Constantin Soskin is one in a long series of young Israelis who have refused to serve in the army. So far more than one thousand Israeli youth have refsued to be conscripted. Thus the term "refusenik" was coined. He is presently serving a jail sentence because of his refusal, together with several others.

The Israeli Labour Party (Avodah in Hebrew) has been in long-term decline. A. Kramer, in Israel, looks at the background and the reasons behind this decline and points out that opportunities are opening up for a genuine left force in Israeli society.

Millions of Jews died tragically in the Nazi extermination camps. But little is know of the manoeuvres that were taking place around this question in Britain and the US, in particular on the part of the Zionist lobby. Rather than take measures that may have saved large numbers of German and Eastern European Jews the Zionists were only prepared to accept measures that would facilitate emigration of Jews to Palestine. Yossi Schwarz in Israel unveils what really happened and also underlines the despicable role of US and British imperialism at the time.

The Zionists have always tried to block any attempts at Arab-Jewish workers' unity. However during the decades leading up to the formation of the state of Israel there were many examples of Arab and Jewish workers coming together in mixed workplaces and even attempts to build joint unions. Thus history denies the myth that no such unity is possible. What is true is that the nationalists on both sides (Jewish and Arab) did everything to thwart such moves.

Yossi Schwartz continues his outline of the history of labour struggles in Palestine in the first half of the 20th century, underlining the instinctive move towards unity on the part of both Jewish and Arab workers and the constant manoeuvring on the part of the Zionist leaders (with a mirror image among the Arab nationalists) to break down this unity.


In Defence of Marxism will be publishing irregularly over the holiday period, and will resume regular output on 1 September.

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