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Debate on Anti-Zionism

Letter to the Canadian Jewish News, February 2007

Many thanks for covering a debate about my book A Threat from Within: A Century of Jewish Opposition to Zionism that took place at McGill University (“Relevance of Jewish anti-Zionism”, CJN February 8, 2007, p. 19). It was indeed rewarding to discuss with students who had read my book and reviewed it as part of their course work. Unfortunately, the article ignores the students’ insightful comments while amply covering the words of Rabbi Reuben Poupko, who admitted that he had not read my book.

The debate took place among the growing diversity of Jewish views on Israel and Zionism, as expressed by the recent foundation of  Independent Jewish Voices in Britain, partly inspired by our own Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians. It is this diversity that explains why the phenomenon of Jewish rejection of Zionism has been attracting attention in Israel and elsewhere. In less than months, the Jerusalem Post alone printed an interview with me about this phenomenon, a review of my book and, finally, an article of mine that focuses on Zionism and its impact Israel’s international behaviour. Kudos to your paper for extending the debate on Jews, Judaism and Israel to our country’s Jewish life.

Yakov M Rabkin

Professor of History

University of Montreal

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