FEBRUARY 13, 2012: Palestine in the Mandate
When the first Zionist immigrants from Europe start to arrive, Palestine was under
the Ottoman empire
At one point in the 18 century it was called Palestine, but by the 19 century, the
Ottoman Empire was structured into the Vilayets system (they divided up the
empire into administrative regions). Vilayets are named after the main cities in
The area that becomes British Palestine is the area of Damascus.
The vilayets had Ottoman governors whose main jobs were to collect taxes for the
Ottoman sultans, and in WWI to conscript soldiers.
Jerusalem was a “mutasarrifiya” which was an area with some kind of autonomy. In
this period, Mt. Lebanon was one as well.
Big Palestinian families lived in the important Palestinian cities like Jaffa (which is
now Tel Aviv), Tiberias (in the North of Mandate Palestine), Jerusalem, Haifa,
Most Palestinians earned their living as peasant farmers, and the grain and citrus
industries were important and run out of Jaffa and Gaza.
Small agricultural industries like wheat and olives were also important.
Most Palestinians were Muslim, with a small percentage of Christians (Armenians,
Syrians, Syrian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, etc.)
Can we say that the Palestinians were Palestinians in the early Ottoman and
Mandate period. When does Palestine begin?
How has the history of the Ottoman period been done by historians?
Some can prove when Palestinian identity existed. People thought of themselves as
Muslims, Arabs, someone from Jerusalem, and a Palestinian. He builds his case on
education. In the late Ottoman period and early mandate schools because much
more important and identity flourished. It is also debated whether the presence of Jewish settlers of the land contributed to
nationalism (because they would have had to defend themselves against a
Extreme Israeli right says that Palestinian identity only emerges after 1967 so they
don’t deserve a modern state. Palestinians say they felt more Palestinian then that
Syrians felt Syrian or Lebanese felt Lebanese, and no one tri