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Letter from Richard Sherman to Vanderbilt University re Zionism and the false claim it can be delinked from Judaism

Dear Letter to the Editor:

Sar Starr is entitled to his opinion, but the phrase "anti Zionist Jew" is the ultimate oxymoron. ("Conflating Anti Zionism with Antisemitism Distracts From Necessary Campus Discourse and Student Support").

Zionism has been conflated with Judaism for 3500 years. Judaism exists SOLELY within the four squares of the  3500 year old Jewish Bible aka the Old Testament. That Jewish Bible has only ONE foundational narrative: the Jewish people's Return to Zion -- what today is Israel. It is not complicated. Zionism has been Judaism for 3500 years.

That is why Jerusalem is mentioned 659 times in the Jewish Bible. (FYI - the word Jerusalem is not specifically mentioned even once in the Koran).That is why at the conclusion of every Passover Seder for 2000 years Jews -- Orthodox, Conservative and Reform -- have stood and loudly and proudly prayed the ultimate Zionist prayer: " Next Year in Jerusalem!"

To deny that Zionism is Judaism is to deny the only foundational narrative that the Jewish people have and to thereby deny the Jewish Bible. Nothing could be more antisemitic.

Nothing that mere mortals have done in the last 150 years has changed the sole foundational narrative of the Jewish Bible, the SOLE source of Judaism.

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said with great wisdom and prescience in October 1967 in Cambridge, Massachusetts:

"When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews; you're talking antisemitism."

"In the Words of Martin Luther King", Harvard website, 2016, Professor Martin Kramer.

In a similar vein to Dr. King, New York Times columnist Bret Stephens earlier this year said:

"Whatever else it is, Jewish nationalism — that is, Zionism — is the oldest continuous anticolonial movement in history, starting well before the Romans sought to de-Judaize the area by calling their Levantine colony Palestina. Hanukkah, the festival of lights, is one such reminder, celebrating the recovery of Jerusalem from colonizing Greeks in the second century B.C.E."

("Settler Colonialism: A Guide for the Sincere", Bret Stephens, NY Times, 2/6/24)

Richard Sherman, Florida


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