Re: Zionism, Hindutva and the fascist brotherhood

Dear Editor,


I’m so sorry that Lakshmisree Shaji is so uninformed about Zionism. Zionism is built upon the yearning by Jews to live and pray in the land of their ancestors. Zionism can be interpreted as the foundation of Judaism. Non-Jews who support the existence of Israel are also Zionists.

There is no supremacism in the Jewish religion. Judaism’s holy books and teachings never mention other religions like Christianity and Islam. God’s promise to make Jews the chosen people has never become part of their religious observances. Most Jews are rueful about the chosen people shtick, echoing Fiddler on the Roof’s Tevye who said, “I know, I know. We are Your chosen people. But, once in a while, can’t You choose someone else?”


Larry Shapiro,
Calgary, Alta

Dear Editor,


Lakshmisree Shaji is obviously totally unfamiliar with Judaism. Judaism is based on the 3,500 year old Jewish Bible, a.k.a. the Old Testament.

The Jewish Bible’s foundational narrative centres around the Jewish people’s return to Zion — what today is Israel. It is not complicated: Zionism is Judaism. That is why Jerusalem is mentioned more than 660 times in the Jewish Bible. F.Y.I. — the word “Jerusalem” does not appear even once in the Quran.That is why for over 2,000 years, Jews at the Passover Seder — as they will April 22 — have stood and loudly and proudly prayed the ultimate Zionist prayer, “Next year in Jerusalem.” To claim that Zionism is not Judaism is to deny the singular 3,500-year-old foundational narrative of the Jewish Bible and to wallow in antisemitism.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Martin Luther King Jr. understood that Judaism is Zionism when he said at Cambridge, Mass. Shortly before his death: “Israel’s right to exist as a state in security is incontestable.”

Second, nothing could be more ahistorical than Shaji’s use of the term “historical Palestine.” In recorded history there has never been an internationally legally recognized country called Palestine.

Palestine — actually Syria Palaestina — was a Roman designation of an area, not a country, a name specifically created to obliterate 1,500 years of Indigenous Jewish culture including what the area had been called, Judea.

Following the First World War, there was the British mandate for Palestine (1917-1948) — a trust, not a country. In fact Palestinians have rejected an independent state, whether called Palestine or anything else, in 1937, 1947, 2000, 2008, 2019 and 2020. The Palestinian Authority is not a country. Opining for non-existent historical “Palestine,” though, does not change history.

Further, Shaji ignores the fact that Article 80 of the United Nations Charter, which affirms the agreements of all current mandates at the time of 1945. This includes the 1922 League of Nations Palestine Mandate, which declared all of what was then Palestine to be the reconstituted homeland of the Jewish people, recognizing the Jewish people’s 3,500 year historical presence on the land. Simply put, one cannot annex or occupy one’s own territory. As an international treaty, the UN Charter supersedes any and all resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly that may conflict with it.

As Eugene Rostow, Dean of Yale Law School (1955-1965) and under secretary of state in the Lyndon B. Johnson Democratic administration writes:

“Legally the West Bank and Gaza are unallocated parts of the Palestine Mandate” and “it must be remembered that, in contrast to other League of Nations mandates, the Palestine Mandate was not established as a trust for the Indigenous population of the area, to be terminated when the population was ready for self-government.

Rather, Rostow continues, “It was set up […] as a trust for the Jewish people, in recognition of their historic connection to the land on the condition that the civic and religious rights of the Muslims and Christians be respected.”

Jewish people’s right, Rostow says, “to settle in the West Bank has never been terminated” and is “protected by Article 80 of the United Nations Charter and hence necessarily part of the domestic law of the West Bank.”

Professors and students on college campuses embrace today by their public support of Hamas. Meanwhile,  article 7 of the old Covenant of Hamas — which Hamas used between 1988 and 2017 —requires every member and supporter of Hamas to kill every Jew on earth. Neither Israel, Zionists nor “the occupation” is mentioned in Article 7.

Having rejected endless offers of an independent state which the Jews accepted, it is obvious that Palestinians’ concern is not about land. It is an existential dispute about the existence of the Jewish people. Once all the land is Judenrein, Palestinians will declare peace.

On Nov. 30, 1947 when Palestinians rejected an independent state offered by the UN General Assembly which the Jews accepted, their leader, Nazi war criminal the Grand Mufti Amin al Husseini, commanded the Arabs to: “Kill the Jews wherever you find them.”

It is unlikely Shaji knows much about the “Palestinian people.”


— Richard Sherman,
Margate, Fla.