Shlomo Sand: Forthrightly Anti-Zionist
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Anti-Zionism isn’t anti-Semitism. Claiming otherwise is a long ago discredited canard.
Zionism is tyranny by another name. It’s extremist, racist, undemocratic and hateful, a monster threatening anyone and anything it opposes.
Years earlier, Israeli Emeritus Professor of History Shlomo Sand renounced Judaism, saying he “cease(d) considering (himself) a Jew.”
He believes Zionist historiography turns truth on its head. Israel doesn’t historically belong to Jews alone, he stresses.
Calling Israel a Jewish state is like saying America is exclusively Judeo-Christian.
Organized Judaism opposed Zionism until Hitler, Sand explained. It feared what’s now Israel would replace God.
Talmudic ideology is against emigration to the holy land, against the notion that it’s God’s will to possess land.
Eretz Israel (the land of Israel) theologically isn’t a homeland, Sand explains. Nor is Christianity or Islam. Religions don’t have them.
Sand supports a two-state solution, Palestinian statehood within June 1967 borders, most settlers removed, two nations coexisting in peace, sharing a common border.
History can’t be changed, he says. It can be corrected. Democracy and Jewish exclusivity can’t co-exist. They’re incompatible.
Peace requires new thinking. The alternative is permanent conflict, Jews and Muslims alike affected.
Sand dispels myths taught Jewish children, including nonsense about God giving Israel exclusively to Jews, and a land without people for a people without land.
Judaism is a religion like Christianity, Islam and others. They’re not nationalities, justifying any state exclusively for one faith.
In an open letter to French President Emmanuel Macron in response to his equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, Sand criticized him for inviting Netanyahu to Paris because he “rank(s) in the category of oppressors.”
Has Macron forgotten history he learned as a philosophy student, explaining many Jews and their descendants “always opposed Zionism without this making them anti-Semites,” Sand stressed.
Earlier and current orthodox rabbis opposed Zionism. So do oppressed Palestinians, enduring its extreme harshness, the ideology a curse for them, others can’t understand as well.
Macron is a former Rothschild banker. Sand quoted Nathan Rothschild, a former Bank of England governor, writing Theodor Herzl in 1903, expressing concern about establishing a “Jewish colony.”
It “would be a ghetto within a ghetto with all the prejudices of a ghetto,” he said. A Jewish state “would be small and petty, Orthodox and illiberal, and keep out non-Jews and the Christians.”
Things didn’t turn out the way he imagined “(b)ut one thing is for sure: he was no anti-Semite,” said Sand.
Defining Zionism as he understands it, he said it’s “not Judaism. It even constitutes a radical revolt against it. Across the centuries, pious Jews nurtured a deep ardor for their holy land, and more particularly for Jerusalem.”
“But they held to the Talmudic precept intimating that they should not collectively emigrate there before the coming of the Messiah. Indeed, the land does not belong to the Jews, but to God.”
Since Israel’s creation, especially following the 1967 Six Day War of aggression, not self-defense as falsely claimed, Palestinians are subjugated and oppressed under militarized control, their fundamental rights denied.
They’re refugees in their own land, besieged in Gaza, others expelled by ethnic cleansing.
Sand rejects Zionism because Israel doesn’t belong to adherents of a single religion. He supports “an Israeli Republic…not a Jewish-communalist state.”
He opposes a nation making him a privileged citizen at the expense of non-Jews. Does that make him anti-Semitic, he asked?
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