AROC: For the Liberation of All & Against Zionism and All Forms of Racism

AROC: For the Liberation of All

Against Zionism and All Forms of Racism

The Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC)  is unequivocally committed to the liberation of all people, and as such, works to counter and address all forms of racism, including Zionism. Zionism is a form of racism directly impacting Palestinians specifically, people living in the Arab region generally, and, by extension, marginalized people around the world.  We believe that anti-Zionism is important to anti-racist theory and practice. 

Zionism is a political and racial ideology on which the colonization of Palestine is founded and continues. Mobilizing a fundamentalist interpretation of Jewish theology, and history, Zionism espouses racial and religious hierarchy that is produced by and in service of the exploitation and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians (and others) and the dispossession and colonization of their land. 

Recently we have seen shifts in conversations about Zionism in the United States specifically:

  • Dialogue around Zionism has reached the national stage in Congress, and across college campuses.  
  • Zionist forces have increased efforts to confuse the issue of Israel by cynically calling anyone who opposes their racism, “racists”.
  • Zionist forces have increased efforts to use their racist narratives to divide movements for social justice by attacking Black and Brown solidarity with Paelstine. 
  • Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyhu’s far right government has allied Israel with global authoritarianism including its partnership with the Trump administration. 
Zionism is a Racist Ideology 

Zionist forces have tried to confuse this issue by misusing social justice terms claiming that Zionism is “safety”, “self-determination”, or “national liberation” for Jewish people. As a parallel form of ethnic-Nationalism, White nationalism also claims to be about “safety”, “self-determination”, and “national liberation” for White people.

Zionism claims that Israel can be a “Jewish state” and a “democracy” and White Nationalism similarly claims that the US should be a “White, democratic state”. In a recent law passed by the Israeli government it was declared  “The State of Israel is the nation state of the Jewish People, in which it realizes its natural, cultural, religious and historical right to self-determination…”. The exercise of the right to national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish People.

Those who believe in and work for social justice know that this is a contradiction: no person or people can or should find real “safety”, “self-determination”, or “liberation” in the exclusion, displacement, or oppression of others. 

Zionism is an instrument of Western imperialism and Necessitates Violence 

Zionism is a settler colonial movement created by Europeans who wanted to take over the land of Palestine and create a settler colonial outpost in the Middle East. Like all colonial projects, Zionism is mobilized through the use of violence. The Zionist project has also consistently needed state sponsors. Zionism’s goal of setting up a “Jewish State”, primarily for European Jews, in historic Palestine aligns with and has been consistently sponsored by Western Imperialist powers. 

Zionist forces have been supported by Western (as well as some Arab) countries because the Zionist state, Israel, facilitates their economic and political interests in the Arab region. Israel receives 3.6 billion dollars in military and economic aid from the US because its partnership with the US government is mutually beneficial: Israel maintains its ethno-nationalist state in Palestine with economic, political and military support from the US, and the US maintains a proxy at the fulcrum of the African, Asian, and European continents. 

The economic, political, and military domination of this area has a long history in this region. The British, and the United States have long sought to dominate and control the region for the exploitation of resources and the control of trade routes. Israel, as an expression of the Zionist movement, was established with and is maintained through the use of violence that once was primarily supported by the British and now by the US. That violence most directly and most devastatingly impacts non-Jewish Palestinians who inhabited the land that the Zionists settlers wished to control. The historic and ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine is well documented, but that history (and current events), not unlike the history of ethnic cleansing of the indigenous people of the Americas, is invisibilized through racist narratives and myths. Myths like: Israel was “land without a people for a people without a land”; “Palestinians are terrorists who want to kill Jews” in the US precisely because Israel is a potent tool for US domination of the region.   

Zionism Also Adversely Impacts People Around the World(1)

As an expression of a racist ideology and as a means for US Imperialism, Zionism has very real adverse impacts for people around the world, including for people of color here in the US.

  • Israel has been used to destabilize the Arab countries and keep them divided by partnering and supporting Arab dictators and the Jordanian and Gulf monarchies, and supporting US-led wars in the region.
  • Israel has aligned itself with similar racist states and movements including South Africa, Rhodesia, and India’s right wing movement.
  • Israel has been used as an avenue for US support of right-wing governments around the world including arming Guatemalan death squads, Nicaraguan Contras, Pinochet’s Chile, and the military junta in Argentina.
  • Israel has been an experimental laboratory for the development of oppressive techniques and weapons, many of which have been imported into the US to oppress people of color. Over 450 US police departments have been trained by Israel. Israeli made weapons, crowd control and surveillance technology are tested in Gaza before being exported across the world. 
  • 18% of Israeli arms sales worldwide go to the Latin American market. Israel is also a player in Guatemala’s private security and resource extraction industries.
  1. Israel’s Worldwide Role in Repression, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network 2012
Zionism Adversely Impacts Jewish People 

Zionism has always been opposed by Jewish people of conscience. As of recent, the largest progressive Jewish organization in the country, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) issued a statement condemning Zionism. Israel has now banned JVP and other progressive organizations from entering occupied Palestine. The work of organizations such as the International Jewish anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) illustrate a longstanding opposition to Zionism by the Jewish community, debunking the conflation of anti-semitism and anti-Zionism, and expressing the ways in which zionism is in of itself weaponized against Jewish people worldwide. 

The Fight for Social Justice is Made Stronger by Fighting Against Zionism 

As we know, exclusionary, xenophobic, and racist ideologies are being mobilized by states and political movements all over the world in order to facilitate the domination and exploitation of land and people.  They are also used to pit people with common interests against one another, to the benefit of elites. Zionist ideology is used to justify a colonial project in Palestine that not only causes great harm and suffering to Palestinian people but also contributes to instability in the entire region. Moreso, Zionists have allied themselves with other right-wing authoritarian movements all over the world.  We know that debunking these rationales and breaking down ideological barriers imposed on us puts us in a much better position to work together to fight back.  

Understanding how different racist ideologies are mobilized and connected is an essential part of developing strategies that lead us toward liberation. Just as zionism helps to facilitate some of the most violent and oppressive global systems of oppression, fighting it provides us with new possibilities for social and political development, justice and international solidarity. The fight against zionism and all forms of racism is a fight for freedom for us all.