ABSTRACT

This chapter will assess far right approaches to the British Mandate of Palestine and Zionism. It will show that from the very beginning of mandatory control in Palestine, the far right saw British policy as being almost totally influenced by a Jewish conspiracy. At first, Zionism, while intensely opposed, was cynically exploited as a means of repatriating British Jews to the region as part of a policy referred to as ‘compulsory Zionism’. While antisemitism and Jewish conspiracy theories dominated, pro-Arab sentiment which presented the indigenous population as noble bulwarks against malicious Jewish power emerged. Interwar fascist movements promoted authoritarian and totalitarian solutions to the Palestine question, which revolved around the crushing of Jews and ethnic cleansing of the mandate. Following the Second World War, small far right movements such as the British League of Ex-Servicemen exploited violence in the Palestine Mandate by Zionist terror organisations as a means of promoting domestic antisemitism, particularly in the East End. Oswald Mosley would also use debates over Zionism to relativise and indeed, dismiss, crimes and genocide committed against the European Jewish population by Nazi Germany. Following the foundation of the State of Israel, the far right would be continually critical, viewing it as the purest manifestation of a global Jewish conspiracy and threat to global stability, particularly around the time of the Suez Crisis.