Workers' Liberty 3/13: Trotskyists and the creation of Israel

The Trotskyists and the Creation of Israel: Nine Key Documents, 1929-1948 (Workers' Liberty 3/13)

By Hal Draper
The Fourth International,
The Revolutionary Communist League of Palestine,
Max Shachtman.
Debate: Albert Glotzer and Ernest Mandel

Documents from Hal Draper; the Fourth International; the Revolutionary Communist League of Palestine; Max Shachtman; and a debate between Albert Glotzer and Ernest Mandel

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The Trotskyists and the creation of Israel: Introduction

Most “Trotskyists” today are, everywhere, agitators and propagandists against the Jewish state of Israel. Not agitators for the view that Israel should change its relationship with the Palestinians, or that it should help set up an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. No. The agitation and propaganda centres on the “demand” that Israel should cease to exist.

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Document 1. Fourth International statement: Draft Theses on the Jewish Question

These Draft Theses were produced by the International Secretariat of the Fourth International in January 1947, and probably written by Ernest Mandel. The first part summarises the historical analyses of Jewry and anti-semitism developed by Abram Leon in his book The Jewish Question, and assesses Zionism and anti-semitism in 1946-7.

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Document 2. Revolutionary Communist League of Palestine: Partition in Palestine

The statement printed here was an editorial in the Hebrew language publication Kol Ham’amad (Voice of the Class) of the Revolutionary Communist League of Palestine, a section of the Fourth International.

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Hal Draper on Israel, 1948: War of independence or expansion?

Author: 

Hal Draper

The British line was consistently directed toward fomenting the Pan-Arab reaction against the partition. As long as the two people can thus be “sicced” against each other, the shadow of imperialist domination does not leave the scene. This is the end of UN policy.

If there is to be peace at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, and if the Jews and Arabs are to live in fraternal unity, no one can look toward the United Nations or to American and British imperialism to bring this about. If there is to be peace, it has to be made by the peoples.

Here we reprint an editorial on Palestine from the US Marxist newspaper Labor Action. War of Independence or Expansion? appeared on May 24th and 31st 1948, on the eve of Israel’s declaration of independence.

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Document 4. Palestinian Trotskyists January 1948: Against all chauvinism

The following document was issued by the Palestinian Trotskyists in 1948. When the left today writes or speaks about the 1948 Israeli-Arab war, it is a story of anti-Arab atrocities by the Jews, and no more the clear implication is that the Arab side deserved support, whatever the faults of its leadership.

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Document 5. Ernest Mandel: The Jewish Question since World War Two

The Jewish question since World War Two
By Ernest Mandel (“Germain”)

[The following article is the concluding chapter written by Mandel for the book The Materialist Conception of the Jewish Question, by A Leon. This book was completed in December 1942. A Leon, the author, was the national secretary of the Belgian Trotskyist party. The Gestapo arrested him in June 1944 and he died a martyr's death in the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz.]

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Document 6. Al Glotzer's reply to Mandel: The Jewish problem after Hitler

The Jewish Problem after Hitler

"What is obvious is not always known,
And what is known is not always present."
SAMUEL JOHNSON.

Reply by Al Glotzer on the Jewish question.

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Document 7. Socialist Appeal June 1939: The anti-Jewish terrorism of the CP of Palestine

In 1936 the Communist Party of the USA sent the editor, Malech Epstein, of its Yiddish language paper, Freiheit, to Palestine to report on the Arab-Jewish conflict there. When Epstein broke with the Communist Party a couple of years later, he published an account of his experience in Palestine. He found that the Communist Party of Palestine supported, and sent some of it's members, Jewish as well as Arab, to participate in terrorist attacks on Jews. This summary of his report appeared in the paper of the SWP USA, Socialist Appeal, in june 1939. It was unsigned, but was most likely written by either the editor of the Appeal, Max Shachtman or Felix Morrow. SM

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Palestine 1929: Pogrom or revolution?

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Max Shachtman

Introduction
This article expressed the response of the American Trotskyists to the historic turn of the Stalinist Comintern to a new type of “anti-Zionism”. It was the beginning of a new departure whose consequences are today most noticeable in the ostensible Trotskyist movement.

Max Shachtman, from 1929, on Arabs, Jews, and British imperialism.

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