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Fathom Highlight: In Defence of Zionism / 26 January / 2015

A tussle over the meaning of Zionism has taken centre-stage in campaigning for the Israeli general election.


A short Knesset speech by Israeli Labour Party MK Stav Shaffir speech has gone viral on YouTube. ‘Don’t preach to us about Zionism’ she objected, responding to accusations from Likud and Jewish Home that the ‘Zionist Camp’ electoral list was misnamed because it was actually ‘anti-Zionist.’ ‘Real Zionism means dividing the budget equally among all the citizens of the country’ said Shaffir. ‘Real Zionism is taking care of the weak. Real Zionism is solidarity, not only in battle but in everyday life.’


In Fathom, Gadi Taub, the Israeli historian, author, and political commentator, looks at this struggle for the soul of Zionism. He contrasts a ‘Zionism of liberty’ based on the principle of the self-determination of peoples, with a messianic ‘Zionism of land.’


Our Voice of the Week is Israeli President Reuven Rivlin speaking to the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn about his dream of Jerusalem becoming a model for interfaith coexistence.


Our Image of the Week is of President Rivlin meeting with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in New York on 26 January 2015, as part of his visit to the US.

In Defence of Zionism

by Gadi Taub

Gadi Taub is a prominent Israeli historian, author, screenwriter, political commentator and Senior Lecturer in the School Public Policy and the Department of Communications at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He spoke to a Fathom Forum about the struggle for the soul of Zionism. The ‘Zionism of liberty’, based on the principle of the self-determination of peoples, fights for hegemony with a messianic ‘Zionism of land’, which, he argued drives the settler ideology. Taub made the case for liberal Zionism. Zionism is seriously misconceived outside of Israel....

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