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by Abram Leon

Traces the historical rationalizations of anti-Semitism to the fact that, in the centuries preceding the domination of industrial capitalism, Jews emerged as a "people-class" of merchants, moneylenders, and traders. Leon explains why the propertied rulers incite renewed Jew-hatred in the epoch of capitalism's decline. Also available in: French
Download The Jewish Question: A Marxist Interpretation epub
ISBN: 0873481348
ISBN13: 978-0873481342
Category: History
Subcategory: World
Author: Abram Leon
Language: English
Publisher: Pathfinder Press (June 1, 1971)
Pages: 279 pages
ePUB size: 1504 kb
FB2 size: 1784 kb
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 558
Other Formats: lrf docx lit azw

Full disclosure: I wrote the index for this book, which appears in the 11th printing (2005), and all subsequent printings. But I will let René González speak for me in this instance.

"As if his exemplary life wasn't enough, with The Jewish Question Abram Leon left us a piece of work that is an honor to his intellect and honesty. I can't emphasize how much I learned and enjoyed reading it." --René González Sehwerert, Dec. 1, 2005 (René González Sehwerert is one of the "Cuban Five"--revolutionists from Cuba jailed in the U.S. on frameup charges of "espionage.")
See: It's the Poor Who Face the Savagery of the US Justice System: The Cuban Five Talk of Their Lives Within the Us Working Class.

This book explains the reasons for anti-Semitism, but today I see more and more online chatter claiming the book is anti-Semitic. Which is funny, because when the book was first published in English, 'Commentary,' then the magazine of the American Jewish Committee published a positive review by Oscar Handlin.

I support the statement issued in December 2017 by the Socialist Workers Party, which reads in part,

"Negotiations to reach such an agreement must recognize the right of Jews everywhere to take refuge in Israel in face of the global rise of Jew- hatred and anti-Semitic violence, as well as the unconditional right of the dispossessed Palestinian people to a contiguous, sovereign homeland on territory—including East Jerusalem—conquered and occupied by the Israeli government during the 1967 war...

"It is along this road that working people of all national backgrounds, religious beliefs and political allegiances in Israel and Palestine can use and defend their space to speak, organize and begin redressing the blood-drenched legacy of imperialist domination and capitalist exploitation. These historic outrages include ruthless colonial and national oppression across the Arab and Muslim countries, as well as the genocidal crimes of the Holocaust, the murderous pogroms preceding it across Eastern and Central Europe and Russia, and the enduring reality of Jew-hatred in today’s crises-ridden capitalist world."

I also recommend: On the Jewish Question;How Can the Jews Survive? A Socialist Answer to Zionism;Israel: A Colonial-Settler State?;The Non-Jewish Jew;Fascism and Big Business;Fascism: What It Is and How to Fight It.
This heroic book helped me understand why fascits and other rightists rely on anti-Jewish propaganda and why the Zionist response is a dead end. Abram Leon was a Jewish Marxist and working class leader in Nazi-occupied Belgium until being shipped to his death in Auschwitz. He points out that Jews are a social grouping that played a dynamic role during feudalism but have no role as a distinct class under capitalism. Because capitalist society will not assimilate them, they become ready scapegoats. The solution Leon proposes is to join with other workers in the fight for a socialist society in place of capitalism, which is the root of racist movements. Leon's richly detailed history of the Jewish people challenges the myths of the Zionists. The fact that the imperialist nation of Israel has become the most dangerous place for Jews to live underscores Leon's point about the danger of Zionism. If not available from amazon, booksfrompathfinder will have it--click on "new and used" near the top of the page.
Abram Leon, a young Belgian revolutionary who died fighting in the resistance to the Nazis in World War II, shows how anti-Semitism and capitalism are linked. He illustrates the special history of the Jews as a "people class," persecuted and manipulated by capitalism. This Marxist study shows that Zionism, rather than aiding the liberation of the Jewish people, aids imperialism, the main breeder of anti-Semitism and Jew hatred. NathanWeinstock's introduction explaining the life and struggle of Abram Leon is inspiring. Message: 1 of 1
This book answers both Zionists who view Jews as the "chosen people" and the justifiers of Jew hatred, by giving a materialist explanation for the historical persecution of the Jews. By examining Jewish history from antiquity through the middle ages, Leon shows how it was the social role of Jews as merchants and traders and moneylenders that led to their persecution. As the only group in feudal society allowed to engage in trade they became a people-class. In this special role Jews played an essential economic role but were despised for it by the feudal aristocracy and this is what led to their segregation in ghettos and the hostility and attacks they faced.
The author, an anti -fascist fighter and communist organizer who wrote the book in Nazi occupied Belgium in 1940, explains that with the rise of capitalism the special social role that Jews played in the economy disappeared. He points out that while capitalism eliminated the special economic role that led to Jew hatred, it is a system that has brought the prejudices and hatreds of earlier societies into the modern world to help keep the oppressed and exploited divided. It is only with the elimination of this system that Jew hatred can be eliminated.
So anti-Semitism is caused by capitalism. If that's so true, then why did Hitler kill so many Jewish Capitalists? And why were Jews the only capitalists and individualists during the Feudal era. If capitalism causes racism, then why have freer markets led to a rise in people like Oprah Winfrey, Jon Stewart (a Jew) and others. All forms of collectivism (whether they be communism, socialism, or fascism) have ultimately been destructive for all. The right to own private property and pursue one's own interests so long as it doesn't infringe upon another's same rights (the heart of capitalism) has led to racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. But it has allowed to oppressed groups to rise above such garbage as well. Whereas in all forms of collectivism, any person or group can be oppressed for "the greater good of society." Bigotry comes from human ignorance and fear, not social classes, private property rights, or other such things.
furious ox
Leftist propaganda
a book for the AMEN corner of neo communists