Here is his reply in its entirety:. I cannot do as you wish. I am unable to overcome my aversion to burdening the public with my name, and even the present critical time does not seem to me to warrant it. Whoever wants to influence the masses must give them something rousing and inflammatory and my sober judgement of Zionism does not permit this. But, on the other hand, I do not think that Palestine could ever become a Jewish state, nor that the Christian and Islamic worlds would ever be prepared to have their holy places under Jewish care. It would have seemed more sensible to me to establish a Jewish homeland on a less historically-burdened land.
But I know that such a rational viewpoint would never have gained the enthusiasm of the masses and the financial support of the wealthy. I concede with sorrow that the baseless fanaticism of our people is in part to be blamed for the awakening of Arab distrust. I can raise no sympathy at all for the misdirected piety which transforms a piece of a Herodian wall into a national relic, thereby offending the feelings of the natives.
Now judge for yourself whether I, with such a critical point of view, am the right person to come forward as the solace of a people deluded by unjustified hope. Freud Erich Fromm, the eminent scholar and author, also argued that the Arabs in Israel had a much more legitimate claim to ownership of the land than the Jews. Fromm wrote:.
The claim of the Jews to the Land of Israel cannot be a realistic political claim. If all nations would suddenly claim territories in which their forefathers lived two thousand years ago, this world would be a madhouse. Judge Hutcheson : It has been told to our committee by the Zionists that the passionate heart of every Jew will never be satisfied until they have a Jewish state in Palestine.
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It is contended, I suppose, that they must have a majority over the Arabs. It has been told to us by the Arab representatives that the Arabs are not going to permit such condition as that, they they [sic] will not permit having themselves converted from a majority to a minority. Judge Hutcheson : I have asked these various persons if it is essential to the right or the privilege of the Jews to go to Palestine, if it is essential to real Zionism that a setup be fixed so that the Jews have a Jewish state and a Jewish majority without regard to the Arab view.
Do you share that point of view, or do you think the matter can be handled on any other basis? Einstein : Yes, absolutely.
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The state idea is not according to my heart. I cannot understand why it is needed. It is connected with many difficulties and a narrow-mindedness.
I believe it is bad. Einstein : In my opinion, yes. I am against it … In Einstein published the following statement on the question of Zionism. I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. Apart from the practical considerations, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power no matter how modest.
I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain — especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight without a Jewish state. Einstein also turned down the presidency of the state of Israel. Einstein wrote to his stepdaughter Margot after declining the presidency of Israel. Einstein participated in the Sixteenth Zionist Congress in It is rather revealing and WZO ought to know who was and who was not a Zionist.
Upon conclusion of the Congress, Board of the Jewish Agency convened. Many Zionists claim Einstein as one of their own.
Einstein, however, was a pacifist, a universalist and abhorred nationalism. Lessing J. Other active members included Rabbi Morris S. Rabbi Elmer Berger became its executive director. The American Council for Judaism was created in part as a response to a United States Zionist Conference which called for the formation of a Jewish army in Palestine.
It is an anachronism. Membership in the ACJ grew to more than 15, Its members were very vocal and greatly angered the Zionist leadership who wanted the American Jewish community to present a united position on the Palestine question. Thomas A.
The immediate context was the idea of forming a Jewish brigade within the British Army. The Times based its objection, among other things, on the assumption that Jews did not need a state of their own, because once the Allies achieved a victory, they would be citizens with equal rights in their countries of residence, in accordance with the Atlantic Charter signed by the United States and Britain in August Here is a lament on the formation of Israel and the impact of its creation written in by Henry Hurwitz editor of The Menorah Journal :. Surely the liberals of Israel will now lift up their voices?
Small as you numbers may be today, it is upon you mostly that the honor and worthiness of the State must rest. The question is no longer whether the State is to exist. The question is what kind of State it will turn out to be. What a paradox is here! In all the countries of the West Jews have been and continue to be in the forefront of liberalism. There have been myriads like Heine, soldiers and leaders in all of the struggles for intellectual and spiritual liberation. We rub our eyes, some of us who were life long Zionists, and we hang our heads in shame.
Isaac Asimov was one of the greatest writers of the Twentieth Century and wrote on many topics. He expressed his views about Zionism in a number of pieces. One example is found in the second volume of his autobiography In Joy Still Felt. Asimov tells of having dinner in with some friends and his wife:.
As usual, I found myself in the odd position of not being a Zionist and of not particularly valuing my Jewish heritage … I just think it is more important to be human and to have a human heritage; and I think it is wrong for anyone to feel that there is anything special about any one heritage of whatever kind. It is delightful to have the human heritage exist in a thousand varieties, for it makes for greater interest, but as soon as one variety is thought to be more important than another, the groundwork is laid for destroying them all.
Asimov , his third autobiographical volume. There, Asimov discussed how he was distressed by the capability of the historically oppressed such as the Jews to in turn become oppressors if given the chance. They are fleeing because they expect religious persecution.
Yet at the instant their feet touched Israeli soil, they became extreme Israeli nationalists with no pity for the Palestinians. From persecuted to persecutors in the blinking of an eye. In the outside world the welfare of Jewry depends on the maintenance of secular, non-racial, pluralistic societies. In Israel, Jewry finds itself defending a society in which mixed marriages cannot be legalized, in which the ideal is racial and exclusionist. Jews might fight elsewhere for their very security and existence — against principles and practices they find themselves defending in Israel.
The late U. He also opposed the American invasion of Iraq. However, he also was a strong supporter of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. He also was a genuine friend of justice and peace in Israel and Palestine and spoke and voted often and courageously on the side of justice. Engagement remains the only intelligent option for our country now. We must pursue a courageous approach which seeks both to meet the critical need of the Israeli people to be free from terrorism and violence, and acknowledges the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for their own state, a state which is economically and politically viable.
Even in this horrific time, we must not lose sight of what should be our ultimate goal: Israel and a new Palestinian state living side-by-side, in peace, with secure borders …. Israel must show a respect for and concern about the human rights and dignity of the Palestinian people who are now and will continue to be their neighbors. It is critically important to distinguish between the terrorists and ordinary, innocent Palestinians who are trying to provide for their families and live an otherwise normal existence.
Palestinians must no longer be subjected to the daily, often humiliating reminders that they lack basic freedom and control over their lives …. Both sides will need to make painful choices if there is to be a just and stable peace. There must be a recognition of the tragic Palestinian refugee experience, and also an understanding that not all Palestinian refugees will be able to return to Israel.
Many observers believe that the parties will eventually need to agree on a formula which would allow some refugees to return to Israel, and then provide for resettlement, and financial compensation for the remainder. The text of this Declaration read as follows:.
Peace need not be made between friends, but between enemies who have struggled and suffered. Our sense of Jewish history and the moral imperatives of this moment require us to insist that the time is urgent for mutual recognition between Israel and the Palestinian people. There must be a stop to the sterile debate, whereby the Arab world challenges the existence of Israel and Jews challenge the political legitimacy of the Palestinian fight for independence. Needed now is the determination to reach a political accommodation between Israeli and Palestinian nationalism. The war in Lebanon must stop.
Mutual recognition must be vigorously pursued. And there should be negotiations with the aim of achieving coexistence between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples based on self-determination. He is a highly respected American Jewish academic and made the following comments on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What the Israeli governments do not realize is that neither Hamas nor Hizbullah need Israel. It is Israel that needs them, and needs them desperately. If Israel wants not to become a Crusader state that is in the end extinguished, it is only Hamas and Hizbullah that can guarantee the survival of Israel.
It is only when Israel is able to come to terms with them, as the deeply-rooted spokespersons of Palestinian and Arab nationalism, that Israel can live in peace.
Achieving a stable peace settlement will be extremely difficult. Its military advantage is diminishing and will diminish steadily in the years to come. And in the post-Iraqi years, the United States may well drop Israel in the same way that France did in the s.
And to get this guarantee, Israel will need to rethink fundamentally its strategy for survival. Wallerstein also made the following comment on Israel shortly after the Israeli attack on Gaza. Now, Israel has invaded Gaza, seeking to destroy Hamas. If it succeeds, what organization will come next?