On the cooperation of national religious Zionists, Evangelicals and other rightist radicals in Israel, USA and Europe

Zionism holds that Jews cannot exist in their countries of domicile and should emigrate to Palestine. According to the Zionist claim, anti-Semitism is inherent in humanity and thus there is no point in a common struggle of Jews and non-Jews against it. This is a key division between Zionists and progressive Jews since the latter strive to eradicate anti-Semitism and racism by common struggle with non-Jews. Moreover, anyone who does not consent to the process of colonization, domination and displacement of the Palestinians, or who recognizes their national rights in Palestine is now regarded by the Zionists as anti-Semitic. They conflate anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism. Their definition of anti-Semitism is always subordinated to political expedience and they have no qualms about collaborating with racists, fascists or even Nazis, providing it serves their goals.

Today, two relatively new trends have become important in the ideological dispute on Zionism: The connections between 1. the far-right in Israel and Protestant Evangelicals in the USA, Europe, South America and Africa, and 2. the far-right in Israel and far-right movements and parties in Europe and the US.

Evangelicalism is fast growing. In the US its followers comprise about 60 millions: approximately 80 percent of them are proponents of Donald Trump, and about half support Israel politically and financially. Evangelicalism has linked itself to the settler movement in Israel through various institutions; among these, the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) is the largest pro-Israel organization in the US. It views the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Messianic terms, and upholds the settlers’ Biblical narrative of the Holy Land belonging exclusively to the Jews. CUPI engage for the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem as a stage on the road to the second coming of Christ and the end of time. Christian support of Zionism is also a front for legitimizing islamophobic and racist views. The influence of Christian Zionism is used to mobilize support for Israel at the UN and among international organizations.

Israel has set itself as the state of all Jews and claims to speak on behalf of all Jews. Following World War II, in Europe and the US, the evils of anti-Semitism and Nazism were exposed and condemned.  This enabled Israel to assert itself as the guardian of the memory of the genocide against the Jews and take upon itself the authority both to define and denounce anti-Semites, and to »absolve« suspects. Today, the Israeli government uses this position to grant indulgences to far-right movements and parties in Germany, Austria, France, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Croatia, Hungary, Poland und Czechia, to which it created connections in the last two decades – in return, it gets support for the settlement project, for the occupation of Palestine, for its internal politics and lobby in the EU institutions.

Avishai Ehrlich
is an Israeli citizen born in Tel-Aviv, 1941 and a socialist since the late ‘50s. On becoming anti-Zionist, he left his kibbutz near Gaza and joined the Israeli Communist Party. When the party split into two (one for Jews, the other for Arabs), he left. He was drafted and fought in the 1967 war, and a year later he left Israel to live and study in London. He became a British citizen and was a lecturer in political sociology at the London School of Economics and Middlesex University. He was member of Matzpen and on the editorial board of Khamsin, a socialist journal of Middle East revolutionaries. In 1982 he returned to Israel to become active in the struggle against the occupation and for human rights. He is now a retired Professor from Tel Aviv University and The Academic College of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. He has published extensively on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and introduced the »settler society« perspective and »permanent war society« to the study of Israeli society. He is a contributor to the Socialist Register and regularly writes for the journal of the Israeli Communist Party.