24 JUNE 1960, Page 7

Progressive Solution

Yet Zionism has been accepted as the right and progressive solution to the Jewish problem. As Orwell noted, 'on the Palestine issue it was de rigueur among enlightened people to accept the Jewish case as proved and avoid examining the claims of the Arabs. . . .' Socialists and liberals have found themselves supporting the principle of self-determination for the indigenous popula- tion everywhere in the world except Palestine, and the Labour Party has sometimes combined extreme Zionism with extreme anti-colonialism, though Zionism in .general, and the Balfour Declaration in particular, is an extreme example of colonialism—the disregard of the wishes of the great majority of the indigenous population in favour of the interests of alien immigrants.

How little Liberalism had to do with Zionism was demonstrated in 1948. Indeed, 1948 was 1848 all over again. Just as the German liberals of the Frankfurt Parliament soon lost their * PRELUDE To ISRAEL. By Alan R. Taylor. (Philosophical Library, New York, $4.75.) t ISRAEL: A BLESSING AND A CURSE. By Hedley V. Cooke. (Stevens, 25s.) liberalism when the grievances of the Poles or the Czechs came to be considered, so in 1948 the Zionists who found the Jewish diaspora intoler- able drove out 650,000 Arabs from their homes and created an Arab diaspora in place of the Jewish diaspora that they were seeking to end.

But Zionist realpolitik and ruthlessness in 1948 was no new feature; the natural result, as it were, of a Church becoming a State. Zionism, as is made clear by Mr. Taylor's book, never was a Church. Its object has always been to set up a Jewish State in Palestine. and it has never allowed any other considerations to deflect it from its aim. Zionism's extraordinary callousness towards the Arab refugees was foreshadowed by its cal- lousness towards the Jewish refugees. When President Roosevelt, during the war, was con- sidering the feasibility et helping Jewish refugees to settle in America, Britain, etc., his plan, which would have absorbed all the DPs in Europe, was scotched by Zionists, not by anti-Semites. Zion- ism has always been a State, and in its diplomacy both before and after 1948 it has always played the King to Machiavelli's Prince.