Jews, Zionism and Israel

Pierre Stambul

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Support the Palestinian people
It is difficult not to start with the news. In the war between the government and the Israeli army to the Palestinian people, there is an occupier and occupied. There is a people that has its dead by thousands, who suffers daily the worst humiliations, who are stealing the land and water, whose homes and infrastructure were destroyed. And there the settlers, and heavily armed fanatics whose presence is the main cause of the war. There are Palestinians who have made a major concession: limiting their future state to be occupied in 1967 22% of historic Palestine territories. And there is an Israeli political class remains autistic. The right always dream of Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates and a mass expulsion of “Arabs”. on the left called, she never imagined anything for the Palestinians a “Bantustan”. And she never stopped colonization.

I do not idealize Palestinian society has its fundamentalists or racist. But the Palestinian people has only one choice: to resist despite the massacres and humiliations. It needs our full support. So we can not just “be peace” or to refer back-to-back belligerents. We must demand the withdrawal of Israel from all the territories occupied in 1967, the dismantling of all the settlements and the expulsion of all the settlers.

The central question

Others are more qualified than me to talk about the war. I will limit my remarks to a crucial question for the rest of the war. Why the vast majority of Jews they argue, whatever he does, the Israeli government (the manifestation of CRIF has unfortunately yet to prove it?) Why, at a time when we realize (finally) the ravages of nationalism , Zionism rest he so popular among the Jews? How can a people who have suffered the Nazi extermination can he practice or approve daily violations of basic human rights?

My answer, and it is this theme that I develop is that Zionism and the State of Israel is a kind of perversion of Jewish identity (which is mainly due to the diaspora) and drift current is the result of rewriting the history of Judaism. Artificial construction of an alleged Israeli identity was formed by destroying languages, cultures and values ​​of Diasporas. Israeli society is sick and exploded. His only cohesion is the fantasy of hostile encirclement and destruction is perpetual agitation of memories of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. But again, there is in my opinion a scam. Zionism has no wish to fight against anti-Semitism and has no right to recover the Holocaust.

What does being a Jew?

Initially, there is a bound to a religion and territory but everything changed after the destruction of the Second Temple by the Roman troops (AD 70. JC) people. Dispersion (diaspora) has resulted in many conversions (in both directions). It is clear that, physically, an Ethiopian Jew (Falasha) does not look like a Jew in North Africa or a Central European Jew. We start by the Jewish religion. The Spanish Inquisition pass a racial definition since, after the expulsion of the Jews, it will take the “conversos” and Marranos, in short, all those who have “Jewish blood.” Modern anti-Semitism and Nazism in particular also define Jews as a “race” less need to destroy. Zionism but also gives a “racial” definition of Judaism. One is a Jew “by his mother.” And I, who was born of Jewish parents, atheist, uncircumcised, Zionist and French culture, I automatically become an Israeli citizen if I emigrated when a “Israeli Arab” (term for Palestinians who are not parties 1948) will always be a stranger in his own country which defines itself as a “Jewish state.”

Too often confuses the Jewish people (or rather the Jewish people, because the stories of diasporas have diverged much), the Jewish religion, the Zionist ideology and Israeli nationality. There are 4 distinct concepts.

There is a tragic version of Jewish history. This is the “Last of the Just”, the book by André Schwartz-Bart (1959). This is the story of a family that begins with the pogrom of York in England in the tenth century and ends at Auschwitz, where the last descendant is gassed. The history of the Jews has not always been so tragic. This is above all a people without land who has learned (as Gypsies) to defend its identity, its values​​, its culture despite the opponent. A people who, by necessity, has developed forms of universalism, cosmopolitanism. Forced to live in “ghettos” and practice prohibited other trades (including wear) people. A people who borrowed from other peoples (Spanish, German, Arabic) its language (Ladino, Yiddish, Judeo-Arabic), music and a part of its culture.


Initially the Jews have suffered mainly Christian anti-Judaism (Jews being “deicide”), marked by massacres (the Crusades began with genocide against the Jews in the Rhine Valley) and pogroms (Spain, Eastern Europe ). In Muslim countries, the Jews had a status, like all religious minorities practicing a “religion of the Book.” Inferior status, but who protected, except in cases of crisis, exactions. The religious anti-Judaism will take a new form in Spain in the fifteenth century. The unification of the country and the construction of a modern state is accompanied by a genuine “ethnic cleansing” against the Moors and Jews.

The output of the ghetto began in Germany in the early eighteenth century. It continues with than get European Jews after the French Revolution rights. This possibility is reflected out of the ghetto to the Jews by a deep desire to assimilate, by distancing religion, and a massive support to secularism, the ideas of “Enlightenment” or the nascent revolutionary ideas. The traditional Christian anti-Judaism then gives way to modern anti-Semitism. The Jew personifies that is not seen but is there that resembles another, but that is “unclean”. He is hated, not because he lives elsewhere, but rather because it is socially integrated and it breaks delusions homogeneous society, ethnically pure and perfectly ordered. It is seen as an obstacle to construction (nationalist) modern states. It is significant that the countries where anti-Semitism reached its most extreme form (Germany) is one in which the Jews were culturally closest. European Jews spoke a language derived from German. Numerous intellectuals, writers, artists and German politicians were Jewish or of Jewish origin. Jewish figure that is unbearable to the pathological anti-Semite, is that of Marx, Freud, Kafka, Rosa Luxemburg, in short it is this form of universalism or rebellious thought. This is to avoid any misunderstanding with the current attacks against synagogues or Jewish schools. These fools attacks, well condemned by Leila Shahid, just people who do the same as early Zionists assimilation. They mix Jew, Jewish, Israeli and Zionist. They think their act is a form of protest against the violence of the Israeli army when they serve the Palestinian cause.

Again, the historical anti-Semitism, the Celine Brasillach or Petain regime did not took the image of the Israeli tank crew. Antisemitism hit a people whose minority culture has disappeared. Half of Europeans Jews were exterminated by the Nazis. And Zionism strove with survivors to remove the specificity of the Jewish people by building a “ethnically pure” country, reproducing the same flaws that many other diets that have grown this deadly myth.

Anti-Semitism was a founding and unifying element of all forms of fascism and it is not surprising that Le Pen resume regular anti-Semitic themes. But anti-Semitism has nothing to do with Zionism. There are antisionnistes Jews (unfortunately little) and there is however a lot of fascists who, in their anti-Arab racism, a certain admiration for Israel. Again, we must fight against any trivialization of anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism. But by engaging fully in support for Sharon, the “Jewish institutions” (I shall return later to the CRIF) promote confusion and take the opportunity to encourage French Jews to emigrate to Israel.
Zionism and the rewriting of history

It is symptomatic that the Zionist leaders have always had the desire to propagate a version of the history of Judaism that makes the construction of the State of Israel a natural outcome. And Shamir, at the opening of the Madrid Conference (1991, first step towards the Oslo Accords) states that Jews are in Palestine without interruption since 4000. This is of course false. Between the taking of Masada by the Romans (circa 130 AD) and the arrival of Spanish Jews in Galilee in the late fifteenth century, there is virtually no Jews in Palestine, in any case much less in proportion than in neighboring countries. Education Minister Sharon, Ms. Livnat adds a layer. “Palestine was invaded by the Arabs as Spain (!). Jews were the majority in Jerusalem since 1868, “etc.. Delusions? Yes, but the supporters of Greater Serbia as delirious saying that Albanians were invaders from the Caucasus and the Rwanda genocide delirious stating that Tutsis were foreigners from Ethiopia. We have seen the result of these delusions.

It is easy to rewrite history. In the occupied Golan, I saw villages dynamited, mosques collapsed. By against, at the entrance to Qatzrin, Israeli new town was conveniently found the ruins of a synagogue in antiquity. Voila and annexation justified.

Zionism is defined as a “national liberation movement.” It appears at the time of the Dreyfus Affair and the Kishinev pogrom. Until 1945, there will be a minority among European Jews. There were 100,000 Jews in Palestine at the time of the Balfour Declaration (1917) and 400,000 during World War II (1/3 of the population of Palestine). The Jews of Europe at that time massively abandoned any practice or any religious belief. They massively adhered to revolutionary ideas. They are found in all parties and in particular PC. For the Nazis, Jew = Bolshevik. another movement, the Bund, is hegemonic in Poland. He advocates the liberation of the Jews by the socialist revolution, equal rights and cultural autonomy. In short, against the Communists, for whom “there is no Jewish question” or Zionists who claim a territory (with the famous murderer myth of “land without people for a people san earth”), the Bundists offer “emancipation of the Jews on the spot, without a specific territory.

Initially, the “left” is widely prevails among Zionists. Poale Zion shall USSR a companion PC to disposal by Stalin. Kibbutzim were founded by utopian socialists. And Zionist youth (Hashomer Hatzair’s) often serve as an antechamber to a more radical engagement.

But Jewish institutions who settled in Palestine organized from the start the expropriation of Palestinian lands. In 1930 appears the Zionist right. its leader, Jabotinsky, is defined as “revisionist.” This is an admirer of Mussolini advocated the expulsion of all Palestinians. This is the program that Sharon tries to apply today. The Zionist right is not an accident of history. This is the inevitable consequence of any nationalist logic, on behalf of the alleged interests of the people, ends up denying the rights of all others.

the Holocaust

Israel is an indirect consequence of the Holocaust. Before Auschwitz, the idea that the only solution was for the Jews to have a state was largely minority. The genocide perpetrated by the Nazis is well absolute barbarity, the energy of the most powerful state in the world is entirely focused on the mass extermination. Other barbaric regimes have tried to imitate the Nazis but not afford. And it would be ridiculous to compare the current atrocities in the West Bank and Gaza with the Holocaust.

The Zionists claim that if Israel had existed, the Jews would have been saved. Obvious lie. Jewish resistance to Nazism was essentially communist or Bundist. Jewish Communists who had participated in the International Brigades massively engaged in the often resistance against the opinion of the party before the attack on the USSR by Hitler (see example of Leopold Trepper, founder of the “Red Orchestra” ). They formed a large part of the ME (“Immigrant labor”), the main resistance group in Paris in 1943. Bundists The played a key role in the uprising of the Warsaw ghetto. All Jews did not have the same awareness. UGIF (General Union of French Jews), ancestor of the CRIF, has collaborated with the Pétain regime by giving its files and sacrificing foreign Jews (read Maurice Rajsfus). There were employees Jews naively hoping to save their skin. Manouchian the group execute the traitor Davidowicz and liquidate the Warsaw insurgents administration (Jewish) ghetto!

And Zionists? there existed very few groups of Zionist resistance. In Palestine, many Jews were involved in the British army (Moshe Dayan lost his eye fighting Petainists Syria) but the Zionist right has remained blind for very long. In 1942, the Stern group still committing attacks against the British.

Israel’s founding

With the opening of the archives, “dissidents” Israeli historians have rewritten the true story of the 1948 war. Ilan Pappe shows that the image of “David against the Israeli Goliath Arab” is pretty much a propagandist invention. Consciously, the “international community” and the UN chose to pay the Palestinian people the crimes of Nazism which he was not responsible. The visit to Germany of Nazi Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, was skillfully used.

Palestinians call this war the “Nakba” (catastrophe). We now know that they are not parties spontaneously. The “Dalet” plane (D in Hebrew) had planned their expulsion and the Israeli military superiority was no doubt. Cities such as Lydda (Lod) and Ramla were emptied of their Palestinian population in one day. Where Palestinians remained (Haifa, Nazareth), they owe it to the military presence of the British army. of course, it is the Irgun, the armed wing of the right of Begin, who directed the massacre of Deir Yassin but Pappe shows that there was complementarity between these militias and the new Israeli army.

The responsibility of the Arab regimes is overwhelming. They have not really beaten, they even made ​​a pact with the Israelis (for Jordan, obviously). They helped to populate the new state of Israel by encouraging rather briskly a million Jews from Arab countries.

A society adrift

Israel was founded on lies (the land without people leaving “spontaneous” “Arabs”) and the denial of the existence of rights of the Palestinian people. The country has turned into a bridgehead of U.S. imperialism in the region. Initially, the justification for Israel’s existence was that it was the only solution for persecuted Jews worldwide. This justification no longer holds. Only a minority of Israelis experienced persecution. The influx of Jews from the Arab World, Soviet Jews or the current emigration is another story, that of a so-called “identity back.”

The Zionist project became a project of conquest and settlement in the 50s. To make the new Israeli, had to be destroyed patiently “Jew”, the stranger, the cosmopolitan, universalist, the exile. It took liquidate the languages ​​of the Diaspora. It took redefine the Jew definition necessarily racial and religious. The country became theocratic. While “secular” were largely hegemonic initially the most fanatical religious surfed this pseudo isolationism. Conquer new territories in 1967 was premeditated. Military plans were prepared long ago. This is the “left” who installed the first colonies.

The tremendous growth of the right of the extreme right and religious is the result of this headlong rush. The coming to power of Begin in 1977, it is almost as if Salan and the OAS had taken power in France during the war in Algeria. All the leaders of this right have committed war crimes: Begin at Deir Yassin, Shamir sponsoring the assassination of Count Bernadotte, Sharon allowing the entry of Phalangist militia at Sabra and Shatila. There has clearly fascist Jews (as shocking as it may seem): Meir Kahane Rabbi (assassinated) founder of Kach, Rabin’s assassin (whose family came from Yemen, this is the result of destruction of its roots) or the Minister Lieberman who dreams to bomb the Aswan Dam. The extreme right is both “secular” (parties like Tsomet, Moledet) and religious (Shas, NRP, Gush Emunim). The project to install settlements in the occupied attracting immigrants by grants territories ridiculous and luxurious facilities rents is a fascist project. All these settlements will be dismantled.

And the Israeli left? Majority (establishment Labour), it recalls Guy Mollet during the war in Algeria. She has organized or approved all mischief against Palestine. It supports the Sharon government. She is ready to accept a Palestinian but reduced to a Bantustan state: without unity, without viability, without land, without water, without capital. Fortunately, there is a truly pacifist minority: refractory claiming that the occupation corrupts the whole society and a handful of individuals (Amira Hass, Michel Warchawski, Ilan Pappe, Ury Avnery). Some politicians like Yossi Beilin, or Abraham Burg evolve into these positions.

Diaspora, Zionism has transformed all Jewish organizations in organization of propaganda and unconditional support for Israeli policy. This is particularly true of CRIF (Representative of nothing, most French Jews who do not attend such institutions have never been consulted).

to conclude

It is sometimes said, “You’re lucky. As a Jew and son of deportees, you can afford to say certain things. Us, we will tax us to anti-Semitism. “(I, we will tax me a traitor or ashamed Jew). It seems to me that we must think differently. Is there anti-Arab racism when we denounce the GIA or religious fanatics? Does there not rather urgent to defend the Arabs who reject fundamentalism? For Zionism is the same. Not only it commits crimes against the Palestinian people but it is intolerable pressure against the Jews who refuse nationalist drift and communitarian withdrawal.

Zionism is to the history of Judaism just that Milosevic represents the history of the Serbian people: degeneration, the result of a nationalist process, a confinement of thought in a neurotic logic and ultimately many crimes. when I say that, I do not say that he must destroy Israel. We do not rewrite history and Palestinians leaders have understood. They also come to understand the importance of the Holocaust. But the founders lies, “the law of return”, arrogance, all this must stop. Peace will require both a withdrawal from all occupied territories, complete equality and recognition by the State of Israel of the “fault” original: the Palestinians were not responsible for the Holocaust, there was no the right to steal their country and continue to do so.


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