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In light of the further theft of occupied Palestinian territory today which ethnically-cleanses the natives out of their land:

Below is an article about how Israel was created, how Zionism is fascistic in nature and always has been, and it is sourced from British archives, based in Kew, London, with the words and reports from the early Zionist leaders and British politicians and includes the differences between the Brits and Israelis in the process of forming this settler-colonial project. It also shows the mistreatment, to put it lightly, of Jews fleeing Nazi Germany in WW2 and how some were killed for refusing to be placed in Palestine as Zionists demanded. There are images of some of the papers and notes in the article, link at the very bottom. I was really shocked by some of this information. Everyone should read it:

Terrorism: How the Israeli state was won
On December 14, Tom Suárez spoke at The House of Lords, London, at the invitation of Baroness Jenny Tonge. Drawing from his recently published book State of Terror, he addressed the centennial of the Balfour Declaration and his views on the way toward ending today’s Israel-Palestine “conflict”. The following are Suárez’s remarks. The book was reviewed here by David Gerald Fincham.

Good evening, thank you so much for taking time out of what I know are your busy schedules to be here now. My thanks to Jenny Tonge for making this meeting possible; and I would like to thank three people without whom the book would not exist: Karl Sabbagh, my publisher; Ghada Karmi, who inspired the book; and my partner, Nancy Elan, who was my constant alter-ego during my research and without whom I surely would have given up.

My work is based principally on declassified source documents in the National Archives in Kew. When I have had to rely on published works, I have trusted established historians who cite first-hand sources. Everything I will say here tonight is based on such source material.

Our topic is of course the so-called “conflict” in Israel-Palestine, a tragedy that has dragged on for so long that it feels static, indeed almost normalised. But unlike other deadly conflicts, this one is wholly in our power to stop—“our” meaning the United States and Europe. It is in our power to stop it, because we are the ones empowering it.

We are now approaching the centennial of the British Original Sin in this tragedy, the Balfour Declaration. The British role in Palestine was a case of ‘hit & run’: The Balfour Declaration, in which the British gave away other people’s land, was the hit; and thirty years later, Resolution 181—Partition—was the run, leaving the Palestinians abandoned in a ditch.

Zionism was of course among the incarnations of racial-nationalism that evolved in the late nineteenth century. Bigots were Zionism’s avid fans—it was the anti-Semites who championed the Zionists. Gertrude Bell, the famous English writer, traveler, archaeologist, and spy, reported, based on her personal experience, that those who supported Zionism did so because it provided a way to get rid of Jews.

The London Standard’s correspondent to the first Zionist Conference in 1897 I think described Zionism perfectly. He reported that

…the degeneration which calls itself Anti-Semitism [bear in mind that ‘anti-Semitism’ was then a very new term] has begotten the degeneration which adorns itself with the name of Zionism.

Indeed, most Jews and Jewish leaders dismissed Zionism as the latest anti-Semitic cult. They had fought for equality, and resented being told that they should now make a new ghetto—and worse yet, to do so on other people’s land. They resented being cast as a separate race of people as Zionism demanded.

They had had quite enough of that from non-Jewish bigots.

For others, the idea of going to a place where one could act out racial superiority was seductive. As the political theorist Eduard Bernstein put it at about the time the Balfour Declaration was being finessed, Zionism is “a kind of intoxication which acts like an epidemic”.

By the time the Balfour Declaration was finalised, thirty-plus years of Zionist settlement had made clear that the Zionists intended to ethnically cleanse the land for a settler state based on racial superiority; and it was the behind-the-scenes demands of the principal Zionist leaders, notably Chaim Weizmann and Baron Rothschild.

First-hand accounts of Zionist settlement in Palestine had already painted a picture of violent racial displacement. I will cite one of the lesser known reports, by Dr. Paul Nathan, a prominent Jewish leader in Berlin, who went to Palestine on behalf of the German Jewish National Relief Association. He was so horrified by what he found that he published a pamphlet in January, 1914, in which he described the Zionist settlers as carrying on

a campaign of terror modelled almost on Russian pogrom models [against settlers refusing to adopt Hebrew].

A few years later, the Balfour Declaration’s deliberately ambiguous wording was being finalized. Sceptics—and the British Cabinet—were assured that it did not mean a Zionist state. Yet simultaneously, Weizmann was pushing to create that very state immediately. He demanded that his state extend all the way to the Jordan River within three or four years of the Declaration—that is, by 1921—and then expand beyond it.

In their behind-the-scenes meetings, Weizmann and Rothschild treated the ethnic cleansing of non-Jewish Palestinians as indispensable to their plans, and they repeatedly complained to the British that the settlers were not being treated preferentially enough over the Palestinians. And they insisted that the British must lie about the scheme until it is too late for anyone to do anything about it.

In correspondence with Balfour, Weizmann justified his lies by slandering the Palestinians and Jews—that is, the Middle East’s indigenous Jews, who were overwhelmingly opposed to Zionism and whom Weizmann smeared with classic anti-Semitic stereotypes. The Palestinians he dismissed as, in so many words, a lower type of human, and this was among the reasons he and other Zionist leaders used for refusing democracy in Palestine—if the “Arabs” had the vote, he said, it would lower the Jew down to the level of a “native”.

With the establishment of the British Mandate, four decades of peaceful Palestinian resistance had proved futile, and armed Palestinian resistance—which included terrorism—began. Zionist terror became the domain of formal organizations that attacked anyone in the way of its messianic goals—Palestinian, Jew, or British. These terror organizations operated from within the Zionist settlements and were actively empowered and shielded by the settlements and the Jewish Agency, the recognized semi-autonomous government of the Zionist settlements, what would become the Israeli government.

There was no substantive difference between the acknowledged terror organizations—most famously, the Irgun, and Lehi, the so-called Stern Gang—and the Jewish Agency, and its terror gang, the Hagana. The Agency cooperated, collaborated, and even helped finance the Irgun.

The relationship between the Jewish Agency, and the Irgun and Lehi, was symbiotic. The Irgun in particular would act on behalf of the Hagana so that the Jewish Agency could feign innocence. The Agency would then tell the British that they condemn the terror, while steadfastly refusing any cooperation against it, indeed doing what they could to shield it.

The fascist nature of the Zionist enterprise was apparent both to US and British intelligence. The Jewish Agency tolerated no dissent and sought to dictate the fates of all Jews. Children were radicalised as part of the methodology of all three major organizations, and by extension, the Jewish Agency.

Britain’s wake-up call regarding the Zionists’ indoctrination of children came on the 8th of July, 1938. That day, the Irgun blew up a bus filled with Palestinian villagers. Now, this was not the first time the Irgun had done something of this sort, but this time the British caught the bomber. She was a twelve year old schoolgirl.

Teenagers, both boys and girls, were commonly used to plant bombs in Palestinian markets and conduct other terror attacks. Teachers were threatened or removed if they tried to intervene in the indoctrination of their students, and the students themselves were blocked from advancement if they resisted, even being taught to betray their own parents if those parents tried to instill some moderation. Jews who opposed and tried to warn of the emerging fascism were assassinated, and indeed most victims of Zionist assassinations—that is, targeted, rather than indiscriminate—were Jews.

From the beginning of World War II through to the summer of 1947, there were virtually no Palestinian attacks, even though Zionist terror against Palestinians continued. A British explanation for the Palestinians’ failure to respond in kind was that they understood that the attacks were a trap, intended to elicit a response that the Zionists would frame as an attack against which they would have to ‘defend’ themselves. This was a Zionist tactic noted by the British as early as 1918, and it remains Israel’s default strategy today, most blatantly in Gaza, but also in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

As late as the fall of 1947, the Jewish Agency was concerned by the Palestinians’ failure to respond to its provocation, but when the end of 1947 came and the Jewish Agency could wait no longer for the civil war it needed, it was simply a matter of ratcheting up the terror.

Throughout the Mandate period, the takeover and ethnic cleansing of Palestine remained Zionism’s unwavering goal. As but one illustration, I will summarize a key meeting of twenty people held in London on the 9th of September, 1941.

“To be treated as most secret” is the red ink heading of the transcript. Present were Weizmann, who had called the meeting, David Ben-Gurion, and other Zionist leaders such as Simon Marks (of Marks & Spencer); and the prominent non-Zionist industrialist, Robert Waley Cohen. Discussing the path to the proposed Jewish State, the conversation ran along the lines of George Orwell’s still-to-be-published Animal Farm, in which all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Anthony de Rothschild began by stressing that there would be no “discrimination … against any group of its citizens” in the Jewish state, not even “to meet immediate needs”. Weizmann and Ben-Gurion also assured the sceptics: “Arabs”—Palestinians—would have equal rights. However, they clarified that within that absolute equality, Jewish settlers would have to have special privileges. Weizmann’s ‘absolute equality’ included the transfer of most non-Jews out of Palestine while permitting “a certain percentage of Arab and other elements” to remain in his Jewish state, the insinuation being as a pool of cheap labour.

Anthony de Rothschild’s vision of equality and non-discrimination was equally compelling: it “depended on turning an Arab majority into a minority”, and to achieve this, there would be “no equal rights” for non-Jews.

Cohen found the scheme dangerous, submitting that the Zionists were “starting with the kind of aims with which Hitler had started”. Cohen did not stop there: he suggested that if a state with equality for everyone were indeed intended, the state should be named with a neutral geographic term. He suggested … ‘Palestine’. The others were horrified at this idea, arguing that if the state had a non-Jewish name, “they would never get a Jewish majority”, in effect acknowledging the use of messianic fundamentalism as a calculated political strategy.

In another obvious but rarely spoken admission, Ben-Gurion clarified that the ‘Jewish state’ was not based on Judaism; it was, rather, based on being a ‘Jew’, that is, by the Zionists’ racial definition.

Asked about borders of his settler state, Weizmann continued in the same surreal manner. He replied that he would consider the partition plan proposed by the Peel Commission four years earlier, in 1937, but that “the line” (the Partition) “would be the Jordan”. This was nonsensical: the Jordan was the Commission’s eastern border for the two states, and so Weizmann’s ‘partition’ meant 100% for his state, 0% for the Palestinians. He went further still: he would “very much” like to “cross the Jordan”, that is, take Transjordan along with Palestine.

At the end of the meeting Weizmann sought to put his proposals into effect officially in the name of all Jews worldwide. Those against his proposals were, in his word, “antisemites”.

Meanwhile, World War II was raging. What was the Jewish Agency’s reaction to the most terrible enemy Jewry has ever known? From the beginning, it was to lobby the Yishuv, the Jewish settlers, not to enlist in the Allied struggle against the Nazis, because doing so would not serve Zionism—even taking advantage of May Day 1940 to lecture the Yishuv to stay in Palestine rather than join the war effort. Another reaction was to conduct a massive theft ring of Allied weapons and munitions, “as if”, as one British military record put it, “paid by Hitler himself”.

Much has been written on the collaboration between the Zionists and fascists during the war, the best known of course being the Haavara Transfer agreement that broke the anti-Nazi boycott. One of the least known was Lehi’s attempted collaboration with the Italian fascists. In its nearly concluded ‘Jerusalem Agreement’ of late 1940, Lehi would help the fascists win the war, and in return the fascists would uproot any Jewish communities not in Palestine and force their populations to Palestine.

If this sounds like a scheme so extreme that only fanatical Lehi could have conjured it, it is essentially what the Israeli state ultimately succeeded at in the early 1950s—most catastrophically, when it conducted a false-flag terror campaign against Jews in Iraq to destroy that ancient community and move its population to Israel as ethnic fodder.

Violence targeting Jews was, and I would argue remains, a core tactic of Zionism. In fact, the single most deadly terror attack of the entire Mandate period was not the bombing of the King David Hotel in 1946 as is commonly thought. Even some of the Irgun’s bombings of Palestinian markets killed more people than the King David attack. But the most deadly single terror attack was the Jewish Agency’s bombing of the immigrant ship Patria in 1940, killing an estimated 267 people, of whom more than 200 were Jews fleeing the Nazis.

The Jewish Agency bombed the Patria because it was bringing the DPs to Mauritius, where the British had facilities for them. The Agency needed the DPs to be settlers in Palestine without delay, and was willing to risk the lives of all aboard in order to get the survivors to remain—which, indeed, they did.

In further violence against its Jewish victims, the Agency framed the dead for the bombing. It spread the lie that the DPs themselves blew up the vessel, that they committed mass suicide rather than not go directly to Palestine, posthumously conscripting the dead to serve the Zionist myth.

This was no aberration, but the driving principle of the Zionist project: Persecuted Jews served the political project, not the other way around.

Another major tactic of violence against Jews by the Jewish Agency and American Zionist leadership was the sabotaging of safe haven in order to force them to Palestine. As but one example, in 1944 US Zionist leaders sabotaged President Roosevelt’s provisional success in establishing a half million new homes for European DPs, most of these homes in the United States and Britain. When Roosevelt’s aide Morris Ernst visited the Zionist leaders in an attempt to save the program, he was, in his words, “thrown out of parlours and accused of treason”— ‘treason’, because he was Jewish, and the Zionists owned Jews.

Nor were those already settled safe. In 1946, the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Palestine, Yitzhak Herzog, conducted a massive kidnapping operation of Jewish orphans that had been adopted by European families when their parents perished years earlier. Removing ten thousand children from their homes was the number he cited to the NY Times as his goal. In the National Archives, I found a copy of his own record of the trip.

Herzog railed against the fierce resistance he met in every country by horrified local Jewish leaders who tried to protect the children. But Herzog used his political clout to circumvent them. In France, for example, facing the steadfast refusal of the Jewish leaders to betray the children, Herzog

met the Prime Minister of France from whom I demanded promulgation of a law which would oblige every family to declare the particulars of the children it houses,

so that those of Jewish background could be exposed and put back in orphanages until they can be shipped to Palestine—quite a Kafkaesque twist on Passover for these children who had just been spared the Nazis.

Herzog’s justification for the kidnappings was that for a Jew to be raised in a non-Jewish home is “much worse than physical murder”. Yet even this ghastly justification fails to explain what was actually taking place, because at the same time Herzog was ‘rescuing’ Jewish orphans from this fate “much worse than physical murder”, his Jewish Agency colleagues were sabotaging Jewish adoptive homes in England for young survivors still in the camps. The real reason for all of it, of course, was that the children were needed to serve the settler project as demographic fodder.

To that end, the Jewish Agency had coerced President Truman to segregate Jewish DPs into Zionist indoctrination camps, despite objections that it echoed Nazi behaviour. For these people who had just survived the unthinkable, then severed from the rest of humanity into these brainwashing camps, there was no such thing as free thought.

The camps nurtured such fanaticism that it shocked a joint US-UK committee that visited in 1946. Before these camps, few DPs wanted to go to Palestine. But now the Committee found them in a delirious state, threatening mass suicide if they did not go to Palestine. Suggestions of new homes in the United States, which had always been the favored destination, were again met with threats of mass suicide.

DPs were also groomed to bring Zionist terrorism to Europe, bombing Allied trains and Allied facilities. The bombing of the British embassy in Rome in 1946, for example, was by DPs brainwashed in these camps, as was a near-catastrophe in the Austrian Alps in 1947 when DPs nearly blew a train off a steep trestle into a deep abyss, which would almost certainly have sent its two hundred civilians and Allied troops to their deaths.

German Jewish immigrants to Palestine during war were outraged by the Zionists’ exploitation of the Nazi horrors they had just fled. This outrage given voice by, among others, the prominent journalist Robert Weltsch, editor of Berlin newspaper until banned by the Nazis in 1938.

Weltsch warned that Zionist leaders

have not yet understood that the enemy seeks the destruction of the Jews … We who have been here only a few years, we know what Nazism is.

Zionists, rather, are “taking part in the crash of European Jewry only as spectators”, fighting the British and keeping Jews from joining the Allied struggle while getting comfortable and rich from their political project in Palestine. Recent immigrants from Germany and Central Europe, he said, have no representation among the Zionist ruling establishment. If they did,

we would have demanded that the Yishuv should put itself at the disposal of Britain for the fight against Hitler and Nazism.

But—and I am still quoting Weltsch—

They do not want to fight against Hitler because his fascist methods are also theirs … They do not want our young men to join the [Allied] Forces … day after day they are sabotaging the English War Effort.

These German Jewish immigrants were shunned by the Zionists, their publications and presses bombed. Even Kiosks were bombed for selling non-Hebrew papers to German Jewish immigrants.

In 1943, a man whom British records describe as “a Jew whose integrity is not open to question” risked his life to warn the British about the threat of Zionism. For his safety, he was referred to only by the code-name ‘Z’.

Z described Zionism as a parallel movement to Nazism. He warned that the Zionist indoctrination of Jewish youth was producing a society of extremists who will use any method necessary to achieve Zionist goals; and he pointed out that, as fascism in Europe has demonstrated, such a society is very difficult to undo once it has taken root. The result, I’m afraid, is what we, or more accurately the Palestinians, are facing today in the so-called ‘conflict’.

How trustworthy is this anonymous testimony? I found at the National Archives a private letter in which Z is identified — he was J.S. Bentwich, the Senior Inspector of Jewish Schools in Palestine.


would have got further towards rescuing the unfortunates in Axis Europe, had they not complicated the question by always dragging Palestine into the picture

—so judged a report by US Intelligence in the Middle East, dated the 4th of June, 1943, entitled “Latest Aspects of the Palestine Zionist-Arab Problem”. It described “Zionism in Palestine” as

a type of nationalism which in any other country would be stigmatised as retrograde Nazism,

and stated that anti-Semitism was essential to it. Whereas

assimilated Jews in Europe and America are noted for being … stout opponents of racialism and discrimination,

Zionism has bred the opposite mentality in Palestine,

a spirit closely akin to Nazism, namely, an attempt to regiment the community, even by force, and to resort to force to get what they want.

US intelligence assailed “the crude conception” being spread of the Palestinian people as “a nomad tent-dweller … with a little seasonal agriculture”, as being “too absurd to need refutation”. The report noted the irony that it was from them that Zionist settlers learned the cultivation of Jaffa oranges. Whereas the Palestinians were self-sufficient, the Zionist settlements exist on massive external financing, and should Jews overseas ever tire of supporting the settlers, “the venture will collapse like a pricked balloon”. The conclusion of this early US intelligence report was however naïve, or at least premature: now that the world “has seen the lengths to which the Nazi creed has carried the nations”, it reasoned that the Zionists “are due to find themselves an anachronism”.

After the war, the Jewish Agency discussed its enemies. They were democracy; the Atlantic Charter, which of course became the basis for the United Nations; Reconstruction; and the fall in anti-Semitism, anti-Semitism having always been Zionism’s drug, without which it would be irrelevant. The Agency sought to exploit anti-Semitism and blamed declining anti-Semitism in the United States on America’s so-called “democratic attitude”.

Nor was this merely a post-war abuse. Even as Jews were still being carted off to the death camps, the New Zionist Organization’s Arieh Altman was typical in arguing that anti-Semitism must “form the foundation of Zionist propaganda”, and the Defence Security Officer in Palestine, Henry Hunloke, wondered if the Jewish Agency might even “stir up anti-Semitism … in order to force Jews … to come to Palestine”.

Now, today, when anything approaching this topic is raised, it is twisted by some into the pejorative misstatement that the speaker—in this case, me—is blaming Jews for anti-Semitism.

NO. Rather, it is the simple fact that Zionism requires anti-Semitism, is addicted to it, and seeks to insure that it, or at least the appearance of it, never ends. One need look no further than the satisfaction among many Zionists today at the true anti-Semitism of the incoming US administration of Donald Trump, with Israeli journalists like Yaron London openly applauding this anti-Semitism as welcome news. More about that in a few minutes.

I also mentioned Reconstruction. As one former settlement member, a man named Newton, explained, Zionist leaders were afraid that with the improvement of conditions in Europe the pressure on Palestine would subside. Any improvement in Europe was an anathema to their plans.

What was the Jewish Agency’s reaction to Britain’s role in defeating the worst enemy Jewry has ever known? It saw an opportunity for extortion. The war had devastated Britain’s economy; but when Britain turned to the US for a long term loan to recuperate from its battle against the Nazis, the Agency tried to pressure Washington to deny the loan unless Britain acceded to Zionist demands. The loan was of course ultimately approved, but still in 1948 Zionists assailed US Congressmen for being pro- Marshall Plan, and the Truman administration itself dangled the loan in front of British officials when they tried to bring attention to Zionist atrocities.

By 1946, Zionist terrorism had become the defining daily challenge of life in Palestine, and one hundred thousand British troops proved unable to contain it. Anyone or anything that kept Palestine a functioning society was a target of the Zionists. Trains, roads, bridges, communications, oil facilities, and Coast Guard stations were constantly being bombed. Utility workers, telephone repairmen, railway workers, bomb disposal personnel were murdered. Police were long a favoured target and were gunned down by the dozens.

Among the smaller terror organizations that popped up was one specifically dedicated to Zionists’ long-running fear of Jews befriending non-Jews, the ultimate fear of course being polluting what for the Zionists was the pure Jewish race. As a sample of its methods, the terror group doused a disobedient Jewish girl with acid, severely injuring her and blinding her in one eye.

Zionist terror was aided by the Jewish Agency’s phenomenal intelligence network. The Agency had informers all the way to high-placed sympathetic US officials that fed them intelligence, such that the British learned not even to trust direct messages to US President Truman.

When the UN’s Palestine committee, UNSCOP, visited Palestine in the summer of 1947, the Agency had replaced the committee members’ drivers with spies; had replaced the waiters at the main restaurant they frequented with spies; and most productively, sent five young women to serve at what was called a “theatre network” of house attendants at the building where the members, all men, were being housed. The young women were required to be smart and educated, but above all, in the Agency’s word, to be “daring”. Whatever ‘daring’ meant, they extracted a wealth of information from the key people who were deliberating Palestine’s future.

Jewish sex workers were involuntarily recruited as spies. They were told that upon the Zionist victory they would be executed for ‘sleeping with the enemy’, but might be spared if they cooperated now. The practice was so widespread that a standard questionnaire was printed up that the women were to fill out after each British customer. [note: see document detail, above]

To demonstrate the degree to which Jewish Agency plants infiltrated the government and everyday life, a couple of months after one coast guard station was attacked and bombed by the Hagana, it blew up again … but the British were baffled, because this time there had been no attack. They discovered that the construction crew that had rebuilt the station after the previous attack were Hagana, and had simply embedded explosives in the reconstruction, to be detonated when desired.

But the worst problem of infiltration was in the military service, where deadly sabotage by Zionist plants who had joined the forces led, tragically, to orders to remove all Jews from service in Palestine, because there was no way to tell the Zionists from the Jews.

By 1948, this problem spread to key medical personnel. After the Jewish Agency poisoned the water supply of Acre with typhoid in order to expedite the ethnic cleansing of this city that lies on the Palestinian side of Partition, the bacteriologist hired by the British proved to be a Hagana plant or sympathizer, an obstacle to the availability of the vaccine. [Note: see document detail, below. For the injection of typhoid into the aqueduct at Acre, see e.g., Ilan Pappé, Ethnic Cleansing, pp 100-101, and Naeim Giladi, Ben Gurion’s Scandals, pp 10-11]

Selling terror required effective marketing, and for that the Agency harnessed the plight of European Jews at the same time it was exploiting them. A very brief look at the iconic Zionist immigrant story is illustrative—that is of course the USS Warfield, renamed the Exodus for the obvious Biblical iconography.

The Exodus was sold to the world as the desperate attempt of 4,515 Holocaust survivors to reach their last hope of safety and a new life, their promised land. The British, instead, forced them back, not just to Europe, but to their ultimate nightmare: Germany.

That was the story the US and European public got.

In truth, the Exodus was a monstrous propaganda event, grand theatre, not for benefit but at the expense of Jewish survivors. The Jewish Agency knew that Exodus passengers would be turned back, for, among other reasons, their flooding of Palestine with settlers was a tactic to force its political goals. And remember that the entire Exodus cargo of immigrants equalled less than one percent of President Roosevelt’s resettlement plan that the Zionists sabotaged. The DPs themselves were products of the Zionist camps and had been rehearsed to repeat, as one witness described it, whatever Zionist mumbo-jumbo was demanded of them.

As for the return to Germany, it was the Jewish Agency, not the British, that forced the DPs back to Germany. Attempts were being made to find new homes for the Exodus passengers elsewhere—Denmark was one possibility—but this was sabotaged by Ben-Gurion, because it would spoil the Exodus plot.

There was in fact already an alternative to Germany. All the Exodus DPs had the right to disembark in Southern France rather than Germany, but the Agency used violence to prevent them from leaving. The Exodus show required the pathetic spectacle of their forced return to Germany.

The British decided to call the Agency’s bluff. They visited Golda Meir (then Meyerson), and spoke as though it went without saying that the Agency would do anything to spare the DPs the horrific return to Germany. They said that perhaps the DPs do not realize that they are free to disembark in southern France if they wish, or do not believe the British, and suggested that the Agency send a representative to tell them. Meir refused. To paraphrase Israeli Professor Idith Zertal, the greater the suffering of these survivors of the Holocaust, the greater their political and media effectiveness for the Zionists.

A few months after the Exodus affair, the UN recommended partition, with the assumption that a Zionist state would follow. This decision was directly influenced by the certainty of continuing Zionist terror if they did not, as was the disproportionately large land area the UN gave the Zionists.

According to British Cabinet papers, giving the Zionists so much land up front was an attempt to delay the Zionists’ expansionist wars. They knew they couldn’t stop Israeli expansionism, but they hoped to delay it. This appeasement of course failed: within a few months of Resolution 181, the Zionist armies were already waging their first expansionist war, confiscating more than half of the Palestinian side of Partition.

But in a consummately Orwellian irony, the fact that the British were occupying Palestine enabled Zionist leaders to juxtapose their settler project as a liberation movement against British colonizers, and thus for their 1948 terror campaign of expropriation and ethnic cleansing to be spun instead as a war of ‘independence’ or ‘emancipation’.

This so-called war of independence was in truth, to quote the British High Commissioner at the time, “operations based on the mortaring of terrified women and children”. Its broadcasts boasting of their successes, “both in content and in manner of delivery, are remarkably like those of Nazi Germany”. The Zionists were “jubilant” he reported, with “their campaign of calculated aggression coupled with brutality”.

British intelligence, meanwhile, reported that “the internal machinery of the Jewish State and all the equipment of a totalitarian regime is complete, including a Custodian of Enemy Property to handle Arab lands”.

In the Yishuv itself, “persecution of Christian Jews”, by which I assume they meant converts, “and others who offend against national discipline has shown a marked increase and in some cases has reached mediaeval standards”.

All this, to be sure, was before any Arab resistance.

Finally, on the 15th of May, 1948, Britain fled the scene of its crime, for which the Palestinians have been paying ever since. The post-statehood period continued full throttle with the same violent messianic goals, evolving with the new dynamics.

Now, there is no point in my having taken up your time here, no point any tree wasting its paper on this book, unless I thought that it had some value in the collective effort toward ending the conflict. So … How do I think that this book, how do I think my approach, might be constructive?

The historical record makes plain what should already have been obvious from the present reality—that Israel’s and Zionism’s pretenses regarding Jews and Judaism, and in particular its pretense of being a response to anti-Semitism and Jewish persecution, is a fraud. Indeed quite the opposite, it thrives by exacerbating and capitalizing on these, and has turned them into a cynical, deadly business.

Exposing this, in my opinion, is Israel’s—and the conflict’s—Achilles Heel. And this should be a simple case of the Emperor’s New Clothes—except that every time the child points out that the Emperor is naked, he or she is labelled an anti-Semite and silenced.

The US and other governments empower the conflict for their own geopolitical reasons, but why do the publics of those allegedly democratic countries give their tacit acquiescence?

Israel has one of the world’s largest militaries, but its most powerful weapon, the one without which all its others would be impotent, is its Narrative, its creation myth, its auto-biography.

Under the Twilight Zone of this Narrative, Israel is not merely a political entity like any other nation-state, but is transformed into the Old Testament kingdom whose name it adopted for that strategic purpose, striking a powerful chord in the collective Western sub-conscious.

We all know the Narrative more or less, but in order for that Narrative to be ever-present, Israel has crammed it into a 3-word mantra: ‘The Jewish State’.

This phrase—Israel’s self-identity—is a unique construct in the modern world. It is qualitatively distinct from any other country’s relationship with any other religion or cultural group. Judaism is not Israel’s state religion in the sense of a national faith that any nation might adopt. Rather, it presents itself as THE Jewish state, the metaphysical embodiment of Jewry itself, of Judaism, Jewish history, culture, persecution, and most cynical and exploitative of all, the Holocaust.

No country claims it is the Catholic state. Costa Rica, for example, is a Catholic state; it does not suggest that it owns Catholicism, Catholics, or historic Christian martyrdom. We do not have the British government issuing guidelines as to when criticism of the Costa Rican government becomes anti-Catholic hate speech. Norway is a Lutheran state; Tunisia is one of several nations that maintains Islam as a national faith; Cambodia is a Buddhist state. Israel, in contrast, would never acknowledge even the possibility of another Jewish state because it has body-snatched everything Jewish, and holds it hostage to empower its crimes.

Criticise Israeli terror, you will instead hit this three-word human shield—‘The Jewish State’— that Israel hides behind.
What other country on this earth is permitted this perverse tribal claim over a religious or cultural group? This self-proclaimed exceptionalism should strike us as bizarre—even weird—yet we continue to be party to it.

We hear a lot about anti-Semitism these days, and there is of course anti-Semitism in the world, as there are all varieties of bigotry. But let’s just blurt out the obvious: Virtually all of the alleged anti-Semitism we hear about from the Zionists is a lie, smears calculated to silence anyone who seeks to end the horror.

This smear campaign has been compared to the McCarthy witch hunt of the 1950s, but it is in truth much worse, because whereas Communism is merely a political and economic theory that one can argue for or against, anti-Semitism is inherently evil. In other words, with McCarthyism, one could ultimately respond by saying, Well, let’s say I am a communist, so what?

Zionism’s abuse of anti-Semitism, its exploitation of Judaism and historic Jewish persecution for immoral ends, is profoundly anti-Semitic. Zionism, taken at its word, makes Judaism complicit in its crimes, and thus—taken at its word—succeeds where all the conventional bigots throughout the centuries were powerless.

Meanwhile, as we are seeing more bluntly than ever in the United States, true anti-Semitism is embraced by Zionists because it is invariably pro-Israel.

One hundred years ago, MP Edwin Montagu accused the British government of anti-Semitism for colluding with the Zionists. History has proven him correct. If Israel is forced to stop this anti-Semitic abuse, if it is forced to come out from hiding behind its human shield, the conflict will be seen for what it is and so could not continue. Israel-Palestine will become a democratic, secular country of equals.

And what more poetic year than the Balfour centennial for that to happen.

Thank you.
skinster wrote:Below is an article about how Israel was created, how Zionism is fascistic in nature and always has been,

That's a filthy lie. Israel has been democratic from the start. Its the Arab states that have looked to Stalin and Hitler for inspiration. Turkey, Thailand, Myanmar, these are countries with fascist tendencies. Saudi Arabia seems to be moving in a fascist direction.
Agreed on Saudi Arabia, but explain this shit:

Rich wrote:Israel has been democratic from the start.

It's an odd thing for you to say considering the early Zionist leaders were well aware they were into supremacy, not democracy.

Also, did you read the OP?
skinster wrote:It's an odd thing for you to say considering the early Zionist leaders were well aware they were into supremacy, not democracy.

But the mistake you make, not just you but perhaps the majority of modern people make, is that you counter-pose democracy to supremacy. I think I'm right in saying that all the ancient Greek states classified as dēmokratiā had slavery, certainly Athens did. But all democracies have a boundary, all democracies distinguish between an in group and an out group.

Far from being counterposed to supremacism, the rise of vigorous, robust democracy is normally intertwined with supremacy. The United States didn't need a civil war to abolish slavery because it was undemocratic, but precisely because it was one of the most democratic post / late agrarian societies in the world at the time. South Africa didn't create Apartheid because democracy was weak, but precisely because democracy was so vigorous and strong. It wasn't the elite in South Africa that wanted Apartheid. It wasn't the Anglos, it was the Afrikaner plebeians.
[quote="Rich"]all democracies distinguish between an in group and an out group[/quote]
It's no surprise then that Israel is what it is.

[i]The highest Jewish ideals are essentially American in a very important particular. It is Democracy that Zionism represents. It is Social Justice which Zionism represents, and every bit of that is the American ideal of the twentieth century. Zionism is the Pilgrim inspiration and impulse all over again. To be good Americans, we must be better Jews, and to be better Jews, we must become Zionists.[/i]

— Louis D. Brandeis, member of the US Supreme Court (appointed 1916) and Honorary President of the World Zionist Organisation (elected 1920)

ingliz wrote:The highest Jewish ideals are essentially American in a very important particular. It is Democracy that Zionism represents. It is Social Justice which Zionism represents, and every bit of that is the American ideal of the twentieth century. Zionism is the Pilgrim inspiration and impulse all over again. To be good Americans, we must be better Jews, and to be better Jews, we must become Zionists.

— Louis D. Brandeis, member of the US Supreme Court (appointed 1916) and Honorary President of the World Zionist Organisation (elected 1920)

I've got zero time for this worthless drivel. And I have / had the same zero tolerance, when similar sentimental drivel has been said by Blair or Boris about Britain. "Britishness is about tolerance and fair play."

Of course there is a rational for having a world democracy, where all adult humans get to vote. That would be "fairest". That would be most equal. That is the logical conclusion of anti racist Liberalism. The problem is the vast majority of people don't want a world democracy. Obviously the Nazi Chinese regime is anti democracy full stop, but why do we see no demonstrations in India demanding a world democracy. Indians along with the Chinese have the most to gain in terms of power and influence from a world democracy over the status quo? We don't see them because there's no interest in universal democracy.

Even the Communists, the supposed committed internationalists, the supposed committed universalists can't sustain world wide democratic organisation just for communists. In fact the Communists can't even maintain a democratic organisation within national boundaries.
Young American Jews are increasingly anti-Zionist since they're aware it's a racist settler-colonial project that oppresses the natives of Palestine. I witnessed it at anti-AIPAC and pro-Palestine demonstrations when I was in the U.S. and here is another example:

When My Daughter Called Israel an Apartheid State, I Objected. Now, I'm Not So Sure

Rich wrote:But the mistake you make, not just you but perhaps the majority of modern people make, is that you counter-pose democracy to supremacy. I think I'm right in saying that all the ancient Greek states classified as dēmokratiā had slavery, certainly Athens did. But all democracies have a boundary, all democracies distinguish between an in group and an out group.

It's not really how us "modern people" view democracy but kind of like within the definition of democracy as I understand it, which includes social equality, something Israel doesn't have since it denies the millions of Palestinians under its rule the right to vote or the right to literal freedom (since a couple of million refugees are caged inside a massive prison called Gaza).

And aside from this, the not-so-modern people of the early 1900s who gave away Palestine to racist European Zionists, at least pretended there would be equal rights for all living in Palestine and the new state of Israel. It's right there in The Balfour Agreement.
Rich wrote:sentimental drivel

You missed the point in my last post.

The point to be taken from the Brandeis quote is this: "are essentially American... the American ideal... the Pilgrim inspiration"

This is American democracy...

When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.

— Gilens and Page, Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens, Cambridge Journals (2014)

By adopting America's 'democratic' practices in the 80s, choosing "the road from socialism", Israel condemned itself to violate its founding commitment to equality.

Israel is "democractic" in the same way that South African under apartheid, or Dixie were 'democratic.'

Democratic for the few.

By the way, Democratic Greece was also 90% slaves, so Israel may have had this in mind when it took over Palestine. But as with many First Nations, the Palestinians refused to be slaves, so they were treated with cruelty and violence.
Prof Joseph Massad goes into the recent Israeli lebensraum and some of the history of the settler-colony, with details completely new to me that are just, wow :eek: . I don't know how this guy keeps all that information in his head and then talks it through forever, I had to take breaks listening to this because there is so much to digest. :|
More from Joseph Massad:

The core of Zionism is settler-colonialism, not democracy
"Zionism has never been a movement for self-determination"
The passing of Israel’s Nation-State Law last year rekindled age-old questions about Zionism and Jewish self-determination. To unpack these issues, I sat with Professor Joseph Massad who was in London to give a keynote speech on “Israel’s fear of democracy” at a MEMO conference in the capital.

“Zionism,” he told me, “has never been a movement of self-determination. It never claimed to be. This is a new claim that began to be put forth sometime in the 60s and 70s. However, in that period, the claim was not for Jewish self-determination but something called Israeli self-determination.”

These important distinctions and the significance of what he was suggesting became clear in the course of our discussion which honed in on many of the common propaganda tropes peddled to justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

Joseph Massad is Professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University. He offered a lengthy explanation for why the “self-determination” claim is problematic. His remarks also debunked many of the false assertions that have washed up in the current political climate, the most significant of which is the determination of pro-Israel groups to conflate Israel and Zionism with Jews and Judaism. Proponents of the Zionist state have of late pushed the narrative that its founding ideology is merely Jewish self-determination and, the argument goes, if you oppose Zionism you are in fact denying Jews a basic right that’s granted to all other nations and you are, therefore, being anti-Semitic. The sole purpose of this novel formulation seems to be to suppress criticism of Israel and Zionism, an ideology whose similarity with settler colonialism is far greater than its alleged connection to anything resembling a modern liberal democracy.

Zionism always defined itself as a settler-colonial movement
“Zionism is first and foremost a settler colonial movement; this is not a national movement, for example, by native populations that were trying to liberate their country from colonial forces,” explained Massad in tracing the history of the ideology. “This is a movement by European settler-colonial who wanted to take over someone else’s country and create a settler colony.” He explained that the founders of Zionism never shied away from admitting that the project they envisaged was a settler-colonial movement and not one for national self-determination, as we are constantly led to believe. “This is not just what the enemies of Zionism have said; this is what Zionists themselves have said.” He cited the father of political Zionism, Theodor Herzl, who spoke openly about colonisation in his writings.

Unlike the current proponents of the State of Israel, Herzl felt no obligation to conceal the true nature of his project through “double speak” and pretences. Zionist organisations founded by Herzl, for example, named themselves “colonisation associations”, such as the “Jewish Colonisation Association” and “The Palestine Jewish Colonisation Association” which is also known by its Yiddish acronym PICA. Nor was there any attempt to disguise the true goal of Zionism when its leaders named the “The Jewish Colonial Trust” which was founded in 1899. The organisation helped fund Jewish settlers in Palestine. All were Zionist institutions that used the word colonial and its derivatives to explain that their project was indeed intended to establish a Jewish colony.

Jewish opposition to Zionism
Massad pointed out that from the 1890s to the 1940s the majority of world Jewry opposed Zionism and refused to endorse it. “Zionism,” he told me, “was a minority Jewish position by a minority of Jews.”

He mentioned the lead-up to the first Zionist Congress in Basle to illustrate Jewish opposition to Zionism. In 1897, when Herzl decided to convene the meeting in Munich, the orthodox and reform rabbis in the city got together and blocked it, because they viewed it as an anti-Jewish gathering. Their opposition to Zionism forced Herzl to move the Congress to Basle in Switzerland.

Zionist discourse evolves from settler colonialism to liberation
Prof. Massad described the evolution of the Zionist discourse which, he noted, mutated according to historical context. After 1967, when Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Zionists began to throw out the language of settler-colonialism and started to use the terminology of “national liberation”. He explained that Zionists saw an opportunity and wanted to capitalise on the rise of national self-determination groups across the world, which was characteristic of the time. “Indeed, by the 1940s they [Zionists] realised that using the world colonial and colonising in their own literature was becoming offensive because colonialism was no longer fashionable in the age of anti-colonial movements. They immediately adopted a strategy of purging from these programmes the names of agencies that mentioned colonisation and adopted the terms of national liberation groups.”

Why then, adopt legislation like the Nation-State Law which has been denounced widely as an apartheid law? Massad said that two important things happened: In 1947/8 the Zionist colonial movement was able to expel 90 per cent of the indigenous Palestinian population and declare a state of Israel. This artificial construction of a Jewish majority enabled the settler-colonialists, who had suddenly become a majority, to speak of Israel as a Jewish and a democratic state. He emphasised the fact that only after Israel had expelled the vast majority of Palestinians did it adopt democratic procedures. At the same time, Israel was concerned about the small number of Palestinians it had failed to expel. In order to deal with their presence, lawmakers adopted a battery of racist laws to ensure that the Palestinian citizens of Israel would not be in a position to threaten Jewish and colonial privileges.

Massad believes that the Nation-State Law was adopted to address a key question that had faced every Israeli leader: how could they annex and colonise more land without the indigenous non-Jewish population? The current international atmosphere is not conducive to allowing Israel to expel Palestinians en masse, as it had done previously. The solution for Israel, he believes, is to drop its pretence of democracy and invoke the notion of Jewish self-determination. “By doing this you no longer need the question of demography; it doesn’t matter if you’re a majority or a minority. This way you can be 10 per cent of the population and still claim an exclusive right to Jewish self-determination in the so-called land of Israel.” The new law enables Israel to discriminate openly against all non-Jews even if the latter form the majority because Israel’s leaders are no longer concerned about the question of democracy. Israel, Massad insists, has dropped this pretence of being a democracy and found this “formula for coming out as a racist state.”

Can liberal Zionists maintain their support for an apartheid state of Israel?
I asked Prof. Massad what this means for liberal Zionists, especially now that Israel has crossed a moral and political red line unthinkable to progressive Jews worldwide by adopting the Nation-State Law. Was there ever any hope that Israel and Zionism could be rescued from their exclusivist impulses in the way liberal Zionists hoped?

“Yes,” he answered without hesitation. “If they had killed all the Palestinians or expelled them all then it might have become a liberal democratic state [but] for Jews only.” He admitted that he did not believe that Zionism had historically sought any kind of accommodation with the Palestinians. Israel was always, he insisted, “an exclusivist racist state” from the very beginning. “Indeed that is always what Zionism had planned in all its documents. Its founding fathers spoke about how to expel the population, and the conditions that were needed to ‘transfer’ the population.”

Population transfer: a “cosmetic” term to conceal ethnic cleansing
The conversation shifted to the term “population transfer”. Tracing its usage, Massad said that “transfer” was merely “cosmetic”, a euphemism that Zionists had always used to describe the expulsion of the Palestinian population. Plans for this were adopted in the 1920s and 1930s, not least by the head of the World Zionist Organisation, Chaim Weizmann. Prior to becoming Israel’s first President, he had hatched several plans to expel the Palestinians. According to Massad, Weizmann wanted to expel a million Palestinians to Iraq and replace them with 5 million Jews.

These plans are said to have been debated and planned openly. The Zionist movement in Palestine from the 1930s onwards, for example, set up groups called “Transfer Committees” to expel Palestinians from the country by force. “So it is not as though it [Zionism] sought to live with the Palestinians in a democratic state,” Massad insisted. “It always sought to expel them.” With policies that openly advocated ethnic cleansing, he accused liberal Zionists who try to defend the country as a liberal democratic state of being extremely hypocritical. He pointed out that apartheid laws have been in force in Israel since 1948. “The problem for liberal Zionists is that historically they could cover up the chauvinism and exclusivity that Israel sought at the expense of the Palestinians because they could get rid of the Palestinians. Today they are unable to do that so they are in a bit of a bind on how to defend Israel.”

When asked if there is a split between liberal Jews and Zionism, Massad suggested that the split is more between Zionists and anti-Zionists, including Jews who identify as anti-Zionists. Liberal Zionists, Prof. Massad said, have realised that the image of Israel which they had propagandised over many years as democratic is no longer possible. Repeating the contradiction within the liberal Zionist position, he said that their position is extremely insincere, and contrasted it with liberal white South Africans who defended apartheid but opposed occupation: “Imagine that white South Africans during the 1980s said, ‘We support the withdrawal of the South African occupation forces from occupied Namibia but at the same time support white apartheid in South Africa.’ Essentially, liberal Zionists are saying the same thing. They support Jewish racial and colonial privilege enforced by law inside Israel but they don’t want Israel to occupy the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”

Israel’s claim to be a democracy has always appeared to be more fiction than fact. The settler-colonial instinct of Zionism has been the main driving force of its policy over the past 72 years. With no indication that Israel’s appetite for displacing Palestinians and seizing territory is anywhere near sated, there needs to be a real effort by the international community to hold the state to account, end its apparent impunity and decolonise occupied Palestine with a vision that defends genuine democracy and human rights for all. ... democracy/
This is an excellent interview about the history and present of opposition to Zionism (racism and colonialism) by Jews.

The Forgotten History of the Jewish, Anti-Zionist Left - A conversation with scholar Benjamin Balthaser about Jewish, working-class anti-Zionism in the 1930s and ’40s.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s push to forcibly annex up to 30% of the occupied West Bank is exposing the violence inherent in imposing a Jewish ethno-state on an indigenous Palestinian population. While the plan is delayed for now, the human rights organization B’Tselem reports that, in preparation for annexation, Israel already ramped up its demolitions of Palestinian homes in the West Bank in June, destroying 30 that month, a figure that does not include demolitions in East Jerusalem.

The theft and destruction of Palestinian homes and communities, however, is just one piece of a much larger—and older—colonial project. As Palestinian organizer Sandra Tamari writes, “Palestinians have been forced to endure Israel’s policies of expulsion and land appropriation for over 70 years.” Today, this reality has evolved into an overt apartheid system: Palestinians within Israel are second-class citizens, with Israel now officially codifying that self-determination is for Jews only. Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are subject to military occupation, siege, blockade and martial law—a system of violent domination enabled by political and financial support from the United States.

Anti-Zionists argue that this brutal reality is not just the product of a right-wing government or failure to effectively procure a two-state solution. Rather, it stems from the modern Zionist project itself, one established in a colonial context, and fundamentally reliant on ethnic cleansing and violent domination of Palestinian people. Jews around the world are among those who call themselves anti-Zionists, and who vociferously object to the claim that the state of Israel represents the will—or interests—of Jewish people.

In These Times spoke with Benjamin Balthaser, an associate professor of multiethnic literature at Indiana University at South Bend. His recent article, “When Anti-Zionism Was Jewish: Jewish Racial Subjectivity and the Anti-Imperialist Literary Left from the Great Depression to the Cold War,”examines the erased history of anti-Zionism among the Jewish, working-class left in the 1930s and ‘40s. Balthaser is the author of a book of poems about the old Jewish left called Dedication, and an academic monograph titled Anti-Imperialist Modernism. He is working on a book about Jewish Marxists, socialist thought and anti-Zionism in the 20th century.

He spoke with In These Times about the colonial origins of modern Zionism, and the Jewish left’s quarrel with it, on the grounds that it is a form of right-wing nationalism, is fundamentally opposed to working-class internationalism, and is a form of imperialism. According to Balthaser, this political tradition undermines the claim that Zionism reflects the will of all Jewish people, and offers signposts for the present day. “For Jews in the United States who are trying to think about their relationship not only to Palestine, but also their own place in the world as an historically persecuted ethno-cultural diasporic minority, we have to think of whose side we are on, and which global forces we want to align with,” he says. “If we do not want to side with the executioners of the far-right, with colonialism, and with racism, there is a Jewish cultural resource for us to draw on—a political resource to draw on.”

Sarah Lazare: Can you please explain what the ideology of Zionism is? Who developed it and when?
Benjamin Balthaser: A couple of things need to be disentangled. First of all, there is a long Jewish history that predates the ideology of Zionism that looks at Jerusalem, the ancient kingdom of Judea, as a site of cultural, religious and, you can say, messianic longing. If you know Jewish liturgy, there are references that go back thousands of years to the land of Zion, to Jerusalem, the old kingdom that the Romans destroyed. There have been attempts throughout Jewish history, disastrously, to “return” to the land of Palestine, most famously, Sabbatai Zevi in the 17th century. But for the most part, through much of Jewish history, “Israel” was understood as a kind of a cultural and messianic longing, but there was no desire to actually physically move there, outside of small religious communities in Jerusalem and, of course, the small number of Jews who continued to live in Palestine under the Ottoman Empire—about 5% of the population.

Contemporary Zionism, particularly political Zionism, does draw on that large reservoir of cultural longing and religious text to legitimize itself, and that’s where the confusion comes. Modern Zionism arose in the late 19th century as a European nationalist movement. And I think that’s the way to understand it. It was one of these many European nationalist movements of oppressed minorities that attempted to construct out of the diverse cultures of Western and Eastern Europe ethnically homogenous nation-states. And there were many Jewish nationalisms of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, of which Zionism was only one.

There was the Jewish Bund, which was a left-wing socialist movement that rose to prominence in the early 20th century that articulated a deterritorialized nationalism in Eastern Europe. They felt their place was Eastern Europe, their land was Eastern Europe, their language was Yiddish. And they wanted to struggle for freedom in Europe where they actually lived. And they felt that their struggle for liberation was against oppressive capitalist governments in Europe. Had the Holocaust not wiped out the Bund and other Jewish socialists in Eastern Europe, we might be talking about Jewish nationalism in a very different context now.

Of course, there were Soviet experiments, probably most famous in Birobidzhan, but also one very brief one in Ukraine, to create Jewish autonomous zones within territories that Jews lived, or elsewhere within the Soviet Union, rooted in the Yiddish idea of doykait, diasporic hereness, and Yiddish language and culture.

Zionism was one of these cultural nationalist movements. What made it different was that it grafted itself onto British colonialism, a relationship made explicit with the Balfour Declaration in 1917, and actually tried to create a country out of a British colony—Mandate Palestine—and use British colonialism as a way to help establish itself in the Middle East. The Balfour Declaration was essentially a way to use the British Empire for its own ends. On some level, you could say Zionism is a toxic mixture of European nationalism and British imperialism grafted onto a cultural reservoir of Jewish tropes and mythologies that come from Jewish liturgy and culture.

Sarah: One of the underpinnings of modern Zionism is that it's an ideology that represents the will of all Jews. But in your paper, you argue that criticism of Zionism was actually quite common on the Jewish left in the 1930s and '40s, and that this history has been largely erased. Can you talk about what these criticisms were and who was making them?
Benjamin: The funny part about the United States, and I would say this is mostly true for Europe, is that before the end of World War II, and even a little after, most Jews disparaged Zionists. And it didn’t matter if you were a communist, it didn’t matter if you were a Reform Jew, Zionism was not popular. There were a lot of different reasons for American Jews to not like Zionism before the 1940s.

There's the liberal critique of Zionism most famously articulated by Elmer Berger and the American Council for Judaism. The anxiety among these folks was that Zionism would basically be a kind of dual loyalty, that it would open Jews up to the claim that they're not real Americans, and that it would actually frustrate their attempts to assimilate into mainstream American culture. Elmer Berger also forwarded the idea that Jews are not a culture or a people, but simply a religion, and therefore have nothing in common with one another outside of the religious faith. This, I would argue, is an assimilationist idea that comes out of the 1920s and '30s and tries to resemble a Protestant notion of “communities of faith.”

But for the Jewish left—the communist, socialist, Trotskyist and Marxist left—their critique of Zionism came from two quarters: a critique of nationalism and a critique of colonialism. They understood Zionism as a right-wing nationalism and, in that sense, bourgeois. They saw it as in line with other forms of nationalism—an attempt to align the working class with the interests of the bourgeoisie. There was at the time a well-known takedown of Vladimir Jabotinsky in the New Masses in 1935, in which Marxist critic Robert Gessner calls Jabotinsky a little Hitler on the Red Sea. Gessner calls the Zionists Nazis and the left in general saw Jewish nationalism as a right-wing formation trying to create a unified, militaristic culture that aligns working-class Jewish interests with the interests of the Jewish bourgeoisie.

So that's one critique of Zionism. The other critique of Zionism, which I think is more contemporary to the left today, is that Zionism is a form of imperialism. If you look at the pamphlets and magazines and speeches that are given on the Jewish left in the 1930s and '40s, they saw that Zionists were aligning themselves with British imperialism. They also were very aware of the fact that the Middle East was colonized, first by the Ottomans and then by the British. They saw the Palestinian struggle for liberation as part of a global anti-imperialist movement.

Of course, Jewish communists saw themselves not as citizens of a nation-state, but as part of the global proletariat: part of the global working class, part of the global revolution. And so for them to think about their homeland as this small strip of land in the Mediterranean—regardless of any cultural affinity to Jerusalem—would just be against everything they believe.

As the Holocaust began in earnest in the 1940s, and Jews were fleeing Europe in any way they possibly could, some members of the Communist Party advocated that Jews should be allowed to go to Palestine. If you’re fleeing annihilation and Palestine is the only place you can go that is natural. But that doesn’t mean you can create a nation-state there. You need to get along with the people who live there as best as you possibly can. There was a communist party of Palestine that did advocate for Jewish and Palestinian collaboration to oust the British and create a binational state—which, for a host of reasons, including the segregated nature of Jewish settlement, proved harder in practice than in theory.

In any case, the Jewish left in the 1930s and 1940s understood, critically, that the only way Zionism would be able to emerge in Palestine was through a colonial project and through the expulsion of the indigenous Palestinians from the land. In a speech by Earl Browder, chairman of the Communist Party, in Manhattan’s Hippodrome, he declares that a Jewish state can only be formed through the expulsion of a quarter-million Palestinians, which attendees thought was very shocking at the time, but it actually ended up being a dramatic undercount.

Sarah: You wrote in your recent journal article, “Perhaps the single most pervasive narrative about Zionism, even among scholars and writers who acknowledge its marginal status before the war, is that the Holocaust changed Jewish opinioin and convinced Jews of its necessity.” You identify some major holes in this narrative. Can you explain what they are?
Benjamin: I would alter that a bit to say I’m really talking about the communist and Marxist left in this context. I grew up with in a left-wing family where opinion was definitely divided on the question of Zionism—yet, nonetheless, there was a pervasive idea that the Holocaust changed opinion univerally, and everyone fell in line as soon as the details of the Holocaust were revealed, Zionist and anti-Zionist alike.

It’s undeniably correct to say that without the Holocaust there probably would have been no Israel, if just for the single fact that there was a massive influx of Jewish refugees after the war who would have undoubtedly stayed in Europe otherwise. Without that influx of Jews who could fight the 1948 war and populate Israel just after, it’s doubtful an independent state of Israel could have succeeded.

However, one thing I found most surprising going through the Jewish left press in the 1940s—publications of the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party, the Communist Party, and writings by Hannah Arendt—is that even after the scope of the Holocaust was widely understood, their official position was still anti-Zionist. They may have called for Jews to be allowed to resettle in the lands from which they were expelled or massacred, with full rights and full citizenship, be allowed to immigrate to the United States, or even be allowed to emigrate to Palestine if there was nowhere else to go (as was often the case). But they were still wholly against partition and the establishment of a Jewish-only state.

What is important to understand about that moment was that Zionism was a political choice—not only by western imperial powers, but also by Jewish leadership. They could have fought more strenuously for Jewish immigration to the United States. And a lot of the Zionist leaders actually fought against immigration to the United States. There were a number of stories reported in the Jewish Communist press about how Zionists collaborated with the British and Americans to force Jews to go to Mandate Palestine, when they would have rather gone to the United States, or England. There’s a famous quote by Ernest Bevin, the British Foreign Secretary, who said the only reason the United States sent Jews to Palestine was “because they do not want too many more of them in New York.” And the Zionists agreed with this.

While this may seem like ancient history, it is important because it disrupts the common sense surrounding Israel’s formation. “Yes, maybe there could have been peace between Jews and Palestinians, but the Holocaust made all of that impossible.” And I would say that this debate after 1945 shows that there was a long moment in which there were other possibilities, and another future could have happened.

Ironically, perhaps, the Soviet Union did more than any other single force to change the minds of the Jewish Marxist left in the late 1940s about Israel. Andrei Gromyko, the Soviet Union’s ambassador to the United Nations, came out in 1947 and backed partition in the United Nations after declaring the Western world did nothing to stop the Holocaust, and suddenly there’s this about-face. All these Jewish left-wing publications that were denouncing Zionism, literally the next day, were embracing partition and the formation of the nation-state of Israel.

You have to understand, for a lot of Jewish communists and even socialists, the Soviet Union was the promised land—not Zionism. This was the place where they had, according to the propaganda, eradicated antisemisitm. The Russian Empire was the most antisemitic place throughout the late 19th and early 20th century, before the rise of Nazism. Many of the Jewish Communist Party members were from Eastern Europe, or their families were, and they had very vivid memories of Russia as the crucible of antisemitism. For them, the Russian Revolution was a rupture in history, a chance to start over. And, of course, this is after World War II, when the Soviet Union had just defeated the Nazis. For the Soviet Union to embrace Zionism really sent a shockwave through the left-wing Jewish world. The Soviet Union changed its policy a decade or so later, openly embracing anti-Zionism by the 1960s. But for this brief pivotal moment, the Soviet Union firmly came down in favor of partition, and that seems to be what really changed the Jewish left.

Without this kind of legitimation, I think we are all starting to see the Jewish left such as it exists return back in an important way to the positions that it had originally held, which is that Zionism is a right-wing nationalism and that it is also racist and colonialist. We are seeing the Jewish left return to its first principles.

Sarah: That's a good segue to some questions I wanted to ask you about the relevance of anti-Zionist history to the present day. For a lot of people, Israel’s plan to annex huge amounts of Palestinian land in the West Bank, while delayed, is still laying bare the violence of the Zionist project of establishing Jewish rule over a Palestinian population. And we are seeing some prominent liberal Zionists like Peter Beinart publicly proclaim that the two-state solution is dead and one state based on equal rights is the best path. Do you see now as an important moment to connect with the history of Jewish anti-Zionism? Do you see openings or possibilities for changing people's minds?
Benjamin: In a way, Beinart’s letter was 70 years too late. But it is still a very important cultural turn, to the extent that he is part of a liberal Jewish establishment. I would also say that we're in a different historical moment. In the 1930s and '40s, you can really talk about a kind of global revolutionary sentiment and a real Jewish left that's located in organizations like the Communist Party, the Socialist Workers Party and the Socialist Party. And you can see that again in the 1960s. Students for a Democratic Society, which also had a very sizeable Jewish membership, formally backed anti-Zionism in the 1960s, along with the Socialist Workers Party, and formed alliances with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which had also taken an official anti-Zionist position in the late 1960s. You could think about a global revolutionary framework in which Palestinian liberation was an articulated part—you could think about the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Palestine Liberation Organization as part of the fabric of global revolutionary movements.

Today we’re in a much more fragmented space. On the same note, though, we're seeing the rebirth, or maybe continuity, of Palestinian civil rights movements, with Palestinian civil society putting out a call for decolonization—both out of their own traditions of liberation, but also looking to models from the South African freedom struggle. For contemporary Jews who are progressive and see themselves on the left, they’re suddenly realizing that there really is no center anymore, there is no liberal Zionist position any longer. The center has really fallen away. And we're faced with this very stark decision: that either you're going to be on the side of liberation, or you're going to be on the side of the Israeli right, which has eliminationist and genocidal intent that has always been there, but is nakedly apparent now. And so I think people like Beinart are waking up and saying, “I don't want to be on the side of the executioners.”

The history of the old Jewish left and the new Jewish left of the 1960s shows us this isn’t new. Any liberation struggle is going to come from the oppressed themselves, so the Palestinian liberation movement is going to set its terms for struggles. But for Jews in the United States who are trying to think about their relationship, not only to Palestine, but also their own place in the world as an historically persecuted ethno-cultural diasporic minority, we have to think of whose side we are on, and which global forces we want to align with. If we do not want to side with the executioners of the far-right, with colonialism and with racism, there is a Jewish cultural resource for us to draw on—a political resource to draw on. This history of the anti-Zionist Jewish left demonstrates that an important historical role in a diaspora has been solidarity with other oppressed people. That’s the place from which we’ve gathered the most strength historically. So I look at this not as saying, “We're not going to reproduce the Communist Party of the 1930s and 1940s.” We’re saying, “We’ll produce something new, but the past can be a cultural resource that we can use today.”

Sarah: Who or what is responsible for the erasure of this history of Jewish, left anti-Zionism?
Benjamin: I wouldn’t blame the erasure solely on the Soviet Union or Zionism, because we also have to think of the Cold War and how the Cold War destroyed the old Jewish left, and really drove it underground and shattered its organizations. So I think we also have to see how the turn toward Zionism was understood as something that would normalize Jews in a post-war era.

With the execution of the Rosenbergs, the Red Scare of the late 1940s and '50s, and the virtual banning of the Communist Party, which had been throughout the 1930s and '40s half Jewish, for much of the Jewish establishment, aligning themselves with American imperialism was a way for Jews to normalize their presence in the United States. And hopefully that moment has to some degree passed. We can see the emptiness and barrenness of aligning ourselves with an American imperial project, with people like Bari Weiss and Jared Kushner. Why would someone like Bari Weiss, who describes herself as liberal, want to align herself with the most reactionary forces in American life?

It’s a bloody matrix of assimilation and whiteness that emerged out of the Cold War suburbanization of the 1950s. Israel was part of that devil’s bargain. Yes, you can become real Americans: You can go to good U.S. universities, you can join the suburbs, enter into the mainstream of American life, as long as you do this one little thing for us, which is back the American Empire. Hopefully, with the emergence of new grassroots organizations in the United States, among Jews and non-Jews who are questioning the U.S. role supporting Zionism, this calculus can begin to change. With the rise of Jewish Voice for Peace, IfNotNow, the Democratic Socialists of America and the Movement for Black Lives all taking a serious stance against U.S. support for Zionism, the common sense in the Jewish community has begun to move in a different direction, particularly among the younger generation. The battle is very far from over, but it makes me just a little optimistic about the future. ... -apartheid
skinster wrote:This is an excellent interview about the history and present of opposition to Zionism (racism and colonialism) by Jews.

I doubt if any of us with common sense are interested in reading your propaganda about the so-called evils of Israel and Zionism. Therefore, I will pass.
QatzelOk wrote:But as with many First Nations, the Palestinians refused to be slaves, so they were treated with cruelty and violence.

Referring to them as first nations is a filthy cultural Marxist lie, not one of the bands, tribes, confederations, empires, polities that post Columbian Europeans met was a first nation, not even close to it. Not one of them dated back to the first Millennium of settlement, not even close to it. Some of the tribes had even formed after the arrival of Leif Erikson.

As to refusing slavery lets remember many Amerindians were slaves and surfs, before Columbus and his successors liberated the Americas from its pre Columbian darkness.
Rich wrote:Referring to them as first nations is a filthy cultural Marxist lie, not one of the bands, tribes, confederations, empires, polities that post Columbian Europeans met was a first nation, not even close to it. Not one of them dated back to the first Millennium of settlement, not even close to it. Some of the tribes had even formed after the arrival of Leif Erikson.

As to refusing slavery lets remember many Amerindians were slaves and surfs, before Columbus and his successors liberated the Americas from its pre Columbian darkness.

Likewise, the "Palestinians" didn't exist, don't exist, aren't the real Palestians, aren't credible, are not entitled to stay in their homes,are fake,etc.

And like the First Nations, Palestinians are just a fake creation of Marxists and SJW who have never even seen a Cowboys and Indians documentary (or a Hollywood Arab-enemy film) in their lives.

**receives an Academy Award and a Purple Heart medal from Hasbara**
Dr Joel Kovel wrote: In my view - and I've given a lot of thought to this - I think the struggle against Zionism is the moral equivalent of the struggle against slavery. I think it has the same moral weight as the struggle against slavery. Every emancipator who looks towards the possibilities of freeing a whole people - the moral critique of slavery, the fight against slavery is because a whole people is enslaved, and slavery means a whole people is subjected to the superior power and illegitimate authority of another people. So the people of Palestine are enslaved by the Zionist state of Israel.

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