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Israel Goes to the Polls

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

Meir Chazan

a speech before the Mapai convention on the eve of the election, “the first time in which the people of Israel elects its government.” 3 The Provisional State Council approved the order of the elections on 18 November 1948 but left their dates open

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The 1956 Strike of Middle-Class Professionals

A Socio-political Alliance with the Right

Avi Bareli and Uri Cohen

Israeli middle class. Gradually, the new Ashkenazi immigrants joined the veterans, attaining their social status. Thus, a rigid ethnic and intergenerational dichotomy was formed. In this commonly accepted dichotomous frame of reference, Mapai’s government

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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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Meir Chazan

The article deals with the attitudes toward the Arabs in the Labor movement and especially in Mapai during the Arab revolt. The article argues that the ongoing war conditions compounded by an exacerbating and increasingly played up tendency to dehumanize and delegitimize Arabs in Palestine between 1936 and 1939. From a historical perspective the main influence of those years lays in the mental and psychological impact they had on perceptions in Mapai that determined the increasing distance between the two peoples for many years to come.

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Yechiam Weitz

transformation. Two large political blocs were formed simultaneously—one on the left, the other on the right. Most significantly, for the first time in Israel’s history, a political entity emerged that offered a serious alternative to the Mapai party’s long

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Sephardi Leadership in Israel

Transitioning from Mandate to Statehood

Moshe Naor

.g., Jacobson and Naor 2016 ). As I will argue in this article, the centralized power of the state and the process led by Mapai, in the name of statism ( mamlachtiut ), to dismantle secondary centers of authority ( Bareli 1999 ; Horowitz and Lissak 1977

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Aviva Halamish

The article critically examines Mapam's activity regarding the Military Government imposed on Arab-populated areas between 1948 and 1966. It analyzes and compares the party's declared stand and its parliamentary activity with the role played by the issue as a factor in coalition negotiations. The article contends that the issue of the Military Government did not serve as a crucial factor in Mapam's decision either to join the coalition or to stay out of it. It also claims that Mapam did not have a direct influence on the actual decisions concerning the Military Government, due to Mapai's dominance in the Israeli political system in those years. The article suggests that the case of Mapam and the Military Government sheds light on the modus operandi of the Israeli political system prior to the Six Day War, on the extent of Mapai's dominance of the political system in Israel prior to the 1977 political upheaval, on the limited role and influence available to small parties in a dominant party system, and on the inherent conflict and potential collision between security considerations and democracy.

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Labor Zionism, the State, and Beyond

An Interpretation of Changing Realities and Changing Histories

Mitchell Cohen

This article surveys changes and arguments in the historiography and politics of Israel especially in the post-1977 period, ranging from the New Historians through recent discussions of Mamlakhtiyut (statism), an ideological term for the policies pursued in the early years of statehood by David Ben-Gurion. The article is especially concerned with social democratic or socialist questions, as Mamlakhtiyut subordinated institutions of the Labor movement to those of the state. The article suggests that there were alternatives to Mamlakhtiyut in the 1950s that ought to be reconsidered today. This is especially so given the contemporary political dominance of Labor's traditional foes and new realities faced by states in a “globalizing” world. The article suggests that aspects of recent historiography can be seen as descending from the mental universe of Rafi, the breakaway party Ben-Gurion formed in 1965 after splitting from Mapai. Parallels to other political developments and alternative historiography are suggested. This article revises and expands the “Postface” (Afterword) for the new second French edition (2014) of the author's Zion and State (originally published in 1987), which presented a critique of Mamlakhtiyut.

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Amir Goldstein

in Israel (1949–1965) The political strength of the Labor movement was entrenched during the British Mandate, first in the Yishuv and later within the Zionist movement. With the establishment of the state, the hegemony of the center-left party Mapai

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David N. Myers, Pnina Lahav, Sarab Abu-Rabia-Queder, Adi Mahalel, and Lauren B. Strauss

. She relies on primary sources, mining in particular the women's section in the popular daily Davar (Mapai's newspaper when it was the hegemonic party in Israeli politics). The section called “The Woman: What Says She” (Ha-Isha Ma Omeret) is also the