Socialism, internationalism and Zionism: the independent Labour Party and Palestine, c.1917–1939

Simpson, Paul (2020) Socialism, internationalism and Zionism: the independent Labour Party and Palestine, c.1917–1939. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Using the Independent Labour Party (ILP) as its case study, this thesis examines the relationship between the labour movement’s interpretations of internationalism and its attitudes towards Zionism during the interwar years. The study locates responses to developments in Palestine within the broader framework of the labour movement’s conceptualisation of internationalist thought and practice with regard to issues such as immigration, imperialism and nationalism. Moreover, it examines the phenomenon of left-wing anti-Zionism, which has often been inadequately explored in the existing historiography of the interwar period.

The ILP contained within it a broad spectrum of opinion; its intra-sectional debates therefore frequently reflected the diversity of thought within the labour movement. Furthermore, an analysis of the ILP’s debates requires a consideration of transnational perspectives because of the party’s involvement in networks and organisations such as the League Against Imperialism (LAI). Because of the party’s manifold links to variety of actors on political scene, it can serve as a prism through which we can explore the breadth of political debates within the left, both within Britain and at an international level.

The thesis is divided into five thematic chapters, starting with a broad discussion of internationalist thought within in the ILP. The second chapter examines internal ILP debates on Palestine, while the third analyses how international left-wing organisations – notably the Labour and Socialist International (LSI) and the LAI – approached the issue. This is followed by an analysis of how ILPers interpreted the role of League of Nations Mandates, with particular focus on Palestine. Finally, the question of anti-Semitism and its influence on the ILP’s stance regarding mandatory rule and Zionism is considered.

This study draws extensively on records relating to the Labour Party, the ILP, the LSI and the LAI, using sources such as conference reports, pamphlets, and newspapers. In addition, the personal papers and correspondence of key figures such as Ramsay MacDonald and James Maxton have been consulted.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anti-colonialism, League Against Imperialism, League of Nations Mandates
Subjects: L200 Politics
V200 History by area
V300 History by topic
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2020 12:57
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 12:17

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