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Mapai's Bolshevist Image

A Critical Analysis

Avi Bareli

This article describes and analyzes the image of Mapai, Israel's ruling political party during its first decades, as an undemocratic 'Bolshevist party'. This perception is based on certain associations between socialist-Zionist collectivism and the totalitarian political culture of Soviet communism. The article reviews the public-political background regarding this image in Israeli political discourse and scholarship and then examines the reasons for its ready acceptance. Finally, it is argued that this Bolshevist image has functioned as a rhetorical tool that has allowed public leaders and scholars who had been involved with the Zionist labor movement to distance themselves from it.

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Leah Rosen and Ruth Amir

This study is part of a wider research, which examines different strategies of exclusion and inclusion in public discourse and in the construction of collective memory in Israel. At the beginning of the 1930s, following the great economic crisis and the rise of National Socialism in Germany, a plan was conceived to send Jewish German youth to Palestine. Thus began the Project of Youth Aliyah, and with it the debate within the Zionist Movement and the Yishuv in Palestine on the proper station of immigrants in the emerging Israeli national identity. We characterize the discourse on the young refugees in the 1930s by highlighting two issues: first, the aims of the project for the emigration of Jewish German youth; and secondly, the national identity which should be inculcated in these young immigrants.

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The 1956 Strike of Middle-Class Professionals

A Socio-political Alliance with the Right

Avi Bareli and Uri Cohen

’ev Jabotinsky’s critique of socialism, Begin attributed this injustice to an envy that “lowers the stature of human beings” (ibid.). However, Begin wished to qualify his support of wage gaps, as it placed him in an uncomfortable political position and

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The New Economic Policy of 1962

How Israeli Economists Almost Changed the Israeli Economy

Ronen Mandelkern

’ ( Kleiman 1997 ; Levi-Faur 2001 ), or even ‘socialism’ ( Plessner 1994 )—is fascinating in and of itself. No less interesting are the specific circumstances that brought about its defeat. While economists have written quite extensively about the economic

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War and Memory

The Israeli Communist Commemoration of the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1986

Amir Locker-Biletzki

IB highlighted the volunteers’ internationalist spirit and ideological commitment: “In their way they differed from earlier volunteers, as their cosmopolitan ideologies—socialism, communism, and anarchism—differed from the earlier nationalist fervor

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From Yehuda Etzion to Yehuda Glick

From Redemptive Revolution to Human Rights on the Temple Mount

Shlomo Fischer

, brotherhood, socialism) and, consciously, does not take into account the consequences. Thus, the realization of the value itself overrides all, or most, possible negative consequences. According to this approach, a true Christian ‘turns the other cheek’ even

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Rebranding Desolation

The Allure of Israel’s Desert Landscapes

Amelia Rosenberg Weinreb

inappropriate, or even tasteless, to apply the concept of rebranding to the context of a nation-building project that has ideological roots in socialism, collectivism, pioneering, and self-sacrifice. More offensive yet might be the use of the rebranding idea in

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Wang Zhen, Alfred Tovias, Peter Bergamin, Menachem Klein, Tally Kritzman-Amir, and Pnina Peri

, embodied the extreme political leanings of these authors. Tamir very convincingly traces his characters’ frustration with socialism—both internationally and in the Yishuv itself, and most notably in its ‘Bolshevik’ form—to their eventual, overwhelming

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Israel Goes to the Polls

The Road to Elections for the Constituent Assembly, 1948–1949

Meir Chazan

capitalism versus socialism, which, in any case, would not change the political balance of power, and called instead for a focus on the common task of absorption and settlement. From the point of view of its editor, Gershom Schocken, a prominent spokesman of

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Liberalism in Israel

Between the ‘Good Person’ and the ‘Bad Citizen’

Menachem Mautner

. 1998 . The Founding Myths of Israel: Nationalism, Socialism, and the Making of the Jewish State . Trans. David Maisel . Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press . Swirski , Barbara . 2006 . “ Health Care .” [In Hebrew.] Pp. 64 – 72 in Ram