Saturday, January 17, 2009
The Weekly Fromm: Erich Fromm on Zionism
For our first ‘Weekly Fromm’ of 2009, I thought it appropriate, in the light of events in Gaza, to post the thoughts of the great man on Zionism from 1959:
It is often said that the Arabs fled, that they left the country voluntarily, and that they therefore bear the responsibility for losing their property and their land. It is true that in history there are some instances — in Rome and in France during the Revolutions when enemies of the state were proscribed and their property confiscated.
In general international law, the principle holds true that no citizen loses his property or his rights of citizenship; and the citizenship right is de facto a right to which the Arabs in Israel have much more legitimacy than the [European] Jews. Just because the Arabs fled? Since when is that punishable by confiscation of property and by being barred from returning to the land on which a people's forefathers have lived for generations? Thus, the claim of the Jews to the land of Israel cannot be a realistic political claim. If all nations would suddenly claim territories in which their forefathers had lived two thousand years ago, this world would be a madhouse.
No doubt if Fromm were alive today and expressed such opinions he would be denounced as an ’anti-semite’, even though he was Jewish.