Equating Zionism With Imperialism: Anti-Zionism Without Zion

The Left, or a section of it, obviously considers zionism a pretty powerful force. It controls the media. It finances British diplomacy. It rewrites history—and it also runs British Caledonian Airways. This is not merely reminiscent of the world conspiracy theory—it also has an uncanny resemblance to the hyperbole of that theory. It sounds very similar to Arnold White's belief, already seen, that Jews have done everything from 'baffling the Pharaohs to undermining the Third French Republic'.

In fact, the Left's conspiracy views are not just anti-semitic, they are also explicitly anti-Marxist. Thus zionism is not seen as merely furthering the interests of imperialism in the Middle East-which nowadays it undoubtedly does. Rather it is seen as in some way being the same as imperialism with the same international power. In other words the Left has not only an anti-semitic analysis of zionism but, in common with all other adherents of the conspiracy theory, it has an anti-semitic analysis of the world. Indeed at times, zionism is portrayed as a form of world domination that is on an even higher level than imperialism itself, and is actually pictured as controlling imperialism. Thus Newsline (9.4.83) speaks of a zionist power "stretching through Downing Street channels right into the White House". Newsline has obviously discovered a new law of the world's development. Lenin was presumably wrong when he analysed imperialism as being the highest form of capitalism: zionism is apparently even higher, as it is able to control the two main nerve centres of imperialism! This method of analysis has more in common with Stalinism than with revolutionary socialism. For instance Pravda (4.10.67) claimed that the United States—the most powerful state ever known to history—was itself a "Zionist colony" (quoted in Wistrich). This is truly looking at reality upside down.

This form of 'anti-zionism' transcends anything done by the Israeli state—or even the very existence of that state. It could just as easily exist without Israel, without zion and even without zionism. A 'socialism' which perceives zionist influence throughout the world, from Downing Street to the White House, stopping off at the B.B.C., is no different from the classic anti-semitic imagery of Jews being 'rootless cosmopolitans', without a state of their own, feeling no loyalty to any particular state but only to themselves. This imagery was much in vogue before the creation of the state of Israel. Stalinists still use it today—as in the Polish government's condemnation of K.O.R.¹. The imagery is the same, the existence of Israel is quite irrelevant. Anti-zionism without Zion has the same transcendental qualities as anti-semitism without Jews; it has no necessary relationship to anything a real zionist, or real Jew is doing. It exists in the air quite apart from material reality—except for the reality it creates for Itself. Thus Newsline is full of imagery about 'links' and 'channels' and 'connections' that zionism is making between Caledonian Airways, the White House, the B.B.C. and the Jewish Chronicle. It also manages to make another 'zionist connection'—with the Manpower Services Commission whose chairperson happens to be the brother of the omnipotent Stuart Young. In exactly the same way, Arnold White in his book The Modern Jew talks of a Jewish "subterranean and invisible influence" and of the existence of a "complex and mysterious power denied to any other living race".

¹KOR—Intellectual group Influential with Solidarity in Poland

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© 1984 Steve Cohen, edited and produced by Libby Lawson and Erica Bunnan.
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