'Zionism Unsettled' is Reductive and Offensive

February 19th, 2014

We are deeply offended by the Israel Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) of the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s recent publication of “Zionism Unsettled.”

Rather than promote an understanding of Zionism, as one would expect from a text purporting to be a study guide on the subject, this document is an outright attack on the political movement for the establishment and support of a national home for the Jewish people within the land of Israel. It offensively intimates that Zionism is racist, pathological and the very root of the conflict in the region.

One has to question the IPMN's motives in publishing this "resource". Surely, they had no intention of encouraging thoughtful reflection on Zionism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or Jewish perspectives on Israel. Instead, reductive and divisive thinking of this kind exacerbates polarization and intolerance, both of which are not in short supply in this conflict.

The Jewish people have the right to a national home of their own in Israel, just as Palestinians too must have a national home of their own, living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security. A just approach to this conflict recognizes the national aspirations of both peoples. An approach that belittles or demeans Jews, Israelis or Palestinians makes no contribution to ending this conflict.