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Zionist Endeavours to Influence the Arab Press in Palestine, 1908–1914 / נסיונותיהם של המוסדות הציוניים להשפיע על העתונות הערבית בארץ ישראל בשנים 1908-1914

יעקב רואי and Y. Ro'i
Zion / ציון
Vol. לב‎, חוברת ג/ד‎ (תשכ"ז / 1967), pp. 201-227
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23552111
Page Count: 27
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Zionist Endeavours to Influence the Arab Press in Palestine, 1908–1914 / נסיונותיהם של המוסדות הציוניים להשפיע על העתונות הערבית בארץ ישראל בשנים 1908-1914
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Abstract

The year 1908 saw, on the one hand, the opening in Jaffa of the Palestine Office, the first official representative of the Zionist Organisation in Palestine, and, on the other, the Young Turk revolution which evoked new outbursts and manifestations of nationalist feeling on the part of the various minorities in the Ottoman Empire. One of the concomitants of this revolution was the freedom of the press. Many of the numerous Arab newspapers and periodicals which appeared in the years 1908-14 (in Cairo, Damascus, Beirut, Palestine, etc.), while chary of being unduly critical of the Turks and the central government in Constantinople, allowed themselves with increasing frequency to give vent to their frustrated ambitions and general dissatisfaction at the expense of the Jewish Yishuv in Palestine (There had previously been examples of "antiSemitism" in Arab writings, but these had not for the most part adopted an Arab nationalist flavour nor were they regular occurrences). The attacks on the Yishuv included most of the charges that were to be made in later years: of Jewish wealth and international influence and — on another level — of seclusiveness, chauvinism and the desire to dispossess and expel the Arabs of Palestine and to establish a maximal Jewish state, side by side with the demand that Jewish immigration and the purchase of land by Jews be prohibited. The Palestine Office and certain circles in the Yishuv tried to curb these manifestations of hostility and to mitigate their influence. At the same time, most Zionists, including the Zionist leadership, and the majority of the Yishuv did not draw the requisite conclusions from Arab hostility in which the intention of completely annihilating the Yishuv was inherent. Zionist Near East policy was explicitly orientated to Constantinople and the Turkish government there, taking little or no account of the Arab population living in Palestine. Even those Zionists who preached the need for the integration of the Yishuv in the East and who strove to prove to the Arabs that the Jews were returning to their native environment, failed to evolve a realist or constructive attitude towards the Arabs upon which any policy likely to succeed could be based. As for the Palestine Office and the Yishuv, they appreciated the need for normal neighbourly relations with the Arabs of Palestine and with this end in view tried to curb anti-Jewish incitement and to create a positive and friendly atmosphere regarding the Yishuv among the Arabs and in the Arab press. These efforts, however, were for the most part futile — as was so much Zionist activity in this period —, for the relevant institutions lacked both the financial means and the leadership and personnel necessary for such a campaign.

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