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Labor Action, 20 May 1946


Jesse Kaaren

Readers of Labor Action Take the Floor ...

Objects to Line on Jewish Problem


From Labor Action, Vol. 10 No. 20, 20 May 1946, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Dear Editor:

In the May 13 issue of Labor Action, you printed an article written by me dealing with the report issued by the Anglo-American Commission on the problem of the displaced Jews in Europe and their relation to Palestine. Several deletions were made in the final paragraphs, where I outlined concrete slogans which might form the basis for Arab-Jewish unity in Palestine. I said that Jewish nationalist feeling was intensely strong among hundreds of thousands of Jews in Europe and among the Jews in Palestine, and whereas their desire for national autonomy was not realizable under present conditions of imperialist control or under the Zionist program, it was conceivable that if the Jewish militants of Palestine inspired the development of an Arab party made up of genuine anti-imperialist and anti-feudal elements they could expect guarantees of autonomy from the Arabs within the larger framework of an independent federation of Middle East Arab states, and this could be the program on which they would join in a joint fight against the imperialists and the Arab reactionaries.

Instead of these ideas, you inserted the phrase, “they could logically demand that Jewish rights and interests be respected.” I do not think a single member of the Hagana would respond to a call for Arab-Jewish unity under that slogan.

Except for the improper use of my name over an article that distorted my ideas, I do not question the right of the editor to make changes, since Labor Action is a political newspaper reflecting the policies of the Workers Party.

The reason why the editor had to insert vague generalities instead of concrete slogans was that the Workers Party has not discussed the Jewish problem fully and has not drawn up a program. A full study of Jewish needs today must be made because the changed situation among Europe’s Jews and in Palestine demands a re-evaluation of the old program of the Communist International issued in the 1920’s which is the program dominating the thinking of the party comrades to this day. The crises among Europe’s Jews and in Palestine demand a transitional program for this immediate period. Just as we say to the American workers that there are intermediary stages in the struggle for socialism, so must we have a concrete program to end the impossible situation in which the persecuted Jews of Europe who want to go to Palestine, the Palestinian Jews and the Arab peasants find themselves today.

Therefore I think it is urgent for the Political Committee to draw up a resolution which shall form the basis for party discussion in this present pre-convention period.


Jessie Kaaren


Editor’s Note: We call attention to the editorial appearing in the November 12, 1945, Labor Action, A Socialist Program for the Jews, which presented our policy on this question. In addition, a resolution on this question is in preparation for the coming national convention of the Workers Party.

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