Making ‘Zionist’ a dirty word

Why is this blogger, who is prepared to criticise the SWP for their unconditional support of resistance movements, so extravagantly but inexplicably disappointed that anybody left-wing would describe their opinions as Zionist?

“While reading down the different articles from the last few weeks and months, I came across one on Palestine. As one might expect, I did indeed groan – and was then aghast at someone left wing describing their opinions as Zionist.”

In the piece he refers to, the writer describes himself as a Zionist and then goes on to carefully explain what he means. Then, as well as criticising the SWP, he identifies the Left’s need for a positive project. He weighs in with some ideas for peace and unity between Palestinians and Israelis and between the British Left. It’s a thoughtful, responsible, qualified piece which avoids the dualistic pitfalls of Simple and a number on his blogroll.

In the world of anti-Zionists (those who believe in a single state between Jordan and the Mediterranean and the dissolution of Israel) if you identify as Zionist then you’re either not left or you’re wrong about yourself. Where does that leave progressive Zionist movements like Meretz-Yachad?

When are people like going to realise that Zionism – a complex of attitudes admittedly – is an entirely understandable response to past and present threats to Jews and threats to Israel?

But then, the title of the piece contains the phrase ‘correct Marxism’. Enough said.

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