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soc.culture.jewish FAQ: Jews and Israel (8/12)
Section - Question 14.9: Is Zionism racist?

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Top Document: soc.culture.jewish FAQ: Jews and Israel (8/12)
Previous Document: Question 14.8: Are antisemitism and anti-Zionism the same thing?
Next Document: Question 14.10: What are the roots of Arab opposition to Zionism?
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                                  Answer:
   
   No. Zionism is a process with the ultimate goal of a Jewish homeland.
   Participation in this process is not restricted to Jews alone.
   Furthermore, the question is an example of how even simple questions
   can use inflammatory terminology, as "racist" has a pejoritive sense
   and is an imprecise term.
   
   A central tenet of Zionism is that there should exist a place in the
   world where Jews have sovereignty. This is no different from the
   ethnic desires of other minority and ethnic groups; I'm sure you can
   name numerous examples. Recent history has demonstrated the need for
   such a homeland; alas, humanity doesn't appear to be moving in a
   direction that would eliminate that need.
   
   Is the desire for a Jewish homeland "racist"? No. Racism is a belief
   that race is the primary determinant of human traits and that racial
   differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.
   Judaism is not a race--adherents come from multiple ethnic
   backgrounds. More importantly, there is no notion in Zionism that Jews
   are superior to other races (unlike, for example, the Nazis, who held
   that the Aryan race was superior).
   
   Please remember that Zionism is distinct from the state of Israel; if
   you look at the history of Zionism, you will see that for some of the
   zionistic movements, Israel was not the target homeland (in fact,
   you'll discover that at one time, Uganda was an option). Israel is
   modern political state that strives to provide a pluralistic and open
   society, comprising many ethnic and religious groups. It doesn't
   always succeed in this goal, but neither do other democratic states.
   As a modern state, Israel is subject to various political realities
   that dictate its laws and regulations. Discussion of these laws and
   regulations is less germane to the focus of S.C.J and is more
   appropriate for [5]talk.politics.mideast. However, the primacy of
   Jewish law in Israel is no more "racist" than the primacy of Catholic
   law in Vatican City, the primacy of the Church of England in Great
   Britain, or the primacy of Islam in many Arabic countries.
   
   So what is the connection between Zionism and Israel? Zionism helped
   found the state, and provided the underlying zeal for many of Israel's
   leaders. The Zionist zeal still helps provide funding for the state,
   as many Jews outside of Israel support Zionist organizations operating
   in Israel.

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Top Document: soc.culture.jewish FAQ: Jews and Israel (8/12)
Previous Document: Question 14.8: Are antisemitism and anti-Zionism the same thing?
Next Document: Question 14.10: What are the roots of Arab opposition to Zionism?

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