Jadalyya, Nov 3, 2017

The Zionist Project’s Duality: Escaping Racist Oppression and Reproducing It in Colonial Context


the Zionist project elaborated by Herzl was at its core a design elaborated by an assimilated secular Austrian Jew, aiming at getting rid of poor religious Jews coming from Eastern Europe whose migration to the West had disturbed the existence of their West European co-religionaries. Herzl acknowledged this with striking bluntness in the introduction of his book [....]

[...] When he was Prime Minister (1902-1905), the author of the infamous Declaration, Arthur Balfour himself, promulgated the 1905 Aliens Act, whose aim was to stop the immigration to Britain of Jewish refugees fleeing from the Russian Empire. It is worth pointing here to a rarely mentioned historical fact: Edwin Samuel Montagu is the only British minister who resisted Balfour’s drive toward issuing his declaration, and the only minister who manifested an opposition to the Zionist project wholesale. He happened to be the only Jewish member of the cabinet headed by David Lloyd George [....] Montagu warned that

the Zionist enterprise would lead to the expulsion of the Palestinian natives and reinforce in all other countries the currents wishing to get rid of the Jews. In a memorandum he submitted in August 1917 to the British Cabinet after having learned about what was to become the Balfour Declaration, he declared straightforwardly: “I wish to place on record my view that the policy of His Majesty’s Government is anti-Semitic and in result will prove a rallying ground for Anti-Semites in every country in the world.”