By Hans Stehling | Global Research
Judaism is one of the world’s oldest and most respected religious faiths, going back probably more than three thousand years. It constitutes, however, less than 0.2% of the global population, a number between 14 and 15 million, which equates to about twice the current population of modern-day Israel.
Political Zionism, on the other hand, is a nineteenth century construct of a powerful political movement that seeks to expand the state of Israel by expropriating all the land between the eastern Mediterranean and the far bank of the River Jordan, by force if necessary.
Astonishingly, the eventual (although unrealistic) aim of the extremist Zionist Movement is the so-called ‘Promised Land’ of the Biblical story i.e. to gain control over a large swathe of the Middle East that would include parts of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iraq plus the whole of Lebanon and a small part of southern Turkey. i.e. a land mass that equates to multiple times the area of that section of former Palestine that was partitioned by the United Nations in 1948.
This expansionist agenda is one that was championed by Benzion Netanyahu, the father of the current Israeli Prime Minister who was an extreme Right-wing Zionist and a disciple of Ze’ev Jabotinsky – a Russian Jewish Revisionist Zionist leader who died in 1940. Born in Odessa in 1880 as Vladimir Yevgenyevich Zhabotinsky, he became leader of the Right-wing Zionists after the death of Theodor Herzl, in 1904, and was the founder of the Revisionist Movement. He had an ambivalent relationship with the British Government that held the UN mandate over the Palestinian territory.
In recent years, due to the influence of Binyamin Netanyahu, Right-wing revisionist Zionism has gained traction within Israel’s Likud Party to the point now whereby the original ideals of Israel’s founding father and first Prime Minister, David ben Gurion, have all but been buried in the agenda to illegally populate the Palestinian West Bank and Arab East Jerusalem with Zionist settlers. There are now more than 600,000 such illegal settlers in the Occupied Territories in a deliberate attempt to abort any possibility of a Palestinian state as required by the United Nations.
This then is the background of the Jewish faith at odds with the expansionist demands of secular Political Zionism whose agenda is to build Israel into the hegemon of the Middle East, controlling trade and the flow of people, oil and goods by the military might of an American-armed and funded, IDF.
This military and political agenda has all but eclipsed the ethics, ideals and demands of the Jewish faith. And that is a complete tragedy that is exacerbated by the position being so misunderstood, not least by the average Jewish student or businessman living in the Diaspora who has no interest whatsoever in the expansionist agenda of a nuclear-armed Israel and the political ambitions of revisionist Zionism, as personified by the Netanyahu family and Likud.
The priorities of Jewish communities, in the Diaspora, centre on a safe family life in which children can be educated and schooled to treat others of all ethnicities and backgrounds, with respect and tolerance and to expect the same for themselves. They have ‘no truck’ with nuclear-armed aggression or the militaristic agenda of political Zionism and its occupation of foreign lands.