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Liz Rose meets two Jewish teens who feel no angst about coming out as anti-Zionist in articles in their Evanston high school newspaper. They have the support of their parents. But when Rose was becoming an anti-Zionist, her community was opposed. “Judaism and Zionism are totally synonymous!” my mother told her many times, when she tried to talk about the shift she was going through. 

A shuttered Palestinian shop in Hebron closed down by the Israeli military that was vandalized with a Star of David, an ancient Jewish symbol adopted by the Israeli state as a national symbol. (Photo: Lauren Surface)

How can the ethical precepts of Judaism be reconciled with Zionism? Carolyn L. Karcher has wrestled with this question for years, and the result is her new book “Reclaiming Judaism from Zionism: Stories of Personal Transformation” a collection meant to initiate difficult conversations within Jewish families and communities.

Joe Biden has bragged of raising money from the Israel lobby group AIPAC, declared “Israel…the single greatest strength America has in the Middle East,” professed, “I’m a Zionist,” and in 2014 said he had told Netanyahu, “I love you. Read an overview of Biden’s remarks on Jews and Israel, including his belief that efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state, or even to protest the 2014 Gaza onslaught, are anti-Semitic.

Liberal Zionists discuss Israeli election, on April 10. From left to right, Yael Patir of J Street Israel, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami, and Israeli journalist/pollster Dahlia Scheindlin.

The Jewish left in Israel “received the fewest votes that it’s ever received and shows real signs of potentially going extinct,” says Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street. While other liberal Zionists call for leadership to build a liberal partnership with Palestinian voters. There is only one way to do so. Liberal Zionists must drop the Zionism, which is obnoxious to Palestinians, based on 100 years of exposure to the ideology.

Fania Oz-Salzberger at her father's memorial in Washington, March 31. Temple Sinai, Washington. Photo taken from J Street's twitter feed.

The late Israeli author Amos Oz thought that Palestinians who wanted to return to the homes their grandparents were forced to flee in Israel suffered from a disease called “Reconstritis,” as did settlers who sought a biblical transformation of the West Bank. At a Washington memorial service for the author, his daughter Fania Oz-Salzberger cited the malady in extolling Zionism as a force that saved millions of Jewish lives.