Labor Zionism Comes to Power:
The Making of the Ideals That Rule Israel: II
It fell to Berl Katznelson, still a very young man when Gordon died, to codify the diverse doctrines of Syrian, Borochov, and Gordon. There was nothing formal about his performance. In fact, he himself may never have been aware of what it was that he was doing. At the very outset of his public career Berl had set himself the task of bringing about the unification of all the Labor Zionist groups. Codification was an automatic by-product of his success in this task. Each of the several groups that came together to form Mapai brought with it its own ideological trappings, but Mapai as a whole embodied their point of “confluence” rather than of conflict. Berl reflected this “confluence” in all his writings and discourses. If there was little of Borochov in his eclectic system (perhaps only the latter’s affirmation of the value of the Yiddish folkskultur of the golah), there was a great deal of Syrkin (yet none of Syrkin’s contempt for the golah Jew), and even more of Gordon (the religion of labor, the moral regeneration of man, deference to tradition).
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