As probably everyone who is not really educated in the realm of Zionism I have always thought Zionism was something not very nice. It's not like I was bothered by it -- because I am a pacifist above all -- nor was I thinking about it all the time like it was something bad. It's just that whenever asked about it or heard about it the thought that came to my mind first was something mildly negative. See, this is why it is important to educate people about Judaism and related topics.
I hope -- maybe naively enough -- that people who could be even more harmful than me (which is not very hard to do) would change their minds as soon as they'd learn. The problem is they are not very willing to :-( I mean the really harmful ones. My impression is that these people enjoy being mean and they are not interested in reality but more in their reality they have created for themselves. They become protective of their created reality and scared to leave it ... I am more and more convinced that anti-Semitism (which, I think, goes hand in hand with anti-Zionism) originates from insecurity of a person's identity.
Now that I have clarified -- at least to a certain extent -- my ideas about Zionism by reading Kertzer's and Wylen's books my vision has changed some. I don't think of Zionism as something negative anymore. It is certainly true that Zionism is a nationalistic movement and therefore a little bit exclusive but it is also understandable. I mean, the Jews almost never had a home.
As a Hungarian (well, half) I know. Hungary was founded in 1000 AD, Hungarians did not have a home beforehand. They were wandering around, occasionally attacking other peoples who came along, they were hunters and fighters. Then, we arrived to the Carpathian Basin and our leaders decided this is going to be our country. Well, it was all beautiful and stuff but there were people here who were convinced that the place was their country. So my ancestors fought them, negotiated with them and finally -- after having agreed to adopt Christianity -- we were allowed to stay. Our first king, Stephen, fought his brother, as well, because his brother was the eldest -- therefore the next righteous king -- but he resented Roman Catholicism and wanted to remain Pagan. Finally even he converted to Orthodox Catholicism but the Roman Church was stronger in the territory and they have supported Stephen to win over his brother and helped him to take the throne.
Why am I talking about this? Because it is somewhat similar to how the State of Israel was founded. With the slight difference that the Land of Israel used to be the Jewish homeland for a while, so in my terms the Jews had every right to claim it back. And therefore Zionism looks completely different from such a perspective.
What I think about the relationships of Israel with the surrounding area: well, as I have already mentioned, I am a pacifist, so I am against all kinds of warfare. I also know that sometimes war is inevitable, unfortunately. The Arab world does not like the fact that the Jewish State has been founded in their midst. The Jewish people don't like attacks on their own. So there is continuous conflicts to be solved and I am really sad that diplomacy does not seem to work there. I am hopeful, I wish that Israel and the Arab world would reconcile and live next to each other peacefully, without rackets and air force attacks, and killing innocent people on both ends. Evidence shows that Israel is not in the way of developing the area, au contraire. I would love to see the Arabs cooperating with Israel for the benefit of both parties. Until that is possible, I know there would be bloodshed and I know that sometimes there is no alternatives.