Soviet (re)definition of Zionism
This is article “Zionism” from the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition, 1969-1978. Translation from the original Russian is by yours truly. I think this piece of the Cold War deserves to be analyzed.
Zionism (term derived from the Mount Zion in Jerusalem), the most reactionary variety of Jewish bourgeois nationalism, which received significant propagation in the 20th century among Jewish population of capitalist countries. Contemporary Z. is a nationalist ideology, extensive system of organizations and politics expressing the interests of affluent Jewish bourgeoisie, closely related to the monopolist bourgeoisie of imperialistic countries. The main posits of the contemporary Z. are militant chauvinism, racism, anti-Communism and anti-Sovietism.
As a political movement, Z. arose in the end of the 19th century. It was designed to distract Jewish working masses from the revolutionary fight, to preserve the domination of the bourgeoisie over the workers. To implement these intents, the ideologists of Z. advanced their plans of resolving the “Jewish question” by creating a “Jewish state” with the aid of the Great Powers. This idea was presented, in particular, in the book of one of the ideologists of Z., an Austrian journalist Theodore Herzl Judenstaat (1896). In 1897, the first Zionist congress in Basel established the World Zionist Organization (WZO). The WZO proclaimed as the official goal of Z. “the creation of a home in Palestine for the Jewish people, secured by public law.”
Ideological doctrine of Z. is very eclectic. It actively uses many dogmas of Judaism, and also includes theories of bourgeois nationalism, social chauvinism, etc., adapted by ideologists of Z. Its basic positions may be reduced to the following:
- Jews of various countries present an ex-territorial “united worldwide Jewish nation”;
- Jews are “special”, “exclusive”, “chosen by god” people;
- All peoples among which Jews live, in one way or another are antisemites;
- Antisemitism is a phenomenon that is “eternal”;
- Assimilation, i.e. the confluence of Jews with their surrounding peoples, “is unnatural and sinful”;
- Jews have “historical rights” to the “lands of the biblical ancestors” (Palestine and adjacent areas), where they have to be concentrated in order to build a “purely Jewish” “egalitarian state”.
Ideologists of Z. attempt to prove the “unbreakable connection of Jews worldwide” with Z., to which they must subordinate their interests, no matter where they are. The politicized dogmas of Judaism about Jews “being chosen by god” and about their messianism, as well as mythical thesis about their “exclusivity” comprise one of the fundamentals of ultra-nationalism, chauvinism and racism, immanently inherent in the ideology and the practice of Z. The ideologists of Z. assert that the “Jewish question” is an “eternal”, “exceptional” and the above-class question. Zionists in every way possible propagandize the deceitful idea of the class peace between Jewish workers and Jewish bourgeoisie (“all Jews are brothers”). The ideologists of Z. declare all forms of the class struggle among Jews as national treason. With the aid of the demagogy and tactical trickery, the Zionists always strove and still attempt to disguise the anti-social reactionary essence of Z., posing it as the “national liberation movement of the Jewish people worldwide”.
After the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, by the UN resolution (on part of the territory of Palestine), Z. became the official state ideology of Israel. The main objectives of Z. are proclaimed as the unconditional support of this state by Jews of the entire world, concentration in Israel of the Jews from the entire world, persuasion of the Jewish population of various countries in the Zionist spirit. Z. poses the task of expanding this state to the boundaries of the so-called “greater Israel”. To solve this task, the Zionists use a thesis of the “eternal antisemitism”, while at the same time frequently inflaming it themselves.
Z. is the basis of the official state policy of Israel. Zionists declare the state of Israel the motherland of all Jews, no matter where they live and no matter how they relate to Zionism. The 28th congress of the WZO (took place in 1972 in Jerusalem) in violation of all norms of the international law accepted “the collective obligation of all national (in the form of Zionist and pro-Zionist) organizations to help the Jewish state under any circumstances and conditions, even in case if this runs against the authorities” of their corresponding countries.
The main line of Z. always was and still is the overt and covert fight against socialism, international Communist and national liberation movements, the Soviet Union and other socialist countries. Immediately after the victory of October Revolution of 1917 in Russia, Z. unfolded active fight against the young Soviet State. After the Second World War 1939-45, in conditions of further deepening of the general crisis of Capitalism, the anti-Communism, anti-Sovietism and international Z. took even wider scale. The complete change of the ratio of forces in the world in favor of Socialism, the successful resolution of national (including Jewish) question in the USSR, the successive support of the national liberation struggle of the Arab peoples by the Soviet Union – all this causes strengthening of anti-Soviet and anti-Communist Zionist propaganda and activity.
The international Z. attempts to destroy moral and political unity of the peoples of the Socialist countries, detach the citizens of Jewish ethnicity away from the participation in the building of Socialism and Communism, it conducts clandestine activities against the Détente, in particular against the ongoing normalization of Soviet-American relations. Serving as the front squad of Colonialism and neo-Colonialism, the international Z. actively participates in the fight against national liberation movements of the peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America. In the Near East, the Zionist ruling circles of Israel carry out the policy of aggression and constant territorial expansion against the Arab peoples, and, first of all, the Arab people of Palestine. This policy turned Israel into the imperialistic gendarme in the Near East, and was the main reason for the Arab-Israeli military conflicts in 1948-49, 1956, 1967, 1973. Z. became one of the basic allies of imperialism in its global battle against the world liberation movement.
Ideological concepts and political plans of Z. are implemented by the widely distributed and strictly centralized system of Zionist and pro-Zionist organizations, whose leading centers are located in the US and Israel. The main leading and coordinating center of international Zionism is the WZO system, the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI). The latter focuses mainly on questions of the immigration of Jews into Israel and represents WZO in the relations with the Israeli government. Legally, the supreme body of the WZO is world Zionist congress; the main role in the WZO plays the group having close connections with certain imperialistic circles in the US. Executive committee of the WZO consists of two branches: New York and Jerusalem. WZO directs and controls the activities of Zionist organizations in more than 60 capitalist countries. Largest: Women’s International Zionist Organization, World Union of General Zionists, World Labor Zionist Movement, Zionist Organization of America. Practically under the WZO’s control is the formally non-Zionist World Jewish Congress (WJC, created in 1936), whose organizations act in 67 capitalist countries. These centers directly or indirectly adjoin many local Zionist and pro-Zionist organizations, public committees, etc., which constitute the unified system of international Zionism. WZO possesses significant financial funds, provided mainly by Jewish monopolists; part of the funds is collected by requisitions, including forced, among the Jewish population.
The substantial part of the media is under control or influence of Zionist organizations: large number of publishing houses, radio- and television networks, motion picture companies (in the US, Western Europe, in a number of the countries of Latin America, Africa, in Australia) are in their hands.
International Z. always included and still includes a variety of ideological movements, political fractions and groupings: “socialist” Zionists, “political Zionists”, “spiritual Zionists”, “religious Zionists”, “general Zionists”, “Zionist-revisionists” (what is today Fascist party Herut and groups linked to it), etc., which only reflects specific interests of various groups of Jewish bourgeoisie and does not change, but only disguises its pro-imperialist essence.
In practice, the differences between various fractions in Z. do not cross the boundaries of disputes on tactical questions and frequently reflect the infights in the Zionist elite for the influential posts.
Marxists have always rejected and still reject both theory and practice of Zionism. V. I. Lenin revealed the reactionary essence of Z. by emphasizing that its dogmas were reactionary and fundamentally false, and contradict interests of the Jewish proletariat. He criticized the theses of Zionists regarding the special character of the Jewish people, the alleged absence of class distinctions in Jews and the imaginary commonality of their interests by explaining that the purpose of such assertions is to lead Jewish working masses away from global class struggle of the proletariat. The international Communist movement exposes the anti-social reactionary nature of Z. and activity of Zionists in all countries. The document accepted by the International Conference of Communist and Working Parties in 1969 contains the call “… to unroll the widest possible movement of protest… against racial and ethnic discrimination, Zionism and antisemitism, which capitalist reactionary forces inflame and use for political disorientation of the masses.” In particular, the Communist Party of Israel (CPI) carries on the consistent struggle against Z. It convincingly shows that Z. was always used by forces of extreme reaction and imperialism, that the ideology and practice of Z. contradict the interests of Jewish workers worldwide and the national interests of the people of Israel, that fight against Z. is vital for both the people of Israel and all progressive forces. The CPI exposes the allegedly “non-class” approach of Zionists to the “Jewish question” and proves that this question can be solved only on the condition of victory of democracy and Socialism, as evident from the experience of the USSR and other Socialist countries. The CPI speaks in favor of brotherhood and friendship of the workers worldwide, against anti-Soviet slanderous propaganda and diversionist activity of Zionist leaders and rulers of Israel.
As the general crisis of Capitalism deepens in the present stage, the crisis of ideology of Z. becomes ever more obvious, as well as the insolvency of all its concepts: the overwhelming majority of Jews rejects Zionist dogmas. The Jewish population of the USSR (with a rare exception), as all peoples of the Soviet Union and progressive forces of the world, decisively condemns the aggressive political course of the Zionist rulers of Israel.
The 30th session of the UN General Assembly (November 1975) qualified Z. as the form of racism and racial discrimination.
Worldwide, the steadfast and objective process of the assimilation of Jews is on the increase. The understanding grows not only among the Jewish communities of the Western countries, but also among the Israeli population, that Zionist politics of Israel’s ruling circles can lead its population to a genuine national catastrophe.
- Lenin V. I., ”Complete Works”, 5 ed., Vol. 7, p. 121; Vol. 8, p. 72;
- Lenin V. I., ”CPSU about Proletarian Internationalism”. Coll. of documents and materials, Vol. 1-2, of M., 1974;
- ”International conference of Communist and working parties”. Documents and materials, M., 1969;
- ”XVII congress of the Communist Party of Israel”, [ materials ], M., 1973;
- Ivanov Yu., ”Beware: Zionism!”, M., 1972;
- ”Zionism: Theory and Practice”, M., 1973;
- Braginsky I., ”The Class Entity of Zionism”, “Communist”, 1970 No. 9;
- Ehrlich V., ”Bankruptcy of a Reactionary Idea”, in “Problems of Peace and Socialism”, 1973 No. 3;
- Dadiani l., ”Against Ideology and Policy of Zionism”, “Communist”, 1975 No. 18;
- Vilner Meir, ”Fight Against Zionism is Class Struggle”, in “Problems of Peace and Socialism”, 1976 No. 1.
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