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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/15/09

The History of Anti-Zionism

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Message Barry Werner
The anti-Zionist movement was started soon after the start of Zionism itself by Jewish Communists. Although many of the early Zionist leaders were Communists (remember, the kibbutz movement was a Communist invention) they were considered heretical by mainstream Communists because they espoused a national, rather than a universal solution to anti-Semitism. This is the historical basis for a lot of the anti-Zionism still prevalent among left-wing Jews today.

The anti-Zionism among the Naturei Karta, a small group of extremely religious Jews, is of a totally different origin. This group believes that secular Jews should not govern Israel, but that the Jewish people should wait for the arrival of the Messiah and the establishment of a theocracy. It is indeed strange that left wing non-Jews look to the Naturei Karta for confirmation of their anti-Zionist opinions.

The rise of fascism and World War II turned attention elsewhere and the holocaust opened the world's eyes to the horror of anti-Semitism. In 1947, the Soviet Union supported the U.N. proposal for the creation of the State of Israel.

The 1950s Soviet disenchantment at Israel's increasing alliance with western nations like Britain, France, and the U.S., led the Soviets to support the Arabs and to instigate an international smear campaign by left-wing intellectuals against Israel. In those days, the Soviet Union could dictate what communists around the world were supposed to believe.

In the United States in the '60s, the civil rights coalition between Jews and African Americans broke down when Stokely Carmichael, a young left-wing African American, assumed leadership of SNCC, the Students Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. He advocated violence under the banner of Black Power and rejected white culture, specifically any further Jewish involvement in the civil rights movement. (Jews had, prior to the ascendancy of Carmichael, been actively and prominently involved in the civil rights movement.) Other violent groups, such as the Black Panthers and the Black Muslims, also became more influential. The radicals aligned themselves with the Moslems of Africa, adopting anti-Semitism and the anti-Zionist attitudes of the Moslem world. Many, including Stokely Carmichael, also rejected Christianity and adopted the Islamic religion. However for most of them, their love affair with the Moslems of Africa cooled as historical evidence emerged about the involvement of Moslems in the black African slave trade and because of the Africans' indifference to their long-lost brethren in the U.S. Despite the Africans' unrequited love, the anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism persisted.

In more recent years, left wing anti-Zionism has magnified out of all proportion. Very persuasive non-mainstream anti-Zionists, many of them Jews, have added their voices to the cause. Left-wing commentators say that it has to do with the loss of focus after the collapse of the Soviet Union; that the left wing is searching for a cause, and has found its niche in the anti-Zionist movement (see “The Resurgence of Anti-Semitism” by Bernard Harrison and “Left in Dark Times” by Bernard-Henri Levy). Jewish commentators say anti-Zionism persists because it feeds on latent anti-Semitism and Jewish self-hatred (Jewish anti-Zionists prefer to be lauded by the left-wing community than by the Jewish community). Whatever the explanation, too many left wingers now irrationally support or excuse away the anti-Semitic and fascist methodology of the radical Islamists.

Arab propagandists compound left wing anti-Zionism by providing the media with images of suffering Palestinians. This is intended to have the same effect that the images of suffering Vietnamese had in getting the U.S. to abandon the Vietnam War. Some of the images are staged for the cameras, some are doctored, and yet others, purporting to represent Israeli atrocities, are actually the result of Arab atrocities (all such claims having been proven true). Arab propagandists rely on reporters' thirst for sensationalism, and quickly provide them with the sort of disinformation and images of suffering Palestinians about which viewers love to get righteously indignant. Retractions are very difficult without loss of face; the media cannot allow themselves to be seen as having been duped. Above all, the media do not want to turn their audience off by confusing them with too many facts. As a reporter recently admitted in an interview published in the Jerusalem Post, images of death are more important than explanations of context because death sells papers, context doesn't. See the full article at click here
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I am a retired PhD physicist with a deep, long term interest in the Israel/Arab/Muslim conflict.
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