Many get all bent out of shape when Chomsky & Norman Finkelstein are referred to as Zionists because they have so righteously exposed the crimes of Israel. Sam Charles Hamad is bent out of shape at the suggestion that he is a Zionist & some are falling over themselves to assure him he is not.
Zionist is not an epithet of abuse. It is the designation for someone who believes Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish-only state. Chomsky, Finkelstein, & Hamad fit that description to a tee. If they’re uncomfortable with the designation, they should be because it means identifying with colonialism, apartheid, & ethnic cleansing. The solution to their discomfort is not to hold their hands & soothe their wounded egos but for them to reject Zionism & accept the Palestinian proposal for a democratic, secular state where Palestinians & Jews can live as brothers & sisters.
Cynics claim such a state is a pipe dream but those who grew up in the US under segregation & saw the transformative power of the civil rights movement know that human beings are more suited for harmony than discord. It took massive efforts to reverse the achievements of the civil rights movement because even whites preferred unity to social hatred & a false supremacy.