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Holidays of the Revolution explores a little-known chapter in the history of Mandatory Palestine and the State of Israel: the Israeli Communist Party and its youth movement, which posed a radical challenge to Zionism. Amir Locker-Biletzki examines the development of this movement from 1919 to 1965, concentrating on how Communists built a distinctive identity through myth and ritual. He addresses three key themes: identity construction through Jewish holidays (Hanukkah and Passover), through civic holidays (Holocaust Remembrance Day and Israeli Independence Day), and through Soviet and working-class myths and ceremonies (May Day and the October Revolution). He also shows how Jewish Communists viewed, interacted, and celebrated with their Palestinian comrades. Using extensive archival and newspaper sources, Locker-Biletzki argues that Jewish-Israeli Communists created a unique, dissident subculture. Simultaneously negating and absorbing the culture of Socialist-Zionism and Israeli Republicanism--as well as Soviet and left-wing-European traditions--Jewish Communists forged an Israeli identity beyond the bounds of Zionism.
About the Author
Amir Locker-Biletzki is an Affiliated Researcher at the Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies at Concordia University in Montreal and a Balsillie School Fellow at the University of Waterloo.