Mapai's Bolshevist image: A critical analysis

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5 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalIsrael studies review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Collectivism
  • Democracy
  • Israel
  • Mapai
  • Memory discourse
  • Socialism
  • Soviet Union
  • Zionism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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