A lie repeated enough times sticks and transforms into an established fact. Propaganda is the process of turning a provable falsehood into an accepted truth through repetitive messaging. The human mind is malleable; when information is paired with power and reiteration, people tend to accept narratives without questioning its legitimacy. Propaganda is how governments are able to purvey injustice while they pretend they are fighting for democracy. Propaganda is likewise how multi-national corporations are able to convince us to act against our own interests; we shop for convenience while our jobs are shipped overseas—we believe lies when they are pushed by authority figures.
I can cite a litany of examples throughout history where the powerful hijacked the truth and used the narratives of others to further their nefarious agendas. Not too long ago, I wrote about the widely accepted image of “Jesus” that many worship when in actually that portrait is the likeness of a debauched man named Cesare Borgia. What is true of Cesare Borgia is truer still of the Vatican, Catholicism was built on the foundation of chicanery as Constantine appropriated the teachings of Christ and his disciples in order to pass off paganism as Christianity. This is a frequent phenomenon of the human experience; throughout history, those who owned bigger guns have been able to subdue nations and then commit cultural larceny against the people they conquered.
Add to this list the political ideology that is Zionism. I know there are some who will accuse me of antisemitism for having the temerity to correct historical lies and daring to speak truth to propaganda. For the record, I love Jewish culture as I love my own Ethiopian heritage and the endless cultures that abound throughout the planet. For years, I have told my fellow Ethiopians to be more collaborative and to emulate the spirit of togetherness that is so evident within the Jewish community. Some of the kindness people I have met in my past two years of hardship were Jews who treated me like their own. Rabbi Dov from New York was such a giving soul during my time of distress that I seriously contemplated converting to the Judaism in 2015. I don’t write this article to condemn Jewish people anymore than I condemn Italians for the depravity of the Vatican or the horrors Mussolini visited upon my ancestors.
There is a common factor between the duplicity of the Vatican and the tenants of Zionism. Both co-opted a religion in order hide political agendas and to codify the intentions of malicious leaders. Constantine commandeered Christianity in order to subsume the followers of Christ after failing to conquer them by mass-crucifixion and state sponsored genocides. Biblical truths were promptly turned into lies befitting of Satan’s tongue as pagan rituals and symbols were pawned off as Christian tenants. Did you know that Easter traces its roots to Eostre’s day, a pagan holiday that celebrates a German goddess of fertility. Likewise, December 25th has nothing to do with the birth of “Jesus”; what is widely celebrated as Christmas is a day that actually pays homage to the winter solstice.
The same way Christianity was co-opted by Western despots and religious frauds, Zionism was likewise an inversion of Hebrew history promoted by political leaders whose connection to Judaism is non-existent. Let me clarify one thing, Jewish in the modern sense is not an genetic identity, it is a religious affiliation. Jewish from the genetic perspective is a blood lineage and an ancestry that goes back to the time of Moses, Jacob and the Old Testament.
Zionism was birthed on the notion of a biblical connection that foretold of Jews returning home to a land promised to them after being scattered for centuries. But these stubborn things called facts sure are hard to shake. The truth is that the founders of Zionism can’t trace their ancestry to the 12 tribes of Judah.
Did you know that the word Jew is derivative of the word Judah? Judah was a Hebrew king; from his bloodline emerged King David, King Solomon all the way up to Yeshua. As noted earlier, Zionism is based on the claim that Jews are the “chosen people” who are entitled to a promised land named Zion based on their connection to Judah. This was the rational that served as the foundation on which the modern state of Israel was built. One of the main proponents of Zionism was a writer and a journalist named Theodor Herzl who wrote a book titled “Der Judenstaat” (the Jewish State) which became the pretext for the creation of modern Israel. But Theodor Herzl and his cohorts were Eastern European Ashkenazis. Ashkenazis were gentiles who practiced pagan religion or were gypsies before they converted to Judaism in the 12th century. Zionists who claim Israel as their birthright do so on a false premise; this is akin to me claiming to be from India simply because I converted to Buddhism.
Biblical Israel and political Israel are not the same thing. One is a promise land for decedents of Hebrews who have born the brunt of oppression, the latter is a political state that oppresses people and practices the apartness of Jews from Palestinians, otherwise known as APARTHEID.
I write all the time that identity is unimportant and that we should focus on our common humanity. However, disavowing social constructs and artificially imposed identities does not mean I disavow heritage and the unique cultures each one of us have. I see nothing wrong with people from Europe wearing a Dashiki or someone from Japan opting to wear dread locks. We should all appreciate other cultures and participate in the diversity of our world. However, there is a vast difference between appreciating other cultures versus poaching and plagiarizing the heritage and history of people. This is especially true when a political agenda is perpetuated using religion as a cover to elevate one group above another. Zionism is no different than the broken ideology of manifest destiny our government used to justify wiping out Native Americans in order to steal their lands and take their resources. Click To Tweet
I am not alone in my stance against Zionism. In March of 2015, when I attended an AIPAC conference in Washington DC, I ran into many Jews who were staunchly opposed to Zionism. There was a group called Rabbis against Zionism who were protesting outside of the Convention Center because they understood the plight of those who are trampled for the sake of land grabs and power projection. It is deeply concerting to see the children of Holocaust survivors unleashing hell upon Palestinians and sentencing a group of people to a life of hopelessness. People who survived ghettos of Warsaw and Berlin should not put people behind the ghettos of Gaza. Those who know well the pains of being persecuted should be the very first people to understand the pains of those who are persecuted. Yet this is not unique to Zionists, in my own native Ethiopia, the Tigray based TPLF government are oppressing other ethnic groups even though they were once marginalized—nothing corrupts the heart like hubris combined with vengeance.
All the religious wars that keep being declared in the name of God are nothing more than a form of self-worship. There are no chosen people, all of us come from one source and we all have the same blood that courses through our veins—we are all chosen. One day we will disregard the broken ideology of exceptionalism that is driving humanity over the cliff. This day will only come when we start judging society not by the wealth and attainment of the few but on the wellness of the least among us. Until that day comes, nefarious men will continue using faith to justify greed and perpetuate injustice. But lies have a shelf-life; in time, atrocities and miscarriages of justice committed by the powerful will be exposed by the light of truth.
“Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.” ~ Elie Wiesel
As I noted in the article, this write up should in no way be taken as a blanket condemnation of Jews. I love Jewish people as I do all of humanity, some of the kindest people I’ve ever met were Jews who treated me with love and friendship during my time of homelessness. Zionism is not a representation of Judaism, it is it’s subversion. There are countless Jews who speak against Zionism, Jews for Peace is one particular group. Find out about them below and help them out in their efforts as you are able.
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.
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