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WHAT'S LEFT ON THE

JEWISH QUESTION
Published by
The Jewish Socialists' Group, Manchester.

1975

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20p

Printed in England Galava Printing Co. Nelson


CONTENTS
Chapter Paragraphs

Preface 1 - 7
Introduction 8 - 13
I National & Cultural Questions 14 - 46
II Zionism - Jewish Nationalism 47 - 82
III The Misleading Propaganda of the
Left
83 - 127
IV The Palestinians and the Israelis 128 - 148
V Fascism - The Common Enemy 149 - 156
Appendix

1 Population Movements in and out


of Palestine 158 - 183
2 Oil
184 - 191
3 Manifesto of the Jewish Socialists'
Group
PREFACE
1 The Jewish Socialists' Group was formed in January 1974. The
immediate cause of its formation was the shock of the Yom Kippur
war but the factors which brought its founders together had been
maturing for a long time.
2 Jewish identity exists; the right to be a Jew, to express one's
Jewishness according to one's cultural and historical
background, as a British Jew, an Israeli Jew, an American Jew
or a Russian Jew, this is a fundamental social right.
3 The right to be at the same time a progressive, a Socialist,
a fighter for human progress, this too is a right the claim to
which not only is not irrelevant to one1s Jewishness but is an
enhancement of it, something that expresses it more ful1yo The
fight for social justice is embedded deep in Jewish history,
in the traditions of the Prophets, the struggles of the Maccabees,
the resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto, the fight of Jewish
revolutionaries throughout the age so these are not traditions
to deny.
4 In expressing such ideas on the Left, Jewish socialists have
experienced a lot of frustration. They hear these ideas
countered by arguments that the Jews are an anachronism which
ought to disappear; that the Jews should assimilate into the
general body of other peoples.
5 The denial of Jewish identity has had serious po1itica1
consequences. It has allowed the view of pro-Arabists on the
Middle East to be accepted with out criticism or check. The denial
of the national rights of the Jews of Israel lies at the root
of the Left's one-sided view of the Middle East and of the
distortion of the historical events surrounding the birth of
the State of Israel. It has permitted the Arab Liberation
movement to collaborate with Arab reaction and to divert its
energies from the anti-imperialist fight to the fight for the
destruction of Israel. To put it-bluntly, the general
assimilationist attitude of the Left has been useful for the
cause of Arab reaction.
6 Jewish socialists, fearful of the analytical process which has
it that Jews as individuals have a place in the Socialist society
of the future but that Jews as Jews have no place, took the step
of creating the Jewish Socialists' Group. Our principles are
set out in our Manifesto (appendix 3).
7 We are, we hope, a temporary phenomenon, one which wi11 last
just a long as it takes the Left to correct its general attitude
to Jewish identity and its particular outlook on the Middle East.
We are determined that there will be a hea1thy and vigorous Jewish
entity in the Socialist world of the future.
November 1974
Secretary, A. Lewis Chairman, F. Adam,
3, Wood Grove, Whitefield, 15, Wilton Ave., Prestwich,
Manchester. Manchester.
8 This pamphlet was originally conceived as an "Answer to the
Left" on the Middle East, summarising for the benefit of our
friends and comrades on the Left our criticisms of their pro--
Arab propaganda. We wanted to do this because we believe that
this propaganda is characterised essentially by a lack of balance,
by an unjustified denial of the national rights of the Jews of
Israel and by gross historical distortions. We also wanted to
point out the only too obvious failure of the Left to understand
the betrayal of the progressive cause implicit in an uncritical
attitude towards Arab national ism in relation to Israel.
9 To anyone involved in discussing the Middle East it speedily
becomes apparent, however, that what starts out as Left
criticism of Israel's policies or rejection of her right to exist
sooner or later becomes a question mark over the entire concept
of Jewish identity, inside or outside of Israel. Consider these
two well-known arguments, the first of which is usually
associated with the more extreme Left:
10. "Israe1 is a racialist aggressor state bent
on holding back social progress in the Arab
world. This aggressiveness is essential to
her nature since she is an artificial
creation, a colonial settler regime
implanted in the Middle East by imperialism
for that very purpose. The cause of the
1iberation of the Arab peoples demands her
elimination.
There is no need to be concerned about the
national rights of the Jews of Israel
because the Jews are not a nation anyway.
The whole concept of Jewish nationhood, or
even of a Jewish entity of any kind, is a
Zionist propagated myth. As for the
statements by Mr. Gromyko and other Soviet
delegates at the United Nations in 1947,
who spoke of the aspirations of the Jews for
a home of their own and who named Palestine
as the logical place, this must be rejected
as a betrayal of the Arab cause. The solution
for Jews outside Israel to the problem of
their persecution is for them to assimilate.
Loss of their identity will protect them
against anti-semitism".
11. The second argument goes, a little more moderately and a little
truer to history;
"Israel has a right to exist; she was after
all set up in conformity with the wishes of
the United Nations with the leading support
of the Soviet Union and other Socialist
states. Nevertheless she has since then
become an imperialist puppet whose role is
to try to hold back Arab social progress and
the Arab anti-imperialist fight. Therefore
one must support the Arabs against her and,
since the Arabs are fighting imperialism
one must overlook their defects, such as
lack of internal democracy, willingness to
destroy the national rights of the Jews of
Israel etc., since the "main thing" is to
back at all costs the
Arabs·anti-imperialist fight. Furthermore,
the granting to Israel of the right to exist
does not mean that she is entitled to allow
the immigration of Jews from allover the
world as she wishes. One must distinguish
between Israeli sovereignty and Jews else-
where in the world. The "so1ution for the
Jews outside of Israel to the problem of
anti-semitism is the same as that advocated
by the more extreme Left – assimilation".
12. There is much wrong with both these arguments which we wish to
analyse and answer in these pages. Both rely on short public
memory; both resort to distortions of history; both are gui1ty
of believing naively in the possibi1ity of strengthening the
anti-imperialist fight by swallowing Arab excesses-neither sees
the dialectical process whereby Arab threats to Israel's
existence have strengthened Israeli reaction. The first is a
crude philosophy of the denial of Israe1·s right to exist but
at least it is straightforward in that respect; the second
affirms Israel's right to exist but then declares open-ended
support for the Arabs who wish to destroy her; in that respect
it is sheer double-talk. What both arguments have in common is
a logical progression towards the denial of a Jewish identity
anywhere in the world.
13. For the latter reason and precisely because we in the Jewish
Socialists' Group regard the Left, the Socialist and Communist
forces working for the transformation of society as the forces
of the future which in general we support and are proud to be
part of (and in which in fact we demand a role for the Jewish
people which allow them to express their cultural heritage in
freedom), for this reason we find it necessary to begin this
pamphlet with an explanation of Jewish identity and the way in
which we look at the role of Jews in social struggle. To do this
we first have to say a few words on the national question in
general for we believe that the weakness of the Left on this
has some bearing on its erroneous outlook on the Jewish question
in particular.
THE NATIONAL AND CULTURAL QUESTION.
14. There is an approach of the political Left to questions of social
struggle in which people tend to be regarded purely as economic
factors in isolation from their cultural and historical
backgrounds. Sometimes, as a starting point, there is nothing
wrong with this. Discussion of economic theories or of the
movement of class forces may be irrelevant to questions of who
or which national or cultural aspects are involved. Rents and
wages struggles, the unity of workers and progressives of all
kinds in defence of democracy and living standards may require
at times a minimum of understanding of the ethnic or cultural
backgrounds of those concerned. So much is simple commonsense.
The trouble is that there's a tendency on the Left to regard
this elementary fact as constituting the whole truth about
people and as the only basis on which to approach them. Taken
to its conclusion such an outlook not only denies the importance
or even the validity of cultural differences but even sees in
the obvious danger of their being exploited by fascists and
racialists an argument for abolishing such differences
altogether!
15. It is interesting to see where this argument leads one.
Differences between people, whether physical or cultural, are
indeed a source of possible division if exploited by those
intent on setting man against man in the interests of a ruling
class. There are two ways of coping with this situation. One
way is to examine the differences and to decide if they are
legitimate, i.e. not socially harmful or oppressive to others.
If they are legitimate one then defends the right of those
concerned to retain their differences; one persists in such
defence despite the efforts of dividers to exploit them and
in fact one makes the defence of the right to special'
characteristics a progressive fight.
16. The other way is to fear the differences; to run away from them,
to wish they did not exist, to be afraid that nothing can stop
fascists from utilising them to divide people, to wish
therefore that all men spoke one language, or practised the
same religion or no religion at all, or wore the same clothes
and played the same games and drank the same beer, or looked
alike.
17. This is an argument for the clone society where no individual
can be distinguished from another. Let no-one think that this
is a farfetched conclusion. There is no difference, however
trivial, which a fascist will not try to use if he has to. The
answer is to defeat fascism, not a make concessions to its
spirit.
18. Anyone who has had to work among cultural and ethnic minority
groups, as we have done, knows how blind the Left can be at
times to the deeply-felt needs of minority (and majority)
groups. The Left has lost more than one battle in the struggle
for a better society because of its failure to 4nderstand that
it is necessary to treat people as real products of their total
history and not as cardboard cutouts or economic abstractions.
19. As Georgi Dimitrov said, in his report to the 7th. World
Congress of the Communist International in August 1935,
"fascists are rummaging through the entire
history of every nation so as to be able to
pose as the heirs and continuers of all that
was exalted and heroic in its past….' (page
77 The United Front, International
Publishers, 1938).
20 Let us accept then that people may have special non-economic,
non-class links with one another. Does it follow that Jews fall
into this category or that their links with one another are
as real or as fundamental as they imagine? Of what do these
links consist?
21 Are the Jews a group held together solely by religion, as is
sometimes asserted? If so, how to explain those of them who
are atheists or agnostics and yet are counted as Jews both by
themselves and by everyone else? Or are they simply a group
of ancient origin held together solely by the pressures of
persecution? How then to explain the persistence of the Jewish
identity and the flourishing of Jewish creativity in relatively
calm periods of their history, such as that of the Moorish
occupation of Spain?
22 The fact is that the Jews owe their cohesion as a group to both
these factors and to much else besides. It is important not only
to know what these factors are but to understand also their
strength.
23 It has been the special prerogative of the Jewish people to be
a handy diversionary scapegoat for successive ruling classes,
slave, feudal and capitalist (and, we must add with bitterness
and regret in more than one case, Socialist) neither the harsh
treatment they have received in Poland from 1968 onwards nor
the crude attempts forcibly to assimilate them in the Soviet
Union have yet been adequately condemned on the Left).
24 Jewish history, from the time of the expulsion of the Jews by
the Romans from Palestine, where they formed a national group,
to the time of the Nazi Holocaust, the most terrible instance
of human bestiality, was punctuated by massacres, pogroms,
attempts at genocide, repressions, denial of civil and
religious right so We are speaking of a span of approximately
two thousand years. This history of common persecution is a
very deep unifying factor, a common heritage, one which
penetrates the subconscious of every Jew from a very early age.
It is not something which dissolves with the passing of a law
against anti-semitism.
25 The Jewish re1igion is a unifying factor of the most fundamental
nature, particularly when taken in conjunction with the
traditions, customs and folk-lore to which certain aspects of
the religion have given rise; even in the case of Jews who do
not believe, these customs are a powerful cement which binds
them together.
26 The Hebrew language, which is inextricably connected with the
Jewish religion, has become a cultural form separate from it;
it is for example the official language of Israel. It is learned
as a matter of tradition by the vast majority of Jewish children
throughout the world from an early age, even if only in
preparation for the well-known Barmitzvah, or confirmation
ceremony, regarded as a must by almost all Jewish parents, quite
irrespective of their attitude to religion. There are other
linguistic forms which unite, less to-day than in the past, it
is true, but still to an important degree, large segments of
Jewish people, Yiddish and Ladino, the secular tongues of the
North European and the Mediterranean Jews respectively, played
a role lasting many hundreds of years in the production of
cultural focus which expressed the hopes, the fears and the
struggles of the Jewish people. The stories of Shalom Aleichem,
originally in Yiddish and since translated into many other
languages and into other art forms (e.g. Fiddler on the Roof)
are the essence of the Jewish struggle for survival and
self-respect in conditions of feudal and capitalist oppression.
Even to-day the Yiddish language is a cultural bond between many
Jews in the Soviet Union; in 1970 more than a third of a million
Jews entered Yiddish as their mother tongue in the Soviet census,
while many others entered it as their secondary tongue.
27 We would like to quote Paul Novick, leading American progressive
and internationally known and respected Communist for many years,
and expert on the Jewish question. In his book "The National and
Jewish Question in the Light of Reality", Paul Novick says this
about the links which unite the Jewish people.…
"0ne need not doubt that anti-Semitism,
particularly of the post-Auschwitz period,
is a factor which links Jews of different
countries together. However, there are also
other, positive factors which create links
between them. These include the history of
thousands of years of martyrdom and courage,
of achievements and failures; culture - in
different languages and most certainly in
Yiddish and Hebrew; there are also
traditions, habits, customs, psychology,
family ties, even foods. For untold
generations religion was the strongest
connecting force and it still exists and
exerts its influence. Such is the reality.
We noted earlier that when Lenin spoke of
the national pride of the Russians he
recalled the Decembrists and the later
Russian revolutionaries. Jewish
Revolutionaries, too, recall with pride the
contributions which Jewish fighters for
freedom made in various countries and the
revolutionary struggles they participated
in, including the fight to establish the
Soviet Union and for socialism general1y."
28 The Jews are quite clearly a solid ethno-cultural group with
powerful roots extending into the past.
29 Their history as victims of oppression has meant two other things
for them; firstly, it forced them periodically to uproot
themselves and seek a freer social climate wherever one might
be found. Usually this took place in response to economic and
social developments {the large migrations from feudal Tsarist
Russia to the developing capitalist United States is a major
modern instance} and secondly, it has caused the development
of a strong progressive and revolutionary tradition among them,
a tendency most marked in periods of social crisis, such as the
Russian Revolution. It was this tendency which affected to a
great extent the left development in the Zionist movement some
time after the latter's inception, a point which is developed
in the next chapter.
30 Very well, the Jews are a solid ethno-cultural group. Does this
mean that they are a nation, that it makes sense for them to
have a state of their own? Did not Stalin, for instance, issue
a definition of a nation in 1913 according to which it was a
phenomenon peculiar to the period of developing capitalism; that
no group of people could constitute a nation unless they
possessed certain things in common such as territory, language,
and internal market, cultural heritage?
31 We refer to Stalin's definition because it is still accepted
widely even among those for whom much else of what Stalin said
no longer is, or in some cases never was, much of a criterion.
It is not only widely accepted but uncritically accepted and
it has become one of the stock arguments against the right of
Jews to anything but absorption by those among whom they live.
Our view of Stalin's definition of a nation is that it has been
challenged by history itself.
32 We call to witness the views of some leading Marxists.
33 Bert Rame1son, C.P.G.B. writing, in his pamphlet "The Middle
East" (1967) recognises that an Israeli nation has now been
created and likens the process of that creation to that of the
creation of the American nation but draws a distinction between
the Israeli nation on the one hand and the Jewish people outside
Israel (who he says are not a nation) on the other.
34 Brendan Clifford, B. &. I.C.O. in "Zionism, its European
Origins" 1974, accepts Israel as a nation but rejects Rame1son's
comparison with the American process, pointing to the fantastic
speed of amalgamation of Jewish immigrants to Israel compared
to the slow process in the U.S. Points out, that the Jewish
immigrants tended to be "Israe1i nationalists" long before they
set foot in Palestine. He concludes that though Sta1in's
definition must in general be said to hold true, the Jews are
clearly an exception to the rule. He states, "The condition of
existence of the Jewish community during the past two thousand
years could never be the general conditions of existence of
society. A people without a state or territory can only be an
exception. The Jews can only be explained as a remarkably long
term exception to general conditions". The Jews, say Clifford,
"displayed many national characteristics two thousand years ago.
The Jewish wars against the Roman Empire were more akin to modern
national wars than to the wars of the barbarian tribes of Northern
and Western Europe against Rome. And the interconnections and
controversies in Jewish society in that period have a national
atmosphere about them, which is to be found nowhere else in
ancient society".
35 Moshe Sneh Israel C. P. (Maki) in "The Problems of the Jewish
People and their Solution" (1972), called for a new definition
of a nation to replace Stalin's and which would be able to account
for the Jewish nation.
36 Claude Lightfoot. Negro Communist, leading member of the U.S.
Communist Party, writing in "Political Affairs" November 1968,
on the Negro problem in the U.S. refers to that part of Stalin's
view that nations arose during the course of the development
of capitalism as a result of the struggle of the bourgeoisie
for the control of its local markets. Lightfoot questions
whether such a position is valid today when the national upsurge
among the Negro people is not linked to the desire for the
conquest of markets and when the Negro people does not have a
significantly large bourgeoisie.
37 Referring to the Jewish people, Lightfoot says;
"And certainly the Jewish people the world
over joined to help form an emerging nation
in Israel, yet nowhere else do they
constitute a nation".
38 What we have here is a range of views according to which on the
one hand the Jews
(a) always were and still are a nation
(b) may have been a nation once, ceased to be so through dispersal
but, as far as some of them are concerned, have recreated
a nation of themselves.
39 We feel, therefore, that even those most firmly committed to
the general principle of Stalin's definition must concede that
the Jews are a people with links, social and historical, profound
and powerful enough to enable them to create a nation-state in
a very short time. The emergence and swift consolidation of
Israel proves this but we did not have to await the creation
of Israel to know it.
40 In 1934 the Soviet Government was sufficiently cognisant of the
need, at least as far as Soviet Jewry was concerned, for national
self-expression to set up the Jewish Autonomous Republic of
Birobidjan.
41 This is what Leon Trotsky said about Birobidjan in October 1934
in a letter to a group known as "Ykslagor".
"…a workers' government is duty bound to
create for the Jews, as for any nation, the
very best circumstances for cultural
development. This means, inter alia: to
provide for those Jews who desire to have
their own schools, their own press, their
own theatre, etc. a separate territory for
self-administration and development…"
42 And Mikhail Kalinin, President of the Soviet Union from 1924
till his death in 1946, was reported in Pravda in November 1926
as saying,
43 "The Jewish people faces a great task, that
of preserving its nationality, and this
requires the transformation of a
considerable part of the Jewish population
into a compactly settled agricultural
peasantry numbering in the hundreds of
thousands at least. Only in this condition
can the Jewish masses hope for the survival
of their nationality".
44 And again in Mikhail Kalinin in August 1936
"The Presidium of the Central Executive of
the U.S.S.R. is firmly convinced that all
the workers and Kolkhoz farmers of the
Jewish Autonomous Region, all the Jewish
toilers in the Soviet Union and the
organisations of the Soviet public will lend
every effort to the speediest accomplishment
of the tasks connected with the further
development and strengthening of national
Jewish statehood in the U.S.S.R."
45 What happened to Birobidjan is common knowledge. It never
succeeded as a Jewish national republic, despite initially heavy
migrations of Jews there from other parts of the Soviet Union.
TO-day, the Jewish population of Birobidjan is approx. 1 in 15
of the total (6%).
46 The reason for its failure is not hard to find. The Stalin cult,
the opposition of Stalinism to all kinds of national expression
within the Soviet Union, and in particular the massive shutdown
of Jewish cultural institutions, schools, newspapers, theatres
etc; the arrest and shooting of leading Soviet Jewish
intellectuals, poets, writers, sounded the death-knell for any
possibility of a healthy, Jewish national life in Borobidjan.
The Jewish national experiment in the Soviet Union did not "fail",
it was crushed.
Chapter 2.
Zionism, Jewish Nationalism.
47 A common charge made against Jewish nationalism (which is what
Zionism is) is that it is a movement which regards the Jewish
people as something special. We think that the facts show the
contrary to be true. There is a limited sense in which every
nationalism considers its people to be something special in
so far as they identify more with each other than with anyone
else. Zionism shares this general attitude among nationalisms.
48 Zionism in particular, however, started out as a movement to
rescue the Jewish people from the very special treatment they
were receiving at the hands of their persecutors, from their
special role as scapegoat for the ruling classes of feudal and
capitalist Europe; in other words it was a movement for the
political normalisation of the Jewish people. The statements
of early Zionist leaders are replete with references to this
idea; the overall impression one gets is that the ideal of a
Jewish state was only a second best, a fall back made necessary
by the failure of European society to integrate or assimilate
the Jews. We refer the reader to an article by Theodore Herzl,
the founder of Zionism, written in 1899. The article, entitled
"Zionism", contained the following explanation of how the idea
of Zionism arose among certain sections of West European Jewry.
49 "Of course, we did not come upon it out of
idealism pure and simple. The truth as to
how we got to this is unfortunately less
praiseworthy, but we are perfectly ready to
admit it. We were led to it by the new enemy
which attacked us just when we were in the
process of complete assimilation: by
anti-semitism. I am still aware what an
impression it made upon me when I, in the
year 1882… read Duhring's book on the Jewish
question, a book which is as full of hate
as it is brilliant. I think that prior to
it I really no longer knew I was a Jew.
Duhring's book had an effect on me as if I
had received a blow on the head. And that
same thing probably happened to many a
Western Jew who had already forgotten his
peoplehood. The anti-semites reawakened
it…"
50 The conditions in which the early Zionist leaders formulated
their ideas and the ways in which they tried to put them into
effect need to be understood. They were the conditions of
expanding 19th century capitalism and imperialism, a system
dominating the planet in fact and in forseeable prospect. It
is therefore ludicrous to make the charge, as is often done
in Left circles, that in orienting themselves on capitalist
centres of power, in order to get support for the idea of a
Jewish state, the early Zionist leaders were committing a
heinous crime. For bourgeois leaders, which is essentially
what they were, no other course towards a Jewish state which
they saw as the only possible social salvation for the
Jews could possibly occur to them. It was not until the
development of a strong left-wing in the Zionist
movement and the emergence of Socialist power centres
in the world that the idea of an alternative to reliance
on capitalist power centres could emerge. It seems to
us that the anti-Zionist and/or anti-Israel tendency
on the political Left in Britain, while protesting
against the alleged "Zionist view of the Jewish people
as something special, itself looks at the Jews in
precisely this way. Why else should it deny to Jewish
nationalism the right to tendencies and lines of
development which it freely grants to other
nationalisms?
52 It is said, for instance, that Zionism tends to distract Jews
from the class struggle in the countries to which they belong
by birth. It certainly does that, but then so does every other
nationalist movement. In the 1950s the Soviet Union issued a
call to Armenians living abroad to consider returning to the
Soviet Armenian homeland and we do not recall that any questions
were raised about distraction from class struggle in the
countries in which these Armenians lived and in which many of
them had been born. Black Power separatist movements (including
a recent movement for a return to Africa) have attracted not
one-thousandth of the critical fire from the political Left
which has been directed at Zionism. There is something odd about
this distinction on the part of the Left between Jews and other
peoples, especially when we examine the figures which relate
to the distractive process and the "splitting" of the working
class which nationalism engenders.
53 There are approx. 400,000 to 450,000 Jews in Great Britain i.e.
1 in 120 of the population. The proportion of Jews in the working
class movement is probably nearer 1 in 300. This low figure is
mainly due to well-known historical factors such as
discrimination against Jews entering many trades and industries,
particularly basic ones like power, engineering and so on, right
up to the outbreak of the Second World War. We think that our
estimate is fairly accurate and we base it on the tendency of
Jews in Britain to concentrate, for the historical reasons
referred to, in trade and the professions. It is quite certain
that several of the various other minority sections of the
British people, the Irish, Cypriots, West Indian, Indian and
Pakistani, for instance, whose numbers are far greater than
those of the Jews, also account for a bigger proportion of the
British industrial working class, yet in no case other than that
of the Jews do the distractive effects of nationalist tendencies
draw such fierce criticism.
54 These criticisms of Zionism as a movement, as an ideology, are
loose, unscientific and over-dramatic, not to say hysterical.
When statements are made, as they have been recently in the Soviet
Union, about Zionism being an "international conspiracy" and
when this phrase is linked, as it often is, with "international
capitalism" we begin to see, like it or not, the not so thin
end of the wedge of Hitlerite phraseology.
55 Fairly well-known is the case of the paranoid anti-semite, T.
Kichko, whose book "Judaism without Embellishment" was
published in the Ukraine in 1964 and later withdrawn by the Soviet
authorities following strong complaints by among others, the
Communist Parties of Britain, France, Italy, Canada, the U.S.
about its virulently anti-semitic content.
56 Less well-known perhaps in this part of the world is Yevgeny
Yevseyev who also had published a crude anti-semitic tract from
which we offer the following extracts;
57 "The agents of certain secret Zionist
agencies start fires in synagogues,
desecrate (Jewish) cemeteries and commit
other ugly provocations which are then
instantly snapped up by the Zionist
propaganda machine with heart-rending
groans on how the life and property of the
Jews in this or that country are threatened"
(Zionism; Ideology and Politics, page 30
Russian edition)
58 Yevseyev also tries to bring up-to-date the infamous forgery
of the Czarist secret police, (the Okhrana) entitled "The
Protocols of The Elders of Zion" which alleged a Jewish plot
to dominate the world. After listing certain banking enterprises
with Jewish names, e.g. Rothschild, Lehman, Warburg, Guggenheim,
Seligman, etc. and after sprinkling his lines with mention of
"the Go1dmanns, Javitses, Ribicoffs" etc. he then proceeds to
concentrate on the Rothschild family as follows;

"its influence encompasses the entire


capitalist world. Not without reason has
a foreign author written "What can testify
more convincingly to the fantastic concept
of a Jewish world government that the
Rothschild fami1y?" (Ibid. page 67).
59 This pure, unadulterated anti-semitism, which would have done
credit to Goebbe1s, is typica1 of the style of this tract, which
too was banned by the Soviet Government.
60 This did not however stop Yevseyev from publishing another
anti-semitic tract later. This was known as "Fascism under the
Blue Star" (i .e. Israel) and was a violent attack on Israel,
on the entire concept of a Jewish people and on the Yiddish
language, on which Yevseyev poured scorn.
61 This time Vevseyev was answered by Aron Vergilis, editor of the
Sovi et Yiddish periodical "Sovietishe Heimland" and a staunch
Communist and anti-Zionist. Vergilis attacked Yevseyev for his
insulting references to the Jewish people and their history and
for his distort ions of Lenin'S remarks on the subject of Jews.
62 Irrepressible, Vevseyev has been at it again, repeating the kind
of slanders and distortions which occur in "Fascism under the
Blue Star" in a new Moscow magazine (Nautchny Kommunizm
(Scientific Communism)). Not merely Lenin, who at one point
tended to support Kautsky's views on the Jews, later turned away
from them and in the light of historical developments took a
positive position in relation to Jewish nationality. For
instance, in the draft of the Bolshevik Party programme which
he prepared for the 8th Party Congress in March 1919, Lenin wrote;
70 "On the part of the workers of those nations
which under capitalism were the oppressors,
the exercise of particular care is required
in regard to the national feelings of the
oppressed nations, (for example, on the
part of the Great Russians, Ukrainians,
Poles to the Jews, on the part of the Tartars
to the Bashkirs etc). In addition, a
collaboration directed not only to achieve
actual equality, but for the development of
the language, the literature of the working
masses of the formerly oppressed nations is
required in order to remove all the traces
of the lack of confidence and alienation
inherited from the epoch of capitalism".
71 No support here for Kautsky's views. On the contrary, a demand
for help to develop the language, the literature of, among others,
the Jewish nation.
72 Kautsky's thinking has been overtaken by events, but the
thinking of many on the Left, forgetful of history, heedless
of the emergence of the State of Israel, unmindful of the
experiences of Soviet Jewry, and under the baleful influence
of Arab nationalist theorists, stays with him in 1914.
73 If Zionisrn- is a national movement like any other then it should
follow that in its development it must have given rise to politi-
cal tendencies of both Right and Left and that the attitude of
the general political Left towards it should be that which it
shows towards any other. Zionism does in fact show the full
spectrum of political differentiation, from left Mapam to right
Likkud and including many variations of a religious and cultural
character. In other words, like any nationalist movement one
may care to name, Zionism is a complex varied movement which
needs in practice to be analysed and approached with the same
care and differentiation that the Left habitually shows in
relation to other nationalist movements. It is a movement whose
variety has determined the present political distinctions in
Israel, distinctions which to-day reflect the struggle of the
Israeli people for a Socialist society which they will surely
succeed in building once the burden of maintaining the integrity
of their homeland is lifted from them by its acceptance by the
Arab world.
74 The ideological challenge from the Left within the Zionist
movement in Europe was transferred to Palestine with the early
chalutzim (pioneers) towards the end of the last century. This
challenge manifested itself in the development of the well-known
kibbutz system, of tremendous importance in the generating of
Socialist ideas and the preparation of people for a co-operative
life.
75 The story of Jewish settlement in Palestine is a long and
complicated one; its development is the crux of the present issue
in the Middle East because it involves allegations that it was
a mass invasion, a form of colonialist robbery of the Palestinian
Arabs. We append some facts in the "Appendix 1" of this pamphlet
which should help to put this propaganda myth into perspective
and to show that the Jewish and Arab communities of Palestine
both sustained a steady overall organic-growth punctuated by
immigration and emigration movements during the period of the
Turkish occupation and the British Mandate. Here we must
emphasise the fact that Arab feudal leaders used the immigration
of Jews into Palestine in exactly the way and for exactly the
purpose that racialists have used the issue of immigration into
Britain, i.e. to confuse and divide the progressive social
forces. Enoch Powell and the National Front certainly had
nothing on the Arab feudal rulers who, at the drop of a hat,
could bring the Arab masses onto the streets in anti-Jewish riots.
It is not difficult, once the situation is seen clearly and
without the confusions of Arab nationalist propaganda, to trace
in the steady build-up of anti-Jewish feeling (used later to
good effect by British imperialist and Nazi and Italian fascist
propagandists) the beginnings of the mass Arab anti-Israel
chauvinism which is the pride and joy of Arab nationalism to-day.
A propaganda creation which is used to justify the continuance
of extreme policies aimed at the destruction of the Jewish state,
without considering whether such destruction would solve any
real problems.
76 The hostility and inter-communal strife which grew in Palestine
during the Mandate years led to international demands for a
radical solution. The attitude of the political Left in Britain
during this period and up to the late 1930s, is well represented
by the Communist Party1s proposal for an independent unitary
Palestinian state with full freedom for its individual citizens
but without distinction as to their national origins or
appirations. This was one example of Kautskyite thinking, \
showing itself in the denial of the right of Jews to national
self expression and assuming their eventual absorption into the
Arab majority.
77 However, the world context in which the Arab/Jewish problem was
set, the anti-imperialist struggle being waged by the Soviet
Union and the increasing oppression of the Jews in Hitler's
Germany, which was the prelude to the mass slaughter of the early
forties, began to dictate other solutions. The ferocity of the
Arab rebellion of 1936 too, was a factor in impelling proposals
for a bi-national state put forward by the Soviet Union, among
others. The Communist Party of Great Britain subsequently gave
up its "unitary Palestine" line in favour of the bi-national
idea which however was never accepted by the majority of either
Jews or Arabs and thus came to nothing.
78 The Second World War finally determined matters. The Nazis
played the last card in the game. Jewish determination grew that
never again would Jews be at the mercy of a hostile non-Jewish
majority, a sentiment fully endorsed at that time by the Soviet
Union. The Soviet representatives at the United Nations, Andrei
Gromyko, Semyon Tsarapkin, K. Kisilev, L. Kaminski and others.
expressed support for Jewish aspirations vis-a-vis Palestine.
Mr. Gromyko, for example, pointed out that "the aspirations of
an important part of the Jewish people are bound up with the
question of Palestine and the future structure of that country".
He acknowledged "the aspirations of the Jews for the creation
of a state of their own" and urged "it would be unjust not to
take this into account and to deny the right of the Jewish people
to the realisation of such an aspiration"; He denied that the
setting up of a Jewish state' would be an injustice to the Arabs,
"if only because, after all, the Jewish people has been closely
1inkd with Palestine for a considerable period in History", He
also reminded the United Nations "that as a result of the war
which was unleashed by Hitlerite Germany, the Jews, as a people,
have suffered more than any other people".
79 Such, for the record, is what the Soviet Union felt and what
its representative said, at the time of the creation of the State
of Israel.
80 The United Nations in 1947 carried a proposal to partition the
land of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state. The Jews
accepted this proposal, and with it the right of the Palestinians
to a state of their own; the Arabs rejected it. The groundwork
laid in previous decades by Arab reaction and built upon by
imperialism and fascism was now used to good effect. The Arab
states surrounding the new state of Israel launched an attack
on her which was universally condemned, particularly on the Left
and in the Socialist world, whence came the weapons with which
Israel defended herself.
81 The Arab attack was fully supported by the Arab Liberation
Movement which tamely followed the lead of the reactionary Arab
heads of state and of the Hitler-collaborating Mufti of
Jerusalem, who from his war-time 'Grand Mufti Bureau' in Berlin
had recruited Russian and Yugoslav Moslems to fight for the Nazis.
Thus was the Arab Liberation Movement trapped by the anti-Israel
chauvinism it had embraced, and thus was it set upon its
subsequent bloody diversionary course. To this day the
reactionary nature of the Arab 1948 attack, which set in train
the problem of the Palestinian refugees and the misery of the
following 26 years, has never been denounced by any responsible
Arab progressive leader. Instead of offering to the Arab peoples
a constructive scientific analysis of the 1948 war which would
correspond with the known facts, the Arab Left has insisted on
clinging to the chauvinism with which it has been infected. It
has compounded the sickness by falsifying history, by
misrepresenting the development of the Jewish community of
Palestine as "colonial robbery", by rubbing out facts and
putting into the heads of young people all over the world a
diseased conception of what actually took place. In all this,
we regret to say, it has for years been aided and abetted by
the International Left (for reasons which we examine in the next
chapter}. Hence, in place of facts about British and U.S.
resitance to Israel's creation and the Soviet Union's support
for it, we are offered the lie that Israel was an "imperialist
creation", In place of the fact that most of the Jewish people
of Israel are refugees from Arab countries or are native born,
we are offered the alternative lie that Israel was set up by
Europe as a conscience haven to unload the European Jewish
problem onto the Arabs. In all this the leaders of the Arab Left
have shown themselves to be at one with the Arab Right (see our
Manifesto (Section 3(d)), reprinted as appendix 2 to this
pamphlet).
82 We see, therefore, an Arab national movement whose positive side
was that of struggle against imperialism and whose negative side
has become that of mass chauvinism and denial of Jewish national
rights (a chauvinism cultivated by the bourgeois nationalists
who dominate the Arab Liberation movement in order to ensure
that the movement for national freedom went so far and no further)
facing a Jewish national movement whose positive side was the
struggle for Jewish freedom and national rights but whose
negative side has become that of attachment to capitalism and
domination by its right-wing.
Chapter 3.
The Misleading Propaganda of the Left.
83 We have made some strong statements about the Left aiding and
abetting Arab distortions of Middle East history and we now want
to show where and how this has been done. We do this, by the
way, not out of hostility to the Left, of which we are very much
a part, but because we believe it vital for the Movement's health
that weaknesses, and worse, be exposed and corrected without
waiting for Kruschev type bombshell revelations.
84 The chief characteristic of Left propaganda on the Middle East
is its lack of balance; its tendency to blow up every Israeli
fault to the maximum and to hide or play down Arab wrongs.
Assuming this to be so, however, is it necessary to allege
sinister motives? Could it not be the result of a genuinely faulty
analysis?
85 It could hardly be this. An analysis faulty enough to blame Israel
for every crime in the calendar but which saw no sins on the
Arab side would soon come up against the facts of history, some
of which have been detailed in the preceding chapter. Hence,
to persist in such an analysis, it is necessary to hide the facts
and to substitute distortions for them. Some of us who have spent
many years as activists in the Labour Movement have seen this
process at work in Left propaganda. It is our painful duty to
expose this process.
86 When Harry Pollitt, Secretary of the Communist Party and a leader
of the British working class, received thunderous applause from
a packed meeting at King's Hall, Belle Vue, Manchester, in 1948
for his statement that the time had come for a settlement of
the problem of the Jewish people, who had suffered so much, along
the lines proposed by Mr. Gromyko, the facts were well-known.
87 When the Daily Worker in 1948 condemned the Arab attack on Israel
and spoke of fascist Arab bands infiltrating and invading, of
Arab Palestinians working peacefully side by side with Jews in
the fields, thus giving the lie to propaganda that they were
being evicted, the facts were accepted. Also known and under-
stood was the analysis that the Jewish people in their struggle
for national independence, was challenging the grip of British
imperialism on the Middle East. It was surprising therefore,
to read in the Morning Star in October 1973 a series of 4 articles,
on the Yom Kippur war and its aftermath in which Israel was
referred to as an "aggressive Euro-American state" that was
"Implanted in Palestine" to make "backward Arabia atone for the
monstrous crimes committed in the gas chambers of 'civilised
Europe'.
88 When Idris Cox, well-known leader of the Communist Party, wrote
an article in Labour Monthly in 1951 on the desparate plight
of the 150,000 or so Jews of Iraq and urged speedy action to
help evacuate them, the facts about Jewish refugees from Arab
countries seeking refuge in Israel were well-known. Surprising,
therefore, that one may scour millions of words written in recent
years in the pro-Arab press on the Left without coming across
a single mention of these Jewish refugees, even though the Iraqi
Jews have since been joined by hundreds of thousands of Jews
from other Arab countries, in North Africa, the Yemen and so
on. Surprising too that one with such knowledge of the origins
of the Arab/Israeli dispute should mount a platform of the
Palestine Solidarity organisation in Britain, a body tied to
the Fatah concept of the elimination of Israel, as Idris Cox
did only a few years ago.
89 The general tendency in Left propaganda in recent years has been
to focus increasingly on the question of the Palestinian Arab
refugees as the central problem, the root problem, the original
problem of the Middle East without reference to the tremendously
complex and contradictory processes which created that problem
and which have maintained it. This has led to the adoption of
necessity of the myth of the "Euro-American state implanted in
Palestine" as a simple explanation of the origin of the
Palestinian refugees.
90 In the days when Arab sources themselves said the following;
"The Arab States which had encouraged the
Palestine Arabs to leave their homes
temporarily in order to be out of the way
of the Arab invasion armies, have failed to
keep their promise to help these refugees"
(Jordanian daily 'Falastin' Feb. 19th
1949).
91 "May 15, 1948 arrived; on that very day
the Mufti of Jerusalem appealed to the
Arabs of Palestine to leave the country
because the Arab armies were about to
enter and fight in thei r stead".
( Cairo daily "Akhbar el – Yom" Oct. 12th,
1963)
92 the facts were freely known and admitted. To-day in pro-Arab
Left propaganda circles no hint of this side of the story is
allowed to emerge and a whole generation of young progressives
has been brought up on the notion that the Palestine refugees
were the unilateral victims of "aggressive Zionism", Those who
are old enough and who were interested enough at the time should
however remember the facts of the tremendous campaign to
persuade the Palestinian citizens of the new Jewish state to
desert their homes and pave the way for the invading Arab armies.
93 Sometimes it has apparently been felt necessary to alter
historical evaluations to fit current policies. In late 1967
Emil Touma, leading member of Rakach, one of the two Communist
Parties of Israel and the one which supports the general Arab
line against Israel, startled many of his audience at a closed
meeting of the Communist Party in Manchester by stating that
whereas the Arab attack on Israel in 1948 had been an aggression
to begin with, the war resulting from it became an Israeli
aggression from the moment that the Israeli troops, in the course
of fighting their defensive war, crossed the U.N. partition
lines.
94 Sometimes it has been felt necessary to, admit facts but to make
excuses. In June 1967 at the time of the outbreak of the 1967
war, Ivor Montagu, also a well-known leader of the Communist
Party, addressed a District aggregate of the Party at the
Manchester Town Hall basement theatre. He was asked in the course
of discussion, who had been the aggressor in the 1948
Arab/Israeli war. He answered that it had been the Arabs. He
was then asked why no progressive Arab leader had ever admitted
this fact. His reply was to the effect that in view of the
well-known hostility of the Arab masses to the mere idea of the
Israeli state, no Arab leader would dare to risk his career (or
possible he said his neck) by making such admission.
95 There has certainly been no lack of understanding in Left
theoretical circles as to the true nature of Arab society. In
August 1964, only 33 months before the outbreaks of the 1967
war (which was the signal for the unleashing on the Left of a
massive propaganda campaign alleging Israeli responsibility for
everything that had gone wrong) Labour Monthly carried an approx.
2,000 word article entitled "The Arab World and Socialism" which
among other things issued a warning against undifferentiated
pan-Arab unity and made references to "aggressive Syrian and
Egyptian bourgeoisie" but contained not one single word of
reference to Jews, Israel, or Zionism. Very very odd that Jews,
Israelis, Zionists not worth a single mention in an article on
the Arab world in one of Britain's leading Marxist periodicals
should only a very short time later, historically speaking, be
discovered to be the major culprit, nay the sole culprit, the
sole irritant and catalyst of the troubles of the peoples of
the Middle East.
96 Some times, one is saddened to relate, there appears to be such
eagerness to prove the case against Israel that material is
published which, whether it was intended to or not, give the
impression of being a trap for the unwary. In August 1967 the
Communist Party's then weekly 'Comment' published two maps side
by side. One map showed the territory under Israeli control after
the 1948 war. The other showed - not the territory before the
1948 war, i.e. the area allocated to Israel by the U.N., which
was the only comparison which could have made any sense, but
a tiny area in Northern Israel which was all that Israel would
have had if the U.N. had adopted a partition fantasy put forward
by Count Bernadotte of Sweden at the request of the United States
and Britain.
97 Sometimes part of the truth is put forward in a way which hides
the whole truth. Thus, Solly Kaye writing in Morning Star in
1972 spoke of threats to the existence of Israel coming from
"windbags like King Faisa1". No mention of the declaration of
support signed by fourteen Arab Communist Parties at Rabat in
1966 for Ahmed Shukeiry the infamous P.L.O. leader, whose boast
it was that the Jews of Israel would be driven into the sea,
and hence no indication of the mass nature of Arab chauvinism.
98 All the instances we have quoted above represent an attempt to
distort the facts so as to give credence to the claim of
supporting the principle of Israel's right to exist while at
the same time giving total support in practice to the Arabs who
deny that right.
99 Sometimes, though, the mask was dropped. In 1970, the writer
was told point blank by a member of the National Executive of
the Communist Party to whom a complaint was made about the
activities of leading C.P. members on behalf of pro-Fatah
organisations in Britain, that the view that Israel may one day
have to go was in fact shared by the C.P. National Executive
as a whole.
100 It is difficult to know which is worse, the attitude of those
who are supposed to stand for Israel's right to exist but who
talk, as Peter Avis did in the Morning Star, in terms which
practically spell out the argument that in fact she does not
have that right, or those on the far Left who make no secret
of their opposition to Israel's very existence. One must ask,
by the way, when the various Trotskyist and Maoist organisations
adopted their line on the question of Israel's right to exist.
We have no record of any opposition in 1947 by any known
Trotskyist body to the U.N. partition resolution. To our
knowledge neither did the Chinese Communist Party oppose it.
Moreover, we are indebted to David Hacohen, one-time Israeli
ambassador to Burma for the information in his book "Yoman Burma"
that approaches were made by the Chinese People's government
towards the establishment of what are termed 'cordial relations'
with Israel in 1955 and in 1963. Such information throws doubt
on the proposition that China and her Communist Party at that
time regarded the setting up of the State of Israel as an act
of 'colonial robbery!' or as a usurpation of Palestinian rights.
101 To repeat the question therefore, when did the Trotskyist and
Maoist organisations adopt their present conclusions about the
origins of the State of Israel? When did they decide that she
was a "Euro-American Creation", an "act of colonial robbery" and
so on?
102 The propaganda of the Left underwent a steady deterioration in
relation to the Middle East throughout the fifties and sixties.
It lost its balance and its sense of responsibility and developed
to a marked degree the capacity to angle, to suppress, to distort
and to exaggerate, all in the interests of proving the
superiority of the Arab case against Israel.
103 The entire period 1948/67 was marked by Arab attempts to throw
Jews out of the Middle East. Terrorist infiltrators, fedayeen
squads, carried on incessant raids punctuated by Israeli
reprisals. Economic measures were stepped up; boycotts and
threats of boycotts were exercised throughout the world against
enterprises dealing with Israel.
104 On the Israeli side, links with imperialism were strengthened.
The 1956 collusion with Britain and France against Egypt may
possibly have been in some measure a reaction to Arab hostility,
tempting Israe1's rulers to see security in a tie-up with Egypt's
enemies, but even on that basis it was totally misplaced. It
was seen by the whole progressive movement for what it was,
support for reactionary attempts to turn back to social clock
In the Middle East.
105 The Israeli scene had its positive aspects; the internal
struggle for social progress and for identification with
progressive international causes did not slacken despite Arab
pressures. The Arab scene too had its positive features; the
struggle against imperialism was not wholly side-tracked into
a national confrontation with Israel. The progressive struggle
continued, with successes; the overthrow of the feudal
monarchies of Egypt and Iraq carried the Liberation movement
forward for a time.
106 Nasser's assumption of leadership in Egypt represented an
historic opportunity for peace, for a break with the reactionary
past in relation to Israel, for a call to the Jews for friendship
and collaboration in the struggle against imperialism on the
basis of mutual recognition of nationa1 rights. If only......
but we have already seen the answer given by Ivor Montagu in
Manchester in 1967 to the question of why no progressive Arab
leader had ever denounced the 1948 attack on Israel as an
aggression. Nasser didn't do it, because Nasser was as much
a prisoner of Arab history as anyone else. So the opportunity
went by.
107 The role that the International Left should have played during
this period when there were such clear rights' and wrongs,
progressive and reactionary tendencies on both sides, was clear.
It was to encourage the progressive tendencies and td discourage
any tendency to allow the anti-imperialist struggle to be
diverted into chauvinist channels; in other words to support
the progressive struggle on the basis of recognition of mutual
national rights.
108 The snag was that the Arabs weren't having any. Irrespective
of differences between social classes and political lines on
other matters, on the subject of Israel there was only unanimity;
she must be destroyed. If good relations were sought by the
Socialist states, then it must be good relations on the basis
of practical acceptance of Arab attitudes towards Israel. The
International Left decided to pay the price. The problem of
squaring up the committment to support Israel's right to exist
with the decision to support Arab policies aimed at destroying
her was solved by the employment of double-talk; one simply
re-affirmed, when challenged, the principle of Israel's right
to exist; on other occasions, when discussing the details, one
supported the Arabs, uncritically, unreservedly, seeing no flaw
nor blemish in their actions, or at least not mentioning them
in the Left press.
109 There was a minority on the Left, the present members of the
Jewish Socialist group included, who maintained that a policy
of pandering to chauvinism in the hope of obtaining support for
the fight against imperialism was a policy based on sand, for
the simple reason that those who cannot hold to principle in
the sphere of relations between themselves and their immediate
neighbours are not likely to hold to principle in much else.
Arab chauvinism represented a built-in betrayal of the
progressive cause and the policy of pandering to that chauvinism
was connivance in that betrayal. Not surprisingly, it all
amounted to a grand miscalculation; the Arab
bourgeois/nationalists whose concern it was that their national
revolutions would go so far and no further, used the anti-Israel
diversion to good effect. Having weakened and emasculated their
own progressive forces, having gaoled their trade union leaders
and Communists (with the sincere pardon of Communist Parties
around the world who assured us that this was not the "main thing",
the "main thing" being that these gaolers were involved in
anti-imperialist struggle); having done these things the
leaders of Egypt tidied their relationships with the Arab oil
finance-imperialists, put out the welcoming mats for Nixon and
proceeded to reverse some of their own internal social
developments.
110 Such were the fruits of betrayal. Like the Israelis, the Kurds
too and the Arab progressive movement itself were abandoned to
Arab chauvinism.
111 Well might the Dutch Communist leader, Markus Bakker, say in
an address to the Central Committee of his Party, published in
the Amsterdam "DeWaarheid" of July 4th. 1974,
"What remained of the tales about 'Arab
Socialism', which as we are told, would be
realised - while Communists languish in
jail? Certain Arab states, which we hailed
in the past, have become now atomic powers
- with the help of American imperialism",
112 There are reports as we write in November 1974 of some improvement
in relations between Egypt and the Soviet Union, and of some
expression of disappointment by Arab bourgeois nation1ist
leaders about their flirtation with imperialism. The question
we ask ourselves is what is the basis on which Soviet/Egyptian
relations are improving. If such relations are to be renewed
once again on the basis of concessions to Arab chauvinism and
not of principle, the principle of the recognition of mutual
national rights, then there will undoubtedly be another turn
to the right in Egypt, another eviction of Soviet influence to
follow the previous two evictions. Imperialism can raise the
stakes and if the Arab bourgeois nationalists are left intact
in power then there wi11 be forces in Egypt to respond.
113 Double-talk is dangerous; it tends to run up against facts. The
Left press might assure the Israe1 is that "if on1y" they would
agree to this or that, they could have peace and security; the
Arabs meanwhile were more open about their aim of annihilating
Israel. So the propaganda of the orthodox Left set itself this
central task, to play down, to minimise every expression of Arab
hostility to Israel and to magnify everyone of Israelis faults,
the object, being to hide the truth about the pervasiveness of
Arab anti-Israelism, its mass character.
114 The problems posed by the use of double-talk do not of course
apply to the far Left which long ago openly embraced the Arab
aim of destroying Israel and which therefore did not need to
pretend that it stood for anything else. Thus the Trotskyist
"Chartist" was able to state clear1y "On1y the military defeat
0 f the Israeli army can open the road to these Jewish workers
for the Arab-Jewish workers' unity necessary if peace is ever
to be achieved in the Middle East. This wi11 not be achieved
by terror raids but by forcing the Arab leaders to take up the
anti-Zionist struggle and the overthrow of those that will not.
Along this path a revolutionary leadership can be created to
fight for an Arab-Jewish workers' state in Palestine as a part
of a Socialist Federation of the Middle East - the only way the
national rights of the Palestinians and the democratic rights
of the. Jews can be quaranteed", (June 1974).
115 Very candid indeed. Note particu1ar1y the final sixteen words.
National rights for Jews do not exist, only for Arabs. On
fantasies such as these, based on total ignorance of the true
history of Palestine and inspired by the lies and misleading
slogans put out by Arab chauvinists, a generation of idealist
activists has been brought up to commit itself to the destruction
of the right to self determination of a people whose hopes, from
Masada to the Warsaw Ghetto, have been centred to some degree
or other, on a return to Palestine.
116 Thus is the true anti-imperialist struggle diverted into
anti-Israelism; with the blessings of Faisal, Sadat and the rest,
who quite easily pass the test of anti-Zionism set by our
Trotskyist comrades.
117 The Six day war in 1967 was the signal for the unleashing of
furious Leftist attacks claiming that Israel was the sole and
original culprit in the Middle East. In fact the war was a
defensive one on Israel's part, triggered off by Egypt's actions
in blocking the Straits of Tiran, clearing the U.N. from Sinai,
mobilising the Egyptian Army up to Israel's borders and brazenly
challenging Israel to a showdown. It was preceded by the most
intense barrage ever of radio threats, of mass demonstrations
in Arab capitals, of promises to wipe out Israel and throw her
people into the sea. The boastings of Ahmed Shukeiry were not
those of an untypical loudmouth as claimed by Peter Avis in the
Morning Star in November 1973, but were in fact quite
representative of the mass Arab mood. The war ended with Israeli
occupation of a large amount of Arab territory. After six days
the fighting stopped but peace did not follow.
118 The conference of Arab states at Kartoum in August 1967 produced
a "No Talks, No Recognition, No peace" dec1aration in re1ation
to Israel. The United Nations in the November produced its
Resolution No. 242 which called clearly for an Israeli
withdrawal to secure boundaries. The argument over the correct
interpretation of this Resolution is a matter of history. The
Arabs and their friends insisted that what was required was an
Israel withdrawal first and then talks on security. The Israel
view was that the whole question of security was bound up with
the question of where the new boundaries were to be and that
prior withdrawal would prejudice this. In our view this logic
is impeccable; which did not stop the pro-Arabists from
disputing it.
119 Israel's reactionaries could not but benefit from the continued
intransigeance of the Arabs, and quite easily dug in their heels
on the question of a long-term settlement. Victory fostered the
illusion of security and led to the development of a cavalier
attitude towards the Arabs. Settlements were placed in occupied
territories, presumably in anticipation of a very long stay if
not of outright incorporation. Deep bombing raids into Egypt
in response to Nasser's launching of an artillery war of
attrition along the Suez Canal far exceeded military necessity
and had the effect of calling in Soviet anti-missile systems
which did so much damage to the Israel air force in the Yom Kippur
war. Israelis relationship with the U.S. as a client state was
confirmed. Meanwhile, the voices of the progressives of Israel
protesting against steps which compromised the ultimate
possibilities of peace were over-borne by those able to point
to the ever-present Arab threat to destroy the Jewish state.
120 One of the most important political features of the period was
the steady mobilisation of opinion in the Arab world and among
their friends throughout the world behind the extremist demand
for what came to be known as the proposal for a Palestine
Democratic State, a concept according to which the whole of
Palestine would form a single state of Moslems, Jews and
Christians, in which there would be national rights for Arabs
but only 'democratic' rights for Jews, those of them, that is,
who remained there after the destruction of the State of Israel,
for, according to the Palestine National Convention programme
of 1968 only those Jews who themselves or their parents had been
born in Palestine prior to 1917 would be allowed to stay.
Chapter 4.
The Palestinians and the Israelis.
What are their Rights?
What do they want?

128 On June 23rd. 1974 the Ambassador of the Syrian Arab Republic
in London, Mr. A. Omran, gave an interview to several of our
members on the subject of the Middle East and associated
questions. This interview arose out of a written request from
us for a precise definition of the 'Pa1estinian rights' which,
among so many others, the Government of Syria claimed to support.
129 Our report on the interview was circulated later to a number
of political centres in Britain and abroad and has been the
subject of some press correspondence. We reiterate here the
gist of the Ambassador's remarks to us and of some of the
discussion that followed.
130 "Essentia1ly, he told us, the, Syrian
government adhered to its historical
refusal to accept, in principle, the
existence of the State of Israel. Israel had
been set up as an act of colonial robbery
by the big imperialist powers so as to make
the Arabs pay for the crimes of the Europeans
against the Jews. With Jews as individuals
there was sympathy and friendship but the
principle of Jewish national rights was not
recognised by Syria since the Jews were not
a nation, merely a religious group.
131 However, he went on, what Syria held to in
principle she was prepared to set aside in
practice for the sake of peaceful
co-existence. She would therefore accept
Israel in practical terms subject only to
a settlement of the Palestinian question
which would meet with the approval of the
Palestinians themselves. He thought that
the majority of the Palestinians would be
prepared to settle now for less than the
whole of Palestine, that is for what has come
to be known as a West Bank state, plus Gaza
etc. If Israel agreed to this the
possibility of peace would be brought much
nearer.
132 We also discussed Egypt's defection to the
imperialist camp about which the Ambassador
confessed himself 'disappointed' and the
question of the position of the Jews of
Syria".
133 On the Palestinian issue, what the Ambassador had to say seemed
to be so much of a step forward from the then known position
of the Palestinian terror organisations that it seemed to us
advisable to communicate the message far and wide, which, as
indicated, we did.
134 At the same time, we took the step of writing directly to the
P.L.O. office in London requesting their own definition of
Palestinian rights and hoping for confirmation of the
Ambassador1s view. This letter was written on July 30th and we
have to say with regret that at the time of going to press no
reply has been received.
135 As far as the Ambassador's general arguments on the question
of the origins of Israel and Jewish national rights are concerned,
naturally we acquainted him with what we regard as the facts
which are referred to in the foregoing pages, and in our relaying
of the report of the interview we made clear our regrets that
distortions about these matters should represent the official
position of his government.
136 Supporters of the Palestinian cause are rather fond of
suggesting that their misfortunes are due to the fact of the
creation of the State of Israel. On the contrary, it was the
unwarranted rejection of this fact by a group of reactionary
Arab states which set in train the events which have brought
so much suffering to Jews and Palestinian Arabs alike.
137 But what of the Palestinians themselves? Irrespective of the
causes of their misfortunes, theirs is an urgent human problem.
They say they are a nation. It has been argued, probably correctly,
that no-one has ever made a serious objective historical
analysis of this claim. Nevertheless, we Jewish Socialists, who
stand firm on the right of Jews to regard themselves as a nation,
are not rushing in to deny this right to the Palestinians. We
think an analysis of their claim is necessary; meanwhile we are
prepared to take their word for it.
138 Where then is this nationhood to find a place in which to express
itself? This is the question to which Mr. Omran sought to give
us an answer by indicating that the Palestinians might now
favour a state on the principle of the original U.N. partition
resolution of 1947, i.e. side by side with Israel.
139 Our elation at this apparently favourable development in
Palestinian thinking was of course tempered by the failure of
the P.L.O. to reply to our query. Nevertheless, up to as late
as November 13th. we were prepared to believe that there might
be something in it. We understood that there were divisions in
the ranks of the P.L.O; we recognised the desire of the ordinary
Palestinian people for peace; we saw indications that the Soviet
Union was apparently veering towards the two-state idea.
140 On, November 13th. however, Yasir Arafat mounted the rostrum
of the United Nations with a gun at his hip and clearly repeated
the old, familiar demand for a "democratic secular state" to
cover the whole of Palestine, in other words for the elimination
of the state of Israel. (Perhaps this is why we did not, receive
a reply from the P.L.O. in London!!).
141 It would seem, therefore, that irrespective of how one may
justifiably criticise the failure of the government of Israel
to accept the principle of a separate West Bank etc. state (a
question apart from that of who is acceptable as representing
the Palestinian people) there can be little doubt, after
Arafat's speech, that the leaders of the P.L.O. have rejected
the path of rational compromise and have opted for the path of
terror and bloodshed to the bitter end.
142 If it is not this then they are playing a game of political
huckstering and blackmai1 which, because it involves the
deep-seated insticts for survival of the people of Israel, is
fraught with the most dangerous consequences.
Has the Left learned the lesson?
143 During the past year developments in the Middle East have thrown
sections of the British Left into some confusion. The turn to
imperialism by Arab bourgeois nationalism, a development which
we in the Jewish Socialists' Group had foreseen but which appears
to have surprised everyone on the pro-Arab Left, has produced
a sense of shock and unease.
144 If, because of this, there is now some re-thinking going on, all
well and good.
145 The collapse of a policy based on the notion that the cause of
anti-imperialism can be served by supporting those who are bound
to betray that fight, should be an incentive to re-examine that
policy.
146 If we have done something in this pamphlet to show that the Jewish
people are an historical reality; that the Zionist movement is
a normal nationalist movement with a right and a left wing; that
Jews have a right to the Land of Israel, a right based on a
continuous presence; of mankind expressed through the United
Nations, then we are content.
147 If we have been able to show also that the fight for national
liberation in which both Jews and Arabs are engaged and which
involves struggle against reactionaries on both sides, is one
that must be waged in unity but on the basis of mutual respect
for national rights, then we are more than content.
148 If we have further done anything to persuade the Left to drop
its one-sided approach to the Middle East, to begin to try to
persuade the Arab Liberation movement to drop its
self-stultifying chauvinism; to begin to differentiate and to
support any elements in the Arab world who may begin to show
tolerance and a spirit of respect for Jewish national rights,
then we are overwhelmed. For this is what is needed. This, in
our view, is the present political task of the British Left in
relation to the Middle East.
Chapter 5.
FASCISM - The Common Enemy.
149 We have referred a time or two in this pamph1et to our "comrades
on the Left". We are not just using a figure of speech. We are
speaking to those who, we believe, share our long term aim of
the ending of capitalist society and the establishment of a just,
peaceful Socialism over the whole world.
150 We are speaking therefore to comrades who, we believe, have gone
astray on a fundamental question of national identity in
relation to the Jews. However, there are other questions of
concern to Jews on which our comrades on the < Left have views
which we heartily share. Fascism is one such issue and one which
is moreover of the highest importance to Jews in Britain.
151 We are appreciative of the fight against Fascism by all
organisations of the Left now and in the past. We aim to win
the Jewish people as a whole to support of the progressive
movement. Israel is very much a part of our scene but we are
not, as a group, Israe1-centred. That is to say, we understand
that millions of Jews, who may never even see Israel, will
continue to have social problems to contend with in non-Jewish
societies.
152 We are not a Zionist organisation although some of our members
are Socialist Zionists who accept that even if a majority of
Jews did eventually find their way to Israel, generations might
pass before this happened. In other words, generations of
problems would still face Jews allover the world, problems which
they would have to share with non-Jews.
153 We do not therefore judge the problems of the Jews of Britain
solely in relation to the problems of Israel. We are not, for
instance, going to follow in reverse the examp1eof the
pro-Palestinian faction at an anti-fascist conference in
Manchester in Hay 1974 who tied themselves into procedural knots
before they could bring themselves to register some sort of a
vote protesting against the appointment of an Arab Ambassador
to Britain who was known to have had connections with leading
British Fascists.
154 If and when we are able to do the job we formed ourselves to
do, namely to bring the Left to a correct understanding of the
Jewish question, we would then disband and content ourselves
with the roles we have played as individuals, in some cases for
decades, in one section or another of the Labour movement.
155 We therefore ask our comrades on the Left once again to understand
the deep desire of the Jewish people to identify in some measure
with the history of their forefathers and to accept them in the
struggle for social progress on that basis and not on the basis
of demands for cultural assimilation; in other words accept them
as Jews and not as something else.
156 For our part and as long as the Jewish Socialists' Group exists,
we pledge our efforts to persuade the Jewish people that their
future, no more than anyone else's lies not with capitalism but,
whatever the problems which may have to be sorted out on the
way, with the forces of the future, of Socialism.
Appendix 1.
Movements of population.
157 There has never been a time in the history of mankind when there
has not been some movement or other of populations.
158 The past fifty years or so have probably seen greater movements
of population in terms of sheer number than any comparable period
before it. Millions of Russians, Germans, Poles, Africans,
Indians, Pakistanis, Jews and Arabs have resumed or ended their
lives in places other than those of their births.
159 The case of the Palestinian Arab refugees is however unique.
Alone among history's refugees they have the verbal and
propaganda and indeed military support of those in the Arab oil
empires who are rich beyond the dreams of Croesus but who refuse
to do anything to improve the lives of the refugees, to assist
them, to absorb them or to re-settle them.
160 The suspicion must therefore arise that when those who talk about
the sufferings of the Palestinian refugees and who have the power
to end those sufferings and who spend money like water on
propagandising about those sufferings but spend nothing to
alleviate them, they are intent only on maintaining the
sufferings as a political weapon against Israel, as a means of
diverting the attention of the Arab masses from the real causes
of their problems.
161 We feel that the following summary of some facts about the
movement of Jews and Arabs into and out of Palestine might be
of some help in assessing the truth of the propaganda line that
the core of the Middle East problem is an historical robbery
of one people (Palestinian Arabs) by another (Jews from
abroad).
Palestine
Who Came? Who Went?
162 The Romans expelled the Jews from Palestine about two thousand
years ago. The Arabs invaded it about six centuries later.
Subsequently, the country, a crossroads on the major trade
routes between Europe, Africa and Asia, was invaded by the
Crusaders, the Turks, the French and the British. At no time
was the Jewish link with Palestine broken and in fact it reached
substantial proportions relative to the total population at one
time and another.
163 For example; in 1845 the Prussian Consul in Jerusalem reported
that the Jewish population of the city was almost half the total,
exceeding that of the Moslems and other groups.
164 Census figures prior to the first World War show that in the
five major towns of Jerusalem, Tiberias, Safad, Jaffa and Haifa
there was a total of 57,000 Jews; this would be about one in
fourteen of the total population and of course it leaves out
of account the Jewish populations of many other, smaller towns,
of agricultural settlements and so on - to add all these might
possibly alter the proportion to one in eight or nine.
165 During the period of the British Mandate there was a great deal
of immigration and emigration of both Jews and Arabs. Much has
been made in pro-Arab propaganda of the so-called "Jewish
invasion" but nothing about the movement of Arabs into and out
of the country. Yet statistics are available in plenty; an
analysis of the principal documents of the various mandatory
organs for the period 1925 to 1945, the best covered period,
show the following:
166 From 1925 to 1945 a known 60,000 Arabs entered Palestine
illegally. Of these 10,000 were deported by "order". Net.
illegal immigration 50,000, who have produced at least 250,000
children.
167 Of the Arabs who left voluntarily during the period, 14,000 were
unrecorded entries and hence cannot be subtracted from the above
total of illegal entry. Moreover, the existence of unrecorded
immigrants raises the whole question of illegal immigration
which is in fact the major component in the situation. It was
tacitly recognised and accepted in the founding documents of
UNWRA which was to care for all who had "lived in Palestine for
at least two years prior to 1948 and had been deprived of their
livelihood" by the fighting of that year.
168 For, a thousand Arabs were "summarily" deported as illegal
immigrants every year during the twenty year period, i.e. 10,000
total illegals. There was also an annual seasonal flow of 14,000
to and fro across the Mandatory frontiers.
169 What proportion of the total undiscovered illegal immigration
do the deportations represent we cannot of course know precisely
but we can make an estimate by looking at the figures of
deportations of illegal Jewish immigrants.
170 According the Mandate police records, during 1945 (a "good" year
for catches of Jewish i11ega immigrants) 317 Jews were deported
out of what was estimated by the police (an estimate endorsed
by the Jewish Agency) of about 3,000 illegal immigrants
altogether, a "catch" rate of s1ightly more than one in ten.
171 Applying this proportion to the Arabs (and it is likely to be
an under-estimate since Jewish access was mainly by sea and that
of the Arabs was across long, mostly unchecked land frontiers)
would give a total of 9,000 per year uncaught illegal Arab
immigrants, i.e. 180,000 for the period 1925-1945. But there
is more.
172 There was a steady legal immigration of Arab brides, fifty per
cent in excess of the legal immigration of males, and this raises
the question of the cumulative effect of i1legal immigration
enhanced by lower infant mortality (due to British and Jewish
sanitation measures). When one adds to this the fact that
Egyptians who came to work, in many cases for the British forces,
were 1isted in the statistics not as Arabs but as "others" it
is hard1y possib1e to resist the conclusion that over the entire
period of the Mandate a minimum of a quarter of a million Arabs
were illegal immigrants to Palestine from other Arab countries
or were the children of such immigrants, even allowing for
duplication of cases. The Arab population of Palestine in 1945
was approx. 1,100,000 and the Jewish population approx. 580,000.
173 The estimated figure of at least a quarter of a million illegal
Arab immigrants (or the children of such) lends itself to some
further interesting analyses.
174 For instance, ninety per cent of it was to sub-districts
("counties") being developed along the coast by the Jewish
community.
175 Further, even if the estimate were to be reduced to half by reason
of re-emigration and natural deaths (which would be rather
drastic in view of the very low average age of the immigrants,
half of whom would have been in the country for ten years or
less) what would be left would constitute the following
proportions:
12% of the total Palestine Arab population
(one in eight)
36% of the Arab population in that part of
Palestine allocated to Israel under the
Partition Resolution (135,000 is 90% of
150,000 and 500,000 Arabs were included in
the Jewish State).
Equivalent to 25% of the total number of
Palestinian Arab refugees in 1948 (650,000
actually moved to the Arab side of the
Armistice Line). Equivalent to nearly 40%
of those refugees who left
partition-allocated Israel. (150,000
Arabs remained in Israe1 in 1949. 40,000
joined them before 1967 on the family
re-union scheme).
176 These calculations are confirmed by the ease with which
two-thirds of the refugees (forty percent of the Palestinian
nation) integrated into fair1y we11 estab1ished 1ife in their
"new" homes often with the help of relations who had remained
behind. This point is conceded by Leila Khaled in her
autobiography in which she says that her family left Haifa and
re-joined her mother's people in the Lebanon. It is doubly
confirmed by the Israeli census July 1967 of occupied territory.
Of the total (995,000) 313,000 orginated from inside the
Armistice Line and 40,000 (13%) had birthplaces outside the
Mandatory frontier.
177 During 1948 there was a large emigration of Palestinian Arabs.
We quote in the section on "Mis1eading Propaganda of the Left"
statements from two Arab newspapers showing that the
Palestinians had been actively encouraged to leave by Arabs in
surrounding countries. To bring this point properly home we
quote these further iterms;
178 The Beirut Telegraph of Sept. 6th 1948,
carried a report of an interview with Mr.
Emile Ghoury, Secretary of the Palestine
Arab Higher Committee, who said, "the fact
that there are these refugees is the direct
consequence of the act of the Arab states
in opposing partition and the Jewish
state".
179 A British police report to Jerusalem
headquarters on, Apri1 26th 1948 stated
"Every effort is being made by the Jews to
persuade the Arab population to stay and
carryon with their norma1 1ives".
180 In Haifa on April 27th the Arab National
Committee refused to sign a truce and
reported thus in, a memorandum to Arab
League governments; "when the delegation
entered the conference room it proudly
refused to sign the truce and asked that
the evacuation of the Arab population and
their transfer to neighbouring Arab
countries be facilitated… The military and
civil authorities and the Jewish
representatives expressed their profound
regret. The Mayor of Haifa (Mr. Shabtai
Levi) adjourned the meeting with a
passionate appeal to the Arab population
to reconsider its decision…"
181 We may grant that there were elements on the Jewish side who
not only welcomed but even encouraged this flight of Arabs, but
who can doubt that the original and the main cause of the
Palestinian refugee problem was the determination of a host of
reactionary Arab states to undo the U.N. partition by aggression,
an aggression that has never yet been condemned by any
progressive Arab leader.
182 In the years that fo11 owed the setting up of the State of Israel
almost three-quarters of a million Jewish refugees entered the
Jewish state from Arab countries whence they came not because
of Zionist propaganda but because they were driven out by fear,
by persecution, by wholesale expropriation and by terror.
183 This then is some of the background to the Arab propaganda story,
background which you will never hear in the versions circulated
by the Arab oil emperors for the purpose of convincing millions
of youthful idealists that the story of Palestine is the story
of a crude unilateral dispossess ion of the land of one people
at the hands of another.
Appendix 2.
Oil.
184 We have earlier touched briefly on the question of oil, which
has always been one of the root factors in the Middle East
situation; the connection with outside imperialist powers is
well-known and obvious. However, foreign imperialist control
of and maneouvres around the production and distribution of oil
has never been the only factor. Foreign interests infiltrated,
seized control of or came to terms with local reactionary
interests; they did not invent them. The struggle of the Arab
peoples has therefore never been merely to win freedom from
foreign domination but from the complex of foreign supported
local reaction, a complex whose local component has now become
dominant. It is this local component, the Arab ruling classes
whose strategy for survival has been the age-old one of finding
a scapegoat, Israel, to occupy the minds of their peoples.
185 The strength of the role which is now being played by local Arab
reaction, not only in the Middle East but throughout the
capitalist world, has lately become very clear indeed. For who
can doubt that oil is now not so much a tool of foreign
imperialists but of local interests whose imperialist character
is indisputable.
186 The subject of the penetration of the capitalist world by Arab
imperialism is too complex to permit of adequate treatment in
these pages but we recommend it for study by the Left and
meanwhile would like to pose these questions for urgent
consideration.
187 1 . If imperialism can be defined as the
export of capital, where do Arab, oil
interests rank in the table of finance
imperialists?
188 2. Do we believe that Arab oil/finance
imperialism is seriously concerned about
the fate of the Palestinians? If it were
would it not be doing something to assist
in their re-settlement in the Arab
countries or at least in helping to make life
in their camps more tolerable?
189 3. Are the Arab oil/finance imperialists in
favour of a "Palestine Democratic Statet"?
If not, for what purpose is Faisal backing
Al Fatah?
190 4. Would the role being played by Arab oil
money in the international money markets
not pre-dispose the Arab oil/finance
imperialists to support measures to save
capitalism? What connection is there
between (a) Arab oil money support for A1
Fatah (b) friendly attitudes by European
fascist organisations towards Al Fatah? For
instance the neo-Nazi National States
Rights party in the U.S.A. lauds the Arab
cause in its magazine "Thunderbolt". Al
Fatah manifestoes are distributed by the
Italian neo-fascist paper "La Nazione".
Jean Thiart's monthly magazine, advocate of
a fascist Europe, ranges itself alongside
the Arabs in a joint struggle against "the
Zionist fifth column in Europe and the
Middle East". The Deutsche National Zeitung
appears to have won some praise in certain
parts of the Arab world.
191 We commend the above questions for the
urgent attention of all our comrades on the
Left.
If this pamphlet has been of interest or has provoked a new train of
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3 Wood Grove, Whitefield, Manchester
TRIBUNE. MARCH 29, 1974 Advertisers Announcement

MANIFESTO
of the Jewish Socialists' Group
1. We stand for and look eradicate lingering traces of
forward to the victory of Socialism antiSernit isrn in the minds of
all over the world. ordinary people,
(c) from advocacy by the Left of
2. We stand for the maintenance of assimilation as a solution to
Jewish national rights, based on the age-old problem of
the Jewish heritage (which anti-Semitism. We reject
expresses itself in many forms assimilationism as being a
and in many countries, denial of the fundamental
including, today, in a State form right of a people to enjoy its
in' Israel) and for the cultural heritage in peace and
participation of Jews as Jews, in security. It is not a solution to
whichever country they inhabit, the problem of anti-Semitism.
in the struggle for Socialism. The operation of a policy of
forcible assimilation in the
Soviet Union has done great
3. We estimate the dangers to harm to Jewish cultural rights,
Jewish national and cultural a fact which has been
rights as follows: recognised by many friends of
the Soviet Union, and it has
(a) from Fascism and Right-wing been directly responsible for
chauvinism, which we the desire of many Soviet
understand generally as Jews to leave for Israel.
manifestations of the dying (d) from Arab nationalists of the
capitalist system, and we urge Left and the Right, whose
Jewish people everywhere to common nationalism
cooperate with all genuine transcends their political
Socialist and democratic forces differences in denying the
in the struggle against these right to exist of the country
manifestations. which embodies Jewish rights
(b) from anti-Semitism in Socialist to self-determination in a
countries. We regard this as an State form, Israel. We observe
aberration. a violation of the an alliance between Left-wing
fundamental principles of Arabs who seek to rationalise
Socialism. We call on the their denial of Israel's right to
authorities in Socialist exist in terms of Socialist
countries to crush all such principles, and the
manifestations and to improve assimilationists referred to
educational work in order to above, who look for support
in one another's' theories. world. This, combined with
(e) from Israeli Right-wing total hostility from the Arab
leaders, chauvinists and Left as well as the Right, has
annexationists, and supporters impeded the growth of
of imperialism, who seek to tie socialist and progressive
Israel to a dying capitalist forces in Israel and, through
system and who express their the threat to the physical
reactionary views by their security of the Israeli people,
denial of Palestinian national has ensured that there could
rights, and whose desire to be no political unity between
maintain the occupation of Israeli and Arab progressive
territory endangers the security forces We call on the
of Israel by increasing her International Left to
isolation. understand this and to bring
4. (i) We believe that the question pressure to bear on
of the Middle East is crucial for progressive Arab force-s to be
the peace of the world and for prepared to recognize the
social progress in general as State of Israel in order to
well as for the future of the create the necessary basis for
Jewish people- in particular. We an appeal to Israeli
believe that wrongs have been progressives for a united front
committed on both sides, the aimed at both Arab and Israeli
Arab and the Israeli, but we reaction.
must insist that the major cause 5. (i) ZIONISM. We
of the situation was the Arab recognise the view on the Left
refusal to accept the U.N. which sees Zionism as a dis-
partition proposal in 1947 traction from united progressive
struggle against capitalism. but we
reject any view of Zionism which
(ii) The struggle between Israel and does not differentiate between
the Arabs has taken place in Zionists who are reactionary and
the context of the global try to use the Jewish people as
struggle between capitalism tools assist in the propping up of
and Socialism, but w e reject capitalism, and Zionists who are
the analysis which projects a progressive and who see a mass
simple picture of an Israeli US return of the Jewish people to a
puppet fighting progressive country of their own as necessary
Arab states. This analysis for the establishment of a national
ignores the pro-imperialist base from which Jews may play
forces in the Arab world who their part in the general struggle
have successfully used the for Socialism.
anti- Israel struggle to divert
attention from themselves and
have thus strengthened the (ii) What we are concerned with is
position of Arab reaction. the participation all over the
world of Jews in the
(iii) The almost unconditional progressive struggle on the
support extended by the basis of Jewish identity, and
International Left to the Arab so, while we reject
side has objectively assisted Right-wing or reactionary
the strengthening of reaction Zionism, we accept that
both in Israel and the Arab
Socialist or progressive (iv) We therefore call on the
Zionism represents a legi- progressive forces all over the
timate position for Jews to world recognize the Jewish
occupy in this struggle. people in the above terms and
(iii) Whatever may be the outcome to extend a fraternal hand to
of this argument, at the all Jews wishing to play their
moment the Jews are an part In social struggle.. to
identifiable people, playing a affirm support for Israel's
role in society from a number right to exist. To raise their
of positions and bases. Their voices in support of Soviet
safety and security is the Jews' religious and cultural
concern of everyone, just as rights, to reject
everyone's safety and security assimilationism and
is their concern Their right LO anti-Israel chauvinism while
a State, as enjoyed by other reserving the right to criticize
peoples, was claritie d by t h e Israel's rulers if necessary and
United Nations in 1947 with to demand a Middle East
the leadmg support of the peace based on U.N.
Soviet Union and has in any Resolution 242 and on the
case been justified by the secure national rights of both
events of the European the Jewish and the Palestinian
Holocaust and the Warsaw peoples.
Ghetto resistance.