The Shulchan Aruch, the Code of Jewish law that defines Jewish observance.
The philosophy of Zionism as originally conceived by Hertzl and his colleagues sought to redefine Jewishness as secular nationalism—identifying with the nation of the Jewish people as a secular entity deliberately divorced from our age-old religious identity.
This led to the identification with and support of the Zionist cause to be regarded as the true expression of Jewishness. Thus, once the State of Israel became a reality, Zionist nationalism evolved into identifying passport-carrying citizens of the State as the “real” Jews, and true Jewish “observance” as defined by loyalty to the state and its laws, and not by loyalty to Hashem and observance of his Mitzvos.
This is antithetical to the way that the Jew had always been defined—as a person born from a Jewish mother obligated by Hashem to observe the Torah and Mitzvos regardless of his location, language, or country of citizenship.
Put differently, if being Jewish is about being an ardent Zionist, then as long as I support the State (or the Zionist cause, before the State existed), I am a good Jew. There is no need for me to adhere to Shabbos, the laws of kosher, or anything else, because now that we have the State, we don’t need any of that old-fashioned superstition anymore. We only ever needed religion to maintain national cohesiveness, but now religion has been rendered obsolete by secular nationalism, which holds us together far more effectively; thus, religion can now be discarded.
In this respect, the philosophy of Zionism is not only a corrupting force, but is even more disastrous in its spiritual impact than non-Zionistic secularism or even than defecting to another religion. One who does not observe Torah and Mitzvos full well that there is a certain religious lifestyle known as Judaism that he is choosing for whatever reason not to follow. He does not imagine that he is in any way adhering to that lifestyle; on the contrary, he is consciously, willfully rejecting it. The upshot of this is that once he reaches a point at which he sees the foolishness of his errant ways, whether through pleasant or painful experiences (may we only know the former, but the reality is that sometimes we end up learning our lessons through the latter, may G-d save us), he typically returns to true Judaism and adheres to it uncompromisingly.
In contrast, a Zionist, who has redefined Jewish identity, will never infer from his experiences that he should renounce his current way of life and adopt Jewish observance, because in his mind he is already a very proud, “observant” Jew—a proud citizen of the state. He served in the army, he serves in the reserves, he pays his taxes, he votes, he obeys every law, he sends his children to public schools, to the army, national service, and the reserves, and he passionately marks “Independence Day.” Or, if he is a proud supporter from afar, which is the next best thing to being a citizen, he gives regular handsome donations to the JNF, proudly displays the Israeli flag, has enrolled his children in schools that inculcate Zionist beliefs, and, of course, he too passionately marks “Independence Day.” What more could one ask of him (other than aliyah, of course, his neglect of which evokes in him immeasurable guilt and shame)? His ideology has overtaken him to the point that no amount of personal suffering (G–d forbid) will move him to re-embrace the Judaism of his ancestors.
So in order to reconnect with his true Jewish identity, at some point the Zionist must come to realize the fallacy of Zionist philosophy. This would appear to be at least one of the deeper reasons behind the consistent groveling, lack of leadership, and even corruption evinced by so many of the most powerful Israeli politicians over the years, and their betrayal of the Jewish people through the insane adherence to accursed “peace plans” that involve surrendering Jewish land, money, and guns to the serial murderers of our brothers and sisters and to terrorist collaborators and ideological supporters—as is all documented daily in the popular news outlets.
It would appear that with this Hashem is sending the Jewish people the message that the religion of Zionism is bankrupt and phoney, and in order to be ready to greet the true redemption through our righteous Moshiach, we must return to our true Jewish roots—the laws of the Torah, as codified in the Shulchan Aruch. These laws are divine and therefore timeless, immutable, and the only way for us to be truly fulfilled as Jews.
Based on the Rebbe Rashab’s Kuntres Uma’ayan pp. 46-48.