Being anti-Zionist is not the same kind of thing as being anti-homophobia. Here’s why:
Being gay does no inherent harm to anyone. Therefore, homophobia is immoral because it is against something benign. There’s really not much more to it than that. Anti-homophobia isn’t an ideology–you don’t have to subscribe to any belief system to be anti homophobic. It’s just simply utilitarian ethics in action–noticing that a great deal of harm is done when homophobia flourishes in people’s hearts, and is manifest in the policies of the state. So basically, the only belief yo have to have to be anti-homophobic is that harming lots of people is bad. You don’t actually need to know anything, or believe anything special to be anti-homophobic.
To be anti-Zionist, however, is much more complicated than this. For starters, most people don’t even remotely know what Zionism or anti Zionism are. Even most people most affected by Zionism in Israel and Palestine would have trouble coherently explaining what Zionism is. You actually need to be a professional or lay scholar of the subject to really start to understand it. And, even then, there is no consensus understanding. There are many interpretations of what historical and contemporary Zionism are. So, it is not even exactly clear what being anti-Zionist means. It’s not a very descriptive term.
Does it mean you are retroactively against the idea of a national liberation movement for the Jews of Europe in the late 19th century?
Does it mean you are against Hebrew culture. Does being anti-Zionist mean that you oppose the existence of Israeli folk dancing, Kaveret, Hagashash, Donna International, Sagol 59, and Etgar Keret?
So, the problem with anti-Zionism is that the thing it’s against, is very hard to define because Zionism is an idea–and really, a whole slue of ideas which are understood and interpreted differently by virtually everyone who uses the word.
The other problem is that it is not clear that whatever this hard to define thing is, is inherently harmful–partly because we don’t really know what it is, and party because much of what Zionism has brought into fruition (including all of the Hebrew culture things I mentioned above) are self-evidently not harmful.
Even more to the point, Zionism is controversial. As our good friend Wikipedia nicely summarizes things:” Defenders of Zionism say it is a national liberation movement for the repatriation of a dispersed socio-religious group to what they see as an abandoned homeland millennia before. Critics of Zionism see it as a colonialist or racist ideology that led to the denial of rights, dispossession and expulsion of the indigenous population of Palestine.”
Which is right? Can they both be right? If only one is right, how is the other one wrong? At the very least, these are interesting and difficult to tackle questions (and I would argue, actually impossible to resolve). None of these questions even makes sense applied to homophobia, which is just hatred towards gay people, which as we’ve already shown, is a very simple moral question.
At the end of the day, being a Zionist doesn’t make one committed to harming Palestinians. It’s not Zionism that is the root or proximate cause of the occupation, the siege, or operations like Protective Edge and Cast Lead.
Rather, it is the inability, so far, of the representatives of Israel and Palestine to agree conclusively to a lasting compromise–one which they have already reached in principle for the last thirteen years. This imperfect solution (basically some version of the Geneva Initiative) is nonetheless, much better than the status quo, and is imminently within reach.
Not coincidentally, anti-Zionism, by definition, cannot be a part of any such compromise because it is uncompromising. Yet, how can this situation be resolved if not through compromise?