Commentary Magazine


Revisionism in South Africa

To the Editor:

Our attention has been drawn to an article entitled “South Africa: Life on a Volcano” written by B. Sachs for your June issue.

Although we are not interested in expressing an opinion about the article generally, we feel impelled to point out a misstatement of fact in the following sentences from the article: “The same factors that tended to create a strong Zionism also tended to promote the growth of Revisionism (the extreme right-wing party in Zionism).

. . . Nevertheless, though stronger than in any other English-speaking country, the Revisionists form only 15 per cent of the total Zionist strength. The United Zionist party (ideologically General Zionists) has easily the largest following and was during the last few years rather more moderate than its American counterpart.

We do not know from what source the author of the article obtained his information, but the only test of strength among the South African Zionist parties that could be used as a basis, is the result of the last Zionist Congress elections held in this country. In that election the Revisionist party emerged as the second strongest party with the support of a third of the Zionist electorate. While the United Zionist party led the poll, it cannot be claimed that they have “easily the largest following.” The results of the election were:

United Zionist party 36 per cent
United Zionist Revisionist party 32 per cent
Zionist Socialist party 27 per cent
Mizrachi 5 per cent

The results of that election also served as the basis for the composition of the South African Zionist Federation, which has already twice been constituted in accordance with these proportions—the last occasion being the most recent Zionist Conference held in September of 1949.

Until such time as new elections may be held in South Africa, the official status of the parties remains in accordance with the above quoted figures.

Harry Hurwitz
General Secretary
United Zionist Revisionist Party
of South Africa
Johannesburg, South Africa

 

_____________

 

To the Editor:

I obtained the figure of 15 per cent by canvassing expert neutral opinion.

The last election results do not accurately reflect the true state of affairs, as the non-party section, which included some of the leading Zionists, did not participate in the election.

Since the last election, the Revisionists have been losing ground. One of the reasons is that Chief Rabbi L. I. Rabinowitz, who was a powerful influence in the community, resigned from the party. Another is that there is less glamor about the doings of Herut than there was four years ago. The recent split between Herut and the Grossmanites has further weakened the Revisionists.

B. Sachs
Johannesburg, South Africa

_____________

 

About the Author




Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.