Anti-Zionism Among Jews
Jews who criticize or oppose Zionism are usually Orthodox and maintain that Israel can only be regained miraculously. They view the present state as a blasphemous human attempt to usurp Gd's role, and they work to dismantle Israel. However, unlike many gentile antiZionists, they firmly believe in the Jewish right to Israel, but only at that future time of redemption. The bestknown of the religious antiZionists are the Neturei Karta.
Two common religious grounds are typically given for antiZionism. One is that today's Zionism is a secular Zionism, packed with nonJewish influences, and lacking key features like Moshiach and the rebuilt Temple. Adherents to this position are more on the nonZionist rather than antiZionist side. The other reason is that the Talmud (Meseches Kesuvos, 111a), as part of a discussion of certain Torah verses mentioning oaths, states that when Israel went into the second exile, there were three vows between Heaven and Earth:
Groups accepting these positions are more on the antiZionist side.
The religious counterreply to the above is that secular Zionism is a preliminary stage of religious Zionism, and that the vows no longer apply since the gentiles violated their part (by such actions as the Roman persecutions, the Spanish Inquisition and the Nazi Holocaust). The Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the United Nations partition vote of 1947 are also regarded as having given permission to the Jews to reestablish the state by the nonJewish rulers of the area. Once this permission was granted it could not be revoked. It should also be noted that the oaths cited above are only mentioned as a side point in one place in a discussion in the Gemara, and as the viewpoint of an individual. Many people feel that they do not apply in any case.
Some Religious Zionist Jews see the formation of the secular state as accelerating the process of redemption, with themselves playing a major role in doing Gd's will by serving the state, whose creation is often seen as miraculous.
Socalled "nonZionist" Jews are pleased that Israel exists from a practical standpoint-as a haven for oppressed Jews and as a land imbued with holiness wellsuited for Torah study. But they don't generally assign religious significance to the formation of the modern state, and often decry aspects of its secular culture.