Just 28% of US Jews identify as Zionist

As efforts to conflate anti-Zionism (or non- and even post-Zionism for that matter) and anti-Semitism continue to shut down open exchanges everywhere, it’s interesting that Leonard Fein notes in The Forward:

In a forthcoming paper on American Jewish attitudes toward Israel, Steven M. Cohen and Ari Kelman find that while 82% of their broadly representative sample regard themselves as “pro-Israel,” only 28% — and fewer still in the younger cohorts — see themselves as “Zionists.” Thus, even among the Jews, even among Israel’s supporters, the word has become musty — or worse, an unwelcome evocation of the judgment of its least sympathetic critics.

Fein’s interesting essay, by the way, offers a survey of the criticisms of Zionism, and seeks to defend it by focusing on the Right of Return as a fundamental right under international law.

His acknowledgement that the Palestinian and Jewish Rights of Return are in direct conflict with each other is to be lauded. I may have misread him, but his implication, however, that a well-off Philadelphia home-owner who may have never set foot in the Middle East, and a Palestinian living in a refugee camp still holding the deed to her house behind the 67 border, have the identical moral and legal claim to the same land seems, well, less than convincing. Perhaps Muzzlewatch readers can provide a more nuanced analysis. For example, I once heard Brit Tzedek’s Marcia Freedman talk at a UN conference about the idea of a Jewish “Right of Refuge”, which I found intriguing.

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