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October 06, 1967 - Image 24

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1967-10-06

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Editor M. S. Arnoni Explains Zionism's Historic Role

Editor's Note: In his impressive analysis of the Middle East situation
and the Arab-Jewish conflict, M. S. Arnoni, editor of The Minority of
One, gave a lucid analysis of the role of the Zionist movement. The
portion of his extensive study dealing with Zionism follows:
Those Marxists to whom Zionism
The irreconcilability had rather
is anathema would have difficulty to do with that naive, romantic and
imagining any Zionists as par- illusionary stage through which
ticipating in the October Revolu- Communists had to pass before
tion. Yet, it does not take imagina- holding power anywhere and in
tion but mere information to know the years following their first
that such was the case and that successful revolution. The thought
some Zionists (Poole Zion—Left) that any unresolved problem would
remained for years legally organ- survive the Communist solution
ized in the Soviet Union. In fact, was an intolerable heresy. Com-
theirs was one of the last, if not munism was a panacea. It was
the last, non-Bolshevik party to be going to solve everything and any-
dissolved, having outlived both the thing that needed solution. Jails,
Mensheviks and the Social Revolu- for example, would disappear from
tionaries. Yes, there have always the Communist society, for the
been Zionists who also considered causes of crime would be removed.
themselves Marxists, and their Hatred, envy and strife would
position in the Zionist movement have no room in the classless so-
as well as in Israel's political and ciety. Racial discrimination was
social life is prominent indeed. absolutely unimaginable. As for
Some people fail to appreciate the Jews, all their problems, suf-
that the Zionist camp stretches fering, persecution, second-class
over a political spectrum ranging citizenship would, w ithout a
from the extreme right to the ex- shadow of a double, be gone to-
treme left. Included are many who gether with the system that prof-
differ from other Communists only ited from them. The Jewish ques-
by ties to Palestine and the Jewish tion would no longer exist. Of
national home. The Zionist corn- course, if the Jews should want
munal and cooperative movements to preserve their historic cultural-
in Israel have such strength that ethnic uniqueness, they would be
they are a source of inspiration welcome to do so, for communism
to various socialist and other move- grants complete equality to all na-
ments, especially in Asia and tionalities. An autonomous Jewish
Africa. Nor is it an accident that region will be provided.
among the Israeli leaders in vir-
To suggest that any problem
tually every field of public life
needed a solution outside the
preeminence goes to members of
Communist framework or be-
as purely communistic settlements
yond the territorial boundaries
as are in existence anywhere.
of its reign was tantamount to
non-confidence in communism
There is nothing surprising
itself. Why would anyone look
about this, for from its very be-
ginnings the Jewish resettlement outside the country preparing
itself for socialism and corn-
experiment has been conducted
by socialists of all creeds, includ- minim as if they did not suf-
fice for curing all the social
ing avowed Marxists. One of
Marx's contemporaries and asso- ills? As only counter-revolu-
ciates, Moses Hess, was a theo- tionaries would imagine crime
retician of both socialism and Zion- surviving the capitalist system,
ism. There were many others, in- so would only counter-revolu-
eluding such disciplined Marxist tionaries nostalgically look to-
thinkers as Ber Borochov and wards Palestine.
apostles of collective life and
While this attitude provided the
"Religion of Labor" as A. D. Gor- perennial negative emotions of
much of the Communist movement
The incompatibility between towards Israel, there were also
Zionism and co m m unism more concrete reasons behind the
emerges upon closer examina- hostility which was articulating
tion as nothing truly basic. It I itself. A soviet Union bearing so
is tactical rather than one of recent memories of over a million
principles. But even tactically interventionist foreign troops on
derived attitudes can with pas- her soil, surrounded by mortal
sage of time become fro-Zen.
enemies who would spare no effort
Zionism's printipal postulate is to effect a downfall of the Com-
to solve the Jewish problem munist regime, harassed, ostra-
through the territorial concentra- cized, boycotted—to such a Soviet
tion of the Jews. The choice of Union the idea of letting a large
country in which this concentra- part of its citizenry maintain con-
tion was to take place was sec. tinual political contacts with
ondary and for many years led to political parties abroad was in-
controversies within the Zionist conceivable, if for no other reason
camp. With the Soviet Union itself than state security. Yet, Zionist
having at various phases favored activities would necessarily involve
Jewish colonization in the Ukraine, close and massive liaison between
Crimea and at last in Bifobidjan, Zionist activities in the Soviet
the principle of territorial concen- Union and those elsewhere.
tration of Jews did not, in itself,
Thus there was nothing ideologi-
divide the Zionists and Commu- cally incompatible between com-
nists. It was rather the particular munism and Zionism, and the rea-
territory chosen for Jewish settle. son for the former's non-acceptance
ment that has caused a fatal rift. of the latter was one of political
But the Communist argument geography rather than theoretical
against Jewish settlement in Pales- contradiction. The Soviet Union
tine had nothing to do with "arti- was not hostile towards the idea
ficiality," obviously, the Jews were of Jewish territorial concentration,
indigenous to Birobidjan no more and she had nothing against Pales-
than they were to Palestine.
tine serving that purpose other
than its being outside the Soviet
orbit. Had Moses led the Jews to
the Crimea or Birobidjan, thus
establishing a geographic attach-
ment that would last for millenia,
the Soviets' own Jewish policy
would have been called "Zionism,"
and rather than being presented
as reactionary it would now be
cited as proof of complete Com-
munist equality of rights for na-
tional entitles. But Moses seems
to have lacked the stammina for
a longer journey.
Whatever the origins of Com-
munists' hostility towards Jewish
the very existence of
Breakfast — Lunch
that hostility put into motion self-
Snacks — Dessert
perpetuationg psychological fac-
anytime !
tors. Many a Jewish Communist
felt, for example, that he had to
Delicious flavors all
over backward to demonstrate
the way through
his revolutionary loyalty by sub-
564- 5300
ordinating to its any ethnic senti-

NEW . . .

ment. In this there has been quite of "exterminating" Israel provided
form a "fifth column" by sym-
an admixture of that self-hatred an excellent opportunity for re-
which is bound to afflict some leasing frustrated emotions.
tions are nonetheless the left-
One wonders how much popu-
members of any group suffering
overs of what in the N a a I-
lar acumen in international
from discrimination.
occupied land animated an amaz-
politics and how much of secret
To some degree Communists'
ing degree of local collaboration
anti-Semitic emotions was re-
attacks on Zionism provided vicari-
in the extremination of Jews.
flected in the enthusiasm with
ous fulfilment to people whose
How convenient and reassuring
which a Polish audience recently
ideological consistency was not so
must it be for many at long
responded to Communist leader
complete as to cure them of the
(Continued on Page 25)
Wladyslaw Gomulka's warning
last vestiges of unadmitted anti-
Semitism. The designation of 24 — Friday, October 6, 1967
"Zionism" provided a pretext for
pouring out invective actually in-1
tended for the Jews.
While this has been true for
decades, it seems to have gained
special force in the present atti-
tude of some Communists towards
Extend Greetings for
Israel. Soviet zeal in opposing Is-
rael provided the opportunity for
A Year of Health and Happiness
many an unadmitted East Eu-
ropean anti-Semite at last to find
To Their Friends and Customers
a respectable outlet for long frus-
trated emotions. Centuries-old
East-European anti-Semitism could
not possibly disappear overnight
with the magic touch of a newly
embraced Communist ideology. To
be sure, the Pole, Hungarian or
Slovak, who since the end of World
War H considers himself to be a
Communist, is aware of the in-
compatibility between anti-Semit-
ism and Communism.. That is why
he has not thought himself to be
an anti-Semite and perhaps sin-
Just W. of Coolidge
cerely tried to overcome any con-
tradictory bias. But this neces-
LI 5-3558
sarily led to frustration, to a dis-
Open Mon,. Thurs., Fri., to 9 p.m.
crepancy between theoretical con-
Sat. to 8 p.m.; Sun. 11 to 3
viction and environmentally ac-
quired impulses. Vehement Soviet
support of Arab leaders who speak

that his Jewish compatriots



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