Zionism and Israel – Issues and Answers
by Ami Isseroff Saturday, Apr. 25, 2009 at 11:57 AM
Zionism and Israel – Issues and Answers Does the Flight and Expulsion of Palestinian Refugees prove that Zionism is Racism?
by Zionism and Israel – Issues and Answers
The Palestinian refugee problem was created because the Arabs of Palestine refused to live in a Jewish state and Arab states refused to accept U.N. Resolution 181, which partitioned Palestine. The refugees were not created by Zionism. The Arab side instigated a war, driven by Nazi-collaborator Haj Amin El-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. Husseini told the British that his solution for the “Jewish Question” in Palestine was the same as “the solution that had been adopted in Europe,” namely extermination. Had there been no war, there would have been no refugees. The Jews of Palestine defended themselves, as any people would, regardless of ideology. After the war, they were reluctant to admit a large body of people who were belligerents by definition, because they had refused to live in a Jewish state. After World War II, Czechoslovakia expelled ethnic Germans who had been Czech citizens living in the Sudetensland, because they proved to be a threat to the national existence of Czechoslovakia. Nobody claimed that Czechoslovakia is racist for that reason.
If Zionists are not racists, why do they oppose the “legitimate right” of return of the Palestinian Refugees?
Palestinian advocates claim that the refugees of 1948 have a right guaranteed in international law to return to Israel. In fact, there is no such law. The Fourth Geneva Convention, often cited in this context, does not stipulate a right of return for refugees. UN Resolution 194, also cited as the basis for this “right” is a resolution of the UN General Assembly. Such resolutions are not binding in international law. No nation has the obligation to admit enemy belligerents. Moreover, Resolution 194 does not insist on a Right of Return. It says that “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so.”
The refugees were not Israeli citizens. They did not want Israeli citizenship. Beyond the dry provisions of the law, in this case admission of several million refugees would soon create an Arab majority in Israel. The people who advocate “Right of Return” also favor abolishing the Israeli Law of Return that permits Jews to immigrate to Israel freely. Israel would cease to be the national home of the Jews, and the Jewish people would lose the right to self-determination. Clearly “Right of Return” cannot be implemented in any case if it contradicts a different fundamental right that is anchored in international law.
Is the Israeli “Law of Return” Racist?
The Law of return stipulates that any Jew may come to Israel and become a citizen without undergoing naturalization. Other applicants must undergo a naturalization process. The Law of Return embodies a major purpose of the state of Israel, which is to provide a safe haven for Jews from every country and to make possible the restoration of the Jewish people. The need for a haven, foreseen as important by the founders of Zionism, assumed tragic significance during the Holocaust, when every country in the world closed its doors to Jews fleeing Nazi persecution. Abolishing the Law of Return, as anti-Zionists demand, would destroy the purpose of Israel as a national home for the Jews.
Is all criticism of Israel anti-Semitism?
Many people, including Israeli Jews, criticize the Israeli government and other governments because they disagree with specific policies. That criticism is usually not racist. The Zionist Organization of America opposes the Israeli disengagement policy, for example. That is not anti-Semitic or racist criticism. Many Israelis and others speak out against the occupation of Palestinian territory, or Israeli religious laws, or brutality of soldiers at checkpoints. That is not anti-Semitic or racist criticism. However, “criticisms” such as charges that “the Zionists” control the United States, arguments that the Talmud is the secret Jewish blueprint for taking over the world, allegations that “the Jews” instigated the war in Iraq for the benefit of Israel, and diabolical comparisons between the extermination of European Jewry in the Holocaust and Israeli treatment of Palestinians appear very often in anti-Zionist “criticisms” of Israel. They are often accompanied by excerpts from Hitler’s Mein Kampf, articles written by Holocaust – deniers and excerpts from the forged “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” These are not legitimate criticisms of Israel, but racist propaganda.