Saturday, 25 August 2018

Definition of Zionism

Jeremy Corbyn has defended his statement – made in 2013 – that a group of Zionists had “no sense of irony” despite “having lived in this country for a very long time”, as he sought to quell the latest bitter row over alleged antisemitism in his party.

The Labour leader sought to clarify remarks he made at a conference in 2013, which had sparked criticism from more than a dozen MPs and led to growing pressure for an apology.

In a statement issued on Friday night, Corbyn said he had used the term Zionist “in the accurate political sense and not as a euphemism for Jewish people”.

Thus the opening of a Guardian report yesterday. The organ provides a link to a video clip from the speech in question, but this is of little help without the text of the speech Corbyn refers to in turn.

The definition of modern Zionism comes from a conference held in Basle in 1897. Note that there is no reference to religion; the emphasis is on the economic and the political.

Zionism seeks to establish a home for the Jewish people in Eretz­Israel secured under public law. The Congress contemplates the following means to the attainment of this end:
1. The promotion by appropriate means of the settlement in Eretz-Israel of Jewish farmers, artisans, and manufacturers. 
2. The organization and uniting of the whole of Jewry by means of appropriate institutions, both local and international, in accordance with the laws of each country.
3. The strengthening and fostering of Jewish national sentiment and national consciousness.
4. Preparatory steps toward obtaining the consent of governments, where necessary, in order to reach the goals of Zionism.

I find it difficult to believe that any group of Jews lacked a sense of irony, from whatever quarter it came, whether Zionist or not.

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