THE term “Zionist” has been stripped of its true meaning and instead become a term of infamy and curse, Alex Ryvchin says.
This distortion is the motivation behind the Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO’s just released second book, Zionism – The Concise History, which tells the history of the Jewish people from their origins in biblical Israel to their exile and the formation of the national movement that led to their return nearly two millennia later.
It examines the leaders who shaped the Zionist movement and events that impacted on it, including Chaim Weizmann’s wartime service to the British, the Dreyfus Affair, the emergence of Jerusalem mufti Haj Amin Al-Husseini and the impact of the pogroms and the Holocaust.
“It is vital that our young people understand the story of Zionism, which is not only inspiring, but is inextricably linked to every phase of Jewish history, and as such, forms a fundamental part of Jewish identity,” Ryvchin said.
“It is an organic expression of two core aspects of the Jewish people – our peoplehood and our connection to our ancestral lands.”
He said the consequence of allowing deliberate distortions of the meaning of Zionism to go unchallenged is that new generations “will only know of Zionism and Zionists as an evil to be fought”.
“The movement to liberate or at least shelter the Jewish people from antisemitism, the movement that seeks nothing more than to give the Jews a scrap of land to call their own, to ensure that the Jewish people and their contributions to humanity shall not vanish from this earth – somehow this has become akin to racism, to Nazism, to colonialism, to white supremacism, and every other popular conception of evil known today,” he said.
“These are lies that cannot be allowed to be laundered into truth.”
He continued, “There is a great deal of public curiosity about Zionism.
“Last year, when the former mayor of London outrageously claimed that Hitler was a Zionist, ‘Hitler+Zionist'” became a top Google search in the UK.
“This book, by telling the story of Zionism in a clear, concise and compelling manner, will serve to educate the reading public and rebut the false accusations deliberately and strategically levelled against Zionists.”
Ryvchin is currently on a speaking and media tour of the US and Canada, beginning in Atlanta, Georgia followed by events in Washington, DC; New York; Baltimore and Toronto.
For more information, visit www.alexryvchin.com/zionism-the-concise-history.