Large Banner Ad
Small Banner Ad

February 17, 2013

Zionism and Anti-Semitism - Part II

Edward C. Corrigan

More by this author...


(cont'd from Part I )

Historically throughout the Arab and Muslim world while there  were some problems there is virtually no history of Antisemitism 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.”[31]

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.”[32]

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-Muslim enmity.”[33]

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.”[34]

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.[35] 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.[36] 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.”[37]

Ella Shohat, who describes herself as an Arab Jew, has published an article titled “Sephardim in Israel: Zionism from the Standpoint of its Jewish Victims.” The article was originally published in Social Text in 1988 and reproduced in Prophets Outcast, Edited by Adam Shatz.[38] Shohat 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.

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.[39]  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.[40]

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.[41] 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.[42] 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.”[43]

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.[44]

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.[45]

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!”[46]

At a Jewish forum in New York City, November 5, 2003, George Soros, the renowned financier and philanthropist and supporter of many progressive causes suggested a connection between the resurgence of Antisemitism 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."[47]

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.[48]

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 antisemitic 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.

Antisemitism 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.[49]

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.[50] Religious Jews opposed Zionism because they saw it as Antisemitic and that its aim was to transform Judaism from being a religion to a secular national identity based on ethnicity or race.[51] Herzl was an atheist and was called Antisemitic because of his hatred of Orthodox religious Jews.[52]

Lenni Brenner, in his book Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, provides documentation of the antisemitic 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.[53]

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.[54]

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.[55]

Stephen Lendman also cites Antisemitic 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.”[56]

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.’[57]

Many Zionists are antisemitic. 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 and published on Mondoweiss on January 23, 2012:

   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 anyone 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.[58]

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.[59]

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.[60]

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.[61]

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.[62]

Antisemitism 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, bull doze houses, use targeted assassinations to extrajudicially kill their political opponents, steal nuclear material,[63] 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.[64]

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.[65]

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.[66]

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.[67]

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.[68]  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.’[69]  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.’[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."[71]

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.[72]

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.[73]

Balfour, the anti-Semite, is of course a hero to the Zionists.  As Tony Greenstein observes,

   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.[74]

   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 antisemitic. Montagu argued in his Memorandum, “The anti-Semitism of the Present Government,” that Zionism and Antisemitism were based on the same premise, namely that Jews and non-Jews could not co-exist.[75]

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.[76]

Lenni Brenner, a Marxist Jewish Historian, writes extensively about the link between Zionism and anti-Semitism. Here is an excerpt from his book Zionism in the Age of Dictators:

   ...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.”[77]

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. Antisemitism 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 Antisemitism 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.


[31] 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.

[32]  “Review: Mrs. Peters's Palestine,” by Yehoshua Porath, The New York Review of Books, Volume 32, Number 21 & 22  January 16, 1986. Porath cites  Bernard Lewis's The Jews of Islam (Princeton University Press) in support of his argument.

[33] “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. Vol. 1, 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).

[34] Quoted in Ibid., p. 8.

[35]  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., pp. 126-133. Also see Naeim Giladi, Ben-Gurion’s Scandals: How the Haganah and The Mossad Eliminated Jews, (Dandelion Books, Tempe, Arizona, 2003).

[36] Roberta Strauss Feuerlicht, The Fate of the Jews, (New York: Times Books, 1983), pp. 230-232.

[37] Marion Woolfson, "Prophets in Babylon, (London: Faber and Faber, 1980), pp. 15-17.

[38] 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), pp. 227-322.

[39] Ibid., pp. 280-286.

[40] Ibid., p. 307

[41] Ibid., p. 287.

[42] Ibid., p. 291.

[43] Ibid., 292.

[44]The blinding power of Israel’s closed information environment,” by Lawrence Davidson, Redress, 27 October, 2011.

[45] “Iranian Jews Say No to Zionist Incentives,” Di Tzeitung, Guardian, August 15, 2007. See also “Iranian Jews slam 'emigrant stunt'”, CNN December 26, 2007.; and also "What Iran’s Jews Say," by Roger Cohen, New York Times, February 22, 2009. ; and “25,000 Jews live in Iran,” by Mike Whitney, Information Clearing House, August 17, 2010.

[46] “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.

[47] “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.

[48] George Soros, "On Israel, America and AIPAC," New York Review of Books, April 12, 2007. Retrieved February 20, 2012.

[49] “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.

[50]  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

[51] See The Transformation: The Case of the Neturei Karta, 2nd Edition (NY: Hachomo, 1989).

[52] 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, pp. 98-103.

  1.   alternate link.

[53] Lenni Brenner, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, (London: Croom Helm, 1983), p. 34.

[54] Ibid., p. 22-23.

[55] 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.

[56] “Jews Against Zionism,” by Stephen Lendman, Oped News, December 7, 2009.

[57] Diaries of Theodor Herzl, pp. 83-84.

[58] “Why Christian Zionism is nothing short of outright heresy,” by Craig Nielsen, Mondoweiss, January 23, 2012:

[59] "The 'invented people' stand little chance,” by Robert Fisk, The 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.

[60] “Christian Zionism and American Foreign Policy: Paving the Road to Hell in Palestine,” by Lawrence Davidson published in Logos Journal, Logos 4.1-winter 2005:

[61] “Our eyewitness report on Christians United for Israel's annual Washington conference,” Special to, July 29, 2011.

[62] “The extreme Israeli right's alliance with lunatics, “Haaretz Editorial, Haaretz, August 25, 2011.

[63] “Israel stole uranium from U.S., report will show,” by Kristin Dailey, The Daily Star (Lebanon), December 05, 2011.

[64] 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.

[65] "A softer touch on the Nakba," by Akiva Eldar, Haaretz, January 24, 2012.

[66] 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).

[67] Benny Morris, Israel's Border Wars, 1949–1956: Arab Infiltration, Israeli Retaliation and the Countdown to the Suez War, (Clarendon Press, 1997), p. 147.

[68] Op Cit., Lenni Brenner, Zionism in the Age of Dictators, (Croom Helm: London, 1983), pp. 86-89

[69] Francis Nicosia, The Third Reich and the Palestine Question, (I.B. Tauris, London, 1985), p. 25.

[70] Ibid., p.70.

[71] See Balfour Declaration at

[72] “From Balfour to Obama: The dominant imperial power may have changed but treatment of the Palestinians remains much the same,” by Lamis Andoni, Aljazeera, November 6, 2010.

[73] Hansard. 10. 7. 1905, cited in “Anti-Semitism and its Zionist Shadow,” by Tony Greenstein, (Palestine Solidarity Campaign, 1987) at p. 32.

[74] Op Cit., "The seamy side of solidarity," by Tony Greenstein, The Guardian, Comment is free, February 19, 2007.

[75] Link to Montague’s Memorandum, “The anti-Semitism of the Present Government,”

[76] 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) at  p. 22.

[77] Brenner, Op Cit, 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 ...” (p.153).

  • Think green before you print
  • Respond to the editor
  • Email
  • Delicious
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • StumbleUpon
Subscribe to the E-bulletin

M. Elmasry

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel