The fundaments of Zionism were laid down by Moses Hess, called the communist rabbi. He was one of Germany’s earliest renowned socialists and Karl Marx’s mentor in his search for socialism. He is considered by Zionists as the first Zionist and wrote the book “Rome and Jerusalem” (1862). In the book Hess emphasises the Jewish “race” as superior and chosen, and the Jewish religion as the best guarantee for Jewish nationality.
Theodor Hertzl is usually considered to be Zionism’s founder. Later on, he referred to Hess’s book as the one that says everything worth saying about Zionism. Hertzl presented a plan for the colonisation of Palestine in his book “The Jewish State” (1896), which was affirmed at the first Zionist congress in 1897. The Jewish “race” is seen as a people with a right to their own state in Palestine, the location of Mount Zion. The goal is a Socialist Utopia – a model state - with “light” similar to that of Communism.
The Zionist Project was further developed by Ber Beorochov who argued “territorial concentration” as a solution to the Jewish question. He founded Poale Zion, the Marxist Zionist Party which supported the Russian Revolution in 1917. Ben Gurion, one of the Party members and Israel´s founder, came to Palestine at the beginning of the twentieth century. He considered himself a Bolshevik and was in favour of the dictatorship of the proletariat in all countries, except Palestine where he favoured the dictatorship of Zionism. What, then, are the practical politics of Zionism?***
Of what was originally Palestine, 85 percent has been stolen or annexed, and the rest is occupied. In 1948, 800,000 Palestinians were driven off or fled the country, and are denied their right to return, a right laid down by the UN. The Palestinians call this the catastrophe - Al Nakba. The West Bank consists of walled-in enclaves which are controlled by hundreds of checkpoints and Gaza has become the largest open-air prison/ghetto in the world, blockaded and suffering starvation. About 10,000 Palestinians, many of them children, are in Israeli jails without trials or judgements. Israel’s dealings with the Palestinians amount to what is formally named genocide.