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(en) UK, Jews against ethnic identity and against state and Zionism too

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Fri, 20 Dec 2002 04:26:06 -0500 (EST)


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This leaflet was produced by a group of anti-Zionist 
Jews in London and handed out at the demonstration 
for Palestinian rights on May 18. They also had a 
banner reading "Jews Against Zionism... and all states" 
which was manouevered to the front along with the rest 
of the anti-capitalist troublemakers. It got the message 
across, eclipsing the moderate pro-Palestinian state 
organizers of the demo and a group of about 300 Islamists 
shouting anti-Semitic slogans. 

The leftists who organize anti-Israel demos tolerate these 
bin Laden followers - their slogan 'No platform for racists' 
only applies to white racists.

The line 'the grassroots spirit of the first Intifada' 
refers to the original Palestinian uprising which started 
in 1988. It is regarded as more positive than the second 
Intifada of October 2000, because it had a class 
perspective, involved mass strikes by Palestinian workers 
(whom the Israeli economy still needed in 1988, but not in
2000), did not involve 'martyrs' killing themselves and 
innocent Israelis, and was not run by corrupt politicians 
and Islamic fascists.

One might object to any group in the category "Ethnic group 
X against Y", but "Jews Against Zionism" isn't at all 
exclusive. "Jews Against Zionism" is a positive development, 
and this is a timely and powerful intervention.

      Jews Against Zionism
      Zionism claims to speak for all Jews, because it 
wishes to silence us. Zionism claims Palestine as the 
homeland, because it wants to uproot us. Zionism claims 
to be the only possible defence against a new holocaust, 
because it wishes to dominate us.

      The actions of the Israeli state have actually made 
us more vulnerable as Jews, as shown by the rise of anti-
Jewish attacks. And in a telling twist, congregation 
members of a strongly anti-Zionist Stoke Newington synagogue 
have stated that Zionist militants are likely to be 
responsible for a spate of threats and attacks against them.

      As Jews we are supposedly obliged to support a 
permanent state of war and hold a laughable 'right' to 
'return' to a land many of us have never seen. But as people 
descended from the murdered of the Nazi genocide and 
countless pogroms - and who but for a few decades whould have 
been murdered for being Jewish and for other 'crimes' too - 
we reject Zionism and all it entails.

      Zionism is the predicatable outcome of worldwide 
nationalism, colonialism and statism. Born at a time when the 
world was being carved up and the European nation-state 
system consolidated, Zionism is the accomplice of Western 
power and a scourge of the Palestinians. The Zionist alliance 
with power and tyranny does not make it the guardian of the 
Jews. It has always collaborated with racists and murderers 
to further its colonisation of Palestine.

      On the contrary, we support those who seek to overthrow 
'their own' governments and leaders. We support struggles 
witht the potential to undermine the state and capitalism. 
The 300-plus Israeli soldiers who have refused to fight, 
Palestinians resisting in the grassroots spirit of the first 
Intifada, the international activists who are spreading both 
their own and Palestinian struggles are positive developments. 
While beyond the Middle East, from Argentina to Genova, from 
Woomera to Campsfield, a new world is trying to express 
itself.

      Zionism Against Jews
      Zionism did not 'save' Jews from the Holocaust. That 
was never its concern. "If I knew that it would be possible 
to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to 
England and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz 
Israel, then I opt for the second alternative" , Ben Gurion - 
who became the first Israeli Prime Minister - said in 1938. 
He acknowledged that rescue would have been the end of 
Zionism. "If our brothers in America have to choose between 
the physical rescuing of the Jews of Europe and Zionism, they 
will choose the former and that will be the end of our movement". 

The colonisation of Palestine was the be-all and end-all, even 
at the cost of Jewish lives.

      This did not change when the Jews were being exterminated. 
The Stern Gang sought an "anti-imperialist" alliance with the 
Nazis, stating "Common interests could exist between the 
establishment of a New Order in Europe in conformity with the 
German concept, and the true [read: Zionist] national 
aspirations of the Jewish people". A foul pact was made to 
save 600 select Budapest Jews at the expense of 800,000 others; 
members of Zionist youth organisations, the "best biological 
material" as the Nazi Eichmann put it, were saved in exchange 
for "quiet and order" in the camps.

      Zionism has always been concerned not with opposing 
anti-Semitism, but with coming to an arrangement with it. 
Even amidst the genocide of the Jews, it placed the colonial 
project before the masses of Jewish people.

      The founders of Zionism rejected the possibility of 
overcoming anti-Semitism through popular struggle and social 
revolution. Moses Hess, Theodor Herzl and Chaim Weizmann 
chose the side of state power, class domination and 
exploitative rule. They fully understood that the cultivation 
of anti-Semitism and the persecution of the Jews were the 
work of the very ruling class from whom they sought favour.

      In seeking the sponsorship of the anti-Semites themselves, 
they revealed several motives: the worship of power with which 
they associated strength; an illusion of ending Jewish 'weakness' 
and vulnerability and the state of being perpetual outsiders.

      This sensiblity was a short step to assimilating the values 
and ideas of the Jew-haters themselves. The Jews, the Zionists 
wrote, were indeed an undisciplined, subversive, dissident people, 
worthy of the scorn they had earned. The Zionists catered 
shamelessly to racist Jew-hatred; their literature is full of the 
most poisonous stereotypes. This worked in tandem with the 
anti-Semitic desire to be rid of a group of people long 
radicalised by persecution who swelled the ranks of many 
revolutionary movements.

      The racism and oppression shown by the Israeli state is 
not unusual. The historical betrayals of Zionism are not 
unique: they are common to all forms of nationalism. Our 
anti-Zionism is based on opposition to all states, all borders 
and nations; to all the rulers and exploiters of the world.

      For a global Intifada and an end to all borders!


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