Jews Against Zion : Israeli Jewish Anti-Zionism

In a speech to graduating officers of Israel's Army Staff and Command College in 1968, Moshe Dayan told the story of Dr. Arthur Ruppin. Dr. Ruppin directed Jewish settlement efforts in Palestine from 1920, the year he returned to the country after a dozen years in exile by Ottoman order. During his absence from Palestine, Dr. Ruppin was one of the few Zionists to seriously seek an answer to the "Arab question."


Dayan told the young officers, "Dr. Ruppin was a humanist by nature, a man of conscience, and when he encountered the 'Arab question,' he wanted to be persuaded that Zionism could be fulfilled without detriment to the Arabs of Palestine." In May 1911, Ruppin "suggested in a letter to the Zionist executive a limited population transfer" of Palestinian Arabs dispossessed by Jewish land purchases to other lands near Aleppo and Homs. "But this was vetoed because it was bound to increase Arab suspicions about Zionist intentions."  In 1914 Ruppin proposed that a part of all lands acquired by Jews in Palestine be set aside for Arab tenants. While Ruppin had every intention of colonizing Palestine, his intention was not to do so without considering the feelings of the indigenous population.


But, as Dayan revealed to the officers, Ruppin's answer to the "Arab question" evolved in three stages: in 1923, Ruppin hoped to integrate Jewish immigrants into the fabric of the Arab East; in 1925, recognizing differences between the European Jewish immigrants and their indigenous Semitic cousins, he favoured the creation in Palestine of a single "bi-national state"; 1936, the first of three years of dramatic Arab resistance to Jewish immigration and British occupation, Ruppin concluded that "it is our destiny to be in a state of continual warfare with the Arabs." 


Charles Glass is a Special Correspondent for Westinghouse Broadcasting Company. 

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In a speech to graduating officers of Israel's Army Staff and Command College in 1968, Moshe Dayan told the story of Dr. Arthur Ruppin. Dr. Ruppin directed Jewish settlement efforts in Palestine from 1920, the year he returned to the country after a dozen years in exile by Ottoman order. During his absence from Palestine, Dr. Ruppin was one of the few Zionists to seriously seek an answer to the "Arab question."

Dayan told the young officers, "Dr. Ruppin was a humanist by nature, a man of conscience, and when he encountered the 'Arab question,' he wanted to be persuaded that Zionism could be fulfilled without detriment to the Arabs of Palestine." [1] In May 1911, Ruppin "suggested in a letter to the Zionist executive a limited population transfer" of Palestinian Arabs dispossessed by Jewish land purchases to other lands near Aleppo and Homs. "But this was vetoed because it was bound to increase Arab suspicions about Zionist intentions." [2] In 1914 Ruppin proposed that a part of all lands acquired by Jews in Palestine be set aside for Arab tenants. [3] While Ruppin had every intention of colonizing Palestine, his intention was not to do so without considering the feelings of the indigenous population.

But, as Dayan revealed to the officers, Ruppin's answer to the "Arab question" evolved in three stages: in 1923, Ruppin hoped to integrate Jewish immigrants into the fabric of the Arab East; in 1925, recognizing differences between the European Jewish immigrants and their indigenous Semitic cousins, he favoured the creation in Palestine of a single "bi-national state"; by 1936, the first of three years of dramatic Arab resistance to Jewish immigration and British occupation, Ruppin concluded that "it is our destiny to be in an state of continual warfare with the Arabs." [4]

Dayan reminded Israel's new generation of officers that it has inherited this destiny and that continual warfare is the necessary condition for the existence of the state Ruppin helped to create and Dayan himself fought to expand.

Among Jewish humanists in Palestine before 1948, Dr. Ruppin's answer to the "Arab question" was by no means universal. Dr. Judah Magnes, first president of Jerusalem's Hebrew University, rejected Ruppin's conception of the Jewish destiny in Palestine. "If I am not for a Jewish State," Dr. Magnes said shortly before the proclamation of that state, "it is solely for the reason I have stated: I do not want war with the Arab world." [5] Like Ruppin, Magnes realized that the aim of creating a Jewish State could not be achieved without detriment to the Arabs of Palestine. Like Ruppin, Magnes understood that the political Zionist adventure would bring war. Ruppin chose the State and accepted the war; Magnes would not accept war and rejected the Jewish State. As the Zionist Revisionist leader Vladimir Jabotinsky had warned as early as 1922, there could be no possibility of compromise. [6]

Twenty-seven years and four wars after the creation of the Jewish State, the political alternatives open to the Jews of Palestine remain what they were for Arthur Ruppin and Judah Magnes. And the issues which force Israeli Jews to define their attitude toward Zionism and the Jewish State are not confined to the "Arab question."

Among Israeli Jews, there are three primary anti-Zionist critiques: that of religious Jews; that of the political left; and that of humanists like Dr. Magnes. Although the anti-Zionists are estimated to constitute no more than 8 percent of Israel's Jewish population, [7] they represent 50 percent of the only significant debate in the country.

Orthodox Jews opposed Zionism on religious grounds from the time of its 19th century beginnings in the writings of Moses Hess, Leo Pinsker and Theodor Herzl. [8] Religious anti-Zionists denied then as they do now the Zionist contention that the Jews constitute a nation. "In the sense of Jewish Law, there is no Jewish nationalism," expresses the view of a leading religious anti-Zionist. [9]

The spiritual leader of 19th century Germany's Orthodox Jews at Frankfurt on-the-Main, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, said that to actively promote Jewish emigration to Palestine was a sin. [10] In 1898 Orthodox Rabbi Joseph Hayyim Sonnenfeld of Brisk wrote that Zionists have "asserted their view that the whole difference and distinction between Israel and the nations lies in nationalism, blood and race, and that the faith and the religion are superfluous... Dr. Herzl comes not from the Lord, but from the side of pollution... " [11] Rabbi Sonnenfeld usually used the term "evil men and ruffians" to mean Zionists. [12]

While Herzl and later Zionists won much of their battle to convert Orthodox Jewry to Zionism, and while the National Religious Party represents an important body of pro-Zionist opinion among Israel's Orthodox Jews, large pockets of resistance remain. The Neturei Karta ("Guardians of the Walls"),with their large enclaves at B'nai Brak near Tel Aviv and in Jerusalem's Mea Sharim Quarter, preserve Orthodox Jewry's initial fierce opposition to Zionism. Neturei Karta Rabbi Moshe Lieb-Hirsch summarized the extent of his sect's opposition to political Zionism: "We will not accept a Zionist State even if the Arabs do." [13]

The Neturei Karta, a Hasidic sect whose men wear the traditional long beards and ear ringlets, were the first Jews to move outside the walls of Jerusalem in the 19th century. Like the Arabs, they viewed the first aliyah (wave) of Jewish immigrants in the 1880's with suspicion. In their opposition to the Zionist settlers, Neturei Karta received some help from the Agudat Israel, a group of Orthodox Jews from many countries, founded in 1912. [14] Members of Agudat Israel and Neturei Karta protested to the British Mandatory Power in Palestine against Zionist claims to represent them. In 1924, a member of the Agudat executive committee was assassinated by Haganah underground soldiers. [15]

Jerusalem's Orthodox Jews tried in the years following the Balfour Declaration to win Arab support against Zionist domination of the Jews of Palestine. However, Hasidic Jews became as much victims as the Zionists themselves in the violent Arab reactions to Zionist colonization of Palestine in the 1920's and 1930's. This, coupled with the Hasidic's traditional non-participation in politics, prevented a common front of Arabs and Orthodox Jews in Palestine.

Since 1948, the Neturei Karta have refused to become Israeli citizens. They pay no Israeli taxes and do not serve in the Army. They speak Yiddish rather than Hebrew. For prayer, they use their ancient holy language, Lashon HaKodesh, of which Israeli Hebrew is a modern derivative. [16]

Officially, the Israeli government tolerates the staunchly anti-Zionist Neturei Karta. The government has threatened to rescind the draft-exempt status of their Yeshiva students, although the threat has never been carried out. The Neturei Karta are not a factor in Israeli political life, but their strict adherence to Jewish Law and their devotion to tradition has attracted some Israeli Jews in search of their spiritual roots. The Neturei Karta critique of Zionism and rejection of the Jewish State derives from their understanding of what it is to be a Jew.

"The Jewish People were created during the reception of the Law on Mount Sinai. Our Law shows us how we should behave as Jews among ourselves and as Jews among nations," Rabbi Aharon Katzenelbogen, spiritual leader of the Neturei Karta in Jerusalem, explained. "It shows how we should worship the Lord. Our Law is not a matter of ceremony." [17]

The Law consists of 613 commandments which govern virtually every aspect of the religious Jew's life, from the way he prays to what he eats. [18] To the Neturei Karta, all life is devotion. Living in accordance with the Law is what makes them in their own eyes Jews. To them, Zionism is apostasy. By emphasizing national and racial identification of Jews, the Zionists undermine the importance of Jewish Law. "The Jewish People stand only on faith in God and in fulfilling the Law. When the Zionists come to make the Jews into a people with a nationalism they are abolishing the faith and the necessity of keeping the Law." [19]

In making the Jews into a nation like other nations, with the goal of "normalizing" Jewish life, the Zionist programme seeks at the national level what it rejects at the individual level: that is, assimilation. By secularizing Jewish life, in Neturei Karta eyes, the State of Israel is destroying it.

From his vantage point in Mea Shearim's Yeshiva Torah Ve'yir'a where he conducts daily Talmud studies, Rabbi Katzenelbogen regrets what he sees happening to religious Jews coming to Israel. "The Zionists brought Jews from throughout the Diaspora - from Morocco, Iran, Algeria, Yemen. In all these places, the Jews were religious and the Zionists have made them irreligious." The rabbi believes that in turning religious Jews away from the Law the Zionists "have come out of the Jewish People to put an end to the Jewish People."

The Neturei Karta insist that the Israeli government represents neither themselves nor Judaism as a whole. They want to build the common front with Palestinian Arabs which eluded them in the 1920's. Rabbi Katzenelbogen has fond memories of Jewish life among the Arabs of Palestine under the Ottomans, but he has one criticism of Arab policy: "The Arabs do not know how to distinguish between us and the Zionists. We suffer in all these wars while we have no part in creating them."

Rabbi Moshe Lieb-Hirsch, son-in-law of Rabbi Katzenelbogen, has suggested that Neturei Karta negotiate with the Palestine Liberation Organization. He said that he supports what he understands to be the three main proposals of PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat:

"1. The establishment of a secular state in Eretz Israel in which all nations and religions can live together in equality and comradeship.

"2. When the PLO talks of the Palestinian hopes for the future it includes all the Jews who live here today who will be willing to live with the Arabs.

"3. The PLO distinguishes between Judaism and Zionism." [20]

Rabbi Lieb-Hirsch added, "We think there is enough space in Eretz Israel for the two peoples, but none for political Zionism." [21]

While Israeli Jewish anti-Zionists on the political left would accept Neturei Karta's goal of a "secular state in Eretz Israel," the leftist critique derives not so much from Jewish religious tradition as from a political tradition in which Jews have played the major role. Many early Zionist settlers were socialists; however, in the contest between social goals and military realities, the Zionist left steadily relinquished its radical character in favour of the created facts of land confiscation, population expulsion and military conquest. In the face of concessions made by left-Zionist parties like Mapam and Maki, the anti-Zionist left in Israel is able to say: "The division between 'right' and 'left' Zionism is in reality superficial." [22]

In the early days of Zionism, Jewish socialists were attracted in larger numbers to the Bund [23] and to Bolshevism than to the Zionist movement. Ber Borochov, a Russian Jew who had himself belonged to the Russian Social Democratic Party, directed an appeal to the Jewish proletariat in the Bund and intellectuals among the Bolsheviks by demonstrating that Zionism could be derived from Marxism. Borochov was criticized during his active life by right wing Zionists for identifying Zionism with socialism. [24] Borochov, and his party Po'ale Zion Smol (Workers of Zion-Left) maintained that Zionism was the solution to the problems of the Jewish proletariat: "From the starting point of the interests of the militant Jewish proletariat and from our view of it as the vanguard of the Jewish future, we deduce territorialism for the Jewish people as a whole." [25] In 1948, Po'ale Zion Smol joined with two non Borochovist parties to form Mapam (United Workers Party). Mapam, which was meant to be the left alternative to the ruling Mapai (Israel Workers Party), compromised its radicalism by joining a number of government coalitions before 1967. In 1968 Mapam "crossed its revisionist Rubicon" by approving participation in the right wing Alignment of Israeli Workers. [26]

Despite the disappearance of Borochovism as a political force in Israel, Borochov's analysis of Zionism has been revived for the purposes of Zionist evangelism among the world left. In rejecting Borochov's analysis of the Jewish Problem, the anti-Zionist left in Israel robs Zionism of its only attempted justification within a Marxist framework. The Marxist anti-Zionists reject Borochov:

First, Borochov claimed that the petit bourgeois Jewish masses who immigrated to the advanced capitalist countries would soon become impoverished and proletarianized... The Jewish masses would therefore gravitate to proletarian Zionism and migrate to Palestine. This of course never happened.


Second, Borochov insisted that there was no need to propagandize among the Jewish workers to encourage them to go to Palestine. He repeated that Jewish capital would gravitate toward Palestine spontaneously and the Jewish workers would naturally follow it. Jewish capital did in fact find its way into Palestine... but the Jewish workers did not follow it...


Third, one of Palestine's main virtues as Borochov saw it was that it was under Turkish rule. He strongly rejected the idea of Jewish colonization in any country ruled by an advanced capitalist power. In practice, Jewish colonization only started when Palestine came under British rule...


Finally, in Borochov's view the Palestinian Arabs (he refers to them as "natives of Palestine") lacked any culture of their own and did not have any national characteristics... He therefore deduced that "the natives of Palestine will assimilate economically and culturally with whoever brings order into the country ..." [27]

Just as religious anti-Zionists contend that Zionism is fundamentally anti-Jewish, the leftists assert that Zionism is at odds with socialism and certainly cannot be derived from Marxism. "Our socialist principles," according to the "Fundamental Principles" of a leading anti-Zionist organization, "put us in irreconcilable opposition to Zionism." [28]

Uri Avnery, an ambiguously non-Zionist Israeli and editor of Haolam Hazeh, expounds a view popular among the non-Zionist left in Israel: namely, that Zionism is dead. Avnery delineated the "fundamental tenets of Zionism" which he believes no longer have force in Israeli society:

(a) All the Jews in the world are one nation; (b) Israel is a Jewish State, created by the Jews and for the Jews all over the world; (c) the Jewish dispersal is a temporary situation, and sooner or later all Jews will have to come to Israel, driven, if by nothing else, by inevitable anti-Semitic persecution; (d) the Ingathering of these Exiles is the raison d'etre of Israel, the primary purpose to which all other aims have to be subservient...

Yet nothing could be further from what young Israelis believe in... [29]

Moshe Machover, who founded the Israeli Socialist Organization (Matzpen) in 1962, [30] stated that Zionism, far from being a relic of the pre-1948 past, is the motive force of the Israeli State:

Without Zionism, how can you explain all these new settlements in the occupied territories? How can you explain the large-scale expropriation of Arab land? How can you explain the fact that in all these lands expropriated from Arabs, in urban areas such as Jerusalem, there are dwellings built solely for the use of Jews? How can you explain all these occurrences where land is taken away, expropriated from Arabs, and given to Jews and only to Jews ? And then in many cases, where they have left the land to be worked by Arabs, the whole establishment confronts and hounds them. Where does it all come from, if not from Zionism? [31]

The anti-Zionist left in Israel charges that the Jewish State is Zionist, and that as such, it is fundamentally racist, imperialist-colonialist, and the major barrier to peace and social progress in the Middle East.

Ilan Halevi, of the Revolutionary Communist Alliance, underlined the meaning to the Israeli left of the Zionist State: "The Zionist State means a state with a predominance of the Jews in all fields of social, cultural and economic life. It is constitutionally imposed." [32] He said that popular racism in Israel is the direct result of the Zionist vision:

It is not a question of saying, well, these people [i.e., Israeli Jews who hate and mistreat Arabs] are racist criminals. These people are part of a certain type of vision which has been officially indoctrinated, officially taught and inculcated to them and their children and which is the basic official ideology of this state. And it says that we must make this state Jewish. Not only must we hope that it will be Jewish, we must make it so by force. It is the political mission of this state to insure the predominance of the Jews over the non-Jews. [33]

Matzpen's Moshe Machover added, "This is the equivalent of what in other places is known as white supremacy. Here there are exact parallels in terms of Jewish supremacy." [34]

It is the relationship of Israel to World Jewry as embodied in the Law of Return (1950) and the Nationality Law (1952) which "confirms the uniracial character of the State of Israel." [35] The automatic right to enter Israel and receive Israeli citizenship is guaranteed by these two fundamental laws to all Jews but denied to Palestinian Arabs who may have been born in the country. "The idea of a homogenous Jewish state," Uri Avnery wrote, "is inherent in Zionism." [36]

Because of the Zionist laws and purpose of the State of Israel, Moshe Machover said:

Opposition to Zionism implies opposition to the Israeli State, at least as it is now constituted; that is, not as a state of its own inhabitants whatever their nationality, but as a state of the Jews all around the world. This means, for instance, that a Jew who was born in New York has an automatic right of citizenship in this country; while an Arab born in Haifa or Jaffa, whose ancestors were born there, has no such right at all. This is embodied in the laws and practices of this country, and this makes it a Zionist state. [37]

Leftists charge that the practice of racial discrimination in Israel extends to Jews as well, that is, to Oriental (Sephardic) Jews. The Jewish B'nai Israel community of India and Fallashas of Ethiopia have accused the Israeli government of discrimination against them. Kohavi Shemesh, leader of the now-dormant Black Panther movement of Sephardic Jews, said in an interview: "In Israel today there is anti-Semitism. What happens to Jews abroad happens to Sephardim here..." [38] Israel's non-European Jews have accused the state of supporting discrimination against them in housing, employment, education, social status and government participation. The Black Panthers were for a time active with leftist movements in the country. Their battle cry was: "When will Abouthbul be equal to Faigin ?" Matzpen answered, emphasizing the Sephardim's mutual struggle with Palestinian Arabs: "Abouthbul will be equal to Faigin when Muhammad is equal to Abouthbul." [39]

Zionism was and is, in the leftist analysis, a colonial movement. But there is an essential difference between Zionist and other colonialisms. According to Matzpen, "While the nature of 'classical' colonialism is primarily to exploit, Zionist colonialism displaces and expels." [40] The expulsion of the Palestinian Arab from his land adds an unusual dimension to the colonial situation, as well as to the problems the colonized people have had to face. Marius Shattner, of the Revolutionary Communist Alliance, explained:

I think that the Palestinian movement has a historical problem that very few colonial people have had to face. If we take another colonial fact, if we take Algeria or Rhodesia, we see there is a colonial occupation and there is a (liberation) movement and there is a fight. Now the first consequence of the fight is that the colonizer begins to understand that he cannot do what he wants and that there is another people. This is the first thing, that the other people exists. [41]

From the beginning of Jewish colonization in Palestine, sensitive Jewish observers complained of the settler's complete absence of feeling for or recognition of the Arab inhabitants. Ahad Ha'am, a spiritual Zionist, wrote of the early Yishuv: "They treat the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, deprive them of their rights, offend them without cause, and even boast of these deeds; and nobody among us opposes this despicable and dangerous inclination." [42]

Matzpen noted, "The 'natives,' the Palestinian Arabs, were displaced, but they were not reintegrated as workers, as all social functions had to be reserved for Jews." [43] The three basic tenets of Zionist colonization insured that the displaced Palestinian would remain invisible to the settlers' society:

Kibush Hakarka (Conquest of the Land): "Jews must work the land, and Jews alone are entitled to do so."


Kibush Haavoda (Conquest of Labour): "Jewish enterprises must hire only Jewish workers."


T'ozteret Haaretz (Produce of the Land): "A strict boycott of Arab produced goods." [44]

When large numbers of Palestinian Arabs were forced outside their country in 1948, their ability to impress themselves upon the consciousness of their colonizers became even more difficult. With the rise of the Palestinian resistance since 1967, the anti-Zionist left in Israel sees the situation changing. Marius Shattner explained, "We see today the Palestinian people through its fighting, and the fighting of the Arab countries. This proves to the Israeli that the Palestinian exists. Now you can go into the streets and ask the people if there are Palestinians, if there is a Palestinian national feeling. Everybody will tell you yes." Shattner added that now no one would echo Golda Meir's dictum that there is no Palestinian people. [45]

But, the leftists say, the Jewish colonization continues. They cite in evidence the regular establishment of Jewish colonies in the conquered territories, the new "Judaization of Galilee" plan to insure a Jewish majority in Galilee, [46] and government calls for continued immigration to Israel.

If the colonizing impulse of Zionism continues, so too in left eyes does its service to Westernl imperialism. The anti-Zionists reject the argument advanced by Uri Avnery and others that Zionism is somehow anti-imperialist. "The Jewish underground fight against the British colonial regime in Palestine," the argument goes, "was the first successful war of liberation in the Middle East. It makes a mockery of the idea that Zionism, or the State of Israel, was a puppet of imperialism or colonialism." [47] To the left anti-Zionists, Zionism's "war of liberation" was closer to Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence than to an anti-colonial struggle waged by an indigenous population. The "war of liberation" was a fight by Jewish white settlers which took no favourable account of the "natives" of Palestine.

In the left analysis, Jewish settlement in Palestine required and served British imperialism. Bringing large numbers of European Jews into Arab Palestine "required the economic, military and diplomatic support of one or more imperialist powers." [48] Later, the State of Israel became the willing agent and partner of British imperialism's American successor in the Middle East. [49] Since the October 1973 War, according to the Revolutionary Communist Alliance, American imperial interests have shifted and this is of concern to a Zionist State which depends almost exclusively on American aid. In their position paper, "The Palestinian Question and Our Present Tasks," the Alliance said:

It has become clear that American Imperialism - which is facing a political and economic crisis of its own - cannot afford to give Israel unconditional backing on all her moves, and that it is ready, insofar as it is necessary, to maneuver between its various allies in the area. The aspiration of US capital to penetrate deeply the markets of the area demands that it reinforce its ties with the Arab bourgeoisie, and it limits the role and importance of the State of Israel as the main base of American Imperialism in the area...


This doesn't mean that Imperialism is on the verge of "abandoning Israel." For the relative weakening of the State of Israel, both on the international and regional level, only reinforces its dependency on the US and its readiness to sell Imperialism services in exchange for armaments and financial support. This only means that, at least in the near future, the US will tend to "disperse" its support and its search for gendarmes and agents in the area, without abandoning anyone, and certainly not Israel. This is a situation whereby Zionism is liable to lose its traditional role as the sole "rampart of Western culture against Asian barbarism" (Herzl). [50]

One difficulty of Israel's role as the West's "bastion of democracy" in the Middle East is that it is vulnerable to shifts in imperial policy, as the leftists note. What the leftists regard as Israel's service to Western interests in "opposing the progressive forces in the Arab world" has not always borne fruit. "The clearest manifestation (but not the only one) of this role of official Israeli policy," Matzpen wrote, "was in 1956, when the Israeli government joined Anglo-French imperialism in an aggressive collusion against Egypt, and even furnished these powers with a pretext for military intervention." [51] The irony is that, for all Israel's pains in conquering the Sinai, the United States forced Ben-Gurion to give it up the next year. To left opinion, Israel's service to and dependence on imperialism makes a mockery of the country's claims to independence.

Most importantly, the leftist critique accuses Zionism of failing to respond to the problems the State of Israel was created to solve. Matzpen summarized what it views as this failure:

The Jewish State was supposed to become the instrument of the ingathering of the world's Jews through which they could be united in a proud and independent nation... In reality, there are more Jews in New York City than in all Israel...


The Jewish State was also supposed to enable the Jewish people to develop an enlightened and democratic culture. In reality, however, high school students who today are beginning to question some aspects of Zionist policy and culture find it necessary to form underground groups... Policy brutality against demonstrators, especially against the Black Panthers, and the use of the Emergency Regulations and even military courts against workers on strike, have proven once again that a people that oppresses another cannot itself be free...


Above all, the Jewish State was supposed to secure the physical existence of the Jews, end pogroms forever and fend off a second holocaust. In reality, however, Jews are subject to more physical danger in Israel than anywhere else...


This state of affairs did not come about by accident. On the contrary, it is the inevitable outcome of the Zionist project: to establish an exclusively Jewish society in a territory already in possession of a people who had lived and worked there since time immemorial. [52]

The State of Israel's inability to resolve the problems of Israeli Jews, not to mention those of the great majority of the world's Jews who have not chosen aliyah, has engendered some popular disaffection in Israeli society. Popular disaffection is not conscious anti-Zionism. But Ilan Halevi said it is the task of anti-Zionists like himself to link discontent to its cause, which is "Zionist ideology - its aims, its methods and its whole vision of the world." Halevi continued:

In this sense there are a lot of anti-Zionist forms of social practice in Israel every day: emigration outside the country is one, [53] and refusal to join the army, not on the basis of a clear political stand but just an individual whom not to take part in the war effort for selfish reasons, is another. These are forms of active disaffection to Zionist psychological ideological mobilization. Then there is the class struggle and social struggle, both of the type that the Black Panthers for a time embodied and of the new leadership which has been built in the strike movement in Israel today. All these are forms of social practices which are developing to a very large extent in Israel which did not exist a few years ago. And they are objectively in contradiction with the whole process and direction that Zionism wants to impose on Israeli society.


So I think that the whole question is how to link our own theoretical and conscious militant anti-Zionism with these processes. [54]

Marius Shattner referred to another instance of popular disaffection with Zionist policy: "The people are opposed to immigration, specifically toward Jews who come here from Russia now. They are not prepared to make sacrifices which the government is asking of them to help new people come here." [55] Oriental Jews especially resent the influx of Soviet Jews whom they see receiving privileges like modern housing which have been promised the Sephardim for years.

Marius Shattner, Giora Neumann, Reuben Lassman, Irith Yacobi and other young Israelis have gone to prison for refusal on political grounds to serve in the army. [56] Some leftists, including SIACH member Yossi Koten, specifically refused to serve in the occupied territories. [57] Others, like Ehud Adiv, Dan Vered and Rami Livneh, have been sentenced to prison in Israel for working against the state.

On September 21, 1972, the Black Panthers, SIACH (Israeli New Left), the Revolutionary Communist Alliance, Vanguard (Workers'Alliance), Matzpen and Matzpen-Marxist formed an "anti-fascist front" in order to "organize joint legal aid for the various groups, provide protection from attacks by the Jewish Defence League on leftist demonstrators, and conduct a campaign to warn the public of the dangers of the League." [58]

Both before and since the creation of the "anti-fascist front" in 1972, members of these anti- and non-Zionist organizations have been vilified in the Israeli press and been sent to Israeli prisons. They have also suffered splits in their own ranks.

As one New Left analyst wrote at the beginning of a discussion of the anti-zionist organizations in Israel, "We have entered that area where all numerical evaluations deal in small numbers." [59] Matzpen, which was the leading socialist anti-Zionist group in Israel, suffered a three-way split in late 1970. The division left the original Matzpen, with Moshe Machover and Haim Hanegbi among others, and two new groups: the Revolutionary Communist Alliance and Matzpen-Marxist (now called the Communist League). In October 1971 the Revolutionary Communist Alliance - Red Front separated from the Revolutionary Communist Alliance, apparently in a tactical dispute. A group calling itself the Proletarian Faction split off from the Communist League in May 1975. There is another group, Vanguard (Workers' Alliance), which is close to French Trotskyite Pierre Lambert's doctrine of organizing within the working class and whose members have become the special targets of the Israeli media. [60] Despite the divisions in leftist ranks, members of the various groups join together in protests and demonstrations and share the goal of a secular, democratic state in Eretz Israel or Palestine. [61]

Proselytizing within the working class, emphasizing class struggle over national conflicts, Vanguard wrote in its Autumn 1974 journal: "Every demand, from the united direct struggle against high prices by setting up trade unions and a workers' party, to the demand for a unified state and a Constituent Assembly, becomes part of the same issue and progressively less distinguishable from one another: namely, an attempt to organize the masses to eliminate the bourgeoisie before it eliminates them." [62] When on October 22, 1974, a 19 year old female soldier was found choked to death in Caesarea, the Israeli press began a campaign against Vanguard. The press charged that the group committed this and other murders and accused Vanguard members of Manson Family like sex deviance. Vanguard member Yoram Bichonsky was arrested and later released for lack of evidence, although the identification of Vanguard with sex crimes was never erased in the public media. SIACH publication Israleft commented on what it called the "police-directed press coverage of the affair" and identified the anti-Vanguard campaign with blood libel. [63]

The most active, and judging from government prosecution of its members the most dangerous, of the anti-Zionist left groups is the Revolutionary Communist Alliance - Red Front. Red Front leader Ehud Adiv criticized Matzpen for its lack of activism. Admitting that Matzpen has a sound theory, Adiv said it lacked the chapter entitled "what is to be done." [64] Adiv's belief in ideology combined with activism led to his participation in an underground Palestinian-Israeli organization and ultimately to his own imprisonment.

Ehud Adiv and five other defendants, one Jew and four Israeli Arabs, were brought to trial in Haifa on charges of forming an "espionage and sabotage network." [65] Adiv, who confessed to 25 of 46 details on his charge sheet, [66] was arraigned on February 11, 1973, and sentenced a month later to 17 years' imprisonment. Adiv admitted that he had met a former Israeli Arab in Athens and that he had visited Damascus. However, he denied passing any military information. The other defendants were sentenced for periods of three to seventeen years. [67]

The "Red Front Trial" was a shock to an Israeli society weaned on the image of a chauvinistic youth ready to defend the nation under any circumstances. The affair provoked a stream of contradictory Israeli press reports. The media had public opinion confused as to whether the Red Front was headed by an Israeli Jew or Palestinian Arab, whether or not Adiv had gone to Cairo, if the Front had in fact committed acts of sabotage, if its members were armed, and what military threat if any the Front posed. [68] While the Red Front probably never presented a security danger to the State of Israel, its psychological threat was enormous. Here were Jews born and raised in Israel, Adiv himself from a kibbutz, working with Arabs for the overthrow of the state! Young Israelis could not help but ask why.

Reuven Kaminer of SIACH, a non-Zionist group with international New Left affiliations, explained why certain questions are dangerous:

It is very hard for many parents to understand when their sons start asking some questions. In America, a parent might have some difficulty answering questions from his child about what the American whites did to the Indians, but that's far away and long ago. Here, when an Israeli youth asks, "Where did we get this land? What was the name of this city before? Where are the people who lived here?" and he asks in a tone where he questions the very right to be sitting on that territory, this is a certain thing that causes deep concern among Israeli parents. [69]

Ehud Adiv's mother, Tova, told Hebrew daily Maariv, "We do not absolve ourselves of responsibility for our son's views. We taught him that all men are created equal, regardless of differences in race, colour or religion." [70]

Publicity attached to draft resistance and Jewish-Arab underground groups probably do more than the phenomena themselves to effect painful soul-searching in Israel. One Israeli leftist who spent the October War in military prison for refusing to answer his call-up said he believes that he and others in prison with him, some of whom had simply thrown down their guns and run away from battle, were purposely not prosecuted after the war to avoid exposing cracks in morale during that period. [71]

In the second of five groups of defendants at the 1973 trials in Haifa, Revolutionary Communist Alliance leader Rami Livneh was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment for meeting a Fateh member near Nazareth. [72] Livneh heads a group whose members, like Ilan Halevi and Marius Shattner, refuse to serve in the Israeli Army. Livneh charged that the reason for his imprisonment is his membership in the Revolutionary Communist Alliance and not his political discussions with a Fateh member. Since Livneh's trial, Napthali Feder, political secretary of Mapam, met with a Palestine Liberation Organization delegate in Prague. [73] And Uri Avnery met with the PLO's London representative, Sayed Hammami, in Rome. Neither Feder nor Avnery has been prosecuted.

Matzpen, as the mother of the radical groups, has come in for special government and press criticism in Israel. The media has made the terms "Matzpen" and "Matzpenik" into common pejoratives for dangerous or irresponsible left wing opinion in Israel. Hebrew press coverage of the Red Front trial regularly alluded to the Front's association with Matzpen. [74]

The leftists emphasize that their anti-Zionist critique, their activities, their resistance to the state and their attempts to develop a dialogue with Palestinian Arabs are directed toward a single goal: a de-Zionized Israel.

In this respect, the leftists feel that the Palestinian Arab leaders have not been helpful in presenting the majority of Israelis a meaningful alternative to the existing Zionist state. Although PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat in his United Nations address sent his "heartfelt good wishes" to Ehud Adiv and his colleagues in Zionist prisons, he said the Palestinians are struggling "so that Jews, Christians and Muslims may live in equality." [75] The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine stated its alternative to Zionist Israel is a "progressive, democratic Arab society, that guarantees complete and unimpaired rights to each and every citizen." [76] The anti-Zionist left believes the Palestinian leadership has ignored the salient fact of nearly a century of Zionist colonization and 27 years of statehood: that the Jews of Palestine constitute an Israeli nation and not simply a religious community.

Matzpen presented this analysis:

The ISO has argued that, despite the fact that it was created by Zionism, a Hebrew nation in the full sense of the term now exists in Palestine. And as such it has the right to self-determination, not certainly in the Zionist sense, but within the context of a socialist federation of the Middle East. [77]

Ilan Halevi said that in the Palestinian programme as understood by Israelis:

The Jews are promised individual civil rights within the framework of an Arab state. For the Israeli people, who were formed in a colonial process but who nevertheless exist as a result of this process, this means dismantling as a nationality. There is a genuine fear of this not only because the Israelis are such nationalists. The genuine fear comes from the fact that insofar as the Israelis can see there is not a single Arab state which gives the example of a multi-national democracy where minorities enjoy full democratic rights.


So, one can understand why a people so deeply influenced by nationalist ideology would not want to replace their own class exploitation at the hands of their own bourgeoisie for exploitation at the hands of the Arab bourgeoisie. So that, without offering the prospect of social liberation to the Israelis, it is unlikely that they will decide to change Jewish capitalism for Arab capitalism. [78]

Matzpen diverges from the Palestinian resistance on two points: "They (the PLO) do not regard social and political revolution throughout the region as a condition and framework for the solution of the Palestinian problem," and secondly, they do not accept "the right of self-determination to the non-Arab entities living inside the Arab world..." [79]

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine [80] is the one Palestinian commando organization which has taken account of Israeli nationalism to the satisfaction of most Israeli leftists. DFLP Chairman Nayef Hawatmeh told Israelis in an interview published in Yediot Aharonot:

We say outright to Israelis that we struggle for the establishment of peaceful relations between the Palestinians and the Israelis. We believe that, according to all historical precedents, living in peace means reaching basic and democratic solutions to problems in a united and democratic state, in which Palestinians and Israelis will live together with equal rights and duties... [81]

While Hawatmeh has been criticized by Israelis for not giving his interview to an anti-Zionist Israeli paper, for granting another interview to Le Figaro the same day with significant additions, [82] and for staging the Maalot raid two months later, [83] his statements constitute a hopeful sign to Israeli leftists working against Zionism.

Matzpen favours the creation of an extensive Middle Eastern federation in which "the non-Arab nationalities (Israeli Jews, Kurds, South Sudanese), will be recognized and granted their national rights - in other words, self-determination." [84] The Revolutionary Communist Alliance advocates "the immediate partition of Palestine into two national states ensuring full democratic rights for the minority of the other people that will remain within their borders." The Alliance demands the return of the 1948 Palestine refugees to their homes and has stated its belief that the Israeli state would ultimately be integrated into a larger "multi-national democracy" of the Arab East. [85]

To the left critique, the termination of racism, imperialism, colonialism, repression and war presupposes the de-Zionization of Israel. "De-Zionization means the abolition of Jewish exclusiveness (which is inherent, e.g., in the Law of the Return)..." [86] De-Zionization requires the active participation of Arab radicals and implies Israeli self-determination divorced from legal ties to world Jewry and economic bonds to Western imperialism. To the Israeli Jewish anti-Zionists of the left, peace with justice would naturally follow.

In addition to the religious and leftist anti-Zionist Jews in Israel, "there are a few people like me who are not Marxist and who also are not very religious Jews, who oppose Zionism on liberal or humanistic grounds." [87] While Neturei Karta and Marxist Israelis reject Zionism on the basis of their fundamental analyses of the world, the humanist anti-Zionists begin from an experience of living and examine life from the standpoint of a characteristically Jewish universal ethic.

One Israeli Jewish humanist, Vitold Yadlitzky, explained how his experience of persecution as a Jew led him to oppose Zionism:

I am a Polish Jew and a former Nazi prisoner. I went through some of the worst experiences of the Holocaust. My quite salient memory of those times is the memory of popular anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe. Some typical expressions of this popular anti-Semitism were, for instance, the stories of Jewish mentality, such expressions as, "the Jew understands only the language of money," or "the Jew understands only the language of force," or "the Jew is the fellow you cannot trust." All these things I hear again and again in this country, with the exception that this is not in Polish, but in Hebrew, and instead of the word "Jew," the word "Arab" appears.

The most prominent of the humanist or independent Israeli anti-Zionists is another survivor of the Nazi concentration camps, Dr. Israel Shahak. Shahak, a professor of chemistry at Jerusalem's Hebrew University and chairman of the Israeli League for Civil and Human Rights, described his evolution into active anti-Zionism as having three stages:

The first stage was the Suez War of '56 when I was shocked immediately after the Israeli victory by David Ben-Gurion and others saying that it was not a defensive war but a war for conquest of territory, that this was the Third Kingdom of Israel, and so on. I was shocked even more by the Kafr Qassem massacre [88] in which 49 Israeli Arabs were massacred without provocation, not by the massacre itself but by the fact it was possible to hide the thing for six weeks. I was then innocent enough to appeal to several people as to how this could happen, and their excuses were the most important factor in making me anti-Zionist.


The second step was going to the United States as a scientist from 1961 -63, my first time outside Israel. And I to my very great surprise discovered that it is possible to live in a democratic country which treats its citizens at least in law without consideration for nationality, race and religion. I was educated here in Israel to believe this an impossible thing and that every country discriminates on the grounds of nationality...


And the third step was the Six Day War. Again, the nationalistic declarations immediately after the war. Again, the lies that we don't want territories. And then it was immediately clear that we do want them. And I witnessed myself the expulsions of Arabs in many places. This convinced me that I had to go into the open, because until then I was not active in politics.

For Vitold Yadlitzky, one moment was decisive:

This was the article by Ezer Weizmann, and a couple of other articles which definitely showed that the Six Day War of 1967, contrary to what I and a lot of other people thought, was not a war of defense against the threat of a new genocide. This was a war launched in order to acquire foreign territory... A number of writers - Ezer Weizmann, who was commander of the Air Force at that time; Mordechai Bentoff, who was the Minister of Housing in the war cabinet in 1967; Mattetyahu Peled, who is one of the chief military analysts in Israel; and finally, Chaim Bar Lev, who was Chief of the General Staff - admitted that the General Staff in 1967 did not share with the populace the sense of looming threat, threat of attack, threat of genocide. It operated on different assumptions. Weizmann said specifically that we were after "our legitimate interests in the neighboring territories." And this was the crucial moment for me.

The reactions of Shahak and Yadlitzky to Zionism are not typical of the Holocaust survivors who immigrated to Israel. Yadlitzky listed the reasons why other Jews rescued from the ovens accept Zionism. "The fear of new genocide," he said, "the fear of repetition of the Holocaust experience, with the help of mass media indoctrination and educational indoctrination, drives people into Jewish chauvinism."

Dr. Shahak said the Zionist reaction is natural but evil:

I am afraid it is natural for a group which is persecuted not to become better, but to persecute others. When the Pilgrims escaped from England to Massachusetts, they didn't become a tolerant community. They persecuted Quakers in a worse way than they themselves were persecuted by the Church of England. But this doesn't make it any better.


I would say the only human response to Holocaust is to try not to be like Nazis, in word or in deed. What brought the Holocaust was the racist attitude toward Jews, the division of German society into Jews and non-Jews on grounds of race. This is exactly the same thing that is happening in Israel.

The principle for humanists like Shahak and Yadlitzky is not whether racism benefits Jews, but whether it is right or wrong. Shahak has infuriated Israeli audiences by equating Zionist and Nazi racisms. Shahak analysed the situation:

You can define Israeli society as a society in which there are no Israelis, but only Jews and non-Jews. [89] You have separate tables for dying Jewish infants and dying non-Jewish infants and so on. This is Nazification of Jewish society and this can well bring the same calamity it brought in Europe, only a calamity to Arabs.


If one can learn anything from the Nazi experience, it is that one should be against Nazism. And I am against Nazism, whether German, Jewish or Arab.

Humanist anti-Zionism has its roots in the writings of a few conscientious members of the early Yishuv, who were called "moderate" Zionists for their opposition to the establishment of a Jewish State. Before the British Mandate, writers like Ahad Ha'am and Dr. Yitzhak Epstein warned the political Zionists that "the people now living in this land also has a heart and a soul." [90]

In 1925, "moderate" Zionists formed the B'rit Shalom (Covenant of Peace) group in Jerusalem. B'rit Shalom, one of whose founders was Dr. Arthur Ruppin, favoured a bi-national state in Palestine. Judah Magnes supported the group although he did not join it. B'rit Shalom members were bitterly attacked by political Zionists as "deep-down assimilationists" in the same way Marxist Jews like Rosa Luxemburg were accused of "self-hatred." [91] Dr. Ruppin left B'rit Shalom in 1929 when his Zionism began another turn in its tripartite development. The group passed out of existence in 1933 and was for a time replaced by the League ofJewish-Arab Rapprochement.

Dr. Magnes, Pinhas Rutenberg, and Moshe Smilanski advanced the bi-national idea again in 1936. The Zionists rejected it. Jewish humanists formed the Ihud (Union) group which opposed the partition of Palestine. Following Dr. Magnes' death in 1948, Ihud abandoned the bi-national idea. [92]

After 1948 "moderate" Zionists either supported the created fact of the Jewish State or, because Zionism came to be identified with the State, they ceased to be Zionists.

One of the early Jewish humanists continued to actively oppose the State after its creation, and the organization he helped found continues to defend human rights in the country. Mordechai Avi Shaul, in 1935 a founding member of the Israeli League for Civil and Human Rights, came to Palestine in 1921 and is still active with Dr. Shahak in the League, whose original purpose was to oppose British oppression of Jews and Arabs under the Mandate.

A young generation of sabras have grown up in Israel, a small minority of them choosing to folloow Magnes, Avi Shaul, and Shahak toward a universalist ethic which opposes the official Zionism of the state. One of these young Israelis became vice-chairman of the Israeli League for Civil and Human Rights in 1970 when Dr. Shahak became its chairman. This was Uri Davis, who had come to prominence in 1962 as the first Jew to be arrested under the 1945 Emergency Regulations. [93] Davis spent five months in prison for entering the Arab village of Deir Assad, a security zone where Arab land had just been expropriated. [94]

In the same year, Davis resisted military conscription. Davis' "Journey Out of Zionism" was a lengthy process influenced by the writings of Ayn Rand and Martin Buber. He came to the conclusion that the problem of Israelis and Palestinians "could not be approached except in terms of a radical ideological position." [95]

For another young Israeli, Mira Nistar, anti-Zionism was something tacitly accepted but only discovered when she began political activity. "I am a sabra," she said. "It went without saying that I was a Zionist. But I had a socialist education and joined Moked (a new Left-Zionist party) because I thought it would be a socialist group. Entering political life, I began to understand. And I understood that I am not a Zionist." [96]

Mira Nistar realized she opposed Zionism because she could not accept what she saw as its racism. But she also viewed Zionism as an impediment to social progress in Israel because of its political-religious character. For example, she said, "Look at the last law for women's rights. [Ya'ad Knesset member] Shulamit Aloni wanted to pass a law to give equal rights to women and it didn't pass. Rabin promised the religious parties that it wouldn't pass."

For other Israelis, who are not necessarily actively in opposition to Zionism, two single events and their ramifications led to serious questioning of the Zionist presuppositions of the State. The first was the occupation of the remainder of Mandate Palestine in 1967, with its concomitant expulsions, collective punishments, demolition of homes, administrative detentions without trial, mistreatment of prisoners and large scale property expropriations. For some, in those days, "the ugly, colonial Israel was born."  [97] Other young Israelis, seeing mass expulsions of Palestinian Arabs for the first time, began to wonder if there was any qualitative difference between the expulsions of 1948 and 1967. Ironically, they were aided in this soul searching by the jingoism of the right wing Zionist parties which told them, "If you question our right to settlement in Judea, you question our right to Tel Aviv."

The second major question-raising event was the government announcement in 1970 that it had turned down an offer by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser to discuss peace terms with Nahum Goldmann in Cairo. Youth reaction was immediate. A group of high school students wrote the famous Shem-Tov letter accusing the government of preferring territories to peace. The sons of the former Palmach commander declared publicly that the "moral basis of being an Israeli was lost." [98] Moshe Dayan's son, Assi, said he favoured complete withdrawal from all occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, in exchange for peace. [99]

Dr. Shahak said it is difficult for a modern Jew educated in Israel to arrive all the way to an anti-Zionist viewpoint. He attributed this to two facts of Israeli education:

We were completely brainwashed in school, first of all to hate Arabs. Secondly, we were brainwashed to regard one important fact about the whole world: that all non-Jews hate Jews. We were brainwashed to believe that Mongolians, who have never seen a Jew, will the moment they see one become anti-Semites. And we were also brainwashed to believe that this hate is completely different from normal hate which prevails in many places among nationalities and especially toward minorities. [100]

Shahak said the anti-Zionists progress slowly, but that it is important to note that they progress. He distinguished the humanist anti-Zionists' effect on the "establishment" and on the "society":

We have an effect on society which is slow but increasing all the time. We do not have an effect on the establishment; first of all, because they are old; second, because they have closed minds about everything; and the most important thing is that they are racists. You can with difficulty educate ordinary people to change their racist attitudes. But you know very well that racists in positions of authority cannot be changed.

Through the work of the League in documenting violations of human rights, Shahak and others have had a significant remedial effect on the suffering of many Palestinian Arabs. Shahak stated that the anti-Zionists' most valuable service is that of gathering and disseminating information on human rights violations. "We need a list of all houses blown up, of all the people arrested," Shahak advised Matzpen (Marxist). "We can surely visit in small groups, without placards, the ruins of a demolished house, or a family which has a son in prison; we can demand, through lawyers or otherwise, to visit prisoners." [101] Shahak works in a piecemeal fashion, focusing on individual suffering, Arab and Jewish. He and the League have amassed the most comprehensive indictment of the state's crimes available to the general audience, from torture and murder to apartheid in the university.

Shahak was, for example, instrumental "in bringing about, through publicity in Israel, an investigation of brutality in the repression of the Gaza Strip in January and February 1971." [102] Dr. Shahak regarded his accomplishments in Gaza as a partial victory at best: "If in the Gaza Strip my influence has resulted in stopping the mass whippings of the people on the street, it was not enough to prevent the removal of the barbed wire fence that circles the Gaza Strip, making it one big concentration camp." [103]

Shahak is not easily discouraged, any more than the indefatigable Israeli lawyer Felicia Langer with whom he often works. Felicia Langer, a Rakah member, has since 1967 defended hundreds of Palestinian Arabs before Israeli courts and military authorities. In Israel she has become known as the "terrorists' lawyer" not only for representing Palestinians but for accusing the state of its own crimes against her clients. Shahak and Langer have become the two most trusted Israeli Jews to Palestinian Arabs living in Israel and the occupied territories. [104]

Shahak pointed out that the emphasis of his and Felicia Langer's work is somewhat different from that of Israeli leftists. "The most important aspect of this is to see the real problem of Zionism," he said, "the real problem of what Zionism is - not as an ideology, but what Zionism does every day to people." [105] The left attacks Zionism at its theoretical foundations, while Shahak and Langer fight its consequences. Leftist anti-Zionists regularly work with Langer, Shahak and the League in the understanding that it is the same Zionism they oppose, the same democratic solution they seek.

For the Israeli Jewish anti-Zionists, whether religious, leftist or humanist, the choice between Zionism and opposition to it is no choice at all. To reject Zionism, for spiritual, ideological or moral reasons, is to deny an inherited destiny of continual warfare.


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Charles Glass is a Special Correspondent for Westinghouse Broadcasting Company.

1 Moshe Dayan, "A Soldier Reflects on Peace Hopes," address to graduating class at Army's Staff and Command College, in Irene L. Gendzier, editor, A Middle East Reader (New York: Pegasus, 1969), p. 407.

2 Walter Laqueur, A History of Zionismn (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1972), p. 231.

3 Uri Avnery, Israel Without Zionists: A Plea for Peace in the Middle East (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1968), p. 86.

4 Dayan, op. cit., p. 417.

5 Norman Bentwich, For Zion's Sake: A Biography of Judah L. Magnes (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1954), p. 188.

6 Alan R. Taylor, The Zionist Mind (Beirut: The Institute for Palestine Studies, 1974), pp. 84-86.

7 The 8 percent maximum figure is an estimate only, based on the assessment of the Israeli League for Civil and Human Rights, a few of the socialist anti-Zionist groups and Israeli journalists. The majority of this probably 5 to 8 percent are leftists, and only a small number are politically active.

8 Moses Hess (1812-1875) wrote Rome and Jerusalem in 1862. Leo Pinsker (1821-1891) published his Autoemanzipation in 1882. Both works are landmarks of early Zionist thought of which the acknowledged "father of Zionism," Theodor Herzl (1860-1904), was apparently unaware when he published his Der Judenstadt and Altneuland in 1895 and 1902 respectively.

9 Rabbi Aharon Katzenelbogen, spiritual leader of Jerusalem's Hasidic Neturei Karta sect. Interview, August 1975.

10 Laqueur, op. cit., p. 407. See also Isidore Epstein, Judaism (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1959), p. 295. Rabbi Hirsch founded Neo-Orthodoxy, a Jewish separatist movement opposed to Reform Judaism.

11 Taylor, op. cit., p. 71.

12 Laqueur, op. cit., p. 409.

13 Rabbi Moshe Lieb-Hirsch, Yediot Aharonot, February 21, 1975, p. 8 (English translation: Israleft Biweekly News Service, no. 57, March 1, 1975, p. 11).

14 Laqueur, op. cit., p. 407 and p. 409. Agudat Israel is still active in Israeli politics, though as a religious Zionist party.

15 Ibid., p. 410. This was De Han who "violently denounced Zionism in cables to British newspapers and attacked the Balfour Declaration." After his assassination on June 30, 1924, he became a martyr to Jerusalem's anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews.

16 The Neturei Karta consider it blasphemous to use the sacred language for mundane affairs. Among religious Sephardic Jews, Ladino is spoken in daily life; the Orthodox Ashkenazim use Yiddish.

17 Interview, August 1975.

18 According to the medieval Jewish scholar and philosopher, Moses Ben Maimon (Maimonides), Jewish Law consists of 248 positive and 365 negative precepts. To the Neturei Karta, the prohibition against eating pork is every bit as vital as that against adultery or killing.

19 This and the following quotations are from an interview with Rabbi Aharon Katzenelbogen in August 1975.

20 Lieb-Hirsch, op. cit., p. 11.

21 Ibid.

22 Arie Bober, editor, The Other Israel: The Radical Case Against Zionism (New York: Doubleday & Co., Inc., Anchor Books, 1972), p. 6.

23 The Bund is the common name for "The General Jewish Workers' Union in Lithuania, Poland and Russia" (Algemeyner Yidisher Arbeter Bund in Lite, Polyn und Rusland). The Bund was a Jewish socialist autonomist party from 1907 to 1948. It favored a secular East European Jewish nationalism, but rejected a world Jewish national identity. Bundists opposed Zionism and in 1912 sided with the Mensheviks against the Bolsheviks. See The Encyclopedia Judaica (Jerusalem: The Macmillan Company, 1971), Volume IV, p. 1502.

24 Borochov went to the United States in 1914 where he worked for Zionist Socialism, the main ideas of which are outlined in his 1906 article "Our Platform." He died in 1917 in Kiev. Ibid., p. 1204. See also Nathan Weinstock, Le Sionisme contre Israfl (Paris: Francois Maspero, Cahiers Libres, 1969), pp. 272-78.

25 From "Our Platform" quoted in Bober, op. cit., p. 149.

26 Reuven Avinoam (Kaminer), "The New Left in Israel" (Jerusalem, July 1973), pp. 1-3. See also Bober, op. cit., pp. 157-58 and Weinstock, op. cit., p. 359.

27 Bober, op. cit., pp. 154-55.

28 Israeli Socialist Organization (ISO), "Fundamental Principles," reprinted in Israleft Biweekly News Service, No. 7, December 6, 1972, p. 2.

29 Avnery, op. cit., pp. 157-58. Avnery repeated his belief that Zionism is a dead ideology in conversation in August 1975. "Zionism meant the Ingathering of the Exiles," he said. "But people are just not coming here." See also Weinstock, op. cit., p. 364.

30 Moshe Machover split from Maki in 1962, three years before the major Maki-Rakah division of the official communist party. He formed the ISO which became popularly known as Matzpen, the name of its weekly publication. Machover now lives in London. Avinoam, op. cit., pp. 4-5. See also John K. Cooley, Green March, Black September (London: Frank Cass & Company, Ltd., 1973), p. 211.

31 Interview, August 1975.

32 Ibid.

33 Ibid.

34 Ibid.

35 Weinstock, op. cit., p. 313.

36 Avnery, op. cit., p. 161. See Doron Rosenblum, "What Happened to the Youth Movements?" Haaretz, July 18, 1975 on inculcated racism. See also Shlomo Frenkel, "So What?" reprinted in English in Adnan Amad, editor, Israeli League for Hulman and Civil Rights (Beirut: Palestine Research Center, 1975) pp. 161-62. Frenkel's article is a shocking example of anti-Arab racist literature circulating openly in Israeli universities.

37 Interview, August 1975.

38 Shemesh added: "There wasn't any large scale anti-Semitism in the Arab countries." Israleft Biweekly News Service, No. 6, November 20, 1972, p. 7.

39 Faigin, Abouthbul and Muhammad represent the Russian Jew, the North African Jew and the Palestinian Arab respectively. Bober, op. cit., p. 30.

40 Ibid., p. 11 (emphasis in the original). See the argument as formulated in Maxime Rodinson, Israel: A Colonial Settler State? (New York: Monad Press, 1973). It should be added that with the 1967 conquest of one million Arab inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza, nearly 100,000 Palestinian workers have come to constitute a cheap labour force in Israeli industry and agriculture.

41 Interview, August 1975.

42 Ouoted in Taylor, op. cit., p. 103. Ahad Ha'am ("One of the People") was the pen name of businessman Asher Ginsberg. See Neville Barbour, Nisi Dominus (Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1969), especially pp. 113-31 for a view of Jewish Zionist and non-Zionist settlement in Palestine before and during the Mandate.

43 Bober, op. cit., p. 10.

44 Ibid., P. II.

45 Interview, August 1975.

46 See Terence Smith, "Israel Plans Vast Development in Galilee," New York Times, November 8, 1975.

47 Avnery, op. cit., p. 63.

48 Bober, op. cit., p. 192.

49 There is considerable evidence of this in Zionist statements. Moshe Dayan, for example, told an American audience at the University of California at Los Angeles in March 1975 that a strong Israel is America's only hope of preventing Soviet penetration of the Middle East and its oil wealth.

50 Revolutionary Communist Alliance, "The Palestinian Question and Our Present Tasks" (Jerusalem, March 1974), p. 3.

51 Bober, op. cit., p. 209.

52 Ibid., pp. 8-10.

53 See Eric Marsden, "More and More Quit Fortress Israel," Sunday Times (London), October 4, 1975.

54 Interview, August 1975.

55 Ibid.

56 Interviews, August 1975. See also Cooley, op. cit., p. 216.

57 Israleft Biweekly News Service, No. 8, December 25, 1972, p. 9. Yosef Chen was sentenced to 35 days in prison for refusing to serve in the occupied territories. Maariv, April 9, 1973.

58 Israleft, No. 3, September 27, 1972, p. 3.

59 Avinoam, op. cit., p. 3.

60 Ibid., pp. 4-5 and p. 12. Interviews, August 1975.

61 See, for example, Haaretz, June 7, 1973 on the groups' combined demonstration of June 4 "against the conquest." It is interesting that the non-Zionist group SIACH (Smol Israeli Chadash) has been more active in demonstrating and propagandizing in the territories, including incidents which have earned jail terms for the members, than most of the radical anti-Zionist groups.

62 Israleft, No. 51, December 1, 1974, p. 7.

63 Ibid., No. 53, January 1, 1975, p. 2; No. 55, February 1, 1975, p. 9; and No. 56, February 15, p. 11. Includes Hebrew press accounts of the case and Israleft comments.

64 Journal of Palestine Studies, Volume II, No. 4, Summer 1973, p. 150.

65 Ibid., p. 128.

66 Israleft, No. 11, February 15, 1973, pp. 10-11.

67 Journal of Palestine Studies, ibid.

68 See Israleft, No. 8, December 25, 1972, pp. 1-6, for English translations of Hebrew press reports during this period.

69 Interview, August 1975.

70 Maariv, December 10, 1972, p. 3.

71 Interview, August 1975.

72 Noam Chomsky, Peace in the Middle East? (New York: Random House, Vintage Books, September 1974), p. 174. The "Amnesty International Annual Report 1973-74," p. 72, states: "The only case of a political prisoner (in Israel) being worked on by an AI group at present is Rami Livneh, an Israeli Jew who was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for allegedly 'having contact with an enemy agent and failing to report this to the proper authorities'... He alleges that he 'incriminated' himself because Shin Beth (the Israeli secret service) tortured his friend, Shawqi Khatib. The case was submitted to Al's Borderline Committee for their opinion as to whether Rami Livneh should be adopted. Their decision was unanimous that the case merited further investigation..."

73 Israleft, No. 54, January 15, 1975, p. 4.

74 For example, Yediot Aharonot, December 8, 1972, p. 1.

75 Yasser Arafat, "Address to the 29th Session of the United Nations General Assembly," November 13, 1974 (Beirut: Fateh Information Office, 1974) (emphasis added).

76 Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), "Palestine: Toward a Democratic Solution" (Beirut: PFLP Information Department, 1970), p. 35 (emphasis added). See also PFLP, "A Strategy for the Liberation of Palestine" (Amman: PFLP Information Department, 1969), p. 80: "The aim of the Palestinian liberation movement is to establish a democratic state in Palestine in which both Arabs and Jews will live as citizens with equal rights and obligations..."

77 Bober, op. cit., p. 176. There is evidence that the Israeli establishment rejects outright the idea of Israeli nationality. See footnote 89. Palestinians living under Israeli occupation have shown a greater readiness to come to terms with Israeli nationalism provided the Israelis accept theirs. See my "Military Occupation: Problems for Palestinians and Israelis," radio documentary series, Westinghouse Broadcasting Company, February 1975.

78 Interview, December 1974.

79 Bober, op. cit., p. 186.

80 DFLP, formerly Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PDFLP). DFLP is a Marxist group in the PLO which has not joined the so-called "Rejection Front."

81 Yediot Aharonot, March 23, 1974, p. 3 (English translation: Israleft, No. 37, April 1, 1974, p. 1 1), (emphasis added).

82 See "Interview with Dr. I. Shahak," Matzpen (Marxist), June 1974. Translated and reprinted in Dr. Adnan Amad, editor, Documents and Reports on the Israeli Violations of Human and Civil Rights (Beirut: Palestine Research Center, September 1975), pp. 58-65.

83 See Israeli press comments on Maalot in Israleft, No. 41, June 1, 1974, pp. 1-8. See also the Revolutionary Communist Alliance statement reprinted in Israleft, No. 42, June 15, 1974, pp. 9-10.

84 Bober, op. cit., p. 179.

85 Revolutionary Communist Alliance, op. cit., pp. 23-25. ISO also favours immediate Israeli withdrawal from all territory conquered in 1967.

86 Bober, op. cit., p. 184.

87 Dr. Israel Shahak. This and the following six quotations from Dr. Shahak and Vitold Yadlitzky are from interviews made in Jerusalem in August 1975

88 Kafr Qassem, October 29, 1956: Israeli authorities informed the mukhtar of Kafr Qassem at 4:30 p.m. that a curfew would be imposed at 5:00 p.m. As villagers returned from their fields between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m., 49 were killed by Israeli authorities. Of the officers responsible, one was appointed security officer of the Israeli atomic plant at Dimona and the other made "officer in charge of Arab affairs" of the city of Ramla in September 1960. Sabri Jiryis, The Arabs in Israel (Beirut: The Institute for Palestine Studies, 1968), pp. 92-118.


89 This was the opinion of the Israeli Supreme Court in the 1969 Professor George Tamarin case. The court refused to permit Tamarin to change his national designation from "Jew" to "Israeli" on his identity card. (See Noam Chomsky, "Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs' Reflections on a National Conflict," Holy Cross Quarterly, Summer 1972, p. 7.)


90 Quoted in Taylor, opt. cit., p. 103.


91 Laqueur, op. cit., p. 253 and p. 435. Laqueur himself accuses Rosa Luxemburg of "Jewish self-hatred."


92 Ibid., p. 265. Taylor, op. cit., p. 107.


93 Chomsky, Peace in the Middle East?, op. cit., p. 173.


94 Sabri Jiryis, Democratic Freedoms in Israel (Beirut: The Institute for Palestine Studies, 1972), p. 93.


95 Uri Davis, "Journey Out of Zionism," Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. I, No. 4, Summer 1972, p. 70.


96 Interview, August 1975.


97 Amos Kenan, "Between Gaza and Tel Aviv, De Facto, We Already Live in a BiNational State," in Gary V. Smith, editor, Zionism: The Dream and the Reality (London: David and Charles (Holdings), Ltd., 1974), p. 186.


98 Haaretz, April 19, 1970, quoted in Bober, op. cit., p. 22.


99 Haolam Hazeh, May 20, 1970, quoted, ibid.


100 This and the following quotation from an interview, August 1975.


101 "Interview with Dr. I. Shahak", op. cit., p. 64.


102 Cooley, op. cit., p. 217.


103 Adnan Amad, editor, Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights, op. cit., p. 59.


104 This judgement is based on numerous conversations with Palestinian Arabs from Israel and the occupied territories since 1972.


105 Adnan Amad, editor, Documents and Reports on the Israeli Violations of Human and Civil Rights, op. cit., p. 66.

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