Zionism is or is not racism? First, define your terms. Define your connotations. Put everything into the range of contexts.
People on the various sides of the issues surrounding the statement "Zionism is racism" have different agenda. Each person has a unique set of motives. Motives overlap. There are subsets that are shared to varying degrees.
This approach of defining terms, making plain the various contexts, and understanding unique and shared motives and views is required concerning all terms/concepts and constructs.
John Farnham (user name: "opit"), this site's most frequent commentator to the date of this post, recently mentioned framing and constructs. Disingenuous people with an agenda to advance their cause will deliberately frame an issue putting forth only the positives about their side and the negatives about their opposition or enemies. This happens a great deal around the term Zionism. There are Muslims who do it from their side, and there are Jews who do it from theirs.
What is the right approach? That's easy. The right approach puts the positives and negatives on all sides and calls for all sides to drop the negatives and unify on the positives.
Now, real Zionism, the Zionism of spirit, the truly consistent city of peace and love and truth that is bright and shining on the hill, is the perfectly harmless and always beneficial city. It's Heaven. It's always in our minds when we make it our emotional root and our only root. This is why I am a radical and Jesus is too.
It is a radical concept, because it calls us to make a radical shift (a root change). The root of the term radical is root.
Jesus discussed this via his sayings and parables. He used many analogies to allow the people to make the connections and to grasp (comprehend) the concepts involved. He used the seed, root, tree, and fruit as devices for this overarching theme. Read his words in this light, and his words (scripture) will open up to you.
So, concerning which connotation, in which context, is Zionism racism?
The answer is obvious.
Wherever you find results that place a person or people over another based on race (which is beyond a person's or peoples' ability voluntarily to change) rather than on individual merit, you find racism or ethnic bigotry.
From further above in this post, you should be reminded that subsets of motives may and often do overlap one person to the next. Therefore, those who refer to themselves as Zionists may find themselves lording it over others on account of ethnicity while not themselves having been motivated out of the spirit of racism but rather by virtue of that spirit in others also calling themselves Zionists who have taken control via coercive means.
So, not all forms of Zionism are racism, but one form of what purports to be Zionism is racism and ethnic bigotry.
That later form is not real Zionism. Real Zionists, of which I am one, reject racism. Racism has no place in the bright city on the hill spoken of above. It is unenlightened. It is backwards. Racists are backwards and in the dark whether or not they call themselves Zionists.
Now, keeping all of this absolute truth in mind, read,NAACP hosts hate. By Henry Payne. National Review Online. April 25, 2008.
You will see a one-sided agenda at work.