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March 2003   Jim Moore
Don't Call Me A Zionist, I'm An American Jew By Jim Moore


By: Jim Moore

I refuse to paint anybody with a broad brush. So, trying hard to get inside the head of the average, patriotic American Jew I thought about how he must feel, and what he would like to tell the world, if the world would listen.

Here's what I think he might want to say.

I would be damned angry if somebody looked at me and thought, that guy's a Jew, so he must belong to the same bunch-- if by heritage if nothing else--of Jews that have infiltrated the US. Government, and are now practically dictating the foreign policy of the State Department and the Pentagon---including pushing hard for an attack on Iraq. Well, I am one Jew who is not in that camp. I don't want to be, I never have been, and I resent being put in the same category. What I am is an American Jew, with a wife, kids in school, a good job, a few bucks in the bank, and like most Americans these days, a wallet-full of credit cards.

The irony about the whole Jewish picture is that there are hundreds of thousands of Jews just like me out there. They live in America, in Israel, in Italy, and in many other countries around the world. But we have no voice. We are never considered, or even listened to. Politics has the day, and makes the rules. We may well be our own "silent majority."

I love Israel. I love my heritage. I love our rituals and traditions. Just like an Irishman has a soft spot in his heart for all things Irish, and a Spaniard, no matter where he lives, reveres his Spanish background.

But because we Jews are Americans, and proud to be, we have voluntarily relegated our "home" in Israel to a secondary position in our lives and hearts. As American citizens, we no longer think in terms of clan loyalty, tribal bonds, and ethnic customs. Rather, we are a vital part of America, and that's as it should be.

So on behalf of my brother and sister Jews who, because of our common bond of being "just average Jewish families", can not be heard in the cacophony of war talk coming out of the Jewish hawks in the American administration, I would like to better define the difference between those Jews and ourselves.

Without pulling any punches, I can tell you that, in essence, there are really only two kinds of Jews. Those who have assimilated and become part of the nation in which they live. And those who, no matter where they live, have never become part of that sovereign country, nor do they give it first priority in their minds

And it's my guess that the latter kind of Jews is what Thomas Jefferson was talking about when he said: "Dispersed as the Jews are, they still form one nation, foreign to the land they live in."

We have a name for those Jews. They are Zionists. Zionists not necessarily because they are Jews, but because Zionism is the expression used for Jews who, no matter where they live, give their first allegiance to the State of Israel, and their second allegiance to the nation they live in.

As I heard one Jew phase it, Zionism is a coalition of organizations and individuals devoted to the unity of the Jewish people and eternally connected to the homeland, Israel.

Eternally connected to Israel---that's Zionism in a nut shell.

I suppose Zionist Jews should be commended for respecting their Jewish heritage, strict adherence to Hebrew laws, recognition of Israel as the Jewish nation, and their uncompromising allegiance to it.

But for American Jews like me, that poses a problem. I don't see a dual-allegiance as being fair to either country. And especially when your first loyalty is to Israel, and your second loyalty is to America. You're either an American or not.

In my humble opinion, that is what has got many American citizens, Jews and Gentiles alike, confused about this up-coming war The Jews in the Bush administration who are instrumental in the march towards war, are mostly Zionist Jews, not the "silent voice" Jews like myself. Their first loyalty, whether they'll ever admit it or not, is to Israel. America plays second fiddle.

Yet these Zionist Jews in the administration are American citizens like myself, so why arent they giving first priority to America's interests, instead of using America's strength and resources to protect Israel? And if you don't think they do that, watch and listen closely when they talk about the war with Iraq and other Arab nations.

I am telling you this because I want you to know that there are many thousands of Jews out there, like me, who do not buy the Zionist line of thinking. Although we acknowledge that Saddam Hussein is a cruel dictator and an evil tyrant, and should be ultimately deposed, we see America's move for war under these conditions immoral, unconstitutional, and unnecessary.

America was not in danger at all until we began interfering in the affairs of other countries, and then to "protect America", we picked out one of the world's dictators (and maybe not the worst one) and began arming the Middle East region to take him out.

Remember this. There are the Zionist Jews who are bent on saving Israel even if they have to blow up half the world to do it; and there are Jews like me who, as an American, put America's interests first, even if it means getting out of Arab country and letting Israel, with its military superiority, defend itself, as it surely can.

So although I am Jewish, please don't paint me with a Zionist brush. Thank you.

I may be wrong from the git-go, but I believe that if the voice of any non-Zionist Jew could be heard, that's what he would want the world to know.

"Published originally at : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."

Jim Moore is a free-lance political writer and is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.

Jim Moore can be reached at

Published in the March 17, 2003 issue of Ether Zone. Copyright 1997 - 2003 Ether Zone.