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George Stern

On the War Fronts

(17 May 1943)

From The Militant, Vol. V No. 20, 17 May 1941, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

A few weeks ago the Jews celebrated the Feast of Passover, commemorating the departure of the Jews from Egypt for the Promised Land. The near future may hold for Jews the twisted irony of a new exodus, an exodus from the Promised Land back to Egypt.

The chances are that with the threat of a Nazi drive through Syria into Palestine toward Suez, this exodus has already begun. As usual it would be those Jews with some money who are able to get out just in advance of the storm. For the rest, the hapless hundreds of thousands who thought that in Palestine they might find refuge, the time of flight amid the storm may well be drawing near.

For decades now the Zionists’ have placed all hopes of a Jewish homeland upon the sharp points of British bayonets. They depended upon these bayonets to defend them against the Arabs and preferred this defense to the choice of a compact between Arab and Jew. In the last few years they secured precious little defense against the Arabs and tomorrow they will have even less certainty of defense against the approaching Nazi legions. There will be no way left but to retrace the path of Moses through the wilderness back into Egypt land.

The Arabs, for their part, twisted about like pawns by venal leaders, may find themselves transferred from the British imperialist yoke to the German. The compromises of their leaders in the past twenty years with the British would bear fruit now not in liberation but in subjection to the Nazis.

Both Jew and Arab, in other words, may have to pay in this form for their failure to find the common ground on which both could be free.

But take the other variant ... that Hitler will not succeed in reaching Suez from the East ... what then for the Jewish homeland in Palestine? It is already a battle sector. The British have to gamble desperately upon Arab support against the Nazis and who can doubt for a single moment that they will gladly, offer up to Arab leaders the carcass of Jewish “homeland” hopes in return for such support?

When we, for years, repeatedly warned that the only hope of the Jews in Palestine was accord with the Arabs fellaheen, that the only hope of Jews everywhere was in the overthrow of capitalism, we were brushed off as extremists and dreamers. “Realism” was the keynote of Zionist policy for the Jews. Let Jews ponder now where this realism is taking them – back into Egypt land. For our part we repeat once more; the Jew will be liberated only when all mankind is freed from the butchering rapacity of imperialism.

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