Moshé Machover

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Moshé Machover
Born 1936 (age 80–81)
Tel Aviv, Mandatory Palestine
Citizenship British
Nationality Israel
Fields Mathematics
Institutions King's College London
Alma mater Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Doctoral advisor Andrzej Mostowski
Michael Oser Rabin
Doctoral students Paul Ernest

Moshé Machover (Hebrew: משה מחובר‎‎; born 1936) is a mathematician, philosopher, and socialist activist, noted for his writings against Zionism. Born to a Jewish family in Tel Aviv, then part of the British Mandate of Palestine, Machover moved to Britain in 1968 where he became a naturalised citizen. He was a founder of Matzpen, the Israeli Socialist Organisation, in 1962.


Machover has written extensively on the Middle East conflict. In 1961, while still members of the Israeli Communist Party, Machover and Akiva Orr, under the pseudonym 'A Israeli', wrote the pioneering anti-Zionist analysis of the Arab-Israeli conflict Shalom, Shalom ve'ein Shalom (Hebrew: שלום, שלום, ואין שלום‎‎; Peace, Peace, and there is no Peace). The intention of the book was to explain, from publicly available sources, why in 1956 "Ben-Gurion preferred to invade Egypt, alongside France and Britain, rather than to make peace with Egypt".[1] In the course of writing the book, "It became clear to us that the roots of the Israeli–Arab conflict lay, not in the conflict between Israel and the Arab states, but rather in the conflict between Zionist colonialism and the Palestinians over the land of Palestine and its independence."[1]

This insight was an implicit challenge to the line of the Israeli Communist Party, which considered Israel's alliance with the U.S. to be a matter of political choice, not deriving from the colonial nature of the state. When Machover and Orr followed this by criticising the party's adherence to the Soviet line, and called for the publication of the party's history, they were expelled. Machover and Orr, together with others expelled at the same time, then established Matzpen.[2][3] Together with Jabra Nicola (pen name A. Said), Moshé Machover developed the position, adopted by Matzpen, that the solution to the Israeli Palestinian problem is in a struggle to defeat Zionism and its allies – imperialism and Arab Reaction – and “rally to itself a wider struggle for the political and social liberation of the Middle East as a whole.” The struggle for Palestinian liberation can succeed only when the Palestinian and Israeli masses enter “a joint struggle with the revolutionary forces in the Arab world".[4]

Machover was a lecturer in mathematics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem from 1960 to 1964, and again from 1966 to 1968; during 1964–66, he was a visiting lecturer at the University of Bristol in England. In 1968, Machover moved permanently to London where he was Reader in Mathematical Logic at King's College London from 1973 to 1995. Since 1995 he has been Professor of Philosophy at the University of London.

In London, together with Orr and Shimon Tzabar, Machover established the Israeli Revolutionary Action Committee Abroad. In 1971, Machover, Orr and Haim Hanegbi, published an influential article on "The Class Nature of Israeli Society".[5] This article, which has been frequently republished, is included together with several more of Machover's early writings on the Middle East in the collection The Other Israel: the radical case against Zionism.[6]

In 1975, Machover was one of the founders of Khamsin, the "journal of revolutionary socialists of the Middle East".[7] Many of his articles from Khamsin are included in the collection Forbidden Agendas.[8] In 2012, Haymarket Press published a collection of Machover's essays from 1966 to 2010, under the title Israelis and Palestinians Conflict and Resolution.[9]

Machover's academic publications include Lectures on Non-Standard Analysis (with J. Hirschfeld, 1969), A Course in Mathematical Logic (with J. L. Bell, 1977), Laws of Chaos: A Probabilistic Approach to Political Economy (with E. Farjoun, 1983), Set Theory, Logic and their Limitations (1996), and The Measurement of Voting Power: Theory and Practice, Problems and Paradoxes (with D. Felsenthal, 1998).[10]

Machover's son Daniel Machover is a lawyer in London, specialising in human and civil rights cases.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Moshé Machover and Akiva Orr, "Foreword after 38 years", in the 1999 second edition of Shalom, Shalom ve'ein Shalom, privately published from PO Box 3050, Herzliya 46104, Israel.
  2. ^ "Matzpen – A Short History"
  3. ^ Ghilan, Maxim (1974). How Israel Lost Its Soul. London: Penguin. p. 158. 
  5. ^ New Left Review I/65
  6. ^ Copy on the Matzpen website
  7. ^ Khamsin on the Matzpen website
  8. ^ 'Forbidden Agendas: Intolerance and Defiance in the Middle East (ed. Jon Rothschild), Saqi Books 2001, ISBN 978-0-86356-021-7
  9. ^ Machover, Moshé (2012). Israelis and Palestinians : conflict and resolution. Chicago, Ill.: Haymarket Books. ISBN 9781608461486. 
  10. ^ KCL: Philosophy

External links[edit]