Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism today | Socialist Review: But there is a different argument to be developed here. Geras had regarded himself as a Marxist even though he authored the so-called Euston Manifesto, an anti-Islamic focus for trying to rally disillusioned parts of the left behind the Bush/Blair imperialist war drive in the Middle East. It also equated anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. Nevertheless his Marxism was not to be ignored, as this magazine acknowledged in its obituary for Geras in 2013.
This raises the contradictory politics of Zionism’s association with Marxism which has a far longer, and much more serious, pedigree than some Zionist trends, occasional association with Nazism. In fact, the second wave of Jewish emigration to Palestine from the Russian Empire, following the defeat of the 1905 Revolution and the pogroms that Trotsky so vividly outlined, included former revolutionaries who forged part of Zionism’s cadre in the early parts of the last century. Some of them continued to regard themselves as Marxists as they set up communes known as the kibbutz system on seized Arab land.
Their Marxism had fused with a secularised Judaism which glorified a version of ancient Jewish history in Palestine: the “Promised Land” fable modernised to fit a national liberation narrative. A century later it retains intense emotional and quasi intellectual magnetism. Palestinian revolutionaries and intellectuals have had to grapple with it as they have tried to think through its implications for its future Jewish citizens in a liberated Palestine.
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