Abstract

ABSTRACT:

The article deals with the disappearance of the Jewish aviation company Palestine Airways from the historical narrative of the foundation of Jewish and Zionist aviation in Mandatory Palestine. Less than two years later, another company called Aviron (modern Hebrew for airplane) was established by the Jewish Agency, the Jewish National Council, and the Histadrut labor union as an aviation company and a flight school. Aviron is considered by the media and aviation historians to have been the pioneer of Jewish aviation in Palestine though it was founded in July 1936 while Palestine Airways had registered as a company in December 1934 and began to operate a few months earlier than Aviron. While the story of Aviron has been commemorated and described in various studies, there has been no comprehensive research on Palestine Airways. I offer two complementary explanations for this phenomenon: first, the assumption made by Zionist historians regarding the importance of private non-socialist ventures verses collective socialist enterprises in relation to the nation building process; second, the opposition of Palestine Airways founder Pinchas Rutenberg and one of its managers, Eliyahu Eliachar to the labor movement because of their self-perceived identities and ethnic spatial perception. These two factors precipitated the labeling of Palestine Airways as a non-national company.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-201x
Print ISSN
1084-9513
Pages
pp. 49-71
Launched on MUSE
2020-04-11
Open Access
No
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