In pre-Israeli Days, Zionism was a dynamic, world-wide movement whose goal was the creation of a Jewish national homeland in Palestine. In 1948, to the surprise of many leading Zionists and others, the goal was achieved. From then on, nobody could ever figure out what a Zionist was. Some say a Zionist is a Jew who tries to persuade a second Jew to give money to settle a third Jew in Israel. Zionism has become an ideal whose time has gone. Is a Zionist now someone who is friendly to Israel? Well, so are the non-Zionists – indeed, all Jews, not to mention WASP candidates for public office in America. Is a Zionist someone who contributes to Israel? Well, as Ben-Gurion puckishly used to remind the Zionists, the non-Zionists give more. So what is a Zionist? The Israelis (understandably worried that Israel is becoming an oriental or Levantine state) have a simple answer: if you claim to be a Zionist, you must come and live in Israel. The result is a thunderous silence. Aw, come on, say the Israelis, stop playing games, we need you. The silence now becomes eloquently ominous.
Albert Vorspan, My Rabbi Doesn’t Make House Calls: A Guide to Games Jews Play (Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1969), 102.