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October 02, 2012

The New York Times and "Zionist" Innuendo


A "Zionist" is nothing more than someone who supports Israel's right to exist as the national home of the Jewish people.

This means that, notwithstanding attempts by anti-Israel and anti-Jewish activists to redefine the term, virtually all American Jews, minus a few isolated but outspoken outliers, are Zionists.

So it was somewhat odd to read the second paragraph of the Sept. 27 New York Times story, "Republicans Intensify Drive to Win Over Jewish Voters":

... the Republican Jewish Coalition, backed mostly by the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a Zionist, has begun spending $6.5 million on an air-and-ground strategy to reach Jewish voters who may view Mr. Obama as unreliable on the question of Israel's security. Jewish voters, who generally vote for Democrats in big numbers, overwhelmingly supported Mr. Obama in 2008, giving him 78 percent of their vote, according to exit polls ...

Why did reporter Lizette Alvarez go out of her way to describe Adelson as a Zionist? It's certainly true that the Republican funder is a Zionist. But it's also certainly true that an "overwhelming" majority of Jews who supported Obama are likewise Zionists. A Luntz Global/CAMERA poll found that 94 percent of American Jews would consider it a "tragedy" if Israel "no longer existed tomorrow," and the poll's cross tabs reveal that 93.7 percent of Jews who voted for Obama feel this way.

Again, people who support Israel's right to exist — including but not limited to the subset of people who think it would be a "tragedy" if it ceased to exist — are Zionists.

But the lexical waters lately have been muddied.

It's not just that bigots have taken to using the word "Zionist" euphemistically, as a way to attack Jews without saying the word "Jew." (See, for example, the video segment in which David Duke begins to say "Jewish" but quickly corrects himself when complaining to CNN about impositions "from the Je... from the Zionist domination of American foreign policy.")

It's not just the absurd mantra of radicals who insist, "I don't hate Jews, I hate Zionists," as if it is reasonable to claim you aren't against Jews, but are only against the vast majority of Jews — those who feel their people should not be discriminated against in a world that believes "all peoples have the right of self-determination."

The problem is also that others, including the mainstream Daily Beast on a Web page curated by Peter Beinart, have promoted the false claim that it is impossible to be both Zionist and liberal. Some pretend that Zionist means you support a particular war, or belong to a particular party. And if you redefine the term "Zionist," you distort the meaning of a concept that formed the bedrock of the renewal of Jewish national rights, and undermine the philosophical defense of those rights.

It is an uncomfortable reality for Israel haters that Zionism is not a partisan issue in the U.S. That is, unless and until anti-Israel activists, or sloppy writing in the New York Times, succeed at retrofitting a new definition to the word.

what is a zionist?

Posted by GI at October 2, 2012 12:54 PM


I always understood Zionism to refer to the right of Jews to a national homeland in the place of their forebears. Whether or not the location of our homeland is included in the definition, way too many American Jews decline to identify as "Zionists." And it is probably because of the odious sheen burnished by the likes of Beinart and Ben Ami in their incessant defamation of Israel.

Posted by: Ben at October 2, 2012 05:45 PM

Ben, your totally right.
Its not only Jeremy Ben Ali.
Its Shlomo Ben-Ami also.
The radical Foreign minister Barak had.
Ben Ami has said he didn't see Arafat as a terrorist, even thought Arafat was ordering Al Aqsa terrorists blowing Israeli civilians on buses.

This Shlomo Ben-Ami is so radical he recently endored an Israeli-Palestinian Confederation:
Here's the article.

Lee Kaplain totally showed the real agenda of this conferdation, which is the elimination of Israel and just another Arafat stages policy by the Israel haters.
The Israeli-Palestinian Confederation:
Another Scam to Dismantle Israel
By Lee Kaplan

Posted by: at October 3, 2012 01:22 PM

This report is spot on! De facto vilification of zionists is vilification of Jews, Anybody who does it should be vehemently called out-it is a subterfuge. Anti-semitism is now masking itself as anti-zionism.

Posted by: elliot j. stamler at October 4, 2012 12:37 PM

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