Was The Red Flag Flying There? / Edition 1

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Was the Red Flag Flying There? examines the Palestinian/Arab-Israeli conflict through the lens of Marxist politics. Joel Beinin asks how the proposal to partition Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state—a solution endorsed by international consensus in 1947-49—became an obscure and even unthinkable option by the mid-1960s. As the most consistent adherents of the two-state solution both before and after the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, the Marxists serve as the focal point of his analysis.

Beinin discusses three Marxist political formations in Egypt and Israel: the communist movement in Egypt; the Communist Party of Israel (MAKI); and the United Workers' Party of Israel (MAPAM), which attempted, but ultimately failed, to sustain a dual commitment to Marxism and Zionism. The failure of these movements and their progressive abandonment of an internationalist orientation toward resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict is explained as a consequence of the ultimate hegemony of nationalist politics in both Egypt and Israel.

Employing both the analytical methods of political economy and a discourse analysis informed by insights drawn from Antonio Gramsci's conception of hegemony, Beinin offers a new interpretation of the significance of Marxist politics in Egypt and Israel. This work builds on and extends the scope of the revisionist history of the Arab-Israeli conflict developed by Israeli scholars during the 1980s, challenging traditional Marxist conceptions of the relationship between anti-imperialist nationalism and the struggle for socialism.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520070363
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 10/19/1990
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 340
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Joel Beinin is Assistant Professor of History at Stanford University and the co-editor with Zachary Lockman of
Intifada: The Palestinian Uprising Against Israel: Occupation

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Table of Contents

List of Tables xi
List of Abbreviations xiii
Acknowledgments xvii
I. Introduction 1
Comparing Egypt and Israel 5
Revisionist History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict 7
Was MAPAM a Marxist Party? 15
Nations, the Construction of Hegemony, and Political Discourse 17
Structure of the Book 19
Narration and Politics 21
II. The Creation of Israel: Zionism as Anti-Imperialism 24
The Unification of the Marxist-Zionist Left 25
MAPAM and the 1948-49 War 31
The Palestine Communist Party's Road to Binationalism 40
The Communist Educational Association 41
The Palestinian Arab Intelligentsia and the National Liberation League 42
Two Paths to Endorsing Partition of Palestine 43
Toward the Communist Party of Israel 48
The Palestine Question and the Egyptian Communists 55
The Marxist Left After Partition 63
III. The Political Economy of Hegemony 66
Labor and Capital in the Zionist Movement 67
The Seamen's Strike and Israel's International Orientation 73
Confirmation of MAPAI Hegemony 76
Deradicalization and Depoliticization of the Kibbutzim 79
The Old Regime and the Egyptian National Movement 84
The Coup of July 23, 1952 86
The Revolutionary Command Council and the Working Class 88
The Workers' Movement and the 1956 War 91
Guided Capitalism 93
The Communist Intelligentsia's Accommodation with Nasserism 97
Arab Socialism 99
IV. A Window of Opportunity? 1949-1955 102
The Jewish Question in Egyptian Communism 103
The Rise of the Indigenous Intelligentsia 110
"The Question of Yunis" 113
Was There a "Zionist Deviation" in the DMNL? 114
A MAPAM-MAKI United Front? 117
Elections to the Constituent Assembly (First Knesset) 120
Marxism Engaged in a Jewish Problematic 122
The Rise and Decline of the Left in MAPAM 125
The Left Socialist Party 134
Defense of the Rights of the Arab Minority 137
V. Internationalism in Practice Relations Between the Egyptian and Israeli Marxists 144
The International Peace Movement 145
The Rome Group and DMNL-MAKI Contacts 148
Yusuf Hilmi's Peace Initiative 153
VI. The Consolidation of Nationalist Politics: 1955-1958 160
The Illusion of Success 162
Bandung and the Czech Arms Deal 164
The Suez/Sinai War and MAPAM's Capitulation 172
The Nasserist-Communist Alliance 177
Unification of the Egyptian Communist Movement 185
The Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and National Communism 190
MAKI's Arab Period 193
VII. The Triumph of Nationalism: 1959-1965 204
Breakup of the Nasserist-Communist Alliance 205
Dissolution of the Egyptian Communist Parties 208
Nasserism, MAPAM, MAKI, and the Palestinian Arab Citizens of Israel 212
Defeat of the Left in the 1959 Knesset Elections 218
A New Beginning--or the Beginning of the End? 223
MAKI and Jewish National Communism 231
Toward the Split in MAKI 235
Decline of MAKI's Influence in the Jewish Working Class 239
Mobilization of the Palestinian Arab Citizens of Israel 243
VIII. Conclusion 246
Marxism, Zionism, and Arab Nationalism 248
Political Discourse and Political Action 253
Epilogue: Toward a Palestinian State and Beyond 255
Notes 259
Chronology 293
Glossary 295
Bibliography 297
Index 309
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