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Religious anti-Zionism

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Title: Religious anti-Zionism  
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Subject: Confessional state, Halachic state, Judaism and politics, Hindu politics, Divine right of kings
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Religious anti-Zionism

While Judaism.

Within Judaism

In the early history of Zionism many traditional religious Jews opposed ideas of nationalism (Jewish or otherwise) which they regarded as a secular ideology, and because of an inherent suspicion of change. Key traditionalist opponents of Zionism included Isaac Breuer, Hillel Zeitlin, Aaron Shmuel Tamares, Hayyim, Elazar Shapiro (Muncatz), and Joel Teitelbaum, all waged ideological religious, as well as political, battles with Zionism each in their own way.[1]

Today, the main Jewish theological opposition to Zionism stems from the Neturei Karta.,[2][3][4] which has less than 5,000 members, almost all of whom live in Israel and Palestine. According to The Guardian, "[e]ven among Charedi, or ultra-Orthodox circles, the Neturei Karta are regarded as a wild fringe".[5])

In Islam

Muslim anti-Zionism generally opposes the state of Israel as an intrusion into what many Muslims consider to be Dar al-Islam, a domain rightfully and permanently ruled only by Muslims.[6][7][8] Once Islamic rule is established in a country, non-Muslims are given dhimmi status as protected from violence.[9] Thus any sovereign, non-Muslim government in what is now Israel would be anathema.

Palestinian and other Muslim groups, as well as the government of Iran (since the 1979 Islamic Revolution), insist that the State of Israel is illegitimate and refuse to refer to it as "Israel", instead using the locution "the Zionist entity" (see Iran–Israel relations). In an interview with Time Magazine in December 2006, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said "Everyone knows that the Zionist regime is a tool in the hands of the United States and British governments".[10]

An example of this view is the work of Ismail al-Faruqi (1926-1986). In Islam and the Problem of Israel (1980), he argued that Zionism was a "disease" largely influenced by European romanticism far removed from Judaism. He opposed the Zionist occupation of Palestine and called for the dismantling of Israel and the launch of a jihad. He said that the injustice caused by Zionism is such as to necessitate war. From the standpoint of Islam, Faruqi wrote, Zionism represents apostasy against Judaism.

In Christianity

Anti-Zionism in Christian religious thought has largely been tied to anti-Judaism in its dispute over the Jewish religious (with far less dispute over the ethnic) sovereignty over Israel (and in particular, Jerusalem), which is also the geographic origin of Christianity; the main theological sticking point is on whether such structures as the Temple in Jerusalem should be rebuilt by Jewish hands due to a supposed abrogation of the divine relationship with the Jews and the expansion of the relationship with the Christian gentiles.

On the fringe of this particular anti-Zionism exists a current which views a Jewish Israel as an allegedly "anti-Christian" state or, variantly, a potential proxy for the antichrist.

A main Christian anti-Zionist group is Presbyterian Church (USA) also accumulated controversy with its promotion of divestment from Israel.


  1. ^ Shaul Magid, “In Search of a Critical Voice in the Jewish Diaspora: Homelessness and Home in Edward Said and Shalom Noah Barzofsky’s Netivot Shalom,” Jewish Social Studies: History, Culture, Society n.s. 12, no. 3 (Spring/Summer 2006), p.196
  2. ^ Jews Against Zionism website Retrieved on 2008-06-04.
  3. ^ Neturei Karta International, Jews United Against Zionism website Retrieved on 2008-06-04.
  4. ^ Common Cause
  5. ^ In a state over Israel by Simon Rocker (The Guardian) November 25, 2002
  6. ^ Neusner, Jacob (1999). Comparing Religions Through Law: Judaism and Islam. Routledge.   p. 201
  7. ^ Merkley, Paul Charles (2001). Christian Attitudes Towards the State of Israel. McGill-Queen's Press.   p.122
  8. ^ Akbarzadeh, Shahram (2005). Islam And the West: Reflections from Australia. UNSW Press.   p. 4
  9. ^ Lewis, Bernard (1984). The Jews of Islam. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-00807-8 pp.10,20
  10. ^ "People Who Mattered: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad". Time. 2006-12-16. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
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