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Rural Arab Demography and Early Jewish Settlement in Palestine: Distribution and Population Density during the Late Ottoman and Early Mandate Periods
     

Rural Arab Demography and Early Jewish Settlement in Palestine: Distribution and Population Density during the Late Ottoman and Early Mandate Periods

by David Grossman
 

This volume explores the distribution of the rural population in Palestine from the late Ottoman period (1870-1917) to the British Mandate period (1917-1948). The book focuses on demography, specifically migrations, population size, density, growth, and the pattern of distribution in rural Palestine before the inception of Jewish settlement (1882). Grossman traces

Overview

This volume explores the distribution of the rural population in Palestine from the late Ottoman period (1870-1917) to the British Mandate period (1917-1948). The book focuses on demography, specifically migrations, population size, density, growth, and the pattern of distribution in rural Palestine before the inception of Jewish settlement (1882). Grossman traces little-known Muslim ethnic groups who settled in Palestine’s rural areas, primarily Egyptians, but also Algerians, Bosnians, and Circassians.

The author argues that the Arab population in the zones occupied by Jews after 1882 was about one-third that of the Arab core areas; in the period studied, the decline in per-capita rural Arab farmland was mainly due to overall population growth, not displacement of Arabs; economic development suffered largely because of violent disturbances and natural disasters; the pattern of growth of Egyptian and other Muslim groups was similar to that of the Jews.

The main conclusions of this study note that the size of the rural Arab population in the zones occupied by Jews after 1882 was about one-tenth of that which occupied the Arab core zones; most Egyptian settlement areas coincided with those of the Jewish zones; between 1870 and 1945, the decline of Arab farmland was mainly due to Arab population growth rather than Jewish land acquisitions; and most migrants (Jewish and Muslim) settlement zones were leftovers characterized by some form of resource disability.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Scholars and students of the processes of settlement of Palestine—the land of Israel—particularly on issues of demography, rural settlements, and regional development, will appreciate the appearance of this book. It is a well-knit book dealing with important processes where the outcome still affects the life of the population today in Israel and the Palestinian authority. The book provides those interested in the subject with an in-depth view of the definitions, concepts, phenomena, underlying processes, and issues central to the current debates on what this part of land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River experienced in the late period of the Ottoman Empire. It enables the readers to identify and reflect on the factors, relations, and justifications that together constitute the core of the debate on the historical geography of this little part of the world.”

—Michael Sofer, Bar-Ilan University

“The book, written by one of the leading rural geographers in Israel, deals with one of the basic facts that is influencing the Jewish-Arab straggle for Palestine, namely the origin and dispersion of the Arab rural population of Palestine and the influence of the new Jewish settlement activities in changing that pattern. David Grossman presents us with a purely academic work, [on] the rural relation between the Arabs and the Jews, prior to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948….The use of Ottoman and British Mandate reports, the large use of primary and secondary resources give Grossman’s book an important place in the libraries of those who would like to have the real, rather than propaganda, facts about the rural life in Palestine before 1948.”

—Gideon Biger, Tel Aviv University

“The book attempts to cope with a highly important question in studying the land of Israel/Palestine: the demographic state of the land of Israel/Palestine prior to the modern Jewish settlement that began in the 1880s, and the demographic impact of this as well as other contemporary forces on the Arab population….No doubt we are faced with an important thought-provoking book portraying a highly interesting and intriguing picture. Viewed from several perspectives, it challenges familiar scientific and popular truths and sheds new light on them, suggesting new insights into a very heavy political and scholarly question that has been drawing considerable attention throughout the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It thus opens new and potentially fruitful avenues for scholarly and public discussion and debate.”

—Avinoam Meir, Ben Gurion University of the Negev

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781412814669
Publisher:
Transaction Publishers
Publication date:
11/24/2010
Pages:
245
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

David Grossman is professor emeritus of geography at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. He is the author of Rural Process-Pattern Relationships: Nomadization, Sedentarization, and Settlement Fixation and the co-editor of Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture in Africa (with L. van den Berg and H. Ajaegbu) and The Arabs in Israel: Geographical Dynamics (with A.Meir).

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