Personally I have no problem with the idea of self determination for any ethnic or religious group, especially one that has suffered such historical persecution as Jewish people. But the problem is that a Zionist, Jewish state requires a Jewish population majority, and the only ways I can see that a Jewish population majority in Israel/Palestine was possible, was via mass immigration and removal of a majority of the non Jewish population that were formerly the majority. Perhaps I'm not seeing something? Was there a possible alternative? A way in which Zionism's goals could be achieved and Israel established as a Jewish majority, democratic state without removal/transfer of non Jews?

If it was possible to create the Israeli state without removal of the non-Jewish population, then Zionism would not inherently be racist, though I would argue its implementation is.

Whereas if the only means of creating the Israeli state was via removal of the non Jewish population, then Zionism would be an idea that has racism basically baked in.

What exactly was the plan regarding the Muslim and Christian population, and how to create a Jewish population majority? Was there an attempt to create the Israeli state without removal of the non Jewish population?

  • I would note that Zionism is a rather multifaceted concept (rather like jihad, or Hell, or agape). For some people, it means a Jewish Israel (which, as I'm going to argue, is not moral). For others, it simply means a Jewish immigration to Israel (which, I think is). If you've never encountered these and other interpretations of Zionism, perhaps you haven't spoken with a lot of liberal American Jews. – Obie 2.0 Sep 26 '18 at 14:33
  • See, here's the problem. By a strict definition, the desire for a Jewish (or in fact any other ethnic or religious homeland) does tend to be inherently discriminatory, prejudiced, and unethical. Even you've missed that this doesn't depend on removal of anyone. How do you maintain such a a place without trying to keep out immigrants on the basis of their nationality? Or with unrestricted immigration, without discriminatory laws? You can't. Any attempt at an ethnostate is inherently flawed. And that's before even talking about all the atrocities that Israel has visited upon Palestine. But... – Obie 2.0 Sep 26 '18 at 14:38
  • But unfortunately, the people mentioning this in Israel's case tend to be people with certain opinions. People who minimize anti-Semitism, who don't recognize it, and dismiss efforts to recognize it as infringing on freedom of speech. People who refer to the media or supporters of Israeli policy as agents, as engaged in collusion. People who talk about Israeli conspiracies. People who say Jews have lost sympathy for the Holocaust, and that this is understandable. People who will give Putin the benefit of the doubt because of their suspicion of the US. That kind of thing. People like, well.... – Obie 2.0 Sep 26 '18 at 14:42
  • Any media outlet that blatantly and brazenly propagates Israeli (or an foreign state) propaganda is acting as an agent of the Israeli state. I don't think it is anti-Semitic to suggest that there are Israeli agents in America and the UK. The Al Jazeera documentary the Lobby literally exposed it on video in the UK The America documentary has been buried so I can only assume they have something similar, it's a safe and logical assumption to make. I'm not giving Putin the benefit of the doubt because I trust him or think his motives are good or that he's an honest actor. I'm giving him the – Icarian Sep 27 '18 at 1:06
  • benefit of the doubt because I do not believe that the Skrippal poisoining served Russia's interests, the incident seemed extremely sloppy and amateurish for GRU, and the timing was pretty terrible, right before Russia was set to host the world cup. I know that there are almost certainly Russian agents, and Chinese agents in Washington too. But RT journalists have all been forced to register as foreign agents in the US. Russia is being held to a higher standard than Israel, just as it was with the annexation of Crimea. – Icarian Sep 27 '18 at 1:09

It really depends on how far you want to go down the definition rabbit hole.

For example, one can reasonably argue that Zionism itself i.e. the movement for a Jewish homeland isn't inherently either racist or bigoted. However, some of the actions in the establishment of Israel were racist, such as the forced expulsion of non-Jews.

What I would argue though is that, if you look at the history of a very large number of countries, the actions in the establishment of Israel don't particularly stand out. For example, the more or less contemporaneous partition of India had a substantially larger cleansing of minorities and sectarian violence. The establishment of most of the countries in the Americas are closer to genocidal than "just" ethnic cleansing.

About the only thing that really stands out, historically, about the establishment of Israel is that the victors were Jews.

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  • Regarding "establishment of statehood" I fully agree. I don't recall any arguments for the amount of years to have passed before it becomes "OK". Most appear to pick WW2 as a point of reference, but I suppose if Israel had been founded in 1935, they'd pick WW1 - and they tend to ignore Northern Cyprus in any case. – janh Sep 14 '18 at 9:32
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    Certainly it's not a unique case. You're right, the foundation of the United States, Australia, the partition of India and Pakistan were far more bloody and genocidal than Israel. I think one distinction many people miss is the pre and post colonial era. Where after WW2 the world collectively decided that settler colonialism and ethnic cleansing were no longer acceptable. Hence the sanctions against Russia for its actions in Crimea. – Icarian Sep 14 '18 at 9:33
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    @IcarianX, great point, it is often missed when studying politics in history, that the point of view of the people living at the time is radically different than it is now. – Frank Cedeno Sep 14 '18 at 11:39

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