Jewish Political Studies Review Abstracts - Volume 6, Numbers 3-4 (Fall 5755/1994)
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Jewish Political Studies Review Abstracts

Volume 6, Numbers 3-4 (Fall 5755/1994)

"Zionism: Some Recurring Questions"

The Jerusalem Jewish Community, Ottoman Authorities, and Arab Population in the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century: A Chapter of Local History - Jacob Barnai

The disintegration of the central Ottoman government in the eighteenth century had a significant impact on the situation in Jerusalem. This paper investigates the relations in the second half of that century between one minority group in the city (the Jewish community) and the Ottoman authorities in Jerusalem and in Damascus, the capital of the Sancak, as well as the Jewish community's relations with the Arab population of Jerusalem. The paper is based on a new historical source that has recently been discovered: the original account books of the Jewish community in Jerusalem of eleven years in the second half of the eighteenth century (between 1760 and 1796).

The main conclusion of the present research is that the Jewish community was forced to pay considerable sums of money "under the table," which became fixed payments, in addition to the formal taxes paid to the Ottoman authorities -- a phenomenon which is not unique to the Jerusalem of that period. The paper contains precise data and describes their distribution. It includes tables of the amounts paid by the community both to the government and to dozens of functionaries. The paper also demonstrates the importance of the loans at interest taken by the community from the Moslem population in Jerusalem. From time to time these debts led to severe crises in the community. Another point uncovered by this research is the identity of dozens of the officials in the city who accepted presents, bribes and taxes from the Jewish community -- including their names and their positions in the civic hierarchy.

I believe that these lists of Ottoman rulers and officials, as well as Arab notables and others mentioned in the account books, can also teach us a great deal about the history of the Arabs in Jerusalem.

Waste Land with Promise: Chaim Nachman Bialik's America - Michael Brown

Close connections with the United States were forged by many yishuv leaders in the interwar period. Although on first consideration, the poet, Chaim Nachman Bialik, might seem an unlikely person to have extensive American ties, in fact, he was instrumental in binding the cultural world of the yishuv to America. Never conversant with American life or literature, Bialik was able nonetheless to develop personal ties with many American Jews, and he grew to appreciate the advances of American-Jewish culture. Like leaders in other areas of yishuv life, he recognized the financial and diplomatic necessity of close American connections. He helped to pave the way for Israel's later close relationship with American Jewry and the United States.

Some German Jewish Orthodox Attitudes Toward the Land of Israel and the Zionist Movement - Alan Mittleman

German Orthodoxy in the Wilhelmine and Weimar periods presents an interesting case study in Jewish attitudes toward Israel and the diaspora. The German Orthodox minority, no more than ten to twenty percent of German Jewry after World War I, participated with the majority of German Jews in a whole-hearted affirmation of German culture (in German Zionist parlance: Galutbejahung). As with all German Jews, German culture had become definitive of their very identity as Jews. Despite their commitment to Jewish observance, the German Orthodox had more in common with their less observant or non-observant brethren than with the historic Jewish traditional culture of Eastern Europe. Yet for all that, the Orthodox, as followers of traditional Jewish behavior patterns and their corresponding value commitments, affirmed their Jewish identities in a more full-orbed way than their Reform-oriented co-religionists. They validated German culture no less than other Jews, but did so with their own inertia, accents and qualifications. Like the Zionists they believed in and demonstrated a connectedness to a larger Jewish people and to the Land of Israel. Such connections were declared and spiritually reenacted every day in prayer and at table. This tension between, as Jehuda Reinharz, put it "fatherland and promised land" was thus heightened by and within Orthodoxy. In the following pages, I will give an account of two selective but representative Orthodox attitudes -- those of Samson Raphael Hirsch and Jacob Rosenheim -- toward Jewish nationality, the Land of Israel and, in Rosenheim's case, the Zionist movement. I will explore these attitudes against the background of German-Jewish identity and history as such.

The Social, Cultural and Political Impact of Zionism in Libya (Research Note) - Rachel Simon

The development of the Zionist movement in Libya was an evolutionary process which brought changes in ways of thinking and behavior without detaching completely from tradition. New social and economic elements entered public life (lower middle class and women) and changes took place in education (modern Hebrew language and literature and modern Jewish history). This is not to say, however, that those social elements did not have any part in public life beforehand, but now their involvement became a mainstream one. Similarly, traditional education did not cease, and the old political guard continued to exist: the official communal leadership was manned by it, and Zionist leaders were observant Jews who were backed by many rabbis. Despite the growing involvement of women, they hardly reached leadership positions.

Religious Values and Political Expediency - Australia and the Question of Jerusalem: 1947-1950 - Chanan Reich

Australia's crucial role in the UN decision of 9 December 1949 to internationalize the whole city of Jerusalem and Bethlehem emanated from the mistaken belief of its Minister of External Affairs, H.V. Evatt, that many Catholic votes could be won by that initiative. The campaign in Australia to that end by some quarters in the Catholic Church clearly demonstrates very obvious antisemitic