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Is Zionism a form of racism? A look at its historical roots

by BKH Friday, Sep. 07, 2001 at 2:46 PM

For those of you unfamiliar with the Bible, a small sampling of the earliest Zionist settlement policies, to help people decide if there is anything racist here (enjoy)

This morning I was watching a few minutes of 'Canada AM' and the poll question of the day was "Should countries pull out of the racism conference because of attempts to critique Zionism as a form of racism?" I was just stunned by how conservative the hosts are on that show, giving a uniform thumbs up to both Zionism and pulling out of the conference (and with such a leading introduction to that poll, I think it easy to imagine how skewed the results of that poll are likely to be). This provoked me, and so I present a brief page on the historical roots of Zionism as my contribution to the debate ''Discrimination against non-Jews is grounded in Israeli laws, regulations and practices, which have created a system similar to apartheid in South Africa -- but different from apartheid in that its goal is not to rule over but to remove or expel the indigenous Palestinian population.'' - Arjan El Fassed

"The mind that becomes soiled in youth can never again be washed clean; I know this by my own experience, and to this day I cherish an unappeasable bitterness against the unfaithful guardians of my young life, who not only permitted but compelled me to read an unexpurgated Bible through before I was 15 years old. None can do that and ever draw a clean sweet breath again this side of the grave." Mark Twain

'Guns and Moses,' T-shirt on sale in Jerusalem, from the Jewish Independent Media Center, in English.

"When the lord your god has led you into the land you are entering to make your own, nations will fall before you. You must lay them under solemn ban and show them no pity." "The lord your god has given you this land as your own. All your fighting men must take up arms and march." Deut. 3:18 "You must drive all the natives of the land before you. If you do not drive the natives of the country before you then those who remain will become disgusting to your eyes and a thorn in your side. They will harass you in the land where you live, and I will deal with you as I meant to deal with them." Num. 33:51 "Devour the nations the lord your god delivers over to you. Show them no pity." Deut. 7:16 But you are a people most holy to your god, so, "Do not clip your hair at the temple or trim your beard," (Lev. 19:27) and, "no tatoos." Lev. 19:28

"The people have not broken with the natives. The holy race has been mingling with the natives of the country. In this act of treachery the chief men and the officials have been leading the way. My god, I am ashamed." Ezra 9:1

"The land you are invading is foul because of the filthiness of the natives. Their land is filled with filth from end to end because of the foulness of the natives. So you must not marry them or be concerned with their prosperity, so that yourselves may grow strong and eat the best of what the country produces yourself, and leave it as an inheritance to your sons forever.'" Ezra 9:10

"You must not marry them or give a daughter or son of yours to them in marriage, for the anger of the lord your god would then blaze out against you, and quickly destroy you. It is you the lord your god has chosen to be his very own people out of all these other peoples of the earth." Deut. 6 "Are we to marry the natives? Would you not be provoked into destroying us so that none survived? This is our sin. None can survive in your presence." Ezra 9:13

Nehemiah 13:1 ""As soon as they heard the law of the lord they expelled all people of foreign descent."

"You must keep all the commandments I give you so that you will have the strength to conquer the land you are to enter and make your own." Deut. 11:8 "Annihilate the nations you are dispossessing and make your home in their country." Deut. 12:29 "Put the inhabitants to the slaughter without giving any quarter and burn their town down. In this way the lord might turn from his fierce anger and show you compassion." Deut. 13:15 But keep in mind that, "you are sons of god, so be sure not to become unclean by eating any detestable animals, such as the pig or the unclean ruminating hare. You are to be a people most holy to the lord your god." Deut. 14:3 "Be firm and steadfast so that you may take possession of the land. Above all take care to observe the entire law which my servant Moses enjoined on you. Do not swerve from it either to the left or the right, so that you may succeed in all that you do. Keep this book of the law on your lips. Recite it by day and by night, that you may carefully observe all that is written in it. Then you will successfully attain your goal. I command you; be firm and steadfast." Joshua 1:6 And you are holy people. Remember, "When a woman menstruates she will be unclean for seven days. Anyone who touches any furniture she sits on will be unclean. If a man dares to have sex with her he will also be unclean for seven days. She must wait seven days after she is freed from her affliction and offer two turtle doves to the priest as atonement before the lord for her unclean flow. Warn the people of their uncleanness lest it be the cause of their death." Lev. 15:28 And, "set apart the clean from the unclean animals so you will not be contaminated by the uncleaness of the swarming creatures." Lev. 20:25

Yes the land is foul, because of the filtiness of the natives. It is filled with filth from end to end because of the foulness of the natives...

"We have betrayed our god by marrying the natives. But in spite of this there is still hope. Let us act in accordance to the law. Up! Take courage! To work!" Ezra 10:2 "We have acted very wickedly towards god. We have not kept the commandments and customs laid down by Moses. I beg you, let your servant be successful this day." Neh. 1:7 "You have committed treason by marrying native women. Give thanks to god and do his will by seperating away from the natives. 'Yes, it is our duty to do what you say, until we have turned away god's wrath which has been kindled against us.'" Ezra 10:10 We say, "god, you gave over these nations and these peoples and allotted these as our regions. They occupied the land. You multiplied their sons and daughters and led them to the land you had told them to possess. Their sons invaded and conquered the land and humbled the natives when you gave into their hands the natives of the land to be treated just as they pleased. They captured their towns and the fertile countryside, took possession of their goods, cisterns already dug, vineyards and olive groves and fruit trees in profusion. They ate; ate their fill and regaled themselves. But they have been disobedient and thrust your law behind their back. They were obstinate. They would not obey. Your prophets admonished them, but they would not listen. They would not renounce their wickedness. They have not kept your law. They have been ignoring your warnings. Because of our sins the leaders of the natives are now disposing of our riches, such is the disaster we endure." Neh. 9

"The lord your god has brought you into the land he swore he would give you, with cities not of your building, houses full of good things not furnished by you, wells you did not dig, vineyards you did not plant." Deut. 6:10

"the lord your god will do the same to all the nations through which you pass. The lord your god himself is fighting for you." Deut. 3:32 "Fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion." Gen. 1:28 "If you are besieging a place do not cut down the trees but eat the fruit. (Yes, be sure to eat the fruit of that fruit tree!) Are the trees human that you should be beseiging them too? However if a tree is not a fruit tree you may mutilate it and hack it down." Deut. 21:19 "Put the men to the sword, but the women and all the spoil you may take as booty. This is how you are to deal with far away lands. But in the lands that nearby you must not spare a living soul." Deut. 20:10

Have I not warned you, as the prophets said? Were not the words of those prophets true? Now the land has become foul because of the filthiness of the natives. It is filled with filth from end to end because of the foulness of the natives.

"If a man has sex with a slave girl he is not to be punished. She is a slave." Lev. 19:20 But, "when a man and a woman have sex, they will be unclean until evening." Lev. 15:18 "When you go to war against your enemies and you see a beautiful woman and find her desirable, you may take her. If she ceases to please you send her away." Deut. 21:10 "They waged war as god had commanded them and killed every male. But they kept the women as captives and took their wealth as spoil. Moses was enraged. 'So you spared the women? Kill every woman who has had sexual intercourse but keep the virgins for yourself. Divide them up evenly.'" Num. 31:7, 14 And remember, "if anyone sleeps with a menstruating woman, they must both be cut off from the people." Lev. 18:19

"I saw that the people were marrying foreigners. Their children were even learning foreign languages. I called down curses on them. I struck them and tore the hair out of their heads and made them swear by god, 'you will not marry foreigners. Foreign women are a cause of sin. Must we hear that you, too, are committing this grave crime, playing a traitor to god and marrying foreign women?' I expelled them from my presence. Remember them, oh god, for the degradation they brought upon the priesthood, the covenant, and the levites." Neh. 13:23 "So I purged them of everything foreign. I drew up regulations defining everyone's duty. Remember me, oh god, for my happiness." Neh. 13:30

Yes the land is foul because of the filthiness of the natives. The land is filled with filth from end to end because of the foulness of the natives...

Yes, the land has become foul because of the filthiness of the natives. It is filled with filth from end to end because of the foulness of the natives. They have become disgusting in our sight and a thorn in our side. Because of our sin against god the leaders of the natives are now disposing of our wealth. The land is even fouler because of the filthiness of the foreigners. It is foul and filthy from end to end because of the foulness of the foreigners.

"Keep your word to march as the lord's vanguard, until the land is subdued before him. This region shall be yours!" Num. 32:20 "Drive out all the natives before you. You shall take possession of the land and settle it, for I, the Lord, have given it to you as your property. Divide it up among your clans." Num. 33:52 "Undertake under oath and curse to walk according to the law of god and observe all the commandments of the lord our god, his customs and his laws. In particular we will not give our sons and daughters to the natives of the land. If the natives come to buy and sell we will buy nothing from them." Neh. 10:29 "Slaves you may possess, but make sure they are foreigners. You may also make slaves of the natives who dwell among you and from their children who are born and reared in your land. You may own them as chattels and leave them to your sons as their heriditary property, making them slaves forever. But you should not lord it over your own countryman, your own kinsmen." Lev. 25:44 And keep in mind, as the wisdom proverbs teach, that, "mere words will not keep a slave in order. He may understand, but he will not respond. Pamper a slave and he will be ungrateful. A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the back of a fool. Folly is rooted deep into the hearts of children. A good beating will drive it out of them. Do not withhold discipline from a child. Do not be a partner in their eternal damnation." Remember, "When a man beats a slave so hard that he dies in a day or two, he shall not be punished, for the slave is his property." Ex. 21:20 As the wisdom proverbs teach us, "Better to be a nobody, and yet have a slave, then to play the grandee on an empty stomach. Under three things the earth shakes, four things it cannot bear: a slave becoming king, a fool gorging himself, a hateful woman dressing for a wedding, and a slave overthrowing his master."

"Take the blasphemer outside the camp and stone him. Carry out the commandment that the lord your god has given you." Lev. 24:23 Make sure that the priest is a male. As the wisdom proverbs teach, "wonderful is the birth of a boy but cursed is the birth of a girl. I have seen one man in a thousand who is wise, but never a wise woman." And that one man in a thousand will be found in the pulpit. "Honor as sacred the priest who offers up the food of your god, treat him as sacred, because, I, your god, am sacred." Lev. 21:7 "If a man has no next of kin, the goods shall fall to the priest." Num 5:8 "Every sacred contribution that the people are obligated to make shall fall to the priest." Num. 5:9 "Accept their offerings. Assign them to the levites." Num 7:4 "I give you the priesthood as a gift. Any layman who approaches shall be put to death. The lord said to the priests, 'I myself have given you charge of the contributions and sacred offerings forever. Every male among you may partake of them. I have also assigned to you the best of the new oil and of the new wine. The breast and the right leg are yours. They are yours forever by unbreakable covenant, to last forever. To the levites I assign all the tithes. Only the levites may perform the service forever." Num 18:8 And the lord your god is holy, so, "no crippled or blind person, or any hunchbacked dwarf shall approach the altar to serve as a priest. This would be an abomination to the lord." Lev. 21:18

"When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go free as male slaves do, unless she proves displeasing to her master." Ex. 21:7 "If a husband is overcome with a fit of jealousy which makes him suspect his wife, whether she is guilty or not, then he must bring her to the priest. The priest will prepare the waters of trial by ordeal and force the woman to drink it, saying, 'let this ordeal water enter your body.' If her stomach swells painfully, she is guilty. Her name will become a curse among all her kin. Such is the law, for women owe obedience to their husbands." Num 5:11 "If a man rapes a girl in the city, you must stone him to death, and the woman as well, for she did not cry for help. Rid yourself of this wickedness." Deut. 22:24 "When a woman gives birth to a boy she shall be unclean for seven days, but if she gives birth to a girl she shall be unclean for fourteen days, with the same uncleanness as with her menstruating period. She shall spend 33 more days becoming purified of her blood, for a boy, and for a girl 66 days. She shall not enter the sanctuary or touch anything sacred. After she has been purified she must offer a turtledove as a sin offering for her unclean blood." Lev. 12:1

"If, "you keep all the laws of your god, you will be his very own people, and praise and renown and honor will set you high above all the nations." Deut. 26:17 "Observe god's royal law carefully and you will display your wisdom and understanding to other peoples. When they come to hear of these laws they will exclaim, 'no other people is as wise and prudent as this great nation.'" Deut. 4:6

Numbers 21:2 "And Israel vowed a vow to the LORD, and said, "If thou wilt indeed give this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities." And the LORD hearkened to the voice of Israel, and gave over the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities."

Numbers 33:52 "Then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you ... and you shall take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given the land to you to possess it. But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those of them whom you let remain shall be as pricks in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall trouble you in the land where you dwell. And I will do to you as I thought to do to them."

Deuteronomy 2:1 "When the LORD your God brings you into the land which you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you ... and when the LORD your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them; then you must completely destroy them; you shall make no peace treaties with them, and show no mercy to them. You shall not make marriages with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons. For you are a people holy to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his own possession, out of all the peoples that are on the face of the earth."

Deuteronomy 7:16 "And you shall destroy all the peoples that the LORD your God will give over to you, you will who them no pity ... If you say in your heart,

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