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'That Spells Trouble': Jews and the Communist Party of South Africa

Israel, M.ORCID: 0000-0002-1263-8699 and Adams, S. (2000) 'That Spells Trouble': Jews and the Communist Party of South Africa. Journal of Southern African Studies, 26 (1). pp. 145-162.

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After the National Party came to power in 1948, the South African government was at great pains to portray the white opposition as Communist-controlled, atheist and un-South African. The existence of a number of high-profile Jews within the opposition meant that the government could fall back on a range of antisemitic stereotypes in attempting to explain the phenomenon of white dissent. During this period- with some notable exceptions- official representatives of the Jewish community generally maintained a policy of silence. Many leading radical Jews were not only persecuted by the state but were also ostracized within the Jewish community and subsequently written out of South African Jewish history. In the 1990s, the Jewish community has begun to come to terms with the way that Jewish South Africans responded to apartheid. This article examines questions concerning the reasons for and level of Jewish involvement in the Communist Party in order to facilitate an ongoing debate regarding the nature of the Jewish response to racism in South Africa.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Copyright: 2000 Journal of Southern African Studies
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