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Jews Against Zionism: The American Council for Judaism, by Thomas Kolsky

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By Thomas Kolsky

This can be the 1st full-scale background of the single equipped American Jewish competition to Zionism in the course of the Forties. regardless of wide literature at the Zionist circulation, the Jewish competition to Zionism has got basically marginal and customarily destructive awareness. during this neutral research, Thomas A. Kolsky examines the overlooked phenomenon of Jewish anti-Zionism, its roots, and its results.In 1942, a few dissident Reform rabbis based the yank Council for Judaism, the 1st and merely Jewish association created to struggle opposed to Zionism and the institution of a Jewish kingdom. Emphasizing the in basic terms spiritual nature of Judaism and unequivocally rejecting Jewish nationalism, the Council supported unfastened Jewish immigration and equivalent rights for Jews through the international. For Palestine, particularly, it endorsed institution of a democratic kingdom in which all electorate, despite their faith, might get pleasure from equivalent political rights.Summarizing either the background of Zionism and the heritage of yankee Jews, Kolsky strains the results of the Holocaust at the Zionist circulate and the personalities that formed the management of the Council. Its place towards Zionism has specific modern relevance in knowing the historic courting among Israel and the Palestinians.

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Additional info for Jews Against Zionism: The American Council for Judaism, 1942-1948

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At the annual convention of the CCAR in 1917, many raised their voices against Zionism and the idea of convening an American Jewish Congress. " They also voted not to join the proposed American Jewish Congress. 77 The issuance of the Balfour Declaration convinced some anti-Zionist rabbis of the necessity to take strong measures to fight Zionism. Rabbi Louis Grossman, the president of the CCAR, reacted to the British document by reaffirming the standard Reform viewpoint and by reiterating Reform's opposition to the "idea that Palestine should be considered the homeland of the Jews," because Jews in the United States were an integral part of the American nation.

3 Material Rebellion of Dissident Reform Rabbis At the outbreak of the war there was little unity among the American Zionists. Between 1917 and 1942, they had shifted their interpretation of the goals of Zionism several times. During the Balfour Declaration era, a "national home" meant a state; in the 1920s it was interpreted as a spiritual or cultural center; in the 1930s the stress was on a haven for refugees. Zionists defined their objectives ambiguously in the 1920s and 1930s for tactical reasons.

90 Significantly, the Columbus Platform was passed by only one vote. The Reform movement was still deeply divided on the Zionist issue. Although in retreat, the anti-Zionists had not yet surrendered. t Material Zionism and Its Reform Critics in America resistance to Zionism had not been broken yet. Nevertheless, by the early 1940s the anti-Zionists had become a small minority. The formation of the American Council for Judaism would be their last stand against the rising tide of Zionism. 91 In the late 1930s unreconstructed anti-Zionists still rejected the idea of a Jewish state.

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