The decline of the israeli labor movement: Mapam as a test case, 1954-77

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This article seeks to explain the demise of the Israeli labor movement during the two decades prior to the elections of 1977, which marked the rise of the Israeli right. I focus on a specific test case: Mifleget Ha-po'alim Ha-meuhedet (United Workers' Party), or Mapam, and its allied kibbutz movement, Ha-kibbuts Ha-artsi-Ha-shomer Ha-TSA'ir (Kibbutz Movement of the Young Guard). Although Mapam and Ha-kibbuts Ha-artsi were not the largest factions in the Israeli labor movement, they shared a similar sociopolitical power structure with the other parts of the labor movement, based on the model of a socialist mass party combining political, economic, and ideological elements. The structural element was key to the collapse of the Israeli labor movement, and the Israeli case is representative of a broader crisis of the left in the Western world in the second half of the twentieth century.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-97
Number of pages30
JournalJewish Social Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2017 The Trustees of Indiana University.


  • Ha-kibbuts Ha-artsi
  • Ha-shomer Ha-TSA'ir
  • Israeli labor movement
  • Kibbutz
  • Mapam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Religious studies


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