The civil rights movement of the Jewish People

To deny Zionism is to deny Jewish People their right to exist

durban I zionism is racism 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
durban I zionism is racism 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Zionism is the civil rights movement of the Jewish People. It is the answered prayer to 2,000 years of ceaseless persecution at the hands of unpredictable nations and religions that abandoned their own moral precepts in the pursuit of dubious political objectives.
For an individual or institution to claim that they respect and tolerate Jews and that they only deny Jews the right to proclaim Zionism as their reason for existence, is like telling a black person, "You are my equal and friend, but please do not mention the March on Birmingham or Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks."
Zionism is our march to the death camp at Auschwitz; it is our fight for an equal place on the bus of human history.
And the State of Israel is our promised land of freedom and equality on earth.We treasure Zionism for: the power that it holds to our people after the Holocaust; its vision of redemption; its philosophy of empowerment; its place as a bright candle which leads Jews from all corners of the earth with a vision of self-determination and self-renewal to their home; and its miracle as an idea that was brought to fruition through the sacrifice and struggle of the brave Israeli people.
We also reflect on how Zionism, distorted and vilified by one of the most sordid disinformation campaigns in history, became a detested monster, a refugee of a word, and a pariah of an idea.  This is one of the most sordid instances in the long, cruel campaign to marginalize and ultimately, destroy the Jewish people.
Let us, then, be perfectly frank about one thing: To vilify, suppress or outlaw Zionism for any reason, is to wish no less than murderous extinction upon every Jewish man, woman and child in the world today.
It is to refute our entire history, to deny us the memory of our long march out of bondage into equality and dignity. It is to assert exile and massacre as the only fate befitting a Jew.
If ignorance does not exempt one from the law, then ignorance of the consequences of libeling, marginalizing or censoring Zionism, regardless how seemingly innocuous, does not exempt anyone from the charge of helping to create a world without Israel and fostering genocide against the Jewish people. For no less than genocide awaits our people should the present campaign against Zionism succeed.
Let us affirm our moral, spiritual, cultural and political rights to proclaim our Zionism in any manner that we choose. Let us condemn, forcefully and completely, the stance of anti-Zionism for what it so blatantly is: a human rights violation and euphemistic mask behind which lurks the age-old nightmare of anti-Semitism.

The writer has had articles published in Haaretz, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle and written several books, including Jew Boy, Matches and a new memoir, Drunken Angel.