Zionism and the Arabs: Commentary

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


Back in 1906, when there were some 600,000 Arabs and 60,000 Jews in Palestine, Dr Chaim Weizmann—a leading British Zionist activist and, later, president of the World Zionist Organization and the first president of the State of Israel—visited the country for two weeks. He toured its towns and drove through or by its villages, and sent letters home, then and in the following weeks, to his wife in England and to others. He mentioned only Jewish settlements and Jews he had met—not one word about Arabs. It was as if Palestine had no Arabs.
This was how the early Zionist settlers and their backers in the European Jewish communities saw Palestine, much as did European colonial settlers in other parts of the Third World—India, Kenya, and Algeria saw those countries. But, of course, the Zionists were different—they were not, in their view, settling foreign lands. They were coming back to and resettling their ancient homeland. Unfortunately, it was largely inhabited by Arabs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-174
Number of pages5
JournalContemporary Review of the Middle East
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Sociology and Political Science


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