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Ben Hall

Comment on Articles on Zionism

(April 1944)

From Labor Action, Vol. 8 No. 17, 24 April 1944, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Two articles dealing with the Zionist question recently appeared in Labor Action, one entitled Division in Palestine Labor and the other Change of Policy on Palestine. Both are characterized by entirely impermissible political concessions to the ideology of “leftist” Zionism, in particular to that a Hashomer Hatzair.

Reporting on a meeting of the executive of the Histadruth, the anonymous writer in Labor Action of March 13 states that the left wing voted against the slogan of a “Jewish Commonwealth” and called for the creation of a “Bi-national state with the Arabs.” What is this bi-national state?

Criticizes Bi-National State

Meir Yaari, one of the theoreticians of the Hashomer Hatzair, in a pamphlet entitled Analysis of Zionism, points out that the principle aim of Zionism is to obtain a majority for the Jews in Palestine. A “bi-national” state which in principle must have a Jewish majority – what is that but a leftist formulation for a JEWISH state with an Arab minority?

In the same issue of Labor Action the author states that the left wing is for an agreement with the Arabs as against an agreement with the British. The slogan of the left wing for unity with the Arabs bears a purely liberal and sentimental character.

In the first place, where does Hashorner Hatzair come out for the slogan of “Independence of Palestine from Imperialism”? In April 1938, a thesis of the HH in the United States read: “The demand for the institution of a direct fight against English imperialism is one we have always considered valueless ...” And further on in the same: thesis: “The best solution for us in this historical period is the Mandate ...”

In the March 20 article in Labor Action, Jessie Kaaren points out that the Arab masses are landless.

Where does the left wing issue the slogan of “land to the masses”?

“Leftist” Cover

No “left” wing which refuses to raise the slogans of “Freedom from British Imperialism” and “Land to the Masses” can establish unity between the Arab and Jewish masses. All its pious hopes for unity only serve to give a “leftist” cover for Zionism.

It is because of these political concessions to Zionism that Kaaren can write that the Arab chiefs could not continue to keep the masses subjugated to British and American imperialism “if Palestine were to continue to be industrialized and developed under Jewish leadership.”

This is 1,000 per cent false. Under the present Zionist leadership, including that of the Hashomer Hatzair, it is GUARANTEED that the Arab chiefs will be able to keep their hold over the Arab masses – regardless of the industrialization of Palestine under that same Jewish leadership.

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