chapter  8
28 Pages

Jewish antizionism

Being drawn towards the logic of antisemitism
ByDavid Hirsh

In the first half of the twentieth century, most Jews failed to find their way to a successful strategy for dealing with the threat of antisemitism. Some individuals emigrated, for example, to Britain, the United States or Palestine. Some found their way into wider civil society, benefited from emancipation, and sometimes assimilation, and lived as citizens of European states. Some Jews found communal ways of continuing to live apart, in a changing and ever more threatening world. The political meaning of the term 'antizionism' could not be more different after 1948 from its meaning before 1939, yet so often people who consider themselves to be Marxists are more concerned with continuity of form than with the break in content. It is understandable that many Jews have a particular interest in Israel. Many of them feel that it is only by chance that they themselves did, or did not, end up there, after experiences of European, Russian and Middle Eastern antisemitism.