Opinion: Is Anti-Zionism Anti-Semitic? NO

Every human has a right to a safe refuge — to a homeland.

By Susan Stevens

Even though I disagree with some of what Aaron says, I respect his views as a young man descended from Holocaust survivors — someone uniquely aware of the need for a Jewish homeland. I, too, support the Jews’ right to their homeland, just as I support the Palestinians’ right to their homeland (and, by the way, there are Jewish Palestinians who’ve been there for millennia, as well as Muslim and Christian Palestinians).

Where I differ from Aaron, is that I don’t see a Jewish homeland as the same thing as a Jewish state. Aaron compares the Jewish state to the American state. The difference I see here is that the American state is — or I should say that we progressives are pushing for her to be — a state not just for white Christians but for all her citizens. She’s certainly the homeland of many white Christians, and some white Christians do indeed push for her to be defined as a Christian nation; also some whites are pushing for white supremacy here — but we progressives are pushing even harder for America to live true to her motto e pluribus unum — out of many, one.

Some may say that I’m anti-white or anti-Christian for not wanting my country defined as a white, Christian state. But really, I am pro-people. I am pro-equality and pro-democracy. I want everyone to feel at home here, and I want everyone to have a voice. That’s what I want for Palestine/Israel, and for both Jew and Palestinian as well. While not anti-Zionist, I understand that the core belief of both Palestinian and Jewish anti-Zionists stems from that same principle.

Susan Stevens is the Chair of Kansas City, Kansas SDUSA.

17 thoughts on “Opinion: Is Anti-Zionism Anti-Semitic? NO

  1. “where I differ from Aaron, is that I don’t see a Jewish homeland as a Jewish state … ”

    If you are going to argue, you need to debate against points that I actually made. I never inferred that “the Jewish State” referred to a theocracy. You are the one that is using that language.

    When Israel is compared to her neighbors and the middle east Israel is, within the green line, a democracy. If you want to attack a theocracy start talking against Saudi Arabia and Iran.

    Also for you to copy my articles title and simply add a “NO” is bold. Trying to imply that the two sides of the argument are anywhere close to 50/50 is ridiculous. 95% of Jews are Zionist. A majority of the SDUSA Kansas chapter is democratic Zionist. If you are going to take the counterargument, at least address points that I actually made instead of twisting my words.

    • As the Blog Editor, I decide on the ultimate title of all our published pieces. Having “YES” and “NO” in the titles added necessary clarity to what is a debate.

  2. Okay so call it an Israeli state instead of a Jewish state. Still doesn’t change your or my argument. Or explain how you can argue that anti-zionism is not antisemitic. (When Zionism is just Jewish national self determination)

    • Zionism is just the creation of an Israeli state. Doesn’t mean it’s a religious state.

      Anti-zionism is the destruction of the Israeli state.

      Does the author support the destruction of the Israeli state? Than they are of course antiSemitic. But it seems you and your quoted author are mislabeling and twisting the word Zionism as a catch all for anything bad Israel does.

      If we cannot even agree on the original definition of the word, I’m not sure how we can even debate.

      So say in plain language whether you would like to see Palestine to be “from the river to the sea” which means you are anti-zionist, as that includes the destruction of Israel. Or, if you support a two state solution, which includes an Israeli state, than you are actually a Zionist. Which if is that the case, why defend a belief you don’t hold?

      • I support whatever will provide equal rights to all. One Zionist I talked with insisted that everything was equal inside the Green Line — but when I pointed out that non-Jews can’t own the property their house stands on, he said it was the Jews’ land. So he saw it as “equal” but not really because he still felt like it was a case of the Jews being nice and sharing Hashim’s gift to them, which they weren’t really obligated to do. So whatever solution ends that “it’s complicated because Hashim”-crap, ends the illegal settlements, ends Palestinians being held in administrative detention with no criminal charge, trial or conviction, honors the Right of Return and just, as I said at the beginning, ends all unequal treatment, that’s cool with me.

  3. Jews cannot buy 90% of the land either. Instead the land is only leased out. Your comments are incredibly misleading.

    “The land-owning situation in Israel today is as follows: 80.4 percent is owned by the government, 13.1 percent is privately owned by the JNF, and 6.5 percent is evenly divided between private Arab and Jewish owners. Thus, the ILA administers 93.5 percent of the land in Israel.14 Put differently, 93.5 percent of the land is unavailable for private ownership; such land is sold neither to Jews nor to Arabs but is leased out by the ILA. Thus, while it is true that Israeli law prevents the sale of state—owned land to Israeli Arabs, this alone is extremely misleading, for it is equally unavailable for sale to Jewish citizens of Israel.”

    https://www.meforum.org/370/can-arabs-buy-land-in-israel).

    • Well hopefully Sheldon will respond about whether there are truly 100% equal rights within the green line. I know he wouldn’t devote his life to this for no reason!

    • Sheldon gave a great explanation further down thread regarding why the land ownership situation is apartheid against Palestinians. I’m copying and pasting it here:

      Sheldon Ranz writes: “Ever wonder why all Israeli kibbutzniks are Jews, even though Israel is supposedly a land of full equality for all its citizens behind the Green Line?

      “This is due to the collaboration of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and the Israel Land Authority (ILA). To form a kibbutz, applicants go to the JNF, whose charter forbids it from leasing land to Gentiles. While the JNF is technically a private body, it has the full backing of the government via the ILA. According to Hillel Schenker, editor of the Palestine-Israel Journal, whenever Palestinian Israelis have tried to form their own kibbutzim, they have been denied.

      “Adalah has attempted to overturn the JNF Law. It did succeed in getting the Israeli Attorney General in the 2000s to admit that it is a bigoted law, but nothing was done to make the JNF cease and desist.”

  4. Ever wonder why all Israeli kibbutzniks are Jews, even though Israel is supposedly a land of full equality for all its citizens behind the Green Line?

    This is due to the collaboration of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and the Israel Land Authority (ILA). To form a kibbutz, applicants go to the JNF, whose charter forbids it from leasing land to Gentiles. While the JNF is technically a private body, it has the full backing of the government via the ILA. According to Hillel Schenker, editor of the Palestine-Israel Journal, whenever Palestinian Israelis have tried to form their own kibbutzim, they have been denied.

    Adalah has attempted to overturn the JNF Law. It did succeed in getting the Israeli Attorney General in the 2000s to admit that it is a bigoted law, but nothing was done to make the JNF cease and desist.

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