No Loyalty to Apartheid

On October 10,2010, the Israeli government proposed a bill obligating non-Jewish naturalizedcitizens to swear loyalty to a "Jewish and democratic state." The InternationalJewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) deplores this attempt to demand recognitionof Israelas a Jewish state – a state whose existence is premised on the removal of theindigenous people of Palestine.

In response to thisbill, members of the Zionist "Left" in Israel issued a "declaration of independencefrom fascism." Announced at a rally in Tel Aviv, the Middle East’s mostethnically cleansed city (indigenous population: four percent), the declarationasserts that the proposed law "violates [Israel’s] basic commitment to theprinciples of equality, civil liberty and sincere aspiration for peace –principles upon which the State of Israel was founded."

The Zionist "Left"is distancing itself from this policy, but the proposed oath is entirelyconsistent with Israel’s racist foundations and continued ethnic cleansing -all of which the Zionist "Left" has played a central role in perpetrating andwhitewashing.

Inthe 1930s, as the Zionist state was forming, the Histadrut and other LaborZionist institutions campaigned to dispossess Arab peasants and workers, whilehelping crush the resulting 1936 Arab rebellion.

In1947-1948, under the leadership of David Ben Gurion, Labor Zionism – thedominant force in the Zionist "Left" – also directed the Nakba (catastrophe),which established the "Jewish state" by terrorizing and expelling at leasteighty percent of the indigenous Palestinian population.

In the followingdecades, "Left" Zionism imposed domestic apartheid, made apartheid South AfricaIsrael’s closest ally, and led or supported every Israeli war of domination –most recently in Lebanon and Gaza. Under Labor governments, Israeli settlementsin Jerusalem and the West Bank exploded in number.*

Today, "Left"Zionists, no less than their right-wing counterparts, view Palestinians as a"demographic threat" to Jewish supremacy. Like the "Right," theyinsist that Palestinians ratify their own unequal status by recognizing 1948Palestine ("Israel") as a "Jewish state." Ironically, this Zionist racism,violence and apartheid serve to deliver a segregation of Jews that parallelstraditional European anti-Semitism.

The problem, then,is not alleged betrayal of Israeli "principles" at the hands of right-wing"extremists," but Zionism itself — both "Left" and"Right." For Israeli Jews who reject Israel’s racist foundations, westand with you.

We ask others notonly to join us in opposing the loyalty oath, but to reject the Zionistprinciples upon which it rests. Concretely, that means supporting Palestiniandemands for an end to military occupation, implementation of the right ofPalestinian refugees to return to their land, and equal rights for allthroughout Palestine.

 

*Furtheranalysis of "Left" or Labor Zionism is posted at: http://www.laborforpalestine.net/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Histadrut-Briefing.pdf

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