Zionism and Anti-Semitism

One of the favourite tactics of supporters of Israel and Zionism is to accuse their opponents of ‘anti-Semitism’. This argument is advanced in an attempt to prevent criticism of Israel from being presented, or to attack the individual or group, that is defending Palestinian human rights.

Implicit in this criticism is the idea that all Jews, except a handful of ‘self haters’ support the Israeli state. Such an argument is inherently anti-Semitic, based as it is on the notion of a collective ethnic adherence to a particular political position. It also ascribes guilt for Israel’s crimes upon Jewish people collectively.

As Tony Greenstein has written in The Guardian,

Like the boy who cried wolf, the charge of “anti-semitism” has been made so often against critics of Zionism and the Israeli state that people now have difficulty recognising the genuine article.

So absurd has the situation become that the allegation of anti-semitism is even made when Jews disagree among themselves. That is why the suggestion by Alvin Rosenfield that “anti-Zionism is the form that much of today’s anti-semitism takes” needs to be taken with a large pinch of salt.

One of the consequences of this abuse of the term “anti-semitism” is to devalue the currency. It renders it almost meaningless because people assume that allegations of anti-semitism are merely the last-ditch resort of those who are incapable of defending the Apartheid Wall that separates the people of the West Bank from their land, the bulldozing of civilian houses, the wanton destruction of olive groves and crops, to say nothing of the theft of their land.

Anti-semitism today is not a mainstream form of racism. It is asylum seekers, Muslims and black people who face stop-and-search, control orders and racial profiling, not Jewish people.

Here is what another Jewish commentator writes on the use of the charge of anti-Semitism against a reporter that was assigned by the New York Times to cover Israel and before she had even written an article she was attacked by right-wing Zionists for being Anti-Semitic:

Yet the real danger in all this is that the rush to throw charges of antisemitism at people who criticise Israel will desensitise vigilance over the real thing. Such tactics are meant to intimidate and paralyse, choke and divert the discussion over Israel’s occupation and policies in the Middle East. But for every person silenced, there are growing numbers who, surveying the quality of the argument, will dismiss the pro-right Israel lobby solely on the basis of the bullying. It isn’t just the nature of the bashing, but its compulsive frequency, especially when set against the paucity of actual arguments presented.

As more commentators are now saying: the trouble with this rightist campaign over Israel is in the content, which always trumps the delivery system. Incidentally, this is the theme of one of the articles that Rudoren was lambasted for tweeting, which quotes Beinart, from the book she wasn’t supposed to like: “Israel does not have a public relations problem; it has a policy problem.”

In February 2012 the David Project released its “white paper” on Israel advocacy in US colleges and universities, titled, “A Burning Campus? Rethinking Israel Advocacy at America’s Universities and Colleges.” ((See A Burning Campus? Rethinking Israel Advocacy at America’s Universities and Colleges.))

According to a summary published on Mondoweiss, a well known progressive web site, “the report is surprisingly frank about how the anti-Semitism charge is used as a weapon, what is the best way to attack college professors, and which minority groups are best to, in their words, “co-opt.’”

The anti-Semitism charge as a tactic

The report is candid about how the anti-Semitism charge is used as a tactic. What it determines however, is that the tactic is ultimately ineffective and that other tactics should be employed.

Throughout the report, the authors assert that anti-Semitism is not a pervasive problem on college campuses:

Most American campuses are not hostile environments for most Jewish students . . . The chief concern therefore is not the welfare of Jewish students but that a pervasively negative atmosphere will affect the long-term thinking of current college students, negatively affecting strong bipartisan support for Israel.

Here is an example of some of the advice given in the David Project’s Report:

… There is widespread consensus that civil rights enforcement, including efforts to protect the rights of Jewish students, must respect freedom of speech and the doctrine of academic freedom. Contrary efforts could create a campus backlash against Israel supporters that erodes, rather than enhances, Israel’s standing.

• Moreover, legitimate efforts to combat campus Anti-Semitism could be complicated by overly aggressive complaints, given the current social acceptability of anti-Israelism on many leading campuses. ((See A Burning Campus? Rethinking Israel Advocacy at America’s Universities and Colleges.))

Here is an excerpt from an article, written by Allan C. Brownfeld who is the Editor of the American Council for Judaism Issues, where articles of interest can be found.

Attacks on Jewish critics of Zionism and Israeli policies are growing increasingly strident in an effort to silence and isolate the increasing number of men and women who are speaking out.

One time New Left radical, and now an outspoken neo-conservative, David Horowitz has issued a pamphlet through his David Horowitz Freedom Center entitled “Jewish Enablers Of The War Against Israel.” Written by Steven Plaut, it states that, “One of the most wrenching facts of this war against the Jews is the troubling role played by Jewish enablers of anti-semitism…These figures, American and Israeli…have given legitimacy to the revival of Jew hatred.”

Among those listed are M.I.T. Professor Noam Chomsky (called a “defender of Holocaust Deniers”), retired Princeton Professor Richard Falk, who has investigated human rights abuses for the U.N. Human Rights Council (who is accused of “one-sided indictments of everything Western and a one-sided exoneration of everything anti-Western”), Jennifer Lowenstein, associate director of the Middle East Studies Center at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Professor Marc Ellis, director of the Center for American and Jewish Studies at Baylor University (accused of building “a theological case for the destruction of Israel”), Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of TIKKUN (referred to as “Rabbi for Jihad”), Joel Beinin, professor of history at Stanford (charged with “subversion of Middle East studies”), and Professor Judith Butler of the University of California at Berkeley (said to “promote Israel’s annihilation”).

Many others are named, including a number of prominent Israelis. Among them are Professors Shlomo Sand and Gadi Algazi of Tel Aviv University, and Neve Gordon and Oron Yiftachel of Ben Gurion University. The author concludes: “the consequences of the venomous words of these Jewish enablers of the war against the Jews are readily apparent.” (( “Freedom of Speech Is under Increasing Assault Within the Jewish Community,” by Allan C. Brownfeld, American Council for Judaism, Winter 2012.))

Brownfeld also notes in the same article that:

The effort to intimidate Jewish critics of Zionism and of Israeli policies—a group whose numbers are growing dramatically–is becoming increasingly strident.

The use of the term “self-hating Jew” is often applied to such critics. One place to find this label flung at Jewish critics has been the website Masada2000, whose “S.H.I.T. List” (“Self-hating and/or Israel-Threatening”) contained almost 8,000 names, often with photographs and personal and professional contact information before the site was taken off the web by its host service. (( “Freedom of Speech Is under Increasing Assault Within the Jewish Community,” by Allan C. Brownfeld, American Council for Judaism, Winter 2012.))

Brownfeld writes in his conclusion:

The Jewish tradition of wrestling with, among other things, the truth, is now under attack by those who would silence open discussion. This is leading to the alienation of many, in particular young people. Rabbi Sid Schwartz, the founder of Panim-the Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values, speaking of young people in the Jewish community, writes: “In the past decade, I note that fewer and fewer identify as Zionists. Israel plays a much less significant role in their identity formation…and an astounding number hold the organized Jewish community in contempt. I believe the way our community has chosen to ‘defend Israel’ has profoundly alienated the next generation of American Jews… A generation of Jews who see themselves as global citizens will not identify with a community that offers them anything less.”

Freedom of speech, and a search for justice are essential elements of the Jewish tradition—as is “wrestling” with God himself. It is time for the organized American Jewish community to return to those values. (( “Freedom of Speech Is under Increasing Assault Within the Jewish Community,” by Allan C. Brownfeld, American Council for Judaism, Winter 2012.))

The argument that criticism of Israel’s policies or of political Zionism is anti-Semitic has little, or no merit. The tactic is used to try to silence or discredit criticism of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians. Facts and rational discussion gets drowned out by a barrage of Anti-Semitism allegations which often have little or no basis in reality. Jews who criticize Israel are also attacked for being “self-hating Jews” or Jews who enable Anti-Semitism.

One must acknowledge, however, that Anti-Semitism still exists and that some Anti-Semites express their Anti-Semitism by attacking “the Jewish State” and by blaming all Jews for the actions of “the Jewish State.” Again it is important to make the distinction that all Jews do not support the actions of “the Jewish State” toward the Palestinians or even actions undertaken by Israel in the name of the Jewish People.

One also must not confuse anti-Israelism with anti-Semitism. One can be critical of the actions of a State, or its government, without blaming all of its people or fellow religious adherents. One cannot blame all Christians or Muslims for actions taken by extremists in their community. The same principle applies to Jews and all other groups.

As Michael Selzer writes, “Zionism is a complex phenomenon, adequately understood by only a small percentage of its critics and by even a smaller percentage of its supporters.” (( “Introduction” by Michael Selzer in Zionism Reconsidered, edited by Michael Selzer, (London: The Macmillian Company, 1970) p. xi. This conclusion is based on Michael Selzer’s book, The Wineskin and the Wizard: The Problem of Jewish Power in the Context of East European Jewish History, (New York: Macmillian, 1970).)) As Chaim Weizmann, the first President of Israel and former leader of the World Zionist Congress noted: “To be a Zionist it is not necessary to be mad, but it helps.” ((Amos Elon, The Israelis-Founders and Sons, (Weidenfeld, 1971), p.106.))

As prominent Israeli writer, A.B. Yehoshua, states on the relationship between Anti-Semitism and Zionism:
Anti-Zionism is not the product of the non-Jews. On the contrary, the Gentiles have always encouraged Zionism, hoping that it would help to rid them of the Jews in their midst. Even today, in a perverse way, a real anti-Semite must be a Zionist. ((Jewish Chronicle (Britain) January 22, 1982 cited in “Anti-Semitism and its Zionist Shadow,” by Tony Greenstein, (Self published Pamphlet, 1987) p. 3. ))

Zionism is based largely on the belief that Jews have suffered persecution for the last 2,000 years due to the fact that they were strangers in the lands of others. The solution proposed by the Zionists is that Jews should have a land of their own just like the English, French, Germans and other peoples. Ignored is the question that one can be Jewish and English or Jewish and American at the same time.

Religion, or for that matter race or ethnicity, do not have any bearing on citizenship or nationality in countries like the United States and Canada. However this is not the case in “the Jewish State.” Almost entirely absent from political Zionism is discussion of the rights of the Indigenous inhabitants of Palestine. The answer is that they have none.

Tony Greenstein writes on the relationship between Zionism and Anti-Semitism,

What is surprising is that the Zionists appealed to the anti-Semites on the basis of a shared ideological outlook. Nowhere is this clearer than in the memo from the Zionist Federation of Germany to the Nazis (21. 6. 1933). ((“Anti-Semitism and its Zionist Shadow,” by Tony Greenstein, (Self published Pamphlet, 1987) p. 2.))

Lenni Brenner quotes from the Zionist Memorandum to the Nazis.

… An answer to the Jewish question truly satisfying to the national state can be brought about only with the collaboration of the Jewish movement that aims at a social, cultural, and moral renewal of Jewry … a rebirth of national life, such as is occurring in German life through adhesion to Christian and national values, must also take place in the Jewish national group. For the Jew, too, origin, religion, community of fate and group consciousness must be of decisive significance in the shaping of his life …

On the foundation of the new state, which has established the principle of race, we wish so to fit our community into the total structure so that for us too, in the sphere assigned to us, fruitful activity for the Fatherland is possible … Our acknowledgement of Jewish nationality provides for a clear and sincere relationship to the German people and its national and racial realities…

an answer to the Jewish Question truly satisfying to the national state can be brought about only with the collaboration of the Jewish movement that aims at a social, cultural and moral renewal of Jewry… Precisely because we do not wish to falsify these fundamentals, because we too, are against mixed marriages and are for maintaining the purity of the Jewish group. ((Joachim Prinz, Zionism under the Nazi Government, Young Zionist (London, November 1937.) Quoted in Lenni Brenner, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, (London: Croom Helm, 1983), p. 48-49 citing Lucy Dawidowicz, A Holocaust Reader, p. 150-155.))

Further evidence of the collaboration between Nazis and the Zionists is a “Nazi-Zionist” medallion issued by Goebbel’s daily Der Angriff to commemorate a joint visit to Zionist Palestine by SS officer Leopold von Mildenstein and Zionist Federation official Kurt Tuchler. A series on their tour was published, “A Nazi Travels to Palestine,” and appeared in Der Angriff in late 1934. ((See Jacob Boas, “A Nazi Travels to Palestine,” History Today 30.1 (1980). The original article by Leopold von Mildstein, “A Nazi Voyages to Palestine,” appeared in Der Angriff (Attack), Berlin (27 September 1934). A photograph of the commemorative medallion is available online.))

Greenstein writes further:

… Zionism, far from being the anti thesis of anti-Semitism, is its ‘twin in Jewish Garb’ to quote an early pamphlet of the German Anti Zionist Committee. That far from representing a challenge to anti-Semitism, Zionism represents the complete abandonment of any fight against it. That Zionism accepts the main thesis of the anti-Semites, namely that the Jews do not belong in the societies they were born and grew up in. That they are in ‘exile’ (Galut) and hence the mission of the Israeli state is the ‘ingathering of the exiles’. ((“Anti-Semitism and its Zionist Shadow,” by Tony Greenstein, (Self published Pamphlet, 1987) p. 3.))

As David Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel and the third major figure in Zionist history after Herzl and Weizmann, noted in respect of the Zionist Organisation: “implicit in their ideology was that the Jews were a foreign element in the countries where they lived.” ((M Pearlmann, Ben-Gurion Looks Back, Weidenfeld, 1965, p. 239 cited in Greenstein, p. 3. ))

There are many Jews both inside of Israel and in the Diaspora that are extremely critical of Zionism. A recent article published in the Israeli daily Haaretz reported that 10 percent of Israeli academics are labeled ‘anti-Zionist’ by campus watchdogs. The survey comes up with the names of more than 1,000 Israelis, 800 of whom are academics but also including authors, journalists, public intellectuals, and past and present cabinet ministers. (( “10 percent of Israeli academics labeled ‘anti-Zionist’ by campus watchdogs,” by Talila Nesher, Haaretz, January 22, 2012.))

Zionism is a political movement and a political ideology. It has little or nothing to do with the religion of Judaism. The majority of Israeli Jews are secular and not religious. ((“Who is a Jew?” by Rebecca Weiner, Jewish Virtual Library.)) Many Christians are Zionists.

Zionism’s aim was to create a national home for the Jews. A number of locations were considered including Palestine, Egypt, Madagascar, Uganda and Argentina. ((See Wikipedia for a discussion of possible locations and the motivations for such proposals. See also “Balfour Declaration.”)) Stalin even created Birobidzhan as a “Soviet Jewish Homeland.” ((See Stalin’s Forgotten Zion: Birobidzhan and the making of a Soviet Jewish Homeland, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998)))

Political Zionism, as a secular national movement, is, in a large part, based on Theodore Herzl’s pamphlet Der Judenstaat, usually translated as “The Jewish State.” Theodore Herzl even accepted a British proposal to establish a Jewish “national home” in Uganda (now in what is a part of Kenya), along the lines of the existing White settler colonial states in South Africa, Rhodesia, and Algeria and other places in Africa. (( “The Uganda Proposal,” Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 2009-07-08.)) Early Zionist leaders often promoted Zionism as a colonial movement.

Anti-Semitism, which is hatred of Jews for them being Jews, is morally wrong, politically wrong, and legally wrong. Jews suffered much persecution in Europe at the hands of Christians who somehow blame all of the Jews for the Roman’s crucifying Jesus even though the crucifixion is a necessary tenant of their faith.

Medieval Anti-Semitism has its origins in religious conflict. Many Christians saw Judaism as a competing religion and a threat to the Christian based political and social order in Europe. There also was an economic component in the role Jews played as intermediator between the political elite and the peasantry, for example as tax collectors. The economic role and frequently restricted role played by Jews in European society created social problems and also made them disposable when necessary, or even convenient. However, the religious, social and economic origins of Anti-Semitism are still an area where there is much divergent opinion and on going debate.

Jews were also made scape goats by many political leaders for economic or political problems. This practice was widespread in Eastern Europe and in Russia. Part of this motivation was the fact the leadership of the Socialist and Communist movements, the primary political opposition, contained many Jews and that these movements were secular and even antireligious and challenged the religiously legitimated feudal order of the day.

Zionism was promoted as an antidote to Jews getting involved with “revolutionary movements” that were challenging the economic and social order dominating Europe at the time.

Herzl was clear in his mind as to the counter-revolutionary nature of the Zionist movement. In a draft of a letter to the German Kaiser Herzl wrote that:

Our movement, which is already widespread, has everywhere to fight an embittered battle with the revolutionary parties which rightly sense an adversary in it. We are in need of encouragement even though it has to be a carefully kept secret. ((Herzl’s Complete Diaries, p. 596.))

Herzl made this argument, to a Russian Grand Duke the latter replied, regarding the need to keep the Zionist societies legal in Russia that “Pobedonostev ought to hear that. You should tell it to him.” ((Herzl’s Complete Diaries, p. 657.))

Greenstein comments on this method to try to divert Jews from “revolutionary parties” to Zionism:

Poboedonostev was possibly the most anti-Semitic of the Czar’s ministers, and in conversation with the German Foreign Minister, (later Chancellor), von Bulow, Herzl explained that “the anti-Socialist aspect of Zionism was gone into in the greatest detail.” ((Herzl’s Complete Diaries, p. 666.)) And when he finally got to see the Kaiser, he lost no time in explaining that “we were taking the Jews away from the revolutionary parties.” ((Herzl’s Complete Diaries, p. 666.))

This anti-Jewish sentiment culminated in the Holocaust. It is easy to focus only on the Nazis for this evil but Anti-Semitism was wide spread in Britain and France, most of the rest of Europe, and in the United States. In 1939 Canada turned back a boat load of Jewish refugees from Germany on the ship the St. Louis. Here is an excerpt from an article published in the Jewish Independent:

The tragic consequences of this policy were never more clearly illustrated than in Canada’s shameful part in turning back the ship The St. Louis. In 1939, 900 Jewish refugees left Hamburg on this boat bound for Havana, Cuba. Approaching Havana harbor, they discovered they had been duped by a corrupt official and their visas were not valid. Cuba would not allow the ship entry. Jews everywhere appealed for a country to admit these refugees and the St. Louis sailed from port to port in search of asylum. After they were refused entry by the United States, Canada was the last hope for these desperate souls, but King said their plight was not Canada’s problem, and forced the ship to return to Europe. During the terrible years of the Nazi regime, Canada accepted a mere 500 refugees.

In early 1945, by an unidentified Canadian immigration agent was asked how many Jews would be allowed in Canada after the war. He replied, “None is too many.” However, the anti-Jewish, anti-Asian and anti-Black immigration policy at the time was supported by Western political elites. This is a shameful period of the United States, Canada’s and of Europe’s past.

Alfred Lilienthal details how Zionists worked hard to maintain Antisemtic and anti-Jewish Immigration policies to prevent Jews from immigrating to Western counties and to leave them no alternative but to go to Palestine or Israel. ((See Alfred Lilienthal, The Zionist Connection II: What Price Peace, (New Brunswick, New Jersey: North American, 1982). Also see Yosef Grodazinsky,
In the Shadow of the Holocaust: The Struggle Between the Jews and the Zionists in the Aftermath of World War II, (Commom Courage Press: Monroe, Maine, 2004).))

Jews in the Arab World

Historically throughout the Arab and Muslim world while there were some problems there is virtually no history of Anti-Semitism in the European sense. Kohavi Shemesh, a former leader of the Black Panthers, an Israeli Oriental Jewish organization, has stated that, contrary to popular belief: “There wasn’t any large-scale anti-Semitism in the Arab countries.” ((Israleft Biweekly News Service, November 20, 1972, p. 7, cited in Charles Glass, “Jews Against Zionism: Israeli Jewish Anti-Zionism,” Journal of Palestine Studies, Autumn 1975/ Winter 1976, p. 65.))

In fact many Jews fled persecution in Europe to the Muslim and Arab world. As Yehoshua Porath, a prominent Israeli scholar of Middle East history, writes “the position of the Jews under the Ottoman Empire—one of the most important phases of all Islamic history … the attitude of the Ottoman authorities toward the Jews was generally fair and decent, and in some parts of the empire many Jews held prominent positions.” (( “Review: Mrs. Peters’s Palestine,” by Yehoshua Porath, New York Review of Books, 32(21 & 22), January 16, 1986. Porath cites Bernard Lewis’s The Jews of Islam (Princeton University Press) in support of his argument.))

There is much evidence of the peaceful and even advantageous relations which between Muslims and Jews in the Middle East. A treasure trove of more than 300,000 individual documents was discovered in the attic, or “geniza,” of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo, Egypt. Some of these documents were over a thousand years old. According to Allan Brownfeld these documents “presents a vivid picture of Jewish life in the medieval Moslem world, and shows how integrated Jews were in that world, challenging some contemporary ideas of ancient Jewish-Muslem enmity.” (( “Uncovered Documents Tell the Story of Cooperation Between Muslims and Jews in Medieval Cairo,” by Allan C. Brownfeld, Issues (The American Council for Judaism), Winter 2012, p. 5. See also Shelomo Dov Goitein, a scholar of Islamic history at the Hebrew University in the late 1940s 5-volume study, A Mediterranean Society: The Jewish Communities of the Arab World, published over a 20-year period from 1967 to 1988, is a groundbreaking work of social history. A Mediterranean Society: The Jewish Communities of the Arab World as Portrayed in the Documents of the Cairo Geniza, Vol. I: Economic Foundations, (University of California Press, 2000).))

Rabbi Glickman the author of Sacred Treasure: The Cairo Genizah, published by Jewish Lights Publishing in 2011, writes:

For Jews the Geniza story contradicts much of what we thought we knew about Jewish history. For the most part, the modern Jewish conception of Jewish history follows the viewpoint of modern Zionism. ‘In ancient days,’ this view suggests, ‘the Jewish people thrived in the Land of Israel. But then foreign invaders destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem and expelled the Jewish nation from its land, thus beginning a dark, two-thousand-year period of homelessness and oppression. Throughout that entire time, Jews in exile yearned to return to their homeland, where they could live together in safety and freedom. Now, with the rise of the modern State of Israel, those dreams can finally come true.’ It is a powerful national mythos. Like every national mythos, the story is true in some ways, grossly oversimplified in others, and a reflection of its people’s deepest values and most heartfelt self-perceptions. But it is also, as we learn from the Geniza, fundamentally incorrect. Reading the Geniza documents, we read of a vibrant, prosperous Jewish community, thriving 1,000 years ago in Egypt, the very symbol of Jewish suffering and oppression. There in the very heart of the ‘two thousand years of darkness,’ we find enlightenment, security and success — not the oppression and suffering we have come to expect.” ((Quoted in Allan C. Brownfeld.))

It was not until the intrusion of European Imperial power and the insertion of an aggressive political movement call Zionism and the creation of a “Jewish State” in Palestine that serious political problems between Jews and Arabs and Jews and Muslims arose.

Israel’s military actions in the name of the “Jewish people” have all but virtually destroyed what was once a thriving Jewish-Arab community. Today, only remnants remain. It was, of course, in Israel’s interest to strengthen the Jewish foothold in Palestine by ingathering Jews from the Arab world.

Naim Giladi, an Oriental Jew and one of the founders of the Black Panthers, has been working on the subject of Mossad operations in the Jewish-Arab community to “facilitate” Jewish-Arab immigration to Israel. ((For an example of his work see Naim Giladi, “The Iraqi Jews and Their Coming to Israel,” The Black Panther, September 11, 1972, reprinted in Documents from Israel 1967-1973, Davis and Mezvinsky eds., p. 126-133. Also see Naeim Giladi, Ben-Gurion’s Scandals: How the Haganah and The Mossad Eliminated Jews, (Dandelion Books, Tempe, Arizona, 2003).)) One example of this campaign to “encourage” Zionist immigration were the bombs set off in Baghdad in 1950 to terrorize the Iraqi-Jewish community into fleeing their home of 2,500 years. ((Roberta Strauss Feuerlicht, The Fate of the Jews, (New York: Times Books, 1983), p. 230-232.)) This question is also the subject of Marion Woolfson’s Prophets in Babylon where she argues, from an anti-Zionist Jewish perspective, that the “Jewish Arabs were victims of Zionism.” ((Marion Woolfson, Prophets in Babylon, (London: Faber and Faber, 1980), p. 15-17.))

Ella Shohat, who describes herself as an Arab Jew, was born in Israel and raised by Iraqi Jewish parents. She is a professor of Cultural Studies and Women Studies at the City University of New York. Her critique of Zionism focuses on the discrimination and racism Sephardi Jews suffered in Israel due to their Arab cultural makeup. ((Ella Habiba Shohat, “Sephardim in Israel: Zionism from the Standpoint of its Jewish Victimsm,” in Prophets Outcast: A Century of Dissident Jewish Writing about Zionism and Israel, Edited by Adam Shatz, (Nation Books: New York, 2004), p. 227-322.))

Shohat assembled a disturbing list of racist characterizations of Arab Jews made by leading Israeli politicians which include David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir and Abba Eban. ((Shohat, p. 280-286. )) Shohat writes,

the Sephardic cultural difference was especially disturbing to a secular Zionism whose claims for representing a single Jewish people were premised not only on a common religious background but also on a common nationality. The strong cultural and historical links that Sephardim shared with the Arab-Muslim world, stronger in many respects than those shared with the Ashkenazim [European Jews], threatened the conception of a homogeneous nation akin to those on which European nationalist movements were based. ((Shohat, p. 280-307. ))

Shohat also details the destruction of the Jewish Arab community caused, in her view, by Zionism. Shohat discusses at length Zionist attempts to lure Arab Jews to Zion. These attempts included Operation Magic Carpet to bring the Jews of Yemen to Israel and Ali Baba to ingather the Jews of Iraq. ((Shohat, p. 287. )) Since the Jews of Iraq showed little or no inclination to go to Israel, to quote Shohat, “since the carrot was insufficient, therefore a stick was necessary.” She provides details of the Zionist bombing campaign directed against Iraqi Jews by Zionist agents to terrorize the Iraqi Jewish community to flee to Israel. ((Shohat, p. 291. )) As Shohat writes, “What its proponents themselves called cruel Zionism –namely, the idea that Zionists had to use violent means to dislodge Jews from exile ad achieved its ends.” ((Shohat, p. 292. ))

As Professor Lawrence Davidson writes:

Israeli behaviour has managed to turn the Middle East, a region largely devoid of anti-Semitism until the intrusion of the Zionists, into a potential breeding ground for that obnoxious sentiment. And perhaps they will do the same to the American hinterland. That is called blowback. But the men in Jerusalem will never admit their responsibility for this. They say they always knew the world was anti-Semitic at heart and they will loudly proclaim they were right. It was there all the time, even in the heartland of their greatest ally.

Such is the distorting power of a thought collective. (( “The blinding power of Israel’s closed information environment,” by Lawrence Davidson, Redress, 27 October, 2011. ))

Even today, much to the chagrin of Zionists, there are Arab and Oriental Jews who prefer to remain in their Middle East country of origin and not make Aliyah to the “Jewish State.” Here is a report published in Orthodox Jewish publication, The Guardian, on the 20,000 plus member Iranian Jewish community and posted on True Torah Jews Against Zionism Web site:

Iran’s official Islamic news agency reported a month ago that wealthy Iranian Jews already living in the Zionist State had offered $10,000 to every Jew in Iran who was willing to emigrate to the Zionist State. According to the report, the Jews of Iran rejected the offer because “they are not interested in moving to the occupied territory, since they enjoy full religious freedom in Iran.”

The incentives — ranging from £5,000 a person to £30,000 for families — were offered from a special fund established by wealthy expatriate Jews in an effort to prompt a mass migration to Israel among Iran’s 20,000-strong Jewish community. The offers were made with Israel’s official blessing and were additional to the usual state packages it provides to Jews emigrating from the diaspora.

However, the Society of Iranian Jews dismissed them as “immature political enticements” and said their national identity was not for sale. “The identity of Iranian Jews is not tradable for any amount of money,” the society said in a statement. “Iranian Jews are among the most ancient Iranians. Iran’s Jews love their Iranian identity and their culture, so threats and this immature political enticement will not achieve their aim of wiping out the identity of Iranian Jews.”

The Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv reported that the incentives had been doubled after offers of £2,500 a head failed to attract any Iranian Jews to leave for Israel. (( “Iranian Jews Say No to Zionist Incentives,” Die Tzeitung, Guardian, August 15, 2007. See also “Iranian Jews slam ’emigrant stunt’,” CNN, December 26, 2007. “What Iran’s Jews Say,” by Roger Cohen, New York Times, February 22, 2009. “25,000 Jews live in Iran,” by Mike Whitney, Information Clearing House, August 17, 2010.))

An article published by the BBC on January 31, 2012 reported that Tunisian Jews also had no interest in going to the “Jewish State.” One Tunisian Jew who was interviewed said to the BBC reporter and a listening world, “No one here is afraid.” Another said, “Go to Israel?… I’m not crazy!” (( “Tunisia’s Jews shun ‘migrate to Israel’ idea,” by Wyre Davies, BBC News Africa, 31 January, 2012. See also “The BBC Censors its own Report on Tunisia’s Jews Saying ‘No’ to Israel,” by Alan Hart, Dissident Voice, February 1st, 2012. ))

At a Jewish forum in New York City, November 5, 2003, George Soros, the renown fiancier and philanthropist and supporter of many progressive causes suggested a connection between the resurgence of Anti-Semitism in Europe to the policies of Israel and the United States.

When asked about anti-Semitism in Europe, Soros, who is Jewish, said European anti-Semitism is the result of the policies of Israel and the United States.

“There is a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe. The policies of the Bush administration and the Sharon administration contribute to that,” Soros said. “It’s not specifically anti-Semitism, but it does manifest itself in anti-Semitism as well. I’m critical of those policies.”

“If we change that direction, then anti-Semitism also will diminish,” he said. “I can’t see how one could confront it directly.” (( “In rare Jewish appearance, George Soros says Jews and Israel cause anti- Semitism,” by Uriel Heilman, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, November 10, 2003. Retrieved February 20, 2012.))

In a subsequent article for the New York Review of Books, Soros emphasized that:

I do not subscribe to the myths propagated by enemies of Israel and I am not blaming Jews for anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism predates the birth of Israel. Neither Israel’s policies nor the critics of those policies should be held responsible for anti-Semitism. At the same time, I do believe that attitudes toward Israel are influenced by Israel’s policies, and attitudes toward the Jewish community are influenced by the pro-Israel lobby’s success in suppressing divergent views. ((George Soros, “On Israel, America and AIPAC,” New York Review of Books, April 12, 2007. Retrieved February 20, 2012.

It is wrong to say that Zionism represents Judaism or even Jews. It represents some Jews. The majority of Jews live in the United States and other Western countries like Canada. These Jews do not embrace Zionism and emigrate to Israel to be part of a “Jewish State.” The majority of Jews are actually non-Zionist. They do not follow the clarion call of Zionism and emigrate to Israel.

Many people, myself included, want Jews to remain an integral part of Western society as they are an important part of our secular, national, multi-religious, and multi-ethnic culture. If all Jews were to leave Canada, and the United States, the pressure from evangelical Christians who want to establish a society along Christian theological lines would be extreme. Since I am opposed to the mixing of religion and politics (my parents are from Northern Ireland) I want our societies to remain multicultural, secular democracies with all of its citizens being treated equally and favouritism given to no religious or ethnic group.

If someone was anti-Semitic, logic would dictate that they would want Jews to leave their country and emigrate to Israel. Anti-Semites would care little about the human rights of Palestinians, who are actually true Semites.

Anti-Semitism in all of its manifestations is wrong and like all forms of discrimination and racism should be condemned. The main forms of discrimination today are homophobia, racism against North America’s indigenous community, anti-Arab racism and Islamophobia. Richard Falk, who is Jewish, and is the UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories has said, “I think the Palestinians stand out as the most victimized people in the world.” Falk’s full statement is as follows:

I think that my life’s work in a sense has been associated with helping or identifying with those who are victims of injustice. If we look at the world today, there are many victims of injustice. But I think the Palestinians stand out as the most victimized people in the world. And symbolically, their struggle is one that engages people of conscience everywhere in the world in a manner that resembles the way the anti-apartheid movement worked effectively to undermine South Africa’s claims of sovereignty and legitimacy. And I hope that this small role that I play contributes to that kind of process on behalf of the Palestinians. (( “Israeli crimes against humanity in Gaza Richard Falk interviewed by Michael Slate …I think the Palestinians stand out as the most victimized people in the world,” Revolution Online, 20 January, 2009.))

Many Jews were opposed to Zionism in the past and many Jews oppose Zionism today. Hannah Arendt, Isaac Asimov, Elmer Berger, Avraham Burg, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Franz Kafka, Hans Kohn, Amira Hass, Alfred Lilienthal, Rosa Luxemberg, Ilan Pappe, Leon Trotsky and many other Jewish intellectuals opposed or strongly criticized Zionism. ((See “Einstein on Palestine and Zionism,” by Edward C. Corrigan, Dissident Voice, January 9th, 2010; and “Jewish Critics of Zionism and of Israel’s Treatment of the Palestinians,” by Edward C. Corrigan, Dissident Voice, April 16, 2010; “Israeli Criticism of Zionism and the Treatment of Palestinians: The Politicians,” by Edward C.Corrigan, Dissident Voice, July 30, 2010; and “Israeli Criticism of Zionism and of Israel’s Treatment of the Palestinians: The Academics and Activists,” Dissident Voice, August 21st, 2010.)) Religious Jews opposed Zionism because they saw it as Anti-Semitic and that its aim was to transform Judaism from being a religion to a secular national identity based on ethnicity or race. ((See The Transformation: The Case of the Neturei Karta, 2nd Edition (NY: Hachomo, 1989). )) Herzl was an atheist and was called Anti-Semitic because of his hatred of Orthodox religious Jews. ((For a more extensive discussion of Jewish religious opposition see my article, “Jewish Criticism of Zionism” by Edward C. Corrigan, Middle East Policy (Formerly American-Arab Affairs) Winter 1990-91, p. 98-103. ))

Lenni Brenner provides documentation of the anti-Semitic tendencies of the Zionists. For example who told a Berlin audience in March 1912 that “each country can absorb only a limited number of Jews, if she doesn’t want disorders in her stomach. Germany already has too many Jews?” It was not Adolf Hitler but Chaim Weizmann. He later became president of the World Zionist Organization and was the first president of the state of Israel. ((Lenni Brenner, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, (London: Croom Helm, 1983), p. 34. ))

Here is another example Brenner unearthed, originally composed in 1917 but republished as late as 1936: “The Jew is a caricature of a normal, natural human being, both physically and spiritually. As an individual in society he revolts and throws off the harness of social obligation, knows no order nor discipline?” It was not published in Der Sturmer, the Nazi Party paper, but in the organ of the Zionist youth organization, Hashomer Hatzair. ((Brenner, p. 22-23. ))

According to Brenner the above quoted statements reveal, that Zionism itself encouraged and exploited anti-Semitism in the Diaspora. Zionists started from the assumption that anti-Semitism was inevitable and even in a sense justified so long as Jews were outside the land of Israel. ((Review of Zionism in the Age of the Dictators by Lenni Brenner (Croom Helm) Edward Mortimer, “Contradiction, collusion and controversy,” The Times (London), February 11, 1984.))

Stephen Lendman also cites anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish motivation targeted against diaspora Jews as a means to create or help build a Jewish state. He quotes True Torah Jews Against Zionism as saying: “believing Zionism protects Jews is probably the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the Jewish People” and accuses Zionists of fostering global anti-Semitism.” Indeed, hatred of Jews and Jewish suffering is the oxygen of the Zionist movement, and from the very beginning has been (used) to deliberately incite hatred to justify the existence of the Zionist state — this is, of course, Machiavellianism raised to the highest order.” (( “Jews Against Zionism,” by Stephen Lendman, Dissident Voice, December 8, 2009. ))

Herzl even stated, ‘the anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies. We want to emigrate as respected people.’ ((Diaries of Theodor Herzl, p. 83-84))

Many Zionists are anti-Semitic. Christian Zionists support the creation of a “Jewish State” as a precursor to the Second Coming of Christ or as they call it “the Rapture” or Armageddon. This means the end of the World. Many Christian Zionists also believe that all Jews must convert to Evangelical Christianity the “true religion” or be killed and sent to hell. However, it must be noted that not all Evangelical Christians are Zionists and not all Evangelicals adopt the “End of the World” narrative of some of their Christian brethren.

Here is an excerpt from an article written by a Christian writer:

Christian Zionism, the belief that the current Zionist state of Israel is an unambiguous portent of the imminent return of Christ, is said to be the largest growing cult in America. With some 70 million Christian evangelicals in the U.S. (a large proportion subscribing to Christian Zionist beliefs), unconditional support of Israel on religious grounds translates into massive lobbying power in a country where the “religious right” has seen itself as the leaders in a fight against the infidels of secularism, Islam, socialism and any one else in their way.

Yet few, if any, scholarly Christian theologians support this view. It is a belief advanced mostly by powerful TV evangelists and lobby groups. The average “garden variety” Christian has little to arm themselves against the deluge of almost hysterical demands on Christians that they must support the Zionists’ absolute entitlement to their colonialist project in the Holy Land with its dispossession and ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Arabs. (( “Why Christian Zionism is nothing short of outright heresy,” by Craig Nielsen, Mondoweiss, January 23, 2012.))

As award-winning journalist and author Robert Fisk writes on Christian Zionism:

Having once been sustained by the progressive left, Israel now draws its principal support from right-wing conservatism of a particularly unpleasant kind. Christian evangelicals believe that all Jews will die if they do not convert to Christianity on the coming of the Messiah. And right-wing racists in Europe – the most prominent of them being Dutch – are welcome in Israel, while the likes of Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein are not. (( “The ‘invented people’ stand little chance,” by Robert Fisk, Independent, 14 January 2012. See also “Millions of Evangelical Christians Want to Start WW III to Speed the “Second Coming” …, Neocons are Using Religion to Rile Them Up to Justify War Against Iran,” by Washington’s Blog, February 18, 2012.))

This Christian Zionist belief is anti-Semitic in the eyes of many Jews. Here is a Jewish perspective on Christian Zionism:

It should be kept in mind that this whole-hearted evangelical support of Israel and Zionism does not come from any love of the Jewish people or pity for their past sufferings. On the contrary, if a Jew takes the time to reflect upon what these evangelicals and their prophecies seek to accomplish, the only rational thing to do is run the other way. In fact, what the Christian Coalition et. al. have in mind for the Jewish people is annihilation in a fashion that makes the Holocaust look like an amateur operation. Here is their scenario. After the Israelis clear out the Palestinians, the Jews as a whole take the Palestinians place as the accursed of God. First there is the great battle at Armageddon at which most of the Jews are simply slaughtered. And then, in the aftermath, the surviving Jews see the light and convert to (Protestant fundamentalist) Christianity. Poof, a world wiped clean of the Jews. Remember, those who ardently await these events are part of Karl Rove’s Republican base. The Grand Old Party turns out to be partially grounded on a movement of fanatic anti-Semites. (( “Christian Zionism and American Foreign Policy: Paving the Road to Hell in Palestine,” by Lawrence Davidson published in Logos Journal, Winter 2005.))

Here is another Jewish perspective on Christian Zionism:

In order for Jesus to return, though, there are a number of things that must happen first. Most, if not all Jews must return to Israel, Israel must control all of the land given to it by God, in particular Jerusalem, because this is where Jesus is set to return and rule the world through a Christian theocracy for 1,000 years before a new heaven and a new earth are created. Once all of these prerequisites are in place, many believe that the Christian church will have fulfilled its earthly duty, at which point it will be “raptured” into the heavens for a period of seven years while the nations of the world, guided by Satan, will attempt to destroy Israel one last time before Jesus returns with the raptured church to defeat the enemies of God.

This theology can be found in any number of [Rev. John] Hagee’s books, including: From Daniel to Doomsday: The Countdown has Begun; Jerusalem Countdown; The Beginning of the End: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the coming of the Antichrist; Final Dawn over Jerusalem; and his most recent (2010), Can America Survive? 10 Prophetic Signs That We Are in the Terminal Generation. Needless to say, this creates a problem because it places the support of Israel, and a very particular path that Israel must follow (read: no two-state solution), along with the future destruction of a large portion of the Jewish population, into the realm of God-ordained necessities for Christian salvation. (( “Our eyewitness report on Christians United For Israel’s annual Washington conference,” Special to JewsOnFirst.org, July 29, 2011.))

Haaretz, the Israeli daily, wrote an editorial on the subject of Christian Zionism titled, “The extreme Israeli right’s alliance with lunatics.”

Against the backdrop of what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his spokesmen call the “delegitimization” of Israel, a “support event” was held in Jerusalem yesterday evening led by American preacher-broadcaster Glenn Beck. Beck was accompanied by personages identified with the Republican Party’s extreme right and a group of Christian Zionist evangelical leaders.

Beck never misses an opportunity to speak ill of U.S. President Barack Obama and to challenge his leadership. His television program fell out of favor even with rightist Fox Broadcasting, which took Beck off the air. A few weeks ago, Beck received publicity for comparing the young Norwegians who were killed by an extreme right-winger to the Hitler Youth. Hundreds of rabbis in the United States, from all streams of Judaism, have expressed disgust with Beck’s incitement on the air against Jewish financier George Soros and Jewish intellectuals “accused” of harboring liberal, leftist views.

In recent years the extreme Israeli right has developed an alliance with the heads of the evangelical movement, who define themselves as Christian Zionists. National religious rabbis and politicians connect with these preachers, including those who spread the belief in the need for another Holocaust of the Jews in order to ensure the resurrection of Jesus. These rabbis and politicians accept donations from these preachers. It is mystifying that people from Israel’s ruling party, Likud, foremost among them Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon and World Likud Chairman Danny Danon, have joined the circle of Beck’s fans. So has Atzmaut MK Einat Wilf.

Anti-Semitism is a hatred of Jews for them being Jews, and only for being Jews, not for what they do or how they act as individuals, or act even as a group or part of a group. No group is above criticism for what they do. Especially when they ethnically cleanse populations, destroy 531 villages, massacre civilians, rape, illegally confiscate property without compensation to the deeded land owners, illegally confiscate bank accounts, bulldoze houses, use targeted assassinations to extra-judicially kill their political opponents, steal nuclear material, (( “Israel stole uranium from U.S., report will show,” by Kristin Dailey, Daily Star (Lebanon), December 05, 2011. )) repeatedly invade neighbouring countries and impose since 1967 an illegal military occupation, and build “Jewish only settlements” and “Jewish only roads” in what the World Court, the United Nations, numerous human rights organizations and virtually every country in the World says is illegal activity. ((The ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, as well as the massacres, rapes and illegal confiscation of Palestinian property, is well documented by Israeli historians. Books published on the expulsion of the Palestinians by Israelis include Tom Segev, 1949. The First Israelis, (New York: Free Press MacMillan, 1986); Simcha Flapan, The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities (New York: Pantheon Books, 1987); Benny Morris, The birth of the Palestinian refugee problem 1947-1949, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987); Avi Schlaim, Collusion across the Jordan: King Abdullah, the Zionist Movement and the Partition of Palestine, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988); Nur Masalha, Expulsion of the Palestinians, (Washington D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1992); Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, Original Sins, (New York: Olive Branch Press, 1993); and Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2006). There are many more Israeli authorities that confirm the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in 1947-1949 and again in 1967. ))

Here is an Israeli newspaper article on a dissertation that studied the historical record on the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from Israel. Many supporters of Israel vehemently deny that Israel played any role in the expulsion of the Palestinians, or what the Palestinians call the Nakba, or “Catastrophe.” The results of the study will surprise many ardent Zionists:

A major study by Rafi Nets-Zehngut of Hebrew University’s Leonard Davis Institute shows that more of the Israeli mainstream than previously thought has adopted the critical approach on 1948. Nets-Zehngut contends that this trend preceded the advent of New Historians like Tom Segev and Benny Morris by several years. The study (Nets-Zehngut’s doctoral thesis ) is based on roughly a hundred interviews and more than a thousand publications released over 56 years by the research community, veterans of the 1948 war, media outlets, NGOs and state agencies (including the Education Ministry and the Israel Defense Forces ).

The study argues that by the end of the 1970s, most media and scholarly articles in Israel used the critical approach. Virtually all newspaper articles and research studies from the end of the 1980s to 2004 referred to the critical narrative on the Palestinian exodus.

The same is true in about a third of books written by veterans of the 1948 battles. A survey of “Zionist” memoirs published by 1948 veterans between 1949 and 2004 shows that many writers — for instance, Mula Cohen, Nahum Golan and Moshe Carmel — who formerly expressed a strictly Zionist narrative began to develop the critical narrative toward the end of the 1970s. A similar transformation can be seen among scholarly researchers like Netanel Lorch.

Zehngut’s study shows that significant critical research on the Palestinian exodus was undertaken by Jewish scholars outside Israel in the 1950s, three decades before the emergence of the New Historians. In effect, this early use of the critical narrative led to the declassification of archival materials, the sources that were then used in books by Segev, Morris and others.

The study refutes the widespread claim that until the 1980s the Jewish-Israeli media were entirely beholden to the Zionist narrative. The paper shows that the vast majority of studies recognized that Israel had expelled Palestinians in 1948. (( “A softer touch on the Nakba,” by Akiva Eldar, Haaretz, January 24, 2012.))

According to a report drawn up by the Israeli government in 1952, Israel had succeeded in expropriating from the Palestinians 73,000 rooms in abandoned houses, 7,800 shops, workshops and warehouses, 5 million Palestinian pounds in bank accounts, and — most important of all — 300,000 hectares of land. ((Simha Flapan, The Birth of Israel, Myth and Realities, (New York: Pantheon Books, 1987), p. 107; see also Michael R. Fischbach, Records of Dispossession: Palestinian Refugee Property and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, (New York and Chichester: Columbia University Press, 2003).))

If the Palestinians, or their supporters, complain about the well-documented facts surrounding the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, losing their property to which they had legal title to, losing their personal belongings and even their bank accounts they are called anti-Semitic. Palestinians who tried to return to their homes or to harvest the crops’ they planted were termed “infiltrators” and shot on sight.

Benny Morris, a prominent Israeli historian, documented that around 400 Palestinian infiltrators were killed by Israeli Security Forces each year in 1951, 1952 and 1953. A similar number and probably far more were killed in 1950. One thousand or more Palestinians trying to return to their homes were killed in 1949. At least 100 were killed during 1954-6. In total upward of 2,700 and possibly as many as 5,000 Palestinian infiltrators were killed by the IDF, police, and civilians along Israel’s borders between 1949 and 1956. In all probability the majority of those killed were unarmed ‘economic’ and social infiltrators, i.e., Palestinians trying to return to their homes or try to harvest their crops. ((Benny Morris, Israel’s Border Wars, 1949–1956: Arab Infiltration, Israeli Retaliation and the Countdown to the Suez War, (Clarendon Pressm, 1997), p. 147.))

No country, or people, has an exemption from criticism for such acts. This is a universal principle that protects all people including Jews, Palestinians, and everyone else.

Many anti-Semites, including many Nazis, were Zionists who wanted to expel the Jews from Europe and send them to Palestine. ((Brenner, p. 86-89)) For example Alfred Rosenberg, the Nazis Minister for the Eastern Territories was Hitler’s favourite theoretician. Rosenberg argued that ‘Zionism must be vigorously supported in order to encourage a significant number of German Jews to leave for Palestine or other destinations.’ ((Francis Nicosia, The Third Reich and the Palestine Question, (I.B. Tauris, London, 1985), p. 25.)) Rosenberg was fond of citing the Zionists’ own arguments that the Jews were a separate people. He took this as ‘a clear affirmation that all Jews were aliens in Germany…’ ‘Rosenberg’s argument that the Zionist movement could be utilized to promote the political, social and cultural segregation of Jews in Germany, as well as their emigration, was eventually transformed into policy by the Hitler regime after 1933.’ ((Francis Nicosia, p. 70.))

Arthur James Balfour who’s written statement, “The Balfour Declaration,” “committed” the British Empire to support the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine provided “it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

Just about everyone who cites with approval the first part of the Balfour Declaration ignores the last two promises. Arthur James Balfour was also an anti-Semite. Here is an excerpt from an article written by Lamis Andoni:

Balfour was a known anti-Semite who as prime minister supported and pushed for the 1905 Aliens Act that sought to curb Eastern European, particularly Jewish, immigration to Britain.

Over the years, he grew convinced that Zionism – the movement that advocated the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine – offered a convenient solution to the ‘Jewish problem’. Like other anti-Semites he did not believe that Jews belonged in Europe and felt that they comprised a separate race and religion that could not live in harmony within their countries of residence.

He expressed these views clearly in an introduction he wrote to a book called History of Zionism by Nahum Sokolow. Calling on Europeans to support Zionism, Balfour wrote: “For as I read its meaning it is, among other things, a serious endeavour to mitigate the age-long miseries created for Western civilization by the presence in its midst of a body which it too long regarded as alien and even hostile, but which it was equally unable to expel or to absorb. Surely, for this if for no other reason it should receive our support.”

While many Jews sought assimilation, and equality the Zionist movement established by Theodore Herzl sought a separate entity for the Jews. It did not see the Jewish problem as one of segregation and discrimination that could be addressed through a struggle for universal rights but sought a more radical solution – to take Jews out of Europe. (( “From Balfour to Obama: The dominant imperial power may have changed but treatment of the Palestinians remains much the same,” by Lamis Andoni, Al-jazeera, November 6, 2010.))

In the 1905 debate in the House of Commons over the Aliens Act then British Prime Minister Balfour made the following statement: “the undoubted evils that had fallen upon the country from an immigration which was largely Jewish.” ((Hansard. 10. 7. 1905, cited in “Anti-Semitism and its Zionist Shadow,” by Tony Greenstein, (Palestine Solidarity Campaign, 1987), p. 32.))

Balfour, the Anti-Semite, is of course a hero to the Zionists:

Even today, the headquarters of the British Zionist Federation, Balfour House, is named after Arthur James Balfour, the anti-semite who introduced the 1905 Aliens Act to keep Jews out of Britain. Contrary to the accusation that anti-Zionism and anti-semitism are one and the same thing, it is Zionism and anti-semitism that share the belief that Jews are strangers in the lands they were born and brought up in. (( “The seamy side of solidarity,” by Tony Greenstein, The Guardian, February 19, 2007.))

The only Jewish member of Lloyd George’s cabinet when Great Britain first threw its weight behind Zionism in 1917, Sir Edwin Montagu, was adamantly opposed to the creation of a Jewish state. He attacked the Balfour Declaration and Zionism because he believed they were anti-Semitic. Montagu argued in his Memorandum, “The anti-Semitism of the Present Government,” that Zionism and Anti-Semitism were based on the same premise, namely that Jews and non-Jews could not co-exist.

Greenstein summarizes the opposition of Britain’s Jewish community to the Balfour Declaration as follows:

On November 2, 1917 the Balfour Declaration was issued which promised the rights of colonisation under British Mandate to the Zionists. There was a vigorous rearguard action fought by the leaders of British Jewry, including the sole Jewish member of the Lloyd George Cabinet, Edwin Montagu, against the Declaration. In a letter to The Times, David Alexander and Claude Montefiore of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Conjoint Foreign Committee wrote: (24. 5. 17):

A Jewish political nationality was an anachronism … (it would) compromise the Jews wherever they had secured equal rights for all. ((Walter Lacquer, A History of Zionism, (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1972, New York), p. 194. See also Leonard Stein, The Balfour Declaration, (Weidenfeld & Nicholson) p. 442-461 cited in “Anti-Semitism and its Zionist Shadow,” by Tony Greenstein, (Palestine Solidarity Committee, 1987), p. 22.))

Lenni Brenner, a Marxist Jewish Historian, writes extensively about the link between Zionism and anti-Semitism:

… Arthur Balfour, who, as Prime Minister, had spoken against Jewish immigration, in 1905. Weizmann knew the full extent of Balfour’s anti-semitism, as he had unburdened himself of his philosophy to the Zionist on 12 December 1914. In a private letter, Weizmann wrote: “He told me how he had once had a long talk with Cosima Wagner at Bayreuth and that he shared many of her anti-Semitic postulates.” ((Brenner, Zionism in the Age of Dictators, citing Meyer Weisgal (ed.), The Letters and Papers of Chaim Weizmann, Letters, vol. VII p. 81. After the Holocaust Weizmann could not reveal the anti-Semitism of Zionism’s great patron. He changed the record in Trial and Error: “Mr Balfour mentioned that, two years before, he had been in Bayreuth, and that he had talked with Frau Cosima Wagner, the widow of the composer, who had raised the subject of the Jews. I interrupted Mr Balfour …” ((Brenner, citing Meyer Weisgal (ed.), The Letters and Papers of Chaim Weizmann Letters, vol. VII p. 81. After the Holocaust Weizmann could not reveal the anti-Semitism of Zionism’s great patron. He changed the record in Trial and Error: “Mr Balfour mentioned that, two years before, he had been in Bayreuth, and that he had talked with Frau Cosima Wagner, the widow of the composer, who had raised the subject of the Jews. I interrupted Mr Balfour …” (p.153).))

Zionism is a political ideology and is not the same thing as Judaism or being Jewish. They are very different. Judaism has existed for thousands of years as a religion. Political Zionism, as espoused by Herzl, has only existed since the 1890’s. Anti-Semitism has many similarities to Zionism as it is based on the separation of Jews and non-Jews. And many Zionists are in fact Anti-Semites and want to get rid of the Jews from their country and send them to Palestine.

It could be argued that Zionism and Anti-Semitism are the opposite sides of the same coin. As I have said before I want Jews to be safe in their countries of citizenship and all other countries. I also want the same for the Palestinians and every other people in the World.

Edward C. Corrigan is a Barrister and Solicitor and has been active in political matters for more than 40 years. He has a degree in History and a Master’s degree in Political Science. He has published extensively on legal and political matters. In 2000-2003 he served as an elected member of London, Ontario, Canada’s City Council. Read other articles by Edward, or visit Edward's website.