The first national Zionism Month has been launched to increase understanding of and celebrate the movement.
An email campaign asking MPs whether they agree with the principles of Zionism, a public debate and the publication of a booklet of short essays will be part of the initiative, launched by We Believe in Israel and the Zionist Federation. Lapel badges and twibbons proclaiming ‘I am a Zionist’ will also made available.
May has been chosen is it sees Israel’s independence day and the anniversary of the birth of Theodore Herzl, the founder of political Zionism.
“In recent years, the concept of Zionism has been undermined by hostile propaganda into a term of abuse and is even used as an antisemitic slur,” a statement said.
“The two organisations want to provide an opportunity to celebrate Zionism, its origin and incredible achievements. They want to educate the wider public that Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people.”
The aim is to provide an opportunity for people to demonstrate their support for Zionism and their pride in everything that the Zionist movement and Israel has achieved.
Luke Akehurst, Director of We Believe in Israel, said: “The events of recent days where the history of Zionism and the very meaning of the word have been traduced make this month of positive promotion of Zionism even more essential. As a non-Jew I am proud to identify as a Zionist – a supporter of Jewish national liberation and self-determination in Israel. Now is the time to shout our Zionism from the rooftops!”
Paul Charney, Chairman of the Zionist Federation said: “Recent polling shows the majority of people in this country agree calling for the destruction of Israel is antisemitic. And yet, if you were to ask the average person if they were a Zionist, they might take it as an insult. While people understand the legitimacy of Jewish self-determination, they don’t know that ‘Zionism’ is the principle of that self-determination. We hope this month will help to fix that.”