If Zionism Never Existed
Many Jews are anti-Zionist (extreme left-wingers, Satmar) or non-Zionist (most charedim). Those who object to Zionism on religious grounds can certainly point to many early Zionists who were anti-religious and who saw nationalism as replacing Judaism. They also claim that there are innate religious problems with creating a state. But would they prefer that Zionism had never arisen?
Let's imagine what the world would be like without Zionism. There would be no State of Israel, but what would be in its place? Some people seem to think that it would have been a region of the British Empire, like Stamford Hill. But the age of the British Empire is long over, and they would have pulled out by now even without Zionists pushing them out. Israel would be the State of Palestine, home to a few million Arabs along with a few hundred thousand Jews at most (since there would have been none of the mass immigrations).
What would life be like in the State of Palestine for these Jews? It wouldn't be like living in Brooklyn or Stamford Hill, where there is a generous welfare state and protection of rights (though note that patience is starting to run out in these countries for exponentially growing communities that live off welfare as an ideology and refuse to provide secular education). It would be like living in other authoritarian Middle Eastern Arab countries, which isn't so great, especially for Jews. There would be terrible poverty and occasional persecution. And forget about generous government grants and permissions for developing shuls, yeshivos, and holy sites.
The State of Israel has worked out very, very well for religious Jews. And, of course, were it to chas v'shalom disappear now as part of a war (or "peace deal") with the Arabs, the consequences would be absolutely catastrophic. Charedim might not have been happy with how it came into existence, but they certainly now should be appreciating its existence and understanding the necessity of enabling it to thrive. (And I do think that many of them would agree to this, at least in theory.)
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