Rather than provoke my sibling, Andrea, who is more left-leaning than myself and who reads everything I write, I am using this space today to discuss what it is about the concept of Zionism that pisses off so many people˗˗people who are fed a steady diet of inaccurate information; and so, understandably, still have no clue what it is.

Firstly, I am a Zionist. Secondly, I am not a racist. Being a Zionist does not even remotely make someone a racist. That is myth number one. Nothing in my Southern roots even qualifies me as a racist. That is not how I was raised and that is not how I live my life.

The entire Zionism=racism thing started at the U.N. in 1974 and was propounded by the entire collection of Arab states in an effort to staunch support for the successful creation of the State of Israel. By using the inflammatory language of the U.N., the Arab nations’ axis of disinformation, anyone who ever harbored thoughts about the necessity of, or admitted the reality of Israel as a modern state was denied a forum at the U.N. and this has not abated with time. The other day, the ever-vigilant and fabulously well-informed Hillel Neuer of U.N. Watch posted a link to the BuzzFeed countdown of resolutions by that august body’s various affiliated “human rights” groups which bashed Israel, but neglected to mention the almost quarter-million dead Syrians and the three million displaced ones, or the severe human rights violations by other garden variety dictatorships and persistent human rights violators like Sudan, Russia, China, et al.

Whereas no one really should pay any attention to pronouncements that come out of the U.N., there is something which should be highlighted˗˗namely, that the U.N. really needs to find something else useful for their human rights bodies to do or disband them entirely. There is so much misery today in the world, some of which they are directly responsible for, that setting itself upon Israel serves no useful purpose whatsoever and it makes them look like textbook and authentic racists. Perhaps it is time these human rights busybodies be defunded. They have only served to muddy the waters of human rights worldwide and in the process, have deprived that expression of all its true meaning.

The next point which I would like to address is aimed at the folks who call us everything from “Nazis” to “oppressors” and are so fond of telling anyone who will listen to their nonsense that the Palestinians “live under occupation.” Two days ago, Roger Cohen of the sadly influential New York Times referred to Aza as “an open air prison” once again and referred to Palestinians as “disenfranchised people.” He quotes Israeli far left individuals on the political spectrum at will, as if their voices are not being heard loudly enough to suit him. For good measure, he invokes Tzipi Livni and Chaim Herzog as proponents for change. Now that American newspapers have an affinity for interfering in Israeli politics, we should not disappoint them by ignoring Roger Cohen’s words, however incorrect and misguided they are. If he listened to any voice but his own, as all narcissists tend to do, I would tell him, “Roger, the Palestinians have been in control of their own destiny since Oslo. Please stop blaming us for their anti-Semitic incitement and the murder of Jewish citizens of Israel. They chose this path themselves. They are not babies and they do not need outsiders telling them how to behave in a civilized world. When they want to sit down and discuss peace. we will be there. If they want us to give up land in the bargain, don’t count on it.”

Finally, I want to address the lasting myth of our neighbors. This is where my sister gets angry with me, as enlightened and as educated as she is. The people who refer to themselves as “Palestinians” who were somehow “kicked out of their homes” and “forced to flee” the modern State of Israel in 1948 are not from Israel. They are Egyptians, just like Yasser Arafat. They are Arabs, just like the Qataris, Kuwaitis or Iraqis. They came for economic reasons during the British Mandate period and they came illegally at that. Along with them, they brought their racist and anti-Semitic religious figures to whom they pledged allegience. They did not build anything useful or practical. They did not create infrastructure which you would find with any group planning a permanent presence somewhere. That is the textbook definition of a “society” by anthropologists and archeologists alike who state that certain things must be in evidence before calling any region of a collected group of people “permanent.”

The Arabs did build mosques, but neglected to build roads, hospitals, sustainable agriculture or anything required by modern city or land dwellers. No dams to store the valuable and scarce water supply. No regular irrigation to provide food for their inhabitants. No ports to support commerce with other nations. No public transportation. No draining of wetlands to rid the land of mosquito-borne illnesses. No aid societies. All of these things and more had to wait for the Jews to do as they returned to the land in sufficient numbers to change the desolation they found when they made the first aliyah in the 1880s. That is what Zionism means.  And anyone who refuses to think so is the true racist.