What Zionists should do


By telegramsam
November 26, 2010
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A. B. Yehoshua in Haaretz makes the excellent point that if you want to really, really be a Zionist, there's only one place for it: Israel.

Zionism is not a concept that is supposed to replace patriotism or pioneering. Patriotism is patriotism, and pioneering is pioneering. An officer who extends his military service, or someone who settles in the Negev, is no more of a Zionist than a grocer in Tel Aviv, but they are perhaps more pioneering or more patriotic, depending on the meanings allotted to these concepts.

The concept of Zionism is dear to us, and therefore it is important that it find expression only in its rightful place: in the difference between us and the Jews of the Diaspora or the exile. The exaggerated and superfluous use of the term also blurs the ethical debate between Jews who have decided to be responsible, for good or for ill, for every aspect of their lives within a defined territory and under self government, and those who live enmeshed in other nations and practice their Jewish identity partially, through study, religious texts and limited communal activities.

Perhaps those, from the left, right and centre, whose communal life is dominated by Israel this and Israel that, should go there, pay its taxes, vote in its elections, have their sons and daughters serve in its military.

COMMENTS

Yvetta

Fri, 11/26/2010 - 10:44

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Indeed, t'sam. Chutzpahdik Mick should pack his matching Louis Vuitton set of luggage immediately.


telegramsam

Fri, 11/26/2010 - 10:46

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True, Yvetta. He and all the professional Zionists here, from across the political spectrum.
As Yehoshua says: "The exaggerated and superfluous use of the term also blurs the ethical debate between Jews who have decided to be responsible, for good or for ill, for every aspect of their lives within a defined territory and under self government, and those who live enmeshed in other nations and practice their Jewish identity partially, through study, religious texts and limited communal activities."


telegramsam

Fri, 11/26/2010 - 10:49

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True, Yvetta. He and all the professional Zionists here, from across the political spectrum, should pack their bags, Vuitton or not, and take responsibility "for good or for ill, for every aspect of their lives within a defined territory and under self government."


Yvetta

Fri, 11/26/2010 - 10:49

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You're quick on the draw! btw, I've just sent you a billet doux ...


telegramsam

Fri, 11/26/2010 - 10:51

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Seen and responded, sweetums


mattpryor

Fri, 11/26/2010 - 10:53

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Telegramsam is saying that British Jews should leave Britain or stop supporting Israel.

This is anti-Semitism and it is a vicious attack on British Jewry.

Why is nobody more angry about this crap?


Yvetta

Fri, 11/26/2010 - 11:04

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Not yet received. It's still working its way through the S-bend, it seems ...


telegramsam

Fri, 11/26/2010 - 11:11

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Matt, thanks for your comment but, with all due respect, that isn't what I am saying at all. In fact, what A. B. Yehoshua is saying is that if you want to be a real Zionist, you really have to live in Israel where they can take "responsibility, for good or for ill, for every aspect of their lives within a defined territory and under self government."
I am sure you are aware that A. B. Yehoshua has a bit of form when it comes to Israel-diaspora ties, having once given a non-Bob Geldof-ish speech to major diaspora Jews in which he told them, and I paraphrase: "We don't want your f***ing money... Come and live here."


jose (not verified)

Fri, 11/26/2010 - 11:44

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A. B. Yehoshua, as many others confuse two notions of "Zionism".

Of course, there is the most evident version of Zionism, of those whose idea is to settle in Israel and live their family life there. This represent only a little number of people among which, each year, some thousands emigrate to Israel.

The second one, far greater in numbers, are the Zionists who support the state of Israel, its existence and the right to defend itself from its racist enemies. They may not be so eager to go to Israel, especially those who are not particularly Jewish. In this category of people, we have indeed many Christian friends. Most of them could be called rather "pro-Israel" but the racists call them "Zionists" too, as they use the term as name-calling.
Of course most of these people would not be olim hadashim and would not get Israeli citizenship, should they decide to settle in Israel.

So please, stop confusing everything all the time, Tspam. Correcting you each time is very annoying.


telegramsam

Fri, 11/26/2010 - 11:58

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Jose, that's very kind of you to point out your view of Ziomism. I am sure it adds to the crucial debate between Israel, the nation state of the Jewish people, and the diaspora, those Jewish people who do not live in the nation state.
Yehoshua's idea is, and of course you disagree with it, that if you are not Jewish and do not live in Israel, pay its taxes, vote in its elections, serve or have your children serve in the IDF, then you may be well-intentioned, but you are not a Zionist.
As Yehoshua points out:

Zionism hoped for one thing and promised one thing: to establish a state for the Jews. It kept its promise mainly, disastrously, through anti-Semitism. Zionism aspired only to establish a political framework - what would happen in the country and what its character would be, what sort of regime it would have and where its borders would be drawn, what its social values would be, how it would treat its national minorities. From the start, all of these issues and others were subject to dozens of interpretations and political and social viewpoints among the Jews who arrived in Palestine, and of course to developments and changes that take place in every human society.
After the Jewish state, namely the State of Israel, was actually established, the only way in which the meaning of Zionism was expressed was through the principle of the Law of Return. In other words, aside from the fact that the State of Israel is controlled and run by every citizen with an Israeli ID card, through its legislature, it is still open to any Jew who wants to become a citizen.


jose (not verified)

Fri, 11/26/2010 - 12:47

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Yehoshua's idea is, and of course you disagree with it, that if you are not Jewish and do not live in Israel, pay its taxes, vote in its elections, serve or have your children serve in the IDF, then you may be well-intentioned, but you are not a Zionist.

Your reading skills equal your comprehension skills, unfortunately.

I said that you confuse two notions. Antisemites call "Zionists" also Christians that are "pro-Israel", Jews that are "pro-Israel" who don't presently want to emigrate to Israel. I do not disagree with Yehoshua's idea of naming anyone he wants "Zionist", but who cares about his personal definition that is not accepted by most?

I thought they taught people to read in British elementary schools !


mattpryor

Fri, 11/26/2010 - 12:52

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They call me a Zionist too because I defend Israel, am I unwelcome in Britain as well Telegramsam? Dual loyalties and all that?


telegramsam

Fri, 11/26/2010 - 12:52

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Jose, thanks, but I was merely repeating Yehoshua's view. You are free to agree or disagree, and this is part of the crucial debate between Israel and its diaspora.


telegramsam

Fri, 11/26/2010 - 12:54

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Matt, thank you and of course you are welcome in Britain. Yehoshua was pointing out that in his view to be a true Zionist you have to live in Israel, however well-intentioned Israel's friends abroad are.


raycook

Fri, 11/26/2010 - 13:33

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The corollary of that argument is that everyone who truly supports Palestinian statehood should live in Palestine.

Could get awfully crowded.

Did Herzl ever move to Palestine? Or Montefiore?


telegramsam

Fri, 11/26/2010 - 13:36

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Ray, again an excellent point. But surely the point is that in Herzl's and Montefiore's time, there was no Israel. And I'm guessing here, but I think that Yehoshua means that now that "[After] the Jewish state, namely the State of Israel, was actually established, the only way in which the meaning of Zionism was expressed was through the principle of the Law of Return. In other words, aside from the fact that the State of Israel is controlled and run by every citizen with an Israeli ID card, through its legislature, it is still open to any Jew who wants to become a citizen.


telegramsam

Fri, 11/26/2010 - 13:36

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Ray, again an excellent point. But surely the point is that in Herzl's and Montefiore's time, there was no Israel. And I'm guessing here, but I think that Yehoshua means that now that "[After] the Jewish state, namely the State of Israel, was actually established, the only way in which the meaning of Zionism was expressed was through the principle of the Law of Return. In other words, aside from the fact that the State of Israel is controlled and run by every citizen with an Israeli ID card, through its legislature, it is still open to any Jew who wants to become a citizen.


mattpryor

Fri, 11/26/2010 - 13:39

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Exactly Ray. It's a nonsense argument.


mattpryor

Fri, 11/26/2010 - 13:43

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Please stop double posting and clogging up the recent comments. It's not even as though what you write is worth reading once let alone twice.


telegramsam

Fri, 11/26/2010 - 13:45

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Matt, I'm sorry for that, but there appears to be a glitch. In the Defence of Avraham thread you so kindly posted, you'll notice that Jonathan's excellent post appears three times.


Yvetta

Fri, 11/26/2010 - 13:52

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Three times, eh? That's virility for you.

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