The number one priority for the Israeli government is to make Jews worldwide feel that Israel is their project, their priority and vital to their lives. This is why Israel denies that there is no such a thing as an Israeli, distinct from being Jewish.
The zealotry of the Zionists is legendary. They were determined, no matter what, to make the Jewish state in Palestine a reality, even if it meant working behind the scenes to close off other options than Palestine for Jews evicted from their European homes. The use of terror to make a physical place for Israel was embraced.
The Arabs living in what was to become Israel, didn't have a chance. There is an interesting account of Harry Truman's involvement in recognizing the new Jewish state in 1948 and his rejection of the position of the pro-Arab U.S. State Department, officials of which predicted exactly what has come to pass should America back Zionism.
I don't believe that the actions of the settlers in the occupied territories can be easily separated from the original Zionist impulse, since the settlers are only continuing to take the land that was claimed even before Israel came into being. Settlement is a second wind of Zionism.
This leaves Jews in a quandary. Is Israel necessary to the survival of worldwide Jewry as was claimed by Zionists from the start of the movement? Are Jews without a voice if it does not originate from Israel? Is a Jew who opposes Zionism some kind of a traitor? Is Israel more of a liability than an asset to those Jews living outside of Israel?
Israel's government would deny emphatically that Zionism has become an anachronism but I believe it has. The counter-arguments that trumped the Arab opposition in past decades - that the Holocaust survivors deserved a place in Palestine, that Israel was an unsinkable battleship for the West in the Cold War, that Israel was a developing democracy - all of these no longer apply.
I would draw an analogy between Israel in Palestine and someone thrusting a hand into a beehive. The angry bees would sting the hand viciously. Would the owner of the hand be right in claiming to be a victim and calling the bees aggressors? Would the owner of the hand be justified in destroying the beehive because he was stung? Would he be right to say the behavior of the bees was unjustified and unforeseen?
I think the establishment of Israel was a mistake with predictable consequences that we have seen come to pass. If anything, Israel should be at pains to address the loses and suffering of the Palestinians that began right from the start, yet this is as far from Israel's policy as can be.
I don't call for the elimination of Israel. We can't roll back history. But I do call for a withdrawal of any and all support for the settlements. Zionism must come to a stop. Enough damage has been done. I am not Jewish. I don't want to underestimate the difficulty that non-Israeli Jews might have in opposing what Israel does. But that is a necessary action for them to take in the name of justice.
Here is an interesting article about Miriam Margolyes, an anti-Zionist Jew and the actress who played Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter films, encountering a displaced Palestinian.