[Buddha-l] One Buddhist's perspective on Zionism

Richard P. Hayes rhayes at unm.edu
Fri May 20 10:54:21 MDT 2005

On Fri, 2005-05-20 at 11:20 -0400, Eric Nelson wrote:

> one of the problems in this discussion is the ideological hardening of
> the word Zionism. 

Thanks for this clarification, Eric. It does help, I think, to show how
this particular misunderstanding occurred.

> The word has taken on multiple meanings. It means (1) the affirmation
> and reality of a Jewish homeland;

With this I have no problem. I have no problem with affirmation, and I
am all in favor of reality.

> (2) it has become identified with Jewish nationalism and current
> Israeli practices and policies such as settlement; 

Nationalism of any kind annoys me, and many (but by no means all)
policies of the present administration in Israel annoy me.

> and (3) it is misused in the antisemitic conspiracy theories
> influential in much of the world. 

Yes, that is true, but perhaps not to such an extent that the term can
no longer be used correctly. All one need do, I think, is make it clear
that one is no abusing the term by using it as a code word that suggests
being apposed to any of the Semitic peoples, such as the Jews or the
Arabs. My only remaining interest in this topic is to make it abundantly
clear to everyone (but Dan, who has tirelessly tried to characterize me
as anti-Jewish since aroundd 1993) that my original comments were not
intended in any way at all to be anti-Jewish.

And now I blissfully retire from this discussion.

Richard Hayes
Department of Philosophy
University of New Mexico

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