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The British left and ZionismHistory of a divorce$
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Paul Kelemen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780719088124

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719088124.001.0001

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British Communists and Palestine

British Communists and Palestine

(p.86) 3 British Communists and Palestine
The British left and Zionism

Paul Kelemen

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the twists and turns of the British Communist Party's (CPGB) policy on Zionism and Palestine. During the 1930s and 1940s it contested Zionist accounts of developments in Palestine, highlighting the sectarian practices of the Labour Zionist movement. The CPGB's analysis always felt short, however, of grasping the internal dynamics of settler colonialism. After the 1941 German attack on the Soviet Union, the party, in trying to win the support of the Jewish community for a broad anti-fascist alliance, toned down its criticism of Zionism and in 1947, in line with Moscow, reversed its earlier opposition to the setting up of a Jewish state. In the crucial period of 1947-49, the Arab point of view had no significant protagonist in Britain.

Keywords:   Communists, anti-fascist, Zionism, Palestinians, Soviet Union, Jewish community

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