The following is a response to the profile of Sivan Fridman that we posted yesterday. We will be posting interviews all week with Jewish Israelis discussing their connection to the idea of Zionism in the hope of sparking a conversation over the what Zionism means today.
I have to admit that I was agitated after reading Mya Guarnieri’s profile of Zionist Sivan Fridman. I understand that what remains of the left in Israel desperately needs our support. And I believe that people like Ms. Fridman may comprise the new anti-Zionist left in Israel in the future. But I can’t help but recoil when I read about the ‘Zionist’ experience and ‘what it means to me as a Jew.’ To be fair to Ms. Fridman, I will never have to make the difficult decisions that she will. I will never have to forcefully disavow the lies of my forefathers, their supremacist ideology, and their legacy of ethnic cleansing and racial purity. I do not know whether I would have the courage to do so; I am grateful for having been born on the right side of history.
That said Ms. Fridman and people like her must start asking the pertinent questions, not about identity, but about morality. Is it right that my state exists solely because of ethnic cleansing? Is it right for me to continue live in a state where non-Jews are 3/5ths a person? Does the Holocaust excuse the ‘abandonment’ of my avocados? And what happened to those ‘abandoned’ people and what is my state doing to them today? What behavior am I willing to engage in to preserve my racial supremacy in my state?
These are the questions of Zionism. Far from defining Zionism ‘from a personal place’, please, back into the definition. The Zionist state murders and dispossesses for the preservation of racial purity – in pursuit of Jewish dominance in Palestine. What does Zionism mean? How is any reasonably good person not an anti-Zionist?
I hope Ms. Fridman and others will forgive my tone here. Again, I don’t underestimate the magnitude of the personal struggle that lies ahead of you. But I am impatient to have you join our struggle for equal rights in Palestine/Israel.
Ahmed Moor is a 25-year-old Palestinian-American from the Rafah refugee camp. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he now lives in Beirut.