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Moshe SharettBiography of a Political Moderate$
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Gabriel Sheffer

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198279945

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198279945.001.0001

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Introduction: Sharett’s Forgotten Struggles

Introduction: Sharett’s Forgotten Struggles

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction: Sharett’s Forgotten Struggles
Source:
Moshe Sharett
Author(s):

Gabriel Sheffer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198279945.003.0001

This introductory chapter sets out the purpose of the book, which is to probe some of the principal dilemmas that vexed the leaders of the Yishuv and the Jewish state from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s: their attitudes towards the British and the Americans; their relations with the leaders of the Palestinian Arabs and of neighbouring Arab states; their reactions to the Holocaust and their stance towards the pitiful remnants of what had been flourishing Jewish communities in Europe; their timing of the establishment of the Jewish state; their debates about peace and war with the Palestinians and the Arab states; their orientation towards East and West; their profound doubts about German reparations; their role in the 1954 Mishap in Egypt and in the ensuing politically disastrous Lavon Affair; their arguments for and against the 1956 Sinai Campaign, and their attitudes towards Diaspora Jews. It provides an account of Sharett's hitherto untold, and again mostly forgotten, struggle with Ben–Gurion, as well as between their respective camps in the Zionist movement and in Mapai — the Land of Israel Workers party. This was the struggle between the ‘moderates’ — in terms of their social democratic values and attitudes, realism in domestic and international politics, and readiness for accommodation in international affairs; and the ‘activists’ — in terms of what was known as ‘cruel Zionism’ at home and in the dispersed Jewish nation, and hard-line towards the Arabs — in the Labour camp.

Keywords:   Moshe Sharett, Israel, Yishuv, Arabs, Zionism, Ben–Gurion, Holocaust, Lavon Affair, Sinai Campaign, Diaspora Jews

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