It is a great tragedy that although Gilad Atzmon became revolted at what he saw in the Lebanon War of 1982, he accepted the basis premise of Zionism that it is indeed the sole representative of Jewish identity… But he also attacks those manifestations of past Jewish identity which don’t fit in with his schema. In particular the Bund, which as I pointed out last night and he accepted, represented 85% of the Jewish Council seats in Warsaw in 1938 are more detestable to Atzmon than Zionism.
Atzmon despicably attacks the Bund and that small remnant who weren’t wiped out by the Nazis who made their way to Israel in 1948. A film has been made about them, a very sad and tragic film. The Bund in Israel sought both to keep the memory of their fight in Poland alive and stay together to cherish their heritage. I doubt if there are many Palestinians who would resent or oppose these survivors of the holocaust settling in Palestine as it then was. Just as today Black Africans have formed a community in south Tel Aviv and been the victims of the most appalling pogroms and racist abuse. [see Xenophobia in Tel Aviv, ‘We must not let nationalism, threatened sense of identity turn us into old-time Europe’ Daniel Feldman]
The remnants of the Bund came as refugees not colonisers. The Zionists came as colonisers and used the Jewish refugees as a battering ram, actively campaigning against their admission to the USA and elsewhere in the world. Yet Atzmon attacks this tiny remnant who sought to preserve their socialism in the midst of a contradiction of being Jewish in a ‘Jewish’ state. In fact the Produce Eran Torbiner, a young late 40s Bundist is a supporter as he told me of the Boycott Within. Yet Atzmon seems to attack these of all people. Gilad Atzmon: The Bund- A Disturbing Jewish Political Exercise (must watch)
Atzmon cites Yaacov Belek, an elderly Bundist, that “The Bund was a unique Party. It wasn’t like any other party… it was an empire. A bund member was a different kind of person. … For years we grew bigger and bigger. Before the beginning of WWII it was the largest party in Poland. We possessed everything. We had the youth, future, SKIP, sport, so many schools, we were the new type, we were the new man’ This is an example of ‘Jewish Power’ The absurdity should be obvious to anyone. The Bund actively worked with the Polish Socialist Party. They led the Warsaw ghetto resistance. They campaigned against the Zionists and represented the Jewish oppressed which Atzmon terms a ‘Jews only’ party. Well yes, the oppressed do have the right to organise separately. Do we call the Black Panther movement in the USA ‘Blacks only’ as if it and not the KKK were the racists? Perhaps Atzmon could consult David Duke about all of this!
Cross-posted from Anti-National Translation:
To add to the German article, “Class-Strugglers against their own Will: The German Communist Party and the Antisemitism in Weimar Republic“, by Olaf Kistenmacher that I already linked to, here are two more texts, this time in English, by Olaf, from the Engage journal:
The argument, essentially, is that a trajectory towards a malignant form of anti-Zionism in the post-1945 anti-imperialist left was already present in the 1920s. “It did not need to be invented after 1945 in order to identify ‘Zionism’ with imperialism and capitalism, and the socialist and communist left after 1945 were not the first to advocate the hatred of ‘Zionism’. This has already been done in the 1920s. It is also important that the conversion of anti-imperialism into anti-Zionism marked a considerable shift in the worldview of the left: Throughout the Weimar Republic, the KPD drew a fetishistic picture of capitalism, as if the German working class possessed its ‘working power’ as a quasi-natural property that could create ‘values’ independent of the historical circumstances.” Although pre-1933 anti-Zionism cannot be equated to its post-Shoah forms, the intellectual basis was already deeply rooted.
- Class-Strugglers against their own Will: The German Communist Party and the Antisemitism in Weimar Republic (antigerman.wordpress.com)
A Zionism/anti-Zionism special:
James Bloodworth: Trotskyists and the State of Israel
Max Weber: Can anarchists be legal scholars?
Brandon Storm: Dying Breeds: Moderate Republicans and Spanish Socialists