I’ve been an active defender of Israel for about six years, as of this writing. And throughout that time, I’ve encountered hundreds of brave, inspiring people — both Jewish and non-Jewish — who share my passion and commitment to Jewish rights. I would like to devote this space to the diverse array of non-Jewish allies I’ve met over the years, many of whom were persecuted by their peers, neighbors, friends, and even family members just for defending our people. In some ways, I can relate to them on an arguably deeper than my Jewish friends because, although I am a Jew myself, I come from a subculture that is profoundly hostile to Zionism and Jewish rights, and have likewise faced ostracism and even physical violence for my convinctions.

As a lifelong punk, I’ve always believed that true freedom and strength is breaking from the herd and defending what is right, even in the face of overwhelming adversity. With that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to some of the strongest people you will ever meet in your life.

I support Zionism because I am a Muslim and the Quran describes Israel as the land promised to the Jews. The land “flowing with milk and honey” was promised to the Jews by God:

Qur’an 17:104 : And We said unto the Children of Israel after him: Dwell in the land; but when the promise of the Hereafter (wa3’dul akhirati) cometh to pass We shall bring you as a crowd gathered out of various nations.

And I am of course a Zionist because being Kurdish prompts my support for Israel unconditionally!” ~ Zorav Darisiro, Kurdish-Muslim activist living in Norway

I am a Zionist because I believe that Jews are an indigenous people to that region and it is their right to have a homeland in Israel. And with the level of anti-Semitism increasing, the idea of a Jewish homeland to protect Jews proved to be more of a necessity now than ever.” ~ Josiah Ching, from Malaysia

I support Zionism because I am an Arab. Being an Arab has exposed me to the history of the Jewish people and Israel. Knowing that history, I feel compelled to support the right of Jews to self-determination on their traditional land. Being an Arab I also know that we have unnecessarily and unjustly fought Israel’s right to exist, so we owe a debt to Jews. We must repay that debt not only by no longer opposing the existence of Israel, but also by supporting Israel in any way we can and as often as we can; this is something that I do personally and encourage other Arabs to do.” ~ Fred Maroun, Lebanese-Canadian commentator and blogger

As a gentile I self identify as a Zionist because I feel self determination should be universal. And the Jewish people suffered the loss of their self determination under the Romans. It’s only right they should get it back.

“le-shanah ha-ba’ah bi-Yerushalayim” – Next Year in Jerusalem is now a reality but this was HaTikvah “The hope” of every persecuted Jew in exile.

I will always defend the right of the Jews to return to Zion. Any decent human being would.

Shalom” ~ Paul Randall, from the UK

Hindu intention to protect Jewish from prehistoric era. I’m following our ancestors” ~ Sonu Kumar, from Darbhanga, India

The Jewish people have a right to self-determination and the security that comes with having a nation-state of their own.” ~ Shane Nagle, from London, England

Homeland for Jews in the land they have been praying towards for 3,000 years” ~ Adrian McArdle, also from London

Because Israel rocks.” ~ Atrijit Dasgupta, from India

Because Jews are indigenous to Israel and it’s the only place on earth they are truly free to be Jewish.” ~ Nadiya al-Noor, American LGBT Muslim activist

I am an Arab & European female who lives in a multicultural area. I am Pro-Palestinen & I also consider myself a Zionist. Yes, people like this exist.

Even though I am NOT Jewish. History has shown the horrors Jewish people endured. From the Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, Holocaust & expulsion from their homes.

Even in today’s multicultural society that peaches tolerance. Anti-Semitism is on the rise. I still see Jewish persecution. Attacks are still prevalent, via physical, slanderous & biased media. All which can be damaging.

After being the victim of a Anti-Semitic hate crime, for having Jewish friends. I understood why Zionism is important. I was shocked at how apathetic my local police,ACPD & DOJ were. With Anti-Semitic hate crimes, victims seldom receive justice. As the laws that are in place to protect them, seldom do. If anything it re-victimizes them. This is something Jews have went though for years.

With little means of support I feel they must heavily rely on themselves. For safety, community & their survival. Zionism is a way of protecting Jews while keeping old traditions alive. My father once told me. In order to be a good Muslim, one my be a good Christian, to be good Christian you need to be a good Jew.” ~ Anja Bonva

I believe people have the right to live on their ancestral lands, and to be protected from genocide.” ~ Jon Brewer, of the Lakota tribe

Because I believe that Jews have the rights that all other groups have. To live within their land securely and to practice their religion or not practice this religion, in peace.” ~ Adam Hallington, from Los Angeles

Defend the Jewish people, cause when they are done with them they will come for you.” ~ Aristeidis Pariskakis, from Greece

Because I believe Jewish people were bullied throughout history because nobody respects homeless and defenseless people…” ~ Ko Chit, Indian-British man from London

The Jewish people deserve a home, a safe place. I was born in Afghanistan, and all my life I heard bad things about Jews and Israel. I fell in love with a person who not only happens to be Jewish but who fought for Israel, and that strength and struggle of the Jewish people is something I admire and I will even fight for Israel if I have to to defend the Jewish people and their history and culture.

I could go on and on about why I support Israel, but it is their struggle that I hold dear to my heart. Am Yisrael Chai” ~ Yasmeena Ali, Afghan Pashtun-British model who wears a Star of David during many of her shoots

Imagine about 1,500+ years ago, the Dutch and British (or some other imperial power) came into the South African soil [it might have been called something else then;

 Raped most African women and their daughters,
 Kicked out most of the natives,
 And subjugated those who remained by;

Suppressing their culture and identity,
Giving them inferior education, and
Subjecting them to peripheral economic activity.

These poor black people end up being exiled to hellholes where they are turned into slaves, excluded from all kinds of human progress and massacred for being savages. When they finally return home to South Africa, they are regarded as colonisers by the descendants of the same people who exiled them in the first place.

This ladies and gentleman is the dilemma that confronts the state of Israel, the world is hard at work to template victims of the aggression that lasted for many centuries as violators of human rights. But we may ask; at what point do victims of aggression become aggressors?

To borrow from the famous paper of Frederick Douglass in July 1892:

“Just as the Jew is hated in Russia, because he is thrifty, so the Negro meets no resistance when on a downward course. It is only when he rises in wealth, intelligence and manly character that he brings upon himself the heavy hand of persecution.”

Blacks and Jews have a common history, I see myself in Jewish struggles…”~ Tshediso Mangope, from South Africa

The legitimacy of Israel is a symbol for the legitimacy of all indigenous groups in our present world. I support Israel because I believe in its right to exist, govern it’s people, and determine who it’s people are as a matter of tribal self determination.” ~ Michael Coosateehee, of the Cherokee tribe

I support Israel because I’m a humanist. Hate of Jews has been thru the ages the marker of people standing against everything I stand for.

I stand with the Jews because I got to know them both thru books and, what is more, in person. I saw in them a proud, intelligent and hard-working people bearing the traumas of millenia of discrimination by us, non Jews. This made me feel shame for my people, and it made me want to do my utmost to help heal the traumas inflicted on the Jews by my people.

More than a sense of justice and honor (for only people who recognize their nations’ crimes can be seen as honorable to my mind) what brings me close to the Jews and their State, Israel, is love and a sense of belonging born out of the knowledge I have gained in the meantime regarding the history and culture of the Jewish people.” ~ Ioannis Ikonomou, from Greece

My support for Zionism is rooted in the self-preservation of the Jewish people. Throughout history, they have been displaced from their native land and sent off and oppressed by both Christian and Islamic majority nations. While rising anti-immigrant sentiment and Islamophobia is occurring in both the US and European continent, antisemitism is also on the rise by both far right white nationalists and Islamic extremists. For example, many Jewish people from France are leaving to Israel as they no longer feel safe there. It’s ironic that many people who claim to be for “safe spaces” oppose Israel even though it is a safe space for Jewish people regardless if you accept any of the pro-Zionist arguments. ~ Lissette Talledo, from Los Angeles

Believe it or not, I haven’t even scratched the surface.

And of course, this is not to discount the importance of my Jewish co-ethnics who, like yours truly, refuse to allow their rights and dignity to be trampled on. We can be found all over the political spectrum: from the Republican right to the radical left, and everything in between. We disagree on a myriad of things, but when it comes to Israel, we stand united. The mounting crests of global antisemitism will not intimidate us. They will not stop us, and they will certainly never destroy us. When we said never again, we meant never again.

I am a Zionist because my people’s origin is in the Levant, from my father’s side I am a Levite, and our people have yearned for the homeland for thousands of years. I am a Zionist because we have a right to a homeland, as does any other indigenous people.” ~ Jane Au Strauss, Jewish American professor

Zionism is the National Liberation Movement of the Jewish People. It is the return of a historically dispossessed and persecuted people to the proud dignity of sovereign nationhood in the land in which they have thousands of years of indigenous ancestral roots, religious, spiritual, cultural, political, and societal. It represents the reuniting of a land and a people, a re-assertion of the ancestral national rights of a people into equality with all other national peoples on earth.” ~ Paul Goldstein, a Jewish expat in Norway who, along with yours truly, runs the largest progressive Zionist group on Facebook i.e. Progressive Zionism

Zionism objectively or ‘International’ Zionism if you will: I believe that the oldest existent ethnicity from a place should be allowed (but no coerced) to move to the area of their historical homeland (not necessitating the removal of anyone else there) and should they become the majority in part of it, they should be able to have a polity there where the symbols and name represent their history and traditions. In the remainder of their historic homeland, their history, language and traditions should be taught and recognized. In both their state and the rest of their homeland, everyone should have equal civil rights.” ~ Adam Ben-Yoel

Because the Jewish people have come back home, regained sovereignty and can finally walk upright again.” ~ Tomer Bar-Lavi

Because the return to Zion, Ave restoring our national language dead after 2000 years, is resisting Colonialism and the injustices perpetrated on is by the Roman occupation.” ~ Shai Reef

Because I believe that like all nations, Am Yisrael deserves to be sovereign and independent. And, that as a nation and people that suffered more than any other from being exiled and dispossessed of power in their indigenous homeland, the Jewish people earned, through our blood, sweat and our history, the right to sovereignty in our indigenous homeland.” ~ Micha Mich Danzig, Jewish American political commentator and activist

I am a Zionist because I’m a huge fan keeping my family alive in a world where the majority of it’s systems revolve around the mythology of our death and sacrifice.” ~ Matthew Finkelstein

Because Zionism is morally, religously, ethically, and historically necessary” ~ Brad Keil

Because we have indigenous rights to the land of Israel. There has been a continuous presence in Israel for the last few thousand years. To deny us a homeland is to deny our identity and our history. Despite what self hating Jews and many lefty’s will tell you – the Palestinians are not native to Israel, except for those (and there are many) who have a considerable amount of Jewish ancestry.” ~ Shimra Starr Englard

I’m a Zionist because I fully support the reestablishment, protection and sovereignty of a Jewish nation in Israel, land to which the Jewish people are indigenous.” ~ Francine Robin

I’ll cut it right there for now. I may end up doing a part 2. In the mean time, I strongly encourage all readers to share why they are Zionists (assuming I don’t have any anti-Zionist readers).