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Jun 14

Gilad Atzmon: For The Sake Of Jewish Sensitivities

Gilad Atzmon

It occurred to me recently that the Palestinian solidarity discourse is spiritually, ideologically and intellectually driven by some very misleading terminology: crucial notions such as Zionism, colonialism and apartheid (heard in every discussion, and present in every text book about the conflict), are either confusing, or even delusional: I believe that they are there to actually block any attempt to grasp the true spirit and ideologies that drive the Jewish State rather than to clarify the situation.

Zionism

Many of us tend to refer to Zionism as the ideological driving force behind Israel.

But make no mistake: Israel is not Zionism, and Zionist ideology and politics have very little at all to do with Israeli politics or practice.

It must be understood that Israel and Zionism are, by now, two distinct categories. While Zionism was defined by its founders as an attempt to ‘transform the Diaspora Jew into an authentic and civilised human being’, Israel can, nowadays, only be seen as the pragmatic product of such an ideology.

It may surprise many of you to hear that these days, Israel is not driven or even particularly inspired by Zionism any longer -it is, instead, engaged in self-maintenance. More so, Israelis are hardly even that familiar with Zionist ideology.  For most Israelis Zionism is little more than a dated and archaic concept – it may have historical significance -but it has zero meaning in daily life.

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