The Jews in Palestine in the Eighteenth Century: Under the Patronage of the Istanbul Committee of Officials for Palestine

The Jews in Palestine in the Eighteenth Century: Under the Patronage of the Istanbul Committee of Officials for Palestine

The Jews in Palestine in the Eighteenth Century: Under the Patronage of the Istanbul Committee of Officials for Palestine

The Jews in Palestine in the Eighteenth Century: Under the Patronage of the Istanbul Committee of Officials for Palestine

Synopsis

Despite financial and physical hardships, the Jewish settlements of Jerusalem, Hebron, Tiberias, and Safed gained a foothold in Palestine--the Yishuv--in the 18th century. Their success was in large part owing to the efforts of the Istanbul Committee of Officials for Palestine, who after 1726 oversaw the collection of support money for the Yishuv, managed the Palestine community's budget, established regulations for governing the communities, and settled disputes between the Jews and the gentiles.

Excerpt

The history of palestine is a topic that has attracted the attention of modern historiography since the nineteenth century. During the past 150 years many historical studies of Palestine have been written, from a variety of viewpoints. Perhaps it can be said that there are many "histories" of Palestine as a consequence of the variegated history of the land--its many rulers and its diverse population--and of the unique place held by Palestine in the three religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. a significant factor in the development of research on the Jews in Palestine during the Middle Ages was the Zionist movement, which searched for its roots in Palestine even in periods when the country was not under Jewish rule. We are now witnessing a similar phenomenon in the development of Arab-Palestinian historiography of this country. This connection between nationalism and historiography is a well-known phenomenon occurring in many nationalist movements. Although this connection leads to an expansion of growth in historical research, it also brings with it grave dangers of apologetics and distortion arising from ideological and political considerations.

This study, which deals with the history of the Jews in Palestine during the eighteenth century, is intended to cover a period in the history of Palestine that has not been fully dealt with in historical research. the study began as a Ph. D. dissertation, which I wrote at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem under the supervision of my late teacher, Prof. Shmuel Ettinger. I then broadened the dissertation into a more comprehensive study, which was published in Hebrew by Yad Ben-Zvi Publications in Jerusalem in 1982.

In the present English edition I inserted changes, corrections, and updates--some deriving from further research on this subject and some intended to make things clearer for the English reader.

In transliterating the Turkish and Arabic terms appearing in the book the translator and I followed the most important scholars in this field, Bernard Lewis and Amnon Cohen.

It is a pleasant obligation to thank Yad Ben-Zvi Publications for their permission to publish this edition of the book in English. I owe special . . .

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