A person rather ignorant or hateful to Jews has attacked me on Facebook, stating his belief that Zionism is a cult. He said Zionism is equal to terrorism and practices of Apartheid.
Once in a while I see it my duty to put the record straight and there is no better time to do it then now, when the delegitimization of the State of Israel is a world phenomenon.
According to the Jewish calendar, the Passover is the first of the Jewish Holidays and festivals, coinciding with the coming of the Spring Season, the Jewish People celebrated in their ancestral, biblical and native land. That land was given to the Jewish people by God, in an everlasting Covenant. It is a land extending from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. It includes Gilead, the possession of the tribes of Reuben, and tGad and Manasseh, a region east of the Jordan River, in the present days known as the Arab state of Jordan.
So what is the definition of Zionism?
It is a political and ideological movement founded by the Viennese Jewish journalist Benjamin Ze’ev Theodor Herzl who in his 1896 book Der Judenstaat, ‘The Jewish State’, argued that the best way of avoiding the widespread anti-Semitism in Europe is to recreate an independent Jewish state in what was then Palestine, Biblically known as Zion, in Hebrew Tzyion.
The term Zionism was named after Mount Zion in Jerusalem, a symbol of the ancient Jewish homeland. The Zionist movement brought about in the birth of the State of Israel in 1948.
Additionally, the Zionist ideology claims that the Jews are a People or a Nation. They must gather in their land given by their God as an ancient homeland.
Self-consciously, Zionism is the Jewish analogue of the Italian and German national liberation movements of the nineteenth century.
It is said that the term “Zionism” was apparently coined in 1891 by the Austrian publicist Nathan Birnbaum, to describe the new ideology, but it was used retroactively to describe earlier efforts and ideas to return the Jews to their ancestral homeland.
The word “Zionism,” pronounced “Tzyionut” in Hebrew, derives from the word “Zion,” which is a hill in Jerusalem. It means “marker” or commemoration. The Hebrew term “Shivath Tzion,” its meaning is the return to Zion, is one of the traditional Jewish terms for the return of Jewish exiles to their Homeland. “Zionism” is not a monolithic ideological movement.
It includes, Social Zionism for which Ber Borochov stood, or Religious Zionism, for which Rabbi Kook stood, or Revisionist Nationalist Zionism for which people like Ze’ev Jabotinsky stood, and Cultural Zionism, for which authors like Asher Ginsberg – Achad Ha’am stood.
Over time, Zionist ideas evolved and were influenced by circumstances as well as by social and cultural movements that were popular in Europe at different times. Thus, no single person, publication, quote or pronouncement should be taken as embodying “official” Zionist ideology.
Zionism monumental accomplishment was the return of Jewish sovereignty to the Land of Israel. However, when the Jewish People finally settled and re-established their political sovereignty in the Land of Israel, the nations of the world accused them of stealing their own land. Even a thousand years ago, the great biblical and Talmudic commentator Rashi, Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki (February 22, 1040 – July 13, 1105), known by the acronym Rashi “RAbbi SHlomo Itzhaki,” explained what is Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel. While all other nations simply occupy their lands, for the Jews God Himself gave Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel to the Jewish People as an everlasting inheritance. In other words, no human being can take away the Covenant God had made with the Jewish People in it. He endowed the Land of Israel, including Jerusalem to His People, forever.
One needs to understand the Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel. Sovereignty means the expression of national independence and the right and responsibility to rule and the ability of a government to act independently in its own interests which is the essence of statehood.
The roots of Jewish sovereignty in Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel are by far not modern. These are deeply embedded biblical roots which were grounded in Jewish thought and history long before the advent of Christianity and Islam.
Jewish history in Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel is well documented in the Bible. It goes back to the days when the Jewish Forefather Abraham purchased his first property from the Hittites, in Hebron, now known as the Cave of the Patriarchs. In settling in Hebron, Abraham made his first covenant, an alliance with two local Amorite clans who became his ba’alei brit or masters of the covenant. Then the first and second Temples, commonwealths and civilizations that flourished in the Land of Israel, especially in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
Zionism that brought about Jewish sovereignty speaks for God’s purpose and promise to his People of the State of Israel and to everyone who has been and is inspired by the Zionist vision.
The Jewish State of Israel’s sovereignty is God’s statement of affirmation and commitment to His People. It is what true Zionism is all about.
The State of Israel, on behalf of the Jewish People, has the obligation and responsibility to claim the only truth. Eretz Yisrael. the Land of Israel, including Judea (Yehuda) and Samaria (Shomron), legitimately, legally and historically belongs to the Jewish People and to no one else. It is unequivocally always has been and always will be the property of the Jewish People.
Proclaiming Jewish-Israeli Statehood and sovereignty, rather than just Israeli statehood and sovereignty is an authentic statement of the relationship between the Jewish People and the Land of Israel, which was given to them by their God.
The Jewish People bond to the Land of Israel is profound, holds the deepest reasons than what secular or man-made rationales can encompass.
And Zionism does not only represent the freedom and prosperity of the Jewish People in the Jewish State of Israel, but it is also the proclamation that Jewish People are bringing moral, ethical and scientific prosperity to the entire world.
Now you tell me where Zionism can be seen as a cult that carries out terrorism acts and practices Apartheid!?