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Labor Action, 30 June 1947


Al Findley

Readers of Labor Action Take the Floor ...

Complaint and Reply on Palestine Article


From Labor Action, Vol. 11 No. 26, 30 June 1947, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Dear Editor:

Allow me to correct an error in the editorial revision of my article of last week on Jews Will Gain Nothing from Russian About-Face.

The article at present reads “The beginning of wisdom in the Palestinian question is the recognition not only of the national rights of both Jews and Arabs, but above all independence of the country before any sound and lasting steps can be taken in Arab-Jewish relations.”

That is not what I wrote, places the cart before the horse, and is entirely wrong.

As Gromyko stated, “everybody” is for independence. The Revisionists want a Jewish provisional government immediately. The Mufti wants an Arab state immediately. The Zionist leaders want an immediate independent state in a partitioned Palestine. The Socialist Workers Party wants immediate independence with no immigration.

Tbe question is how to get independence and what kind of independence it will be. We say not by reliance on any imperialism. Good. How, then? By Arab-Jewish unity? How is this unity to be achieved?

The SWP says by “complete sacrifice” of all Jewish rights. The Hashomer Hatzair says by political parity, the Zionist leaders say by the Arabs accepting them as benefactors. The Mufti says by the Jews remaining as a denationalized minority. The Marxists say by recognizing the national rights of both Jews and Arabs.

For the Jews at present, national rights mean, above all, free immigration to save thousands of Jews from rotting to death, and to live as a nation – in an independent Palestine.

For the Arabs it means national freedom and a democratic majority in an independent Palestine.

No! “Sound and lasting steps in Jewish relationships” is not something that will come after independence. It will only come about in the course of the struggle for independence. The Jews cannot win real independence without the aid of the Arabs. The Arabs cannot win independence without the aid of the Jews. The Marxists have the job of winning over the Arab AND Jewish workers to this point of view.


Al Findley

P.S. – As a result of poor sentence structure in one of my previous articles, I gave the wrong impression that S. Israeli, Palestinian correspondent of The Forward, is editor of the Bulletin of the Council for Arab-Jewish Cooperation. He is not.



We think Comrade Findley is squeezing a point which does not really exist, if we understand his letter correctly. Naturally, we take responsibility for the editorial correction made, but it does not, as Findley believes, place the cart before the horse. For the article as editorially amended, states that the beginning of wisdom on this question is the “recognition” of the national rights of both Arabs and Jews and the necessity for independence, “before any sound and lasting steps can be taken in Arab-Jewish relations.” This does not mean that independence must be achieved first before anything can be done in direction, but it does mean that before “any sound and lasting steps can be taken,” this much has to be recognized, and not merely that, but fought for. That is what is meant by recognition and, it implies struggle and the establishment of harmonious relations in this struggle. Our position on the right of free immigration is too well known to repeat it here.

It is not true that “everybody” is for independence; many are, but only we are for it completely on the basis of full economic, political and social rights for the two populations, free of any ties with British imperialism. That includes the right of free immigration.

While we do not agree with the SWP on the Palestinian question, particularly their utterly contradictory position against free immigration to Palestine, and while their concrete program for that country is faulty and falsely motivated, it is wrong, as the letter states, that they want “complete sacrifice” of all Jewish rights. We assume this to be a polemical exaggeration on the part of Comrade Findley.


The Editors

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