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Category: Interviews »

Subject: Cultural Studies »

Lionel Sharpe on attitudes towards the establishment of a Jewish State

Lionel Sharpe.

Lionel Sharpe draws out the complex debates around the establishment of a Jewish state in the period before Israel came into being



Date Added:

16 February 2009


source not available


mov (Quicktime);

File size:

4.5 MB






My only experience of a sort of a hesitancy about the establishment of a state came from two directions: one was Rabbi Danglo (sp?) who was the rabbi at the St Kilda synagogue and Sir Archie Michaelis who was a member of parliament, there was a band of them, Sir Isaac Isaacs, who were writing articles and things of – saying that the – for a variety of reasons we shouldn’t have a – a national entity in the Middle East.


Then there was another group which was the Bunda socialists, who felt that they wanted to build up in the Diaspora, a Jewish life based around Yiddish culture, Yiddish writers and the Yiddish language etcetera. And they weren’t – and I had friends who were – who were very cold on the whole idea of supporting Zionist causes. On the other hand, we knew about the ship, the Exodus, we knew about the tremendous plight of the refugees stuck in refugee camps, the desperation to get out and Israel was seen very much as a haven for the refugees. I mean, I’m – I wouldn’t say that my views were sort of, the biblical ones of the return to the Holy Land but really that we needed a place that could settle large numbers of refugees, that Australia didn’t want and America were lukewarm about.


End transcript