I just thought I'd start a thread to discuss the issues surrounding Zionism. First off, I feel that it is fundamental to define what exactly we mean when we refer to Zionism. Is Zionism a system of Jewish supremacy over the surrounding Arab population? Or does it simply mean the free settlement of the Jewish people, in there ancestral homeland? I myself am not complertely sure what to make of the topic. For one, I am fine with the terms of the "Balfour Declaration". And I also recognise the early socialist charecter of Zionism. Most notably that of the purportedly Marxist Poale Zion. However I also do not see the point of an ethnic, and/or religious group, having their own folk state. I mean, for example, can anyone imagine what it would be like if Nova Scotia were to be officially declared to be a Celtic state, and that Celts from all around the world may have unlimited immigration there, and perhaps even hold certain speacial priviledges there? So ideally I support a binational state in historic Palestine. A two state solution would be like the British policy of separating Pakistan from India, in order to try to prevent sectarian violence between Muslims, and Hindus. I think that most people would agree that the adage of "good fences make good neighbors" did not work optimally there. So I do not picture it working in regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict either. Lastly, how can Jews condemn such things as white nationalism, if a number of them want to do likewise, in regards to Zionism? I think that if you were to take the "14 Words", and replace the word white, with the word Jewish, you'd end up with a Zionist statement. But no matter what, I think that what is important for Jews to keep in mind, in regards to Arabs is this Torah passage. Exodus 23:9. So this sums up my opinions on the matter. So now, what do others here on this message board think?
It is not unjust for the Jews to have a homeland, but why must it be right in the middle of a long settled people and at their expense? Stalin created a Jewish Autonomous Oblast in Siberia. People may joke and say that such a place is unihabitable but it is important to remember that it is in the south of Siberia near Manchuria. Food can be grown there and there are no peoples who would have been displaced. Also why could Israel not have been founded on an uninhabited island somewhere? Essentially it was a mistake to found a Jewish state in Palestine and extremely short sighted of the British to have allowed mass migration of fanatical Zionists there.
Happiness is in your ability to love others. - Leo Tolstoy
I think concepts of just and unjust are irrelevant when we are considering socio-economics.
Zionism is simply another form of nationalism (with a twist). I also think it's useless crying over spilt milk in that Israel exists today and has existed for the past 64 years. It is not going away as it has awesome military power, a strong state, and is backed by the most powerful country in the world. You can call for it to not exist for as long as you like but it won't make any difference.
The end of Israel as a nation-state should come with the abolition of nation-states in general which will occur as socialism melts into communism. I think a two-state solution is the best way forward but neither side seem prepared to make the "sacrifices" needed to achieve this (I use quotation marks because if they actually thought about the overall benefits that a two-state solution would bring to both sides, these aren't really sacrifices). Yes the Palestinians suffered due to the creation of Israel and are still suffering today but it's too late to correct that by destroying Israel.
As for saying that Israel should have been founded in a previously uninhabited area of Siberia: surely that's a bit short-sighted? I mean Zionists didn't just randomly point to a place on the map when choosing where to go; they chose what is now Israel because that is where Jews first originated (hence all the Jewish holy sites there).
It exist people who consider themselves to be zionist who is against the imperialist policies of the Israeli government and who support an independent state for Palestine, peace, solidarity and cooperation between all the peoples of Palestine and Israel.
I will post an excerpt from the Report of the Central Commitee of the Communist Party of Israel to the 26th Congress, held 15-17 March 2012:
The struggle against Zionism and neo-Zionism
In recent years the Zionist-fundamentalist current also known as neo-Zionism has grown. The proponents of this current are the settlers and those who propagate their ideology. At the heart of the neo-Zionists' worldview and activity is the perpetuation of the occupation and the settlements, the negation of the civil rights of the Arab citizens of Israel, xenophobia and the use of force.
Our ideological struggle against Zionism as a worldview and a nationalistic, racist practice does not contradict our willingness to cooperate with seekers of peace, democracy and social justice who consider themselves to be Zionist. Such cooperation, above and beyond ideological disagreements, is essential to the promotion of social and democratic struggles and to the success of the struggle for a just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Long live an independent Palestinian state after the borders of 1967, with Al-Quds(East-Jerusalem) as its capital!
Long live the solidarity and cooperation between the revolutionary forces of Israel and Palestine!
Long live the brotherhood of the Israeli-Palestinian peoples, the brotherhood between jews and arabs!
Down with imperialism!
The Paris Communards struggled and died in the defense of their ideas. The banners of the revolution and of socialism are not surrendered without a fight. Only cowards and the demoralized surrender — never Communists and other revolutionaries.
IF it is, then it would be inherently wrong as one nationality or race is not superior to another.
Which would again clash with communism since land belongs to the people who work it. Something that isn't to be taken away from those who do and given to someone because they are the bourgeois historical 'rightful owners'.
Pardon my oversimplification,, but I am typing on a mobile device.
chaz171 wrote:There are Zionists who have this attitude, but I wouldn't say that they all think like that.
For some it's more of a practical solution to the problem of anti-Semitism.
chaz171 wrote:I wouldn't have thought they were compatible either.
Paraphrasing chapter 4 of Richard Becker's Palestine, Israel and the US Empire, Zionism: A Colonial Project.
Modern political zionism is the idea of creating an exclusively Jewish state based on the ideas of Theodore Herzl. In the late 19th century, with anti-semitic bigotry in the US and Europe, Zionism was an option that was pursued by a minority of Jews. Many more Jews played an active role in socialist, communist and progressive movements that fought for equality rather than seperation. Zionism was a minority reactionary nationalist ideology. Because it was a minority it had to solicate support from imperialism. Herzl courted the German, French, Italian, British, Russian and Ottoman Empires. In trying to solicate British support Herzl wrote to Cecil Rhodes "How then do I happen to turn to you? Because it is something colonial." When trying to solicate Russian aide from the anti-semitic minister of the interior, Vyacheslav von Plehve, von Plehve responded, "The Jews have been rapidly joining revolutionary parties [...] We are sympathetic to your zionist movement as long as it works towards emmigration. You don't have to justify the movement to me. You are preaching to a covert." Lenin wrote a year prior to the meeting between Herzl and von Plehve, in 1903, that "[T]his Zionist idea is absolutely false and essentially reactionary." Herzl's successor, Chaim Weizmann wrote to the British Empire at the start of WWI that if the British should acquire Palestine after the war that the zionist could "form a very effective guard for the Suez Canal."
Short and sweet: Zionism is colonialism.
gRed Britain wrote:
gRed Britain wrote:
Speaking in terms of short term solutions (long term being socialist revolution ) the two-state solution will not help Palestine. It would still be dominated by Israel in every sense of the word. A Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders would not be able to function as an independent state. A one state solution is much more pratical without the state being zionist.
gRed Britain wrote:
The 1897 First World Zionist Congress looked at Uganda, Argentina and Palestine.
"Don't hate on me bro" - Loz
Oh agreed.. Just the same as not all Communists agree on certain points..
Yeah, I suppose so (considering Israel won't let it be a truly equal two state solution as you've pointed out). The only other alternatives I can think of are absorbing Gaza into Egypt and the West Bank into Jordan or Israel annexes the lot and we say frag the Palestinians. As I've said, calling for Israel to be abolished in favour of it being replaced by Palestine is just wasted energy.
Any idea how to prevent an Israeli state over the whole area being Zionist? Maybe the Palestinians should just accept this and then simply try and fight for equal rights within the Israeli system as Israeli citizens. Doubt that would ever happen though...
Yeah but Palestine is by far and away the most obvious choice.
chaz171 wrote:I was nearly going to add that myself.
gRed Britain wrote:Obvious maybe, but there were a number of possibilities (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proposals_ ... wish_state) many of which would probably not have caused quite as much of a mess as the one they finally settled on.
Red Rebel wrote:So something can't change from it's original form?
It just seems like an unhelpful simplification to reduce it to this.
gRed Britain wrote:
That was the idea I was trying to get across. That the Palestinians Territories and the state of Israel should be one secular bourgeoisie democracy. I'm not in a position to preach about Israeli's fighting against Zionism but I'd point to Anna Baltzer (saw her speak at a forum). One of the topics she touched about was non-violent protests within Israeli by Israelis against zionism.
Sure ideologies can evolve. Has zionism evolved out of it's colonial origins? I haven't seen evidence to suggest so..
"Don't hate on me bro" - Loz
You can't deny that Isrealis turned a desert wasteland into a high-tech modern state that's at least 50 years ahead of any of its neighbours (including the rich Gulf States). The Arab world has never seen and for quite some time probably won't see such a remarkable expansion of productive forces and all that comes with it.
But yes, Zionism is, as the Soviet article i recently posted says, the most reactionary variety of Jewish bourgeois nationalism. So i'd say it's "inherently unjust" although, as gRed said, that doesn't mean much.
I will certainly deny that Israeli's did that. The money was pumped in by imperialism. First the British and French and the role was later taken over by the Americans to achieve their own imperialist goals (mainly having Israel being an imperialist outpost in the near east).
"Don't hate on me bro" - Loz
Who did all that then?
Not in 1947-'48 it wasn't. And so what? Arab states (most notably Egypt) were also pumped with Soviet and, later, Western aid and money but nothing came of it, as we can see.
How does this diminish the achievement of Isrealis. American didn't build all these canals or cities or school people.
You have countries that are pumped with billions (Saudi Arabia, Gulf States) which are still basically in the Middle Ages, except for the skyscrapers.
Red Rebel wrote:I'm not suggesting that it has improved (as such), but reducing it to simply "colonialism" doesn't seem like it improves our understanding of the situation.
I'm not sure how Communists can find any form of Nationalism to be "just". Neither Jewish Nationalism nor Arab Nationalism, nor Muslim Nationalism. Some states might be more oppressive than others, but all states set up along those lines need to go in the long term.
Anything which gives an advantageous position to one racial, ethic or religious group is antithetic to socialist ideals and the resolutions quoted by the Israeli communist party seems consistent with this.
As a short-term solution to anti-Semitism I think Israel might be here to stay. It's really only once socialism can offer a permanent solution to anti-Semitism that we will be able to make a compelling case (to the non-religious) that a separate state is no longer desirable.
I'm not sure how you would go about convincing the religious that a state is no longer necessary as their rationale relies on ancient texts which are not really open to debate or negotiation.
Actually states like Qatar, as socially reactionary as they are, are richer than Israel and Israel is one of the poorest "Western" countries so even this argument is not true.
In terms of income per capita, yes. But Qatar and others don't really produce anything except oil and when that dries up they'll be in deep shit.
Quote:Actually, it might surprise you, but there are religious, and even Orthodox Jews, whom are opposed to Israel existing as a Jewish state. http://www.nkusa.org/ And originally, even Reform Judaism had been critical of Zionism as well. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/26/us/26religion.html
Most ultra-orthodox Jews are opposed to Zionism for religious reasons anyway. And the Reform movement has only recently made Zionism part of their program and even then it was mostly due to pressure from more conservative elements.
Red_Son: Bob Avakian is the Glenn Beck of communism.
"Le prolétariat; c'est moi." - King Indigo XIV
Jason24 wrote:Sure... I've heard about them ... some of them are amongst the ones who live in Israel, yet have managed to come up with obscure theological reasons as to why they shouldn't have to pay taxes or serve in the army in so forth.
They're also the ones who are behind most of the West Bank settlements and then they expect the regular Israeli soldiers (who they regard as inferior because they're not Orthodox) to protect them when they provoke the Arab settlements.
As usual it's the religious ones who make any sort of peaceful settlement impossible.
Loz wrote:Exactly ... I'm not sure if the analogy with a state like Qatar tells us very much at all. You also have to look at the way work is done in those Oil rich states... usually it is done by foreign workers who have basically zero rights and are little more than slave labour.
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