Communism versus Zionism: The Comintern, Yishuvism, and the Palestine Communist Party

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Abstract

his article discusses how the official communist position on the Zionist project in Palestine went from hostile condemnation in the early 1920s to wary support after World War II. In so doing, it focuses on the ideological struggle between the traditional party line and "Yishuvism," a theory that sought to reconcile Zionist and communist ideas, as it played out in the two bodies most closely involved in shaping Comintern policy on Palestine (the Palestine Communist Party and the Communist Party of Great Britain). In following the torturedjustifications for evolving positions, the author identifies the key actors shaping the debate and turning points impacting it, especially the 1936-39 Arab Revolt, Britain's 1939 White Paper, and the wartime fight against fascism. The author contends that an important reason for the USSR's post-war about-face on Palestine was the success of the Yishuvist ideological campaign.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-24
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Palestine Studies
Volume36
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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