The PCUSA’s Israel Palestine Mission Network, or IPMN (also known as the Society Of Gentiles Gung-ho for the Interment and Elimination of the State [of Israel], or SOGGIES) is at it again. In relentless pursuit of its mission–to convince Jews that the PCUSA is a harbor for unhinged anti-Semites–the chairman of the “education committee” of SOGGIES, Walter Davis of San Francisco Theological Seminary, writes the New York Times:
From the beginning, political Zionism carried seeds of its own destruction. Religious Zionism merely calls attention to the tragic flaw in both ideologies: the conviction that Jews and non-Jews can never live together in peace. Religious Zionism projects this belief into the divine will, thereby sacralizing the mission of the Zionist state.
Don’t you just love it when Gentiles tell Jews what they believe? The Jewish Virtual Library says this of religious Zionism: “Based on a fusion of Jewish religion and nationhood, it aims to restore not only Jewish political freedom but also Jewish religion in the light of the Torah and its commandments. For Religious Zionism, Judaism based on the commandments is a sine qua non for Jewish national life in the homeland.” While there is a minority of religious Zionists (who are themselves a minority of the Jewish population of Israel) that reject co-existence with non-Jews, they have been increasingly rejected by both secular and most religious Zionists. Strong majorities of both secular and religious Zionists want very much to live at peace with non-Jews in and outside of Israel, and will gladly do so when that desire is reciprocated.
Israel’s leaders have demonstrated this conviction by ongoing policies of “transfer.” As Ben Gurion put it in 1937, “The Arabs will have to go, but one needs an opportune moment for making it happen, such as a war.”
This quote is a fabrication that has been peddled by anti-Israel journalists such as Johan Hari, and has been debunked by historians Benny Morris and Efraim Karsh. And there is no “ongoing polic[y] of transfer.”
Israel already operates a “separate and unequal” system, which Prof. Taub denies. The only question now is whether Israel will reinforce its system of apartheid cum ethnic cleansing, or develop a democracy for all the inhabitants of historic Palestine. Since the first option is an untenable long-term solution, both choices mean the end of Zionism as a state ideology.
If Israel is practicing “ethnic cleansing,” it is absolutely incompetent at it. Palestinians account for about 20% of Israel’s population, and there are millions more on the West Bank and in Gaza, where the populations are growing. But of course Israel doesn’t practice ethnic cleansing, or apartheid, except in the far left fever swamp imaginings of Davis and his ilk.
Zionism is the belief that, in a hostile world, Jews need a homeland if only for their own self-preservation not just culturally or religiously but even physically, a belief that has been validated countless times in the last century. But to SOGGIES–which, speaking of apartheid, has never uttered a peep about the absolute prohibition on non-Muslims so much as setting foot in Mecca, or the forced expulsions of hundreds of thousands of Jews from predominantly Muslim lands since the end of World War II–the notion of a Jewish state is as abhorrent as the idea that Jews should be able to defend themselves against those who would slaughter them wholesale.
And don’t forget, PCUSAers–this stuff is going on in your name. That letter to the Times was signed:
Rev. Dr. Walter T. Davis
Chair, Education Committee of the Israel Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.);
Professor Emeritus, San Francisco Theological Seminary