Zionist ideologists have claimed, and still claim, that Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people in the diasporas, and that it made the 2,000-year-old dream of returning to the fatherland of Israel come true. Theodore Herzl, the founding father of the modern Zionist movement, added that this land was empty, and repeatedly used the slogan “a land without a people for a people without land.” Nowadays, the Zionists claim that the Jews settled in Israel before the Arabs did in the 7th century, and therefore have the right to this land over the Arabs. The Zionist and pro-Zionist left claims that Zionism can include the right for the self-determination of the Palestinian people along with the existence of Israel.
The Internationalist Socialist League holds all these claims to be false. We will show that Zionism was born not out of the cravings of the Jewish masses for freedom, but out of the ambitions of a minority of the Jewish bourgeoisie to find a niche for itself in the world imperialist order, and they did so by establishing a colonialist movement to serve imperialism’s ends in the Middle East. Additionally, we will show that the Zionist state today cannot exist without the oppression of the peoples of the region and the support of imperialism, and that the only way to liberate the Palestinian people – and the only way Israeli Jews can have a peaceful life in this region – is the way of the proletarian revolution.
Genesis of Zionism
The modern history of the Jews began with the French Revolution, its revolutionary bourgeois slogan being ‘freedom, equality and brotherhood’. The bourgeoisie in that period could use the financial skills that some Jews had acquired due to their history, and in return, they were granted equal rights. The ghetto walls, behind which Jews had been segregated, began to crumble, and the Jews could choose professions from which they were barred for centuries. As a result, the ideas of integration into capitalist society were the dominant ideas among Jewish intellectuals. The conservative Rabbis, fearing the loss of their influence, objected these ideas.
However, the development of capitalism in Europe did not end anti-Semitism. Beginning in the second half of the 19th century, vile articles started appearing claiming that Jews are inferior not because of their religion or because they supposedly crucified the Messiah, but rather because they belong to an inferior race. The reason for the reappearance of racism as an ideology of the European ruling class was the need of the imperialists to justify their control of Africa, Asia and Latin America, and it worsened with the great race for colonies at the end of the 19th century. Additionally, it was used to divide the working class and the labor movement, where the role of Jews was particularly noticeable.
Alfred Dreyfus’ trial is one of the most important events in the development of European anti-Semitism. The French government attempted to frame the Jewish officer for treason. A broad movement, which included among its members the liberal Emile Zola and the reformist socialist Jean Jaurès, struggled against this anti-Semitic move. Theodore Herzl was also involved in this trial as a journalist, but he ignored the progressive movement and reached the same conclusion as the anti-Semites – that the Jews were alien corn in Europe, and did not belong there.
A Bastion against the Oppressed Nations
Herzl realized that a Jewish state could only be built with the support of an imperialist power that would protect the settler minority from the resistance of the local population. To help him win such favor, Herzl adopted many of the reactionary ideas of his time: monarchism, nationalism, chauvinism and racism. After its foundation, the Zionist movement identified with imperialism, and the racist idea that the role of the European man was to bring civilization to the backward East:
“He who cannot think will imagine that this is a departure from civilization to the desert. However, it is not so. We shall bring with us culture, go not lower but higher. We shall not live in houses made of Earth, but build new modern houses. We shall build a wall of defense for Europe in Asia, we shall be a stronghold of culture against barbarism … Europe will ensure our existence.“
To try to get the land needed for his state, Herzl was willing to beg any imperialist power, no matter how criminal. He contacted the German Kaiser, the Turkish Sultan, the Russian Czar and the British monarchy. In 1896, he met with the Sultan and offered him that in return for control over Palestine, he would help him financially and cover up the first Armenian massacre. In his diary he wrote:
“The Sultan will accept me as a friend because I can influence European journalists to see the Armenian question in a way which is more friendly to the Turks. Second, I can influence Armenian leaders to accept the Sultan’s authority.“
Eventually, though Herzl did help cover up the Armenian holocaust, he failed in his attempt to secure a charter for the land. Weizmann later got this charter from British imperialism. (To this day, the state of Israel still does not recognize the Armenian holocaust.)
In August 24, 1939, Hitler gave the following speech to his officers:
“It’s a matter of indifference to me what a weak western European civilization will say about me … I have placed my death-head formations in readiness … with orders to them to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish derivation and language … Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?“
It is no coincidence that the attitude of the Nazi leader towards the Armenian holocaust is similar to that of the Zionists to the Palestinians.
In 1903, the British government suggested to Herzl that he should establish an autonomous Jewish colony in Eastern Africa, in the same region where Theodore Hertzka had tried ten years earlier to create his own colony. The plan was that the region would be a Jewish autonomous region under the high command of the British government.
Herzl, who despaired of the attempt to establish Jewish autonomy in Palestine or Sinai due to Turkish resistance, accepted the offer. He hoped to bring to the region (which included parts of modern day Uganda and Kenya between Nairobi and the Mao Mountain tops) the Jewish masses that had started fleeing from Russia after the pogroms in Kishinev. The region offered was well known for its good climate and fertile land, and the British government estimated that at least one million Jews could settle in it. This plan eventually failed after the Russian Zionists made it clear that they were not going to agree to a settlement in any country other than Palestine. The reason for this was simple – without the claim to a religious and mystical link to the land, the Zionists knew they could not convince the Jewish masses to immigrate to any colony.
In 1903, Herzl met with the Russian prince Von Plehve, who was responsible for the massacre of Jews in Kishinev, to offer him the solution to the Jewish question: the subordination of the mass of revolutionary Jews in Russia to the Zionist project. Von Plehve was the interior minister of the Russian Czar and among those responsible for writing the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” The meeting was a failure because the Zionists were unable to prevent the Jews from struggling against the Czar.
Von Plevhe said:
“Lately the situation has grown even worse because the Jews have been joining the revolutionary parties. We used to be sympathetic to your Zionist movement, as long as it worked toward emigration. You do not have to justify the movement to me. Vous prêchez a un converti [You are preaching to a convert]. But ever since the Minsk conference we have noticed un changement des gros bonnets [a change of big-wigs]. There is less talk now of Palestinian Zionism than there is about culture, organisation and Jewish nationalism. This does not suit us.“
Haim Zhitlovsky, then a leading figure in the Social Revolutionary Party, wrote of this extraordinary conversation. The Zionist told him that:
“I have just come from Plevhe. I have his positive, binding promise that in 15 years, at the maximum, he will effectuate for us a charter for Palestine. But this is tied to one condition: the Jewish revolutionaries shall cease their struggle against the Russian government. If in 15 years from the time of the agreement Plevhe does not effectuate the charter, they become free again to do what they consider necessary.“
Naturally Zhitlovsky rejected the proposition. The Jewish revolutionaries were not about to call off the struggle for elementary human rights in return for a vague promise of a Zionist state in the distant future. Zhitlovsky had the following words to say about Herzl:
“[Herzl] was, in general, too loyal, to the ruling authorities – as is proper for a diplomat who has to deal with the powers-that-be-for him ever to be interested in revolutionists and involve them in his calculations … He made the journey, of course, not in order to intercede for the people of Israel and to awaken compassion for us in Plevhe’s heart. He traveled as a politician who does not concern himself with sentiments, but interests … Herzl’s “politics” is built on pure diplomacy, which seriously believes that the political history of humanity is made by a few people, a few leaders, and that what they arrange among themselves becomes the content of political history.“
Zhitlovsky told Herzl:
“We Jewish revolutionaries, even the most national among us, are not Zionists, and do not believe that Zionism is able to resolve our problem. To transfer the Jewish people from Russia to Eretz-Israel is, in our eyes, a utopia, and because a utopia, we will not renounce the paths upon which we have embarked–the path of revolutionary struggle against the Russian government, which should also lead to the freedom of the Jewish people…. The situation of Zionism is already dubious enough by the very fact of its standing aloof from the revolution. Its situation in Jewish life would become impossible if it could be shown that it undertakes positive steps to damage the Jewish revolutionary struggle.“
Chaim Weitzmann, a chemist who aided the British war machine during WWI and would become the first President of Israel, wrote to Herzl:
“Most of the Jews in Western Europe believe that most Eastern European Jews are Zionists. The complete opposite is the truth; most of them are anti-Zionists not because they are assimilationists, but because they are revolutionaries. Most Jewish students support the revolutionary movement.“
To reach the mass of Jewish workers, a “left-wing” was set up in the Zionist movement – Borochov’s Po’ale Zion [Workers of Zion], whose role was to preach to the Jewish workers to abandon the revolutionary struggle and join the colonialist Zionist project, with the use of Marxist phraseology. “You cannot be industrial workers in Russia,” said the Borochovists, “therefore, leave the rest of the non-Jewish workers and join the Zionist project. There you will become industrial workers and build a socialist society.” In Russia itself, the Po’ale Zion party played a particularly reactionary role, opposing all joint action with non-Jewish workers and in practice helped break strikes. “In 1901, the Bund drove the Po’ale Zionists out of their unions, informing them that, since they lived in Pinsk and not Palestine, such talk in Pinsk was objectively class-treason, as the Jewish workers of Pinsk were, quite definitely, engaged in a desperate class struggle with the capitalists and the police.”
Contempt for the Jewish Masses
Despite their pretension of representing the Jewish masses, the Zionists treated Jews as parasites, stricken and socially diseased. When Theodore Herzl served in Paris as a correspondent for a Vienna newspaper, he was in close contact with the leading anti-Semites of the day. In his biography of Herzl, The Labyrinth of Exile, Ernst Pawel reports that those who financed and edited La Libre Parole, a weekly dedicated “to the defense of Catholic France against atheists, republicans, Free Masons and Jews,” invited Herzl to their homes on a regular basis.
Alluding to such conservatives and their publications, Pawel writes:
“[Herzl] found himself captivated by these men and their ideas: La France Juive struck him as a brilliant performance and – much like Duhring’s notorious Jewish Question ten years later – it aroused powerful and contradictory emotions…On June 12, 1895, while in the midst of working on Der Judenstaat, [Herzl] noted in his diary, ‘much of my current conceptual freedom I owe to [Edouard] Drumont, because he is an artist.’ The compliment seems extravagant, but Drumont repaid it the following year with a glowing review of Herzl’s book, La Parole Libre.“
Raphael Falk, a senior biologist in Israel, published the book Zionism and the Biology of the Jews. In his book he claims that many of the prominent Zionists of the 1920’s and 1930’s saw their movement as having a eugenic aspect that was directed at saving the Jews’ “biological reservoir,” or gene pool, from the degeneration that resulted from life in exile, and he cites numerous examples.
Moses Hess, who was one of the first to call for Jewish national revival in Palestine, referred to the Jews as a race in his 1862 book, Rome and Jerusalem. Haim Nahman Bialik proclaimed at a 1934 press conference at the Hebrew University: “I, too, like Hitler, believe in the power of the blood idea.”
Dr. Arthur Ruppin, head of the Palestine Office of the World Zionist Organization, which purchased lands and established various kinds of settlements, presented the eugenic idea as one of the goals of Zionism. He was convinced that the Jews possessed a biological uniqueness and that settling them in Palestine was vital in order to preserve this. Ruppin wrote in 1923: “Were it not for the Jews’ racial affinity with the peoples of the Near East, it would not be possible to justify Zionism.”
Martin Buber, who was liberal and enlightened, defined a nation by means of what the Germans called ‘Blut und Boden’ (blood and soil). The Zionists also had a concept of “blood and soil.” Not in the way it developed with the Nazis, but Zionism was certainly a national movement that took people’s biology into account.
Dr. Max Nordau, Herzl’s associate, a physician and publicist, adopted the eugenic theories. Nordau contended that for the Jews, life in exile as a separate ethnic group had led them to a state of degeneration in body and soul. He recommended that Jews live in nature and pursue a more physical culture – that Judaism build up some muscles. He thought that the biology of the Jews needed to be changed via eugenics. That is, to improve the Jewish race by means of selection as is done with plants and animals to ward off degeneration.
These racist ideas were derived directly from Zionist outlook, influenced by popular anti-Semitic ideas. Herzl blamed Jews many times that they brought upon themselves the hate of non-Jews. Herzl stated in his diary:
“So anti-Semitism, which is a deeply imbedded force in the subconscious mind of the masses, will not harm the Jews. I actually find it to be advantageous to building the Jewish character, education by the masses that will lead to assimilation. This education can only happen through suffering, and the Jews will adapt.“
“A Land Without a People” – the Ethnic Cleansing
After 1897, Zionist colonialist settlers arrived at Palestine. However, this was not the regular colonialist settlement of a power arriving to rob the fruits of the natives’ labor. Unlike the South African apartheid state, which was very similar to the Zionist state, the Zionists’ goal was not to use the labor power of the natives but to expropriate and expel them.
The Zionists knew that Herzl was lying when he said that Palestine is “a land without a people,” but from the moment of their arrival they made every effort to make this lie true. This goal was expressed in the three main slogans of the Zionist movement: ‘redemption of the land’, ‘Jewish labor’ and ‘Jewish produce’. The Zionist labor movement stood behind these chauvinistic slogans. For this reason the “Association of Hebrew Workers in the Land of Israel”, the Histadrut, was created, and refused to accept Arab workers into its ranks. “Socialist” Zionist Kibbutzim refused to accept any Arab members. As a result of British oppression and this settlement, the Arab revolt of 1936 broke out. All tendencies of the Zionist movement, including the labor tendency, sided with British imperialism and broke the revolt using terrorism.
Michael Bar-Zohar, in his three-part biography of Ben Gurion, openly admitted that it was a myth that “Palestine was an empty land,” and he explained the evolution of the myth, writing:
“Whatever became of the slogan: A people without a land returns to land without a people? The simple truth was that Palestine was not an empty land, and the Jews were only a small minority of its population. In the days of the empire building, the Western powers had dismissed natives as an inconsequential factor in determining whether or not to settle a territory with immigrants. Even after the First World War, the concept of self-determination … was still reserved exclusively for the developed world.“
Collaboration with Fascism
The Zionists’ favorite myth is that the state of Israel was created to prevent a new Jewish holocaust. The holocaust is the justification for all the vile actions of the Zionist state. Prime Minister Netanyahu (2009) belongs to the political stream known as the Revisionists that was founded by Zeev Jabotinsky. Jabotinsky offered Simon Petliura, the known Ukrainian right-wing nationalist who organized pogroms against the Jews, to assemble for him a Jewish police force that would release Ukrainian nationalist soldiers to fight the Bolsheviks.
In the early 1930s, Jabotinsky decided to set up a party school in Italy and the local Revisionists, who openly identified themselves as Fascists, lobbied Rome. He knew well enough that picking Italy as the locale for a party school would only confirm their Fascist image, but he had moved so far to the right that he had lost all concern for what his “enemies” might think and he even emphasized to one of his Italian followers that they could set up their proposed school elsewhere but “we … prefer to have it established in Italy”. By 1934 the Italians had decided that, for all their friendliness to them, Sokolow and Weizmann and the WZO leadership had not the least thought of breaking with London. Nor were the Italians pleased at the growing ascendancy within the WZO of the Social Democratic Labour Zionists who were affiliated, however distantly, to their own underground socialist enemies. They were therefore quite willing to show support for the Revisionists, who were evidently the Fascists of Zion. In November 1934, Mussolini allowed the Betar to set up a squadron at the maritime academy at Civitavecchia run by the Blackshirts.
In early January 1941, another branch of the Revisionists, the radical nationalist underground militia “Fighters for the Liberation of Israel,” better known as Lehi or the Stern Gang, offered Nazi Germany a pact against Britain. Its leader, Avraham Stern, split with the radical nationalist “National Military Organization” (Irgun Zvai Leumi) led by Begin, over the group’s attitude toward Britain, which Begin supported during WWII. Stern regarded Britain as the main enemy of Zionism. This proposal “for the solution of the Jewish question in Europe and the active participation of the NMO [Lehi] in the war on the side of Germany” can be found in the work of David Yisraeli.
But the Revisionists were not the only ones to collaborate with the Fascists. Six months after Hitler came to power, the Zionist Federation of Germany (by far the largest Zionist group in the country, under the name Herzlia), submitted a detailed memorandum and formally offered Zionist support in “solving” the “Jewish question”:
“Zionism believes that the rebirth of the national life of a people, which is now occurring in Germany through the emphasis on its Christian and national character, must also come about in the Jewish national group. For the Jewish people, too, national origin, religion, common destiny and a sense of its uniqueness must be of decisive importance in the shaping of its existence. This means that the egotistical individualism of the liberal era must be overcome and replaced with a sense of community and collective responsibility …We believe it is precisely the new [National Socialist] Germany that can, through bold resoluteness in the handling of the Jewish question, take a decisive step toward overcoming a problem which, in truth, will have to be dealt with by most European peoples…“
The Federation’s paper, the Jüdische Rundschau (Jewish Review), proclaimed the same message:
“Zionism recognizes the existence of a Jewish problem and desires a far-reaching and constructive solution. For this purpose Zionism wishes to obtain the assistance of all peoples, whether pro- or anti-Jewish, because, in its view, we are dealing here with a concrete rather than a sentimental problem, the solution of which all peoples are interested.“
Until late 1938, the Zionist movement flourished in Germany under Hitler. The circulation of the Zionist Federation’s bi-weekly Jüdische Rundschau grew enormously. Numerous Zionist books were published. “Zionist work was in full swing” in Germany during those years, the Encyclopaedia Judaica notes.
The SS was particularly enthusiastic in its support for Zionism. SS officer Leopold von Mildenstein and Zionist Federation official Kurt Tuchler toured Palestine together for six months to assess Zionist development there. Based on his firsthand observations, von Mildenstein wrote a series of twelve illustrated articles for the important Berlin daily Der Angriff that appeared in late 1934 under the heading “A Nazi Travels to Palestine.” The series expressed great admiration for the pioneering spirit and achievements of the Jewish settlers. Zionist self-development, von Mildenstein wrote, had produced a new kind of Jew. He praised Zionism as a great benefit for both the Jewish people and the entire world. A Jewish homeland in Palestine, he wrote in his concluding article, “pointed the way to curing a centuries-long wound on the body of the world: the Jewish question.”
Der Angriff issued a special medal, with a Swastika on one side and a Star of David on the other, to commemorate the joint SS-Zionist visit. A few months after the articles appeared, von Mildenstein was promoted to head the Jewish affairs department of the SS security service in order to support Zionist migration and development more effectively.
In an interview after the war, the former head of the Zionist Federation of Germany, Dr. Hans Friedenthal, summed up the situation: “The Gestapo did everything in those days to promote emigration, particularly to Palestine. We often received their help when we required anything from other authorities regarding preparations for emigration.”
After 1937, the British government imposed evermore-drastic restrictions on Jewish immigration into Palestine. In response, the SS security service concluded a secret alliance with the clandestine Zionist agency Mossad le-Aliya Bet to smuggle Jews illegally into Palestine. Because of this intensive collaboration, several convoys of ships succeeded in reaching Palestine past British gunboats. Jewish migration, both legal and illegal, from Germany (including Austria) to Palestine increased dramatically in 1938 and 1939. Another 10,000 Jews were scheduled to depart in October 1939, but the outbreak of war in September brought the effort to an end.
The centerpiece of German-Zionist cooperation during the Hitler era was the Transfer Agreement, a deal, which enabled tens of thousands of German Jews to immigrate to Palestine with their wealth. The agreement, also known as the Haavara (Hebrew for “transfer”), was concluded in August 1933 following talks between German officials and Chaim Arlosoroff, Political Secretary of the Jewish Agency of the World Zionist Organization.
Through this unusual arrangement, each Jew bound for Palestine deposited money in a special account in Germany. The money was used to purchase German-made agricultural tools, building materials, pumps, fertilizer, and so forth, which were exported to Palestine and sold there by the Jewish-owned Haavara company in Tel-Aviv. Money from the sales was given to the Jewish emigrant upon his arrival in Palestine in an amount corresponding to his deposit in Germany. German goods poured into Palestine through the Haavara, which was supplemented a short time later with a barter agreement by which Palestinian oranges were exchanged for German timber, automobiles, agricultural machinery, and other goods. The Agreement thus served the Zionist goal of bringing Jewish settlers and development capital into Palestine, while simultaneously serving the German goal of freeing the country of an unwanted alien group.
The 1935 Zionist Congress, meeting in Switzerland, overwhelmingly endorsed the pact. In 1936, the Jewish Agency (the Zionist “shadow government” in Palestine) took over direct control of the Ha’avara, which remained in effect until the Second World War forced its abandonment.
Between 1933 and 1941, some 60,000 German Jews immigrated to Palestine through the Ha’avara and other German-Zionist arrangements, about ten percent of Germany’s 1933 Jewish population. (These German Jews made up about 15 percent of Palestine’s 1939 Jewish population.) Some Ha’avara immigrants transferred considerable personal wealth from Germany to Palestine. As Jewish historian Edwin Black has noted: “Many of these people, especially in the late 1930s, were allowed to transfer actual replicas of their homes and factories – – indeed rough replicas of their very existence.”
The total amount transferred from Germany to Palestine through the Ha’avara between August 1933 and the end of 1939 was 8.1 million pounds or 139.57 million German Marks (then equivalent to more than $40 million). This amount included 33.9 million German Marks ($13.8 million) provided by the Reichsbank in connection with the Agreement.
The Zionists were not interested in all Jews, but in rich Jews on the one hand and young, healthy Jews, who could be trained to become workers while expelling Arab workers, on the other. “[Ben-Gurion stated] ‘If I knew that it was possible to save all the children of Germany by transporting them to England, but only half of them by transporting them to Palestine, I would choose the second — because we face not only the reckoning of those children, but the historical reckoning of the Jewish people.’ In the wake of the Kristallnacht pogroms, Ben-Gurion commented that ‘the human conscience’ might bring various countries to open their doors to Jewish refugees from Germany. He saw this as a threat and warned: ‘Zionism is in danger.'” quotes Israeli historian, Tom Segev, in hisThe Seventh Million.
The leaders of the Zionist movement were not only collaborators in the conspiracy of silence regarding the fate of Jews, but also assisted in the closing of the gates of western states such as Canada, the USA and Britain to them. (See Lenni Brenner, Zionism In the Age of Dictators.)
In The Seventh Million, Tom Segev also writes that the Jewish agency had many opportunities to save Jews, but it sabotaged offer after offer and preferred to invest its funds in settlement projects rather than in saving Jews. Ben Gurion said that the duty of the Zionists is not to save the Jews of Europe, but to save the land of Israel for the settlement project. Weizmann told the Zionist Congress in 1937 of his testimony before the Peel Commission:
“The old ones will pass; they will bear their fate, or they will not They were dust, economic and moral dust, in a cruel world … Two millions, and perhaps less; “Scheerith Hapleta” – only a branch will survive. They had to accept it. The rest they must leave to the future – to their youth. If they feel and suffer, they will find the way, “Beacharith Hajamin” [at the end of times].”
The Kasztner Affair and the Destruction of Hungarian Jewry
Rudolf Kastner, a Zionist labor movement leader who headed the Rescue and Aid Committee in Hungary, collaborated with the Nazi Adolf Eichmann in a plan to save 1685 prominent Jews, including his family members, at the expense of hundreds of thousands more. Kastner was the one who decided who will be spared, and he collaborated with SS officer Kurt Becher, who was responsible for the SS economic division. In return for the lives of prominent Zionists, Kastner agreed not to reveal to the Jews of Hungary that Hitler’s plan was to destroy them. After the war, Kastner also testified in favor of Becher in the Nuremberg trials, even though Becher was responsible for the murders of half a million Jews.
Kastner was not alone in this, but received the support of the leadership of the Jewish Agency. Tom Segev writes that if the Hungarian Jews knew of the plans to destroy them they would have tried to flee to Romania. Instead, they willingly boarded the trains which led them to their deaths. (SeePerfidy by Ben Hecht.)
The Zionist myth tells that the Zionists decided, with a heavy heart, to accept the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine and give up half of their supposed historic motherland in return for peace. In reality, it was an apparent agreement of both the UN and the Zionists. While Ben Gurion “accepted” the decision, he wrote to his son, “we give up today on that which shall be ours tomorrow.” The Zionist leadership cooperated with King Abdullah of Jordan, and reached an agreement with him according to which the territories the UN would supposedly give to the Palestinians would actually be given to the King of Jordan. Only two places were still disputed: Jerusalem and Latrun, where indeed real battles took place between the Zionists and the Jordanian Legion, as Benny Morris well-described in his book “The Road to Jerusalem.”
While Ben Gurion “accepted” the decision, this was no more than lip service. In 1938, Ben-Gurion made it clear that his support lies with the establishment of a Jewish state on parts of Palestine onlyas an intermediary stage. He wrote: “[I am] satisfied with part of the country, but on the basis of the assumption that after we build up a strong force following the establishment of the state – we will abolish the partition of the country and we will expand to the whole Land of Israel.”
Similarly, he also stated to his son Amos in October 1937 that a “Jewish state” in part of Palestine was:
“[…] not the end, but only the beginning. Its establishment would give a powerful boost to our historic efforts to redeem the country in its entirety. For the Jewish State would have outstanding army– I have no doubt that our army will be among the world’s outstanding–and so I am certain that we won’t be constrained from settling in the rest of the country, either by mutual agreement and understanding with our Arab neighbors, or by some other way. . . . . I still believe . . . . that after we become numerous and strong, the Arabs will understand that it is best for them to strike an alliance with us, and to benefit from our help, providing they allow us by their good will to settle in all parts of Palestine.“
Soon after the U.N. Proposed Partitioning Palestinian in November 1947, Ben-Gurion urged his party to accept the partition because it will never be final, “not with regard to the regime, not with regard to borders, and not with regard to international agreements.”
Between the time of the partition plan for Palestine adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on November 29th, 1947, and the 1949 ceasefire that ended the first Arab-Israeli war, 700,000 to 900,000 Palestinians had to flee for their lives, abandoning their homes and lands which ended up as the occupied territory of Israel.
The vast majority of the refugees were forced to leave, first, as a result of clashes between Israelis and Palestinians, and then by the Arab-Israeli war, in which a political-military strategy of expulsion had been marked by 30-40 massacres. Ben Gurion designed “Plan Dalet”: The Master Plan for the Conquest of Palestine by ethnic cleansing.
The Zionist official propaganda is that the refugees (numbering, in their estimation, 500,000 at most) mostly left voluntarily, responding to calls from their leaders assuring them of a prompt return after victory. Furthermore, they maintain that the few (and regrettable) massacres that occurred – particularly the Deir Yassin massacre of 9 April 1948 – were the work of extremist soldiers associated with Menachem Begin’s Irgun and Yitzhak Shamir’s Lehi.
However, by the 1950s this version was already beginning to fall apart. Later, in the mid-1980s, a number of Israeli historians who described themselves as revisionist historians – Simha Flapan, Tom Segev, Avi Schlaim, Ilan Pappe and Benny Morris – destroyed the Zionist lies. Morris’ book,The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, in spite of being a Zionist, is devastating for the Zionist lie.
The broad picture of the balance of power between Zionists and Arabs in both 1947 and 1948, contradict the generally held fiction of a weak and poorly armed Jewish community in Palestine threatened with extermination by a heavily armed and united Arab hordes. Quite the contrary is true, the Zionists had a great advantage over the poorly armed Arab forces, in terms of numbers, training and weaponry. Furthermore the Zionists had a great advantage as a result the joint support of the two main imperialist powers: the United States and the Soviet Union, and in addition the Zionists had the sympathy of world public opinion because of the Jewish Holocaust that the Zionists falsely claimed to represent.
Where were the supposedly Marxist, Zionist Borchovists during the Nakba? They were already members of Mapam, the Zionist Stalinist party, which claimed that the war of 1948 was a war of liberation, and helped “liberate” the Arabs from their lands and homes and make them into refugees.
And where was the Communist Party, servant of the counterrevolutionary Stalinist regime in Moscow? It was not satisfied with propaganda to the effect that the war is the Jewish people’s war of liberation. Its members, loyal to the policy of the popular front, imported weapons from Czechoslovakia, which was conquered by the “Red” Army while oppressing the working class, weapons which were used by the Zionists to expel the Arab Palestinians. In this war the revolutionary position was revolutionary defeat for Zionism and a revolutionary victory for the Arab masses.
Wars of Expansion
The war of 1956 was the continuation of the 1948 war, but by this time the alliance openly included Britain and France, imperialist states that struggled to preserve the remains of their empire, with the goal to not only deal a blow to Nasser’s regime and the Algerian national liberation movement, but to create the third kingdom of Israel, as Ben Gurion said before being forced to return the Sinai to Egypt due to American and Soviet pressure. These two imperialist states did not want British and French competitors who already lost their Empires in WWII. The morality of the imperialists is that of sharks.
The war of 1967 was meant not only to overthrow Nasser’s regime, but also to complete the Zionist vision of a Greater Israel. It was not the Zionist right that headed the government, and it was not the Zionist right that created the proto-fascist settler militias – but the leaders of the Zionist labor movement. They were joined by “communists” led by Sneh, Mikunis and Esther Vilenska. This step was consistent with their support for the creation of Israel.
The messianic vision of the third Kingdom of Israel and Herzl’s vision, which continues to dominate to this day, of Israel being a stronghold for the imperialist West, continues to be the policy of the rulers of Israel. This nightmare includes not only Sinai but also half of Lebanon, and hence the war of ’78, the First War of Lebanon, the Second War of Lebanon, and the massacre in Gaza in 2009. Hence the preparations for war against Syria and Iran.
The Deceit of “Two States for Two Peoples”
Since 1947, when the UN accepted the partition plan, we hear of plans of the left-wing in Israel to solve the Palestinian national question through the creation of a Palestinian state side by side with Israel: “two states for two peoples.”
However, since the UN accepted the decision to divide Palestine, the Zionist state was established through denying the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people. This position was accepted by American and European imperialism, showing the proximity of the left’s solution to that of the imperialists. However, we cannot simply put a minus sign where imperialism puts a plus, since imperialism could for its own reasons adopt a correct position. However, any support for Zionism rules out in practice the right of self-determination of the Palestinians over their land, robbed from them by the Zionists, and therefore it is wrong. Six decades have passed since the partition of the land, enough time to realize that the idea of two states for two peoples is not just a delusion but is used in practice to cover up support for the Zionist movement.
The Zionist movement is not a national liberation movement. First of all, there is no universal nation, it is a fiction which originates in the definitions of the Catholic Church in the middle ages, which claimed that all Christians are one nation, as well as all Muslims and all Jews.
The claim that the Jews are one nation is at most, a 19th century ideological invention, behind which stand the plans of imperialism during the race of imperialist empires, especially the British, for the last colonies in Africa and in the Middle East, who were willing to use the settlement of Jews in Africa, Al-Arish or Palestine to ensure their control over the region.
The concept of a nation in modern times requires, first and foremost, a common territory, and Jews living in different nations do not have any common territory in the 19th century, when their being a nation was invented for political imperial needs. Secondly, the claim that the Zionist movement, a movement of colonialist settlers sponsored by the British empire and which acted to expropriate the Arabs residing in this land, is a movement for national liberation, is nothing but a deceit.
The Zionist movement, at the time of its foundation, was a tiny petty-bourgeois movement, which was hostile to the labor movement and wanted to serve imperialism through cutting off Jewish workers from their non-Jewish brothers and sisters in the countries in which they were active, while carrying out a colonialist settlement sponsored by imperialism. Hence the similarities to the fascist movement, also a petty-bourgeois anti-proletarian movement in the service of imperialism. The difference is that the Zionist movement did not try to come to power in Europe, but to create a bourgeois state in a part of the “third world,” super exploited by imperialism.
Zionism was not the only movement of its kind. Rhodesia, South Africa, Algeria and Tunisia were colonies of European settlers. The difference is that Israel remained the last state of its kind, whose fate could be predicted by that of the others.
The Promised Land
Some try to defend Zionism by claiming that unlike other colonialist movements, the Jews returned to their original land. But this argument ignores similar movements that made the same claims. Protestants who emigrated from Europe to the “new world” claimed that America is the promised land for the chosen people – the Protestants. The Boers who settled in South Africa claimed that they are fleeing from Pharaoh (the British) and settling as the people of the Bible in the promised land. The movement of Black colonialists who settled in Liberia claimed that they are returning to their land of birth. Not only that, but many modern studies show that the Romans did not expel all Jews, but only the nobility, and that modern Palestinians are the descendants of those Jews who were not expelled and who converted to Christianity and Islam. Ben Gurion and Itzhak Ben Tzvi wrote an article about this in 1922, which was hidden as soon as the Arab revolt broke out in the 1930s. (See Shlomo Zand’s book, When Was the Jewish People Invented, and Eli Eshed’s site, “In the Beginning there was Palestine.”)
The partition of the land after WWII was the continuation of the artificial division of the region by British and French imperialism after WWI. The difference is that this time, the Soviet Stalinists and their satellite parties, also supported the partition of 1947-8, as part of the division of imperialist spheres of influence according to the Yalta and Potsdam conferences. Although many believed that the USSR was a socialist state or at least a (degenerated) workers’ state in the eve of WWII, the USSR was already an imperialist capitalist state after the workers’ state was finally demolished during the Great Purges of the late 1930s.
Some claim that if the Palestinian leadership led by Mufti Hajj Amin Al-Husseini accepted the UN decision, the Palestinian people would have been living in its own state today and there would not have been a conflict. Hajj Al-Husseini was indeed a reactionary, fearful of the masses and of the potential for revolution. He defended the big landowners and got his job thanks to the first British commissioner, Zionist Herbert Samuel. But the claim today that if the Palestinians had had a pro-Zionist leadership, for example that of the Nashashibis or Abu Mazen, then today it would have had their own independent state is demagogic propaganda. It was impossible to create a Zionist state without a massive expulsion of Palestinians. The Peel Committee in 1937 already recommended the establishment of a Jewish state on 17% of the land through a massive expulsion of Arab Palestinians, much like the Turkish-Greek expulsion of 1922. The reason was that the entire land was populated with Palestinian villages and cities, and as Moshe Dayan stated in a well known speech, no Jewish settlement exists that wasn’t an Arab settlement before (and in the word settlement we include those inside the ‘green line’ as well):
“Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist, not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushu’a in the place of Tal al- Shuman. There is not one single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.“
The Palestinian deportation began not with the entry of Arab armies, which were controlled by the British, in May 1948, but in the end of 1947.
The same political forces that supported the partition of the land, such as the CP, are those who spread illusions about the possibility of creating a mini Palestinian state as a solution to the national question. But those who believe after the last 60 years that imperialism and its servants can solve the Palestinian national question lives in an ideological bubble detached from history. These arguments are but a political expression of the petty-bourgeoisie, which seeks to serve the imperialist order. The Palestinian people can either become independent in all its land, which was robbed, or continue to be an oppressed people.
The Palestinian national question was created due to the expropriation and oppression of the Arab masses by imperialism. The local bourgeoisie, which collaborates with imperialism and the Zionist imperialist state, are betraying the democratic revolution, i.e. the anti-imperialist struggle.
Today the Palestinian people is mostly a nation of refugees, partly under Israeli oppression, partly oppressed in the West Bank under the corrupt rule of the Palestinian Authority which collaborates with Israel and with imperialism.
The attempts of the Nasserite and Ba’athist petty-bourgeoisie to unite the region and free it of imperialism failed. The petty-bourgeoisie has no mode of production of its own, and therefore if it does not support a working class revolution, then it is tied to capitalism, ruled by monopolistic capital.
The tasks of the democratic revolution: uniting the region, national independence (including return of the refugees), the agrarian reform, industrialization and equal rights have become the tasks of the working class, which will fulfill these tasks after a revolution of the workers at the head of the masses. However, this revolution will not stop with these tasks, but continue to build a socialist society, as part of the world socialist revolution.
We call for a constituent assembly in Palestine, which will include the refugees and those living in the territories occupied in 67 along with the Palestinians inside Israel as well as the Jews living in the country. This assembly, we believe, can only be created after a proletarian revolution.
Are the Israelis a Nation?
Whether the Israelis are a nation or not, we as Marxists do not support the right of self-determination for imperialist states. Our position is in sharp contradiction to the Middle class Marxists who claim that Marxists support the right of self-determination of all nations, including the imperialists.
The state of Israel is the only state which was a colony in its past and has become an imperialist state. It has become an imperialist state before the 1967 war, after it accumulated its primitive wealth through the expropriation of the Palestinian people, and later on from the reparations from Germany, followed by massive support from American imperialism.
The Israelis have many objective attributes, which characterize a nation: territory, common economy; a state and common culture. However, there can be no nation where there is no national consciousness, i.e. a bourgeois consciousness of a common interest separated from other nations (reflecting the reality of national economy which has unified local markets). The Israelis however have a Zionist consciousness not an Israeli national consciousness.
We do not argue that oppressor nations must struggle against imperialism to become a nation. The Canadians and Australians who massacred the native people are nations even though they did not win independence via a war of independence. The Boers in South Africa, on the other hand, did not become a nation even though they fought against the British rule.
Unlike oppressor nations, the national consciousness of an oppressed nation is formed in the struggle against national oppression. The Palestinian nation was created through the struggle against Zionism, which attempted to negate its existence. To win the right of self-determination, it must negate Zionism.
For the Israelis to form an Israeli national consciousness it would be necessary to break with Zionism and its main proposition that the Israeli Jews are part of the world Jewish nation and that Israel is the state of all the Jews, their ancient promised land. For the Israelis to form an Israeli national consciousness it is necessary to remove the law of return. However, most Israelis will support this law with arms in hands. The Israeli government, with the full support of most Israeli Jews, demand that the entire world, including the Palestinians, recognize Israel as a Jewish state (not an Israeli state) – in other words, that the Palestinians who are citizens of Israel are not part of the nation, while Israel is the state of all the Jews around the world. The Zionists claim that the Jews in other countries are still living in exile (Diaspora) and eventually will be forced to come to their real ancient homeland.
This claim is based on the material needs of the settlers colonialists who need the Jews around the world to support Israel financially and politically and that many of them will immigrate to Israel to increase the Israeli Jewish population and its army against the Arabs, the Iranians and most importantly, the Palestinians.
Thus the class–political nature of the settlers’ colonialist society that dispossessed the native Palestinians, prevents the development of an Israeli national consciousness. This Zionist consciousness manifests itself in many forms. For instance, where it says “nationality” in an Israeli ID card, Jews can either write “Jew” or leave it empty.
Zionist consciousness incorporates combinations of the following central themes:
A. The Jews of today are the direct continuation of the ancient Israelites and Judeans. They are descendants of the same nation that was uprooted from its ancient land and has lived in the Diaspora. The Jews who live in the Diaspora are foreigners to the countries they live in.
B. The Jews in Israel are part of the Jewish world nation that has been preserved because of their genetics, their unique religious belief, and constant persecutions.
C. The deforming experience of the Jewish existence in exile created deformed Jews, unlike the ancient Israelites and Jews of the time of the Bible.
D. Anti-Semitism is a constant attribute of the non-Jew (Goy), and the only place where the Jews can become normal and escape Anti-Semitism is in the Promised Land.
E. As long as the Jews do not return to their ancient land, they will live outside of history.
F. Sooner or later, all or at least most Jews will be forced by Anti-Semitism to return to their Promised Land.
G. The Arabs who conquered Israel in the 7th century robbed the country from the real owners of the land—the Jewish nation. The task for the Jews is to redeem the land from the foreigners.
H. The Israeli Jews in their generosity and their love for peace are ready to give up on part of their country for a demilitarized Palestinian mini-state.
I. Israeli culture is superior to the primitive Arab’s culture.
This racist view is the same outlook of the Anti-Semitic view of the second part of the 19th century in Europe, and it is only fair to say that Zionism is the Jewish branch of racism and Anti-Semitism in general.
In the left liberal margins of the Zionist movement, there are several people who define themselves as post Zionists and claim that there is an Israeli nation which has the right for self-determination. However, this claim ignores the real history of the Zionist movement and its role in the world class struggle.
The forefathers of Zionism were much more honest when they defined the nature of their movement. Vladimir Zhabotinsky, wrote in his well known article, “The Iron Wall”, that “it is an iron law of every colonialist movement, that for to settle in a land in which people are already living, it must either use military force or give up on the goal of settling itself… Zionism is a colonialist project, and therefore it will fail unless it takes up arms.” He also added that the Zionists cannot arrive at an arrangement with the Arabs in neighboring countries, as they demand an anti-imperialist alliance, while the Zionists are supported by the bayonets of British imperialism.
Thus, the roots of Zionist colonialism are not in the occupation of 67, as the reformist left in this country and the world tries to claim, but in the Zionist settlement beginning at the end of the 19th century. The Zionist left which opposes the occupation and expropriation after the war of 67 does not get to the roots of the problem, but to one of the branches that extended from these poisonous roots.
The real question however, is not whether the Israelis are a nation but whether Marxists can support the right of self-determination of imperialist states. We stand with Lenin and Trotsky and say that we can support such a right only for oppressed nations.
Considering the nature of Zionism, there is no place for both the self-determination of Israelis and Palestinians in Palestine. One’s right comes at the expense of the other, and revolutionary Marxists can only support the right of self-determination of the oppressed nations whose struggle is part of the struggle against the imperialist system.
The solution is a revolution of the super exploited working class of the region: Arab, Iranian, Turkish, Kurdish, etc. The valiant struggle of the Palestinian masses makes them the vanguard of this struggle. Some Jewish workers, who will manage to break from the influence of Zionism, will join this struggle. However, for this revolution to be successful, a party of the conscious working class must be created in every country. A socialist federation of the Middle East, including a Palestinian workers state from the river to the sea, is the only way that the Palestinian people could win all its rights in its land, which was robbed by the Zionist movement. A state in which Jews could live free from discrimination, liberated from their role as colonialists. The solution for the Jewish question, i.e. to anti-Semitism, is not in emigration to the Zionist death trap, but in the world socialist revolution, which will overthrow all forms of racism.
One State of What Kind?
Since the failure of the state of Israel in Lebanon, and even more so in Gaza, it is quite obvious that the “good” days of the Zionist state are coming to an end. The war of the US in Iraq is causing a great deal of instability in the region, followed by growing mass struggles, as well as the re-emergence of the independent labor movement as one can see in Egypt. The idea of two states for two peoples is disappearing as the crisis worsens. It is increasingly replaced by the idea of one state.
The question is – what will be the class character of this state? Will it be a state similar to South Africa after the fall of apartheid, where the white bourgeois ruling class still dominates the economy and state, or will it be a product of a revolution of the masses, led by the working class, which will create a federation of workers states all over the Middle East: a society ruled not by imperialism and its allies, but by the working class, whose form of rule is a revolutionary government based on workers councils and democratic supervision of the workers themselves over all processes of production and distribution – which can be fully achieved only under international planned economy.
While one might speculate that Israel will face the same fate as South Africa, i.e. a democratic transformation which keeps the ruling class in power, it is much more likely that unless the working class takes control over the region, the continuation of imperialist rule and the wars it brings along with it, will drown the region in the blood of both Arabs and Jews.
So far, only the Bolshevik party, led by Lenin and Trotsky, proved that it could lead a working-class revolution. Thus, there is a need for the creation of similar vanguard workers’ parties. Those who claim that Stalin, who headed the counterrevolution, represented in any way a continuation of Lenin, wish to prevent us from understanding the way to solve the difficult problems that humanity faces in the epoch of capitalist decay, and must ignore the fact that in pursuing his rule, Stalin had to physically exterminate practically every individual with any connection to the October revolution.
The long historic experience of the Jewish labor movement in this country has shown that at times the Jewish workers can struggle for reforms or privileges at the expense of Arab workers. But for this precise reason they cannot free themselves of the bonds of the Zionist state. The reason is material. The Jewish working class enjoys great privileges at the expense of the Palestinians, unlike the regional Arab working class. This comes as no surprise to those who understand that in a society of colonialist settlers, the economic struggle of the working class cannot develop into a revolutionary struggle against the bourgeois state, which preserves their privileges.
If such a revolutionary struggle were possible, we would have seen it take place among European workers in Algeria, Rhodesia and South Africa. In reality, in South Africa there were militant struggles to preserve the super exploitation and discrimination of black workers. It is not a coincidence that Jewish workers supported British imperialism in 1936-9 and took part in the expulsion of Palestinian Arabs in 1947-8. The social struggles that occasionally break out in Israel today are conducted under the slogan of the good of the state. It is no coincidence that 94 percent of Jews in Israel supported the latest massacre in Gaza.
Some “Marxists” in Europe preach a simple solidarity between the revolutionary Arab working class and the Jewish working class, which is part of a society of colonialist settlers, no differently to the solidarity they proclaim in the case of all other countries. This is the call of reformists and centrists who try to hide their support for Zionism. They claim that the South African apartheid regime was overthrown by mass action of the black and white workers, ignoring the fact that most of the white working class remained loyal to apartheid. This is no less than insulting to the heroic revolutionary struggles of the black masses. In the case of Israel, they claim that the solution is a bi-national state or a secular democratic state of all its citizens.
However, anyone who knows the history of the Zionist movement knows that the idea of a bi-national bourgeois state was suggested by different Zionist tendencies. The first of those was none other than the right-winger Vladimir Jabotinsky, who wrote in 1918:
“The country cannot be considered any more to belong to its inhabitants in practice only, it must be seen as the joint property of two elements: one – the present inhabitants, of different religions and persuasions, about 700,000, and the other – the Jewish people, for whom Israel shall become a home, spread around the world, about 12 million.” (“The Notebook,” appears in Zionist historian Yosef Gorni’s book Policy and Imagination, p. 14).
The groups Brit Shalom led by Judah Magnes, who was President of the Hebrew University, and the philosopher and mystic Martin Buber, as well as Mapam, also raised this idea. An idea that all of its proponents forgot at the first chance they got.
Some groups try to dye in red the reactionary idea of support for the right of self-determination for the colonialist settlers, and call for different shades of a bi-national workers’ state which will be created through a joint proletarian struggle. Among these are the Spartacists and their splinters, the League for the Fifth International and their splinters, the Permanent Revolution group, as well as the International Marxist Tendency and the Committee for a Workers International. But was it correct to call for a bi-national workers’ state in Algeria, Rhodesia or South Africa? Unlike these groups, Trotsky called in South Africa for a black state, created by the proletarian revolution of the overwhelmingly black working class. As he wrote in “The Agrarian and National Questions Remarks on the Draft Theses of The Workers Party of South Africa” (1935):
“The overthrow of the hegemony of British Imperialism in South Africa can come about as the result of a military defeat of Great Britain and the disintegration of the Empire; in this case the South African whites can still for a certain period, hardly a considerable one, retain their domination over the blacks. Another possibility, which in practice could be connected with the first, is a revolution in Great Britain and her possessions. Three-quarters of the population of South Africa (almost six million of almost eight million) is composed of non-Europeans. A victorious revolution is unthinkable without the awakening of the native masses; in its turn it will give them what they are so lacking today, confidence in their strength, a heightened personal consciousness, a cultural growth. Under these conditions the South African Republic will emerge first of all as a “black” Republic; this does not exclude, of course, either full equality for whites or brotherly relations between the two races (which depends mainly upon the conduct of the whites). But it is entirely obvious that the predominant majority of the population, liberated from slavish dependence, will put a certain imprint on the State.
“Insofar as a victorious revolution will radically change not only the relation between the classes, but also between the races, and will assure to the blacks that place in the State which corresponds to their numbers, so far will the Social Revolution in South Africa also have a national character. We do not have the slightest reason to close our eyes to this side of the question or to diminish its significance. On the contrary the proletarian party should in words and in deeds openly and boldly take the solution of the national (racial) problem in its hands.“
Trotsky expressed no concern for defending the rights of the privileged white workers, and expressed no fear for their fate in a workers’ state numerically dominated by black workers. On the contrary, Trotsky knew that to defend the privileges of the white workers in any way would be to betray the interests of the oppressed masses and sabotage the potential socialist revolution.
In Israel, the point is to convince the largest possible number of Jews, especially the more exploited layers of the Jewish workers, to become anti-Zionist and support the revolutionary struggles of the Arab, Iranian, Turkish and of course Palestinian workers. Furthermore, revolutionaries must look to demonstrate in every possible opportunity that the overthrow of the state of Israel by socialist revolution will not mean anti-Semitic oppression of the Jews, but will rather secure for them the possibility of finally living in peace in the region. Such work will aim at minimizing counterrevolutionary hostility to a Palestinian workers’ state among the Jewish masses.
In the first Intifada, Hamas played an openly counterrevolutionary role in alliance with the Zionist state. None other than Sharon supported Hamas as a means of weakening popular support for the PLO and other more secular forces. On this question wrote Richard Sale on UPI (06/18/02).
“Israel and Hamas may currently be locked in deadly combat, but, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials, beginning in the late 1970s, Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years.“
Israel “aided Hamas directly – the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization),” said Tony Cordesman, Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic Studies.
Israel’s support for Hamas “was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative,” said a former senior CIA official.
According to ICT papers, Hamas was legally registered in Israel in 1978 by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the movement’s spiritual leader, as an Islamic Association by the name Al-Mujamma al Islami, which widened its base of supporters and sympathizers by religious propaganda and social work.
According to U.S. administration officials, funds for the movement came from the oil-producing states and directly and indirectly from Israel. The PLO was secular and leftist and promoted Palestinian nationalism. Hamas wanted to set up a transnational state under the rule of Islam, much like Khomeini’s Iran.
What took Israeli leaders by surprise was the way the Islamic movements began to surge after the Iranian revolution, after armed resistance to Israel sprang up in southern Lebanon vis-à-vis Hezbollah, backed by Iran, these sources said.
Today, however, Hamas, which the Zionist state wants to destroy, is forced to fight the Zionist state and imperialism. Unlike leftists around the world took a pacifist position condemning both sides, or politically supported Hamas, we supported the victory of Hamas. However, we did so, without sparing Hamas of our criticism for being a reactionary capitalist clerical organization, whose assaults, which are directed against unarmed civilians, are used by the Zionists as an excuse to their massacring of unarmed Palestinian civilians. We also warned the masses, that the class interests of the Hamas leadership are stronger than its anti-imperialist sentiments, and that it is vigorously seeking every opportunity to betray the Palestinian people and receive its own piece of the exploitation pie, alongside or instead of the disintegrating PLO.
At the same time, it is the duty of Marxist revolutionaries to unite the working class in an alliance with the peasants, independently of the Hamas leadership, which sooner or later will betray the mass struggle, since it has no revolutionary program and it supports the capitalist system. At the end of the day, it will prefer imperialist control to the danger of losing control over the Palestinian masses. If it wanted to wage a mass struggle, it would arm the masses in Gaza against the attacks of the Zionist state.
The key to the liberation of the region and the Palestinian people is the regional working class, especially the Arab, today headed by the Egyptian working class. In the revolutionary struggle of the Arab working class, the Palestinian masses will be at the forefront of the struggle, as the Jewish masses supported the Bolshevik revolution in Russia, due to their position.
In order for this to happen, it is necessary for the most advance workers to create revolutionary working class parties in each state as part of the recreation of the Fourth International that was destroyed by the Middle Class Marxists of all shades.
Our Morals and Theirs
The Nazis destroyed the reformist and revolutionary Jewish left. It was the best of the rank-and-file activists of the socialist and communist parties, betrayed by their petty-bourgeois leadership, and the revolutionary Trotskyists, who arranged the resistance to the Nazis. They were also the ones who organized the Warsaw Ghetto rebellion.
However, after their deaths, their bravery was hidden. The destruction of the anti-Zionist tradition of the Jews by the Nazis allowed the Zionists to claim that while the masses of Jews went like lambs to the slaughter, they represent the mass of Jews, whom they in reality betrayed and assisted to their destruction. With the audacity common for liars, they claim that all who oppose their crimes are anti-Semitic. How concerned they are with the suffering of the survivors of the Jewish holocaust is indicated by the old people still alive today, whose property they’ve stolen and even used for medical experiments.
On October 23, 2006 we find in Ha’aretz the following report by Zvi Zrahiya and Jonathan Lis, Eight more doctors from the Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot and the Hartzfeld Geriatric Hospital in Gedera are suspected of involvement in experiments on human beings, Chief Superintendent Meir Cohen, told the Knesset Labor and Welfare Committee on Monday. The new allegations bring the total number of doctors being investigated for conducting illegal human experiments to 12.
Police suspected that the doctors illegally carried out these experiments, in order to advance professionally, and for academic papers they wished to be published. The doctors are being investigated for a number of charges, including breach of trust, forgery, taking advantage of helpless individuals, and receiving bribes.
The doctors are believed to have performed illegal experiments on hundreds of elderly individuals, many without their required consent. Twelve of those who were experimented on died, and their deaths were not correctly reported to the Health Ministry as required by law.
Professor Avi Yisraeli, director-general of the Health Ministry, said his office is formulating a law regarding experimenting on human beings. The bill will be submitted for approval by the government within two months. The law will also determine the punishment for doctors who break the ethical code of illegally experimenting on humans.
“How is it possible that MKs have passed a law giving guidelines for animal experimentation, and never have proposed a law for human experimentation?” Professor Avinoam Reches, director-general of the Israel Medical Association Ethics Committee, asked during Monday’s committee hearing. “Are chickens more important than humans?“
Yisraeli blames the unstable and therefore changing government in Knesset for never getting around to reviewing the bill on human experimentation.
Israel has not only a record on medical experiments on old people including survivors and on soldiers, but the worse case were the experiments made on 100,000 Jews from North Africa in the early 1950s.
Yisraeli also said that the doctors’ illegal behavior was impossible to foresee, since they forged consent documents and ignored Health Ministry regulations.
He maintains that in March 2005, the ministry ordered hospitals to set up supervision teams to oversee medical experiments, and in September 2005 the ministry launched a public drive for people willing to volunteer for medical experiments.
On this, Barry Chamish wrote an article, “Ringworm and Radiation,” on August 19, 2004:
“Israel’s Channel Ten featured a documentary film which exposed the ugliest secret of Israel’s Labor party founders: the deliberate mass radiation poisoning of nearly all Sephardi youths of a generation.
“The Ringworm Children” (translated into Hebrew as “100,000 Rays”), directed by David Belhassen and Asher Hemias, recently won the prize for “best documentary” at the Haifa International film festival, and in the past year has made the rounds of Jewish and Israeli film festivals around the world. However, it had yet to come to Israeli television screens. The subject is the mass irradiation of hundreds of thousands of young Israeli immigrants from Middle Eastern countries – Sephardim, as they are called today. The story goes like this:
“In 1951, the director general of the Israeli Health Ministry, Dr. Chaim Sheba, flew to America and returned with seven x-ray machines, supplied to him by the American army.
“They were to be used in a nuclear mass experiment with an entire generation of Sephardi youths to be used as guinea pigs. Every Sephardi child was to be given 35,000 times the maximum dose of x-rays through his head….“
Yad Vashem, Israel’s holocaust memorial, has become the pilgrimage center of every imperialist statesman, including the mass murderer Bush, and neo-Fascists like Gianfranco Fini, leader of Italy’s Northern Alliance party.
They are trying to hide the fact that until WWII, a significant portion of Jews was anti-Zionist. In 1905, the Jews in Russia were just 4% of the population, but they were 11% of the Bolshevik party and 23% of the Menshevik party.
These Jews condemned the Zionists and their anti-Semitic philosophy, echoing the claims of the non-Zionist anti-Semites, and their settlement in Palestine. On the one hand, there was the tradition of revolutionary Jews – the Bolsheviks who organized Jews together with others against pogroms in the struggle against anti-Semitism. On the other, there were the Zionists who collaborated with the Czar, called Jews not to participate in revolutionary struggles and sabotaged the unity of trade unions.
Trotsky describes in 1905 how non-Jewish workers came to the rescue of Jews during the pogrom in St. Petersburg:
“The workers prepared themselves and even purchased expensive guns. The Soviet found it very difficult to arm the masses, and therefore the workers used hammers, saws, pick-axes, whips, etc., and a large armed demonstration was organized which terrorized the pogromists. The workers didn’t stop there and organized defense patrols around the Jewish neighborhoods.“
Lenin and the Bolsheviks took a clear position on the question of anti-Semitism, meanwhile stating clearly that Jewish and non-Jewish workers must unite regardless of their religion or nationality. After the revolution, the Bolsheviks removed all laws discriminating against Jews. In the civil war they protected the Jews from the White pogromists, who murdered between 30,000 to 60,000 Jews in th Ukraine.
At the same time, the right-wing Zionist Jabotinsky tried to organize squads of Jewish policemen for the anti-Semitic Ukrainian pogromist Simon Petliura, who fought the Red Army. Ben Gurion and his friends organized a brigade for British imperialism. Jabotinsky’s disciple, Avraham “Yair” Stern, went so far in 1941 as to seek an alliance with the Nazis.
Among Jews, as in all social groups, there are two key cultural traditions. One is the culture of the revolutionary workers’ movement, fighting against all forms of discrimination and racism, whether against Jews, Muslims, “foreigners” or locals. Among its representatives are Marx, Trotsky and Rosa Luxemburg. The other is the tradition of reaction, organizing pogroms and racist discrimination, represented by Zionism. Their tradition was expressed by the gangster Rehavam Ze’evi, the terrorists Begin and Shamir and the former members of Betar who imitated Mussolini, including Netanyahu and Olmert, as well as nationalist racists like Avigdor Lieberman and the generals Rabin, Sharon and Barak, who rose to fame from the massacres they organized.
It is no coincidence that the imperialists, who are responsible so far for two world wars and countless bloody military coups, gave the Nobel Peace prize to Begin, Peres and Rabin.
It is no coincidence that the counterrevolutionary leadership of the CPI, which dresses up as a communist party and preaches to the Palestinians to accept the Zionist state, has joined the personality cult of Rabin, who ordered the Israeli soldiers to break the hands and legs of those brave Palestinian youth, who fought in the first Intifada with stones against the Zionist crusaders’, planes, tanks and guns.
The only way to a future free of exploitation, hunger, ecological disasters and destructive wars is the way of Marx, Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg and Trotsky. For humanity to live, the imperialist system must be overthrown, and a socialist society of freedom and plenty built in its place.
Forward to the Socialist revolution in the Middle East!
Long Live the World Socialist Revolution!
For a Palestinian Workers Republic from the River to the Sea, as Part of the
Socialist Federation of the Middle East!
 The origin of this slogan is the Christian fundamentalist in Great Britain. It appeared in Alexander Keith, The Land of Israel According to the Covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob (Edinburgh: William Whyte and Co., 1843), p. 43 In 1901 it was adopted by the British Zionist Israel Zangwill in the New Liberal Review and after that used by Herzl and other leaders of the Zionist movement.
 “Der Judenstaat”– the founding document of Zionism.
 The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl, p.387. in Lenni Brenner, The Iron Wall, Chapter 3.
 What about Germany? Pp 11-12, Louis P Lochner.
 Patai, Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl, V. IV, p.1525.
 Samuel Portnoy (ed.), Vladimir Medem – The Life and Soul of a Legendary Jewish Socialist, pp.295-8. in Brenner,Zionism in the age of Dictators.
 Brenner, The Iron Wall , p. 15.
 The Other Israel: The Radical Case Against Zionism (New York: Doubleday, 1972) pp. 152-153.
 Brenner, The Iron Wall, in the chapter “The Bund and Marxism.”
 Allan C. Brownfeld ,The Washington Report On Middle East Affairs, July/August 1998, pp. 48 50. Allan C. Brownfeld is a syndicated columnist and associate editor of the Lincoln Review, a journal published by the Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, and editor of Issues, the quarterly journal of the American Council for Judaism.
 Raphael Falk, Tziyonut vehabiologia shel hayehudim, Resling, Tel Aviv 2006 (Hebrew only).
 Herzl’s Diary, Part I, pp. 68.
 Michael Bar-Zohar, Ben Gurion, pp. 45-46.
 Michael Ledeen, “Italian Jews and Fascism,” Judaism (Summer 1969), p.286.
 Schechtman, “The Jabotinsky-Slavinsky Agreement,” Jewish Social Studies, October 1955, pp 298-301.
 David Yisraeli, The Palestine Problem in German Politics 1889-1945 (Israel: 1974).
 Memo of June 21, 1933,” in L. Dawidowicz, A Holocaust Reader (New York: Behrman, 1976), pp. 150-155.
 Jüdische Rundschau (Berlin), June 13, 1933. Quoted in Heinz Höhne, The Order of the Death’s Head (New York: Ballantine, pb., 1971, 1984), pp. 376-377.
 Jacob Boas, “A Nazi Travels to Palestine,” History Today (London), January 1980, pp. 33-389. The same account can be found in Tom Segev, The Seventh Million.
 F. Nicosia, The Third Reich and the Palestine Question (1985), p. 57.
 Werner Feilchenfeld, et al., Haavara – Transfer nach Palästina (Tübingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 1972).; David Yisraeli, “The Third Reich and the Transfer Agreement,” Journal of Contemporary History (London), No. 2, 1971, pp. 129-148.; “Haavara,” Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971), vol. 7, pp. 1012-1013.
 E. Black, Transfer Agreement, p. 379.; F. Nicosia, Third Reich, pp. 212, 252.
 Feilchenfeld et al., Haavara – Transfer, p. 75.; “Haavara,” Encyclopaedia Judaica, (1971), Vol. 7, p. 1013.
 Dr. Weizmann’s Political Address – 20th Zionist Congress, New Judaea (London, August 1937), p.215.
 Expulsion of the Palestinians by Nur Masalha, pp. 107-25.
 Shabtai Teveth, David Ben-Gurion – A Brief Biography p. 188.
 The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities, by Simha Flapan p. 32.
 Moshe Dayan, Address to the Technion, Haifa (as quoted in Ha’aretz, 4 April 1969).