Stance and Role of the Israeli Communist Party in the Nakba

19 February, 2022

The ACRPS is pleased to announce the publication of Mahmoud Muhareb’s Stance and Role of the Israeli Communist Party in the Nakba. The book addresses the involvement of the ICP in Israeli strategy throughout the 1948 war, drawing out its position on the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, its view on the UN partition resolution, and its support for Israel’s repeated violation of this resolution throughout 1948 and the subsequent occupation of Palestinian Arab territories.

In May 1947, days before UN commissioners arrived in Palestine to investigate the situation on the ground, the USSR’s representative in Geneva, Andrei Gromyko, issued a statement tying the Jewish question in Europe closely to the future of Palestine. The Palestinian Communist Party welcomed Gromyko’s call for an Arab-Jewish federation. The Arab Communists of the National Liberation League, meanwhile, issued a statement demanding the termination of the British mandate and the establishment of a democratic Palestine (without recognising a Jewish “people”). But the National Liberation League was to be a casualty of the 1948 War, and was absorbed into the newly renamed Israeli Communist Party in October of that year.

The ICP placed great emphasis on the Eastern Bloc’s view of the Palestinian question, and dedicated a huge amount of resources to securing support for the creation of a Jewish state by force. In December 1947, two senior ICP figures toured Eastern Europe to meet the heads of local communist parties and Jewish organisations. Their aim was to acquire weapons, recruit Jewish fighters and convince governments to facilitate Jewish migration. Czechoslovakian guns would ultimately prove decisive in winning the war for the Zionists.

The ICP also launched a major campaign to secure inclusion in the Yishuv’s various political and security institutions. In March 1948, the National Committee agreed to grant the ICP a single seat, which was taken by its secretary-general. The party continued to agitate for further representation after the first ceasefire agreement on 9 July 1948. During this period, when the Israeli army occupied many cities that were supposed to be part of the Arab state under the partition agreement – expelling the inhabitants – the ICP were consistently supportive of their actions. Party members and supporters who had joined the army participated without reservation.

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