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Dirty Laundry: Dissent and Self-Criticism in 20th-Century Jewish Politics

This research investigates the political and ethical tensions underlying the practice of public self-criticism in modern Jewish politics. It historicises the assumption that words and actions of individuals belonging to a minority group can impact the image and safety of other group members. The changing structures and contexts of Jewish politics in the 20th century offer a powerful case study for examining the fluid and contested boundaries of legitimate self-critique. My project examines how antisemitism, the Holocaust, and the establishment of the State of Israel affected the handling of questions of freedom of speech, political power, violence and self-censorship.

Contact: Marc Volovici, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Pears Institute and Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck, University of London.

Image: 21st Zionist Congress, Geneva, 1939

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