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In 1880 the Jewish community in Palestine encompassed some 20,000 Orthodox Jews; within sixty-five years it was transformed into a secular proto-state with well-developed political, military, and economic institutions, a vigorous Hebrew-language culture, and some 600,000 inhabitants. The Origins of Israel, 1882–1948: A Documentary History chronicles the making of modern Israel before statehood, providing in English the texts of original sources (many translated from Hebrew and other languages) accompanied by extensive introductions and commentaries from the volume editors.

This sourcebook assembles a diverse array of 62 documents, many of them unabridged, to convey the ferment, dissent, energy, and anxiety that permeated the Zionist project from its inception to the creation of the modern nation of Israel. Focusing primarily on social, economic, and cultural history rather than Zionist thought and diplomacy, the texts are organized in themed chapters. They present the views of Zionists from many political and religious camps, factory workers, farm women, militants, intellectuals promoting the Hebrew language and arts—as well as views of ultra-Orthodox anti-Zionists. The volume includes important unabridged documents from the origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict that are often cited but are rarely read in full. The editors, Eran Kaplan and Derek J. Penslar, provide both primary texts and informative notes and commentary, giving readers the opportunity to encounter voices from history and make judgments for themselves about matters of world-historical significance.


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Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-2
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. Section I: The Roots of the "New Yishuv"
  1. 1. Letter of Complaint to the Settlers of Rishon Le-Tsion (1883) - Baron Edmond De Rothschild
  2. pp. 13-20
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  1. 2. Dispensation for the Sabbatical Year (1888)
  2. pp. 21-23
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  1. 3. The Rothschild Administration (1890)
  2. pp. 24-26
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  1. 4. Truth from Eretz Yisrael (1891)
  2. pp. 27-38
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  1. 5. Outline for an Agenda (1906)
  2. pp. 39-41
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  1. 6. Platform (1906) and Proposal for a Program (1907)
  2. pp. 42-45
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  1. 7. The Strike at Kinneret Farm (1911)
  2. pp. 46-49
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  1. 8. The Yemenite Immigrants and Their Absorption in the Settlements (1913)
  2. pp. 50-43
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  1. 9. Founding Statement (1909)
  2. pp. 54-56
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  1. 10. Letters from an Anonymous Farm Wife of the First Aliyah (1889)
  2. pp. 57-64
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  1. 11. Pioneer Women of the Second Aliyah
  2. pp. 65-81
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  1. 12. Jaffa Changes Its Face (1907)
  2. pp. 82-84
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  1. Section II: Building the Jewish National Home
  2. pp. 85-93
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  1. 13. The Selection of the Fittest (1919)
  2. pp. 94-102
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  1. 14. The Collective Agricultural Settlements in Palestine (1927)
  2. pp. 103-107
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  1. 15. Song of the Valley (1934)
  2. pp. 108-109
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  1. 16. Going Down to the Sea (1937)
  2. pp. 110-115
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  1. 17. Labor Incidents in Palestine (1925)
  2. pp. 116-118
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  1. 18. The Pechter Strike (1927)
  2. pp. 119-121
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  1. 19. The Labor Brigade (1926)
  2. pp. 122-125
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  1. 20. Tel Aviv (1933)
  2. pp. 126-130
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  1. 21. Tel Aviv as a Jewish City (1939)
  2. pp. 131-134
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  1. 22. Platform for the 1931 Elections to the Representative Assembly (1931)
  2. pp. 135-140
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  1. 23. Thou Shalt Not Wear Sha‘atnez (1929)
  2. pp. 141-144
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  1. 24. Betar and the Zionist Revolution (1932)
  2. pp. 145-148
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  1. 25. The Strike at the Froumine Biscuit Factory (1932)
  2. pp. 149-151
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  1. 26. Labor Disputes and Acts of Violence (1934)
  2. pp. 152-155
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  1. 27. Rabbi Herzog on the Chief Rabbinate (ca. 1948)
  2. pp. 156-160
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  1. 28. Public Announcement (1938)
  2. pp. 161-164
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  1. Section III: Forging a Modern Hebrew Culture in the Land of Israel
  2. pp. 165-170
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  1. 29. Plain Language Association (1889)
  2. pp. 171-174
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  1. 30. How to Spread the Use of Hebrew (1927)
  2. pp. 175-179
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  1. 31. Purim Celebrations in Tel Aviv (1931)
  2. pp. 180-184
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  1. 32. The National and Cultural Importance of Bezalel (1930)
  2. pp. 185-188
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  1. 33. The Hebrew Stage: Moriah, not Acropolis (1926)
  2. pp. 189-193
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  1. 34. Mordechai Golinkin and the Palestine Opera (1927)
  2. pp. 194-195
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  1. 35. The Cinema Controversy in Tel Aviv (1932)
  2. pp. 196-197
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  1. 36. The Hebrew University (1925)
  2. pp. 198-202
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  1. Section IV: Jewish -Arab Conflict and Zionist Responses
  2. pp. 203-209
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  1. 37. The Need for Defense (1919)
  2. pp. 210-212
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  1. 38. Tel Hai (1920)
  2. pp. 213-215
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  1. 39. Yizkor (1920)
  2. pp. 216-217
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  1. 40. Response to the Arab Riots (1930) - General Federation of Laborers in the Land of Israel
  2. pp. 218-228
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  1. 41. The Future of Zionist Policy (1932)
  2. pp. 229-238
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  1. 42. On the Partition of Palestine (1937)
  2. pp. 239-244
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  1. 43. Platform for Judeo-Arab Accord (1930)
  2. pp. 245-252
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  1. 44. Platform (1942)
  2. pp. 253-256
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  1. 45. On the Iron Wall (1923)
  2. pp. 257-263
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  1. 46. On Militarism (1929)
  2. pp. 264-268
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  1. Section V: World War II, The Holocaust, and the Yishuv
  2. pp. 269-274
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  1. 47. Diary (1940–41)
  2. pp. 275-283
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  1. 48. Introduction to The Book of Valor (1941)
  2. pp. 284-288
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  1. 49. On the Defense of Palestine and the Jews (1942)
  2. pp. 289-292
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  1. 50. Origins of the Palmach (1941–42)
  2. pp. 293-296
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  1. 51. The Palmach’s First Operations (1944)
  2. pp. 297-301
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  1. 52. The Palmach Anthem (1941)
  2. pp. 302-303
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  1. 53. Outlines of Zionist Policy (1941)
  2. pp. 304-317
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  1. 54. Liberating Jerusalem (1942)
  2. pp. 318-324
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  1. 55. Four Years (1943)
  2. pp. 325-330
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  1. 56. Works of Avraham Stern and Lehi (1932–ca. 1943)
  2. pp. 331-336
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  1. Section VI: The Struggle for Palestine and the Establishment of the State
  2. pp. 337-343
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  1. 57. The Silver Platter (1947)
  2. pp. 344-346
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  1. 58. A Jewish Child’s Letter to an Israeli Soldier (1948)
  2. pp. 347-348
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  1. 59. Public Opinion during the 1948 War
  2. pp. 349-357
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  1. 60. Radio Broadcasts from The Voice of Fighting Zion (1947)
  2. pp. 358-365
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  1. 61. Deir Yassin (1948)
  2. pp. 366-367
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  1. 62. The Status Quo Agreements (1947)
  2. pp. 368-372
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  1. Glossary
  2. pp. 373-374
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  1. For Further Reading
  2. pp. 375-380
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  1. Back Cover
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