The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Revolution, the Only Path Forward for the Jews (Leon Trotsky, 1940)

Nov 13, 2023

The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière Issue 2883, November 2, 2023, the newspaper of the revolutionary workers group active in France.

Israeli governments and their supporters make the security of Jews, in the Middle East and elsewhere, dependent on political and military support for Israel by imperialist states. This is already what Zionist activists were proposing in the 1930s, when the anti-Semitic wave was rising in Europe. The Zionists then only saw a solution in the goodwill of Great Britain and in the reception of the Jews in Palestine under British mandate. This is what Leon Trotsky said about it on December 22, 1938:

The number of countries expelling Jews continues to grow. The number of countries capable of welcoming them is decreasing. At the same time, the struggle is only getting worse. It is possible to easily imagine what awaits the Jews from the start of the future world war. But, even without war, the next development of world reaction almost certainly means the physical extermination of the Jews.

Palestine has revealed itself to be a tragic mirage (…). Now more than ever, the destiny of the Jewish people — not just their political destiny, but their physical destiny — is indissolubly linked to the emancipatory struggle of the international proletariat. Only a courageous mobilization of workers against reaction, the constitution of workers’ militias, direct physical resistance to fascist bands (...) can (...) stop the global wave of fascism and open a new chapter in the history of humanity.

He added in 1940: “The attempt to resolve the Jewish question by the migration of Jews to Palestine can now be seen for what it is, a tragic travesty for the Jewish people. (…) Future developments in military situations could well transform Palestine into a bloody trap for several hundred thousand Jews. Never has it been as clear as today that the salvation of the Jewish people is inseparable from the overthrow of the capitalist system.

The extermination of Europe’s Jews tragically confirmed the revolutionary leader’s first remark. The current situation puts the second back on the agenda.