view, is entirely acceptable towards achieving Israel's broader objective of preserving and enriching its Jewish character.

Although I probably don't need to mention this, an example of a related domestic controversy are the language laws of Quebec.

Edited by Gabriel
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Any inconvenience or discrimination experienced by non-Jews as a result of these activities is perfectly acceptable given the greater prerogative of preserving and enriching Jewish identity in Israel.

Nice. Thank you for the clarification.

As in Canada, anyone can apply to be a citizen of Israel

Wrong.

Although Israel grants citizenship to the resident Arab minority, it does not permit Arab immigration, even by former residents of its territory.

Israeli immigration is essentially for Jews only, and this is the most obviously racist policy of present Zionism.

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Nice. Thank you for the clarification.

Wrong.

Although Israel grants citizenship to the resident Arab minority, it does not permit Arab immigration, even by former residents of its territory.

Israeli immigration is essentially for Jews only, and this is the most obviously racist policy of present Zionism.

You're either wrong or lying. Here is a link to the official information - . Let's also be serious for a moment... do you think there is some significant amount of Arabs being discriminated against who live outside of Israel and want to make Israel its home? If anything, the opposite is true - look at the huge number of Arabs in EJ that REJECTED Israel's offer to them of citizenship papers. It is unbelievably frustrating to discuss these matter with you, as you always lying or just dead wrong. Let's be serious for another moment - who do you think wants to make Israel their homeland? Overwhelmingly Jews. As stated above, Israel has a legitimate objective towards managing its demographics in order to preserve its Jewish character.

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Feel free to keep on displaying your hypocrisy, is France racist if its immigration policies tend to favour certain ethnic groups? How may Indians speak French? Very few, so France's immigration standards regarding language proficiency give strong advantage to certain ethnic groups, i.e. Frencophones from Canada, former French colonies like Haiti and Algeria, etc. The same is true for Israel, of course it is looking for those who speak Hebrew (outside of those who come to the country via the Law of Return), which primarily will be Jewish people. Given the fact that Jewish identity is only quasi-racial (we're a multi-ethnic group of people with diverse backgrounds), Israel's immigration policies cannot be described as even slightly racist. Since you're obsessed with bashing Israel in every which way, of course you will throw away all sense of logic and ignore any country's prerogatives regarding immigration. Is China racist if its immigration policies heavily favour certain ethnicities that largely speak Mandarin or Cantonese? Is that discriminatory or racist? Why do you insist on always being ridiculous?

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I have a question for Gabriel about inclusion and exclusion.

Of course we could say that Canada is a prejudiced country because only Canadians and those accepted as immigrants can live here. But I don't think people look at it as being a question of prejudice because one can always apply to be a Canadian. The immigration process may be prejudiced (and I believe it is but that's another issue) but apparently anyone of any race, colour or religion can become a Canadian. This is inclusive.

Can anyone become a Zionist or is that exclusive to those of the Jewish faith. Like if a Palestinian decided that he supported Israel could he be called a Zionist?

Is there a body that meets and runs an official Zionist organization that is separate from the Israeli government or part of the Israeli government?

The point I am trying to resolve is that if a group excludes the ability of certain other groups to attain membership it could be considered to be prejudiced. I actually wouldn't condemn a private organization from the practice of restricting membership as long as it was private, and outside of the organization did not practice oppression against those it restricted from membership. That's something that may be difficult for a membership to reconcile. The exclusion of a group from another can be interpreted as a bias or prejudice. Men's clubs are not necessarily prejudiced against the female gender but they could be perceived to be.

If anyone can become a Zionist then it could not be considered racist in any respect but if it is exclusive to any or all specific groups then it could be.

Zionism is simply the belief that a Jewish national homeland should exist. Anyone of any race or religion can hold such a belief in their mind if they so choose, thus anyone can be a zionist. I have personally met an Iranian and a Jordanian, among others, who were strong supporters of Israel and of its right to exist, and thus zionists.

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Oh and immigration, by its very nature, cannot be discriminatory. Immigration is not a human right, it is something that a country grants to an individual when it wants that individual to move to that country. By not allowing someone to immigrate, you are not infringing on any of their rights, you are simply not granting them a certain privilege. Countries pick immigrants they need, based on factors including language, ethnic origin, gender, economic class, profession, and others. This is not discrimination but simply the reality that immigrants of certain types may be of greater benefit to a country than immigrants of other types. Israel is absolutely no different in this respect. Immigrants of Jewish ethnic origin are of greater use to Israel than other types of immigrants, and so it is easier for them to immigrate to Israel. No mystery or aberration there.

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Hey there, Pliny!

I'll do my best to answer your question. First of all, "Zionism" isn't defined by some specific group or authority - There is no analogous organization which defines membership to Zionism as the Canadian government is towards defining who is Canadian. Anyone can be a Zionist, as it's a movement. Just as someone can define themselves as an environmentalist or feminist, one can define him/herself as a Zionist. At its most basic level, Zionism is a Jewish nationalistic movement - at its core it advocates for the establishment of a Jewish state as a tool towards to objective of Jewish self-determination. After many centuries of living under the rule of non-Jews and often being persecuted, Zionism was born and evolved as a solution to our victimization. Zionism, originally, was largely a responsive movement towards the persecution of the Jewish people. Those who supported the establishment of a Jewish state and subsequent maintenance and evolution of Israel (largely the crown achievement of Zionism) can identify themselves, at least in part, as Zionists. At the very least, people can support Zionism by supporting its fundamentals - the establishment (done in 1948) and ongoing evolution of the Jewish state - Israel. It should not be surprising that the majority of people who identify themselves as Zionists are Jewish. There have been, and continue to be, however, prominent Zionists who aren't Jewish. It's an open club, if you will!

Those who claim that Zionism is racism are way off base. While there is some element of overlap that occasionally occurs between nationalistic movements and prejudice/exclusionary practises, these less-than-endearing situations should not be viewed as a natural component of Zionism (or any other nationalistic movement). When nationalistic movement develop and evolve, occasionally the movement can advocate harshly discriminatory practises. A prominent example would be nAzi Germany, which not only defined the people it was "for", but also the people it was "against" (Jews, communists, etc). Have no fear, though, Zionism doesn't contain with its core any supremacist views.

As in Canada, anyone can apply to be a citizen of Israel - regardless or religion, race, ethnicity, etc. It should be noted, however, that Jews from abroad, with few exceptions (convicted criminals, for example), are guaranteed citizenship to Israel. Israel has a Law of Return, which allows all Jews around the world to make Israel their home if they so wish it. This can be viewed as unfair to non-Jews, and somewhat discriminatory. For example, let's assume that I am an Arab businessperson living in Israel and I want to bring my family to Israel from abroad. Certainly I will have much more difficulty and will have many more requirements (sponsorship, waiting lines, etc) to fulfil in order to achieve my objective. The Jew across the street, however, who is an unemployed loser, can bring his entire unemployed loser Jew family over to Israel with much less red-tape. So me, the tax-paying productive Arab, am feeling discriminated against in one way or another. Do you see now how in some situations Israel's methods towards reinforcing its Jewish character can be controversial? Consider also that Israel engages in activities, governmentally and privately, to preserve and enhance its Jewishness. Personally I think this is excellent and needs to be encouraged. Any inconvenience or discrimination experienced by non-Jews as a result of these activities is perfectly acceptable given the greater prerogative of preserving and enriching Jewish identity in Israel. These controversies are largely the product of Zionism as a movement. There's a never-ending balancing act that goes on in Israel between balancing the country's core values of Jewishness and of preserving its Jewish character, while preserving the liberties and freedoms of its non-Jewish citizens. Let's use some perspective and context - Israel isn't barring non-Jews from the government, from universities, from professions, or from entrance to the country. There aren't any signs on restaurants stating "No Arabs allowed!".

Inflammatory trolls like naomiglover wash over the entire controversy by decrying Zionism as a racist ideology, without even conceding any legitimacy to Israel's mission to be a safe-haven and home for Jewish persons everywhere (as if that's an illegitimate objective). To people like her, all people are the same and no country should ever take factors like race/religion/culture/ethnicity into consideration when forming public policy. This is an easy argument to make for people who have no identity. In other words, ultra-individualists, as well as ultra-collectivists ("we're all citizens of the world" garbage) take great offence to Israel's Law of Return. Those of us who live in the real world, however, that there are great differences between various peoples, and some cultures/religions/ethnicities deserve some element of preservation against the natural forces of globalization/assimilation/etc. This is to say nothing of the history of persecution we've suffered in many parts of the world over many centuries. If the world can't be trusted to treat us as equals and afford us the same freedoms as everyone else, we need our own state in order to preserve our right to self-determination. This desire can, as I've mentioned briefly above, occasionally infringe in one way or another on non-Jews living in Israel. Let's be clear, though, drawing equivalence between Zionism/Israel and the former apartheid in South Africa is absurd. Citizens of Israel, be they Jew or non-Jew, are not discriminated against in fundamental ways. All people can go to university, buy property, hold virtually all positions/employment (there may be some exceptions, i.e. security positions in the government which are only open to persons with particular military experience, where applicants are almost 100% Jewish), file lawsuits/complaints, etc. Arabs have and do serve on Israel's Supreme Court, have representation in the Knesset, hold prominent positions in Academia and Industry, etc. This in no way mirrors apartheid, which is simply drummed up by trolls, anti-semites, and Israel-haters.

For curiosity's sake, here's an introduction to laws enacted in other countries that reflect their perceptions of the Right of Return: here..

I could say more but I feel like I've rambled on enough. Zionism isn't without some elements of controversy, as a state for Jews seems to suggest "non-Jews need not apply!". When looking at the reality of the situation, though, the inconveniences and infringements on the rights of non-Jews, in my view, is entirely acceptable towards achieving Israel's broader objective of preserving and enriching its Jewish character.

Although I probably don't need to mention this, an example of a related domestic controversy are the language laws of Quebec.

Thank you Gabriel.

I have digested what you have said and I greatly admire your sense of identity of self.

I feel I must elaborate on that somewhat for an understanding of my view of Zionism because although the admiration is deserved there must be some qualifications.

I have no quarrel with Zionists, those individuals supporting the founding, establishment and continuing support for the nation of Israel. If they can accomplish this then all the power to them.

I do also know, and perhaps this is Naomi Glovers, complaint that there have been certain zealots for the cause of zionism that have committed atrocities in the name of

zionism. Some very prominent and contemporary proponents of Zionism even.

I know you recognize this as true because you have mentioned it. I believe this is Naomi Glovers complaint and I can see it as important to her that zionism be divorced from these atrocities. I don't have an argument with her on that and I don't believe you should either.

Naomi's problem, in my opinion, is that she considers all Zionists to be of the same ilk as those who have, in their zealotry, committed such atrocities and concludes that supporting the cause of Zionism is in itself an atrocity.

I must give my opinion of naomiglovers stance. Unfortunately, She does not identify herself except in vagaries of being for peace, understanding and tolerance, essentially hiding herself among the human race as a collective body. She is Jewish but has no sense of identity with it. She identifies herself as how she feels everyone else should identify themselves, peaceful, tolerant and understanding. She does not view Zionism as any of these things. In her view all people should be the same.

It's hard to argue that point of view. In her mind, you Gabriel, should be just like her and see that Zionism is a very negative force and the human race should be one.

If we were one with the universe then all problems would be resolved. She not only wants you to not be a Zionist she doesn't want you to be Jewish. It's a label that separates you from the the rest of humanity. All labels must be expunged and we must all be one.

Please accept this as mere opinion. It is not factual but merely an evaluation from my point of view. My information is limited and I am only speaking from my point of view of the information that has been posted.

Essentially, as long as Zionists are not oppressive to other races and ethnicities, and I do know some are, then that should be acceptable as a celebration of one's race or ethnicity, or culture - Something with which Naomi can identify, I'm sure. But we have to ensure that the celebration of our selves and heritage does not oppress others or grant us entitlements that make us feel superior to others. They need their sense of identity as well.

Edited by Pliny
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Hey there Pliny,

There is no question that there is fine line between nationalism and elitism. It's important for those who identify themselves as belonging to particular nation that their celebration of particular traits/values/commonalities doesn't lead to a sense of arrogance and superiority - at the very least, not an UNFOUNDED sense of arrogance and superiority. It's not hard to see how an inward focus that a group may have on its values can lead towards a sense of superiority. For example, let's consider my sense of Canadian identity. I consider myself as Canadian as I am Jewish. They are both integral parts of who I am. If I focus inwards too much, and take great pride in democratic values and freedoms that I enjoy as a Canadian, this can lead to sense of superiority towards other groups who don't share these values. Perhaps I may look down on other groups who do not practise or advocate for democracy. Some nationalistic movements in history and contemporary society have elements of racism within them. This is also true among some Zionists and Jews. Is it a pervasive theme in the Jewish community? Absolutely NOT. Do Canadians, overall, have a sense of superiority over others? I would say NO - except with respect to our diet anti-Americanism/anti-Americanism lite :-)

I have met Jews who speak disparagingly of Arabs and Muslims. They're out there. I have met Jews who genuinely feel superior to non-Jews. Are they representative of some sort of widespread trend of thought among the Jewish community? Hell no. Does the misconception of Jews viewing ourselves as "the chosen people" and therefore holier than all others actually hold water in the Jewish culture? Hell no.

In short, any nationalistic movement needs to be careful that it doesn't leak over into discriminatory beliefs, which can lead to discriminatory practises - especially if the nationalistic movement yields a sovereign state in which non-nation members are a part. In other words, non-Jews in Israel must be treated fairly and equally (for the most part) in Israel, while Israel remains a Jewish country with Jewish character.

I agree with your assessment of naomiglover. I believe her dream is a world where there are no varying groups, but simply a large pool of individuals forming one large collective. I suspect that naomiglover views nationalistic identity as some sort of relic of the past, some sort of archaic concept that needs to be done away with over time. She sees no value in preservation of the uniqueness of particular cultures/ethnicities/religions/groups. Her utopia is some sort of Star Trek universe.

Finally, remember what I said - I believe there are acceptable forms of minor discrimination that can occur towards the ends of preserving Israel's Jewish character. Take for example the Law of Return that I mentioned - certainly this feel somewhat unfair to non-Jewish citizens in Israel. Why are Jews having such an easy time, while those who aren't Jewish, like myself, have a much more difficult time? I think this is an acceptable form of discrimination. When Israel gives money to certain Jewish interests, I also believe this is often acceptable even though some tax revenues come from non-Jews. It's just the acceptable price that non-Jews deal with in Israel. Extreme cases, which would be abhorrent and would never be tolerated, would be practises that were done to Jews - i.e. restricting non-Jews from education, or specific education, or from certain professions, or banning them from certain public areas, etc, etc.... All in all, non-Jews live quality lives in Israel in the broader context of the Israeli standard of living.

Hope I didn't ramble too much there.

Edited by Gabriel
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Hope I didn't ramble too much there.

Not at all.

Funny you should mention the "chosen people".

I have read Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin's book "Why the Jews - The Reason for Antisemitism."

They explain being "chosen" as being chosen to bring monotheism to the world.

What do you think of Naomi Klein? Her point of view seems similar to naomiglovers.

Edited by Pliny
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Not at all.

Funny you should mention the "chosen people".

I have read Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin's book "Why the Jews - The Reason for Antisemitism."

They explain being "chosen" as being chosen to bring monotheism to the world.

What do you think of Naomi Klein? Her point of view seems similar to naomiglovers.

I am not in agreement with many of the broad opinions I've seen Naomi Klein express, whether it be No Logo, The Shock Doctrine, or her appearances in documentaries like "The Corporation". She seems way too left-wing to me, anti-corporatist, anti-identity, blah blah blah. She doesn't strike me as an honest or scholarly observer.

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