I agreed to do an e-mail interview with a Mr. Iman Soleimani of the Namavaran Network Corporation, which is an Iranian media outlet that is clearly hostile to the Jewish State of Israel. He has eight questions that I will take one by one over the course of the next week, or so. My expectation is that, much like this interview by Mr. Soleimani, it will be published verbatim.
Here is the first question:
1- Who are Zionist and what are the Zionist lobbies in US policy?A "Zionist" is anyone, from the latter part of the nineteenth century through the middle part of the twentieth century, who worked for the establishment of a Jewish state on historically Jewish land in what was a small slice of Ottoman territory before their defeat by the European powers during World War I.
I do not, actually, consider myself a Zionist at all given the fact that the movement fulfilled its purpose in 1948. A better question, perhaps, is what do enemies of the Jewish people and the Jewish State mean when they use that word? In the vocabulary of contemporary anti-Zionists the word "Zionist" means a racist, imperialistic, colonialist, apartheid-loving, Arab-hating, pro-Israel militarist. This is what that word means to those with an irrational disdain for the Jewish people and for Jewish sovereignty on Jewish land.
The word "Zionist," within the anti-Zionist lexicon, has become a toxic epithet that is spit at Jewish people who care about the well-being of the tiny Jewish minority among the hostile Arab and Muslim majority in the Middle East.
As for "Zionist lobbies," they are weak. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is the strongest among them, but AIPAC does little more than encourage comity between the government and people of Israel and the government and people of the United States. If "Zionist lobbies" had any actual power over the US government then the United States would have recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel long ago.
This obsessive concern among racist anti-Zionists - both western and Islamic - concerning the "Zionist lobby" or the "Jewish lobby" or the "Israel lobby" is an anti-Semitic hangover from an earlier era that was given new life by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt in their 2007 book, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.
What Mearsheimer and Walt (shamefully) did was resurrect the fraudulent Protocols of the Elders of Zion in a form that is user-friendly for the contemporary west. In the early-middle of the twentieth century this defamation helped bring about the Holocaust in which one third of the entire Jewish population on the planet was slaughtered, including almost the entirety of my father's side of the family.
I have considerable faith that it will not have a similar effect in the twenty-first century and much of that faith is due to the fact of Israel, itself. Unlike one hundred years ago, the Jewish people are now in a position to defend ourselves and defend ourselves we will.