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Chapter Bickerton & Klausner

POLS 3060 Chapter Bickerton & Klausner: History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 3060
Janine Clark
Bickerton & Klausner

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January 23rd, 2018
History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict Bickerton & Klausner:
Chapter 1: Palestine in the Nineteenth Century:
1516-1918 Ottoman rule over Palestine
1971 Pale of Settlement established in Russian Empire (region where Jews lived)
1960-1904 Life of Theodor Herzl
1987-1909 Rule of Sultan Abdul Hamid II
1879 Establishment of Anti-Semitic League
1881 Assassination of Czar Alexander II of Russia
1882 Beginning for first Aliyah
1882 Landing of first Cibbat Zion group at Jaffa
1882 Turkish legislation restricting Jewish immigration to Palestine
1892 Railroad between Jerusalem and Jaffa completed
1894 Trial of Alfred Dreyfus in France
1896 publication of Herzl’s Der Judenstaat
1897 First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland; formation of World Zionist Organization
1901 Establishment of Jewish National Fund
1904 Second Aliyah begins
1905 Railroad between Haifa and Deraa completed
1908 Young Turk Revolution
1909 Abdul Hamid II deposed
1909 Establishment of Tel Aviv
Palestine Under the Ottoman Empire:
Under Ottoman rule, Palestine never formed a political administrative unit of its own it was divided into
several districts, called sanjaks, and these were part of larger provinces or administrative units, called
The Ottoman government in Constantinople did not attach much importance to the Palestine district until the
mid-nineteenth century; the area raised very little revenue, it had little military or strategic importance, and its
borders were not precisely defined
The Muslim sultan did feel a political and religious obligation to protect the holy places of Islam, Christianity,
and Judaism
The attainment of virtual autonomy from the Ottoman Empire by Egypt in the mid-nineteenth century, as well
as Anglo-French strategic rivalry to control the Suez, meant that the Palestine district became more
strategically and politically important to Constantinople the Ottoman tightened their control of Syria and
The sanjak of Jerusalem was given higher status and made directly responsible to Constantinople in an
attempt by the imperial government to regain central control over the region and to make the administration
more efficient
Palestine had been a poor and neglected part of the Ottoman Empire over the previous two centuries,
local governors had become independent of Ottoman control, had become corrupt and had neglected their
The result was that there was considerable disorder and insecurity; public works had not been carried out;
agriculture and trade had declined; and the majority of the population was impoverished and oppressed
Under Sultan Abdul Hamid II, who ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1876-1909, important changes took place
in Palestine Abdul Hamid encouraged modernization in communications, education, and the military in
order to strengthen his control
Within a few years of Abdul Hamid’s accession, new roads were opened, and European companies
completed a railroad between Jerusalem and Jaffa in 1892 and another between Haifa and Deraa,
Transjordan, in 1905
In reorganizing the Ottoman Empire and attempting to strengthen central control by using European
engineers and investors, the sultan, paradoxically, encouraged the very European penetration of Palestine
they were seeking to prevent
The Arabs of Palestine:

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January 23rd, 2018
The Arab population of Palestine, which numbered about 466,000 in the late nineteenth century, was
heterogeneous and divided
By the time Zionist immigration began in the 1880s, the land had, legally at least, passed from the peasants
to Palestinian notables, many of whom had gained wealth as tax collectors or as merchants living elsewhere
Consequently, some Arabs of Palestine identifies themselves not with Palestine but with Syrian or Lebanese
The primary identification and loyalty of the peasants was undoubtedly a kind of “village patriotism,” which
stemmed from their attachment to the land they worked, regardless of who had legal title to it, and to the
village in which they and their families lived
Villagers supported themselves by growing crops and raising a few sheep or goats
Many villagers sought some relief from their poverty by moving into the towns
The social relations of the village were based on kinship; this was because the village was frequently made
up of one or more extended families
There were also religious divisions within the Arab population of Palestine Sunni Muslims, Shiites, and
Druze were at odds, and there were constant rivalries between Muslims and Christian Arabs
The Muslims of Palestine were overwhelmingly Sunni, and the local Muslim elites to whom they gave their
allegiance gained their political identity and position through loyalty to the sultan
As a result, there was little sense of Palestinian nationalism among the Muslim Arabs during this period
Gradually, Christian Arabs were influenced by their European Christian contacts, both in the Middle East and
in Europe, and a sense of nationalism began to emerge Christian Arabs participated in a literary and
cultural movement in the late nineteenth century that led to the rediscovery of the glorious heritage of the
Arabs and reawakened a sense of ethnic identity
The Young Turk revolution of 1908 brought to the forefront Turkish nationalists who intended to preserve the
Ottoman Empire through ruthless policies of centralization and Islamization
Groups now formed that were dedicated to achieving political independence as Arabs from the Ottoman
As time passed, nationalist sentiment among Arabs in Palestine also grew, partly in response to the strong
nationalist feelings of Jews toward Palestine
Jews in Nineteenth-Century Palestine:
The Jewish population of Palestine and Syria at the beginning of the nineteenth century totalled about
25,000 most were Sephardim, descendants of Spanish Jewry and ancient local families, and they were
Ottoman subjects; the rest were Ashkenazim, Jews of European origin who had come to the Holy Land
throughout the centuries, and they retained their former nationalities
Jewish communities were given a considerable degree of autonomy and self-government in matters of
religious worship, education, and other areas
The Ottoman state was based on the principle of Muslim superiority, and the Jews, along with the Christians,
were regarded as infidels and second-class citizens and had to pay a special poll tax for the protection of the
state and as a sign of their inferior status
Like all non-Muslims, Jews were subject to a number of discriminatory regulations, but during the 1840s and
1950s, the position of Jews in Palestine improved, and this significant change in their religious, economic,
and political conditions led to a considerable increase in the numbers of Palestinian Jews through
immigration from Europe
The British government in particular began showing an interest in the Jews of Palestine this interest was
both humanitarian and political
During the 1850s the Russian government also assisted Russian and Polish Jews in Palestine and even
allowed Jewish emigrants to travel cheaply in Russian ships that were sailing from Odessa to Palestine
The Jewish population of Jerusalem increased from around 5,000 in 1893 to about 10,000 by the late 1850s
The Birth of Modern Zionism:
The History of the Jews in Europe:
Jewish nationalism remained a religious and cultural phenomenon until the nineteenth century, when the
idea of creating a Jewish state in Eretz Yisrael assumed the character of a political ideology
The history of Jews in Christian Europe is a story of almost uninterrupted oppression and persecution of
Jews throughout all the countries in Europe
And in culminated in the horrific genocide of Hitler’s “final solution,” known as the Holocaust

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January 23rd, 2018
The traditional view tends to stress the image of Jews as victims and emphasizes the importance of Zionism
as an ideology in modern Jewish history
Throughout European history Jews made significant contributions in all walks of life; something quite
inconsistent with the picture of a small, religious, passive minority suffering unmitigated persecution and
The Jewish people have maintained their ethnic, religious, and linguistic characteristics through the
centuries primarily because they have been an ethnic minority that has fulfilled a distinct socioeconomic role
in the societies in which they have lived
Jews migrated from Palestine voluntarily in the Classical period, forming merchant classes around the
Mediterranean basin
In the Roman Empire, Jews played an important role in the economy as traders, financers, goldsmiths,
jewelers, and craftsmen, and, in doing so, they preserved their ethnic identity and separateness
The destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in the year 70 C.E. led to a considerable increase in
the number of the Jewish Diaspora, as those Jews who lived outside Palestine were called, and they were
gradually transformed into a mercantile class
After the Christianization of the Roman Empire in the fourth century, and during the Middle Ages, although
Jews were permitted communal autonomy and self-government, religious antagonism against them led to
Jews being gradually deprived of their rights as citizens, and they were increasingly limited to certain
The growth of industrial capitalism more or less altered the economic function of Jews in Western Europe,
and Jews gradually integrated into the capitalist and professional classes
In Eastern Europe, however, the slow rate of industrialization and the hostile political and religious conditions
led to the dislocation of Jews there, forcing them to seek new social and geographical horizons
As for the Russian Empire, ever since 1791 the Jews had been restricted to a region between the Black Sea
and the Baltic known as the Pale of Settlement, where they lived in poverty in small towns called shtetls
Throughout the century, Russian Jews were subjected to numerous restrictions and state-sponsored
persecutions (pogroms)
By 1850, there were about 2.3 million Jews in Russia, and despite massive emigration, forced conscription
into the Russian Army, and deportations, this figure was 5 million by the end of the century
In the 1880s, under the impact of successive savage pogroms in Russia and discriminatory legislation, many
Eastern European Jews fled to the United States and, to a far lesser extent, to Palestine
Toward the end of the century, an unknown author working for the Russian secret police concocted an
infamous forgery that came to be known as the “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion” they contributed
to hatred of the Jews in both Western and Eastern Europe especially in the twentieth century, and they have
been used by enemies of Israel in the Arab-Israeli conflict
The Russian government sponsored massacres, restrictions, and persecutions of Jews, following the
assassination of Czar Alexander II of Russia in 1881 in which one of the plotters was found to be a young
Another solution to the plight of the Jews in Russia and Europe was the reaffirmation of Jewish identity in a
secular, socialist form through a movement whose goal was an autonomous Jewish nation-state
Theodor Herzl and the Emergence of Political Zionism:
Theodor Herzl had become identified with the emergence of modern Zionism
He was incredibly successful in bringing ideas that were known only in Jewish communities to the attention
of the world and into the general consciousness of the age he transformed one solution to the plight of
Jews into a major issue in world politics
He was worried about the increasing ambiguity of the position of Jews in Europe and the anti-Semitism that
was so dramatically illustrated by the notorious Dreyfus Affair
Alfred Dreyfus was a Jewish officer of the French General Staff who in 1894 was convicted of treason and
sentenced to a life term on Devil’s Island – Dreyfus was framed and his trial rigged, which came about with
the confession in 1899 of one of the French officers involved, and Dreyfus’s sentence was lifted with a
second retrial in 1906
The trial unleashed anti-Semitism in France, the land of liberty, equality, and fraternity the Dreyfus Affair
became the symbol of Jewish inequality and anti-Semitism in Europe and confirmed in Herzl’s mind the
belief that anti-Semitism was an incurable Gentile pathology
The only solution was for Jews to have a nation-state of their own
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