BACK IN the UK I was a Zionist. I supported the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own in their historic homeland. Now I’m an Israeli, it seems I can’t define myself that way anymore without being thought of as either hopelessly anachronistic, or avowedly right-wing.
Sections of the Israeli right have made Zionism synonymous with support for the settlement movement, while sections of the left have acquiesced in this fiction by abdicating ownership of the term. (It is worth noting that Zionism was originally a progressive liberation movement with its roots in enlightened 19th century liberalism; closer in spirit to those supporting an end to the occupation of the Palestinians than to the West Bank settlers. Even the father of what became the Israeli right, Vladimir Jabotinsky, was an avowed liberal who insisted on democratic rights for all the citizens of the putative Jewish state and who spoke resolutely against expelling Arabs from their homes).