Zionism’s “Other”

“But these children — after all, it is bad enough to damn a man because of his race; but how awful it is to damn a child because of its religious affiliations. How awful it is to damn a child because of race or religion, or because of political views held by its father or mother, which it cannot share because of its infancy.” (Khalidi, 454)

Note: Rabbi Stephen S. Wise (1874-1949), organized the Zionist Organization of America in 1898, and the American Jewish Congress in 1917, over which he presided seven terms. He became co-Chairman with Silver of the American Zionist Emergency Council in 1943. (Khalidi, 451)

Source: Khalidi, W. (Ed.). 2005. Rabbi Stephen S. Wise and the Immigration of German Jewish Children to the United States 1939. In From Haven to Conquest: Readings in Zionism and the Palestine Problem Until 1948, 451-459. Washington: The Institute for Palestine Studies.

My comments: I came across the quotation by Rabbi Wise while entertaining myself with my textbook. The observation that follows this sentence is really basic and has been said by many others many times before, but I think it is worth mentioning again in the context of the quotation. The essential problem with Zionism is not only that it has turned and still turns the indigenous population of Palestine into the faceless, nameless, feelingless “Other”, but also that it has deemed the above quotation – which I wholeheartedly agree with – inapplicable to the children of “the Other”.


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