Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History

The Senator Sam Cohen Affair: Soviet Anti-Semitism, the ALP and the 1961 Federal Election

Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History (2000), 78, (1), 179–197.

Abstract

This paper explores the Senator Sam Cohen Affair, the public brawl between sections of the Jewish community and the Australian Labor Party (ALP) during and following the 1961 federal election. Attention is drawn to the factors which precipitated the Affair including Left/Right conflicts within the Jewish community and the ALP, Cohen’s controversial preselection for the Senate ahead of Maurice Ashkanasy, the international Jewish campaign against Soviet anti-Semitism; and Cohen’s apparent defence of the Soviet Union’s record on this issue. The Affair arguably led to a revision of Jewish lobbying strategies including the community’s traditionally close relationship with the ALP.

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Details

Author details

Mendes, Philip

Table of Contents

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