Land, labor and the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 1882-1914


Land, labor and the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 1882-1914

Gershon Shafir

(Cambridge Middle East library, 20)

Cambridge University Press, 1989

  • pbk

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Bibliography: p. 261-277

Includes index



pbk ISBN 9780520204010


Gershon Shafir challenges the heroic myths about the foundation of the State of Israel by investigating the struggle to control land and labor during the early Zionist enterprise. He argues that it was not the imported Zionist ideas that were responsible for the character of the Israeli state, but the particular conditions of the local conflict between the European "settlers" and the Palestinian Arab population.


Preface to the paperback edition Preface Map of Jewish settlements in Palestine, 1878-1918 1 Introduction The sociology of Israeli society Settlement and nationalism Frontier and land Frontier and labor Settlement and Palestine 2 The framework of dependent development in the Ottoman Empire World economy: dependency and reform Agricultural expansion Tax reform and land tenure New settlement and demographic patterns The implications for Jewish settlement 3 From land to labor: unequal competition and the "conquest of labor" strategy The alternative labor forces The dynamics of the struggle The effects of the "conquest of labor" strategy "Conquest of labor" and the foundations of Israeli nationalism Appendix: The Ottoman monetary system 90 4 The failed experiment: "natural workers" from Yemen, 1909-1914 The Yavnieli mission Agudat Netaim and the planters' interests The meeting in the labor market The Palestine Office and conflict over access to land Demands and identity of Yemenite Jews Israeli nation formation 5 Between trade unions and political parties, 1905-1914 6 From "conquest of labor" to "conquest of land": the identity of soldier and settler, 1907-1914 7 The unintended means: cooperative settlement, 1910-1914 The "pure settlement methodology" of the World Zionist Organization The origins of the kibbutz The predominance of the kibbutz in Israeli state formation 8 Conclusion: Israeli nationalism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict The shaping of the Israeli state and nation The evolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict The impact of Israeli state formation on Palestinian society Notes Glossary Bibliography Index

ISBN 9780521353007


This book addresses the problem of the historical nature and consequences of the Second "Aliya", the wave of East European agricultural workers which, despite resistance from the Ottoman government, reached Palestine between 1904 and 1914 and gave shape to an emerging Israeli society.

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