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Between Iran and ZionJewish Histories of Twentieth-Century Iran$
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Lior B. Sternfeld

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781503606142

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503606142.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 13 May 2021

The Iranian Political Sphere

The Iranian Political Sphere

Shaping a National Identity

(p.40) 2 The Iranian Political Sphere
Between Iran and Zion

Lior B. Sternfeld

Stanford University Press

Chapter 2 examines the politicization of Jews in Iran during World War II and through the early 1950s. Traditional historiography distances Jews from politics in Iran. When mentioned at all, Jewish political activity usually references support of the Shah, especially in relation to his close alliance with Israel. However, this chapter argues that political activism became a means for Iranian Jews to impact their future role and sociopolitical position in Iran. Many Jews were adamant supporters and members of the Tudeh, the Iranian Communist Party, and later engaged in many other political initiatives (such as student movements and intellectual associations). The Tudeh was the most vocal opponent of fascism in the 1940s and arguably the most popular political force in Iran. The Tudeh’s enduring defense of the Jewish community, combined with its message of equality, attracted many young Jews from the Iranian middle and lower middle classes.

Keywords:   Tudeh, Iranian politics, communism, nationalist movement, Zionism, Mosaddeq, National Front, Israel

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