Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Goal of Zionism

In a speech on Tuesday to the Jewish Agency General Assembly currently meeting in Jerusalem, PM Sharon quoted the Zionist Revisionist leader (and ideological father of the Likud) Ze'ev Jabotinsky in defining the purpose of Zionism:

"Ze'ev Jabotinsky, defined the purpose of Zionism in his article "Majority". And I quote, 'The creation of a Jewish majority was, is and always will be the primary goal of Zionism; of all Zionism.' End of quote.

Since the publication of the article in 1923, we have succeeded in the mission to create a Jewish majority in the State of Israel. However, the existence of this majority is still not assured. Today, the goal of Zionism is to actively and determinedly ensure the Jewish majority in the State of Israel".

There is nothing new in these statements by both Jabotinsky and Sharon, and most on both sides of the political spectrum would agree with this statement. Yet, I am very troubled by this definition of Zionism.

Is Zionism only about creating a state in Israel that has a Jewish majority where we can live in peace and be a "normal" people and country, like everyone else in the world?

Is there nothing greater to Zionism and the purpose of the Jewish People returning to their ancient and eternal Homeland than the simple goal of being a majority?

The question that is often neglected when discussing the purpose of Zionism, is what exactly do we want to accomplish with a Jewish majority here?

What type of state do we hope to create, exactly? One where we strive to mimic every aspect of Western culture, or perhaps a state that will serve as one of the central foundations to creating a uniquely Jewish society that will serve a beacon of light and truth to all the nations of the world, and will serve to sanctify the name of Hashem?

In my eyes, a Jewish majority can't be the goal or purpose of Zionism, rather it can only serve as a means to a greater end... The sooner that the Jewish People collectively begin to focus on how best to achieve our ultimate goal will be able to truly fulfill the goal and mission of Zionism.


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