Hasia Diner, former Fulbright Professor at the University of Haifa, says Zionism is a “naive delusion”

Historians in the News
tags: Zionism



Hasia Diner is one of the most acclaimed American Jewish historians in the country. A product of the Habonim Dror Zionist youth movement, she is a former Fulbright Professor at the University of Haifa in Israel.

Now, she’s calling Zionism a “naive delusion” and says she feels uncomfortable entering a synagogue that celebrates its support for Israel.

Diner's op-ed discussing her disillusion, which appeared Monday on the web site of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, immediately stirred passionate and angry responses among readers, including her fellow academics. It also raised the question whether her distancing from Israel makes her an outlier, or reflects a growing trend among American Jews, in general, and the Jewish academic elite in particular.

Diner, who directs New York University’s Goldstein-Goren Center for American Jewish History, writes in her op-ed that she stopped being a Zionist in 2010, and now feels uncomfortable visiting many American Jewish institutions because of their support for Israel. She blames Zionism for the disappearance of “vast numbers of Jewish communities.” She condemns Israel’s alleged "occupation" of the Judea and Samaria, as well as the growth of its haredi and right-wing sectors.

Israel “is a place that I abhor visiting, and to which I will contribute no money, whose products I will not buy, nor will I expend my limited but still to me, meaningful, political clout to support it,” Diner writes. ...




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