By John O’Mahony
A. For socialists in Britain, what are the most important political issues in relation to the situation in the Middle East after the Israeli-Hizbullah war?
B. • To oppose any American-British attack on Iran.
• To give solidarity to the beleagured Iraqi workers’ movement, and those fighting for secularism and women’s rights in Iraq.
• To reject and oppose both Jewish and Arab chauvinist approaches to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
• To oppose and fight the Islamophobia that threatens all Muslims, and those who “look like” Muslims, with victimisation by the state and by private racists, for the crimes of the clerical-fascist terrorists of “political Islam”.
• To demand Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied Territories.
• To support those in Israel who oppose the occupation, and those who refuse to serve in the Israeli army in the Occupied Territories or in Lebanon.
• To demand justice for the Palestinian nation — their immediate right to set up an independent Palestinian state, side by side with Israel, and the provision of sufficient compensation and aid to allow the Palestinians, who now live in Third World conditions side by side with First World Israel, a chance to develop their society.
• To argue for an overall settlement, a “historic compromise”, between the surrounding Arab world and Israel.
• To champion Jewish and Arab working-class unity in the area, on the only possible basis, namely, mutual recognition of both nations’ rights.
For the Israeli Jewish working class, that, essentially, means recognising and championing the rights of the Palestinians, including their right to an independent state, in contiguous territory, of their own.
For the Arab working class, which is potentially the strongest force in the Middle East, it means to break from the Arab and Muslim chauvinism which ties them to their ruling classes and their priests, and champion the right of the Jewish nation to have its own state, Israel.
• In pursuit of that, to speak in the British labour movement and on the left for historical knowledge and understanding of how the situation in the Middle East came to be what it is, as a necessary part of an international socialist approach to the question. The demonisation of Israel on so much of the left is in the first place a historical demonisation (which, in its entirety, the present “left” has taken over from Stalinism. See the AWL pamphlet, Two Nations, Two States.)
• To back the representatives of labour movements, democracy, secularism, feminism, advocates of the rights of the human being and of the citizen established in the great bourgeois revolutions in Europe over the last four centuries.
• To oppose those in the labour movement and on the pseudo-left who glorify, excuse, identify with and make rationalising excuses for Islamic clerical-fascist forces, or the terrorism of some of them (which in the first place is directed against secularists, nascent labour movements, women, feminists, gays, etc., etc., in Muslim countries and in Muslim communities in countries like Britain.)
• To denounce and fight in the British labour movement the rampant vicarious Arab and Muslim chauvinism which now pollutes the “left”, especially the “revolutionary left” and those in the labour movement whom it influences.
• To combat the demonisation of Israel and “the Zionists” as a uniquely bad and vicious state by Arab and Islamic chauvinists, or those who adapt to and parrot them.
• To patiently explain in the labour movement that this demonisation is a form of anti-semitism which gives new political form — “anti-Zionist”, “anti-imperialist” — to the traditional European hostility to Jews.
• To fight anti-semitism expressed openly or covertly in the form of denying Israel’s right to exist, that is as “absolute anti-Zionism”.
• We advocate progressive anti-capitalism and anti-imperialism and support progressive anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist forces.
• To refuse any political support to the forces of Islamist clerical-fascism, or, in Iraq, to the Sunni-supremicists of the Iraqi “resistance”.
• We argue for rational working class politics in general, and specifically, in relation to the Middle East; we oppose the reactionary anti-imperialism of the kitsch-left, and that left’s tendency to merge itself politically with clerical fascism and other forms of political reaction and social regression.
A. But the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is the crux of the matter? And support for the Palestinians’ struggle for an independent Palestinian state comes first?
B. Yes which is why we are going to spend the rest of the time discussing these issues!
Always in the first place is support for the oppressed. Those who refuse to do that inevitably help the oppressor. The Irish socialist James Connolly rightly said: “To side with the strong against the weak is the virtue of the slave”.
But that does not mean mimicking the political parties of the oppressed. We have our own political programme; we make our own political analyses. Our approach to such political formations, with which we have specific limited agreement is that formulated by Marx: “strike together, march seperately.”
We also have to keep an overview. The right of Israel to exist and defend itself is not formally accepted even by most Arab states. The Islamist clerical-fascist organisations glory in their intention to destroy Israel. Fatah accepts it, but Hamas does not.
A. Hamas has shifted under pressure: it is willing to accept Israel’s de facto right to exist.
B. As something that has to be accepted now because they are not yet strong enough to challenge it. That is still the position of all the Arab states, except for Egypt and Jordan, though the Arab league has expressed a willingness to recognise Israel as part of a comprehensive settlement.
A. To get back to the point: how can the Jews have rights in Palestine? What is now called “Israel” was stolen from the Arabs. As the placards of the “Stop the War Coalition” people say: “...from the river to the sea”.
B. The pro-Islamist war “Stop the War” people, you mean? Some of them reduce it to shorthand and code: “Free Palestine”! This account of what happened has more to it of one-sided Arab, or western anti-Jewish, propaganda than of history.
There was always, over the centuries, a Jewish minority in Palestine. For example, in 1900, before serious Jewish immigration began, there was a Jewish majority in Jerusalem. (Similarly, 60 years ago, Jews were perhaps 40% of the population of Iraq’s capital, Baghdad. They and their descendants are now mainly in Israel)
Take the story from 1900. What is now Israel-Palestine was part of the Turkish Empire. All the Arab lands of the Middle East except Egypt were part of that great, sprawling, backward Islamic Empire, loosely ruled from Istanbul. “Palestine” was “South Syria”.
Nations are formed by history. A Palestinian nation, distinct from other Arabs, was formed only in the 20th century. It was heavily shaped by Arab interaction with the Jewish colonists. In fact, not only Jewish colonists moved into Palestine. At least 40,000 Arabs migrated into Palestine between 1922 and 1945, drawn there from the surrounding territories by the increased economic life resulting from the Zionist colonisation.
Why did Jews come at all? Much of present-day Israel was then a semi-wilderness. Tel Aviv was built on a former swamp. Where did Zionism come from?
Modern Zionism began at the end of the 19th century as a response to a growth of anti-Semitism in Europe. That convinced Theodore Herzl and others that Jews would never be secure until they had their own state. A movement to persuade Jews to colonise their biblical homeland was founded. It had only very limited success. Very few Jews wanted to uproot themselves and go pioneering in the wilderness. When persecution and systematic harassment of Jews in Tsarist Russia intensified, most of those who fled moved west, to Western Europe and America, not to Palestine.
It would take half a century of increasingly lethal anti-semitism in Europe to convert a large number of Jews to Zionism and persuade them to go to Palestine. It would also take the closing-off of all possible alternatives.
By the time Hitler came to power in Germany, in 1933, the USA no longer allowed free immigration (since 1924), and European states would let in only a trickle of Jews. Increasingly the “Zionists” who went to Palestine were refugees from persecution who had nowhere else to go.
By the late 1930s and in the early 1940s, Jews going from Europe to Palestine were literally fleeing for their lives. In the early 1940s, in the middle of the war, whole boatloads of Jewish refugees drowned when they attempted the journey in unseaworthy craft, desperate to escape the Nazi death trap that Europe had become for them.
In this way the Jewish national minority in Palestine was augmented by an increasing migration of desperate people.
A. You forget imperialism! Didn’t British imperialism sponsor the Jewish occupation of Arab land, and help them drive out the Arabs? Zionism was an ally and stooge of Imperialism!
B. It is a much more complicated story than myth, or the kitsch-Trotskyist left has it. To begin with the end of that chapter: in the 1948 war British imperialism — and British officers of the invading Arab armies — was on the other side, against the Jewish independence fighters resisting a multi-state Arab invasion. Britain had sealed the gates of Palestine to Jews just as the Nazi mass-murder of Jews was about to start, and, in deference to Arab opinion, kept those doors barred all through the Second World War, and the Holocaust.
In late 1917, a British Secretary of State, Arthur Balfour, wrote a letter to the Zionist leader Chaim Weissman pledging British support for the establishment of a “Jewish homeland”.
Simultaneously Britain promised to support independence for the Arabs.
At the end of the war, British and France partitioned the Arab part of the collapsed Turkish Empire into more or less artificial states. France controlled Syria and Lebanon. Britain gained Transjordan (now Jordan), Iraq, Palestine, and influence in Saudi Arabia. It already had Egypt as a protectorate, since 1882.
From the beginning, sections of the British ruling class had second thoughts about the “Jewish homeland”. The oil riches of the Arab lands were beginning to be developed by British capital, and counted for much more than promises to the Jews. In Palestine, anti-Jewish riots erupted in 1919. Britain would spend the next two decades trying to square commitment to the “Jewish homeland” with placating the Arab parts of its Middle East empire.
In 1930, the Labour Colonial Secretary, Lord Passfield (the Fabian, Sydney Webb), made tentative efforts to halt Jewish migration to Palestine. In 1937, a British investigation into new Jewish-Arab clashes, the Peel Commission, recommended the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab territories. The Zionists accepted the idea; the Arabs rejected it.
In 1939, in an effort to placatet Arab attitudes, which the Nazis could use against Britain in World War Two, as Britain had used the Arabs against the Turks in the First World War, Britain decided to end all Jewish immigration within five years, and to limit it to 75,000 over those five years.
It was the eve of the mass slaughter of Europe’s Jews, in which two out of every three Jews in Europe would perish. From 1939 onwards, Britain rigidly policed access to Palestine against Jews fleeing for their lives, refusing entry to boatloads of Jews who got to the coast and locking up would-be illegal immigrants in internment camps. It continued to do that up to the last moments of its power in Palestine, in 1948.
Marxists had warned Jewish workers against the Zionist project, telling them that they were foolish to place their trust in an alliance with imperialism. Even they could not imagined the spectacular treachery to its Zionist “ally”, which the British Empire would thus commit: Britain helped corral the Jews of Europe for Hitler's butchery.
A. But without British rule in Palestine in the 1920s and 30s, there would have been no Jewish immigration. An independent Arab state would not have allowed it.
B. True. And then some additional hundreds of thousands of European Jews would probably have died in the Holocaust. But socialists are in favour of free immigration, aren’t we? Those who denounce the entry over two decades of 341,000 Jews, many fleeing for their lives, who built up their own economy and society in parallel to that of the Arabs, now advocate the mass, collective resettlement (“right of return”) of 3.8 million Palestinians in present-day Israel. They back the destruction of Israel by Arab states, if it will not accept that “return”. Such are the double standards that result from the demonisation of Israel and the replacement of real history with Arab chauvinist and anti-semitic myths.
Both the Communist International of the 1920s, and the Trotskyists, supported free Jewish migration into Palestine as into other countries, though they opposed the Zionist project and British imperialism in Palestine.
A. The Jews evicted the Arabs from their land, as the first step towards driving them out altogether.
B. Here it is difficult to trace the truth on terrain dominated by Zionist heroic myths of nation-building on one side, and Arab “blameless victim” myths on the other.
The most important of the Zionist colonists were utopian socialists, determined to be neither exploiter nor exploited. They set up communistic agrarian communities, kibbutzim. They did not seize the land from the Arabs. They bought land from Arab landlords, at very high prices, reclaimed wasteland, and drained swamps. The Zionists built up their own society in parallel with the Arab society they found there.
Zionist colonists drove Arab peasants off land, which they had bought over the peasants’ heads from their Arab feudal overlords. Socialists are not in favour of anyone being evicted to make way for somebody else; however, the fact of evictions tells us not that the Zionists were especially evil but that it was a bourgeois and feudal, not socialist, world.
In the whole 60 years before 1948, only some thousands, not hundreds of thousands, or tens of thousands, of Arab families were evicted following land sales to Jews. Those who in their capacity as landlords privately sold the land often then publicly, in their capacity as traditional aristocratic and religious leaders, agitated against the Jewish infidel invaders, inflating the peasants’ alarm and raising land prices.
Arab-Jewish conflict had many dimensions. No doubt there was white European arrogance among the Jewish settlers. There was a very powerful cultural conflict between traditional Arab society and the Zionist utopian socialists — people rooted in modern European culture, often atheists hostile to all religion and certainly, in the eyes of Muslims, infidels. The freer ways and short pants of the kibbutz women caused particular scandal and outrage.
It is a myth that there was no anti-Jewish prejudice in the Arab countries before Zionism. Jews were tolerated there, as they often were not in Europe — but as inferior subjects, paying special taxes. Conventional Arab and Muslim resentment at Jews who were not subservient was part of the conflict, too — attitudes expressed in such slogans as “the Jews are our dogs”.
Overall, the anti-Jewish movement was communalist, traditionalist and pogromist. The first big anti-Jewish movement in Palestine, in 1929, included the massacre of 60 teachers and students at a non-political traditionalist Jewish college in Hebron. It was not anti-imperialist, but avowedly pro-British; one of its mobilising slogans to get Arabs to attack Jews was “the British are with us”.
The Palestinian leaders were thoroughgoing reactionaries. The top leader, Haj Amin al-Husseini, went to Europe in World War Two and tried to raise a Muslim army in Bosnia to fight for the Nazis.
A. What do you expect the Palestinians to do? Welcome the Jews?
B. Well, yes! What do you expect “us” to do, faced with invasion by people alien in race, culture and religion, taking over whole areas of “our cities” Asians are, or soon will be, the majority in that fine British city, Leicester. Why shouldn’t “we” find that intolerable? You hear arguments like that, arguments from xenophobia, bigotry, cultural intolerance and ignorant scapegoating, but not usually from people calling themselves socialists, or even liberals.
A. Yes, but the Zionists were part of a white European movement for colonising and exploiting and ultimately displacing the existing population.
B. They were a movement of European people to make a homeland. Their unique characteristic, among white colonisers, is that they did not have the power and wealth of a “home-country” state behind them; and that they neither exploited the labour of the indigenous population, nor sought to exterminate them. They built up a self-contained Jewish society, most of it on previously unused land.
When a right-wing “revisionist” Zionist movement emerged in the 1920s, led by Vladimir Jabotinsky and insisting on an explicitly hostile attitude to the Arabs, it was repudiated by the mainstream Zionists.
The development of the Palestinian Jewish community’s relationship with the Arabs was not predetermined by the mere fact of the Jews wanting to settle there. And their wanting to settle there was not primarily a matter of Europeans wanting to exploit a less-developed land. By the time of the decisive influx of Jews, Palestine was the only place on earth that any sizeable numbers of such people could go to. Why did the existing Jewish national minority in Palestine not have the right to receive those it considered its own who were fleeing for their lives?
Of course the Palestinian Arabs had a right to defend their interests. Between the Jews and Arabs in Palestine, it was a conflict of right against right. It might have been resolved by adjustment and compromise. In fact it has been played out and made worse by war, and not by choice of the Jews alone.
A. The Arabs wound up being driven out in 1947-8. Millions of Palestinians were driven out. It is a unique event in modern history. That is why Israel is rightly regarded as a uniquely evil state.
B. Today we see the obscenity of an Israeli state with immense military power trampling on the Palestinians, and recently, the Lebanese. It is utterly misleading to read that balance back onto the events of 1947-9. Militarily the Israelis started as the underdogs.
Israel was created as a result of a United Nations resolution in November 1947, which also provided for the creation of a Palestinian Arab state alongside it. Guerrilla war started between Jews and Arabs. On 14 May 1948 Israel proclaimed itself as a state. On 15 May, four Arab states attacked it, with the stated aim of “driving the Jews into the sea”.
The big capitalist powers, including the USA, imposed an arms embargo calculated to favour the Arabs’ established and already-equipped armies against the Jews, who were hastily constructing an army out of community militias.
The Arab attack was to a considerable extent fomented by Britain, which was still the dominant power in Egypt, Iraq and Jordan. Some of the invading armies were led by British officers. Britain expected that the Jewish forces would collapse and it could return to occupy Palestine as a “peacekeeper”, separating Jews and Arabs.
But Israel did not collapse. It was able to nullify the embargo by smuggling and by imports from Stalinist Czechoslovakia. (Stalin wanted to make mischief for Britain and its Arab client states). Israel won the war and gained new territory.
Not millions, but perhaps 750,000, Arabs were driven out or fled during the war. The millions of Palestinian “refugees” today, over half a century later, are children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of that 750,000. “Refugee” here is a political designation.
And it is only half the picture. In the years following the 1948 war, perhaps 600,000 Jews fled from or were driven out of Arab countries and settled in Israel. Their numerous children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are citizens of Israel. In the eyes of vicarious Arab chauvinists on the pseudo-left, these “refugees” are among those who are not entitled to national rights in Israel!
A. Does saying this mean justifying the displacement of the Palestinian Arabs in 1947-8?
B. No! If international socialists had had the military forces on the ground, we would have defended both Arab and Jewish communities from military aggression. We can’t hope to go back into history to do that. We have a responsibility to see history whole, not to be demonisers and revanchist propagandists.
A. But many of the Palestinian refugees still live in refugee camps.
B. It is indeed horrible that so many human beings remain in conditions where they can plausibly be called refugees. To blame only Israel for that, however, is to let the Arab ruling classes off the hook. The Arab ruling classes have refused to absorb and integrate the Palestinian refugees, denying them the right to become citizens, or sometimes even to get jobs, in other Arab countries. Remember: it was Egypt and Jordan that snuffed out the Palestinian state promised by the 1947 UN decision; and the most spectacular massacres of the Palestinians have been committed by Jordan (September 1970), by Syria in Lebanon (mid-1970s), and by Christian Arab Lebanese (1982).
A. So long as the Arab refugees are denied the right to return home, Israel can have no right to exist.
B. So long as the Arab refugees continue to have to live as refugees, Israel will surely not have a peaceful existence. Their plight must be remedied as part of a comprehensive settlement of the prolonged national conflict.
A. Look at what the Israeli army has been doing in Lebanon and the West Bank! If their attitude to the Palestinians is not that of a “master race”, what is it?
B. It is the attitude of people driven to desperation who also have immense military power compared to the Palestinians.
Compare Yugoslavia. Before it broke down, a big majority across its peoples favoured the maintenance of the Yugoslav federation. They had some inkling of what its dissolution would mean.
In fact what happened was determined not by the reasonable majority, but by the chauvinists of the various nationalities, who were originally in a minority. If people will kill you for the ethnic identity, skin colour, or nationality, then you are driven back into your own group for self-defence. You will think in terms of that group, of its defence and your own. You will have no choice. You will begin to think of the “others”, whose chauvinists are gunning for you, as a bloc... This creates and holds together blocs on both sides. It breeds chauvinism and ethnic hatred…
In this way the chauvinists set the pace, control events, destroy more reasonable and — in a poll before the breakdown — more widely accepted common arrangements.
That is what you have had in Israel-Palestine since the breakdown of the peace talks in 2000, the second inifada, and lately, the Lebanon war. The suicide bombers after 2000 created a tremendous bloc behind Sharon and then Olmert. After 2000 Israel forced all the Palestinians behind the warriors against Israel, and tended to force them behind the most militant warriors, the suicide-bombers.In Lebanon, and way beyond it, relative success against Israel boosts Hizbollah…
A. Too even-handed! There are not two equally-matched sides here.
B. Nor were there in Yugoslavia. We could side with the smaller nationalities against Milosevic’s drive for a Greater Serbia, and at the same time explain the two-sided spiral of chauvinism.
To try to understand and explain Israeli reactions is not to be an apologist for them. To understand and explain nothing except that Israel is uniquely vicious and evil has you starting with humanitarian outrage against Israeli atrocities in the West Bank and ending with support for suicide bombings against Israeli kids in a disco and advocating the destruction of the entire Israeli Jewish nation.
A. The Palestinians are fighting for their liberation and the Israelis are colonial oppressors.
B. Yes, but again it is not quite so simple. The pioneers in suicide-bombing, and its most effective practitioners, like Hamas,and in Lebanon, Hizbollah fight not for Palestinian liberation alone but to destroy Israel. There is a connection between their politics and their tactics. Israel does not have the right to exist, and neither do Jews.
In a plain war of liberation, socialists would need to say little more about the suicide bombings than that they would end if the oppressor state would just get out. Israel should indeed get out of the Occupied Territories. But the Israelis have no guarantee that withdrawal would end attacks. They respond accordingly. They respond as nationalists… That is how decent Israelis, who want peace and a just settlement with the Palestinians, came to back Sharon’s, and then Olmert’s brutal militarism.
A. Why should socialists bother about Israel’s rights? Israel is in no danger of being overrun, and the Palestinians are being overrun right now.
B. Indeed. But the Jews and Arabs are tied together. There will be no peace for Israel until Palestinians have the same national rights as Israelis; there will not be peace and freedom for the Palestinians until there is a settlement between Palestine and Israel. There will be no peace until there is an overall settlement.
The problem is that most of the pseudo-left is not just pro-Palestinian but root-and-branch anti-Israel. On this they are with the worst Arab and Muslim chauvinists, and to the right of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, which advocates two states. It is right to be pro-Palestinian, but it is a betrayal of socialism (and even of half-way serious liberalism) to adopt the viewpoint of Arab chauvinism (not to speak of adopting the viewpoint of Islamist clerical-fascism!)
This stance is no help to the Palestinians. General outrage against Israel is now at such a pitch that this is obscured; but in any medium term, most reasonable people of good will be repelled by a pro-Palestinian case that implies or demands the destruction of Israel. No broad movement of solidarity with the Palestinians can be built on such a basis. That’s one reason why the Palestine Solidarity Campaign remains a comparatively feeble force.
The horrors of the current Israeli occupation and oppression in the West Bank and Gaza have not come about only because of gratuitous choices made by Israel in the pure evil of its “Zionist” nature. A central factor in the fate of the Palestinians has been the stance of open or latent war which the surrounding Arab states have maintained against Israel in the 54 years of its existence.
Today, after 58 years, only two of the Arab states, Jordan and Egypt, recognise Israel’s right to exist. Arab states have attacked Israel not only in 1948 but also in 1973. The war of June 1967, in which Israel struck first, destroying the Arab air forces on the ground, was triggered by open Egyptian preparations for war (expulsion of a UN peacekeeping force from Sinai and blockade of the Gulf of Aqaba). In 1991 Iraq made missile attacks on Israel.
A. Your whole argument is Zionist apologetics.
B. Contrast the case of the 10 million Germans driven out of East Prussia, now western Poland, at the end of World War Two, into a ruined, half-starved Germany. This is now again becoming an issue of dispute between Germany and Poland. In the 1960s those same Communist Parties who demonised Israel on the grounds of the plight of the Palestinian refugee camps simultaneously denounced the “West German revanchists” who refused to accept the Oder-Neisse line as Germany's eastern border.
Why was German revanchism bad and Arab revanchism good?
German revanchism became a fringe right-wing cause because of power politics. Russia, standing behind the Polish and, probably, the Czechoslovak expulsions, was a great and seemingly stable power. World war would have been needed to reclaim the eastern territories for Germans. The balance between Israel and the Arabs, however, looked as if it might easily be reversed by more vigorous leadership in the Arab world.
That is the core meaning of radical anti-Zionism: a hope and desire to re-run the 1948 war with the reverse outcome. To reject that is “Zionist apologetics”? Only if any attempt to understand, any account of events that does not have built into it the idea that the original sin was the very existence of the Zionists and the Palestinian Jewish community, is “Zionist apologetics”. Only if rejecting a programme of re-Germanising western Poland is “Polish nationalist apologetics”.
A. That’s just demagogy! Who on the left regrets the fact that some Jews got to Palestine and not Auschwitz?
B. Emotve reasoning, yes! Nonetheless, true. Who regrets? How about the late Tony Cliff, the most influential of the kitsch-left “anti-Zionist propagandists. Have a look at what he said in an interview printed in number 100 of the SWP’s Socialist Review.
A. Zionism is the enemy of both Jews and Arabs! The Zionists were always racists; they collaborated with the Nazis, don’t you know that? That’s what the Morning Star and Socialist Worker say.
B. Yes, even the schizoid Weekly Worker, published by the three and a half member-strong ghost of the old Stalinist Communist Party of Great Britain (who say they are for a Two State solution) using a “guest writer” has recently given over reams of print to rehashing old Stalinist and kitsch-Trotskyist polemics against Zionism.
A. But it’s true isn’t it?
B. What’s true? That the Zionists, the Jewish nationalists were… nationalists?
That they focused, sometimes myopically, on building up the Jewish nation in Palestine?
That they sometimes tried to harness to their own purposes the will of anti-semites to be rid of the Jews? That at first they misunderstood — like everyone else — the peculiarly lethal character of the Nazi’s anti-semitism ?
That in some situations some Zionists, attempted to manoeuvre and negotiate, to save something in, for instance, such hellish conditions as Nazi occupied Hungary in 1944?
That in such efforts the distinction between actively striving to save some Jews, when only some could be saved, and implicit acquiescence at the fate of the others occasionally got blurred?
That, in manoeuvring,“compromising” (at gun point!) to save what could be saved, the distinction between responsible activity to save what could be saved sometimes blurred over into seemingly taking responsibility for what the Nazis did, and collaboration in it — as in the activities of the Zionist official Kastner in 1944 Hungary?
This pile of ideological dung laid down by the Stalinists in the 40s and 50s is the chosen domicile of some “non-Stalinists” who see nothing but what they chew on, who have neither overview nor historical perspective. Their purpose? To blame some of the Jewish victims and near victims of the Nazis for the Holocaust, and target them with some of the direct and a lot of the moral responsibility for the Holocaust.
The Zionists too are nationalists and therefore “racists” don’t you see. This point of view would be more respect worthy if in politics it