This article examines Bella Abzug's activities with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict at home and abroad during her congressional career (1971–1977), with a focus on the dilemmas she faced, her approach to overcoming them, and her ability to mobilize like-minded but diverse American women for her struggle. After tracing her Labor Zionist background and her activities in the early 1970s, this article investigates her strategy for defending Israel during and after the 1975 International Women's Year Conference in Mexico. Abzug's story offers a useful window into the connection between women's politics and the Middle East question; it also illuminates the active role of a group of American women in making the US-Israeli relationship closer during the 1970s. This article concludes that, ironically, in order to endorse Zionism, Abzug, a staunch critic of the Cold War, relied on the US Cold War strategy of eliminating Communist influence from women's politics.


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pp. 112-135
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