Dr. Subramanian Swamy, MP, Rajya Sabha said here on Monday that there are many similarities between Zionism and Hindutva but the only difference noted by the Chief Rabbi of Israel Yitzhav Yosef was that India is a polytheistic country whereas Judaism believes in one god.
He was speaking at a discussion organised by The Indo-Israel Friendship Association on Leaders’ Idea of Nations in the context of Zionism and Hindutva. Prof. Gadi Taub from Hebrew University of Jerusalem also participated in the discussion.
“We, too, believe in one god although his manifestations are many and therefore, there is no difference between Judaism and Hinduism. The one thing that is common between Judaism and Hinduism is that both don’t believe in active conversion,” Dr. Swamy said.
“Over the years, India has looked after the Jews who came to India and treated them as their own in an unprecedented manner,” Dr. Swamy said.
Prof. Taub said that Zionism was founded on the idea that all people have the right to self determination and that democracies are the form of government that allow people to be themselves.
“For 2000 years, Jews have had to hide their identity. Thus, for us, Zionism allows for the first time to have what normal people have. I believe that experience is teaching us, sometimes painfully, that democracy and nationalism are not enemies. They are two sides of the same coin and they need each other. If you want to have a healthy, long lasting democracy it needs to have a coherent sense of national identity and patriotism,” Prof. Taub said.
The discussion was moderated by senior journalist Vaibhav Purandare.
Answering a question on whether Judaism as a strategy is aggresive, Prof. Taub said, “For 2000 years Jews have been at the mercy of other people and Zionism was for Jews the opportunity to stop being dependent on others. How many Jews were murdered systematicaly at a global level in the name of Holocaust and hatred? They don’t poke anyone but will not keep quiet or be on their knees in front of any country or group,” he said.
The discussion also touched upon the issue of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. “A mosque is not a place that cannot be demolished. It is a place to offer namaaz (Islamic prayers) and namaaz can be offered anywhere. It does not compare to the fact that Ram was born there,” Dr. Swamy said.
He added, “Zion is today under attack from Islamic extremists, and therefore both of us should come together to fight the Islamic terror forces. During the November 2008 attacks, the terrorists made a special target of the Jewish people staying here.”
Responding to a query about India becoming a Hindu Rashtra and changes in school history textbooks, Dr. Swamy said, “India already is a Hindu Rashtra and going forward there will be changes made in school history books to incorporate more about the fights Hindus won against the Mughals.”