Tony Greenstein | 12 May 2016 | Post Views:

Guardian Letter from 88 Jews Rejects Chief Rabbi’s
Claim That Zionism is Integral to Judaism

The Guardian today carried a
letter from the Free Speech on Israel group containing the signatures of 88 Jews.  The letter was originally sent to The
Telegraph in response to a letter by the Chief Rabbi Ken Livingstone and the hard Left are spreading the insidious
virus of anti-Semitism
which asserted that claims
that Zionism is a:
 ‘political; that it is expansionist,
colonialist and imperialist’
movement  are ‘a fiction.’  According to Mirvis, Zionism is apparently ‘a belief in the right
to Jewish self-determination in a land that has been at the centre of the
Jewish world for more than 3,000 years. One can no more separate it from
Judaism than separate the City of London from Great Britain.’

I guess that when your
whole life is based on a fictional character called god, writing fiction comes
easy.  Jewish life in the past 3,000
years is not one seamless tapestry.  Even
at the time of the Roman occupation of Palestine in 63 BC the majority of Palestine’s
Hebrews had emigrated to the Hellenised cities of the Mediterranean.  If there was a centre of Jewish life it was
in Vilna not Jerusalem.  Palestine was
the last place that Jews wanted to go. 
Of the 2.5 million+ Jews who emigrated from the Russian Pale of
Settlement from the mid 19th century until 1914, about 98% went to
the United States and Britain.  Palestine
was the last place Jews wanted to go.
The Daily Torygraph faithful to its
traditions of free and open debate refused to take a reply, hence why we wrote
to the Guardian referring to its coverage of Mirvis’s absurd letter.  It would be interesting to see how Mirvis
explains the opposition of Chief Rabbi Hermann Adler to Zionism.  Writing in the English Review in 1878 responded to the question ‘what was ‘the
political bearing of Judaism?’  Adler
replied that ‘Judaism has no political bearing whatever.’
‘Ever since the conquest of Palestine by the
Romans we have ceased to be a body politic. 
We are citizens of the country in which we dwell.  We are simply Englishmen or Frenchmen or Germans,
as the case may be, certainly holding particular theological tenets and practising
special religious ordinances; but we stand in the same relation to our
countrymen as any other religious sect, having the same stake in the national
welfare and the same claim on the privileges and duties of the citizens.’ [Leonard
Stein, The Balfour Declaration, 1961, London]

Posted in

Tony Greenstein

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.