Poale Zion

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Poale Zion


(PZ; Workers of Zion), a coalition of petit bourgeois Jewish nationalist organizations that attempted to combine the ideas of socialism with Zionism. PZ groups arose in the early 20th century in a number of countries. In Russia one of the first PZ groups was formed in 1901 in Ekaterinoslav; most groups operated in the Ukraine. Stressing the nonindustrial, artisan character of the Jewish proletariat under tsarism, the PZ rejected the possibility that the masses of Jewish working people would be drawn into large-scale industry. From this the PZ concluded that the emigration of the Jewish people to Palestine was a necessity. The PZ position would have diverted the Jewish masses from the tasks of revolutionary struggle.

Between 1904 and 1906 the PZ groups gave rise to the Zionist Socialist Labor Party, the Socialist Jewish Labor Party, and the Jewish Social Democratic Labor Party, which retained the name of the PZ (JSDLP-PZ). During the period of reaction from 1908 to 1910, the PZ in effect turned into agents of Zionism among the Jewish working people and, masking their actions under a pseudo-Marxist phraseology, actively advocated the isolation of Jewish workers from the general Russian proletarian movement. Representatives of the PZ also participated in international Zionist congresses.

The PZ movement did not have a significant influence on the masses of Jewish workers. In 1917 the JSDLP-PZ numbered about 15,000 members. It met the October Revolution of 1917 with hostility, and in 1918 it supported the counterrevolutionary Central Rada and Ukrainian Directory. In August 1919, PZ groups organized the Jewish Communist Party-PZ. Some of the latter’s members, mostly workers, were admitted to the RCP(B) in December 1922. The party’s right wing continued to disseminate nationalist propaganda. The PZ degenerated into an anti-Soviet organization and was banned in 1928.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Represented by the Federation of Zionist Societies of Canada and Poale Zion (Yiddishist), these divisions were along class and organizational rather than Zionist vs.
In a bid to rival both the Zionist Poale Zion and the non-zionist Bund for the support of Jewish workers, the Bolsheviks created the Yevsektia--the Jewish section of the party, which held its first Congress in 1918.
The October Revolution and the Russian Civil War thus caused a marked move to the left among important sections of the socialist Zionists that were part of the World-Wide Federation (4) of Poale Zion (Workers of Zion) founded in 1907.
The attitude of the Russian Poale Zion Party to the events in Soviet Russia first reflected the negative statements of the Menshevik Party, of which the Poale Zion Party was an integral part.
The labor Zionist group Poale Zion also enjoyed considerable influence within party forums.
Mrs Ellman, who was speaking in Brent Town Hall, North London, at the annual meeting of Poale Zion, a pro-Israel organisation affiliated to the Labour Party, quoted a series of recent comments she has culled from various Arab publications.
Andrews, adjoining the Labor Lyceum, and those who chose to parade rather as members of the Left or Right Poale Zion or the Workmen's Circle would get together on Cecil Street, where a good many Jewish organizations in Toronto have their headquarters to this day.
Dropped by the Social Democrats from his previously leading position on lists of candidates for public office, Cohn ended his career in the 1 920s as a Poale Zion leader and member of the governing board of the Berlin Jewish community.
They provided the activists and the leaders for the Bund and the Poale Zion, for Revisionism and Socialism, for all the various shadings of political thought.
Two recent doctoral dissertations, one by Ilan Kaisar and the other by Mark Raider, have chronicled the history of the Labor Zionists' American wing, Poale Zion, an organization hitherto neglected by historians.(24) The two dissertations offer sharply contrasting interpretations of the Labor Zionists' achievements, especially prior to World War II.
It began as a group called Poale Zion (Workers of Zion) based largely in Eastern Europe and Palestine.
Unfortunately for them, the movement which they aspired to join insisted that there was no place for an ethnically based organisation within the Communist movement, and regarded Zionism as "a tool of British colonialism, and saw Poale Zion as an essentially anti-communist political movement under socialist or even communist disguise." Kessler highlights the irony of these debates in the light of the Nazi decimation of European Jewry which none could foresee at the time.