Know Your History: The Palestine Of 1897 (NY Times Aug 15, 1897)

new series where I bring to you news from the newspaper archives to debunk common misconceptions about the Middle East conflict.

One of the narratives we hear from the Israel haters is, in simple terms, the Jews came from Europe and stole the land from the Palestinian people.

Here is an article published in the New York Times on August 15, 1897, two weeks before Theodor Herzl convened the First Zionist Congress.

I have highlighted certain parts but it is worth reading the entire thing (you can magnify the screenshots by clicking on them).

The main points of interest:

  • The modern Jewish settlement of the land was already happening in the 1800s
  • Land was not being stolen from Arabs living there – it was being sold legally to Jews by the administering Ottoman-Turks
  • There is no talk of an indigenous Palestinian Arab nation living there at the time, although of course there were Arabs living there, some of whom were even working with the Jews or on Jewish-owned land
  • There was marked progress as the Jews bought up land and established industry and infrastructure
  • There were more ancient Jewish settlements extant, and Arabian Jews living in the land in addition to the Jews from Europe

Note: I cannot provide a link to the full article since it is only available to those who have purchased a NY Times subscription. But I have provided screenshots below.

NY times archive Jewish settlement 1897_1NY times archive Jewish settlement 1897_2NY times archive Jewish settlement 1897_3NY times archive Jewish settlement 1897_4



David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media