Anti-Zionism is a rejection of racism and imperialism, not just criticism of Israel | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Anti-Zionism is a rejection of racism and imperialism, not just criticism of Israel

We applaud Jewish Voice for Peace’s (JVP) recent statement, “Our Approach to Zionism,” for its “unequivocal opposition to Zionism.” We share the values and goals of justice, equality, and freedom that JVP outlined in its statement.

We wish to register, however, some of our concerns with parts of JVP’s statement, “Our Approach to Zionism.” First, the statement links its discussion of Zionism to collective Jewish pain and trauma. Second, it gives credence to the idea that Zionism is a nineteenth century ideology that emerged from Jewish life, not a colonial ideology developed to expand western imperialism in Palestine. JVP segments Zionist ideology into its cultural, religious and political strains. While they oppose the “political” Zionism that led to the establishment of the Zionist state in Palestine, they do not spend significant effort tackling the other two strands, and as such imply tacit approval of the latter strains. Moreover, the statement goes further to redefine “anti-Zionism” as a “loose term referring to criticism of the current policies of the Israeli state, and/or moral, ethical, or religious criticism of the idea of a Jewish nation-state.” Meanwhile, ever since the general strike of 1936 and the great Palestinian revolt against the British mandate, anti-Zionism has been defined as the rejection of Jewish-only colonies, created on Palestinian land through expropriation and forced expulsion of indigenous Palestinians for the purpose of building the economic and demographic conditions for establishing a colonial nation-state in Palestine. It was only natural that massacres, genocide, and eventually apartheid would inevitably ensue where the colonizer has sought to establish dominance over the colonized.