Sinn Féin Revolutionary, Fianna Fáil Nationalist and Revisionist Zionist
Chapter 8: 1940–1943 - Political Retrenchment: Nationalist Reintegration and Zionist Withdrawal
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1940–1943 Political Retrenchment: Nationalist Reintegration and Zionist Withdrawal
When Briscoe returned from South Africa in the spring of 1940, he had in many respects already reached the apex of his revisionist engagement, and although still fully committed to the organization, he was almost immediately involved in one of the most contentious historical issues of Ireland’s wartime neutrality. Despite improved political, social and cultural relations with Britain, the fundamental issue of partition still bedevilled a burgeoning détente between the Irish state and its former colonial master. Indeed in a broader analysis of Briscoe’s political evolution, it can be seen that partition had become, in many respects, the defining issue that bound him to de Valera and Jabotinsky in a synthesis that was unbreakable. He had unreservedly supported ‘The Chief’ when he rejected the partition of the Irish state in the 1920s, and he had offered the same steadfast support to Jabotinsky when the revisionists rejected MacDonald’s proposal to Partition Palestine in 1937.
This is clear when Briscoe’s schedule for the first six months of 1940 is examined; it was a frenetic mix of revisionist representation that required his presence in London for at least one week a month, and a reintegration into the parochial world of Fianna Fáil politics.1 A core aspect of these periods in London, which Briscoe dreaded due to the constant bombing of the blitz, was a constant campaign of advocacy with senior members...
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