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Are all supporters of Israel Zionists?

Reader comment on item: "Jewish" - Not the Same as "Pro-Israel"

Submitted by Louis (United States), Aug 28, 2009 at 19:17

Dr. Pipes,

You write:

  • Jews are adherents of a faith, not a political movement. When speaking of politics, talk about the pro-Israel community or Zionists, but not about Jews.

I see a distinction between what you call "pro-Israel" and "Zionist." Zionism in its purest form believes that Jews should have a homeland in Israel for ALL Jews. Those who immigrate or wish to immigrate themselves are obviously Zionists. Those who help get Jews to immigrate to Israel, or help those already there are obviously pro-Israel. This leaves a huge number of people, Jews and non-Jews supporting Israel in many ways - at a minimum by standing up for its rights and actions in political discusssions. Can we fairly call these people Zionists?

Two notable examples of such people are Senator Lieberman and Rahm Emanuel. Calling them Zionists may not be accurate and they might object to such a label. Both have demonstrated support for Israel, but may object to being viewed as US Government officials who support another country - possibly at the peril of the interest of their constituents. Jerremiah Wright was evidently referring to Rahm Emanuael when he corrected his "them Jews" comment to "them Zionists." Perhaps you could comment on a distinction.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

<<I see a distinction between what you call "pro-Israel" and "Zionist.">>

Fair enough, as historically such a distinction did obtain. But I am using the words interchangeably as meaning "belief in the existence of a Jewish state centered in Jerusalem."

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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