Zionist State Is Not Jewish State

Title : Zionist State Is Not Jewish State: Study on El-Messiri’s View Toward Zionism
Author : M. Nursaid Ali Rido (CRCS, 2006)
Keywords : Zionism, Imperialism, Jewish functional group, functional Zionist state.
Conflict in the Middle East is always interested to be discussed. Before 1990th Israel, the more powerful country than its enemies used a militaristic way to end the conflict. In addition, after that period, to defeat the Arab strength, especially Palestine, Israel and its supporters stopped an economical and political support, stopped the distribution of food and medicine, and closed main streets. Why does this conflict continue without ending? Abdel Wahab El-Messiri, the modern Egyptian intellectual, tries to answer that question by using “Jewish functional group” and “functional Zionist state” paradigm which looks the phenomena of Jews and Zionism through social, economical, and political context where they emerged.For El-Messiri, Israel is the functional Zionist state, the reproduction of Jewish functional group in Europe since 16 century until the beginning of 20 century. That functional state is cultivated by western imperialism power without the root of history and culture, but its residents cultivated and unified by the ancient Jewish myth and modern technology. The functional Zionist state, according to El-Messiri, plays a certain role and duty which is now its role is to go war against the Arab strength. This role and duty might be changed based on situation in the conflict area. On the contrary, if that functional state can not play its role as the tool of imperialism, the existence of the state would be end; its residents would go out to others countries or assimilate totally with people surrounding Israel. South Africa is the very example of colonialist settler which finished its role when Apartheid system broke down.

El-Messiri’s perspective faces a strong resistance from both Zionist community and Egyptian traditional ulama. In Zionist perspective, Israel is the state for all Jews in the world who are attached organically and religiously with the land of Palestine. To back to the Jewish homeland (Palestine) is the part of God’s teaching, therefore whoever stands against Israelite policy is anti-Semite (for non Jewish people) and or infidel (for those of Jewish people). Zionist success in defeating the Arab strength has tight correlation with God’s scenario. God, as written in the Bible, would give Palestine to Jews. There is no intervention from imperialist power in Jewish settling in Palestine as El-Messiri assumes. Resistance also comes from ulama who believe that Zionism is the manifestation of bad Jewish attitude along human history. Al-Qur’an has written that Jews intended continuously to shatter Islam and its followers.

Conflict is caused by different perspective between Arab and Zionist. In one side, Zionism refuses Arabic history and culture in Palestine because this land, according to Zionist, belongs to Jews. In another side, Arabic people have a very special and spiritual attachment with that of land. As long as Zionism refuses the right, history, and culture of Arab, the Intifada must be continued, it means that the conflict is still far from the road of peace. It is true that Zionism able to fulfill the religious ambition of Jewish people, and at the same time it finished Jewish social and political problem in Europe. But to settle a very populated area such Palestine is a difficult action, only if Zionism uses weapon in order to decrease the Palestinian reaction. To use weapon is the most effective ways to finish indigenous people. This way, according to El-Messiri, is the very feature of colonialist action is several countries.

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