TitleHere-ness, There-ness, and Everywhere-ness: The Jewish Labour Bund and the Question of Israel, 1944-1955
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsSlucki, David
JournalJournal of Modern Jewish Studies

In the aftermath of the Holocaust, Jews around the world intensified their call for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. The Jewish Labour Bund, an Eastern European Jewish socialist party, had been, throughout its existence vehemently anti-Zionist, advocating instead its notion of doikayt (literally “here-ness”), which claimed that Jews should focus on building viable communities in any place in which they lived. This article will examine the way the movement remained steadfast in its opposition to Jewish statehood in the aftermath of the Holocaust and even in the wake Israel's establishment in 1948, and it will chart the process by which the Bund embraced Israel as quickly in 1955, looking at the rise of a Bund organization in Israel. I will argue that the Bund's position was neither desperate nor naïve. It was grounded in the Bundists' traditional enmity towards Zionism, and reflected their faith in a universalist answer to the problem of Jewish survival. This story complicates contemporary understandings of postwar Jewish and European history, and sheds new light on notions of diaspora and experiences of displacement.

Citation Keyslucki2010