[Marxism] Re: Most Zionists are non-Jews

Brian Shannon brian_shannon at verizon.net
Mon Aug 7 08:42:29 MDT 2006

On Aug 7, 2006, at 9:15 AM, Nestor Gorojovsky wrote:

> The kernel of Zionism is the idea that Jews the world over have a  
> special right to live in, be defended by, get representation from,  
> and support unquestioningly the State of Israel.  Most people who  
> believe this are non-Jewish.
> Thus, there are more non-Jewish Zionists than Jewish Zionists.
> This is not a moot point.  Whether someone is affiliated with some  
> Zionist organization or not (in this case, yes, it is usually Jews  
> who are involved -but not always!) the actual Zionist Party  
> overlaps with the large Imperialist Party the globe over.  Most  
> pointedly,  with the US Imperialist Party in the US of A.

You are only partially correct in describing this as the "kernel of  
Zionism". And your description is so broad as to be an inch deep and  
a mile wide as it relates to non-Jews. And the devotion of "most  
people who believe this are non-Jewish" to this idea has nothing in  
common with Jewish Zionists who advocate Zionism as the religious/ 
secular solution to the "Jewish question."

"Special right" is vague and stretches and expands from the strict  
tenets of Zionism (including encouraging Jews to move to Israel,  
which I don't think would be included even under your concept of  
"special right") to many threads including protection of Europeans,  
racism against Arabs, and throwing up one's hands at the problem.

For some Jews, this became an important issue within the U.S. SWP  
during the 1967 and 1973 wars. It did not present a problem for any  
non-Jewish members. This is a small sample, of course, but it does  
point up the emotional and moral distinction that divides the  
thinking of Jews from non-Jews regarding the "depth" of this issue,  
even among those who had a common secular outlook on the world.

I spent my two years obligatory military service at Ft. Lee, Virginia  
from 1957 to 1959. I came across two books about the 1948 war and  
post-war period in the post library. One was A Soldier With The Arabs  
by J.B. Glubb. The other, whose title now escapes me, was by a U.N.  
observer who was assigned to monitor the border of Israel. He came  
there with a general outlook in favor of the Zionist immigrants, but  
ended up sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.

Although I favored the Israeli side when I started my reading, I was  
sympathetic to the Palestinians at the end. My point is that  
convincing non-Jews of the inherent justice of the Palestinian cause  
is not that difficult. (Twenty years later, I learned that my mother  
was born a Hungarian Jew; but that's another story.)

Most of the Zionist non-Jews defend Israel because they don't know  
what other solution is possible, not because of any religious belief  
in a "special right."  Yes, the religious right in the United States  
has picked up on this as part of Christianity's final solution known  
as Armageddon. So perhaps it is two inches deep instead of one inch,  
but most of their argument is entirely intellectual and repeated by  
rote. It is not a deep feeling even among the Christian Right. It is  
just another excrescence of their craziness.

The more important "special right" that you describe is the right of  
citizens (white) of imperialist countries to do what they want to do  
and live where they want to live.

This has become more intense because of the Holocaust. So there is a  
great deal of sympathy for this "solution" to Europeans own prejudice  
against Jews. Non-Jewish Europeans had the guilt of what happened on  
their souls and Americans have had the same sentiment drummed into  
them by the U.S. government and the Zionist lobbies, most of which  
became Zionized during WWII and in the immediate postwar period.

So I think that when we refer to Zionism, it is better to restrict it  
to its historic origin and WWII and post-war expansion among the  
Jewish immigrants to Israel. It we let it become all those who  
protect the "special right," the word becomes too vague as to be usable.

It is also important not to put too many people into the enemy camp.  
For example, white Americans are racists from little to a hell of a  
lot. Yet we do not want to call everyone a racist who accepts or  
overlooks some racist aspects in their psychological or political  
makeup. A person who follows a racist policy, whether through  
ignorance or opportunism, is not necessarily a "racist." Even face-to- 
face with a racist, we would point out that their policy was racist,  
not that they were. The "R" word can be saved for those who openly  
acknowledge their own prejudice.

Likewise, the Z word. There are Zionists, Zionist policies, defenders  
of the Zionist state, defenders of our "democratic" ally Israel,  
defenders of Israel, defenders of Israelis (against Muslims), etc, etc.

Brian Shannon

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