Opinion |

It’s Alright to Be an anti-Zionist

Gideon Levy
Gideon Levy
Demonstrators during a protest against President Donald Trump's decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, in Paris, France, Dec. 9, 2017.
Demonstrators during a protest against President Donald Trump's decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, in Paris, France, Dec. 9, 2017. Credit: AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu
Gideon Levy
Gideon Levy

Historian and commentator Gadi Taub returns to the roots of Zionist propaganda: one cannot but espouse Zionism. There is no need to persuade or be persuaded, to believe in it or show it to be unfounded. When it comes to the most hallowed of ideologies, a totally blameless one, any criticism is illegitimate. Anyone expressing reservations is subject to one fate, to be condemned as an antisemite. Taub knows no other way of contending with moral arguments raised against Zionism .

Zionism thus becomes, in the hands of intellectuals such as Taub, a tyrannical ideology which cannot be rejected. It would be hard to think of better proof of the need to reevaluate the justice of Zionism, its victims and its relevance than this aggressive Zhdanovism. You’re not a Zionist, ergo, you’re an antisemite.

If Zionists such as Taub were more convinced of the justice of their cause, they would not be so alarmed by every expression of criticism or question. In that respect, Zionism is more akin to a zealous religious creed than a worldview. Just as with the ultra-Orthodox, with Zionists too one must not question anything. If they didn’t sense that something in Zionism’s past and present was burning beneath their feet, Zionists would not be waging such a fierce battle against their opponents. That’s how it is when your arguments are weak: delegitimization is the Zionist’s last refuge.

Taub latches on to the definition of antisemitism as expressed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, the new and effective tool used by the Zionist establishment to quash any criticism of Israel. A petition by Israeli and Jewish organizations is calling on the new U.S. president not to codify this definition in law. The petition has inflamed Taub. He accuses the extreme left of blurring the line between Israel and the occupied territories and of taking action that would foil the partition of the land of Israel.

Taub is calling night day and day night. It’s been a long time since such a baseless argument has been heard. Israel is the one that erased the 1967 “Green Line” boundary, destroying with its settlements any chance for a two-state solution. Israel, not the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

Regrettably, the organizations Taub is assailing, such as the New Israel Fund and J Street, have not yet found the courage to dissociate themselves from Zionism. Haaretz too, considered even more subversive than these organizations in some circles, defines itself as a Zionist newspaper.

But the opposition of such organizations to an open-ended definition of antisemitism, the goal of which is to whitewash the occupation and muzzle its critics, is enough to make their members self-hating Jews, auto-antisemites.

The response to this must be determined and unapologetic. One can regard Zionism as racism without being suspected of being antisemitic. It’s inconceivable that those combating racism be condemned as racists of the antisemitic brand. From the Law of Return to the nation-state law, from the ethnic cleansing of 1948 to the ethnic cleansing of the Jordan Valley and the southern Hebron hills in 2021, this is the brief summary of Zionist history. Is this not racism?

The reality of apartheid and Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the sea is hidden only from the blind, the ignorant, the propagandists and the liars.

The BDS movement does not wish to destroy Israel, only to replace its regime of Jewish supremacy; the Palestinian right of return is not meant to throw the Jews into the sea; the one-state solution is not meant to repatriate the Jews to Europe. All of these only wish to partially and belatedly repair an historic wrong wrought by Zionism, deliberately or not, a correction without which no belated justice will ever be established here.

One can no longer boycott only the settlements, since Israel has turned them into an inseparable part of the country. It erased the Green Line and has shirked any responsibility for what happens in the territories. Jenin and Tel Aviv are under the same rule, and any criticism against it should be directed to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s governments, which have become apartheid governments. One must combat them, even if Taub claims that such a campaign can lead to annihilation and that its proponents are antisemites. Happily, Zionism and Taub are not the only available arbiters of morality.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN


Yair Lapid.

Yair Lapid Is the Most Israeli of All

An El Al jet sits on the tarmac at John C. Munro International Airport in Hamilton, Thursday, in 2003.

El Al to Stop Flying to Toronto, Warsaw and Brussels

An anti-abortion protester holds a cross in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

Roe v. Wade: The Supreme Court Leaves a Barely United States

A young Zeschke during down time, while serving with the Wehrmacht in Scandinavia.

How a Spanish Beach Town Became a Haven for Nazis

Ayelet Shaked.

What's Ayelet Shaked's Next Move?

A Palestinian flag is taken down from a building by Israeli authorities after being put up by an advocacy group that promotes coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis, in Ramat Gan, Israel earlier this month

Israel-Palestine Confederation: A Response to Eric Yoffie