Arab-Jewish workers' joint struggles prior to the partition of Palestine - Part Two

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.

The Arab Revolt and Labour Zionism, 1936-1939

On April 15, 1936, members of the guerrilla band founded by Shaykh 'Izz al-Din al-Qassam held up cars and buses near Nablus, killing two Jewish passengers. Two days later a right-wing Jewish paramilitary group retaliated by killing two Arabs. Arab protests soon erupted throughout the country, gradually taking on the character of a broad-based anti-colonial and anti-Zionist popular uprising.

Arab nationalist activists quickly called for a countrywide general strike. The strike spread rapidly, as did new "national committees" which sprang up to lead the struggle in all the major towns.

Taken by surprise, the Arab elite politicians tried to catch up with and ride the wave of popular energy by endorsing the strike call and forming a new Arab Higher Committee (AHC) on which all the major parties were represented, with Amin al-Husayni the Mufti of Jerusalem - as its president.

The general strike would continue for six months, until October 1936, making it one of the longest general strikes in history. It constituted the first stage of a countrywide Arab nationalist revolt against both British rule and Zionism which would end only in the summer of 1939. The Nationalist leadership who were afraid of losing control over the rebellion to the communists wanted to end it as soon as possible. This fear however was baseless for reasons we will deal with in the next chapter. The lack of a revolutionary working class leadership in the face of the British and Zionist collaboration led to the defeat of the uprising that was really the first intifada.

The General Strike and the Histadrut

During the rebellions the "Socialist" Zionists built their military units that worked with the British army to crush the uprising. Not less importantly they acted as strike breakers.

Events at the port of Haifa where 200 Jews were employed through labour contractors provide the clearest example for the role of the Histadrut as a strike breaker. The Arab porters who had stopped work in April were replaced by Jews. This made it difficult for other Arab workers who lacked revolutionary leadership from joining the strike, as they were told by the PAWS' local leader Abu Zayid's that their jobs would immediately be taken over by the Jewish workers already at the port, or by other Jews who would be brought in. This was certainly not Abu Zayid's only consideration: he had long-standing personal and business links with Jews, especially local Histadrut officials, and there is evidence that the Jewish Agency was secretly disbursing considerable sums to him (and presumably to others as well) to keep Haifa harbour open. [1]

In August, after a sustained campaign of pressure and threats, some of the Arab port workers in Haifa finally did go on strike, along with workers at the Palestine Railways, the Iraq Petroleum Company, Shell, the municipality, and the Public Works Department. Abu Zayid fled to Lebanon to escape nationalist threats on his life.

Determined to prevent these vital enterprises from being shut down, however, the British authorities promptly dispatched military forces to protect Histadrut strike-breakers at the port and the other affected sites, and used Royal Navy engineers to keep the trains running.

This forceful intervention by both the British authorities and the Histadrut kept the port and railways in Haifa functioning, while the strikers' fear that their jobs would be permanently lost to Jews induced almost all of them to return to work after ten days.

This allowed the Histadrut to achieve its other long-sought targets. At the end of 1936 the Jewish Agency persuaded the Haifa port authorities to employ Jews directly, rather than through labour contractors as had previously been the case, thereby displacing Arab workers.

At the Nesher quarry, too, the general strike and the government's interest in breaking it made it possible for the Histadrut to realize the introduction of Jewish workers.

On May 4, 1936, Hacohen, a top Histadrut leader accompanied by police officials, brought some fifty Jewish workers, members of nearby Kibbutz Yagur, to the quarry. After receiving Hacohen's promise that their jobs would be secure and their wages increased, the Arab workers there accepted the introduction of Jews without resistance. However the PAWS' influence at the quarry was soon eliminated and the Arab workers were recruited into the PLL. Later on it became Jewish only.

The revolt also allowed the Histadrut to impose Hebrew labour at other places like Majdal Yaba (Migdal Tzedek) quarry. At the end of 1936, at the Histadrut's insistence, all the Arab workers at Majdal Yaba were fired and Jewish workers brought in. As they had done twice before, the displaced Arab workers mounted a strong protest, but this time the British authorities stood squarely behind the Histadrut and a large contingent of police and numerous arrests broke Arab resistance.

The same happened in the citrus groves of the moshavot. During the strike nearly all Arab workers stayed away and their places were taken by Jewish workers mobilized and dispatched by the Histadrut.

The Palestine Communist Party - that at that time adopted the strategy of the popular front seeking the non existent "progressive " bourgeoisie - was paralysed and divided at the time of the revolt. Some of its Arab leaders and activists tailing the Arab Nationalist leadership tried to take an active part in the armed struggle, but in so doing they lost their specifically communist identity without gaining any significant influence on the course, character, or leadership of the revolt. The party's support for the revolt led many of its Jewish members to quit, while most of those who remained organized themselves into a largely autonomous "Jewish section" which grew increasingly alienated from the party's predominantly Arab leadership and increasingly anxious to overcome its isolation from the Yishuv by moving toward a less unequivocally anti-Zionist stance. By the end of the revolt the PCP's Arab and Jewish components had become deeply estranged, resulting in a number of splits and ultimately the collapse of the PCP as a unified Arab-Jewish party.


After the war a revolutionary ferment was felt throughout Europe, Asia , the Middle East and other parts of the world. The imperialists could not intervene by military actions. They were in need of other means to impose their order. They received the help of the social democrats and the communist parties under the direction of Stalin who was seeking an accommodation with US imperialism. The war of 1948 in Palestine was one of the devices that led to the re-imposition of the imperialist order.

Unlike the official bourgeois leadership of the Arab nationalist movement in Palestine, which was still dominated by Husaynis' faction , the National Liberation League (The Arab Communists after the split ) and its new labour front the Arab Workers' Congress, insisted on preserving the distinction between Zionism and the Jewish masses in Palestine.

Al-Ittihad, the Arabic language newspaper of the NLL, maintained that the reactionaries who had led that movement in the past had made it easier for the Zionist movement to maintain its control over the Jewish masses in Palestine, by frightening them with the spectre of Arab rule and Arab violence [2].

The NLL was right to insist not only that the Jewish masses could be won away from their allegiance to Zionism, provided the Arab revolutionary movement offered the Jews a secure place in the future, but also that Arab-Jewish working class cooperation was key to achieving the independence of an undivided Palestine. This however, was in contrast to the reformist theory of stages - first a democratic state and than after a socialist one. There were only two alternatives. Either it had to be a successful socialist revolution or a terrible defeat.

The NLL/AWC leadership's commitment to Arab-Jewish coexistence, and especially worker solidarity, did contribute to better relations between Arab and Jewish labour organizations in Palestine. The Arab Communists' stance, made it the target of attack by both the conservative Arab nationalists and the Zionists.

At the same time the NLL's insistence on distinguishing between Zionism and the Yishuv (The Jewish community) was of little or no interest to the vast majority of Jews in Palestine, very few of whom would have been willing to live under any form of Arab majority rule whatever rights they might have been promised as an officially recognized minority.

There were significant forces in the Yishuv which until late 1947 still argued that the creation of a sovereign Jewish state in Palestine was unattainable, either because of Arab opposition or because it would violate Arab rights in the country, or both. The most important of these were the Hashomer Hatza'ir and urban sister party, the Socialist League, which in 1946 merged into the Hashomer Hatza'ir Workers' Party [3].

Hashomer Hatza'ir (along with some liberal Zionists) rejected the official Zionist demand for Jewish statehood in part or all of Palestine and instead proposed the establishment in an undivided Palestine of a bi-national state in which Arabs and Jews would have political parity regardless of their numbers.

It was clearly a reformist programme, however the rank and file of these forces could be won to the real solution in the form of a Federated Socialist state where the Arabs and the Jews would have self-rule in a common state ruled by the working class.

The Arab Communists were not the only forces seeking a joint class struggle. Even the PAWS that experienced significant growth in the period that followed the war, sought also to cooperate with the Jewish workers even if organized in the Histadrut, as long as the latter did not come into conflict with them but rather was ready to act in a united front against the common oppressor.

Given Arab interest in cooperation, even the Histadrut leadership came under pressure from its own ranks to act together with the Arab co-workers. The total paralysis into which the PLL (the Histadrut's Arab "trade union") had fallen by 1945 had conclusively demonstrated the futility of the Histadrut's efforts to undermine the Arab unions by organizing Arab workers under its own auspices.

This led the Histadrut leadership to admit, or at least to declare publicly, that in order to protect or improve the lot of Jews employed in mixed workplaces there was no alternative to cooperation with the Arab unions.

When Jamal al-Husayni reorganized the AHC in April 1946, he appointed Sami Taha the leader of the PAWS as a member of the AHC. By including Taha in the Arab Higher Committee, Jamal al-Husayni sought to weaken and isolate the AWC and the NLL, whose criticisms of the nationalist leadership's conservatism, authoritarianism, and ineffectuality were as little appreciated as their advocacy of democracy, social reform, and solidarity between Arab and Jewish workers.

In 1945 the Haifa refinery employed about a thousand workers, making it one of Haifa's (and Palestine's) largest workplaces. The PAWS had a strong base among the Arab refinery workers, though its rival the communist-led FATULS also had substantial support there; only about thirty of the Arab refinery workers belonged to the PLL. Though Jews made up only about one-third of the refinery workforce, they held a much higher proportion of the skilled and clerical jobs; only half of the Jewish refinery workers were Histadrut members, possibly because of its racist line. The refinery and the petroleum industry, were the most advanced sectors of the Palestinian economy.

The April 1946 General Strike

The largest and most dramatic episode of joint action between Arab and Jewish workers in the history of Palestine took place in April 1946. Postal, telephone, and telegraph workers were responsible for sparking off what became an unprecedentedly broad strike of white- and blue-collar government employees. Postal department officials had long rejected or ignored the postal workers' demands, leading Sami Taha of the PAWS and Yehezkel Abramov, secretary of the International Union of Railway, Postal and Telegraph Workers, to plan a strike of mainly Jewish postal and telephone workers in Tel Aviv, scheduled to begin on April 9, 1946. In this sector Arab and Jewish trade unionists had many years of experience in working together, and relations were very friendly.

On the appointed day the workers, including thirty or forty Arabs employed at the Tel Aviv post office, went on strike. The next day all the postal workers in Palestine had stopped work. In the negotiations that ensued postal officials quickly made far-reaching concessions, and the Histadrut recommended that the workers accept the offer and end the strike. As on similar occasions, the Histadrut feared that the strike might undermine the Zionist campaign then under way to force the British government to open Palestine to Jewish immigration. However, the rank and file postal workers, who had lost all faith in official promises, were in no mood to compromise and voted overwhelmingly to reject the management's offer and to continue their strike. Their militancy spread quickly and on April 14 both the Arab and the Jewish railway workers came out on strike. They were determined to resist any attempts of the management to keep control over them, and they were also in opposition to their own labour leaders who had failed to respect their autonomy and meet their needs.

Thus the Arab and Jewish railway workers (members of both the IU and the AURW), through their joint struggle paralysed the country's railway system. There had never before been such a general strike of Palestine's railway and postal workers. What was even more striking was the fact that the middle and lower level white-collar government employees also took part in the strike.

By April 15, 1946, less than a week after the Tel Aviv postal workers had come out, around 23,000 government employees were on strike. For a time it seemed that the tens of thousands of workers employed at British military bases, along with the petroleum workers in and near Haifa, might also join the strike. Arab and Jewish communists certainly hoped this would happen: an April 18 leaflet issued jointly by the NLL and the Palestine Communist Party called on the refinery, military base, and municipal workers to join the general strike, while condemning the "imperialist government" of Palestine for allocating more than one-fifth of its annual budget to the police and prisons but only 8 percent to health, education, and social welfare combined. However, both the Histadrut and the PAWS did everything to stop the strike from spreading by keeping the refinery and base workers at their jobs. The Histadrut was concerned with its usual Zionist goals, while Taha had received a telephone call from Arab League headquarters in Cairo telling him not to go too far in cooperating with the Jews, whereupon he tried to dampen the Arab workers' militancy and prevented the petroleum workers from joining the strike.

Left-wing Arab trade unionists were particularly angry about what they regarded as Sami Taha's sabotage of the strike. Al-Ittihad in this period sarcastically denounced the "honourable unionists" of the PAWS who,

compelled by their desire to save their Arab worker brothers from the clutches of the Zionist Histadrut and its many machinations and by seeing a Histadrut representative try to intervene in the strike and lead it, as the Histadrut always sought to do, thought that the only way to frustrate the Histadrut's schemes and isolate it from the masses of workers was by demanding that the workers return to work, on the pretext that the strike had been foisted upon them by the Histadrut and its officials!

Warning against "defeatist and reactionary elements, Arab and Jewish," the NLL and PCP declared the strike "a blow against the 'divide and rule' policy of imperialism, a slap in the face of those who hold chauvinist ideologies and propagate national division." Mishmar, the organ of Hashomer Hatza'ir, also supported the strike and argued that it demonstrated the possibility and efficacy of Arab-Jewish cooperation.

However instead of a further revolutionary development of the class struggle, the imperialists, with the help of the Histadrut leadership, the right wing Zionists, the Arab Nationalists, the conservative leaders of PAWS and, above all, with the pressure exerted by Stalin and co, were able to head off the class struggle and create the conditions for the bloody events of late 1947 and 1948 known as the Nakba.

It is a historical law that when the class struggle advances in the direction of revolution but the workers do not have a revolutionary leadership to carry out the socialist revolution the outcome most often is a terrible defeat.

The UN decision to divide the country was the old trick of divide and rule. It was a violation of the right of the country's indigenous Arab majority to national self-determination in an undivided Palestine. It resulted in the hardening of nationalist lines between and within the Arab and Jewish communities which rendered impossible that class unity that had manifested itself so strongly from the period that went from the end of the war in 1945 up until 1947.

On September 12, 1947, Sami Taha was assassinated outside his home in Haifa. His assassin was never arrested, but it was generally believed that Sami Taha was killed on the orders of Amin al-Husayni, as part of the nationalist campaign by the Mufti camp to tighten its grip on the Arab community.

The PAWS never had the opportunity to recover from the assassination of its secretary and its best-known public figure. The AWC and the NLL did not fare much better. It became a victim of the Stalinist international and local Stalinist's policy.

To the surprise and dismay of the NLL, and of the Arab communists elsewhere in the Middle East, in the spring of 1947 the Soviet government began moving away from its previous position on Palestine and Zionism and by autumn of the same year it had abandoned it altogether, when it endorsed the partition.

In May 1947, in an address to the General Assembly on the Palestine question, Soviet representative Andrei Gromyko concluded his speech by saying that if Arabs and Jews could not find a way to coexist peacefully within the framework of a single state, partition might be the only fair and viable solution.

The NLL leaders did their best to avoid coming to terms with the implications of Gromyko's speech, but they could not ignore the explicit decision of the Soviet Union, in October 1947, to endorse UNSCOP's recommendation that Palestine be partitioned into independent Arab and Jewish states.

The result was a split in the NLL leadership, which included many veteran communists who had loyally followed Moscow's line for many years. Some NLL leaders embraced the new Soviet line, accepted partition, and would later denounce the Arab states' military intervention to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state; others rejected the new line and would seek to participate in the struggle against the establishment of a Jewish state. As a result of several factors, the split, the suppression of the organization's newspaper al-Ittihad by the British authorities in February 1948, and then the uprooting and displacement of much of Palestine's Arab population in the months that followed, the NLL and the AWC fell into disarray.

In the spring of 1948 AWC activists helped organize local self-defence units in Jaffa and Gaza to protect poor urban neighbourhoods, but these were swept away by the forces organized by the "socialist" Zionists.

Unlike their Arab counterparts, the Jewish communists in Palestine were quick to embrace the new Soviet line and organized support for the reactionary war. Hashomer Hatza'ir went through a similar process and it also dropped the bi nationalist stance. With Ahdut Ha'avoda it would form a new party MAPM whose members played leading roles in the top ranks of the Yishuv's strongest militia, the Hagana, and of the Hagana's elite military formation, the PALMAH that carried out many atrocities against the Palestinians.

The real aim of the partition became clear when the single most bloody incident of the first month of the Arab-Jewish violence that erupted immediately after the UN General Assembly endorsed partition took place. It not only involved workers employed at a mixed workplace, but it also occurred at a site which had had a history of close cooperation between Arab and Jewish trade unionists.

The site in question was the Haifa oil refinery. This was a key centre of working class activity. It was at the centre of the class struggles that erupted after the war, and where Arab workers and trade union activists had played the leading role. This was not surprising given the composition of the workforce and its high degree of organization.

Whatever good feelings may have existed previously seem to have evaporated during the autumn of 1947. After the UN General Assembly had voted to endorse partition, both the Jewish workers and the Arab workers at the refinery started to become increasingly worried about their safety.

On Tuesday, December 30, 1947, ETZEL the right wing Jewish terrorist organisation, threw bombs from a speeding car into a crowd of several hundred Arabs who were standing outside the main gate of the Haifa oil refinery in the hope of finding employment as day labourers. Six people were killed and forty-two were wounded.

Within minutes of the bomb attack at the Haifa refinery gate, some of the Arabs who had been part of the crowd outside surged into the refinery compound and, along with some of the Arab refinery workers, began attacking Jewish refinery workers. An hour passed before British soldiers and police arrived to restore order, by which time forty-one Jews had been killed and forty-nine wounded.

This was the largest and most brutal massacre of civilians which Palestine had witnessed since the UN vote a month earlier. Even the report of the Jewish committee investigating the refinery massacre that was clearly biased had to admit that "there were isolated incidents of Arab workers and [white-collar] employees who in various ways warned and even succeeded in saving a number of Jews, their co-workers" and added that "not all the Arab workers at the enterprise participated in the rampage, and a significant number of the workers and employees did not participate in it."

The Jewish Agency, the official leadership of the Yishuv, promptly denounced ETZEL for this "act of madness" which had brought about the catastrophe at the Haifa refinery, but it simultaneously decided to emulate ETZEL by secretly authorizing the Hagana to do the same. A day after the refinery massacre, members of the Hagana's elite strike force, the PALMAH, attacked the village of Balad al-Shaykh not far from Haifa, where a number of Arab refinery workers lived, and nearby Hawasa as well. The Jewish murderers killed some sixty men, women, and children and destroyed several dozen houses.

The contrast between the Yishuv leadership's official stance and its actual response to the refinery massacre was not lost on many Arabs. When Eli-yahu Agassi visited Haifa early in April 1948, an Arab worker berated him: "We know you Jews: you preach one thing and practice another. What was the crime of the Arab workers at Hawasa and Balad al-Shaykh whom your people attacked at night and slaughtered?"[3]

During December 1947 tensions between Arab and Jewish workers in the railways were running high, despite efforts by both Arab and Jewish trade union activists and leaders to keep the peace. When news of the bomb attack at the refinery reached the workshops, tensions soared and some of the younger and more hot-headed Arab workers there stopped work, shut down the machines, and began arming themselves with whatever makeshift weapons came to hand. For some very tense moments it seemed that the massacre at the refinery might be repeated at the railway workshops. But Arab trade unionists, including veteran PAWS activists like Sa'id Qawwas and also AWC sympathizers, promptly intervened to prevent violence. At great personal risk they prevailed on the hotheads to calm down and preserved order until arrangements could be made for the Jewish workers to leave work and reach their homes safely.

A Jewish trade unionist at the workshops declared that "without a shadow of a doubt it is thanks to [the Arab trade unionists'] courage that what befell the workers at the refinery was not also our lot that day." [4]

Not surprisingly the Arab unionists' effective intervention to prevent violence against Jews at the railway workshops received little public attention in the Zionist press.

The partition and the atrocities that went with it destroyed the vision of Arab-Jewish worker solidarity which had only a few months earlier motivated so many people. By May 14, 1948, when the State of Israel was formally established, several hundred thousand Arabs had already fled out of fear of Jewish terrorism or had been driven from their homes, land, and places of work. Thus the Refugee problem and the prevention of the establishment of a Palestinian state had become a fait accompli before May 1948.

However there was one small voice that raised the banner of genuine revolutionary Marxism. This was the Revolutionary Communist League, the organisation of the Trotskyists in Palestine. While this group was much too small to have any significant impact on the events that were unfolding it took a principled stand and opposed the partition from a Marxist perspective. Its organ Kol Hama'amad (Voice of the Class) stated among other things in May 1948:

"Not so very long ago the Arab and Jewish workers were united in strikes against a foreign oppressor. This common struggle has been put to an end. Today the workers are being incited to kill each other. The inciters have succeeded. The British want to frustrate partition by means of Arab "terrorism" explain the Zionists. As if this communal strife were not the very instrument by which partition is brought about! It was easy for the imperialists to foresee that and well may they be satisfied with the course of events… The function of the UNO was to sweeten the bitter dish cooked in the imperialist cuisine, dressing it, in Bevin's words, with the twaddle of the "conscience of the world that has passed judgement." Exactly. And the diplomats of the lesser countries danced to the tune of the dollar flute… The leaders of the Arab League reacted to the decision on partition with speeches full of threats and enthusiasm. As a matter of fact, a Zionist state is to them a godsend from Allah. Calling up the worker and fellah for the "holy war to save Palestine" is supposed to stifle their cries for bread, land and freedom… In Palestine the feudal rule has of late begun to lose ground. During the war the Arab working class has grown in numbers and political consciousness. Jewish and Arab workers stood up against the foreign oppressor, against whom they together went on strikes. A strong leftist trade union had come into existence; and the "Workers Association of the Arabs of Palestine" had been well on the way of freeing itself from the influence of the Husseinis. The murder of its leader, Sami Taha, committed by hirelings of the Arab High Committee could not restrain this development. But where the Husseinis failed, the decision of the imperialist agency, the UNO succeeded. The patriotic wave makes sitting on the fence very uncomfortable. The Zionist "Socialist" parties soon "corrected" their anti-imperialist phrases and stubborn "resistance" against "cutting up the country to pieces" and gave way to full and enthusiastic support of the imperialist partition policy. That was a trifling matter, a question of merely changing Zionist tactics.

Yet the Communist Party of Palestine might have been expected to take up a different position. Have they not repeatedly warned against the fatal results bound to come with the establishment of a Jewish state? "Partition must needs be disastrous for Jew and Arab alike... partition is an imperialist scheme intended to give British rule a new lease on life..." (evidence given by the PCP before the Anglo-American Commission of Enquiry on March 25, 1946). The secretary of the party loyally stuck to this attitude as late as July 1947 when he said before the UNO commission: "We refuse the partition scheme point blank, as this scheme is detrimental to the interests of the two peoples." However, after this scheme had been pulled off with the support of the Soviet representatives, Kol Ha'Am.

The Arab Stalinists, the "National Liberation League," did not fare better than their Jewish counterparts. They were in a pretty fix having to justify the Russian support of the Jewish state. The Arab workers could not be expected to accept this line. Not by a long shot. They knew the meddling of Soviet diplomacy for what it was: breaking up the Palestine workers' unity and a treacherous blow. After the pro-partition declaration of Zarapkin, the National Liberation League people found themselves surrounded by scorn and hostility… The two camps today mobilize the masses under the mask of "self-defense." "We have been attacked, let us defend ourselves!"- say the Zionists. "Let us ward off the danger of a Jewish conquest!" - declares the Arab Higher Committee. Where does the truth lie?

War is the continuation of politics by other means. The war led by the Arab feudalists is but the continuation of their reactionary war on the worker and the fellah who are striving to shake off oppression and exploitation. For the feudal effendis "Salvation of Palestine" means safeguarding their revenues at the expense of the fellahin, maintaining their autocratic rule in town and country, smashing the proletarian organizations and international class solidarity.

The war waged by the Zionists is the continuation of their expansionist policy based on discrimination between the two peoples: they defend kibbush avoda (ousting of Arab labour), kibbush adama (ousting of the fellah), boycott of Arab goods, "Hebrew rule." The military conflict is a direct result of the Zionist conquerors.

In reaction to the massacres and expulsions of the Palestinians Yacob Halprin a member of the PCP who became a Trotskyist wrote a statement in the name of the Jewish Workers Committee. In this statement he compared the crimes of the Zionists against the Palestinians to the crimes the Nazis committed against the Jews. He ended with demands that reflected the revolutionary program:

Long live International working class solidarity.
Long live the fighting solidarity of the Workers and the poor peasants in the Arab states.
Long live the Socialist Federation of all the Arab states free from Imperialist domination.
Long live the Jewish Autonomy in socialist Palestine.
Long live the world socialist revolution.

29 November 1948 [5](published in the Fourth International):

The task today is to take up those unblemished traditions and work towards a working class solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which can only be achieved on the basis of the struggle for socialism and the overthrow of the reactionary regimes on both sides.

June 2003.

(See Part one)


* This article made an extensive use of the extensive research made by Zachary Lockman in the book "Comrades and Enemies Arab and Jewish Workers in Palestine, 1906-1948", The University of California press. It is an honest account though somewhat biased in favour of Zionism.

1. Black, Zionism, 34, 65. An official account of the Histadrut's activities in Haifa in 1933-39 asserted that "the relations which were established in previous years with workers and employers at Haifa port were extremely beneficial as one of the direct factors in preventing a strike at the port of Haifa.…" Mo'etzet Po'alei Haifa, Hahistadrut behaifa, 245.]

2. Al-Ittihad, January 14, July 8, 1945.

4. See the Palestinian press for December 1947-January 1948, and AA 219/146, Agassi's report of April 4-7, 1948. On the attack on Balad al-Shaykh, see Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-49 (Cambridge, U.K., 1987), 41-42, 156, and Khalidi, All That Remains, 152-54. [

4. HH/AC 13/90/1, Bulitin (of the Hakibbutz Ha'artzi-Hashomer Hatza'ir Arab Department), April 10, 1948. The unionist quoted was almost certainly Efrayyim Krisher, Hashomer Hatza'ir's leading activist at the workshops.

5. The Reds- the Communist Party in Israel at p.498 1991 by S. Dotan ( in Hebrew)

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