Anti-Zionism is opposition to Zionism. The term is broadly defined in the modern era as opposition to the State of Israel or, prior to 1948, its establishment, as well as to the political movement of Jews to self-determination.
The anti-Zionism movement has attracted supporters and controversy, including within the broader Jewish community. Critics of anti-Zionism have charged it is a cover for modern-day antisemitism, that it may be motivated by prejudices against Jewish people, or that it creates a climate where anti-semitism is viewed as acceptable. Defenders of anti-Zionism have rejected these characterizations and counter-accused critics of attempting to stifle legitimate criticisms of Israeli policies, particularly of Israeli military actions and occupation of the West Bank.
Jewish anti-Zionism is as old as Zionism itself, and enjoyed widespread support in the Jewish community until World War II. The Jewish community is not a single united group, and responses vary among Jewish groups. One of the principal divisions is that between secular Jews and religious Jews. Reasons for secular opposition to the Zionist movement are very different from those of Haredi Jews. Opposition to a Jewish state has changed over time and has taken on a diverse spectrum of religious, ethical and political positions.
The legitimacy of anti-Zionist views has been disputed to the present day, including the more recent and disputed relationship between anti-Zionism and antisemitism. Other views regarding the various forms of anti-Zionism have also been discussed and debated.
There is a long tradition of Jewish anti-Zionism that has opposed the Zionist project from its origins. The Bundists, the Autonomists, Reform Judaism and the Agude regarded the rationale and territorial ambitions of Zionism as flawed. Yevsektsiya, the Jewish section of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union, targeted the Zionist movement and managed to close down their offices and place Zionist literature under a ban. However, Soviet officials themselves often disapproved of their anti-Zionist zeal. Orthodox Judaism, which grounds civic responsibilities and patriotic feelings in religion, was strongly opposed to Zionism because, though the two shared the same values, Zionism espoused nationalism in secular fashion, and used "Zion", "Jerusalem", "Land of Israel", "redemption" and "ingathering of exiles" as literal rather than sacred terms, endeavouring to achieve them in this world. Some Orthodox Jews also opposed the creation of a Jewish state prior to the appearance of the messiah, as contradicting divine will. By contrast, reform Jews rejected Judaism as a national or ethnic identity and renounced any messianic expectations of the advent of a Jewish state.
Hope for return to the land of Israel is embodied in the content of the Jewish religion (see Kibbutz Galuyot). Aliyah, the Hebrew word meaning "ascending" or "going up", is the word used to describe religious Jewish return to Israel, and has been used since ancient times. From the Middle Ages and onwards, many famous rabbis and often their followers returned to the land of Israel. These have included Nahmanides, Yechiel of Paris, Isaac Luria, Yosef Karo, Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk among others. For Jews in the Diaspora Eretz Israel was revered in a religious sense. They prayed, and thought of the return, as being fulfilled in a messianic age. Return remained a recurring theme for generations, particularly in Passover and Yom Kippur prayers, which traditionally concluded with, "Next year in Jerusalem", as well as the thrice-daily Amidah (Standing prayer).
Following Jewish Enlightenment however, Reform Judaism dropped many traditional beliefs, including aliyah, as incompatible with modern life within the Diaspora. Later, Zionism re-kindled the concept of aliyah in an ideological and political sense, parallel with traditional religious belief; it was used to increase the Jewish population in the Holy Land by immigration. It remains a basic tenet of Zionist ideology. Support for aliyah does not always equal immigration; however, most of the world's Jewish population resides within the Diaspora. Support for the modern Zionist movement is not universal, and, as a result, some religious Jews, as well as some secular Jews, do not support Zionism. Non-Zionist Jews are not necessarily anti-Zionists, although some are. Generally however, Zionism does have the support of the majority of the Jewish religious organizations, with support from segments of the Orthodox movement, and most of the Conservative, and more recently, the Reform movement.
Many Hasidic rabbis oppose the creation of a Jewish state. The leader of the Satmar Hasidic group, Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum's book, VaYoel Moshe, published in 1958, expounds one Orthodox position on Zionism, based on a literal form of midrash (biblical interpretation). Citing to Tractate Kesubos 111a of the Talmud Teitelbaum states that God and the Jewish people exchanged three oaths at the time of the Jews' exile from ancient Israel, forbidding the Jewish people from massively immigrating to the Land of Israel, and from rebelling against the nations of the world.
Prior to the Second World War many Jews regarded Zionism as a fanciful and unrealistic movement. Many liberals during the European Enlightenment had argued that Jews should enjoy full equality only because they pledge their singular loyalty to their nation-state and entirely assimilate to the local, national culture; they called for the "regeneration" of the Jewish people in exchange for rights. Those liberal Jews who accepted integration and assimilation principles saw Zionism as a threat to efforts to facilitate Jewish citizenship and equality within the European nation-state context.
The Jewish Anti-Zionist League, in Egypt, was a Communist-influenced anti-Zionist league in the years 1946–1947. In Israel, there are several Jewish anti-Zionist organisations and politicians; many of these are related to Matzpen.
After World War II and the creation of Israel
Attitudes changed during and following the war. In May 1942, before the full revelation of the Holocaust, the Biltmore Program proclaimed a fundamental departure from traditional Zionist policy of a "homeland" with its demand "that Palestine be established as a Jewish Commonwealth". Opposition to official Zionism's firm, unequivocal stand caused some prominent Zionists to establish their own party, Ichud (Unification), which advocated an Arab – Jewish Federation in Palestine. Opposition to the Biltmore Program also led to the founding of the anti-Zionist American Council for Judaism.
The full knowledge of the Holocaust altered the views of many who critiqued Zionism before 1948, including the British journalist Isaac Deutscher, a socialist and lifelong atheist who nevertheless emphasized the importance of his Jewish heritage. Before World War II, Deutscher opposed Zionism as economically retrograde and harmful to the cause of international socialism, but in the aftermath of the Holocaust he regretted his pre-war views, arguing for Israel's establishment as a "historic necessity" to provide a refuge for the surviving Jews of Europe.
Most Orthodox religious groups have accepted and actively support the State of Israel, even if they have not adopted the "Zionist" ideology. The World Agudath Israel party (founded in Poland) has, at times, participated in Israeli government coalitions. Most religious Zionists hold pro-Israel views from a right-wing viewpoint. The main exceptions are Hasidic groups such as Satmar Hasidim, which have about 100,000 adherents worldwide and numerous different, smaller Hasidic groups, unified in America in the Central Rabbinical Congress of the United States and Canada and Israel in the Edah HaChareidis.
According to Jonathan Judaken, 'numerous Jewish traditions have insisted that preservation of what is most precious about Judaism and Jewishness "demands" a principled anti-Zionism or post-Zionism.' This tradition dwindled in the aftermath of the Holocaust, and the establishment of Israel but is still alive in religious groups such as Neturei Karta and among many intellectuals of Jewish background in Israel and the diaspora, such as George Steiner, Tony Judt and Baruch Kimmerling.
Noam Chomsky has reported a change in the boundaries of what are considered Zionist and anti-Zionist views. In 1947, in his youth, Chomsky's support for a socialist binational state, in conjunction with his opposition to any semblance of a theocratic system of governance in Israel, was at the time considered well within the mainstream of secular Zionism; by 1987, it lands him solidly in the anti-Zionist camp.
Alvin H. Rosenfeld in his much discussed essay, Progressive Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism, claims that a "number of Jews, through their speaking and writing, are feeding a rise in virulent antisemitism by questioning whether Israel should even exist". Rosenfeld's general claims are:
- "At a time when the de-legitimization and, ultimately, the eradication of Israel is a goal being voiced with mounting fervor by the enemies of the Jewish state, it is more than disheartening to see Jews themselves adding to the vilification. That some do so in the name of Judaism itself makes the nature of their assault all the more grotesque."
- "Their contributions to what's becoming normative discourse are toxic. They're helping to make [anti-Semitic] views about the Jewish state respectable – for example, that it's a Nazi-like state, comparable to South African apartheid; that it engages in ethnic cleansing and genocide. These charges are not true and can have the effect of delegitimizing Israel."
Some Jewish organizations oppose Zionism as an integral part of their anti-imperialism. Today, some secular Jews, particularly socialists and Marxists, continue to oppose the State of Israel on anti-imperialist and human rights grounds. Many oppose it as a form of nationalism, which they argue to be a product of capitalist societies. One secular anti-Zionist group today is the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, a socialist, anti-war, and anti-imperialist organization that calls for "the dismantling of Israeli apartheid return of Palestinian refugees, and the ending of the Israeli colonization of historic Palestine."
Outside the Jewish community
Anne de Jong asserts that direct resistance from inhabitants of historical Palestine "focused less on religious arguments and was instead centred on countering the experience of colonial dispossession and opposing the Zionist enforcement of ethnic division of the indigenous population."
Palestinian-Christian owned Falastin was founded in 1911 in the then Arab-majority city of Jaffa. The newspaper is often described as one of the most influential publications in historic Palestine, and probably the nation's fiercest and most consistent critic of the Zionist movement. It helped shape Palestinian identity and nationalism and was shut down several times by the Ottoman and British authorities, mostly due to Zionists' complaints.
British colonial officials
The British anti-Zionist John Hope Simpson believed that the Arabs were "economically powerless against such a strong movement" and thus needed protection. Charles Anderson writes that Hope Simpson was also "wary of the gulf between Zionist rhetoric and practice, observing that 'The loftiest sentiments are ventilated in public meetings and Zionist propaganda' but that the Jewish National Fund and other organs of the movement did not uphold or embody a vision of cooperation or mutual benefit with the Arabs."
Anti-Zionism in the Arab world emerged at the end of the 19th century, very soon after the First Zionist Congress was held in Basel in 1897. However, only after the Young Turk revolution in 1908 did opposition to Zionism in Palestine and Greater Syria became widespread.
According to philosopher Michael Neumann, Zionism as an "expansionist threat" has caused Arab hostility toward Israel and even antisemitism. Pan-Arabist narratives in the 1960s Nasser era emphasized the idea of Palestine as a part of the Arab world taken by others. In this narrative, the natural means of combating Zionism is Arab nations uniting and attacking Israel militarily.
Most Arab citizens of Israel do not have strong anti-Zionist views. A poll of 507 Arab-Israelis conducted by the Israeli Democracy Institute in 2007 found that 75 percent profess support for Israel's status as a Jewish and democratic state that guarantees equal rights for minorities. Israeli Arab support for a constitution in general was 88 percent.
Anti-Zionist Muslims consider the State of Israel as an intrusion into what many Muslims consider to be Dar al-Islam, a domain they believe to be rightfully, and permanently, ruled only by Muslims as it was historically conquered in the name of Islam.
Palestinian and other Muslim groups, as well as the government of Iran (since the 1979 Islamic Revolution), insist that the State of Israel is illegitimate and refuse to refer to it as "Israel", instead using the locution "the Zionist entity" (see Iran–Israel relations). Islamic maps of the Middle East frequently do not show the State of Israel. In an interview with Time Magazine in December 2006, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said "Everyone knows that the Zionist regime is a tool in the hands of the United States and British governments." This sort of rhetoric has been a feature of the Muslim world for decades.
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Mohammed Amin al Husseini opposed the Jewish immigration to Palestine before the creation of the State of Israel, and in several documented cases expressed his hostility toward Jews in general and Zionists in particular.
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, whom the Anti-Defamation League named "the leading anti-Semite in America", has a long track record of hostility towards Jews in general and Zionists in particular.
Positions of the World Council of Churches
The World Council of Churches (WCC) has been described as taking anti-Zionist positions in connection with its criticisms of Israeli policy. It is claimed the council has focused disproportionately on activities and publications criticizing Israel in comparison with other human rights issues. The council members have been characterized by Israel's former Justice minister Amnon Rubinstein as anti-Zionist, saying "they just hate Israel". The WCC has been charged with prioritising Anti-Zionism to the extent it has neglected appeals from Egyptian Copts to raise their plight under Sadat and Mubarak in order to avoid distracting world attention.
Presbyterian Church of USA
After publishing "Zionism unsettled", which it initially commended as "a valuable opportunity to explore the political ideology of Zionism", the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) promptly withdrew the publication from sale on its website following criticism that it was Anti-Zionist, one critic claimed it posits that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is fueled by a 'pathology inherent in Zionism.' In February 2016, the General Assembly was lobbied by its Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP) to lay aside a two state solution and support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Presbyterians for Middle East Peace described this proposal as a "one-sided, zero-sum solution".
Political Zionism and Christian Zionism are anathema to Christian faith.... The true Israel today is neither Jews nor Israelis, but believers in the Messiah, even if they are Gentiles.... John Stott
Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization
In January 2015, the Lausanne movement, published an article in its official journal made comparisons between Christian Zionism, the crusades and the Spanish Inquisition and described Zionism as "apartheid on steroids". The Simon Wiesenthal Center described this last claim as "the big lie", and rebutted the "dismissal of the validity of Israel's right to exist as the Jewish State".
Church of Scotland
Despite its strong historic support for Restorationism, famously by Robert Murray M'Chyene and by both Horatius and Andrew Bonar, in April 2013 the Church of Scotland published "The Inheritance of Abraham: A Report on the Promised Land", which rejected the idea of a special right of Jewish people to the Holy Land through analysis of scripture and Jewish theological claims. The report further denied the "belief among some Jewish people that they have a right to the land of Israel as a compensation for the suffering of the Holocaust" and argued "it is a misuse of the Bible to use it as a topographic guide to settle contemporary conflicts over land." The report was criticised by Jewish leaders in Scotland as "biased, weak on sources, and contradictory. The picture it paints of both Judaism and Israel is barely even a caricature." Subsequently, the Church issued a statement saying that the Church had not changed its "long-held position of the rights of Israel to exist". It also revised the report.
Methodist Church of Great Britain
Charles and John Wesley, founders of the Methodist Church, held Restorationist views. Following the submission of a report titled 'Justice for Palestine and Israel' in July 2010, the UK Methodist Conference questioned whether 'Zionism was compatible with Methodist beliefs'. Christian Zionism was characterised as believing that Israel "must be held above criticism whatever policy is enacted", and conference called for a boycott of selected Israeli goods "emanating from illegal settlements". The UK's Chief Rabbi described the report as "unbalanced, factually and historically flawed", and said that it offered "no genuine understanding of one of the most complex conflicts in the world today. Many in both communities will be deeply disturbed."
Third Position, fascist, and right-wing
Anti-Zionism has a long history of being supported by various individuals and groups associated with Third Position, right-wing and fascist (or "neo-fascist") political views. A number of militantly racist groups and their leaders are anti-Zionist, David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan for example, and various other Aryan / White-supremacist groups. In these instances, anti-Zionism is usually also deeply anti-Semitic, and often revolves around conspiracy theories discussed below.
During the last years of Stalin's rule, official support for the creation of Israel in 1948 was replaced by strong anti-Zionism. According to Izabella Tabarovsky, a researcher with the Kennan Institute:
"[T]he Soviets ... [claimed] that their ideology was anti-Zionist, not anti-Semitic. ... Soviet ideologues relied for inspiration on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, on the ideas of classic religious anti-Semitism, and even Mein Kampf, but adopted them to the Marxist framework by substituting the idea of a global anti-Soviet Zionist conspiracy for a specifically Jewish one. Jewish power became Zionist power. The rich and conniving Jewish bankers controlling money, politicians, and the media became the rich and conniving Zionists. The Jew as the anti-Christ became the Jew as the anti-Soviet. Instead of the Jew as the devil, they presented the Zionist as a Nazi."
As outlined in the third edition of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1969–1978), the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's position during the Cold War became: "the main posits of modern Zionism are militant chauvinism, racism, anti-Communism and anti-Sovietism, [...] overt and covert fight against freedom movements and the USSR."
Anti-Zionist sentiments were also manifested in organisations such as the Organization for African Unity and the Non-Aligned Movement, which passed resolutions condemning Zionism and equating it with racism and apartheid during the early 1970s. This culminated in the passing by the United Nations General Assembly of Resolution 3379 in November 1975, which declared "Zionism is a form of racism."
The decision was revoked on 16 December 1991, when the General Assembly passed Resolution 4686, repealing resolution 3379, by a vote of 111 to 25, with 13 abstentions and 17 delegations absent. Thirteen out of the 19 Arab countries, including those engaged in negotiations with Israel, voted against the repeal, another six were absent. No Arab country voted for repeal. The Palestine Liberation Organisation denounced the vote. All of the ex-communist countries and most of the African countries who had supported Resolution 3379 voted to repeal it.
After Israel occupied Palestinian territory following the 1967 Six-Day War, some African-Americans supported the Palestinians and criticized Israel's actions, for example by publicly supporting Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat and calling for the destruction of the Jewish state. Immediately after the war, the black power organization Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee published a newsletter criticizing Israel, and asserting that the war was an effort to regain Palestinian land and that during the 1948 war, "Zionists conquered the Arab homes and land through terror, force, and massacres." In 1993, philosopher Cornel West wrote: "Jews will not comprehend what the symbolic predicament and literal plight of Palestinians in Israel means to blacks.... Blacks often perceive the Jewish defense of the state of Israel as a second instance of naked group interest, and, again, an abandonment of substantive moral deliberation." African-American support of Palestinians is frequently due to the consideration of Palestinians as people of color – political scientist Andrew Hacker writes: "The presence of Israel in the Middle East is perceived as thwarting the rightful status of people of color. Some blacks view Israel as essentially a white and European power, supported from the outside, and occupying space that rightfully belongs to the original inhabitants of Palestine."
Anti-Zionism and antisemitism
In the early 21st century, it was also claimed that a "new antisemitism" had emerged that was rooted in anti-Zionism. Advocates of this concept argue that much of what purports to be criticism of Israel and Zionism is demonization, and has led to an international resurgence of attacks on Jews and Jewish symbols and an increased acceptance of antisemitic beliefs in public discourse. Critics of the concept have suggested that the characterization of anti-Zionism as antisemitic is inaccurate, sometimes obscures legitimate criticism of Israel's policies and actions and trivializes antisemitism.
A number of sources link anti-Zionism with antisemitism. Campus research in 2016 in the United States by the AMCHA Initiative has also reported close geographical correlation between the two phenomena, accompanying a recent upsurge in anti-Semitism.
In the 2015, a German court in Essen ruled that "'Zionist' in the language of antisemites is a code for Jew". Taylan Can, a German citizen of Turkish origin, yelled "death and hate to Zionists" at an anti-Israel rally in Essen in July 2014, and was convicted for hate crime. In contrast, in February 2015, a court in Wuppertal convicted two German Palestinians of an arson attack on a synagogue, but denied that the crime was motivated by antisemitism.
Professor Kenneth L. Marcus, former staff director at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, identifies four main views on the relationship between anti-Zionism and antisemitism, at least in North America:(p. 845–846) Marcus also states: "Unsurprisingly, recent research has shown a close correlation between anti-Israeli views and anti-Semitic views based on a survey of citizens in ten European countries."
Professor Robert S. Wistrich, head of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is the originator of Marcus's second view of anti-Zionism (that anti-Zionism and antisemitism merged post-1948) argues that much contemporary anti-Zionism, particularly forms that compare Zionism and Jews with Hitler and the Third Reich, has become a form of antisemitism:
"Anti-Zionism has become the most dangerous and effective form of anti-Semitism in our time, through its systematic delegitimization, defamation, and demonization of Israel. Although not a priori anti-Semitic, the calls to dismantle the Jewish state, whether they come from Muslims, the Left, or the radical Right, increasingly rely on an anti-Semitic stereotypization of classic themes, such as the manipulative 'Jewish lobby,' the Jewish/Zionist 'world conspiracy,' and Jewish/Israeli "warmongers". Nevertheless, I believe that the more radical forms of anti-Zionism that have emerged with renewed force in recent years do display unmistakable analogies to European anti-Semitism immediately preceding the Holocaust.... For example, 'anti-Zionists' who insist on comparing Zionism and the Jews with Hitler and the Third Reich appear unmistakably to be de facto anti-Semites, even if they vehemently deny the fact! ... For if Zionists are 'Nazis' and if Sharon really is Hitler, then it becomes a moral obligation to wage war against Israel. ... Anti-Zionism is ... also the lowest common denominator and the bridge between the Left, the Right, and the militant Muslims; between the elites (including the media) and the masses; between the churches and the mosques; between an increasingly anti-American Europe and an endemically anti-Western Arab-Muslim Middle East; a point of convergence between conservatives and radicals and a connecting link between fathers and sons."
... antisemitism is involved when the belief is articulated that of all the peoples on the globe (including the Palestinians), only the Jews should not have the right to self-determination in a land of their own. Or, to quote noted human rights lawyer David Matas: One form of antisemitism denies access of Jews to goods and services because they are Jewish. Another form of antisemitism denies the right of the Jewish people to exist as a people because they are Jewish. Antizionists distinguish between the two, claiming the first is antisemitism, but the second is not. To the antizionist, the Jew can exist as an individual as long as Jews do not exist as a people.
British sociologist David Hirsh wrote a book called Contemporary Left Antisemitism in which he studied anti-Zionism empirically. Philosophically, one might privately find under a set of theoretical circumstances that it is possible to be an anti-Zionist without being an antisemite, but according to Hirsh's book, "When anti-Zionism gets a foothold [in an organization] and becomes popular and normal and legitimate, it brings antisemitism with it."
According to the December 1969 issue of Encounter, a student attacked Zionism while in the presence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., an American civil rights activist. King responded to the student, "When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You're talking anti-Semitism."
Israeli journalist Ben-Dror Yemini maintains that anti-Zionism is "politically correct antisemitism" and argues that the same way Jews were demonized, Israel is demonized, the same way the right of Jews to exist was denied, the right for Self-determination is denied from Israel, the same way Jews were presented as a menace to the world, Israel is presented as a menace to the world.
Israeli American journalist Liel Leibovitz says that 21st century "anti-Zionists" do not like Jews whether they live in Israel or anywhere else in the world. He cites the example of the "anti-Zionist" professor at Oberlin who posted antisemitic conspiracy theories on her website and the "anti-Zionist" Stanford University student who claimed that many of the classical antisemitic conspiracy theories are not antisemitic.
British socialist Adam Langleben had been a supporter of the British Labour Party all of his life until its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, was caught on video accusing "Zionists" of lacking a sense of irony possessed by other British citizens. Although Corbyn used the word "Zionist" and not the word "Jew," Langleben asserted, "[F]or any Jewish person watching the video we will have heard ‘Jew,’ because most Jews in Britain subscribe to being a Zionist or supportive of the state of Israel—not the policies, but the existence [of the Jewish state]." Langleben's break with Labour came after repeatedly defending Corbyn from critics.
Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times op-ed columnist Bret Stephens wrote that anti-Zionists "excel in making excuses for the wicked and finding fault with the good. When you find yourself on the same side as Hassan Nasrallah, Louis Farrakhan and David Duke on the question of a country’s right to exist, it’s time to re-examine every opinion you hold." Stephens admitted, "Anti-Zionism might have been a respectable point of view before 1948, when the question of Israel’s existence was in the future and up for debate. Today, anti-Zionism is a call for the elimination of a state — details to follow regarding the fate befalling those who currently live in it" (emphasis in the original). In another column, Stephens wrote, "Of course it’s theoretically possible to distinguish anti-Zionism from anti-Semitism, just as it’s theoretically possible to distinguish segregationism from racism. But the striking feature of anti-Zionist rhetoric is how broadly it overlaps with traditionally anti-Semitic tropes."
On the appointment of Steve Bannon, who is reputed to be anti-semitic, as Donald Trump's White House Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor in 2016, several commentators said Bannon's personal attitudes would not necessarily translate into opposition to Israel. The sociologist Steven M. Cohen finds little correlation between antisemitism and anti-Zionism, while Todd Gitlin stated that anti-Semitism and right-wing Zionism can coexist without difficulty.
Critics such as Norman Finkelstein, Tariq Ali, Noam Chomsky, and Steven Salaita challenge the equation of anti-Zionism and antisemitism as a tactic to silence criticism of Israeli policies.
Brian Klug argued, "We should unite in rejecting racism in all its forms: the Islamophobia that demonises Muslims, as well as the anti-semitic discourse that can infect anti-Zionism and poison the political debate. However, people of goodwill can disagree politically - even to the extent of arguing over Israel's future as a Jewish state. Equating anti-Zionism with anti-semitism can also, in its own way, poison the political debate." On 15 January 2004, Klug wrote, "To argue that hostility to Israel and hostility to Jews are one and the same thing is to conflate the Jewish state with the Jewish people."
View that anti-Zionism leads to antisemitism
According to David Cameron, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, "there has been an insidious, creeping attempt to delegitimize the state of Israel, which spills over often into anti-Semitism."
In July 2001, the Simon Wiesenthal Center reported that during a visit there, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer stated, "anti-Zionism inevitably leads to antisemitism." In 2015, the Center observed in a newsletter introducing its report on North American campus life, that 'virulent anti-Zionism is often a thinly-veiled disguise for virulent anti-Semitism'.
The antisemitic hoax The Protocols of the Elders of Zion came to be used among Arab anti-Zionists, although some have tried to discourage its usage.:186:357 Antisemitic sources have claimed that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion were read at the First Zionist Congress. Neil J. Kressel asserts that for many years the line between antisemitism and anti-Zionism has been blurry.:102
A number of conspiracies involving the Holocaust have been advanced. One advanced by the Soviets in the 1950s claims that Nazis and Zionists had a shared interest or even cooperated in the extermination of Europe's Jewry, as persecution would force them to flee to Palestine, then under British administration.:237 Claims also have been made that the Zionist movement inflated or faked the impact of the Holocaust.:21–22 The President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas wrote in his 1983 book, The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism based on his CandSc thesis completed in 1982 at the Moscow Institute of Oriental Studies, with Yevgeny Primakov as thesis advisor.
It seems that the interest of the Zionist movement, however, is to inflate this figure [of Holocaust deaths] so that their gains will be greater. This led them to emphasize this figure [six million] in order to gain the solidarity of international public opinion with Zionism. Many scholars have debated the figure of six million and reached stunning conclusions—fixing the number of Jewish victims at only a few hundred thousand.
In 1968, the East German communist paper Neues Deutschland justified the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia with the headline "In Prague Zionism is in power". In 1995, William Korey released a work titled Russian antisemitism, Pamyat, and the demonology of Zionism. Korey's central argument is that the Soviet Union promoted an "official Judeophobic propaganda campaign" under the guise of anti-Zionism from 1967 to 1986; after this program was shut down by Mikhail Gorbachev, a populist and chauvinist group called Pamyat emerged in the more open climate of Glasnost to promote an openly antisemitic message. Korey also argues that much official late-period Soviet antisemitism may be traced back to the influence of Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He notes, for instance, that a 1977 Soviet work titled International Zionism: History and Politics contains the allegation that most major Wall Street financial institutions are "large financial-industrial Jewish monopolies" exercising control over many countries in the world. Russian antisemitism was reviewed by Robert O. Freedman in the Slavic Review; while he concurs with the book's central thesis, Freedman nevertheless writes that the actual extent of Soviet antisemitism may have been less than Korey suggests.
Accusations have been made regarding Zionism and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, claiming that prominent Zionists were forcing Western governments into war in the Middle East for Israel's interests.
The Sudanese government has alleged that the Darfur uprising (in which some 500,000 have been killed) is part of a wider Zionist conspiracy. Egyptian media have alleged that the Zionist movement deliberately spreads HIV in Egypt.
Article 22 of the 1988 Hamas charter claims that the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, colonialism and both world wars were created by the Zionists or forces supportive of Zionism. Article 32 alleges that the Zionist movement seeks to create an Empire stretching from the Nile in Egypt to the Euphrates river in Iraq.
In April 2010, Abd Al-Azim Al-Maghrabi, the deputy head of Egyptian Arab Lawyers Union, stated in an interview with Al-Manar TV (as translated by MEMRI) that the Hepatitis C virus was produced by "the Zionists" and "this virus is now spreading in Egypt like wildfire." He also called for it to be "classified as one of the war crimes perpetrated by the Zionist enemy".
In June 2010, Egyptian cleric Mus'id Anwar gave a speech that aired on Al-Rahma TV (as translated by MEMRI) in which he alleged that the game of soccer (as well as swimming, bullfighting and tennis) was in fact a Zionist conspiracy, stating that:
As you know, the Jews, or the Zionists, have The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Over 100 years ago, they formulated a plan to rule the world, and they are implementing this plan. One of the protocols says: "Keep the [non-Jews] preoccupied with songs, soccer, and movies." Is it or isn't it happening? It is [...] the Zionists manage to generate animosity among Muslims, and even between Muslim countries, by means of soccer.
- "Definition of ANTI-ZIONISM". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
opposition to the establishment or support of the state of Israel : opposition to Zionism
- "What Is… Anti-Israel, Anti-Semitic, Anti-Zionist?" ADL. 8 February 2019.
- "What's the difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism?" BBC. 29 April 2016. 8 February 2019.
- Pessin Andrew and Doron S. Ben-Atar. Introduction. Anti-Zionism on Campus: The University, Free Speech, and BDS, edited by Pessin and Ben-Atar, Indiana UP, 2018, pp. 1-40.
- Naomi Zeveloff, "How Steve Bannon and Breitbart News Can Be Pro-Israel — and Anti-Semitic at the Same Time", The Forward
- Mike Marqusee, If I Am Not For Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew, Verso Books (2008) 2010 p.vii:’As long as there has been Zionism, there have been anti-Zionist Jews. Indeed, decades before it even came to the notice of non-Jews, anti-Zionism was a well-established Jewish ideology and until World War 11 commanded wide support in the diaspora.’
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Anti-Zionism.|
- "Why I Am a Zionist" feature article by Tom Doran, an ex-anti-Zionist
- The Other Israel: The Radical Case Against Zionism – essays by members of Matzpen
- Stanley Aronowitz, "Setting the Record Straight: Zionism from the Standpoint of its Jewish Critics", Logos, Issue 3.3 (summer 2004)
- Lawrence Davidson , The Present State of Anti-Semitism, Logos, Issue 9.1, (Winter 2010)
- True Torah Jews Against Zionism
- Jews Confront Zionism by Daniel Lange/Levitsky, Monthly Review, June 2009
Works related to Zionism at Wikisource