This article was last modified on October 19, 2006.

On Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism

The following letter was sent to The Post-Crescent on October 19, 2006. It was not published.


Bernard Green can quote Martin Luther King or anyone else he chooses, but he will not be able to equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. Let us clearly define our terms in this matter.

Being “Jewish” is a religious or ethnic designation. “Zionism” is a political belief that Israel should control certain areas of land (including areas many think they are not entitled to). “Israel” is a country in the Middle East. While these things can overlap, there is nothing that says one must necessarily have anything to do with the others. One can be pro- or anti- any one of these things and not automatically feel the same about the other two.

Opposing Zionism is not wishing that Israel should be “wiped off the map” any more than opposing an American invasion of Canada means that America should be destroyed. One often will, and probably should, disagree with some political views and some politicians and this does not mean any less respect for the country. Many Americans oppose Bush now as many opposed Clinton before and I don’t think any of them hate America.

Opposing Zionism also does not mean someone is against the Jewish faith, despite the movement’s religious roots. Liberals in America who do not want the Ten Commandments displayed in courtrooms (a political view grounded in religion) are not always anti-Christian, many of them being practicing Christians themselves.

I oppose Israeli military action as much as I oppose Arab military action. I feel that Arabs get an unfair bulk of the criticism in the media, though, and this is why I speak against Israel; why add a whisper to a scream concerning the Arabs? I do not deny Israel the sovereign right to do what any other nation may do, but there is no logic in claiming land that has not been owned in 2000 years. Do the Native Americans have a right to overthrow America? Do the Celts have a right to England?

Also try another article under Letters to ...
or another one of the writings of Gavin.

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