Israel is a diverse and democratic state, although the BDS movement attempts to distort this by redefining our vocabulary. We need to work to restore the corrent meaning to our words and make our intentions clear.
Definitions: Reclaiming Terminology
- Zionism: A National Liberation Movement fighting for self-determination for the Jewish people, a historically oppressed minority . It is based on the principle that all peoples should have a right to sovereignty in their historic homeland. Zionism is the antithesis of racism.
- A Just Peace: Justice can only come in a “Two States for Two Peoples” paradigm. Movements like BDS that advocate the One State solution and/or the “Right of Return” are inherently unjust because they deny the Jewish people the fundamental right to self-determination that is documented in the United Nations Charter.
- A Jewish State: A state for the Jewish people, not some sort of Jewish theocracy. Many anti-Israel voices claim that Israel is an anachronism because it is a religious state. They fail to note that Jews are a national group just like the Poles, Greeks, or Turks, and that Israel is a secular democracy led by elected officials.
And a general note on terminology…
The past should not determine the future: Too many Israeli advocates turn to the past for justification for present events or strategies. The problem is, thats not what the college-age community wants to hear. They want clear, definitive answers about tomorrow, not a history lesson about today. Two points to consider:
- If you must return to the past, quickly transition into an explanation of what can happen next month, next year, and for the next generation.
- How will the future be better as a result of the policies and the changes you are advocating today?