Convention Discussion: Zionism is a form of racism, and racism has no place in our Communist Party!

BY: Gary Hicks| April 20, 2010

This article is part of the discussion leading up to the Communist Party USA’s 29th National Convention May 21-23, 2010. takes no responsibility for the opinions expressed in this article or other articles in the pre-convention discussion. All contributions must meet the guidelines for discussion. To read other contributions to this discussion, visit the site of the Pre-Convention Discussion period.

All contributions to the discussion should be sent to for selection not to the individual venues.For more information on the convention or the pre-convention discussion period, you can email

In the Preconvention Discussion Document on U.S. international affairs and foreign policy, the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli impasse is held up as being “the only solution that enables the Palestinian people to realize their hopes and struggle for national sovereignty, and that enables the Jewish people of Israel to PRESERVE THEIR SENSE OF A PREDOMINANTLY JEWISH STATE.” [caps are mine-GH]

If someone in our party were to state either publicly or to other comrades in private that “segregation in our country is the only way to preserve black people’s dignity and realize their hopes, as well as enable the white population to preserve their sense of a predominantly white state”, the problem would be quite clear.

Yet somehow the ideological seepage of racism has slipped under our doors and into our lives in the form of kowtowing to Zionism, the all-sided political-theoretical-ideological and organizational justification -backed by United States and British imperialism – for the historical oppression of the Palestinian people, and the theft of their land.

Zionism is more than bourgeois nationalism; it is a virulent form of racism. It was racism early on when – at the end of the 1800s – Theodor Herzl, one of its major ideologues, wrote Die Judenstaat, essentially a fundraising proposal addressed to British colonialist Cecil Rhodes, stating that since the Jewish population of Europe has not, does not, never will get along with non-Jews, then the Jews should be given land on which to create a society of like people. Even then, the political forces around Herzl and others were settling in what was historically called Palestine, and buying Palestinian land from Turks who had generations earlier stolen it from the inhabitants. The history of Zionism has since been an orgy of land-grabbing, largely by military means, resulting in the displacement of original owners – Palestinians.

Zionism is racism and genocide. The massacres at Deir Yassin [1948], Qiblyah[1953], Sabra and Shatila[1982], and other locales up to the past twelve years – Jenin and Gaza – are well documented, and – to the everlasting shame of the international community – not one perpetrator of these war crimes has been held accountable. Yes, it has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt that people who have themselves suffered genocide are perfectly capable of inflicting it upon others.

Zionism is not only a virulent strain of bourgeois nationalism, of kinship with South African Apartheid. Not only is it an anti working class diversion in the Middle East. Zionism is a roadblock to building working class unity in our country. The current stories that we often hear about African-American and Jewish antagonisms are linked to the history of the degeneration of what was historically strong bonds amongst black and Jewish workers – to a struggle where in the 1960s, in the midst of the fight for civil rights/black power/black liberation, there was a need for black leadership to replace what was a largely Jewish leadership of the NAACP, CORE, Urban League, and other organizations. In addition, increasing numbers of black people were less willing to give acarte blanche pass to support for Israel in exchange for continued financial, material and other support of the black community. In fact, many black people began to see and side with the just cause of the Palestinian people, thus earning the epithet “anti semite” for supporting and defending a Semitic people!

Zionism is a roadblock to building working class unity in our country. In the 1970s, a Yemeni farmworker in California was murdered during the vicious struggle between the farmworkers and the growers and their Teamster allies. When the Yemeni farmworkers carried posters of Egypt’s President Nasser in the funeral march, the right-wing social democrats, supporters of Israel, had George Meany threaten Cesar Chavez with total withdrawal of AFL-CIO support unless the UFW gave public and foursquare support to Israel. The farmworkers union capitulated, the alternative being the defeat and destruction two decades of organizing in the fields.

In 1975, the United Nations characterized Zionism as “a form of racism”. By the early 1990s, under pressure from the United States, that characterization was rescinded. Such rescinding did not make the characterization any the less true then or now.

The role of the Communist Party today, in 2010, must intervene in the following ways to consign Zionism to the rubble of history:

  • To organize those forces in our country that will pressure the United States to withhold all government funding and other non-humanitarianresources to Israel
  • To place travel bans to our country on all prominent Zionist Israeli leadership
  • To forbid commerce and trade between our two countries, until the state of Israelbegins to meet in good faith toaddress the right of return of the Palestinian peoples to their homeland and other forms of reparations for damages and losses suffered since 1948.

To reiterate and conclude: Zionism is a form of racism, and racism has no place in our Communist Party.



    Gary Hicks is a retired public school teacher, who recently moved to Oakland, Calif., from Boston. He writes poetry, is active in U.S.-China Peoples Friendship Association, and is assisting in program development for the Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library in Oakland.

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