University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Violence and Conflict Graduate Workshop, Faculty of History > Global networks of Zionist extremism, 1937-48

Global networks of Zionist extremism, 1937-48

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“This paper will shed light on the British-Zionist conflict in Palestine at the end of the Second World War through an examination of the‘national liberation’ movements launched by right-wing, Revisionist- Zionist militant groups, the Irgun Zvai Leumi (National Military Organisation) and Lochmei Herut Israel (Fighters for the Freedom of Israel -LHI). While it is well established in the literature that these two underground military organisations initiated terrorist campaigns against the British mandate administration in Palestine in order to achieve the creation of a Jewish state, historians have tended to neglect the fact that this nationalistic struggle was not limited to Palestine. Indeed, it is rarely acknowledged that the Irgun and LHI sought to extend their tactical and strategic campaigns beyond the territorial boundaries of Palestine, establishing operational networks and mobilizing support in the diaspora.

This paper argues that the transnational dimensions of the Zionist-Revisionist campaigns have been obscured by narrow, Palestine-centric frameworks of enquiry. By shifting the analytic focus away from Palestine, it brings the interconnected and diasporic nature of the efforts of Revisionist-Zionists into focus and places the networks themselves at the centre of the historical narrative. In constructing a new analytic framework, the paper will draw together a number of different arenas of Zionist-Revisionist activity that have until now been treated as separate areas of enquiry. It will reconstruct the movements of individuals and ideas through networks that spread from Palestine, to USA , Europe and Asia and will examine both British perceptions of and responses to the existence of these anti-British networks, as found in British government archives. “

This talk is part of the Violence and Conflict Graduate Workshop, Faculty of History series.

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