Not all anti-Zionists are alike
Regarding “History and Zionism” by Allen C. Brownfield (Letters, Aug. 4):
Even the strongest opponents of modern Zionism, such as the Satmar Chasidim, acknowledge that ancient Israel was given to the Hebrews by God. While these anti-Zionists pray, frequently and fervently, for God to bring the Jewish people home to Zion, they object to modern Israel’s secular nature. That objection is shared by some Charedim who nonetheless live in Israel and contribute to its well-being.
On the other hand, there are anti-Zionists who hold Israel to a standard different from that used to evaluate other nations or who deny that Jews have any connection to Jerusalem and the land surrounding it. Such people are correctly labeled antisemitic.
Israel is not a theory
“Anti-Zionism” based on philosophical objections to all nationalisms, while objectionable, is not antisemitic. The percentage of “anti-Zionists” falling into that category, however, is infinitesimal. To deny Jews, among all the peoples on earth, the right to sovereignty in their historic homeland, though, absolutely falls within the International Holocaust Memorial Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.
Israel is no longer just a theoretical construct, but an enormous, vibrant success, even as it continues to face massive security threats. Half of world Jewry now lives there. Its fate should thus deeply concern all Jews. As Israel goes, so go we all.
RICHARD D. WILKINS
Zionism is thousands of years old
Allen C. Brownfield confuses, as many other Jews have, the directional tweek that Theodor Herzl gave to Zionism. Zionism is the singular foundational narrative of the Jewish Bible: The Jewish people’s return to Zion — what today is Israel — is the only foundational narrative that the Jewish people have. It is why for the last 2,000 years Jews at the Passover seder invoke “Next Year in Jerusalem.” An attack on Zionism is ultimately an attack on this singular foundational narrative of the Jewish Bible that the Jewish people have worshiped for thousands of years. It is hard to imagine anything more antisemitic.
An inextricable link
Contrary to Mr. Brownfield, Zion has always been inextricably linked to Judaism. Jewish prayer has always been directed toward Jerusalem. Jewish religious texts point to a relationship between Jews and Zion. Jewish faith without that relationship is a new creation by mostly secular Jews to redefine Judaism. Not living in Israel does not make one an anti-Zionist. Anti-Zionists oppose Israel. Anti-Zionism is antisemitism because it singles out Israel and Jews for criticism.
Who’s an Israeli athelete?
Regarding “Joc Pederson to play for Team Israel in the 2023 World Baseball Classic” (The Scene, July 28):
I was fascinated to learn that a majority of players for Team Israel in the 2023 World Baseball Classic are not Israeli; they’re Americans! Talk about fraud! What’s next? Having American Jews play for Israel’s hockey teams and ice skating teams in the Olympics?
Needs more nuance
Regarding “MoCo antisemitism resolution on hold for now” (Aug. 4):
While as the ADL’s Meredith Weisel stated that the definition of antisemitism “can be a little bit nuanced,” the response by CAIR accusing Israel of “apartheid” was certainly not. The sooner our distinguished members of the Montgomery County Council pass this resolution, the better.
I liked and appreciated most of the letters in this week’s online WJW, especially those by Toby Block, Richard Wilkins, Richard Sherman, and Melvin Farber that prove beyond a doubt that Zionism is an integral and fundamental part of Judaism (the Jewish religion).
However, I did not check the one “like” icon that applies to all the letters. Since, in my opinion, your “letters” section is such an instructive and valuable part of the WJW, I hope that in the future you will include individual “like” icons for each letter so that readers can discriminate between letters they like and those they find lacking.