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Israel: Far from ‘a racist endeavour’...

Last week, posters appeared in London which described Israel as ‘a racist endeavour’. We have been in contact with former Labour Party Councillor and Vatik of RSY-Netzer Adam Langleben to share this important Twitter thread that looks at what Zionism really is, and how far away it is from ‘a racist endeavour’:


  1. Zionism (i.e. the collective endeavour of the Jewish people for statehood) long preceded 1948. Zionism was born out of centuries of primarily European racism. It was not solely the product of the Holocaust. (Read Herzl).

  2. To describe this endeavour (i.e the creation of a Jewish state in Israel) as racist denies the Jewish people the right to national self-determination.

  3. The idea of a Jewish homeland in Palestine was promised in the Balfour declaration but if you look closer to 1948, the more Britain tried to avoid fulfilling it. It was hardly the creation of a colonialist power and acts of violence were frequent (including The King David Bombings – Miller, F. P et al 2010).

  4. The creation of the State of Israel in 1948 and the end of the British Mandate of Palestine was not smooth sailing. It was a civil war. It involved multiple Jewish Zionist militias of different ideologies, Palestinian militias and neighbouring Arab states, as well as some foreign actors on all sides.

  5. The creation of Israel was of course an ugly labour. Many Palestinians were forced from their homes for a variety of reasons and many also stayed to help set up the new State. Many Palestinians were also told to leave their homes by their leaders of neighbouring powers whilst the war was taking place assuring them of their victory in the civil war.

  6. To label the actions in this war of independence/nakba racist is wrong, and certainly as a broad brush statement could be anti-Semitic, unless maybe pointing out specific instances.

But also think about this: If those acts were racist then what does one call the mass invasion of what is now Israel by the neighbouring Arab countries in 1948? What do people think would have happened to those 700,000 Jews (including Holocaust survivors) if the civil war turned out differently?
  1. But also think about this: If those acts were racist then what does one call the mass invasion of what is now Israel by the neighbouring Arab countries in 1948? What do people think would have happened to those 700,000 Jews (including Holocaust survivors) if the civil war turned out differently?

  2. It would not have been pretty and we know form history in 1948 that other countries were not exactly queueing up at that moment in history to take the Jews.

  3. So when people describe ‘Israel as a racist endeavour’. What I hear them meaning is that Zionism is a racist endeavour and as covered earlier, Zionism is just the label that Jews ascribe to our movement/aspiration for self-determination. To deny us and only us that right is racist.

  4. And if you believe in national self-determination for one people you need to be consistent and believe in it for others

  5. Unfortunately we cannot change history. But the war in 1948 was no different to other breakups of colonies. It was horrible. It was bloody. But all we can do today is deal with the realities in front of us.

  6. There is an Israel. There should be a Palestine alongside it.




If you would like to write for the Young Zionist or have your say please email joe@fzy.org.uk



Adam is interviewed on Sky News


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