Contextual Content

What Does Zionism Mean to You?

Last Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of Israeli youth marched along
the Green Line to celebrate Jerusalem Day, an annual commemoration of
the Israeli occupation of the city in the 1967 war. As the organization of
the march was done under a Zionist banner, The Real News’ Lia
Tarachansky spoke with some of the demonstrators about what that
means for them. Three days later, thousands of Israelis marched in Tel
Aviv in support of the Two State Solution. While many organizations
participated, the overall slogan was [Prime Minister Benjamin]
"Netanyahu says no, Israel says yes to a Palestinian state". Tarachansky
spoke to the demonstrators here about Zionism and how they define it.

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Story Transcript

LIA TARACHANSKY, TRNN: Last Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of Israeli youth marched along the Green Line to celebrate Jerusalem Day, an annual commemoration of the Israeli occupation of the city in the 1967 war. As the organization of the march was done under a Zionist banner, The Real News spoke with some of the demonstrators about what that means for them.

~~~

DEMONSTRATOR (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): We love Jerusalem, and we want to celebrate 44 years since its liberation. It’s very important to us.

TRNN (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): Are you Zionist?

DEMONSTRATOR: Very.

TRNN: What does Zionism mean to you?

DEMONSTRATOR: We believe in the nation of Israel and the Jewish Bible, and that we must settle the country along all its borders. And we’re studying in a very Zionist and religious school.

~~~

DEMONSTRATOR (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): Yes, I’m a Zionist, very.

TRNN (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): And what’s the meaning of Zionism for you?

DEMONSTRATOR: Zionism to me is that we’ve returned to our country. We were exiled 2,000 years ago when our Temple was destroyed. We cried and we really, really wanted to return here. And we returned. Zionism I define in terms of the people who love this country and live here, ideally, and believe that this is the country of our forefathers, that this is our country that we always dreamed of returning to. And we want to establish it, and restore it, and that it will really be ours.

~~~

DEMONSTRATOR: We’ve come here, our whole school, together.

TARACHANSKY: And what does Zionism mean to you in the day-to-day politics of this place?

DEMONSTRATOR: Charity between the Jewish people, to help Jewish people. If it’s to–when we vote, we vote for Zionist governments, and if it’s learning the Bible.

TARACHANSKY: And what about the non-Jewish residents of this country?

DEMONSTRATOR: Look, they’re here. Of course it would be better if it was only a Jewish country, ’cause it’s a country that was promised for the Jewish. But people that are here, we are happy for them to stay here, as long as they are not trying and attempt to kill us. Jerusalem should be only for the Jews, ’cause that’s what’s promised for the Jews.

~~~

TEXT ON SCREEN: Committee to strengthen Jewish settlement in Shimon Hatzadik (Sheikh Jarrah).

~~~

TRNN (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): Why are you donating to this committee to strengthen Jewish settlement?

UNIDENTIFIED (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): Why would I not donate? We are Zionists and we must donate.

TRNN: And what’s the meaning of Zionism to you?

UNIDENTIFIED: To control Jerusalem, united.

~~~

TRNN (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): Did you come with your whole school, or did you come alone?

DEMONSTRATOR (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): I came with my friends and with my rabbi.

TRNN: And are you a Zionist?

DEMONSTRATOR: Me? I’m whatever he is.

~~~

TRNN (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): Are you a Zionist?

DEMONSTRATOR: Obviously!

TRNN: Great. And how do you define Zionism?

DEMONSTRATOR: Love for this country, greatness, and sacrificing our lives for it.

~~~

GROUP: Israel! Israel!

TRNN (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): How do you define Zionism?

DEMONSTRATOR (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): What’s Zionism?

DEMONSTRATOR: Falafel!

DEMONSTRATOR: What’s Zionism? Tell me!

DEMONSTRATOR: Falafel!

DEMONSTRATOR: And eating hummus.

~~~

TARACHANSKY: Three days later, thousands of Israelis marched in Tel Aviv in support of the two-state solution. While many organizations participated, the overall slogan was Netanyahu says no, Israel says yes, to a Palestinian state. The Real News also spoke to the demonstrators here about Zionism and how they define it.

CROWDS (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): The raging right is a danger to Israel! No to occupation! We will not burn more money on the occupation and war! Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies. Terrorists! Terrorists! Death to the terrorists!

~~~

TRNN (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): Do you define yourself as Zionist?

DEMONSTRATOR (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): Yes.

TRNN: And how do you define Zionism?

DEMONSTRATOR: How do I define Zionism? The promise that Israel would be a democratic nation with a Jewish majority and that Jews can live here in peace.

TRNN: And how can you have both a democratic country and have a Jewish majority?

DEMONSTRATOR: Very simple: two countries for two peoples. And what Bibi [Netanyahu] is trying to do is make one country, and it won’t be democratic.

~~~

DEMONSTRATOR (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): The Zionist problem doesn’t exist today. I’m what’s called post-Zionist. Zionism is over. It used to be a good, beautiful country, and I used to love her, but today I can’t anymore. It’s trying to spread and expel the Palestinians. It’s not succeeding so much, but that’s what it’s trying to do.

UNIDENTIFIED (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): I don’t define myself neither as a Zionist or an anti-Zionist, nor as a post-Zionist. I think the argument over Zionism is mostly an argument of slogans, deprived of real content. I mean, you have people here in the protest who identify as Zionists, and the people who are yelling at them who define themselves as Zionist. In general, I support a home for the Jews, but on the other hand, I’m opposed to many things Israel does.

UNIDENTIFIED (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): This protest is in the wrong place. It should be in Gaza.

~~~

TRNN (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): Do you define yourself as a Zionist?

DEMONSTRATOR (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): I don’t really know. I define myself as an Israeli.

TRNN: And how do you define Zionism?

DEMONSTRATOR: Zionism? Love for this place, while criticizing if the government is not going in the right direction.

End of Transcript

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.