Soviet Union and the Arab–Israeli conflict

Soviet Union And The Arab–Israeli Conflict

Soviet Union and the Arab–Israeli conflict

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The Soviet Union played a significant role in the Arab-Israeli conflict as the conflict was a major part of the Cold War. For related developments after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, see Russia and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Marxism-Leninism and Zionism

The official Soviet ideological position on Zionism condemned the movement as akin to bourgeois nationalism. Lenin, claiming to be deeply committed to egalitarian ideals and universality of all humanity, rejected Zionism as a reactionary movement, "bourgeois nationalism", "socially retrogressive", and a backward force that deprecates class divisions among Jews.

Although Leninism emphasizes self-determination, Soviet ideology treated Zionism as an exception. Leninism defines self-determination by territory, not culture, thus giving Soviet minorities so-called autonomous oblasts, regions, or republics, which were in practice merely symbolic and had little real power until the twilight years of the Soviet Union. Diaspora Jews, however, did not fit such a territory-based model of national determination. Marxian notions even denied a Jewish identity beyond religion and caste; Marx - who of Jewish origin (but baptized as a child) - defined the Jewish people as a "chimerical nation."

Establishment of the State of Israel

For Soviet foreign policy decision-makers, pragmatism took precedence over ideology. Without changing its official anti-Zionist stance, from late 1944, until 1948...
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