Israel Advocacy & Education

Anti-Zionism

Anti-Zionism is opposition to Zionism, the movement for the self-determination and statehood of the Jewish people in their ancestral homeland, the land of Israel. Anti-Zionism is often expressed, explicitly or implicitly in the rejection of Jewish nationhood and the right to self-determination; the vilification of individuals and groups associated with Zionism; and the downplaying or negation of the historic and spiritual Jewish connection to the land of Israel. 

While anti-Zionism isn’t always necessarily antisemitic, it is antisemitic in either intent or effect when it invokes anti-Jewish tropes, is used to disenfranchise, demonize, disparage, or punish all Jews and/or those who feel a connection to Israel, equates Zionism with Nazism and other genocidal regimes, or when it renders Jews less worthy of sovereignty and nationhood than other peoples and states.

Anti-Zionism is distinct from criticism of the policies or actions of the government of Israel, or critiques of specific policies of the pre-state Zionist movement, in that it attacks the foundational legitimacy of Jewish statehood.

Sometimes, people make anti-Zionist statements without an understanding of what Zionism or anti-Zionism is, but rather because they think opposing Zionism is the same as opposing Israeli government policy.  In these cases, there might not be a realization that this disavowal of Zionism and Zionists can have the effect of rejecting the fundamental legitimacy of Jewish statehood and those who feel a connection to it, including most Jewish people.  Sometimes this conflation is intentional, with the objective of deliberately condemning Zionism, the foundational ideology of the Jewish state, as the root cause of problematic policies or all conflict in the Middle East.    

There are some rare cases of individuals who reject Zionism because of their rejection of all forms of nation-states, or marginal Haredi (ultra-orthodox) Jewish sects who believe that Judaism prohibits Jewish sovereignty in the biblical land of Israel until the Messiah comes.  Some Palestinians may call themselves anti-Zionists because of how they perceive Zionism has impacted them personally.   

Read more about anti-Zionism in Antisemitism Uncovered 

Israel Advocacy & Education