Backdrop to Tragedy: The Struggle for Palestine

By William R. Polk; David M. Stamler et al. | Go to book overview

more familiar to us? This is a newer, perhaps less essential but certainly much more articulated aspect of the modern scene. It is the gift of the West, but to appreciate it in the form it has taken in the East we must see the circumstances in which it came to the East.


4. MODERN ARAB NATIONALISM

By most people, social systems are evaluated not by any abstract standards or even entirely by the sort of life they provide but by the degree of success and power of those who profess them. This helps to explain why Islamic society, even when it was aware, was so little affected by the Renaissance. Islamic armies plunged deep into Europe, threatening Vienna in the seventeenth century and for most of the eighteenth were able to contend in respectable terms with the Russians and Austrians. If Islamic culture was producing no great new masterpieces, it was preserving masterpieces and producing facsimiles which satisfied its cultural elite. Not until the middle of the eighteenth century, when the sultans Abdul Hamid I and Selim III came to realize their military weakness before militant Russia, did the Ottoman Empire hurriedly try to borrow from the West.

In 1793, Selim declared the New Order (Nizam-ι Jedid), Turkey's first attempt at Westernization, and instructed his ambassador in Paris to analyze what was happening in the West. Like many of those of the rulers of the Middle East to follow, Selim wanted to know the "secret" of western power in order that he might use it to defend the East. His ambassador wrote that men in France felt a new sense of love for their vatan and that this is what led them to success in war.1 In Turkish the word vatan (Arabic: watan) simply meant the place where a man happened to live and had none of the emotional overtones of patria or homeland. Traditionally in the nomad-oriented Arabo-Turkish cultures of the East, it was a man's folk, not where

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1
See Bernard Lewis, "The Impact of the French Revolution on Turkey," Cahiers d'Histoire Mondiale, I ( 1953).

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Backdrop to Tragedy: The Struggle for Palestine
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vi
  • Maps viii
  • Tables ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Important Dates in the History of Palestine xiii
  • Part 1 - THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND 1
  • 1 - Out of the Past 3
  • 2 - The Coming of Islam 8
  • 3 - The Crusades 22
  • 4 - The Ottoman Empire 29
  • 5 - The Great Powers in the Middle East 34
  • 6 - The Sick Man of Europe 47
  • 7 - The First World War and Its Spore 55
  • 8 - Emir Feisal and Dr. Weizmann 64
  • 9 - Establishment of the Mandate 70
  • 11 - The Wisdom of Solomon 94
  • 12 - From War to War 106
  • 13 - Inquiries, Reports, and Plans 110
  • 14 - The Mandate's Last Bitter Days 126
  • Part II - JEWISH INTERESTS IN PALESTINE 131
  • 1 - The Age-Old Longing 133
  • 2 - The European Background 139
  • 3 - The Birth of Political Zionism 148
  • 4 - The Land of Promises 159
  • 5 - Internal Conflicts 170
  • 6 - The Seeds of Conflict 175
  • 7 - The War and the Biltmore Program 179
  • 8 - Anglo-American Reactions 185
  • 9 - Postwar and Economic 187
  • 10 - A United Nations Solution: the State is Born 194
  • 11 - East and West 197
  • 12 - Politics in Israel 205
  • 13 - Religion and the State 219
  • Part III - THE ARABS AND PALESTINE 223
  • 1 - "The Existing Non-Jewish Communities" 225
  • 2 - The Arab Gentry 241
  • 3 - The Arab Element in Arabism 246
  • 4 - Modern Arab Nationalism 254
  • 5 - The Reaction to Zionism 265
  • 6 - Pan-Arabism 273
  • 7 - War, Refugees, and Humiliation 286
  • Part IV - THE ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK OF THE PALESTINE PROBLEM 305
  • 1 - Introduction 307
  • 2 - The Mandate Period 309
  • 3 - The Land and Its People 312
  • 4 - Immigration and Land 324
  • 5 - Land and Capital 329
  • 6 - Economics of the Refugee Problem 336
  • 7 - The Economy of Israel 342
  • 8 - Economic Relations Between Israel and the Arabs 352
  • Part V - CONCLUSION 365
  • Conclusion 367
  • SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY 375
  • Index 387
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