Washington Times Interview with Pamela Geller on Zionism Part I


I did an interview with The Washington Times concerning Zionism. It is going to run in four parts. Today part one was published. I must say that the anti-zionist views expressed by political
columnist Allan C. Brownfeld in the article best reflect the repugnant and essentially anti-Jewish views held by the "reform" movement. But certainly explains the vicious attacks on me by certain  Reform "rabbis." 

I do not know any Jews that share his sentiments.

Israel geller
Does Zionism help or hurt Jews in the Diaspora? Joseph Cotto, Washington Times,  October 2, 2013  

One of the most controversial issues facing the international community is Zionism.

These days, the word gets thrown around quite often, almost
always by those who have strong opinions on the matter. Stripping away
any political agendas, Zionism is the philosophy of building and
supporting a Jewish state. While certain religions such as Roman
Catholicism have a nation to call their own, Zionism takes the matter to
an entirely different level.

It calls for Israel to be the home of every Jew, and extends
from a strictly theological perspective to the realm of culture and
ethnicity. With all of the religious, ethnic, and nationalistic
differences among Jews, such a thing generates a treasure trove of

In America, Zionism was opposed by the majority-Reform
Jewish community for generations. This has changed over the last few
decades, though.

“For Reform Jews, the idea of Zionism contradicted almost
completely their belief in a universal Judaism,” explains political
columnist Allan C. Brownfeld. “The first Reform prayer book eliminated
references to Jews being in exile and to a Messiah who would
miraculously restore Jews throughout the world to the historic land of
Israel and who would rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem.  The prayer book
eliminated all prayers for a return to Zion.”

Brownfeld is the publications editor at the American Council
for Judaism, one of our country’s longstanding Jewish-interest
political groups. He says that the Council “opposes the Zionist
philosophy of Jewish nationalism which holds that Israel is the
‘homeland’ of all Jews and  that Jews living outside of Israel are in

“It is the Council’s view, which we believe represents the
thinking of the majority of American Jews, that Judaism is a religion of
universal values, not a nationality.  American Jews are American by
nationality and Jews by religion, just as other Americans are Catholic,
Protestant or Muslim.

“The Council has been advocating this view for more than 70
years–but this belief is much older than that.  In 1841, at the
dedication ceremonies of Temple Beth Elohim in Charleston, South
Carolina, Rabbi Gustav Poznanski declared:  ‘This country is our
Palestine, this city our Jerusalem, this house of God our temple.’”

Of course, a perspective like this has its counterpoints.

“Zionism is only a controversial issue because its opponents
have made it so,” states Pamela Geller, one of America’s most outspoken
Jewish political pundits. “The Jews have a historical claim to the land
of Israel. Contrary to myth, they began returning long before the
Holocaust, bought the land fair and square, and were determined to live
in peace with their neighbors. The Arab leaders called on the Arabs to
leave the area in 1948, thinking they would return in peace when Israel
was annihilated. They were wrong. 

“After centuries of persecution, subjugation and oppression,
the intenrational mandate of the White Paper and San Remo a Jewish
homeland is an absolute right, a human right. 

“[According to the Council on Foreign Relations,] (t)he San
Remo Resolution ‘agreement between post-World War I allied powers
(Britain, France, Italy, Japan) was adopted on April 25, 1920 during the
San Remo Conference. The Mandate for Palestine was based on this
resolution; it incorporated the 1917 Balfour Declaration and the
Covenant of the League of Nation’s Article 22. Britain was charged with
establishing a ‘national home for the Jewish people.’’ 

“Nonetheless, antisemites and their useful idiots viciously
fight this still, almost a hundred years later. There are scores of
Muslim countries – scores. Why is that sanctioned, but not one tiny
Jewish state?”

Some say that by replacing Jewish religious philosophy with a
nationalistic focus on Israel, diaspora Jews will not fully partake in
the societies where they were born. Is this true? 

“It is important to remember that Zionism is a rather recent
phenomenon in Jewish life.  Prior to the mid-20th century, the
overwhelming majority of Jews rejected Zionism,” Brownfeld tells. 

He later says that “American Jews, in the very fabric of
their lives, reject the Zionist philosophy which some in the organized
Jewish community proclaim in their name. Jews have been an integral part
of America from its earliest days, and never suffered the disabilities
their ancestors endured in Europe….When George Washington led an
expedition in 1754 to warn the French away from the Falls of Ohio, two
Jews, Michael Franks and Jacob Myers, accompanied him.

“Thomas Jefferson credited a Jew, Dr, John de Sequeyra, with
introducing the custom of eating tomatoes, which previously had been
grown only as ornamental plants. Jews have been engaged in every event
in American history, from Valley Forge to the Alamo to Normandy.

“The Zionist narrative of Jewish history, largely crafted in
Eastern Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries exhibited no
knowledge or understanding of the Jewish experience in America.  

“As ideas of Jewish nationalism began to emerge in Europe,
the leader of American Reform Judaism, Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, speaking
of Theodor Herzl and the nascent movement, declared:  ‘We denounce the
whole question of a Jewish state as foreign to the spirit of the modern
Jew in this land, who looks upon America as his Palestine and whose
interests are centered here.’ 

“Since most American Jews reject the Zionist view of Jewish
nationalism, they are, and will remain, full participants in every
aspect of American society.”

Geller’s opinion is different for the most part, yet bears
one striking similarity: “Why ‘replace’? Why are they mutually
exclusive? This would only be true if the values of Jewish religious
philosophy were incompatible with those of the larger society. This has
never been true in the U.S., where Jews have participated in the life of
the nation from the beginning.”


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