Zionism and Anti-Semitism

By Yossi Schwartz, Internationalist Socialist League (RCIT Section in Israel / Occupied Palestine), 21.03.2019, http://www.the-isleague.com

The last attack on pro-Palestinians political figures is the attack on Ilhan Omar in the US. Recently I signed a statement circulated by Jews for Palestinian Right of Return. It says:

We Stand with Ilhan

We are Jews who stand with Representative Ilhan Omar. She has been falsely accused of anti-Semitism since tweeting that GOP threats against her and Representative Rashida Tlaib for criticizing Israel were “all about the Benjamins baby.” When asked to clarify who is paying members of Congress “to be pro-Israel,” Omar replied, “AIPAC!”

There is absolutely nothing anti-Semitic about calling out the noxious role of AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee), which spends millions each year to buy U.S. political support for Israeli aggression and militarism against the Palestinian people. As the NYC chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace summed up: “Accurately describing how the Israel lobby works in this country is not anti-Semitic. The never-ending smear campaign against Ilhan Omar is racism and Islamophobia in action.”

There is no denying that money rules U.S. politics, and that powerful lobbies from the NRA to the fossil fuel lobby to AIPAC play destructive, anti-democratic roles in our political system, wielding money for legislative influence. The pro-Israel lobby has played an outsized role in producing nearly unanimous congressional support for Israel. It has organized a national campaign to suppress Palestinian activism on campuses, made the Israel Anti-Boycott Act a legislative priority, and for decades has boasted about their power to make or break political careers. To point out this reality is not anti-Semitic.

Genuine anti-Semitism and the growth of white supremacy are indeed growing concerns in Donald Trump’s America. Omar and Tlaib, the first two Muslim congresswomen in this country’s history, are not part of this ugly growth of white supremacy. Instead, they are part of movements which seek to confront it. For that, and for their courageous support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, they are being smeared by a racist and Islamophobic chorus, including the House Democratic leadership itself.

As long as the Israeli state continues to militarily besiege, economically choke, and incessantly dispossess the Palestinian people, and as long as it does so with the full backing of the United States government, we need to speak out against these crimes. We thank Ilhan Omar for having the bravery to shake up the congressional taboo against criticizing Israel. As Jews with a long tradition of social justice and anti-racism, AIPAC does not represent us”. (1)

AIPAC and similar Zionist organizations in Europe is not concern with the fact that the Israeli government allies itself with real Anti-Semite parties, movements and government, but they lead the attack on progressive people and movement that are in solidarity with the oppressed Palestinians. Last week Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shocked even his like-minded politicians by joining forces with an openly racist party, the far-right Otzma Yehudit Party, which prides itself in tracing its roots to Rabbi Meir Kahane, considered the father of the most far-right Jewish groups. Until now no leader of a major party aligns himself with a fascist group that calls for, among other things, the expulsion of Israel’s Palestinian citizens and the total annexation of Palestinian land.

AIPAC was forced to support a statement by the American Jewish Committee (AJC), which described the alliance with Otzma Yehudit as “reprehensible”. AIPAC said that it agrees with the AJC, adding that it has a long-standing policy not to meet with members of this racist and reprehensible party.

Thus AIPAC does not condemn Netanyahu for his alliance with the fascists in and out of Israel. It invited US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to its annual conference where he said that Israeli settlement building was not an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians, instead blaming the failure to reach a peace accord on the Palestinian refusal to accept the Jewish state. AIPAC does not condemn the Israeli army for killing every Friday people in Gaza who want to return to their lands stolen by Israel when Israel expelled 750,000 Palestinians in 1947-8. AIPAC contributes money to the settlements. This explains why they cannot criticize Netanyahu and his connection to the fascists. Among the contributors to the settlements is Christians United for Israel founder John Hagee.

The Christian Zionists were always supporters of Zionism. The Zionist ideology did not begin with Herzl or the Jews. It began with Christian Zionism. Christian Zionism began among Protestants of the 16th century and 17th century Puritans of England. In 1607, Thomas Brightman published a book by the name “Revelation of the Revelation” where he spoke of the return of the Jews to Palestine. Isaac de la Peyrere (1594-1676), the French Ambassador to Denmark, wrote a similar book.

In the 18th century, the Christian Zionist Movement, under the name Restoration Movement, among them Thomas Newton, the Bishop of Bristol, preached the same idea.

In the 19th century one of the leaders of the Christian Zionists was Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury, a member of the Tory party. Shaftesbury argued for a Jewish return as a way to advance the economic and political advantages for England. In 1853, Shaftesbury wrote to the Prime Minister, Lord Aberdeen, that Greater Syria was “a country without a nation” in need of “a nation without a country… Is there such a thing? To be sure there is, the ancient and rightful lords of the soil, the Jews!” (2) This is of course the origin of the Zionist slogan coined by the British Jewish Zionist Israel Zangwill: “A land without people for people without a land.

One of the Christian Zionists was the Chaplin William H. Hechler who worked with Herzl and attended the first Zionist Congress. (3)

The Christian Zionists influenced Balfour and his known declaration of 1917, in which Arthur Balfour wrote that the British government viewed “with favor the establishment of a Jewish national home” in Palestine. Another known Christian Zionist was Orde Wingate who trained the Zionist terrorist organization “night operation”.

He said: “here is only one way to deal with the situation, to persuade the gangs that, in their predatory raids, there is every chance of their running into a government gang which is determined to destroy them. The units would carry the offensive to the enemy, take away his initiative and keep him off-balance, “and …produce in their minds the belief government forces will move at night and can and will surprise them either in villages or across country.” (4)

Thus in the case of Christian Zionism the Gospel became the ideology of imperialism colonialism and militarism. David Lloyd-George was even more pro-Zionist than Balfour. From Great Britain Christian Zionism moved to the USA where a number of Protestant theologians including the evangelist Dwight Moody, C.I. Schofiled and William E. Blackstone. The Christian Zionists saw the wars of 1948 and 1967 as miracles of God and the beginning of the end of times which is a period of wars destructions and the building of the Jewish third temple. They are hard supporters of Zionist apartheid in entire Palestine. According to their belief system Jesus will return to reign on Earth after an epic battle between good and evil. The Zionists are the good and the Muslims are the bad. The Evangelical leader Pat Robertson, while on his tour of Israel during the Israel-Lebanon war, said: “The Jews are God’s chosen people. Israel is a special nation that has a special place in God’s heart. He will defend this nation. So Evangelical Christians stand with Israel. That is one of the reasons I am here.” (5)

In addition to the Christian Zionists Napoleon Bonaparte advocated a Jewish autonomy under French protection in Palestine in 1799 during his battle in Acre. He wrote: “The great nation which does not trade in men and countries as did those which sold your ancestors unto all people (Joel,4,6) herewith calls on you not indeed to conquer your patrimony ;nay, only to take over that which has been conquered and, with that nation’s warranty and support, to remain master of it to maintain it against all comers.” (6)

The alliance of the Zionists with real Anti-Semitism and at the same time stealing the Palestinian lands did not begin with Netanyahu. In 1895, Herzl wrote in his diary:

We must expropriate gently the private property on the state assigned to us. We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it employment in our country. The property owners will come over to our side. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discretely and circumspectly. Let the owners of the immoveable property believe that they are cheating us, selling us things for more than they are worth. But we are not going to sell them anything back.” (7)

Benny Morris (the Israeli Historian), described how Herzl foresaw how anti-Semitism could be “harnessed” for the realization of Zionism. He stated:

Herzl regarded Zionism’s triumph as inevitable, not only because life in Europe was ever more untenable for Jews, but also because it was in Europe’s interests to rid the Jews and relieved of anti-Semitism: The European political establishment would eventually be persuaded to promote Zionism. Herzl recognized that anti-Semitism would be harnessed to his own–Zionist-purposes.” (8)

In his attempts to get the support of the Russian Tsar Herzl met in 1903, shortly after Kishinev pogrom the tsar’s interior minister, von Plehve, who had organized the pogroms. Herzl promised Plehve that the Zionists will help the Tsar by turning the Jews away from socialist politics. Plehve told him: “You don’t have to justify the movement to me. You are preaching to a convert.

Richard Silverstein in the Jewish Magazine Tikun Olam wrote: Eichmann didn’t just visit Palestine in 1937 to meet with the Zionist leadership. He didn’t just serve as the Nazis in implementing the Haavara Agreement. He actually endorsed Zionism and did so with fulsome praise. This New York Times review of ‘In Memory’s Kitchen: A Legacy From the Women of Terezin’ quotes the memory of a Terezin survivor who met Eichmann: Anny Stern was one of the lucky ones. In 1939, after months of hassle with the Nazi bureaucracy, the occupying German Army at her heels, she fled Czechoslovakia with her young son and emigrated to Palestine. At the time of Anny’s departure, Nazi policy encouraged emigration. ‘‘Are you a Zionist?” Adolph Eichmann, Hitler’s specialist on Jewish affairs, asked her. ”Jawohl,” she replied. ”Good,” he said, ”I am a Zionist, too. I want every Jew to leave for Palestine.” There is an even more explosive story told of Eichmann’s self-identification with Zionism. It was published in Life Magazine in 1960 under the title, ’I Transported Them to the Butcher: Eichmann’s Story’: ‘In the years that followed (after 1937) I often said to Jews with whom I had dealings that, had I been a Jew, I would have been a fanatical Zionist. I could not imagine anything else. In fact, I would have been the most ardent Zionist imaginable.’ (9)

Francis R. Nicosia book “Zionism and Anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany’” does not hide the collaboration of the Zionists with the Nazis but he tried to excuse it by pointing out to the unequal relations between the Nazis and the Zionists. He wrote:

In the end, the relationship between Zionism and anti-Semitism in Germany helped to define what each was and, perhaps more importantly, what each was not during the period of about half a century before the onset of the final solution” (p. 9). “Thus, the policies of Hitler’s regime toward Zionism and the Zionist movement in Germany before 1941, as examples of the implementation of its anti-Semitic ideology, only diminish the likelihood that the ‘final solution’ was part of an earlier plan or intention to ultimately mass murder the Jews of Europe” (pp. 10-11). “Throughout the 1930s, as part of the regime’s determination to force the Jews to leave Germany, there was almost unanimous support in German government and Nazi party circles for promoting Zionism among German Jews, and Jewish emigration from Germany to Palestine” (p. 79).

The Nazis view Zionism as “an important instrument in addressing both parts of the process of reversing Jewish emancipation and assimilation in Germany and ending Jewish life in the Reich through emigration.” (p. 105)

Thus Zionism is not only the enemy of the Palestinians, it is also enemy of the Jews. A growing number of liberal and left wing Jews in the USA and other places begin to understand it. Anti-Semitism is an enemy of all progressive people and the Zionists are the best friends of the Anti-Semitism. It is time to expose the real nature of the beast.


(1) https://www.mintpressnews.com/open-letter-we-are-jews-who-stand-with-representative-ilhan-omar/255935/

(2) Hyamson, Albert, “British Projects for the Restoration of Jews to Palestine”, American Jewish Historical Society, Publications 26, 1918

(3) The Jewish Magazine, Rev. William Hechler, the Christian who backed Theodor Herzl, http://www.jewishmag.co.il/153mag/theodor_herzl_hechler/theodor_herzl_hechler.htm

(4) Joseph M. Hochstein and Ami Isseroff: Zionism and Israel – Biographies, Orde Charles Wingate: “Hayedid”

(5) David Krusch, “Christian Zionism”, Jewish Virtual Library

(6) Middle East Web: Napoleon Bonaparte’s Letter to the Jews

(7) Benny Morris: Righteous Victims, 1999, p. 21-22

(8) Ibid, p. 21

(9) Richard Silverstein: Adolf Eichmann: “If I Were a Jew, I’d Be a Fanatical Zionist, Tikun Olam, May 27, 2016, https://www.richardsilverstein.com/2016/05/27/adolf-eichmann-if-i-were-a-jew-id-be-a-fanatical-zionist/

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We refer reader for more information on the ISL’s and the RCIT’s stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people to our websites http://www.the-isleague.com and https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/.

The ISL’s program can be read here: http://www.the-isleague.com/our-platform/ and https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/summary-of-isl-program/

See also Yossi Schwartz: Israel’s War of 1948 and the Degeneration of the Fourth International, http://the-isleague.com/1948-war-5-2013/ and https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/israel-s-war-of-1948/

Michael Pröbsting: On some Questions of the Zionist Oppression and the Permanent Revolution in Palestine, http://the-isleague.com/zionist-oppression-and-permanent-revolution/ and https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/permanent-revolution-in-palestine/

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