Роман Близняков, Дмитрий Малышев, Сергей Щевелев. Сионистское освоение Палестины накануне Британского мандата: социально-экономический аспект (1881–1920 гг.)

Zionist Resettlement in Palestine before the British Mandate: Socio-economic Aspect (1881–1920)

By Roman Bliznyakov, Dmitri Malyshev, Sergey Shchevelyov

(Crimean University of Culture, Arts and Tourism; V.I.Vernadsky Taurida National University)

Source: Judaica Ukrainica 1 (2012): 145–181

Publication date: December 1, 2012

Publication type: article

Language: Russian

Full text:



The Zionist resettelment in Palestine in 1881–1920 is a unique experience of developing a peripheral region, which laid the foundation for its transformation into one of the centers of the modern world economy. It began and was realized, first of all, in the socio-economic sphere, and only after that – in the sphere of political relations, if we speak not about global, but about regional or local perspectives, not about a theory (Zionist), but about the concrete practice which is particular for the region. It would be quite incorrect to study this problem exceptionally in terms of colonialism, because “the Jews have never abandoned The Promised Land forever since they were banished from there by the Emperor Adrian’s legionaries in the II century A. D. But before 1881 they settled in Holy land to study Тоrah, to pray for all people of Israel in holy cities, to live here on offerings collected for them by co-religionists all over the world, and post mortem – to be buried in this land”. The connection of the Jews and Jewry with Palestine had never been interrupted, but from the beginning of the 1880s the resettlement in Palestine began at an absolutely different level. However, speaking about socioeconomic processes in 1881–1920, it is reasonable to speak precisely about resettlement, but not about colonization in its pure form, though the element of colonization cannot be denied. The term “resettlement” is acceptable both from the economic point of view (as the Jewish migrants were able to turn an Ottoman remote place into a busy economic region of the modern world) and from socio-political point of view, because the first settlements and economic activity are a prologue to creation of the State of Israel. The element of colonization was also present. Its presence can be traced both in connection of Zionist movement with the history of Europe and with the fact that Palestine was a region, colonized by Europeans since a long-ago. In the process of colonization, the European countries, undoubtedly, helped the Jews persecuted by these countries. The European world needed the “return” (the term is more socio-cultural than historical) of Palestine in the centre of the European history and policy. And it is possible to speak about symbiosis of the European policy and Zionist movement in its socio-economic sphere. As resettlement was occuring, the predominance of religious and economic reasons changed into political ones. The Jews no longer wanted to build a house on a foreign land and, moreover, did not want to be foreigners on the land of Biblical Israel. The Zionist resettlement in Palestine can be studied as a natural process of expansion of the Europocentric world. The resettlement at this stage had peaceful and legal character, laying the foundation for creation of “national home” in the years of the British Mandate.

Keywords: Palestine before the British Mandate, Zionism, Israeli Studies, Zionist resettlement, National home



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