Non-Jews, without looking it up, do you know what the actual definition of Zionist is?

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Not sure why it's a nice one. I was discussing with a prominent person about what people who aren't familiar with Israel or Palestine think Zionism means, and my assertion is that most non-Jews have no idea what it means, it's just a word they've heard used, usually in a negative context, but they don't actually know what the definition of it is.

@emacsen as in yeah, gottem they have no idea what the fuck a zionist is

@emacsen I think someone who wants to establish the state Israel, but I am not sure.

@emacsen like, I _think_ I do, but the way you phrase it implies that non-jews like me are probably mistaken…

@emacsen I mean, it varies depending on who you're talking to and what time period of history you're looking at? Noam Chomsky once said that his opinions put him firmly on the Zionist side of the line in the 60s but firmly on the anti-Zionist side now (or something)

@emacsen Sorry, 1947, not the 60s. Full quote: "I was deeply interested in ... Zionist affairs and activities – or what was then called 'Zionist,' though the same ideas and concerns are now called 'anti-Zionist.' I was interested in socialist, binationalist options for Palestine, and in the kibbutzim and the whole cooperative labor system that had developed in the Jewish settlement there (the Yishuv) ... The vague ideas I had at the time [1947] were to go to Palestine, perhaps to a kibbutz, to try to become involved in efforts at Arab-Jewish cooperation within a socialist framework, opposed to the deeply antidemocratic concept of a Jewish state (a position that was considered well within the mainstream of Zionism)."

Also I believe that the World Zionist Congress only decided that a nation state was their only option (as opposed to some sort of non-state Jewish community in Eretz Yisrael) in the early 20th century, although I suppose Herzl fairly obviously wanted a state from the off.


Feel free to click "Yes" and move on. :)

I'm not really interested in a debate on the topic.

@emacsen are you looking for something other than movement(s) advocating the establishment / maintenance of a "Jewish state" roughly where modern Israel is? That leaves defining "Jewish state", which I suppose is a bit fraught.


I am just testing out a theory that most people (even those who have a stance on the topic) don't actually have a working definition in their minds.



For anyone like me who didn't know it, I'm just gonna drop the wiki link here:



The purpose of the poll, for me, is to discuss a debate amongst Jews. I talk with many people who declare "I'm anti-Zionist", but when I ask them "What do you think Zionist means?" they will say something like "They believe in killing Palestinians." or they will say "I don't know."

My belief is that most people, even those who say they're anti-Zionist, aren't actually anti-Zionist- it's just a word they don't know the meaning of.

A poll seemed an easy way to ask folks.


@emacsen yeah, but it was still something I had to look up afterwards :p

@emacsen As an exmormon, I'm familiar with how Latter-day Saints define "Zion" as well as how the Hebrew Bible defines "Zion". This has been something of congitive dissonance for me.

If I'm correct, my understanding is that the Hebrew Bible defines it as the physical location of Jerusalem. Latter-day Saints define it as a spiritual gathering of refuge as well as a peaceful state of being.

This always bugged me because it's clear that it's a specific physical location, not a metaphorical one.


Zion is a physical place. It's one of the names of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is where Jewish life has focused its energy for thousands of years. Synagogues have the holy arc pointing to Jerusalem, we mention Jerusalem explicitly during Passover, and so on.

I asked my wife what they actually do in Jerusalem regarding pointing and she said they point to site of the old temple, which makes sense.

If it's metaphorical or not is somewhat complex, I'd say it's both.


> Latter-day Saints define it as ... a peaceful state of being.

If you've ever been in traffic in Jerusalem, it will quickly dissuade you of any such notions.

@emacsen isnt zionism like sexually identifying as an rpg7?
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