Friday, October 06, 2017

Jewish population in Palestine before Zionism: Simon Schama

"Meanwhile, those who imagine that the Jewish longing for Jerusalem and Zion began in the 20th century, if not as a post-1945 response to the Holocaust, might be shocked to learn that not only was there a substantial Jewish population in Palestine throughout this period – Schama introduces us to the Arabic-speaking Musta’arabi Jews of Safed – but, at intervals, “messianic electrical surges” would pulse through the wider diaspora, “the travelling tribe, telling them they needed to get to Jerusalem asap”.":  If by substantial, you mean some 24,000 Jews versus over 600,000 Arabs.