When Zionism was Officially Racist (1975-1991)


Theodor Herzl (1860-1904) – Founder of Zionism

‘…increasingly in the years after the Russian May Laws and the pogroms of 1881, Jews, too, embraced race as a basis for unity.  This was particularly true among some Zionists and freethinkers for whom religion had ceased meaningfully to explain their ties to the “folk.”  The “Jewish Question” as it was posed during the period of pogroms in the East and the Dreyfus Affair in the West generated new secular and political notions of Jewish peoplehood in response.  It was in this period, for instance, that Joseph Jacobs began his forays into Jewish race science in Europe.  And, as John Elton has amply documented, the racial individuality of the Jews as a people was of particular interest within the budding Zionist movement.  Aron Sandler’s Anthropologie und Zionismus (1904), for instance, mobilised the scientific language of a distinct racial genius in order to press the necessity of a Jewish territory where that genius could properly take root and develop.  Indeed, a much longer tradition entwined Jewish nationalism with Jewish racialism.  The proto-Zionist Moses Hess, in Rome and Jerusalem (1862), had flatly announced that “Jewish noses cannot be reformed, nor black, curly, Jewish hair be turned through baptism or combing into smooth hair.  The Jewish race is a primal one, which had reproduced itself in its integrity despite climatic influences…  The Jewish type is indestructible.”[1]

Zionism is a secular ideology premised upon science, political thought, sociology, nationalism and various notions of ‘belonging’ and ‘group identity’.  Zionism is not Judaic theology and should not be mistaken with it.  During its inception, Zionism was not always racial in emphasis, but was in many ways a legitimate response to the presence (and intensification) of anti-Semitic racism across Europe and elsewhere.  However, despite these facts, there were certain contributors to the development of Zionist thinking that definitely embraced ‘racism’, and replaced a theological definition of ‘Jewishness’ with that of a ‘racialised’ identity.  Since the UN ruling that granted Southern Palestine to Zionist Jews in 1947, it has become ever clearer to the International Community that the Zionism as practised by the modern State of Israel is ‘racially’ biased and ‘racist’ in nature. The victims of this racist Zionism are undoubtedly the Palestinian Arabs.  This fact, was for a time, recognised by the United Nation (UN).  Today, with the unquestioned support of the USA, Zionist ideologues across the world counter any accusations of ‘racism’ with the counter-allegation of ‘racism’ (in the form of anti-Semitism).  However, despite this incessant Zionist propaganda offensive, many followers of Orthodox Judaism deny the legitimacy of Zionism and work to educate both Jews and non-Jews against its racist ideology.  The True Torah Jews website states:

‘1. Zionism, by advocating a political and military end to the Jewish exile, denies the very essence of our Diaspora existence. We are in exile by Divine Decree and may emerge from exile solely via Divine Redemption. All human efforts to alter a metaphysical reality are doomed to end in failure and bloodshed. History has clearly borne out this teaching.

2. Zionism has not only denied our fundamental belief in Heavenly Redemption it has also created a pseudo-Judaism which views the essence of our identity to be a secular nationalism. Accordingly, Zionism and the Israeli state have consistently endeavored, via persuasion and coercion, to replace a Divine and Torah-centered understanding of our peoplehood with an armed materialism.’[2]

Theodor Herzl is the acknowledged founder of the secular, political ideology of ‘Zionism’ which although is directly associated with the religion of Judaism, should in fact be interpreted as separate and distinct from the teachings of Judaic theology.  The term ‘Zion’ refers to a mythical castle or fortress positioned on a hill.  In the Bible (2 Samuel 5:7) it was originally a stronghold captured by King David (the 2nd king of the Israelites).  On that hill was eventually built a Jewish temple – whilst later the same term was extended to refer to the hill, and later a synonym for the entire city of Jerusalem.  The ancient Israelites destroyed their enemies and colonised the area.  This is the self-asserting, military basis of Zionism, which has served as the basis of Israeli policy in Palestine (since 1947) against the Palestinians (who are a priori interpreted as the ‘enemy’ of Israel and treated accordingly).  This aggressive and destructive policy has no justifying basis within Judaic theology, despite the fact that ‘Zionist’ supporters continuously pursue a propaganda policy of associating ‘Zionism’ with ‘Judaic theology’, and habitually conflates the criticism of ‘Zionism’ with the criticism of ‘Judaic theology’ (falsely assuming that the former reflects the latter) – with the motivation deriving from ‘anti-Semitism’.  Of course, anti-Semitism can be motivated by irrational anti-Jewish criticism, but this is a clear manifestation of ‘racism’ against all Jews, Judaic theology, and Jewish culture, and is not necessarily the motivation behind a logical and rational criticism of ‘Zionism’.  Theodor Herzl (and many other Jewish intellectuals who contributed toward the development of secular Zionism) in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, were of the opinion that Judaic theology was no longer suitable to hold Jewish people together, or defend the Jewish communities scattered around the world.  For Zionists, the emphasis transitioned from a Biblical definition of what it was to be a ‘Jew’, into that of a non-Biblical ‘political’ definition of what it might be to be a Jew premised upon a very strong sense of ‘race’ and ‘nationality’.  In a sense, Judaic theology was by-passed by the generally ‘atheistic’ Zionists, who replaced theology with what they believed to be ‘science’.

Although not all atheistic Zionists adhered to racial models of Jewish identity, it is true to observe that the notion of a ‘racial’ identity for Jews became an ever stronger influence in the Zionist Movement.  This led to Jewish terrorist organisations being formed in Arab Palestine decades before 1947, which attacked and murdered British people, Arab people who wanted independence, Arab people who disagreed with Zionism, and Arab people who favoured the British over the Zionists.  After 1947, the modern Israeli State – heavily armed by the USA and British, immediately began an aggressive war against the Palestinian people who did not possess an Army, an Airforce or a Navy.  The Zionist Israeli military continuously attacked, killed, murdered and maimed either unarmed or lightly armed Palestinian men, women and children, whilst destroying their homes and taking their land (beyond the 1947 agreement).  All this military action is justified by the Zionists as being ‘acts of self-defence’ regardless of the obvious contradictory circumstances surrounding these operations.  In fact so appalling has been Israel’s behaviour toward the Palestinians that in 1975 there was a world-wide movement to officially do something to control the destruction.  This was achieved through the United Nations (UN).  The United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 3379, which was adopted on November 10, 1975 by a vote of 72 to 35 (with 32 abstentions), that “determine[d] that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination”.  The USSR withdrew diplomatic relations with Israel in 1952 (following an Israeli plot to kill Joseph Stalin) because the behaviour of the Israeli diplomatic staff were deliberately encouraging secular, Communist Jews in the USSR to regress to a state of religiosity and defy Soviet Law.  However, following the death of Stalin in 1953, diplomatic relations between Israel and the USSR were re-established.  However, following the murderous Israeli assault on Palestinians in 1967 (the so-called Six Day War), again falsely presented to the world as an act of ‘self-defence’, the USSR broke-off all diplomatic relations with Israel (a state of affairs that persisted until the dissolution of the USSR in 1991).  In 1991, as the USSR was falling apart, and its leftwing, Socialistic influence in the world was diminishing, Israel linked its participation in the Madrid Peace Conference with the revocation of the 1975 UN ruling.   This was achieved through the pro-Zionist lobby in the USA (at a time when the USA was leading the world in a war against Iraq) pressuring US President George W Bush to persuade the UN to annul its previous 1975 ruling.  This was done with the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 46/86, adopted on 16 December 1991, which revoked the determination in Resolution 3379, which had called Zionism a form of racism.  Many who voted in 1975 that ‘Zionism’ was a racist ideology changed their opinion in 1991 with no new evidence to the contrary being supplied (or considered) voted to repeal the 1975 resolution.  However, this 1991 ‘repealing’ was not a reversal of the original ruling (as it could not be proven that Zionist ideology was in fact not ‘racist’) but simply the artificial ‘removal’ of the official recognition that Zionism was racist.  Resolution 46/86 simply stated that ‘The General Assembly decides to revoke the determination contained in its resolution 3379 of 10 November 1975.”

The True Torah Jews website advises all supporters of Judaism in the following manner:

We seek to disassociate Jews and traditional Judaism from the Zionist ideology by:

‘1. Providing historical and supporting documentation that Zionism is totally contrary to the teachings of traditional Judaism through the words of our Rabbis, Sages, and Holy Scriptures which oppose the creation of a state called Israel.

 2. Providing historical documentation on the ideology and creation of Zionism, the supporters of Zionism and the negative impact of their actions on the Jewish people in the past hundred years, including their involvement in the Holocaust and their activities up to the present day.

3. Publicizing the efforts of traditional Jews to demonstrate their opposition to Zionism, efforts which are often ignored by the mainstream media.

4. Convincing the news media, politicians and the public to cease referring to the State of Israel as the “Jewish State” but to call it what it is: the “Zionist State”.

We also aim to reach out to our Jewish brethren who have never studied the subject of Zionism from a Torah perspective, and have only been taught the Zionist side of the story. It is our hope that all of our fellow Jews will soon open their eyes, return to Torah and reject this ideology that replaces the Jew’s age-old hope for G-d’s redemption with a false redemption and a human-initiated state.’[3]

[1] Back, Les & Solomos, John – Editors – Theories of Race and Racism – A Reader, Routledge, (2000), Page 246.

[2] True Torah Jews http://www.truetorahjews.org/mission – Our Mission – Accessed 29.4.2016.

[3] True Torah Jews http://www.truetorahjews.org/mission – Our Mission – Accessed 29.4.2016.


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