Joe Flexer

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Joe Flexer (March 23, 1933 - July 31, 2000) was a trade unionist and communist activist in Canada. Born in Brooklyn, Flexer was politicized in the mid 1940s through contacts with the American Communist Party in New York. He left the United States, a Zionist, in 1950 at the age of 17 with the Habonim (now Habonim Dror) Zionist youth movement and immigrated to Israel where he lived on Kibbutz Urim.

During the early 1950s he witnessed the human rights abuses of Palestinians in southern Israel by the Israeli authorities. In 1956, following his participation as a mechanic with the Israeli forces in the Sinai Campaign, he broke from Zionism and became active with the Israeli Communist Party. As a result, he was forced to leave Urim in 1958 and he moved with his family to the southern Israeli town of Beersheba.

In 1963 Flexer moved to Canada settling in Winnipeg, Manitoba where he became involved in the anti-war movement protesting the Vietnam War. In 1968 he moved to Montreal. Following a brief stay in Israel in 1970, where he lived and worked on kibbutz Gan-Shmuel, he moved back to Canada and settled in Toronto in 1970. There he joined the Waffle, a radical socialist tendency within the New Democratic Party, becoming its provincial organizer in Ontario. Moving leftward, he helped form the Red Circle, a Marxist tendency within the Waffle. When the Waffle was forced out of the NDP in 1972, Flexer and the Red Circle split with the Waffle, opposing its decision to leave the NDP, and...
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