zionism and jewish labor
The development of American Zionism clearly shows that various sectors of American Jewry, though ostensibly united by devotion to a common objective, whether religious expression or defense of Jewish rights, were poles apart in their receptivity to the Zionist program. Similarly, among the broad masses categorized loosely as "Jewish Labor," the appeal for a Jewish state met with varied responses ranging from enthusiastic assent to passionate rejection. With regard to ethnic origins and economic status, this grouping enjoyed comparative uniformity, but on ideological questions like Zionism, Jewish labor was as sharply divided as other religious and secular organizations.
The roots of this conflict lie deep in the Old World heritage of the Jewish community. Russian Jews, oppressed by the anti- Semitic policies of Czarist regimes, increasingly turned to various revolutionary programs for the solution of the "Jewish problem." Many of them, forerunners of members of the Communist party, assiduously denied concern with Jewish survival and resented any energies expended on activities other than the "class interests of the proletarian revolution." Some even looked forward to the day when the Jews would vanish as a distinct group in the aftermath of universal socialism. Other Marxists, organized into the General Alliance of Jewish Workers (Bund), proclaimed the existence of a specific "Jewish proletariat" and heralded the use of Yiddish and secular Jewish culture as important weapons for spreading Socialist doctrine among the working class Jewish community.1
Both Bundists and the undifferentiated Jewish Marxists rejected all movements not based upon the class struggle theories of