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50 Years Ago: I Go - I Come Back

Many organisations and movements have clamoured for the allegiance of the workers during the twentieth century, all claiming some panacea, some new device which would, at long last, make capitalism palatable. The Jewish workers have been exposed to all the usual propaganda, but for them the basic issue of twentieth-century society - Capitalism or Socialism - has been even further confused by the Zionist Movement. This claimed that the problems of Jewry could only be solved by the establishment of one single homeland for Jews, a Jewish state. Like many other reformist movements, the Zionists have now had a chance to work out their theories in practice; Israel has been established. What evidence is there as to whether Jewish workers are any happier in capitalist Israel than they are in capitalist Britain or America? The figures of Jews going into Israel and Jews coming out of Israel afford some indication. Here is a quote from The Times(19.12.53)

“Since Israel became a State five years and a half ago, 38,263 of its citizens have emigrated. The outward flow caused little concern when immigration greatly exceeded it; but to-day more Israelis are leaving the country for good than are coming in to settle, and the number of departures is steadily increasing . . . Some 15,000 emigrants went to Europe, of whom 5,168 are said to be in France. About 850 went back to countries behind the Iron Curtain.”

So conditions in Israel are not even attractive enough to keep eight hundred and fifty of its emigrants from returning to the countries of Stalinist dictatorship!
Zionism hasn’t established a workers’ paradise any more than Stalinism has. The sole fruit of the decades of struggle and strife which Zionism has know has been - the establishment of yet another capitalist state. Which is an achievement the workers of the world, Jewish and Gentile, white and black, could well have done without.

(From “The Passing Show” by “Joshua”, Socialist Standard, February 1954)