When the foremost spokesman of the “alt-right” movement equated Zionism with White Supremacy, as similar movements striving for the same objective, to a Hillel House Rabbi at Texas A&M University speech, the rabbi was left speechless. In all honesty, he should have been. If one were to envision the accusation of “Zionism = White Supremacy” as a trial in the court of public opinion, the defense attorney would have depressingly little to say in defense of his client, Zionism. The prosecutor, however, would have a veritable smorgasbord of evidence to corroborate his claims. The dumbstruck rabbi has inadvertently held up a mirror for those who stubbornly cling to a fast decaying political philosophy. The speaker had asserted that he, a self-affirmed white nationalist seeking an “ethnostate” for what he feels is a displaced American-European sub-culture, spoke about the State of “Israel” and said that, “I want my people to have that same sense of themselves.” We really can’t blame the good rabbi for not having an answer close at hand. How could he? The white supremacist hit the nail on the head.
The architect of the State of “Israel”, Theodor Herzl, initiated an unprecedented process of purging the Jewish People of their identity (which was and still is being continued by his idealogical successors), endeavoring to replace it with the race-based nationalism that was prominent in the Europe of the time. Instead of a nation united by the values and principles of the Holy Torah; a sordid spirit de corps was to replace it. According to Herzl, one would have the right to remain religious, but religion was to be repositioned to only a secondary identity. A Jew’s ultimate allegiance was now to be to his land and government. Herzl, himself so ignorant of Judaism that he was known to confuse priests and rabbis, was simply mimicking the extreme patriotism of his time. His vision was an exclusively racial one, erroneous to its’ very foundation. In an attempt to force the Jews of all nations to migrate to his “utopia” by means of emboldening Anti-Semitism in their respective countries, he went to great lengths to establish the elemental racial differentness of “the Jew”. Contributing to the most prominent newspapers of the time, he writes, “We, the Jews, not only have degenerated and are located at the end of the path, we spoiled the blood of all the peoples of Europe … Jews are descended from a mixture of waste of all races.” Thus speaks the alleged savior of the Jewish People.
As is known, Hitler and the Nazi Party also subscribed to this notion of an ultra-racial national identity, one which superseded all other influences. Though today’s Zionist proponents are loath to admit it, the tenets of Hitler’s national religion and that of Herzl’s are unnervingly similar.
Seeing that Theodor Herzl’s words stray far away from the waters of Torah surprises no one, but oftentimes his verbal splashing has obscured the actual meaning of the word “Jew”, making it difficult for later generations to make sense of this newly ambiguous title. Coming to our rescue, is the 8th century rabbi, Rav Saadya Gaon, who states that, “We are only a nation by virtue of the Torah.” A Jew may be as white as the driven snow or as dark as night, have a nose that’s pointy or flat, or any number of other racially defining physical features. None of them have any impact whatsoever. They are only superficial features which in no way affect the status of someone as a Jew. Our very existence as a people is dependent upon our relationship with the Torah and the Almighty Who gave it to us. Before the giving of the Torah, the Jewish People weren’t even addressed as “Israel”. By the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, it states in the Holy Torah that, “Today you have become a people to your G-d. (Deuteronomy 27:9)” The Gemara in Chullin 111 says, “they were not called “the Children of Israel” till Sinai.”
Texas A&M’s resident rabbi excused his silence in the face of the white nationalist pundit because he was, “…never in the high school debate team.” Though one could not take issue with him over not responding, one could suspect the reason why his response was not forthcoming. Because there’s no way to answer such a question. Because what this white supremacist speaker and what the early Zionist thinkers wanted and what their heirs want is exactly the same thing.