By Jonathan Marc Gribetz
As the Israeli-Palestinian clash persists, aspiring peacemakers proceed to go looking for definitely the right territorial dividing line that might fulfill either Israeli and Palestinian nationalist calls for. the existing view assumes that this fight is not anything greater than a dispute over actual property. Defining Neighbors boldly demanding situations this view, laying off new mild on how Zionists and Arabs understood one another within the earliest years of Zionist cost in Palestine and suggesting that the present singular specialize in limitations misses key parts of the conflict.
Drawing on archival files in addition to newspapers and different print media from the ultimate a long time of Ottoman rule, Jonathan Gribetz argues that Zionists and Arabs in pre-World struggle I Palestine and the wider heart East didn't examine each other or interpret every one other's activities essentially by way of territory or nationalism. fairly, they tended to view their buddies in non secular terms--as Jews, Christians, or Muslims--or as participants of "scientifically" outlined races--Jewish, Arab, Semitic, or another way. Gribetz indicates how those groups perceived each other, now not as strangers vying for ownership of a land that every considered as completely their very own, yet fairly as deeply commonly used, if from time to time mythologized or distorted, others. Overturning traditional knowledge concerning the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian clash, Gribetz demonstrates how the likely intractable nationalist contest in Israel and Palestine was once, at its commence, conceived of in very assorted terms.
Courageous and deeply compelling, Defining Neighbors is a landmark ebook that essentially recasts our realizing of the trendy Jewish-Arab come upon and of the center East clash today.
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Extra info for Defining Neighbors: Religion, Race, and the Early Zionist-Arab Encounter: Religion, Race, and the Early Zionist-Arab Encounter
For the primary subjects of this book, namely, the residents of these Ottoman regions and their contemporaries in the Middle East and Europe, Palestine (or the Land of Israel) as such was indeed a meaningful unit. In other words, to acknowledge the lack of political boundaries around a land called Palestine is not to imply that such boundaries, however imprecise and flexible, did not exist in people’s minds. Moreover, noting the absence of official borders should not be 7 Scholars differ on what motivated the Ottomans to make this change.
This institutionalized sensitivity to religious distinctions for a powerful group in Palestine was clearly recognized by Palestine’s various religious communities and, as a result, played its own role in sustaining, or even magnifying, such distinctions. Moreover, owing to the threat (and also the promised educational, cultural, economic, and of course religious rewards) of proselytization by European Christians, religion in Late Ottoman Palestine was a highly sensitive subject. This, too, suggests that for all communities in Palestine, far beyond the missionaries themselves, religion was a central concern.
When the Jerusalem of al-Khalidi and Ben-Yehuda is understood in this Nahḍa nexus, it is unsurprising to discover that these men’s communities also employed racial modes as they perceived one another. Jerusalem and Europe Finally, in numerous ways both real and imagined, Ben-Yehuda and al-Khalidi’s Jerusalem was linked to Europe. In a personal sense, these two individuals were partly European: Ben-Yehuda and many of his fellow Zionists in Jerusalem were born in Eastern Europe, while al- Khalidi had studied in Paris and served as the Ottoman consul general in the south of France.
Defining Neighbors: Religion, Race, and the Early Zionist-Arab Encounter: Religion, Race, and the Early Zionist-Arab Encounter by Jonathan Marc Gribetz