Being a vocal Zionist on a college campus is only half the battle, especially when you are not Jewish. The other half is attempting to show other students, who have largely been misinformed about Israel, that a Zionist is not a mythical beast to be whispered about in the same breath as the archetypal racist, misogynist, and/or sexist. Zionism is a legitimate ideology that has been unfairly slandered and demonized by the anti-Zionist movement on my campus of UC Irvine.
I recently attended an event at my university’s Cross Cultural Center. This center has historically been the headquarters of certain anti-Zionist, anti-establishment, and anti-American groups like the MSU and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). Throughout this article, I will be using the term “anti-Zionists,” when referring to SJP as they must be called out for who they really are. By no means do I mean to refer to all anti-Zionists as a general group; I am simply addressing those who hosted this event and their followers.
The event, titled “Unlearning Zionism,” led me to question why one would need to ‘unlearn’ anything in a place supposedly dedicated to learning? As a Star Wars fan, Master Yoda’s words to Luke Skywalker came to my mind. What was taught at this event was far more fictitious than even Star Wars.
The hosts of the event proceeded to break Israel down into several ‘supremacist’ groups— racial supremacy, male supremacy, Christian supremacy, and heterosexual supremacy. I sat in on this event for an entire hour. I did not disrupt– unlike they have done in the past – but I wanted to get some insight as to what they believed a Zionist was. During that hour, they did not present a single fact or cite a single source. The most absurd of these categories, I thought to myself, was Christian supremacy – being a Christian myself, I do not see how the Jewish State of Israel is pushing an agenda of Christian supremacy.
The other categories were also absurd; Jews come from all over the world and are of all ethnicities, therefore Zionism cannot be racism. Male supremacy is equally absurd. As one meme I saw online stated, “there are more Israeli women flying fighter jets than Saudi women driving cars.” As for heterosexual supremacy, they point to the religious teachings of Orthodox Judaism, yet at the same time, claim that their issues are with Zionism, not fundamentally with Judaism.
Despite some innate hypocrisies in their statements, what I find most hypocritical is their solution. They would like to see Israel dissolved. Interesting how amongst the Palestinian people, the categories they mentioned are actually prevalent and pervasive (except Christian supremacy of course). According to the World Anti-Semitism Index, the Palestinian people harbor some of the highest percentages of global anti-Semitism. We see this clearly identified in government-sponsored incitement videos where young children are encouraged to stab Jews and music videos that glorify those seeking “martyrdom” to “roast Jewish flesh” and “blow the roof off the [Israeli] bus.”
How is this not racism?
It doesn’t end there. The Palestinian culture is one of the most patriarchal in the world, where women are stoned to death for being raped. Islam is the dominant religion amongst the Palestinian people and their ongoing anti-Christian policies have led to mass exoduses of Christians from largely religious epicenters like Hebron, Jericho, and Bethlehem.
As for heterosexual supremacy, we all know which Palestinian authority and Gaza controlling terror groups have codified polices prescribing hanging for homosexuals who are caught.
Israel is not perfect. Every country has its flaws, blemishes, and places to improve upon. Though, if you take up the position that because something is flawed, it must be completely dissolved; you allow worse forces to take over. Dissolve Israel and the anti-Semitic terrorist-controlled PA takes over. If the PA takes over, then all of the categories that the anti-Zionists on my campus mentioned become a reality.
It’s hypocrisy to suggest that the only way to improve the lot of the people you claim to fight for is to thrust them into the hands of individuals who would treat them even worse than those you claim to be fighting against.
The anti-Zionist argument revolves around placing Israel in a vacuum. Israel is judged based on “Social Justice Warrior” standards and if Israel does not meet those standards, then Israel automatically equals bad. However, you cannot examine anything in a vacuum, you have to compare it to others in the same or similar environments.
If Israel is clearly the better option, then why do anti-Zionists constantly push the complete dissolution of the State? For anti-Zionists Israel is bad because Israel is Jewish. I find the most confounding hypocrisy in anti-Zionist philosophy is the declaration that they are fighting against racism and discrimination, yet the motivation behind their anti-Zionism is – at its root – anti-Semitic.
The students on college campuses hear the buzz words “racism, patriarchy, oppression, supremacy,” and instantly react. The anti-Zionists who hosted this particular event knew how to press all the right buttons to get this unwitting group of college students ready to tear down Israel in the name of “social justice.”
To this breed of anti-Zionists, I say, what matters to you is not the welfare of the people you claim to be fighting for, but the destruction of the state of Israel by any means necessary. I have witnessed first hand your unabashed manipulation of university students to gain clout on campus, and it is abhorrent. Furthermore, I have found your label of “anti-Zionism” simply a cover for your true beliefs as anti-Semites.