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SIAH – Smol Israeli Hadash (Israeli New Left)

SIAH was established in 1968 by a group of students at Tel Aviv University, most of them former members of Hashomer Ha'tsair, and a group of students at the Hebrew University including former members of the Communist Party of Israel and many new immigrants to the country.

The student revolt that was sweeping Europe was in the immediate background, including the protests against the U.S. war in Vietnam and the fight to defend freedom of speech. The local factor was the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, considered by many young leftists as the source of moral danger, especially for the oppressing nation.

The two constituent groups were far from identical in their political outlook. The Tel Aviv group defined itself as Zionist, the Jerusalemites considered themselves a-Zionists or even anti-Zionists. The common militant opposition to the deepening occupation and creeping annexation was instrumental in forging an alliance that lasted for five years.

In principle there were no permanent institutions. All decisions were adopted by the weekly general meeting or by a national conference. There was no official membership. Even so, 100-150 activists could be mobilized in 24 hours. The general "membership" was in the vicinity of 400. Some of the leading activists: Ron Cohen, Dani Peter, Yossie Amitai, the late Benyamin Cohen and the late Zvika Deutch.

The movement dissolved in 1973 after a fierce dispute regarding entrance to the coming electoral battle that year. Most of the Tel Aviv group was intent on establishing a coalition with other small left wing groups and with the Sneh group, still a claimant to the title of the Communist Party in Israel. These were the constituent forces that established Moked, headed by Meir Pa'il. Most of the Jerusalem group favored continued action as a non-parliamentary group, though a minority of members in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem eventually teamed up with Uri Avneri to establish MERI, which had a clearer anti-annexationist platform than that of Moked.

To view the Siah periodical, click here or enter the Periodical Collection.


Technicalities

This collection contains about 200 items. The material includes press clippings and photographs, material authored by SIAH groups - including SIAH periodicals, leaflets and organizational lists and documents.
The main archive language is English, while the items may be in Hebrew, English or Arabic.

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