Wednesday, November 24, 2010

When The Zionist Left Was Anti-Partition

Zionist politics is a complex subject.

Once upon a time, HaShomer HaTzair (the political party before it became Mapam and not strictly the youth movement) was anti-partition, seeking a binational state.

As the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry found out:

As the result of the public hearings and of many private conversations, we came to the conclusion that the Biltmore Program has the support of the overwhelming majority of Zionists. Though many Jews have doubts about the wisdom of formulating these ultimate demands, the program has undoubtedly won the support of the Zionist movement as a whole, chiefly because it expresses the policy of Palestinian Jewry which now plays a leading role in the Jewish-Agency...Palestinian Jewry is riddled with party differences. The number of political newspapers and periodicals bears witness to the variety and vitality of this political life, and, apart from pressure exerted on Jews considered to be disloyal to the National Home, we found little evidence to support the rumors that it was dangerous to advocate minority views...Hashomer Hatzair, a socialist party which, while demanding the right of unrestricted immigration and land settlement, challenges the concept of the Jewish State and particularly emphasizes the need for cooperation with the Arabs. Hashomer Hatzair, though it did not appear before us, published shortly before we left Jerusalem a striking pamphlet in support of bi-nationalism.

And here is the poster that expresses the above view:

It's headline reads:-

Biltmore Means Partition and a Good Partition is Fata Morgana

And here is a Marxist critique:

As regards the bi-nationalism of Hashomer Hatzair, it is an untruth to say that they stand for an Arab-Jewish Republic. Against the official Zionist programme they put forward these demands:

1. To open the doors of Palestine for Jewish immigration.
2. To establish in Palestine a political regime under international control which will give the Jewish Agency the right t carry out Jewish immigration according to the full economic absorptive capacity of the country.
3. To grant the Jewish Agency the necessary authority for the development and building up of the country, including settlement of all government owned lands and uninhabited spaces, in the interests of the two sectors of the population, which will make dense Jewish colonisation possible, and the development of the Arab economy.
4. To establish in Palestine after the war a regime based on the political equality of both peoples; which will enable Zionism to realise its aims undisturbed and will advance Palestine towards political independence in the frame of bi-nationalism. (Against the Stream, Collection of Articles and Speeches, Tel Aviv, 1943, Hebrew).

All matters of immigration and settlement, according to Hashomer Hatzair, must be dealt with by the Jewish Agency, which will be concerned – as it has been concerned until today – with the “development of the Arab economy.”

Of course has Hashomer Hatzair is ready to co-operate with the Arabs on such a basis. They only forget one small question: will the Arab masses accept this as a basis for collaboration? Is not control over immigration and colonisation in such a country as Palestine control over the most important functions of the state? Does the programme of has Hashomer Hatzair differ from the Jewish State programme in other than a greater dose of hypocrisy?

But if any doubt remains as to the extreme Zionism of Hashomer Hatzair, its leaders dispel it when they explain the bi-national programme:

“we aspire to the concentration of the majority of Jews in Palestine and the neighbouring countries.”

“The problem we are all concerned with is what is the most purposeful way to cease being a minority in the country.”

“Ben-Gurion claims that Zionism is not conditioned by the agreement of the Arabs; our position has always been the same.”

“Without agreement with the Arabs, too, we will continue the Zionist undertaking.” (From the speeches of M.Yaari and Y. Chazan in the Inner Zionist Council, 15th October and 10th November, 1942).

What is the basis for agreement with the Arabs? Hashomer Hatzair gives a clear answer:

“A primary precondition for any negotiation will be a declaration and common agreement that negotiations will be a declaration and common agreement that negotiations will be carried on only on the basis of the Mandate, and the unshakable recognition of Jewish immigration into Palestine.” (On the Wall, 1.1.39)

Are not Hashomer Hatzair really enthusiastic about bi-nationalism and fraternity with the Arabs? After all, all they ask of them is consent to only two “small” points – imperialist domination and Zionism.


Unknown said...

the context for all this confuses me.

politics and political truths are merely populist by attrition.

Juniper in the Desert said...

Zionist leftist? Now that seems a contradiction in terms!

As an exercise, I would like to ask these Zionist leftists where they plan to live once they have handed Israel to the fakestinians: did they not hear Abbas say the new Fakestine was going to be Judenrein??