|Photo Shafiq Morton|
This is because 67 years ago two-thirds of the Palestinian population were systematically uprooted from over 400 villages, towns and cities. Interestingly, up to 50% of these people were forced to flee by Zionist militias before the 1948 conflict, said to be the conventional marker of the Nakba.
The short story is that in response to Russian anti-Semitism of the 19th century, European political activists sought for socio-political solutions. Some were premised on solving Russia and Europe’s so-called ‘Jewish problem’ by promoting a Jewish homeland.
However, few know that Zionism was not originally a Jewish aspiration, and that it was not initially supported by the Jewish community. Its first recognised protagonists were two Englishmen, Lord Shaftesbury and Laurence Oliphant. In 1880 Oliphant – a romantically religious Scotsman born in Cape Town – penned The Land of Gilead, a treatise on settling Jews in Palestine.
It was Shaftesbury, the Evangelist, who created the Zionist mantra by proclaiming in July 1853 that there was [in Palestine] a country without a people, and that ‘God in his wisdom and mercy’ had directed him to a people without a country.
Whilst Oliphant’s book hatched the The Gilead Plan, it took a Viennese Anglican chaplain, William Hechter, to author The Restoration of the Jews to Palestine in 1894.
This was two years before another Viennese citizen, Theodore Herzl, would write his Der Judenstat, a book inspired by the Dreyfus affair in France (where a French officer was the victim of anti-Semitism). This all catalysed the first Zionist Congress in 1897. However, due to anger from Orthodox and Reform rabbis, Herzl would have to move its meeting place from Munich in Germany to Basle in Switzerland.
Curiously, it was not Herzl who promoted the idea of Palestine as a Jewish homeland. As an avowed secularist he was happy with territory in Uganda, or even South America. Herzl had even suggested that European Jews convert to Catholicism. Max Nordau, another early Zionist, had even described the Torah as ‘repulsive’.
Herzl was only persuaded to support Palestine by the Zionist Congress when it became apparent that Zionism enjoyed more resonance if it was allied to religious symbolism – especially amongst Christian Zionists, who would then support the project. It is, therefore, an undisputed truth that – in scriptural terms – the notion of contemporary Jewish return came contradictorily after the fact.
Zionism was roundly condemned by the rabbis of Europe
As a political programme driven by secularist Jews at the behest of masonic Christian Zionists, Zionism was roundly condemned by the rabbis of Europe. Later, Jerusalem’s rabbinate would even declare Herzl an apostate. Not had he only refused to circumcise his son, Zionism contradicted the Three Talmudic Oaths.
In the oaths (a sombre Babylonian promise after the destruction of the Temple in 587 BCE) the sons of Isaac had sworn not to descend upon the Holy Land by force, not to rebel against host states and not to hasten the arrival of the Messiah through their sin.
Now shrouded in historical deceit, anaesthetised by hasbara and manipulated by Holocaust guilt as well as political ‘campaign funds’ in the US and Europe, Zionism has bullied and bribed the world into believing that Israel – a colonising nuclear power – must be the exception to international law.
The most outrageous part of this bizarre equation is that it is deemed ‘anti-Semitic’ to criticise Israel politically – a de-facto a military state that has the chutzpah to interfere aggressively in the affairs of other Mid East states.
Whilst honouring the memory of the Holocaust, Israel is unable to see the irony of Gaza. Israel insists on being called a ‘Jewish’ state but has no constitution, nor direct rule by Jewish Sacred Decree except in a few matters of personal law. In other words, Israel is merely an ethnic state.
But that is not all; Israel has no defined borders, and since 1948 has been gobbling up Palestinian land. Just look at any map of the West Bank. Israel also indulges in illegal occupation – all documented by the UN, the World Court, human rights NGOs and even Jewish academics, most of whom have been either marginalised, or rendered toothless by the vetoes of the UN Security Council.
Shorn of apologetic language Israel is what it is – an apartheid state, where the systemic degradation of the human dignity of one portion of the population is an unashamed fact of life. Justice loving people instinctively know this; but not often understood is how secular Zionism has betrayed scriptural Judaism, and what role Christian Zionists have played.
Fanatical about the final ‘rapture’, an apocalyptic moment when Jesus descends to rule Zion, the Christian Zionist fails to mention that in his final dispensation Jews and Muslims are unbelievers. One of the ‘signs’ of the ‘rapture’ is the ingathering of all Jews in Palestine, so to this effect, Israel is supported without question.
In other words, Christian Zionism embraces a cynical expediency – if not a blatant hypocrisy – with regards to Israel. The implied bloodthirsty outcome for Muslims and Jews is never mentioned.
Of course, this is not a diatribe against Christianity, God forbid, but rather a cry about its extremist edges, the curse of any faith today. As Frank Schaeffer of the Huffington Post argues:
‘When it comes to the State of Israel, it's the Christian Zionists who have driven US foreign policy over a cliff. Christian Zionists continuously jeopardise our future by putting the promotion of hare-brained interpretations of biblical “prophecy” ahead of the well-being of both Israel and the US’.
In the US, the Christian Zionist lobby – estimated at 70 million by the late Jerry Falwell – is more weighty than the Jewish Zionist one, which is able to piggy-back on Christian Zionist numbers when it’s perceived that the president, or any public figure, has gone ‘too far’ on Israel.
It’s a highly effective policing mechanism for Zionism’s policies. Dissent is beaten back into the undergrowth of anti-Semitism, recriminations of self-hate and even accusations of supporting Islamic extremism.
This has had a disastrous effect on the Jewish community internationally, where dissenting voices – pushed to the fringes – are hardly ever heard in the mainstream media. When they say they are criticising Israel because of their Jewish values, which is a deeply profound consideration, they are drowned out by the frantic drumming of the hasbara corps.
In fact, the greatest challenge that the Jewish Zionist faces today is that Israel in its current state of militarised chaos is inherently unsustainable – socially, economically and politically. For true peace and justice Israel’s inevitable destiny is a shared one, where Islam, Judaism and Christianity exist constitutionally side-by-side, without threat, and where all citizens enjoy genuine equal rights.
It leads to the question: Could the Jewish Zionist be an unwitting pawn of a fundamentalist, masonic outsider who – in the Semitic triumvirate of faiths – sees himself above the law of reason and the lord of all he surveys? Could it be for this reason that Israel itself can exist without the censure of international law, for to betray the servant would be to betray the master?