Imagining Israel before and during the March Events, 1967-1968 Cover Image
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Imagining Israel before and during the March Events, 1967-1968
Imagining Israel before and during the March Events, 1967-1968

Author(s): David G. Tompkins
Subject(s): Political history, Social history
Published by: Żydowski Instytut Historyczny
Keywords: antisemitism; Władysław Gomułka; Israel; March developments; PZPR; Six-Day War; Zionism

Summary/Abstract: This article examines the image of Israel before and during the 1968 March events, and argues that a representation of Israel played a crucial role in helping the PZPR re-establish control and regain legitimacy. Israel served an essential function as a major external enemy that allegedly agitated against the Polish nation and against socialism more broadly, and the Party presented itself as simultaneously threatened and fighting a valiant struggle for which it needed the support of Polish citizens. In this narrative, Israel’s agents, Zionists both around the world and as Polish citizens, actively subverted Polish interests; Poles needed to coalesce around the Party to fight this threat. Israel also served as a crucial cover for the activation and expression of anti-Semitic sentiments, which were always explained as not racist, but rather focused on Zionism’s supposedly nefarious goals. The events of 1967-68 built on a basis laid in the early 1950s as well as on pre-existing stereotypes, and fixed a negative representation of Israel through to nearly the end of the Cold War

  • Issue Year: 270/2019
  • Issue No: 02
  • Page Range: 473-493
  • Page Count: 21
  • Language: English