Religion Magazine

Does Patriotism Equal Zionism?

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
secular zionism is hardly an issue nowadays. Arguing about it is, like many other arguments, arguing about history, arguing about 50-70 year old issues. We can argue about the Secular Zionists of 70 years ago and debate whether or not they were anti-religious, whether or not they were doing good or bad, whether or not they did some bad things along the way, but what does that have to do with us, 70 years later,  in today's world? Sure, things are far from perfect, but, for the most part the religious community continues to grow unhindered and even encouraged and supported by the government. We have freedoms and liberties today that we did not have 70 years ago.
why can't a person love Israel and wave the flag from a perspective of being patriotic and loving the country he lives in, even without considering himself a zionist (if he does not want to associate with that word due to its history)? why must singing the anthem and waving the flag automatically associate a person with zionism, rather than as just being a patriotic person and loving the country one lives in?
If I can celebrate July 4th and/or Thanksgiving in the USA, and I know not everybody does, why must celebrating Yom Haatzmaut be related to Zionism and therefore someone might be hesitant to do so, so as not to be perceived as a Zionist, God forbid, or so he won't have to worry about his kids shidduchim or childrens schools or whatnot?
In today's world, if I do not want to declare myself a Zionist, can I still be patriotic to my country? Is patriotism automatically Zionism? Can someone who is a non-Zionist still be patriotic and love Israel the country??  
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