Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxx at xxxxxxxxxxx.xxx
Tue Oct 17 21:45:07 MDT 2000

I found this in HAMAS' links


Full article at:



By Les Levidow, publ. in RETURN (London), Dec. 1990

Zionism has always purported to be the prime or ultimate protector of
Jews from anti-Semitism. The proposed solution has been mass emigration
to what the Zionist's term Eretz Israel, ('the Land of Israel'), a term
which means possession of the region for the Jews; this territorial
notion corresponds to Biblical myths rather than to any clear
geographical boundaries. The emigration itself has been termed aliyah
('ascent'). The term originally described Jews' pilgrimage to Palestine
as a duty of Orthodox Judaism. Zionism appropriated the term for
secular-settler purposes: through Aliyah, Diaspora Jews, regarded as
mere 'human dust' elevate themselves to the status of human beings. As
Israeli citizens, the Jews claim their rightful place as 'nation among
(European) nations'.

Many critics have shown how advocacy of this solution has undermined any
struggle against anti-Semitism. Some critics have even shown how Zionist
leaders have collaborated with anti-Semitic persecutors for the sake of
that aliyah (as in Nazi Germany), or for the sake of Israel's arms sales
(as during the Argentinean junta).

This essay takes the argument further, to the cultural field, by arguing
that the Zionist mission involved suppressing or denying all Jewish
identities other than the 'New Jew' who
conquers Palestine.

In practice, this has meant that:

Zionist culture 'assimilated' European anti-Semitism from the very

 the State of Israel eventually extended that discrimination to Oriental
Jews, seen as a
 Jewish-Arab (or 'Levantine') threat, within a wider framework of
Western colonial

the anti-Arab racism endemic to Zionism incorporates aspects of European
anti-Semitism; and

Zionist paranoia towards Palestinians expresses internal anxieties about
the disintegration of Jewish identities which Zionism itself has helped
to destroy.

 'Assimilating' anti-Semitism

As largely or potentially assimilated Jews, the early Zionists of
Western Europe came to doubt the possibility - or even desirability - of
their full assimilation, as they encountered prejudice and barriers.
They came to accept anti-Semitic racial concepts of the Jews as
inherently incapable of integrating into the Western nations as full
citizens. This fatalism was expressed by doctor Leo Pinsker, with a
suitable medical metaphor, when he declared that 'Judeo-phobia  is a
disease; and, as a congenital disease, it is incurable' (in Hertzberg,

Early Zionists also accepted - implicitly or explicitly - prevalent
stereotypes of backwards
and/or subversive East European Jews, whose migration to Western Europe
(or the USA) they
regarded as a threat to their own hard-won social status. This perceived
threat acted as a
motive for affluent Jews in Western Europe to channel the migration of
East European Jews
elsewhere. Moreover, many Zionists perceived their own interests as
coinciding with the
domestic interests of Europe's imperial rulers. When Theodor Herzl
lobbied the Tsar's Minister of Interior, who had been responsible for
anti-Semitic pogroms, Herzl argued that Zionism would weaken the
revolutionary movement in Russia.

At the same time, Zionists justified themselves in terms of uplifting
the backward East European Jews. Moses Hess, describing the economic
structure of East European Jewry as 'parasitic', described the future
Jewish state as 'the basis on which European Jewry will be able to climb
out of the dustbins' (quoted in Halevi, p.153). The alliance which
Zionism sought with European imperialism arose from the cultural chasm
which they perceived between Western and Eastern Jews.


Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
PhD Student
Department of Political Science
SUNY at Albany
Nelson A. Rockefeller College
135 Western Ave.; Milne 102
Albany, NY 12222

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