10 Things You Should Know About Israel & Zionism

1. Anti-Semitism is a racist ideology directed against Jews. It must be fought be attacking its economic, social, political and psychological roots in society.

2. Anti-Zionism is the struggle against the Zionist movement, a movement which was born in the 19th century, and which projected the gathering of the Jews in Palestine to establish a mono-cultural Jewish state at the expense of the native Palestinian population. In practice Zionism was translated into the expulsion of the majority of the Palestinian people from their homes, reducing them to refugees. The struggle against the policies and structure of Israel is thus an anti-colonialist struggle to restore to the Palestinians their national rights in their country.

3. Zionism and the state of Israel are not representative of Jews or the Jewish religion as a whole. In fact, some Orthodox Jews – especially those of Palestine – were bitterly hostile to Zionism for a long time. It is extremely regrettable that many communal and religious leaders of the Jewish communities are willing to cover the colonialist and racist policies of Israel with their moral authority.

4. Not only does Israel oppress the Palestinian Arabs, but also its existence makes no contribution to eliminating anti-Semitism. By improperly posing as the representatives of world Jewry – even though six-sevenths of the Jews live outside of Israel – and by spreading in international public opinion the notion of unconditional solidarity of Jews with Israel, Zionist leaders in fact stimulate anti-Semitism. This is especially true in the Arab countries.

5. Israel was not born as the result of Nazi persecution. The foundations of the Zionist colonization of Palestine were laid way back during the last quarter of the 19th century.

6. It is necessary to refute the purported “historical rights” of the Jews to Palestine. Even before the Roman conquest of Judea in 70A.D. three-quarters of the Jewish population lived outside Palestine. Those who remained were gradually absorbed by neighboring populations over the coming centuries, in the same way the Philistines, Phoenicians and others were. In fact, paradoxically, today’s Palestinians are to an extent descendants of the original Hebrews.

7. Zionism was able to gain Palestine because it had the support of a succession of imperialist powers; first the Ottoman Empire, then the British, and later the United States. To this day, it is the leading military power in the Middle East because of the aid and active support of the United States, who uses Israel to further its economic and political interests in the region.

8. Israel is not a “socialist” state. On the contrary, it is the firmest bastion of capitalism in the region. The kibbutzim – which are collective farms – are not the socialist oases often depicted by simplistic propaganda. They are highly dependent on the banking sector, often rely on the exploitation of Arab and poor Jewish labor, and in many instances are used as military bases to aid in the colonization of newly occupied Palestinian territory.

9. Israel is not a “democratic” state. It is a racist and clerical state, based on the expulsion of the indigenous population, the institutionalization of the “right of return” for every Jew (while refusing the right of return to the Palestinians it drove out), and the oppression of the laboring Arab minority that remains in its borders. Within Israel Arabs are subjected to colonialist “exceptional” laws that were originally instituted by the British when Palestine was their colony. These laws allow military authorities to expel, imprison and confiscate without cause. When the British applied these colonial ordinances to Zionist settlers just after World War II, former Israeli Minister of Justice Shapira asserted, “Even in Nazi Germany there weren’t such laws.”

10. The only future that Zionism and the structures of the state of Israel offer to the Jewish population of Palestine is war. The solution for Jews is to seek fraternal integration with Palestinian Arabs in a socialist, democratic and secular Palestine.

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