The trope of the “radical Jew” is often evoked in discussions concerning the place of Jews in revolutionary left-wing politics during the twentieth-century. Far less attention was given, however, to the history of Jewish right-wing radicalism in general and the pre-statehood “maximalist” revisionism in particular. The dual aims of Dr. Dubnov’s paper are to revisit the history of this brand of non-religious Jewish nationalist ultra-right, to rescue it from the confines and a narrow “Palestino-centric” context in which it was usually read, and place it instead in a larger, transnational context. It argues that its processes of radicalization could be better understood if we take into consideration the ways in which members of these groups developed a political language and radical vocabulary that was based on a borrowing and mixing of ideas taken from three different sources, namely: Russian Bolshevism, Italian Fascism, and the Irish Sinn Féin. It thus traces the deep-seated intellectual roots and basic conceptual contradictions built into the pre-1948 notions regarding “Malchut Yisrael” (“Kingdom of Israel”) that resurfaced in later years, and in a different context, after the 1967 Six Day War.
Arie M. Dubnov is a historian of twentieth century Jewish and Israeli history, with emphasis on the history of political thought, the study of nationalism, decolonization and partition politics, and with a subsidiary interest in the history of Israeli popular culture. Prior to his arrival at George Washington University, Dubnov taught at Stanford University and the University of Haifa. In 2014 he was a participant in the National History Center’s International Decolonization Seminar, and in 2016 he was awarded the Dorset Fellowship at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies and a was Visiting Scholar at Wolfson College, Oxford. Among his publications are the intellectual biographyIsaiah Berlin: The Journey of a Jewish Liberal (Palgrave Macmillan U.S., 2012), the edited volume Zionism – A View from the Outside (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2010 [in Hebrew]), seeking to put Zionist history in a larger comparative trajectory, and numerous essays published essays in Nations & Nationalism, Modern Intellectual History, The Journal of Israeli History and more. His current research project seeks to trace the genealogy of the idea of partition in the British interwar imperial context, and to uncover other alternative, neglected federalist political schemes that were circulating at the time.