The Boundaries of Modern Palestine, 1840-1947

The Boundaries of Modern Palestine, 1840-1947

The Boundaries of Modern Palestine, 1840-1947

The Boundaries of Modern Palestine, 1840-1947

Synopsis

Boundary limitation is a crucial issue in the Middle East, and the boundaries marked out during the years 1840 to 1947 are still one of the major issues in today's political discussions concerning Israel and its surrounding countries.This book, which is based on extensive archival research, deals with the first stage of the delimitation of the boundaries of modern Palestine, between the years 1840 and 1947. During this period, the boundaries of Palestine were staked out by foreign, imperial forces (Britain, France and the Ottoman Empire) which placed them according to their desires, without considering local needs or ideas. For the first time, thanks to the fascinating evidence revealed in archives, this invaluable book reveals the hidden ambitions; the motives of different agents; and the stories of those involved in the process as well as the eventual outcome of their work - the first delimitation of the Holy Land in the modern era.

Excerpt

The boundaries of Eretz-Israel-Palestine - have been a target for historical research for over a hundred years. Some researchers are trying to identify the location of the boundaries of Palestine in the past, in the biblical period and in the Second Temple-Jesus Christ period, as in any other significant periods in the history of the country. Others are trying to locate the land's boundaries according to the Jewish law, or to draw the boundaries of the Christian and Moslem 'Holy Land'. Detailed historical atlases are offered to the interested reader, as are research books and articles.

Unlike the abundance of researches of past boundaries, a striking shortage of a scientific discussion about the creation of Palestine and Israel's modern boundaries exists. This process that began in the first half of the nineteenth century has not yet ended. It has not received a wide scientific discussion, due to the impediment of scientists to deal with problems and processes that had not terminated, and due to the inaccessibility of the documents that reveal the process of the formation of the borders, in the modern era. Among the few researches, it is worth noting the research of Frishwasser-Ra'anan, who published back in 1955 a book about this subject. His pioneering book was based upon documents that were published by the British archives, but observing all the relevant documents was impossible back then. Moshe Brawer's excellent Hebrew book entitled The Boundaries of Israel, published in 1988, was based on more detailed documents, but its main concern was discussing the doctrine of borders, dealing with the background and the geographical consequences of the borderlines of modern Israel. This book deals only with the shaping of the borders of the land in the twentieth century, and it concludes with a discussion about the problems concerning the borderline between Israel and Egypt. An additional book that deals with one issue - the partition plan of the British Royal Commission of 1937, was written lately by Yossi Katz. Other than that, the various researchers published a few scientific articles, and the yield is still poor.

The borders of Palestine, and the determination of the borders of the State of Israel, are currently placed in the midst of a public and political

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