Jabra Nicola

Jabra Nicola (Arabic: جبرا نقولا, Hebrew: ג'ברא ניקולא; February 16, 1912 - December 25, 1974) was a Palestinian Arab Israeli Trotskyist leader, the author of numerous articles and pamphlets who also translated some of the classics of Marxism into Arabic. Born in Haifa, he joined the Palestine Communist Party before he turned 20, and was responsible for its publication al-Ittihad.[1]

The Communist Party split along nationalist lines in 1939, and Jabra Nicola refused to join either wing, [1] and, after being imprisoned by the British occupation from 1940–1942, was recruited to a small Trotskyist movement by Yigael Gluckstein, later better known as Tony Cliff. [2] However, with the collapse of the group in the late 1940s, Jabra Nicola returned to the Palestinian Communist Party. While in the Communist Party he played a leading role on the party's publications, but when, after 1962, a small new left movement, the Matzpen group, revived in what was now Israel, he was to join it for a second and final time. [1]

Placed under house arrest after the Six-Day War in 1967, he left Israel for London in 1970, where he lived until his death in 1974.[3]

In 1963, Nicola was elected to the International Executive Committee of the Fourth International, for which he wrote many articles and pamphlets, and translated Marxist classics into Arabic. [1] His most important theoretical essays were Theses on the Revolution in the Arab East ) (1972) [4] and Arab Revolution and National Problems in the Arab East (1973), written together with Moshé Machover. [5]

Jabra Nicola lived with political activist Aliza Novik (b. 1912, Tiberias, d. 1970 Haifa), with whom he had three children.


  1. Frank, Pierre (1979). The Fourth International : the long march of the Trotskyists. Translated by Ruth Schein. London: Ink Links. p. 158. ISBN 0906133092. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  2. Cliff, Tony. "A World to Win". Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  3. Greenstein, Ran (2011). "A Palestinian Revolutionary: Jabra Nicola and the Radical Left" (PDF). Jerusalem Quarterly. Institute Of Jerusalem Studies (Summer 2011 - Issue 46): 32–48.
  4. Nicola, Jabra. "Theses on the Revolution in the Arab East". Matzpen. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  5. Nicola, Jabra; Moshé Machover. "Arab Revolution and National Problems in the Arab East". Matzpen. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
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