Date: Wed, 4 Oct 1995 17:21:29 -0400
Sender: Progressive News & Views List <PNEWS-L@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU>
From: PNEWS <>
Subject: Socialist Israel?

From: Christopher David Brady <>

Socialist Israel?

By Christopher David Brady <>
4 October, 1995

1) Problems arise when it is argued that: "Israel was the most successful socialist state in history." Compared to what? Was it really socialist?

2) Problems also come up when it is declared that: "At NO time have Arab citizens been denied any of the rights that Jewish citizens possess."

See "Human Rights Watch Reports" and "Amnesty International Reports" over the years. See the work of Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, etc.

Israeli historian Simha Flapan wrote some interesting material about how Ben Gurion eliminated his "Red generals" in the Fifties after the "War of Independence." Moshe Dayan and Ariel Sharon rose up to take positions of power left open by this purge. The entire area of Southwestern Asia has been the focus of superpower struggles because of critical strategic reasons. Socialists and communists have been effectively neutralized by local elites in concert with Western "intelligence." Fundamentalist religion was utilized as a counter-revolutionary tool in the region, and became a Pandora's Box. This happened everywhere, not just in post-WWII Iraq, Iran and Israel.

In New York I knew a young woman, the daughter of kibbutzniks, who left Israel after the car she was in was surrounded and stoned by angry orthodox faithful on the Sabbath for having the effrontery to drive a vehicle on the holy day. It has been noticed that many Israeli young conclude that faith has won over reason in the Holy Land. Their critics, either Zionists safe in America or fanatics defending West Bank settlements, chastize them for determining that it might be healthier to quit the site of intractable, irrational conflict.

But, as it appears so often, religious irrationality covers up an underlying material causality: oil, subterranean and almost satanic in its ability to lubricate the species into hate and rationalize war. Is it mere coincidence that oil has been found in Bosnia-Herzegovina? Is it mere coincidence that oil has been discovered in the Falkland Islands (nationalism seen as another "irrational" cause of war, hence making war incomprehensible, hence making people decide to ally with some irrational cause against other people who become the irrational threat). Did oil have anything to do with the rush of US troops to Somalia? Is there a need to mention the Persian Gulf War? There exists a very real rationality behind these conflicts. It is not spiritual faith; it is material possession.

Yes, there are socialists in Israel. But they are not in control now, nor have they ever been. Wish that it were so. And when one paints the entire Arabic people with the Nazi brush because of the actions of the Grand Mufti during the Second World War, must we remain consistent? What of the appeal by fascist Jews to Nazi Berlin for assistance in the creation of a national homeland for Hebrews in Palestine? Extremist nationalists Menachim Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, who both belonged to killer terrorist organizations, both became the leaders of Israel: under what specific category of socialism was that "socialist state?"

The greatest terror of the 20th Century was used against the Jewish people. This threat worked well to create a platform of operations for Western imperialism to control the oil reserves in Southwestern Asia. Who could not sympathize with the Jews in the immediate post-war years? What Jew could fail to ask, "where can we go to be safe?" Tragic irony reveals an exclusive "national" security as impotent in a world where the assertions of one people is dependent on the denial of another.

Yours in solid.,

Chris Brady

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