The Life and Death of Socialist Zionism

As a mass movement, Socialist Zionism is finished. One might say that it accomplished its actual goal–the building of the Jewish state–without falling prey to the illusion that it “failed” to ensure that the state was a socialist one. For unless one identifies “socialism” with statism, socialism was never a goal of Ben-Gurion and his co-thinkers. One cannot compromise ideals one does not have. It will doubtless be a long time before the majority of the Israeli working class-or for that matter most other working classes-embraces internationalist democratic socialism. In the meantime, however, no tears need be shed over the death of Labor Zionist nationalist socialism.

— Jason Schulman in New Politics

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