When Anti-Zionism Becomes Anti-Semitism and Zionism Becomes Anti-Palestinian


IS ANTI-ZIONISM ANTI-SEMITISM? This question flared up in the British Labour Party in April 2016 and led to an internal inquiry. We Jews ourselves don’t agree about whether or not anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. Zionism emerged as a political movement in Europe in the late nineteenth century in response to anti-Semitism. For Theodore Herzl and other exponents of Zionism, the establishment of a Jewish state was the only solution to the persistence of anti-Jewish persecution in the diaspora.1 Nevertheless, not all Jews at the time agreed with the Zionist argument. Many Jews in Eastern Europe, for example, rejected Jewish nationalism in favour of international socialism, hence the establishment of the Bund—shorthand for the General Jewish Workers’ Union in Lithuania, Poland, and Russia.