What is Zionism?

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Don

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Jan 9, 2002, 12:34:49 PM1/9/02
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Can someone define Zionism please?

Thanks,
Don


Joshua Burke

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Jan 9, 2002, 1:58:24 PM1/9/02
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It's a mutual love for corned beef on rye and matzo ball soup that brings
people together...

Wait a moment... what the hell does this have to do with Canadian politics?!


"Don" <don-n...@home.com> wrote in message
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Don

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Jan 9, 2002, 2:22:27 PM1/9/02
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Nothing at all. But the only thing this newsgroup has had in relation to
Canadian politics the last month is the name "can.politics". Aside from
that, I happen to like matzo ball soup.

"Joshua Burke" <joshu...@epuff.com> wrote in message
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Russil Wvong

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Jan 9, 2002, 8:58:00 PM1/9/02
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"Don" <don-n...@home.com> wrote:
> Can someone define Zionism please?

Here's my limited understanding:

Zionism was a secular nationalist movement whose objective was
to establish a Jewish state. (It became an important movement
in the 1800s, after the rise of nationalism and national
self-determination in Europe; the Jews, like other national
minorities, lacked a state of their own, and they suffered
from discrimination and persecution. During World War II,
both Canada and the US refused to accept Jewish refugees.
The bitter experience of the Holocaust convinced most Jews
that a Jewish state was a necessity.)

Today, Zionists are people who support the existence of Israel.

Here's a (very) brief history of the origins of the state of Israel
and the Arab-Israeli conflict. My apologies for any errors or
misinterpretations. For a more detailed history, see "The Arab World
Today", by William Polk.

Palestine had been conquered by the Romans, then the Arabs;
later, it came under Turkish rule. During World War I,
to induce the Arabs to rise up against Turkey, the British
promised to support Arab national independence; at the same
time, to induce the Jews to support the British war effort,
they also promised to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
*And* they signed an agreement with France giving it control
over Syria and Lebanon. (Polk's sardonic title for the chapter
on Palestine is "The Promised Land.")

After the war, Palestine came under British administration. There
was a flood of Jewish immigration to Palestine from Europe as Hitler
and the Nazis came to power, and there was increasing tension and
violence between the Jewish and Arab populations. The UN supported
establishment of a Jewish state, but attempts to partition the
territory between the Jewish and Arab populations failed.

Finally the British gave up and withdrew in 1948, after which war
broke out: Israel declared independence, and the neighboring Arab
states invaded; most of the Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled.
Israel won, but no peace agreement was reached.

In 1956, Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal; Israel, Britain, and
France attacked Egypt, but were forced to withdraw by the US.

In 1967, Egypt occupied the Sinai Peninsula and closed Israel's
access to the Red Sea; Israelis feared that the country was about
to be destroyed. In response, Israel launched the Six-Day War.
To everyone's surprise, Israel won the war easily, occupying the
Sinai Peninsula, West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

In 1973, Egypt and Syria attacked Israel on Yom Kippur. This time
the objective was not to destroy Israel, but to inflict a limited
defeat, forcing the US and USSR to intervene. (By this time,
Israel had nuclear weapons, jointly developed with France. The
reason Egypt risked nuclear war was that it desperately needed to
reverse the Israeli occupation of the Sinai.) Israel won the war
again, but with much more difficulty.

For a detailed discussion of the current state of the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict, see the New York Review of Books article "The Middle East:
Snakes and Ladders" (May 17, 2001), by Avishai Margalit.
[http://www.nybooks.com/articles/14224]

From the article:

If there is one thing that gets on the Palestinians' nerves, it's
the talk about Barak's "generous offer" at Camp David.
Palestinians—-all Palestinians--regard this expression as a deep
contradiction. Just why they do needs explaining.

Palestinians view the Palestine that existed during British rule
between 1918 and 1948 as theirs—-100 percent theirs, from the
Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. They see themselves as
the indigenous population of this region and hence the natural
owners of the entire land of Palestine. Any part of the land that
they yield as part of an agreement is, for them, a huge concession.
Recognizing the State of Israel as defined by its 1967 borders—-the
so-called green line—-and thus yielding some 77 percent of British
mandate Palestine is to them by itself a colossal concession, a
painful historical compromise. By recognizing the Israel within the
green line they give up their claim to redress what they see as the
wrong done to them by the establishment of the State of Israel in
1948. If they accept any deal that recognizes Israel they will have
succeeded at most in redressing the wrong done to them in 1967,
when Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza. Thus to ask them
to compromise further after what they already regard as a huge
compromise is, as they see it, a historical outrage. To call any such
compromise "a generous offer" is to them sheer blasphemy.

The Israeli perception is of course diametrically opposite. And by
"the Israeli perception" I do not refer to the idea of "Greater Israel,"
according to which the entire biblical land of Israel belongs to the
Jews, who are the historical indigenous population that was forced
out of the land but never gave it up. What I mean by the Israeli
perception is something very prosaic and unbiblical. Following the
two wars that were forced on Israel, in 1948 and 1967, Israel
conquered and held on to the entire land from the Mediterranean to
the Jordan River. So the Israelis say that any territory we yield to
Palestinians is, to us, a concession. And if Barak was willing to
offer them almost all of the territories occupied since 1967—an
offer that no previous Israeli leader was willing to entertain, let
alone to make—-it is entirely apt to see this as a generous offer.

At this point, the possibility of a negotiated settlement between Israel
and the Palestinians doesn't look very hopeful.

Russil Wvong
Vancouver, BC
www.geocities.com/rwvong

Don

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Jan 11, 2002, 10:33:21 AM1/11/02
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Thanks for the informative reply.

"Russil Wvong" <russi...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:afe9ed76.0201...@posting.google.com...

> Palestinians--all Palestinians--regard this expression as a deep


> contradiction. Just why they do needs explaining.
>
> Palestinians view the Palestine that existed during British rule

> between 1918 and 1948 as theirs--100 percent theirs, from the


> Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. They see themselves as
> the indigenous population of this region and hence the natural
> owners of the entire land of Palestine. Any part of the land that
> they yield as part of an agreement is, for them, a huge concession.

> Recognizing the State of Israel as defined by its 1967 borders--the
> so-called green line--and thus yielding some 77 percent of British


> mandate Palestine is to them by itself a colossal concession, a
> painful historical compromise. By recognizing the Israel within the
> green line they give up their claim to redress what they see as the
> wrong done to them by the establishment of the State of Israel in
> 1948. If they accept any deal that recognizes Israel they will have
> succeeded at most in redressing the wrong done to them in 1967,
> when Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza. Thus to ask them
> to compromise further after what they already regard as a huge
> compromise is, as they see it, a historical outrage. To call any such
> compromise "a generous offer" is to them sheer blasphemy.
>
> The Israeli perception is of course diametrically opposite. And by
> "the Israeli perception" I do not refer to the idea of "Greater
Israel,"
> according to which the entire biblical land of Israel belongs to the
> Jews, who are the historical indigenous population that was forced
> out of the land but never gave it up. What I mean by the Israeli
> perception is something very prosaic and unbiblical. Following the
> two wars that were forced on Israel, in 1948 and 1967, Israel
> conquered and held on to the entire land from the Mediterranean to
> the Jordan River. So the Israelis say that any territory we yield to
> Palestinians is, to us, a concession. And if Barak was willing to

> offer them almost all of the territories occupied since 1967-an


> offer that no previous Israeli leader was willing to entertain, let

> alone to make--it is entirely apt to see this as a generous offer.

Russil Wvong

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Jan 11, 2002, 4:58:49 PM1/11/02
to
"Don" <don-n...@home.com> wrote in message > "Russil Wvong" <russi...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > Zionism was a secular nationalist movement whose objective was
> > to establish a Jewish state. (It became an important movement
> > in the 1800s, after the rise of nationalism and national
> > self-determination in Europe; the Jews, like other national
> > minorities, lacked a state of their own, and they suffered
> > from discrimination and persecution. During World War II,
> > both Canada and the US refused to accept Jewish refugees.
> > The bitter experience of the Holocaust convinced most Jews
> > that a Jewish state was a necessity.)
>
> Thanks for the informative reply.

You're welcome! I started reading more about the Arab world (and
specifically the Arab-Israeli conflict) after September 11. If
you've got time to read, I'd recommend "The Arab World Today",
by William Polk.

Canadian content: Lester Pearson received the Nobel Peace Prize
for helping to defuse the Suez Crisis in 1956, by proposing that
the UN send peacekeepers. Egypt's ejection of the UN force was one
of the major steps towards war in 1967.

Russil Wvong
Vancouver, Canada
www.geocities.com/rwvong

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