Zionism

My favorite expositor of Christianity and one of my favorite users and expositors of of the English language, C.S. Lewis, wrote,

“As long as gentleman has a clear meaning, it is enough to say that So-and-so is a gentleman. When we begin saying that he is a ‘real gentleman’ or ‘a true gentleman’ or ‘a gentleman in the truest sense’ we may be sure that the word has not long to live… . The vocabulary of flattery and insult is continually enlarged at the expense of the vocabulary of definition. As old horses go to the knacker’s yard, or old ships to the breakers, so words in their last decay go to swell the enormous list of synonyms for good and bad.”

I recently followed a link to reasonable laundry-list of the evils of Communism, which someone had re-packaged with “Zionism” added to the title.

I think most everyone knows what “Communist” means: a system of social organization where the means of production are controlled by the collective, usually a State apparatus. This is a very basic and simplistic description of a social system and leaves multitudinous details of implementation unaddressed, but it has a clear and unambiguous meaning. The fact that some think that this is a good
idea, and some do not, has nothing to do with the meaning of the word, thus its use facilitates communication.

“Zionist” is used to mean a lot of different things. Originally I believe Zion is the name of a hill, on which the city of Jerusalem is built. Apparently there is an African animist cult that goes by that name. But its clearest and most useful meaning has for a century or two been, “referring to the
establishment of a Jewish geographic homeland, usually nominally or approximately coextensive with the land given by God to Abraham and his descendants; or supporting or favoring such establishment.” This often, but not always, translates to support for the current political State of Israel.

Use of the word to mean vaguely “wicked” or “Globalist” seems to me unhelpful as well as anhistorical, and also may tend to associate the user with genocidal and totalitarian ideologues, including Hitler and Stalin and their philosophical heirs. I think a resort to history is in order.

The Jews, however broadly or narrowly you define them, have always been a troubled people. Scripturalists would say that this is because they have chronically displayed their fallen human nature by failure in devotion to the God Who chose them particularly for Himself. In the human sense, they have brought much of this on themselves: who will happily put up with someone who says that God
chose him and not you….especially if you fear it may be true?

The Imperial Romans, the Globalists of their day, found the Jews’ intransigent commitment to worship God and not the Emperor, as well as their insistence on their own customs and land tenure, intolerable, and terminated their political identity and geographically dispersed many of them, circa
70AD. Not only did Jews have a bad taste in Rome’s mouth, but the early Christians, whose Messiah was a Jew and who took over the Jewish Scriptures and much of their law and philosophy, were not early favorites of Rome, and took pains to emphasize their non-Jewishness because they faced their own unique budget of Roman discrimination and oppression, to which they were understandably reluctant to add that of the Jews.

The putative ascendance of Jewish identity in Khazaria notwithstanding, Jews carried this opprobrium with them almost wherever they went. If you think you are the Chosen of God, that everyone around you is vaguely unclean, and feel yourself commanded to keep distinctive and non-intuitive dietary and sartorial customs, it is hard to mix and make friends. Many Christians were taught
to believe the libel that the Jews as a whole had rejected, and connived at the execution of, Jesus, when in fact it was a strictly Roman legal process, and abetted only among the Jews by the politicized Temple faction, that resented Jesus’ preaching against their institutional corruption, and happily sacrificed
Whom they considered a trouble maker, as a peace-offering to their equally corrupt Roman overlords.

So Jews as immigrants in much of Europe found themselves widely barred both from owning land, and from membership in craft and trade guilds. Having to make a living somehow, many turned to buying-and selling, and to banking in one form or another. Their veneration of Scripture and study thereof created a robust tradition of literacy, which in those largely illiterate days gave them a natural
advantage in occupations where record-keeping was essential.

Then as now, trading was often more lucrative than manufacture, and banking a hothouse for corruption, neither of which earned the Jews in these occupations any love. Rulers all over Europe borrowed money from Jewish (and other) bankers to finance their wars and other luxuries, and had motive to fan the flames of antiSemitism to avoid blame when they regularly repudiated the loans and
imprisoned or expelled their lenders. Further, land ownership in Mediaeval Europe was concentrated in an often absent aristocracy, which also turned to the landless but literate and numerate Jews for land-administrators and rent-collectors. These professions also breed corruption in all who practice them, but even the honest rent-collector whose face is known to the tenant, receives any hate that may properly belong to a grasping but distant and faceless landlord.

Modern Zionism seems to have begun in the 1800s among Jews who rejected their own rejection by the communities around them, and wanted a home-land of their own. Many of them also rejected the wealth and the decadent urban culture in which they had become enmeshed. After WWI, the collapse of empires, and British guilt about its historical treatment of its Jews, combined to carve
out a physical site, in their Biblical homeland, for this millennium-old aspiration to take root. The Zionist dream was the opposite of Globalist, centering on one home-land for one people, and the opposite of financial, as most of its adherents dreamed only of farming and feeding their families on a small plot of their own or in a small, voluntary collective.

Were, and are there, still, people of Jewish extraction who are part of global financial cabals, who bleed the world by financing war and empire (including that of the Communists)? Of course. Are they the majority, or even a large minority among Jews? No more than they are among the Chinamen, Catholics or Protestants who have likewise deserted their ancestral gods for Mammon.

Jews perhaps slightly more than most humans, and perhaps because of their history of persecution, seem susceptible to a kind of Stockholm Syndrome, where they attach themselves to power, or to an irrational dream of safety. This may account for the number of Jews buying the Communist lie in the early 20th century, or even now after the sometimes iconoclastic Communist countries have eagerly perpetuated their preCommunist traditions by persecuting them. This may also account for the large number of Jews falling for the gun-control lie, even though their very own history, going back to Bible times when the Philistines prevented them from having weapons, clearly teaches the deadly folly of helplessness, and Jews also founded the most uncompromising and philosophically literate anti-gun-control organization in the United States, “Jews for the Protection of Firearms Ownership” (JPFO).

So, I do not believe there is any credible causal, historical, temperamental, or statistical association between Jewishness per se, or Zionism, and globalist/communist/totalitarian/satanic conspiracies, or similar vile philosophies by any other name. To associate the terms, or to infer or allege any such association appears to me ignorant, irrelevant, and destructive of clear thought and communication at best; divisive, and complicit with oppression and genocide at worst.

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