‘Zionism’ is simply the assertion that Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish state. This is no more racist than saying that Jordan or Saudi Arabia have the right to exist as Arab states.
Jews have an unbroken connection with Israel that goes back between three and four thousand years. If anyone can claim to be the indigenous people of that part of the world it is the Jews.
The League of Nations gave Britain a mandate to make the old Ottoman province of Palestine, the historical home of the Jewish people, into a Jewish homeland and state. Britain did so, but carved off 80% of the mandated territory – everything East of the Jordan River – to create the state of Jordan to be a homeland for the region’s Arab people.
The 20% left to the Jewish people was reduced again in a proposed partition which gave a further 30%, Gaza and the West bank of the Jordan, to local Arabs.
The Jews accepted this arrangement, which left them with only 15% of the mandated territory, less than one 6th of 1% of the land of the Middle East. Leaders Golda Meyerson and David Ben Gurion repeatedly affirmed their desire to live in peace with their Arab neighbours. Arabs living in Israel would be given the full protection of the law, and full rights of Israeli citizens.
Arabs leaders rejected this plan, and told Arabs living in Israel to leave, since the Jews would soon be defeated, and they would then be able to return to take over the farms, schools, roads and hospitals the Jews had built.
The state of Israel was proclaimed in a declaration of independence on May 14th 1948. The following day Israel was attacked on all sides by the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League, said “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the crusades.”
Israel survived, as it has survived the relentless attacks on its territory since that time, including three more major conflicts (1967,1973 and the Intifada) and ongoing terrorism.
Israel is the only non-racist state in the Middle East. Arab citizens still have full rights of citizenship. Arabs can be, and are, members of parliament, judges, police officers and soldiers. Jews are not even allowed to live in Jordan, Saudi Arabia or the Arab occupied territitories of Israel.
There are temples, mosques, and churches throughout Israel, as well as synagogues.
Yet Israel is constantly attacked by the UN, and nowhere more viciously and dishonestly than at the Durban Conferences.
It is an disgrace that Australia is still considering sending a delegation to the planned Durban conference in New York.
It is bizarre and embarassing that while talking about moral leadership in imposing a pointless tax on ‘carbon,’ our government is considering legitimising a conference which is itself grossly racist.
It is especially important that the government give a clear lead given the recent spate of boycotts and blockades of Jewish businesses in Australia. Nineteen ‘protestors’ (read thugs) were arrested and three police officers injured during a rally outside Max Brenner’s chocolate shop in Melbourne in July.
Even if the government won’t, some Australians are taking a stand against anti-Jewish bullying:
I will be in Melbourne next weekend to visit the theatre and to see the Tutankhamun exhibition. I think I’ll call at Max Brenner’s for a coffee as well.