The TUC and the Histadrut, 1945-1982: a problematic relationship. / Fraser, Ronald.

2014. 304 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis



The TUC and the Histadrut, 1945-1982: a problematic relationship

Ronnie Fraser


The main purpose of this study is to explore and explain the attitude of the British trade union movement towards Zionism and Israel and how and why it has changed over the years. There have been several studies that concentrate on the attitude of the British Labour Party towards Israel but none that focus on the relationship between the British trade union movement and its Israeli counterpart. Although the unions and the Labour Party had a close relationship, their policies were not always the same with regard to Israel.
The relationship between the TUC and the Histadrut, rooted in the 1920s and 1930s, changed fundamentally after the creation of Israel in 1948. This research analyses how that relationship developed and why. Key factors included the attitude of the TUC General Secretaries, the TUC's relationship with the Foreign Office, the context of the international trade union movement, Cold War politics, Britain's post-war role in the Middle East, and the (sometimes surprising) approach of individual trades union leaders such as Jack Jones. The four wars between Israel and the Arabs between 1948-82 also played a part. One constant throughout most of this study is the pro-Zionist stance of the Parliamentary Labour Party compared with the much more ambivalent TUC-Histadrut relations.
The thesis investigates how the TUC's indifference towards Israel during the 1950s changed into a decade of positive engagement with the Histadrut, the only period of real friendship between the two labour organisations. It charts the rise of the Left, during the 1970s and the consequent trend towards increasing criticism of Israel and the Histadrut within the TUC which eventually led to the 1982 TUC Congress condemning Israel's invasion of Lebanon and recognition of the Palestinian people's right to self-determination.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date1 Sep 2014
Publication statusUnpublished - 2014
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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