Anarcho-Zionism?

10Feb10

B\Is there such a thing as anarcho-Zionism? I’m skeptical, but see here:

  • At the back of the hill: Anarcho-Zionism defined (also at AZ Indymedia)
  • IN THE GLOAMING: Musings of an Anarcho Zionist
  • B’Zayon! Bostonian Zionist Anarchist Youth Organization Naw!
  • Zionist Freedom Alliance
  • These guys, to be honest, seem as much anarchists as the “autonomous nationalists” we’ve looked at here and here, or else are more right-wing libertarian than anarchist as such. But I’m willing to be persuaded. See also this discussion on the topic at Z-Word.

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    24 Responses to “Anarcho-Zionism?”

    1. It is an interesting debate, something I am going to have to look into further.

    2. As you can read in my comments at a few of the posts you linked to, Anarcho-Zionism is a figment of a few people’s imagination. There is no Anarcho-Zionist movement and even their web presence is sketchy at best. In the Internet media environment of today, where setting up a website or blog only takes an hour or so, that should tell you something. If there was an actual movement (or even a scene) I would expect to see a lot more sites promoting their ideology.

      I would not link them with the “national anarchists” as their perspectives are much different (see the Zionist Freedom Alliance (ZFA) website where they discuss Darfur, rights for minorities in Israel, etc). I also don’t think they are Libertarians in the free-market, U.S. sense of the term (again, see the ZFA website; Protest Campaigns: ZIONISTS AGAINST GLOBALIZATION).

      In the few posts I have read, they seem to have an affinity for Sam Dolgoff, who was an anarcho-syndicalist. They also seem to be more than a bit isolated from other political movements and organizations. For example, the ZFA website makes the following claim:

      “The Zionist Freedom Alliance (ZFA) is a grassroots campus initiative and the only student organization asserting Israel’s national rights.”

      WTF? There are a lot of student organizations that are supportive of Israel’s “national rights”. I think these folks need to get out and interact with people more.

      • zfa makes a distinction between being “zionist” and “pro-israel.” we view zionism as a revolution that aspires towards jewish national liberation (the ingathering of jews home to israel, the liberation of our homeland from foreign rule, the revival of our ancient language, the creation of a utopian society that will serve as a “light unto nations”). we view zionists as participants in that revolution. an organization that defends israeli government policies as well as israel’s right to defend itself from aggression but does not believe in aliyah or the territorial integrity of our homeland is “pro-israel” but not zionist. there are many “pro-israel” organizations, often referred to as the “hasbara industry,” but the only truly zionist campus-based organization in the zfa. as the only student organization that encourages aliyah and resists attempts to rob our people of judea, samaria and jerusalem, we consider ourselves the only group actually asserting israel’s national rights.

        • Benny,
          Does the ZFA see itself as “anarcho-Zionist”? I got to you via sites that explicitly do, but don’t think this is the case with you. I notice you praise Jaobtinsky and Trumpledor for their anarchist-influenced libertarianism, but don’t think you see yourselves as anarchist?
          If you do, or if you see yourselves as libertarian even, how do you see the relationship between the rights of a nation and the rights of individuals? For example, many libertarians and most anarchists see freedom compromised by strong nations and borders.
          Can you give us any idea on the scale of your organisation and whether you relate at all to the other organisations linked to here? Is there a sense of a wider libertarian Zionist movement?
          Finally, any thoughts on the older Jewish anarchist tradition discussed in the comments below – Bernard Lazare, Emma Goldman, Problemen?

    3. 5 anja

      Here is russian stuff about anarcha-zionism

      http://www.avtonom.org/old/lib/theory/goncharok/idish-anarchism0.html

    4. Anja, I can’t read Russian, but it looks to me that this is about Yiddish anarchism, which is a very different thing?

    5. PS Anja, what’s happened to your blog?

    6. I can remember that there was arund 20 years ago an interview with a guy from the Yiddish-language anarchist magazine “Problemen” in the German-language magazine “Schwarzer Faden” whose standpoints probably can be subsumed under this label

    7. 9 anja

      1. I removed my blog, because i have been a little paranoid suspecting that some hacker took control over my computer, reading my private emails etc… i’ve got an anonymous email, that i have a clone, who send nasty emails from faked ‘anja partanen’ name..
      So, i got panic and the first thing i did – i deleted my blog immediately,( regret it now)

      2. yes, my link is about yiddish anarchism and i do know its different issue, because most of yiddish anarchist were anti-statist as Emma Goldman ( but she ‘somewhat’ supported israel.
      but another article on the same page is about anarcha-zionism…(by Moshe Goncharok).
      The title of this article is ПЕПЕЛ НАШИХ КОСТРОВ – (The ashes of our Fires)
      Анархизм и национальный вопрос. Позиция кропоткинского направления. Анархо-сионизм. (Anarchism and national question. Position of Kropotkin’ direction..)

      As far i understood, Nestor Makhno supported jewish liberation movement..Despite that he’s been accused of anti-semitism by trotskists

    8. 10 anja

      here A-infos referred to article ‘Ashes from our Fires’ (scroll far down the page)
      distorting the issue and ignoring the fact that Goncharok’s article is about anarcha-zionism

      http://www.ainfos.ca/en/ainfos22239.html

      p.s. Notice how A-infos ‘anarchists’ play jews against each other using split-and-rule pogromist tactic

      more stuff
      http://ourscotland.myfreeforum.org/ftopic6155-0.php

      ‘anarchism in palestine’ ?! this is real oxymoron
      I asked a british anarchist, why there is no any anarchist movement in some islamic country ?..He answered : ‘they will be tortured and killed ‘

    9. Thanks Anja, this is really interesting. Leave a comment on this blog if you ever start blogging again, and I’ll update my link!

    10. 12 Die schöne Seele

      Well, it’s quite bizarre how those ‘anarcho-zionists’ try to use classical anarchism in order to justify their strange ideology. Dolgoff wasn’t a Zionist. He only said that a unilateral disolution of the State of Israel could be suicidal for the Israeli workers. In the same sense, Kropotkin in the 1WW and the anarcho-syndicalist Rudolf Rocker in the 2WW supported the Allies, and -although they stance was controversial in the anarchist movement- that don’t turn them in “Anarcho-Americanists” or something like that. It’s true that some anarchists settled in Palestine, creating kibbutzim and cooperatives, but I’m not sure if it’s fair calling all them zionist, since they see the immigration as an opportunity to apply their economic ideas or escape from antisemitism, in a sense not very different of the Jewish-Russian Am Olam movement which supported the immigration to America. And yes, the anarchist Bernard Lazare attended to the First Zionist Congress and he was elected for the Action Comitte, -and although I can’t read French- if you read his articles translated to English or his posthumous work ‘Le Fumier de Job’, he wasn’t a Zionist. He supported some kind of Jewish-Cultural Autonomism or Bundism.

      The same apply to Emma Goldman. Goldman didn’t somewhat defend Israel. She wasn’t a Zionist and she rejected openly Zionism. She simply defend the right of the Jewish men and women to immigrate to Palestine. In the same way, they could deduce from the words of Goldman that she would support the ‘Right of Return’ and say that Goldman was Pro-Palestine, or support the immigration of Mexicans to the U.S.A., as she (as an anarchist and an immigrant, who suffered deportation) would support.

    11. Good points. I think Lazare is might be more complicated than you make out though. His early period, as an anarchist, when he wrote his long piece on antisemitism and the Jewish question, he’d imbibed a lot of the antisemitic views that permeated the anarchist movement at that time. (Indeed, the text is widely available on fascist websites.) I think it was the Dreyfus affair that changed his mind. He gravitated towards the Zionist movement, but within the movement he was sharply critical of Herzl and the mainstream leaders, for their elision of the question of class and for their dealings with the imperialist powers, including the Ottomans. Job’s Dunghill, which Hannah Arendt later translated into English, is a fascinating book. Arendt’s passion for Lazare coincided with her involvement with Zionism, and she saw his work as closely tallying with the Zionist critique of assimilationism which she learnt from Kurt Blumenfeld.

    12. Anarcho-Zionism may mean “Zion”: the promised Utopia. There have black nationalist group from USA known as “Black Hebrew Israelites”, they also use “Zion” as the “Promised Land”.

    13. 15 Die schöne Seele

      About Lazare, you’re right. But I meant to texts that Lazare wrote after the Dreyfuss Affair like “Jewish Nationalism” or his letter “Antisemitism and revolution”, where he defines clearly antisemitism as a reactionary stance.
      You can find them in the next page:
      http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/lazare-bernard/

      I don’t know if more Lazare’s texts have been translated to English. About Arendt, I have read a short text about Lazare (“Jew as Pariah”, if I remember well), but I don’t know if she wrote more about him.

    14. Thanks. I hadn’t read those later Lazare texts at MIA. I will do though! “Jewish Nationalism” looks like it might even have been a speech at a Zionist congress?

      Arendt persuaded Shocken to publish Job’s Dunghill and she wrote an introduction to it. On-line here: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=KTClSv_qJP4C&q=lazare#v=snippet&q=lazare&f=false
      She mentions him heavily in her polemics within the Zionist movement around 1948.
      See also: http://www.newleftreview.org/?view=2696

    15. 17 Die schöne Seele

      It’s a conference he did for a group called ‘Association of Etudiants israélites russes’ [Association of Russian-Jewish Students] in March 1897. Here’s the original text in French: http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k81448z.image.f1

    16. 18 anja

      As i wrote above, Goncharok’s article ‘Ashes of our fires’ has been deliberately miss-translated by the biased A-infos..
      The last part of the titel ‘Анархо-сионизм.’ in correct translation means literally
      ‘anarcha-zionism’ .
      here is the link again
      http://www.avtonom.org/old/lib/theory/goncharok/idish-anarchism4.html

      This article was published in the russian anarchist website avtonom.org

      I can read russian, but my english is too bad to translate all this stuff..I’ll try to translate it later.
      As far i understood, anarcha-zionists were a part of the yiddish anarchist movement.
      The word ‘yiddish’ have just linguistic meaning, cuz first jewish anarchist press have been published in yiddish language in the usa and england…Simply a part of anti-statist jewish anarchists has changed their mind after many pogroms and growing antisemitism..
      As for ‘nationalism’, nowadays many anarchists use to support irish or/and palestinian national liberation movements..So they are not anti-statists .

      I think anarcha-zionism issue is somewhat similar to anti-german’s words -..’. Israel sollte der letzte Staat sein ‘

    17. 19 anja

      <<Goldman didn’t somewhat defend Israel. <<
      Because she died in 1940, before founding of israel.
      She did supported jewish immigration to palestine

      btw, Stalin called 'zionist' a roothless cosmopolitans, what means internationalist/ anti-statist per definition

    18. 20 d

      The Schocken edition is titled ‘Job’s Dungheap’.

    19. Zam-Zam water :)

    20. I enjoy reading a post that will make men and women
      think. Also, thank you for permitting me to comment!

    21. It’s nearly impossible to find experienced people for this
      subject, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about!

      Thanks

    22. Anarcho-Zionism was a major variant of Zionism until the mid-1970s. Most any Israeli Jew with a university ediucation would be well aware of it if age 40 and older. The United Kibbutz movement was dominated by Anarchists and in fact were the very first “Settlers” by moving to an abandoned cattle ranch in Qunteira on the Purpleline in Golan.


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