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Author of “Josephus” and 
“ Philo-Judaeus of Alexandria” 






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This little book has been written during the 
leisure hours of camp life in the Summer of 
1917 while waiting at the portals of Palestine 
to enter the Promised Land. It is based on 
notes which I had jotted down in the country 
during several visits in the years before the 
war. As, between 1916 and 1917, we slowly 
crossed the Wilderness of Sinai in. which the 
Hebrew tribes had wandered nearly 4000 
years ago, I would often meditate at night 
under the starry sky upon the past and the 
future of my people who have wandered now 
over the world for nigh two thousand years. 
When vision was limited, reflection and re- 
miniscence helped the lingering hours to pass, 
and when action was checked I would dream 
of what might be when Israel was restored to 
his home. Like the camels I was leading over 
the desert, I would chew the cud of memory 
when the day’s work was done, and the gentle 
evening breathed peace and tranquillity. 

My stray notes which I have put together 
in these circumstances may perchance help to 
make better known the rebirth of the Jewish 
people, and the regeneration of the historic 
land of Israel, which has been happening in 



the last half-century. As a great French 
writer has said, “ La verite a toujours quelque 
chose de l’inattendu qui la rend supportable,” 
and my reason for adding to the inexhaustible 
literature of Palestine is that I have tried to tell 
the simple tale of what has been achieved by a 
small remnant of the oldest nationality. 

For more than two years I have been far 
from books and papers, which do not find a 
place in a marching kit, even with the generous 
allowance of 50 lbs. of baggage ; and I must 
crave indulgence on that account for any in- 
accuracies and mistakes. I have made no 
attempt to be exhaustive in the account of the 
Jewish settlement, and I have given only my 
personal experience. To my father I owe it 
that my pencilled notes have been prepared 
for publication, with the assistance of my 
sister and her husband, who were among the 
colonisers before the war. And I am indebted 
to the same ready help for the incorporation 
in the text of references to the more salient 
later developments, so as to bring the work 
more nearly up to date. 

Palestine, NoRMAN BentWICH. 


Postscript. — The Appendix, containing a series of 
Sketches on the British Advance to Jerusalem, is added by 
kind permission of the Proprietors of the Manchester Guardian , 
to which they were originally contributed, a short Article on 
“ The Redemption of Judasa” published in Palestine (the 
organ of the British Palestine Committee) being also in- 
cluded. And the Map which forms the Frontispiece is, by 
courtesy of the proprietors, taken from the larger map specially 
prepared for the latter publication. 




The Place of Palestine in General History — The Exile 
and the Return — The Alexandrians and the 
Temple — The Maccabaean Struggle — Conquest by 
the Romans and Dispersion — Preservation of the 
Schools — Spread of Persecution — Persian Invasion 
and Capture of Jerusalem — Rise of Islam — The 
Crusades and the Latin Kingdom — Victory of 
Saladin — Maimonides, Al-Charisi, Nachmanides — 
Immigration of Spanish Refugees — New Settle- 
ments in Galilee — False Messiahs — Sabbatai Zevi 
and the Donmeh — The Millenarian Movement in 
England — Return of Scholars to the Holy Cities . 1-20 



The French Revolution — Civil Emancipation of the 
Jew — The Paris Sanhedrin and a Concordat — 
Napoleon’s Manifesto to the Jews — Moses Mendels- 
sohn — The Denationalisation Movement — Rise of 
Mehemet Ali — Sir Moses Montefiore and a Jewish 
Commonwealth — “ Blood Accusation ” at Damas- 
cus — Hess’s “ Rome and Jerusalem ” — George 
Eliot and Dean Stanley on the Return — Disraeli 
and Lassalle — The Russian Persecutions — The 




“ Lovers of Zion ” Societies — Laurence Oliphant 
and a Gilead Scheme — Growth of the Palestine 
Communities — Rise of the National Movement — 

Herzl and the Basle Congress — Zionism and its 
“ Financial Instrument ” — El-Arish and Uganda — 
Opponents of Zionism — Spinoza on Jewish 
Development — A “ Jewish Mission ” — The Twen- 
tieth-Century View — Spread of the Palestine 
Sentiment — Declaration of the British Govern- 
ment of November 2nd, 1917 — Position of the 
Jews at the Peace Congress . . . 21-48 



Return of Jews to the Land — Their attachment to the 
Agricultural Life — Jewish Farmers in Russia and 
America — The Jewish Colonisation Association 
(I.C.A.) — Foundation of Agricultural Schools by 
the Alliance Israelite — The First Colony — “ The 
Gate of Hope ” — The Pioneers of Colonisation — 

The B.I.L.U. — Baron Edmond de Rothschild — 
Spread of the Colonies — Petach Tikvah — Working 
Men’s Settlements — The Arab Labourers and the 
Yemenites — Religious and Social Life in the 
Colonies — The Sabbath Day — The Cultivation of 
Grapes and Oranges — The Great Wine Vaults — 

The “ Carmel ” — Spread of the Co-operative 
Principle — Rischon-le-Zion — Rechoboth : a pro- 

gressive settlement — Government of the Village 
Communities — The Va-ad and Universal Suffrage 
— The Local Police (Shomerim) — Sanitation and 
Water Supply — Control of Education — The 

Government Tax — Local Taxation of Land 
Values — Schemes of Colonial Federation — Smaller 
Colonies (Katra) — Scholar-farmers and their out- 
look — A personal reminiscence — The New Judaea 49-77 




Local Patriotism in the Colonies — The Samarian group 
— Historical Associations — The Carmel Ridge — 
Zichron Jacob — Arab Cultivation, and the Jewish 
— Chederah — Athlit and Ancient Caesarea — The 
Glass Factory of Tantura — Converts in the 
Colonies — The Jewish Agricultural Station — 
Scientific cultivation of the land — The Galilean 
Colonies — The Cornfields of the North — The 
Olive and Almond tree plantations — Jewish 
Labour Settlements — Merchavya — The Sabbatical 
Year and the Jubilee — Student-Colonists — Training 
Colonies — Medjdel, a Working-men’s Colony — The 
Lake of Tiberias — Melchamyeh and Kinnereth — 

An American Plantation — “ Achuzah ” schemes — 

The “ Corner Stone ” (Rosh Pinah) — Metullah, a 
Summer Resort — An empty area — Fields for 
Enterprise — The Trans-Jordania Region — A 
Jewish Country — Work for the New Era . 78-99 



The religious character of the city — Its ancient history 
— Situation and outlook — The two Jerusalems — 
Growth of the suburbs — The Jewish population — 

The Bokharans’ Community — The Yemenites and 
the Falashas — The Jewish Quarter — The Syna- 
gogues — The Karaites — The Wailing Wall — The 
Temple area — The Dome of the Rock — The 
Mount of Olives — The new Acropolis of the Jews — 

“ Abraham’s Vineyard ” — The Montefiore Trust — 

The American Colony — Jewish historical sites — 

The Tomb of the Kings and of Rachel — The Pools 
of Solomon — Christian Jerusalem — Russian, Ger- 
man and French Monuments — The Church of the 
Holy Sepulchre — Custody of the Holy Places — Jew 
and Arab — Influence of the Holy City — A Temple 
of Peace — The Spiritual Metropolis of Mankind 100-128 




Beauty of the Scenery — The Sea of the Harp (Kin- 
nereth) — The Reconciliation of Nature — Galilee of 
the Gentiles — Ruins of great Cities — The Seat of 
the Post-Exilic Colleges — Crusaders’ strongholds — 

The Horns of Hattin — Return of the Exiles — 
Safed, the “ City set on a Hill ” — The School of 
the Kabbala — Don Joseph of Naxos — Modern 
descendants of the old settlers — Kitchener’s Survey 
— Tiberias and its Walls — The Market Place — The 
hot Springs of Tiberias — Along the banks of the 
Lake — First View of Safed — A Progressive Kaima- 
kam — The Streets of Safed — Life in the Town — 

The Chaluka — Schools of the Alliance Israelite — 
Meiron, the Jewish pilgrimage place — The Zohar — 

The “ Scholars’ Feast ” — Ruins of Ancient Syna- 
gogues — View from the heights — Mount Hermon 
— Banias, the source of the Jordan — Tyre and 
Sidon — The Lebanon Province — Growth of Beirut 
— A Jewish Province — The Pride of Israel . 129-15 1 



The ideal Republic — The place of the Schools in 
Judaism — The Schools of the Ghetto — Growth of 
a new spirit — The modern Schools — Revival of the 
National tongue — Jewish culture in Palestine — 

The Talmud Torahs — Schools of the Alliance and 
the Hilfsverein — The Evelina de Rothschild School 
in Jerusalem — Kindergartens and Secondary Schools 
— The struggle for Hebrew — The Haifa Polytechnic 
— Fight for the Schools — The Jaffa Gymnasium — 
Religious Teaching in the Schools — Schools for 
Music and the Arts — The “ Bezalel ” School of 
Arts and Crafts — The War and the Schools — 
Palestinian Exiles at Alexandria — A National 


University in Jerusalem — El Azhar — The Spiritual 
hegemony of Palestine — The Zionist ideal — The 
return to Jewry — Setting up of the new Kingdom 




The Tripolitan and Balkan Wars — Ottoman Military 
Service — Projects of Reform — Commercial and 
Railway schemes — An American Commission — 
Outbreak of war in 1914 — A financial crisis-r- 
Organisation of mutual help in the Jewish Colonies 
— Declaration of war against the Entente — A war 
of Peoples — Exodus of Jewish Settlers — America to 
the rescue — Egypt, the land of refuge — Suppres- 
sion of Zionist institutions — Requisitions for the 
Turkish Army — A Plague of Locusts — Preservation 
of the Schools — Advance of the British Army — 
Deportation of Jewish populations — Gaza and 
Jaffa — Distress in the Colonies — Famine prices in 
the Towns— The situation in Jerusalem — Fate of 
“ the advance guard ” of Jewry — A martyred land 
— Compensations of the War — Opening of the 
Land — Hopes of the People — The beginning of 
fulfilment ...... 178-192 



The Settlement of the Nations — Claims of the oldest 
nationality — Adoption of Zionism by the democ- 
racies of the world — Proposals for future Govern- 
ment of Palestine — A National Home for the Jews 
— The Spiritual Promise of Palestine — The meet- 
ing place of Continents — A network of Railways — 
Linking up the Near East and the Far East — 
Agricultural and mineral wealth of the country — 



Schemes of irrigation — Electric power for indus- 
trial development — Harnessing the rivers — The 
Jordan Valley — The Historical Boundaries — 
Conder’s estimate of Palestine’s possibilities — The 
Land of the Promise — Gilead and Moab — A 
Greater Palestine — Re-peopling of the Land — 
Jewish sources of population — Co-operation with 
the Moslem Arabs — The Christian Sects — Intro- 
duction of Western civilisation by the Jews — 
Repaying an old debt — Reform and revival of the 
East — The Vision of the Future . . 193-2 13 



(1) On the Canal, and Beyond — (2) Gaza — (3) Rosetta, 
1799-1917 — (4) Summer-time outside Gaza — 

(5) The River of Gaza — (6) A Palestine 
Playground — (7) First days in Beersheba — 

(8) The “Companie” at Ludd — (9) The Redemp- 
tion of Judaea — (10) Jaffa Revived — (11) Jerusalem 
Revisited — (12) A Palestine Village at Play — 

(13) Passover in Jerusalem, 5678-1918 . . 215-284 

Map of the Colonies .... Frontispiece 

Index ........ 285 




As the Jews are the most historical of peoples 
so Palestine is the most historical of countries. 
To the whole land there may be applied the 
words which Cicero used of Athens : “ Wher- 
ever we plant our foot we are treading on 
history.” There is hardly a hill-top in Judaea 
which is not covered with the vestiges of a 
fortress or city of former ages, hardly a village 
which does not hide the site of some ancient 
centre of civilisation. 

Here we find the stone implements of the 
palaeolithic age illustrating the first attempt of 
man to conquer Nature ; gigantic catacombs 
and Dolman areas constituting veritable pre- 
historic cemeteries ; mounds which cover the 
foundations of colossal walls that encircled the 
fortified cities of the early Semites ; ruined 
streets of Ionian and Corinthian columns, and 
the remains of vast amphitheatres and basilicas 


which tell of the settlement of Greeks and 
Romans ; Byzantine churches and mosaic 
pavements of extraordinary thickness ; stern 
monasteries and skeleton castles of Crusaders 
perched on almost inaccessible rocks — bastioned 
walls to-day enclosing a collection of mud 
huts ; spacious mosques and graceful minarets 
soaring out of the plain ; and vast stony 
palaces,, convents and hospitals, vieing with 
each other in bigness and solidity, covering the 
hills. Cave-dwellers and Hittites, Amorites 
and Philistines, Hebrews and Phoenicians, 
Babylonians and Assyrians, Hellenes and 
Romans, Persians and Arabs, Franks and 
Saracens, Egyptians and Turks, have in turn 
fought for the country, and conquered it and 
left their traces behind them. 

To humanity, therefore, Palestine is a coun- 
try of peculiar interest. But for the Jews it has 
a surpassing importance. For nearly two thou- 
sand years it was the centre of their nation ; 
for nearly two thousand years more it has 
been the centre of their hopes and aspirations. 
From the very beginning of their history they 
have regarded it with striking affection, greater 
and more lasting than that which any other 
people can have for their native land. To the 
Hebrews, sprung from tribes of Arab nomads 
and delivered from the slavery of Egypt, 
Canaan was the land of promise, flowing with 
milk and honey, the chosen place for the 
chosen people, “ a land on which God’s eyes 


rest from the beginning of the year to the end 
of the year ” (Deut. xi. 12). 

Israel was a nation “ dwelling by itself, not 
counted among the peoples ” (Num. xxiii. 9) ; 
and the territory of Israel likewise was set 
apart and aloof from the other lands, possess- 
ing unique features and “ not counted among 
the countries.” The desert isolated it on the 
East and South, a rocky inhospitable shore on 
the West cut it off from communication with 
the Mediterranean kingdoms, and only on the 
North was it at all accessible, and there the 
mountain ranges of Lebanon offered but 
narrow and difficult passes. Small as it was in 
extent, even when measured from Dan to 
Beersheba and from Carmel to beyond Jordan, 
it contained an extraordinary variety of climes, 
from the sub-tropical countries of the Jordan 
valley sunk hundreds of feet below the sea- 
level to the temperate zone of the uplands of 
Judaea, and from the scrubby wilderness of the 
Negeb to the rich pastures of Gilead. The 
Jewish sages, noting that the word Ha-aretz 
(Land) was used twelve times in the description 
of the country in Deuteronomy, taught that 
the land of Israel consisted of twelve different 
provinces, each of which constituted a country 
with its separate characteristics, unlike those 
of the others. Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Syria 
are lands of a single nature, and therefore they 
have each of them produced a people of one 
type. But the diversity of the different parts 


of Palestine fostered a striking diversity of 
ethnic types. Ephraim and Judah were two 
separate nationalities, which were held but for 
a short time under one sovereignty. Yet, 
though the influence of each part was different, 
the impression made by the land as a whole was 
extraordinarily deep. 

When the division of the people of Israel had 
brought about the fall of either part beneath 
the military powers of Assyria and Babylon, 
and the conquerors, pursuing the policy by 
which they had destroyed other nationalities, 
tore up the people from their roots in the soil 
and deported them to the banks of the Tigris 
and the Euphrates, the love of their own land 
did not die out. The other conquered peoples 
accepted their new home and let their individ- 
uality decay ; the captives of Israel and Judah 
wept by the river of Babylon for the country 
from which they were exiled, exclaiming : “If 
I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right 
hand forget its cunning ! ” 

Some there were to whom the fertile plains 
and brilliant cities of Mesopotamia seemed 
more attractive than the ravaged highlands, 
and the ruined homesteads, from which they 
had been dragged. But a sturdy remnant — 
and in all ages it has been the remnant which 
has saved Israel — cheered by the prophets and 
taught by the scribes, nourished the hope of 
return till the day came when Cyrus, “ the 
anointed of the Lord,” gave the order that 


they should return. Then to the number of 
60,000 they started on their way home, “ filling 
their mouths with laughter, and their tongues 
with rejoicing ” (Ps. cxxvi. 2). Led by a scion 
of the house of David they settled round the 
old centre of the nation and proceeded to 
rebuild there the Temple which was the out- 
ward sign of their religious supremacy. The 
new sanctuary was less magnificent than that 
of Solomon, and when it was dedicated some 
of those who had seen the splendour of the 
first wept ; but it was invested with a fresh 
glory. It was henceforth in their eyes the 
religious centre not only of Israel but of the 
whole world, God’s holy monument to which 
many people and mighty nations should come 
to seek the Lord and pray before Him (Zech. 
viii. 3). Their national ideal had deepened in 
exile and they now regarded Zion not as the 
seat of political grandeur but as the “ City of 

Judaea had a political history for the next 
three or four hundred years which was not 
distinguished. It was a tributary state, first 
of Persia, and then of one or other of the 
Hellenistic Kingdoms which had been carved 
out of the Persian Empire. The Jews did not 
aspire to State independence, they had no 
great military leaders, no ambitious kings. 
They erected no striking buildings, they 
created no enduring art. But Judaea had an 
excellence of its own. It continued to nourish 


a spiritual development which found expres- 
sion, partly in books of religious literature, 
partly in a religious ordering of the life of the 
people. The books have been an inspiration 
for millions ; the religious ordering of life has 
given the Jews a distinctive national character. 
The children of Israel were scattered far and 
wide in all the countries of Hellenistic civilisa- 
tion, in Persia and Babylon, Egypt and Cyprus, 
the isles of Greece and the coasts of Asia Minor. 
“ Earth and sea are full of them,” said the 
Sibylline oracle. And at Alexandria, the intel- 
lectual capital of the world, they were gathered 
in hundreds of thousands and occupied two of 
the five quarters of the city. By their numbers 
and their commercial prominence they held a 
position there, at the centre of the Orient, 
analogous to that which the Jews hold in the 
metropolis of the New World to-day. The 
Alexandrians preserved their close connection 
with the Temple by the deputations which 
came up to Jerusalem at the three great 
festivals of the year bearing the free-will 
offerings of every family to the central shrine. 
These representatives of the Diaspora traversed 
desert and sea, finding the way easy because of 
their joy in the goal which awaited them. The 
pilgrimages marked outwardly the unity of the 
whole congregation of Israel ; inwardly they 
secured the catholicity of the religious life. 

The Maccabaean struggle which had secured 
the political, as well as the religious, liberty of 


Judaea stimulated the spiritual consciousness of 
the whole nation. The teaching of the prophet 
that they should be “ a light to the Gentiles ” 
was now a very real inspiration. Their enthu- 
siasm took indeed different forms in Palestine 
and the Diaspora ; here they became zealous 
for the Law, there zealous for proselytes, but 
everywhere proud of their special mission and 
their special wisdom. A new period of trial 
began when Palestine passed under the heel of 
Rome, who with her policy of blood and iron, 
more ruthless than that of the Babylonian 
conqueror, had broken the national spirit of 
every other people. The Jews still maintained 
their unyielding separateness, still obstinately 
preserved their ideals, and they still acted as one 
whole when their religion was attacked. The 
mad emperor Gaius (Caligula) in the first half 
of the first century of the Christian era sought 
to set up his statue in the Temple, and straight- 
way the communities rose in the East and West 
so menacingly that the Roman proconsul refused 
to march on Palestine. Caligula was murdered 
before the order was carried out, but the 
inevitable conflict between the Kingdom of 
God and the kingdom of Might came to a 
head in the great rebellion of 66-70 c.e., which 
led, after five years of bitter warfare, to the 
ravaging of Jerusalem and the destruction of 
the Temple by Titus. 

Palestine had been laid waste, the Jewish 
metropolis was no more, and on its black ruins 


a Roman legion was encamped. The central 
sanctuary had been blotted out of existence, 
and its most sacred vessels and the scrolls of the 
Law had been carried in triumph through the 
Forum of Rome. Millions of the land’s inhabi- 
tants had been slaughtered, millions more were 
sold as slaves. The towns were depopulated, 
the villages were desolate, the fields were 
ravaged. It might have been expected that 
the communities of the Diaspora would have 
accepted the fall of the national centre and 
lost their national cohesion, remaining a 
separate religious body but abandoning their 
struggle for separate national existence. That 
is indeed what happened with a section of the 
people. The Christian heresy taught that the 
followers of the true faith had passed beyond 
their narrowness of nationalism, and the new 
Jerusalem in which its hopes were set was a 
City laid up in Heaven. But the main body 
held firm to the old ideals, and cherished with 
passionate ardour their hopes of re-establishing 
the Sanctuary on its old foundation. Twice 
they broke out in desperate revolt — in the reigns 
of Hadrian and Trajan — and for years they 
withstood the whole power of Rome. Roman 
legions had to be recalled from farthest Britain 
to put them down ; but in the end the rising 
was crushed and an attempt was made to 
exterminate a people who would not be subju- 
gated. Whole Jewish communities were wiped 
out in Cyprus and Cyrene, and in Palestine 


itself the country ran with blood ; and on the 
site of Zion arose a pagan Roman city, Aelia 
Capitolina, from which Jews were excluded. 

But though the national aspiration was de- 
feated, the national hope was undimmed. In 
place of the outward visible bond of the 
Temple, the inner bond of the Torah (The 
Law) was strengthened. And despite massacres 
and pillage, Jewish life went on uninterrupted 
in Palestine, maintaining there its hearth of 
learning and of thought. Driven from Jeru- 
salem the sages set up their schools in the 
smaller towns of Judaea, and when these too 
were destroyed, they found refuge in Galilee. 
The Sanhedrin, or Central Council, moved its 
seat ten times it was said, till at last it was 
located in Tiberias, the lowest city of the 
country, to fulfil the words of the prophet : 
“ Thou shalt be brought very low.” 

Almost all the Jewish teachers of the first 
three centuries of the civil era came from the 
Holy Land ; and the heads of the Palestinian 
schools, the Patriarchs, held almost a sovereign 
sway over the whole of Israel. The scattered 
congregations sent contributions to them, 
which took the place of the former offerings 
to the Temple services, typifying the cord of 
learning which united the people. Rabbi 
Jehudah Hanassi (the Prince) at the beginning 
of the third century collected and ordered the 
tradition in the code known as the Mishna , 
which sealed the whole development of post- 


Biblical Judaism. A little more than a century 
later Hillel the Second, the Patriarch of 
Tiberias, fixed the calendar by which the 
calculations of the Jewish holy-days and feasts 
are still reckoned. There were other seats of 
learning in Babylon and Nehardea, in Rome 
and Carthage, but for long they were not 
deemed to compare with those in the Jewish 

The people’s deep love for the country appears 
over and over again in quaint Rabbinical hyper- 
boles ; as for example when it is said : “ Only 
he who has eaten the bread of the land of 
Israel knows how bread tastes ” (Talmud, Tr. 
Sanhedrin) ; or again, “ He who has walked 
four miles in the land of Israel is assured of a 
place in the next world ” (. Ibid ., Tr. Kethuha). 
More seriously the same feeling finds expres- 
sion in the reiterated appeals in the liturgy for 
the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the restoration 
of the Temple. There is not a service nor a 
religious occasion in which that appeal is not 
voiced : morning and evening, working day, 
Sabbath and holiday, at marriage and death, 
at home and in the synagogue, the Jew from 
generation to generation has offered these 
prayers, which were originally composed by the 
teachers of Palestine. And time and again 
during the early centuries of the civil era they 
sought to give effect to their intense hope by 
rising against their foreign tyrants whenever 
they could ally themselves with their enemies. 


The triumph of Christianity in the Roman 
Empire at the beginning of the fourth century 
inaugurated a new era of repression for the 
Jews. By the bitter irony of history the branch 
of the Jewish people which had carried part of 
its teaching to the heathen became the oppres- 
sors of the parent trunk, and the new mission- 
aries of Hebrew morality waged an internecine 
feud with their religious rivals. The victorious 
sect were anxious to exclude the Jews from the 
place where their founder had been put to 
death, and to purge the land of the unfaithful 
who had denied him. A short-lived ray of 
hope was vouchsafed to the Jews during the 
reign of Julian the Apostate, who, hating the 
Christians with the hatred of a convert, looked 
for allies in those whom the Church itself 
hated. He invited the Jews tp return to 
Jerusalem and rebuild their Temple, and they 
responded with alacrity. It is said that the 
Golden Gate of the Temple area was built by 
them at the time to keep out the heretics. But 
before the building had proceeded far Julian 
died ; and since his day Christian Emperors 
have always ruled the Western world. 

Persecution caused a decline of the Pales- 
tinian schools, and little by little the pre- 
eminence passed to Babylon, where a new 
“ Erez Yisroel ” had been settled by refugees 
from the West. But Babylon never com- 
manded the affection of the Jewish people. 
Its schools might claim their respect for a 


period by reason of the authority of learning ; 
but the heart and the soul of the people were 
fixed as immovably as ever on Palestine. From 
time to time a false Messiah would arise claim- 
ing that he would lead back the people to their 
land — such as Moses of Crete, wh'o was followed 
by thousands into the sea. And when the 
Persian monarch Chosroes II sent an army to 
invade Palestine against the Byzantine forces 
(614 c.e.), thousands of Jews joined it and took 
part in the capture of Jerusalem. Again their 
victory was short-lived ; for in 627 the Byzan- 
tine Emperor Heraclius marched on the city 
and re-took it, and he avenged the previous 
defeat by killing all the Jews who lived in 

Five years previously (622 c.e.) Mohammed 
had fled to Medina from Mecca (the event 
from which dates the first year of the Hejira, 
the Mohammedan era). In the first years of 
his preaching Mohammed regarded Jerusalem 
as the appointed centre of all true religion, and 
he instructed his followers to turn to the Holy 
Mount of Moriah in prayer. But later when 
he was anxious to dissociate his followers from 
Jewish practices, he realised that the religious 
centre must be changed and he altered the 
“ Kibla” from Jerusalem to Mecca. Jerusalem 
h owever was one of the first objectives of the 
Mohammedan armies. The prophet himself 
died on the way to capture it, and in 638 the 
battle of the Yarmuk, one of the great engage- 


ments of the world’s history, when 200,000 
Christians were routed by 400,000 Arabs, left 
the holy city at the mercy of the Khalif. The 
conqueror guaranteed freedom of religious 
worship to all denominations, but he erected 
a new shrine of the new creed on the site of 
the Holy Temple. 

The sting of persecution was relaxed from 
the Jews for a spell. The Cross and Crescent 
were struggling for the possession of the Holy 
Land, and the Jewish people resigned them- 
selves to passive longing. Though no longer 
the centre of learning, Palestine had still a 
considerable Jewish population, and when the 
Karaites were driven from Babylon by the 
Rabbinist schools many of them emigrated to 
Jerusalem and the other towns of Jewish 
association, and they revived there the tradition 
of scholarship. The intensity of the hope which 
the congregations still felt towards the land of 
their fathers, whether in good hands or in bad, 
is manifest in the writings of the most brilliant 
of the Hebrew poets of the Golden Era of 
Jewish thought in Spain. Jehudah Hallevi 
poured forth there his songs to Zion, and finally 
set out on the perilous journey to the land he 
loved. “ I am in the West, but my heart is in 
the East ” had been his cry in Spain, and when 
he came to Jerusalem, and saw it in the hands 
of the enemies of his people, his heart broke. 
According to one story, he vanished in the 
ruins of the Temple ; according to another, 


celebrated among the lyrics of Heine, he was 
pierced by an Arab’s lance as he poured forth 
his beautiful dirges. His fate is symbolical of 
the hopeless love which the Jews of the Middle 
Ages felt for the national home. 

In the twelfth century a new power had 
obtained sway in Palestine. The Crusaders in 
I ioo captured it for Christendom and divided 
it into a number of feudal fiefs. Jehudah 
Hallevi must have found Jerusalem ruled by 
a Latin King, and the Temple site and the 
Dome of the Rock occupied by the Knights 
Templar. The Christians were however less 
tolerant than the Mohammedans had been, 
and they had signalised the capture of Jerusa- 
lem by a butchery of the Jews. But the 
Jewish merchants and craftsmen had a place in 
the brilliant civilisation to which the meeting 
of East and West gave birth. At Damascus 
alone, the great centre of the caravans, there 
was a community of over 3,000 Jews. They 
carried their mercantile adventures to Eastern 
Asia and Africa, and brought the wealth of 
China and India, and Nubia and Abyssinia, to 
enrich the castles of the lords of Palestine. 

Benjamin of Tudela, another Spanish Jew, 
who wandered over the Holy Land about 1170, 
describes the communities which he found at 
Ascalon and Tanturah, where there were 
skilled dyers and glass makers as well as scholars. 
But while the struggle between Frank and 
Saracen was raging, the condition of the Jewish 


settlers in general grew more wretched. As 
in feudal Europe, so in feudal Palestine, the 
Jew was outside the State and outside 
the law, and in such an atmosphere fine 
thinking could not flourish. Maimonides, 
fleeing there from the fanatical Moslems of 
North Africa, found no congenial resting- 
place, and he passed on to Egypt, where a 
broad-minded and liberal sovereign held swap. 
The prince Saladin, to whom he became 
physician, was a few pears later to wrest 
Jerusalem from the Christian knights, and to 
bring the greater part of the country again 
under the swap of the Khalifs. The interven- 
tion of Maimonides was instrumental in open- 
ing the wap to Palestine again to Jewish settlers, 
and he himself found there, after death, the 
desired haven which he had failed to secure in 
life. Jewish scholars and rabbis from France 
and England turned to what was again a land 
of promise and a land of freedom, and Jewish 
learning revived in Jerusalem and Tiberias. 
And when, at the beginning of the thirteenth 
century, the strolling poet, Al-Charisi, visited 
the land, he found everywhere flourishing 
communities. Intermittently, incursions bp 
Tartar hordes spread destruction ; but the 
settlement continued to grow. The final ex- 
pulsion of the Crusaders from the coast towns 
occurred in 1291, synchronising with the expul- 
sion of the Jews from England. 

The land under the rule of Islam became 


increasingly the refuge for the persecuted 
Jewish scholars of the European Ghettoes. 
Most distinguished of these settlers was Nach- 
manides, who emigrated from Spain at the 
age of seventy and brought to his new home 
the ardour for mystical speculation which 
marked his era. He describes the country thus : 
“ Great is the solitude and great the waste, 
and the more sacred the place the greater the 
desolation. Jerusalem is more desolate than 
the rest of the country, but the fruit of the 
land is still magnificent and the harvest rich. 
It is indeed a blessed country flowing with milk 
and honey.” The dream of the restoration 
though darkened by the smoke of oppression 
was still alive, and the hope of the Kingdom 
of God was translated into inner vision. Ten 
centuries of exile had transformed the love of 
Zion from an active to a contemplative feeling, 
and the sages in Palestine sought to hasten the 
advent of the Messiah by pondering on the 
mysteries of the world and penetrating the 
hidden meaning and secret wisdom of God’s 
law. The Kabbala (or mystical speculation) 
had its origin elsewhere, but it found there its 
chief seat. 

The expulsion of the Jews from Spain at the 
end of the fifteenth century brought to Pales- 
tine a new supremacy in Jewish culture. The 
bulk of the fugitives turned eastwards and 
settled in the Turkish Empire, now the domi- 
nant power of the Mohammedan world, and 


they introduced into the Holy Land not only 
the Castilian dialect (the Ladino) of the 
Peninsula, but something of its brilliant Hebrew 
culture. The land had lost its old fertility 
and prosperity through the repeated devasta- 
tions of Tartar and Turkish hordes. Its 
countryside was deserted ; its houses were 
ruined ; its ports were empty ; but the light 
of learning still shone brightly. In the new 
flowering of Jewish scholarship Safed, the hill 
city of Galilee which had been the Crusaders’ 
stronghold, leapt into fame. It was filled with 
celebrated schools which exercised an authority 
over the whole of Jewry like that which those 
of its neighbour, Tiberias, had enjoyed more 
than a thousand years before. The Holy Spirit 
seemed again to have been vouchsafed to the 
sages of the Holy Land. And one notable 
attempt was made to give practical direction 
to the ideal of Israel’s restoration. Don Joseph 
Nasi, descendant of a Portuguese exile, who had 
become the most trusted diplomatist of the 
Ottoman Empire and had been created Duke 
of Naxos, after entertaining and then abandon- 
ing the idea of establishing a Jewish colony in 
an island of the Greek archipelago, obtained 
from the Sultan, Selim II, the grant of a large 
tract in Galilee with the permission to rebuild 
the town of Tiberias and populate it exclu- 
sively with Jews. It was the anticipation of 
the modern movement for the return of the 
Jews to their ancestral soil, the first vague ex- 


pression of the reviving national consciousness, 
and it has left its effects to this day in the 
settlements of Jewish agriculturists in Pekah 
and other villages of Northern Galilee. 

The Jews of the Ottoman Empire were 
powerful at the time. Lady Mary Wortley 
Montagu writing from Constantinople at the 
end of the seventeenth century says of them : 
“ These people are an incredible power in this 
country. They have many privileges above all 
the national Turks themselves, and have 
formed a very considerable commonwealth 
here, being judged by their own laws, and have 
drawn the whole trade of the Empire into 
their hands.” But the Jewish people as a 
whole was not ready yet for a large movement 
of repatriation. The influences of the Ghetto 
had crippled the wings of its imagination, and 
at the same time impaired its power of action. 
Under the leadership of the pseudo-Messiah, 
Sabbatai Zevi, the Eastern Jews indeed rose in 
their thousands to inaugurate a new Kingdom 
of God in the Holy Land. Two of his chief 
supporters are described as “ Nathan of Gaza ” 
and “ Joseph of Ascalon,” proving that Jewish 
congregations still flourished in the ancient 
cities of Palestine. But with the downfall 
of its leader the movement collapsed even more 
quickly than it had sprung up. Its followers 
were looking rather for a sudden miraculous 
intervention than for the continuous aid of 
Providence, which manifests itself through the 


earnest efforts of men. And the effect of their 
hopeless enterprise was only to sap for genera- 
tions the vigour of Oriental Jewry, and to 
bring about the secession of a sect who con- 
tinued to believe in the pseudo-Messiah. Their 
descendants to this day, the Donmeh, are 
strong in what was European Turkey and had 
their chief seat in Salonica. The belief in a 
sudden Divine intervention led the Millenarian 
Christians of England to co-operate with 
Manasseh ben Israel in procuring, in CromwelPs 
time, the re-settlement of the Jews in England, 
which they regarded as a preliminary of the 
national return to Palestine. At the same time 
the colonisation of the New World led to 
several striking proposals to gather the out- 
casts of Israel in a new home. The Dutch 
East India Company suggested a new Zion in 
Curagoa ; the famous French General, Marshal 
Saxe, looked to South America ; but these 
schemes never passed the stage of design. 

In Palestine itself the decay of the Jewish 
communities set in as the government of the 
Turks weakened and left the country a prey to 
the wild roving tribes of Bedouins. But Israel 
is never altogether deserted ; the undying love 
of the people for their land received a new 
outlet when the famous Rabbi Elijah, known 
as the Gaon of Wilna, at the end of the 
eighteenth century, revived in the form of 
the Chalukah the old contribution to the 
Jewish schools of the holy cities. His aim was 


to preserve a centre of Jewish learning in the 
place of Israel’s hopes, and his project was 
received with enthusiasm throughout Russia 
and Poland, Galicia and Germany, Hungary 
and Holland. Some hundreds of scholars 
settled in the Holy Cities. In recent times 
the Chalukah system has been abused, but for 
years it had the merit of maintaining a remnant 
in the land, and of giving a concrete form to 
the spiritual yearning of the people. 

The hope of the return had for seventeen 
centuries never been dried up and never 
became outworn. It had given to the harried, 
hunted and persecuted Jewish people, driven 
from land to land, denied in places even human 
rights, nowhere at home, nowhere accepted 
into civil society, the vision without which it 
must have perished. It had lived in their 
imagination, endowed with an ideal life in 
their prayers and their religious observances, 
called to mind on every occasion of joy or 
sorrow. It had been the magnetic lodestar by 
which the ship of Jewish Nationalism, often 
rudderless and often without any captain, had 
held on its course. And if the hope of the 
physical return had, in the blurring process of 
time, become dimmer, this ideal of the Yishub 
(the “ return ” of the nation) had always re- 
mained to illumine the obscurity of the Ghetto, 
and to give a meaning to Jewish suffering. 



The French Revolution, which heralded a new 
era for humanity, ushered in also a new era for 
the Jew. In France, in Germany, and in 
England, under the influence of liberal ideas 
and the belief in the rights of Man, the gates 
of the Ghetto were broken down ; in the 
United States of America, where, from the 
time of the Declaration of Independence, the 
idea of human equality was accepted as an 
integral part of the polity, the gates were never 
erected : and in these countries, though the 
clouds of prejudice might still hover, it was 
possible for the Jew to become a freeman and 
a citizen of the world. The genius which had 
been cribbed, cabined and confined for genera- 
tions, wasted if it could not find scope in the 
preservation of Judaism, burst forth to display 
itself in a more spacious field. While the 
Gentile peoples were proclaiming Liberty, 
Equality and Fraternity, from among the Jews 
a cry was raised “ Out of the tribal, into the 
human.” That was the idea implicit in the 
Mendelssohnian “ enlightenment,” and it 
guided the Paris Sanhedrin of 1796 which 



sealed the Concordat between the Jews of 
France and the French Republic. 

The Jews were to give up their particular 
national institutions and their particular 
national aspirations, and to become full mem- 
bers of the French nation, distinguished from 
other Frenchmen only by certain religious 
beliefs and practices. Judaism, like Catholic- 
ism, or Protestantism, was to be reduced to a 
matter of creed ; and the Jews were to find 
their whole national life in the countries where 
they dwelt. While the other European peoples 
were reviving their dormant sense of nation- 
ality, which had been crushed for centuries by 
the influence of the Holy Roman Empire, the 
Jews, who in spite of repression, persecution 
and world-wide dispersal had for centuries 
retained a consciousness of nationality, sought 
to denationalise themselves ! In the ancient 
world they had been national when all others 
were cosmopolitan : now they became cosmo- 
politan when all others Were national. Their 
attitude was like that of the mad Hercules who, 
having performed his heroic labours, returned 
to his house and killed his own children. It is 
not difficult to underst^pd what induced this 
change of outlook. Civil and political emanci- 
pation appeared to be the one boon necessary ; 
and the price of it, at the time, was a declara- 
tion of national suicide. 

It is noteworthy however that Napoleon, 
who, as First Consul, pressed for the Concordat 


of Jewry with the French State, on invading 
Egypt and Syria in 1799 realised the undying 
appeal of Palestine, and issued an invitation to 
the Jews of Asia and Africa to settle again 
under his aegis in Jerusalem. He published a 
political manifesto to this end in the Moniteur 
Universelle (No. 243). But his attempt to be 
the modern Cyrus had even less fruition than 
the attempt of the Emperor Julian 1,500 years 
previously. His Eastern campaign collapsed 
before Acre, and Palestine remained under the 
misgovernment of the Turks. 

Within a short time, indeed, Palestine was 
conquered by Ibrahim the son of Mehemet 
Ali, the Pasha of Egypt, who had made himself 
Sultan. Under his strong rule there was a 
promise of better things. When Sir Moses 
Montefiore paid his first visit to the Holy Land 
in 1827 he met Ibrahim and negotiated with 
him as to the Jewish colonisation of the de- 
serted plains and villages of the country. The 
noble-hearted Jewish philanthropist enter- 
tained, in common with the best of the 
emancipated Jews of the time, a profound 
feeling, in idealised form, for the country of 
Israel’s past, which found expression with him 
in the effort to re-establish there a Jewish 
Commonwealth. Jerusalem was inscribed on 
his coat of arms, and the desire of his heart 
was to see Palestine again fertile, and again 
peopled by Jews. But before his plan of 
colonisation could be started Mehemet Ali had 


been compelled by the European Powers to 
renounce his sway over Syria and to restore 
the country to Turkey. With the Turks there 
was at the time no chance of negotiation, and 
Sir Moses Montefiore had to restrict his efforts 
to the betterment of the conditions of the few 
thousand Jews who were already living in the 
country. One is fain to reflect how different 
the history of Palestine during the last century 
might have been if it had remained in the 
dominion of the Pasha of Egypt, and had 
passed, with the rest of his dominions, under 
the control of England in the “ eighties.” 
English Christians as well as English Jews 
cherished the idea of Jewish re-settlement in 
the Holy Land as a step towards the fulfilment 
of prophecy ; and in 1846 Colonel George 
Gawler sent to the Queen and to the leading 
men of the country, a book entitled The 
Tranquillisation of Syria and the East hy the 
Establishment of Jewish Colonies in Palestine . 
Similar in tendency was the work of Hollings- 
worth, who in his Jews in Palestine (1852) 
urged the re-establishment of a Jewish State 
under British protection as a means of securing 
the overland route to India. In 1854 a 
“ Palestine Land Company ” was provision- 
ally registered in England with the object of 
raising a fund by shares for the purpose of 
enabling the descendants of Israel to settle on 
the land. The promoters believed that 100,000 
pioneers were ready at a moment’s notice to 


avail themselves of the first safe opportunity 
that offered for their restoration to the land of 
their ancestors. 

The Crimean War, which arose immediately 
out of the trouble between rival churches as to 
the custody of the Holy Places in Jerusalem, 
directed the attention of the Great Powers, 
and the outbreak at the same period of the 
Blood Accusation at Damascus — which led to a 
brutal attack on the Jewish quarter — directed 
anew the attention of the emancipated Jewish 
communities, towards Palestine. The Christian 
Churches began to vie with each other in pro- 
viding religious institutions on the sites secured 
by them in Jerusalem, and the Jewish com- 
munities of the West founded schools and 
hospitals and other philanthropic institutions 
for their brethren in various parts of the 
country. But in the latter half of the century 
a more radical change in the outlook of the Jews 
towards Palestine, the transformation of the 
idea of the Restoration to Zion from the 
region of dreams to the region of reality, was 
brought about by an intensification of the 
national feeling of Europe, and a revival of 
their own national consciousness. 

As the permanent influences of the French 
Revolution worked themselves out, the idea of 
the rights of Man was amplified by the idea of 
the rights of nationalities. It was claimed that 
every aggregation of men conscious of forming 
a separate nationality, whether united by 


language or tradition or history, or all these, 
should be an autonomous nation ; and in the 
light of this principle Greece, Belgium, and 
Italy, and later the Balkan and Scandinavian 
peoples, asserted and established their political 
independence. At the same time in the 
gradual decline of the respect for the rights of 
Man by themselves, the old feelings of dislike 
and contempt for the Jew, fanned by inherited 
prejudice or bureaucratic machinations, began 
to get the upper hand in the less enlightened 
parts of Europe. In Germany and Austria his 
hardly won emancipation was soon hedged in 
and circumscribed ; in Russia, where the great 
mass of the Jewish population still live, civil 
emancipation was never won. The progressive 
spirit of the age combined with the reaction of 
the time to revive the Jewish feeling of 
nationality, and to shatter the shallow philo- 
sophy of the early leaders of the “ enlighten- 
ment ” movement, who had sought by denial 
of any national individuality to smooth the 
way for the absorption of the Jews into the 
European polity. 

It was in the Rome and Jerusalem of a German 
Socialist, Moses Hess, published in i860, that 
the revival which had been generated by these 
external facts obtained its first clear literary 
expression. As the title of his work suggested, 
Hess saw in the liberation of Italy the prelude 
to the re-birth of the Jewish nation. “ With 
the freeing of the Eternal City on the Tiber 


began that of the Eternal City on Mount 
Moriah : with the renaissance of Italy the 
resurrection of Judaea.” Thought, as usual, 
was someway ahead of action, but this idea of 
Israel’s resurrection in the land of his fathers 
began to spread, and then to be translated into 
deeds. It found beautiful utterance in one of 
the great English writers of the century. 
George Eliot made it the pivot of her novel 
Daniel Deronda , and put into the mouth of 
one of her ideal creations, Mordecai, the 
prophecy of a new Judaea poised between East 
and West to be a covenant of reconciliation : 
“ The I ew will claim the brotherhood of his 
own nation, and carry it into a new brother- 
hood with the nations of the Gentiles.” Dean 
Stanley, also, in his book on Palestine wrote of 
the possibility that “ in the changes of the 
Turkish Empire the Jewish race, so wonderfully 
preserved, may yet have another stage of 
national existence opened to them ; they may 
once more obtain possession of their native 
land, and invest it with an interest greater than 
it could have under any other circumstances.” 
The two most brilliant men of action in 
emancipated Jewry dreamed in their youth of 
leading back their people to their old land. 
Benjamin Disraeli declared that Alroy. the 
romance of the Jewish mediaeval hero who 
claimed to be the Messiah, and inaugurated his 
work by conquering Palestine, portrayed his 
ideal ambition. And in 'Tancred , a work of 


greater maturity, where the scene is laid in Pales- 
tine, the Jewish heroine exclaims : “ The race 
that persists in celebrating the vintage, although 
it has no fruit to gather, will in time regain 
its vineyards.” Ferdinand Lassalle, about the 
same time as Disraeli was composing Ahoy , 
wrote in his diary : “ I love to picture myself 
sword in hand leading back the tribes of Israel 
to their home.” Both w r ere diverted from the 
ideal ambitions of their youth to other courses, 
because in their day there seemed to be no 
Jewish movement to lead. Yet one of the 
sanest organs of English public opinion, The 
Spectator , declared, “ If Lord Beaconsfield [at 
the Congress of Berlin] had freed the Holy 
Land and restored the Jews, instead of potter- 
ing about with Roumelia and Afghanistan, he 
would have died Dictator.” 

The stimulus which roused into activity the 
latent love of the Jewish masses for Palestine 
was the recrudescence of a violent persecution 
in Russia in i88x. The Ghetto had not been 
broken down in Eastern Europe, and the 
historic consciousness of the Jews was far 
stronger there than in the emancipated West. 
Already societies of the “ Lovers of Zion ” 
( Chovevi Zion) had begun to establish little 
agricultural settlements which were planting 
vineyards on the ruined terraces of Jud?ea and 
reclaiming to fertility the plains of Philistia. 
Already a Jewish Agricultural School had been 
founded by the Alliance Israelite Universelle 


outside Jaffa to prepare the wap for larger and 
systematic colonisation. And already the 
brilliant English man of letters and erratic 
man of State affairs, Laurence Oliphant, had 
begun to negotiate with the Sultan of Turkey 
for the re-population of the land of Gilead on 
the East side of Palestine with thousands of 
sturdy Jewish agriculturalists. While in the 
West the chief energies of the leaders were 
directed towards the completion of political 
emancipation, the love of Zion asserted itself 
in the Ghettoes of Eastern Europe. There the 
religious enthusiasm of the Rabbi Kalischer 
moved those whom the more philosophical 
eloquence of Hess had failed to touch. Where 
circumstances were at their lowest the will to 
enlargement was strongest. 

The idealist movement “ Back to the Land ” 
had begun before persecution came to spur it : 
but the relapse of Russia into mediaeva] bar- 
barism, which threatened the destruction or 
demoralisation of six million Jews, brought it 
home anew to the whole of Jewry that in the 
words of their daily prayer : “ God hath not 
made us like the nations of other lands and hath 
not placed us like other families of the earth.” 
It was recognised that the people must be got 
out of the Russian inferno, and a new exodus 
began which has carried every year something 
like 150,000 souls to new homes. True that 
the main tide of emigration has flowed to the 
New World ; true that one million Jews, the 


greatest aggregation in Jewish annals since the 
destruction of the Temple, were gathered in 
New York ; true that Baron de Hirsch, who 
devoted his millions to the furtherance of 
Jewish agricultural colonisation, looked for a 
new land of Israel in the Argentine Republic, 
and that the corporation to which he be- 
queathed his vast fund continued to prefer 
any corner of the world to Palestine ; true 
that many Jewish philanthropists and some 
dreamers of the Ghetto, feverishly anxious to 
find a refuge for the masses of emigrants where 
they may live a free life according to their 
traditions have searched, in vain, for Jewish 
territories in every continent ; yet Palestine 
has become year by year the common goal of 
the Jewish people and its most living ideal. 

To those who are eager to secure a perma- 
nent home for Judaism as well as a refuge for 
the Jew, where the soul as well as the body of 
Jewry might be invigorated, Palestine has 
remained the only possible goal. And within 
the last thirty years the movement “ Back to 
the Land ” has gone on steadily, and the 
Jewish population has increased manifold. It 
numbered barely 10,000 in 1830 and less than 
20,000 fifty years later, in 1880. On the out- 
break of the war of 1914 it amounted to about 
120,000. When the American scholar, Robin- 
son, visited Jerusalem in the year 1828 he 
estimated that of the 11,000 inhabitants 3,000 
were Jews, and in 1825 another traveller, 


Dickson, laughed at the idea of 6,000 Jews in 
the place thriving on the wants of 40,000 
Arabs and Greeks. In 1914, before the war 
broke out, there were over 60,000 Jews in the 
Holy City out of a total population of 100,000. 

Sir Moses Montefiore found a bare Minyan 
(ten) of Jews at Jaffa when he landed there on 
the first of his various pilgrimages (1827). At 
the outbreak of the war the town numbered 
20,000 Jews, a third of its population, and its 
most active and popular element. Twenty 
years ago there existed no Jewish congregation 
at Haifa, the natural harbour of the country ; 
now a community of between two and three 
thousand souls flourishes there, and Jews have 
played a great part in the development of the 
commerce, and Jewish educational institu- 
tions are springing up in its suburbs. In the 
country, as well as in the towns, the seeds of 
the new Jewish life have been planted. The 
taunt which Cobbett levelled at the Jewish 
people that “ like the voracious slug they live 
on the things produced by others and produce 
nothing themselves,” has gradually been re- 
futed. Before the outbreak of the war some 
forty Jewish villages or settlements had been 
founded in all parts of the country with a total 
population of over 12,000. By the work of 
Jewish hands the plain of Sharon was again 
made fruitful with vineyards, and the uplands 
of Galilee with cornfields ; the hills of Judaea 
were again terraced with olives, and orchards 


were planted again in the Valley of the 

The Jewish settlements, it is true, are small 
and are so far miniatures of what is to be 
accomplished ; in their totality they cover not 
much more than two per cent of the soil of 
Palestine. But their influence has already been 
marked in the trade and industry of the 
country. A British Blue Book published by 
the Board of Trade in 1911 stated that the 
chief feature in the economic development of 
Southern Syria was the Jewish immigration : 
and the growth of the trade of Jaffa in the 
decade preceding the Balkan war (which 
brought a temporary check) is eloquent of the 
stimulating effect on Oriental indolence of 
Jewish enterprise. In 1900 the value of the 
exports passing through the Port was £264,000, 
in 191 1 it rose to £682,000, and the value of the 
imports rose during the same period from 
£380,000 to over one million sterling. The 
growth in the export of oranges from Jaffa 
since the Jewish immigration began is typical 
of the progress ; in 1883 50,000 cases were 
exported ; in 1913 two million cases. 

The increase of the Jewish population did 
not come altogether from the West, but was 
gathered literally from the four corners of the 
Exile. Palestine is the lodestar of every 
Jewish community, and little bands make their 
way continually from the congregations of the 
larger Eastern centres — Bagdad, Aleppo and 


Bokhara ; from Arabia and Persia, Morocco 
and Turkestan ; even from India and Abys- 
sinia. Jerusalem in particular is a microcosm 
of scattered Jewry. The chief source of the 
new population is naturally Russia, which is 
followed by Roumania and Galicia. The 
largest Oriental immigration is from the 
Yemen district, in which the Jews have been 
settled since the destruction of the Kingdom, 
There they have lived as serfs for ages, op- 
pressed by the fanatical Moslem Arabs around 
them but cherishing the more intensely the 
hope of returning to the home of their ances- 
tors. Twenty years ago small parties of these 
Yemenites made their way to Palestine, and 
finding there the chance of a better life and 
freedom, they have brought over several 
thousands of their community. They are 
very industrious and patient, less intellectual 
than the Western Jews, but not so restless, and 
they have provided a very valuable labour 
force both in the towns and in the fields. 

The gentle stream of Jewish immigration 
back to the country, and the gradual trickling 
of that immigration back to the soil, preceded 
and fostered the growth of a conscious national 
movement for making Palestine again the home 
of the Jewish people. It was not till the nine- 
teenth century had nearly run its course, in 
1 897, that a Viennese playwright and litterateur, 
Theodor Herzl, stung to full Jewish conscious- 
ness himself by the shame of the Dreyfus case, 


called a congress of Jewish representative men at 
Basle in Switzerland and founded our latter- 
day Zionism. The aim of the movement was 
defined as “ the establishment in Palestine of 
a publicly - secured and legally - guaranteed 
Home for the Jewish people ” ; the imme- 
diate objective was to obtain a charter from 
the Sultan, backed by the Great Powers, for 
autonomous Jewish colonisation in the Holy 
Land ; and the means to that end were, first 
the rousing and strengthening of the Jewish 
national feeling in every Jewish community, 
and the organisation of the Jewish people 
internationally for combined action, and 
secondly the establishment of a national 
Trust, in the form of a banking company, for 
the purchase of land and the work of colonisa- 
tion. Herzl’s call converted the sleeping 
sentiment of the masses into an ardent enthu- 
siasm : the efforts of the few pioneers into a 
national striving. The literary artist became 
the statesman ; and for the first time for 
centuries the Jewish people had a hero of 
action, who devoted himself entirely to their 
cause. Herzl found his largest following first 
in the Jewish proletariat of Eastern Europe 
and the East End of London, and secondly 
among the Jewish students of the Universities. 
He was at once joined by several of the Jewish 
intellectual leaders, among them Max Nordau 
and Barnard Lazare, the Champion of 
Dreyfus, in France, and Israel Zangwill in 


England. But he was almost immediately 
opposed and savagely attacked by the com- 
munal leaders in Western Europe, who regarded 
his cry as a menace to the tranquil enjoyment 
of the political and civil emancipation which 
the preceding generation had won. 

It is not the place here to discuss the develop- 
ment of the Zionist movement and its varying 
fortunes ; we have to consider only its effect- 
on Jewish life in Palestine. The immediate 
objective of a Charter for Jewish colonisation 
was not attained, though Herzl by his personal 
magnetism and diplomatic genius was able to 
secure the support of several of the monarchs 
and chancelleries of Europe. But the “ finan- 
cial instrument ” was established as an English 
Company — the Jewish Colonial Trust — with a 
nominal capital of two millions, towards which 
a quarter of a million was subscribed in the 
first year. In addition a “ Jewish National 
Fund ” was incorporated, also in England, to 
acquire land for public purposes as a kind of 
national domain. In the year before the war 
this Fund had received over £200,000, and the 
subscriptions for the year reached a million 
francs, or £40,000. It had begun on a small 
scale to accomplish its purpose of creating a 
national domain in country villages and towns, 
starting afforestation with olive groves on the 
spurs of the Judaean hills, establishing training 
farms and workmen’s dwellings in Judaea and 
Galilee, and providing sites for the Hebrew 


schools and the higher educational institutions 
of Jerusalem, Jaffa and Haifa. 

Herzl was opposed at first to the support of 
the small colonising enterprises which had been 
started during the preceding twenty years by 
the “ Lovers of Zion ” ; he wanted the Jews to 
come in by the open door, in a large body, and 
not to slink in by little groups. The little, he 
thought, was the enemy of the big. But when 
the hope of the Charter was disappointed, he 
recognised the necessity of organising and 
developing the Jewish life in the country and 
giving it a more independent and representa- 
tive character than it yet possessed. If the 
immigration of hundreds of thousands was 
impossible for the time, at least the thousands 
who entered and the thousands who were there 
could live under the conditions which were 
desired for the whole people when the larger 
measures could be undertaken. To further the 
expansion of trade and the development of 
agricultural colonies, a branch of the Jewish 
Colonial Trust, the Anglo-Palestine Bank, was 
founded with a paid-up capital of £100,000, 
and at the outbreak of the war this Zionist 
Batik had become one of the chief financial 
institutions in Southern Syria ; the deposits 
amounted to £250,000, and its total operations 
for the year 1913 rose to five million pounds 

In the waiting period Herzl sought to plant 
a Jewish colony in the vestibule of Palestine 


which was within the boundaries of Egypt. 
England was of all the Powers the most 
sympathetic to Jewish aspirations ; and he had 
a passionate enthusiasm for her liberal govern- 
ing spirit. Checked in his hopes at Constanti- 
nople he asked for the support of England’s 
great pro-consul in Egypt, for a scheme of 
colonising the district of El-Arish between the 
Sinai desert and the Turkish frontier. It was 
a region inhabited then very sparsely and 
roughly cultivated by Bedouin Arabs, but which 
has since become better known by the advance 
of the British armies in 1917 through this 
vestibule to Palestine. The Government at 
home countenanced the idea, and a Commis- 
sion went out from England to survey the land. 
But, without extended irrigation, settlement 
on anything like a considerable scale did not 
appear feasible ; and at the time the con- 
trolling authorities in Egypt did not recom- 
mend the grant of irrigation facilities from 
Egypt’s perennial stream. The project, there- 
fore, was dropped. But in its place the 
Colonial Office, then under the guidance of 
Mr. Joseph Chamberlain, who had been 
attracted by the magnetic personality of the 
Jewish leader, put forward a proposal for an 
autonomous Jewish settlement in British East 
Africa. Herzl welcomed this signal recognition 
of Jewish hopes, but the Zionist rank and file, 
when the proposal was brought forward very 
dramatically, without previous notice, at the 


Congress of 1905 were gravely divided upon it. 
A section, consisting mainly of Jews of Western 
Europe, were enthusiastically in favour of 
pursuing the offer and sending a Commission 
to investigate the territory ; another section, 
consisting of the “ Lovers of Zion ” and 
the Jews of Eastern Europe, who were the 
principal strength of the existing Palestinian 
settlement, were for rejecting it out of hand. 
Though grateful for England’s unlooked-for 
intervention, their ideal was indissolubly 
bound up with their historic home, and no 
other land, though graced with every liberty, 
could take its place in their affections. Herzl 
by force of leadership prevailed on the 
assembly to send out the Commission for 
enquiry and report to a future Congress. But 
shortly after he broke down and died, leaving 
to his people a double treasure, the priceless 
heritage of a living ideal and the immortal 
memory of a dead hero. 

After Herzl’s death the cleavage in the 
ranks induced by the Uganda project became 
pronounced, and a small section, under the 
leadership of Zangwill, split off from the main 
body and formed the Jewish Territorial 
Organisation (the I.T.O.). Ever since that time 
this Organisation has chased, from continent to 
continent, the will of the wisp of an autono- 
mous Jewish settlement outside Palestine, and 
found no resting-place. The ‘Commission that, 
went to Uganda reported unfavourably on the 


area which was in the end proffered. The 
I.T.O. looked to Tripoli, which was still under 
the Ottoman sway, and sent another Com- 
mission, which also reported adversely. As it 
was put by the President of the Organisation 
himself, that scheme would “ not hold water.” 
Then the gaze was directed towards another 
part of the Ottoman Empire ; Mesopotamia 
was held out as the Land of Promise. The 
report as to the possibilities here was more 
brilliant, and the land had abundant Jewish 
associations, but nothing came of the proposal 
except another series of scintillating speeches 
from the erratic I.T.O. leader. The later 
ventures of the I.T.O. quest were less happy 
in conception, and no more fruitful in result. 
Angola, Nicaragua, Westralia, were looked at 
in vain ; and finally the grand project of a 
Jewish autonomous territory petered out in a 
movement for the diffusion of Jewish emigra- 
tion in the United States. To-day the 
remnant of Territorialists are ready t© merge 
with the Zionists in the choice of Palestine as 
the Jewish land. 

A more radical opposition to the Palestine 
movement has been maintained by the more 
prosperous section of Jewry, especially in the 
countries where Jews have been politically 
emancipated. They have harked back to the 
declaration of the leaders in the struggle for 
that emancipation and have repudiated, in 
whole or in part, the existence of a Jewish 


nationality, or the desire of the Jews to become 
again a nation. They form three main 
classes ; those who admit that the Jews are 
a spiritual nationality but assert that it is 
a retrograde step to attempt to restore the 
Jewish country and rebuild the Jewish home ; 
those who claim that Judaism is purely a 
religion and the Jews only members of a 
religious creed ; and those who profess a 
belief in the ultimate Jewish restoration to 
Palestine, but regard human effort to bring 
about that restoration as impiety. Of all three 
classes it may be said generally that they look 
on the Jewish past without perspective, on its 
present without a policy, and on its future 
without faith. 

Many of those who opposed the efforts to 
re-establish the Jewish people in Palestine 
admitted a special Jewish interest in the 
country of their ancestors. They were pre- 
pared to encourage settlements on the land 
and the foundation of schools : but there 

must be no suggestion of a separate political 
nationality. Not a few who had supported 
Palestinian colonisation in the days preceding 
HerzPs advent were perturbed by his larger 
and mcM'e radical appeal, which they feared 
would imperil their adopted citizenship. The 
iron of the Ghetto bars and bolts had entered 
into their souls, and survived the destruction 
of the Ghetto walls. Emancipated and re- 
ceived as equals in civil life, these Jews of the 


West could not feel secure, and they feared 
that their rights might be taken from them if 
they asserted their true character and stood 
fearless before the world as members of a 
nationality that had its special territory else- 
where and developed its special way of life. 
In one of his speeches advocating an “ Ito- 
land ” Zangwill told the story of a celebrated 
French painter who wishing to paint an old 
beggar could find no model that satisfied him 
till, one day, dining with a wealthy Jew he 
suddenly said to his host : “ Will you sit for 
me ? I have been searching in vain for a 
model of a beggar, and you are the only man 
who looks the part.” The simile may be bitter 
but it is true that, though outwardly free, the 
assimilated Jew was often inwardly a slave. 
He was prepared to support the colonies and 
institutions in Palestine so long as they wore a 
philanthropic guise ; he turned in dismay from 
the vision of a Palestine regenerated and inde- 
pendent, a Jewish country inhabited by a 
people grown to self-consciousness, speaking a 
revived Hebrew tongue, and living according 
to the old Hebraic ideal. Might not their 
neighbours cast it in their teeth that they 
should go there too ? And would not a Jewish 
country be a larger Ghetto painfully inferior 
to the spacious empires in which their lot was 
cast ? The return to Palestine was, they said, a 
surrender to the anti-Semites, and Zionism 
was only a feeble reaction to anti-Semitism. 


Spinoza foresaw three centuries ago that 
Jewish individuality must be threatened when 
emancipation passed from the political to the 
social sphere, and the Jewish development in 
the latter half of the nineteenth century 
proved him correct. Zionism has its roots, 
not as its opponents say in anti-Semitism, but 
rather in the resistance to assimilation. It 
does not indeed challenge one of the premisses 
of anti-Semitism, that the Jews are “ a people 
among the peoples, and a nation among the 
nations.” It accepts this, because it is true ; but 
it claims that the members of a national, as of 
a religious community, may still enjoy, every- 
where, full civil and political rights, though 
they may have elsewhere some national centre. 
It expresses the desire of the sturdy remnant 
to preserve the Jewish spirit which has been 
imperilled in prosperity. A Homeland will 
but focus the Jewish people and Jewish 

The position of those who claimed that 
Judaism was purely a religion, and the Jews 
merely members of a religious creed, was 
equally unstable. It is the outstanding 
characteristic of Judaism that religion and 
nationality have, from the beginning, been 
inextricably combined. The struggle with 
Christianity in the early centuries of the civil 
era turned largely on the Jewish refusal to 
sever them. Nor can the severance be made 
now without cutting off the source of life. 


The Jews, in their lackland and non-political 
condition, have carried about with them for cen- 
turies a moral Palestine, which has bound them 
together and preserved from death their ideals 
and their individuality. To-day, when they 
enjoy civil and political rights, and are no 
longer living in a cramped concentration, they 
need a visible Palestine to endow their ideals 
with fresh life, and to secure a common point 
of unityr A persecuted segregated nationality 
may survive through outward oppression ; an 
emancipated and dispersed nationality can 
flourish as a distinct force only if it possesses 
some inward source of vitality ; and that it 
can gain only from a hearth of its own. 

The talk of a Jewish mission, to be achieved 
by dispersion among the nations, which would 
be frustrated by a Jewish concentration in 
Palestine, is vague and hollow. The champions 
of this view can point to no missionaries ; 
and, while basing themselves on the prophecy 
that the people of Israel should be “ a 
light to the nations,” they disregard the 
primary fact that the prophets contemplated 
a Jewish people returned to its land, sending its 
emissaries to the four corners of the earth. 
The re-establishment of the centre was an 
essential part of the prophets’ dream, and it is 
an essential condition of any revival of Jewish 
spiritual influence among the nations of to-day. 
As the rabbis expressed it, “ God will not come 
to the heavenly Jerusalem till Israel has re- 


turned to the earthly Jerusalem.” Without a 
living centre there can be no radiating influ- 
ence. For those who believe sincerely in the 
Jewish mission the return to Palestine must be 
the first object of endeavour ; otherwise their 
hope is, in the words of a mediaeval Hebrew 
poet and lover of Zion, but “ as the twittering 
of sparrows.” 

With those who profess to believe in a 
Jewish restoration in Palestine, but regard 
human effort to achieve it as impious, it is 
harder to reason. Their position is so mediaeval 
that it is proof against argument. The spirit 
of the age is against them. All enlightened 
men and women to-day would accept the pro- 
verbial philosophy about “ those whom God 
helps,” or the saying of Florence Nightingale, 
“ God builds His finest bridges with men, and 
not angels, for His pillars.” And if a Jewish 
people living in Palestine is a good ideal, then 
it must be for the living, the Jews of to-day, 
to work with all their might for its accomplish- 
ment. Perhaps the guidance of Providence in 
the present world-war may appear manifest 
enough to these latter-day pietists and make 
them realise that by work, as well as by prayer, 
they may speed the coming of the Messianic age. 
The outward events of the struggle, as well as 
the fundamental principles underlying it, have 
cut the ground from under the feet of the 

In the earlier half of the nineteenth century 


men cherished vague aspirations for a colour- 
less cosmopolitanism which gave way in the 
second half of the century to a burning passion 
for an intense nationalism. The twentieth 
century is developing to fruitfulness, through 
terrible birth agonies, the idea of a harmoni- 
ous internationalism composed of democratic 
nation-communities, equal in right though 
not all sovereign, freely exchanging ideas and 
products, and contributing loyally to the 
welfare of the whole. In that society the 
twelve millions of Jews have their great part to 
play. They are the most perfectly dispersed, 
and at the same time the most consciously 
distinctive, of peoples ; but to play their part, 
without wearing the badge of sufferance, they 
must have, like every other national unit, their 
own national centre in which those will live 
who are anxious to create afresh a conscious 

Before the flood of the war the tide had 
been flowing strongly towards Zionism. 
Among the young generation especially, and 
the men and the women under the age of 
twenty-five on whom the future of a people 
depends, the recognition of Jewish nationality 
and the need of rebuilding a Jewish national 
home, if Judaism was to be a constructive force, 
was continually growing in strength. Not only 
in Eastern and Central Europe, where the 
sting of political persecution and social ostra- 
cism was added, but in France and Italy, 


England and the British Dominions and 
America, where Jews took their full part in 
the life of the country, at almost every Univer- 
sity attended by a considerable number of 
Jewish students, a Zionist society sprang into 
being. The proletariat and the intellectuals 
remained the two main elements of the active 
Zionist body ; but the sentiment for Palestine 
began to spread throughout the circles of the 
bourgeoisie and the ruling families. It was 
partly the influence of Palestinian achievement, 
partly the working of the young idea, that 
brought about this change of view. 

In the year preceding the outbreak of war a 
remarkable number of leaders in Jewry visited 
the Holy Land, among them Baron Edmond 
de Rothschild, the veteran Lord Bountiful of 
the Colonies, and Mr. Henry Morgenthau, then 
the Ambassador to Turkey of the United 
States. Baron Edmond was moved to tears by 
the joy he experienced over the living Hebrew 
tongue which he met wherever he went. The 
pilgrimage was coming to be regarded as a 
necessary qualification for Zionist leadership, 
and usually made or converted a sympathiser 
into an enthusiast. The effect which the 
sight of the budding Jewish life had on those 
willing to seek it is illustrated by some remarks 
made by Mr. Morgenthau in an interview 
after his return. “ Everywhere,” he said, “ I 
encountered proud, free and contented beings ; 
there was nothing of a sense of oppression, no 


trace of bent backs, and of those furtive glances 
which are characteristic of jews who have to 
endure persecution, the sad product of cen- 
turies of Ghetto life. Men stood before me 
who were not wanting in self-consciousness 
and self-respect, men who believed in them- 
selves and in their future. I saw there too, 
women and girls at work in the fields and the 
gardens, and also amusing themselves by 
dancing. It was hardly believable that these 
were the same women and girls who, only a 
brief while ago, worked with bent frames at the 
sewing machine, or were students who indus- 
triously pored over books. Instinctively I 
thought of the freed bird which, as soon as it 
emerges from its narrow cage, soars into the 
pure air of the woods and fields and bursts into 
joyous song.’ 5 

Thirty years of pioneer work had made the 
Yishub already a pride and inspiration to the 
whole of Jewry. And during the war the 
sentiment has hardened into a conviction that 
the opportunity for the Jewish restoration has 
come. In every part of the world the Jewish 
democracy is demanding that at the end of the 
war Palestine shall be a Jewish country, and 
every democracy in the world supports their 
demand. It found its consecration in the 
Declaration of the British Government on 
November 2nd, 1917, which will for ever be 
a red-letter day in Jewish history, proclaiming 
that England views with sympathy the Zionist 


effort towards the establishment of a Jewish 
national home in Palestine, and pledges its 
best endeavours to the securing of that object. 

At the Congress of Vienna in 1815, with 
which the war era of the French Revolution 
at last came to an end, the Jewish representa- 
tives who hovered on the outskirts of the 
gathering were concerned to secure for the 
Jewish communities of Central Europe, what 
the communities of France had already 
secured — civil and political rights. They 
wanted Jews to be counted of the nation, but 
not as a nation. At the Congress which will 
follow the war of our own era the representa- 
tives of the Jews, admitted it may be hoped as 
the spokesmen of a nationality, will ask of the 
assembled Powers that their claims to return 
to their historic home as a people may be 
granted in order that they may make the land 
again a fruitful centre, fruitful with the 
products of nature and fruitful also with the 
products of human life : “ Joy and gladness 
shall be found in it, song and the sound of 




“ The nation, in every country,” said John 
Bright, “ dwells in the cottage.” Common 
origin, common history, common language, 
common religion, common ideals, these are all 
.elements of nationality : but they only com- 
bine to produce the fine flower of a nation 
when the people which possesses them is rooted 
in a soil. For it is by contact with the land, by 
long association with certain scenes and sights, 
and by continual intercourse with Nature in 
all her moods in a particular country, that the 
character of a folk is called out. A people may 
preserve its individuality, and keep alive its 
spiritual heritage, though divorced from the 
soil. But it cannot in that condition attain the 
higher pinnacles of creative thought. It will 
live, but not live well. For nigh two thousand 
years the Jews, dispersed over the habitable 
globe, have maintained their national exist- 
ence : but since the Roman Emperors and 

Christian Bishops exiled them from Palestine 
they have not added fresh treasures to the 
e 49 


world’s thought worthy of the Nation which 
gave to humanity the prophets of Judaea, the 
Psalmists, the writers of the Wisdom literature, 
or the religious Reformers of the first and 
second centuries. The uprooting from the 
land has meant the decay of the Jewish genius, 
so that the Jew to-day in the eyes of the mass 
of mankind is a type of commercial success. 
Circumstances have forced their genius into 
less worthy channels ; regeneration must pro- 
ceed from the soil. Palestine cannot be yhe 
centre of a living Jewish culture until it is also 
a land cultivated by a Jewish population, settled 
in their own homesteads, and earning their 
bread by the sweat of their brow. 

The prophets of the first Exile pictured the 
return as bringing a revival of fertility to the 
land of Israel : “ God will make the wilder- 
ness of Judaea as Eden, and her dry places as 
the garden of the Lord.” £C Every man shall 
sit beneath his vine and beneath his fig-tree.” 
And these pictures of the restoration have been 
instilled into the minds of every generation of 
the people in the long dispersion which has 
forced them first from the soil of their own 
land and then from the soil altogether, and 
driven them into congested “ Jewish quarters,” 
where they have been cut off from the beauties 
of God’s earth. The ideal which they have 
cherished finds simple expression in the prayer 
of the Eve of Passover, marking the culmina- 
tion of the service of the Festival of Freedom, 


5 * 

in which thanks are given “for the vine and for 
the fruit of the vine, for the produce of the 
field and for the desirable and goodly and 
ample land which thou wast pleased to grant 
as an heritage to our ancestors that they might 
eat of its fruits and be sated with its bounties,” 
as they yearn to be. The love of Nature has 
been preserved, not only in this but in each of 
the great festivals of the Jewish year. Passover 
is the feast of the barley harvest : Pentecost of 
the first-fruits : Tabernacles of the ingathering 
of the vintage. A national holiday, observed 
in the Ghetto, though almost forgotten by 
emancipated Jewry, marks the day on which * 
the trees begin to put forth their leaf in 
Palestine after the winter’s cold. This “ New 
Year of the Trees,” which falls in February, is 
a kind of Jewish May-day. It has a certain 
pa|hos, also, that at the Passover and Taber- 
nacle festivals the ritual contains special 
prayers for dew and rain. Everywhere through- 
out the Diaspora, the Jew still utters, in their 
due season, the prayers for the moisture and the 
showers that mean so much to Palestine. 

There is a widespread notion that Jews have 
an inveterate distaste and an inherent incapa- 
city for agricultural life, and that they turn, 
everywhere, of their free choice, to commerce 
and industry and the liberal professions. It is 
indeed generally recognised that, as long as 
Palestine was the national centre, they were 
essentially an agricultural and pastoral people. 


The evidence of the Bible is too clear upon the 
point to be gainsaid ; and it requires the im- 
perturbable ingenuity of the anti-Semitic Ger- 
man professors to find signs of their predestined 
commercial development and their huckstering 
nature in the Scriptures. It is not, however, 
so generally known that for centuries after the 
return from Babylon, indeed so long as they 
were permitted to dwell in their own country, 
the Jews remained in heart and in deed attached 
to the soil. The settled life on the land was 
always their ideal of happiness, whether con- 
trasted with the nomad life of those who 
trafficked in caravans over the desert or the 
limited freedom of the artisan’s bench and the 
merchant’s counting-house. 

Josephus explains the silence of the classical 
Greek historians about his people by the fact 
that they did not engage in trade, as did the 
Phoenicians or the Egyptians. “ We neither 
inhabit the maritime country, nor do we de- 
light in merchandise : but having a fruitful 
country for our habitation, we devote ourselves 
to its cultivation.” The brutal devastation of 
their land by the Roman legions, and the 
attempt to drive them from their homes which 
followed on the struggle against Titus, and the 
still more desperate outbreak against Hadrian, 
could not destroy their love of the soil. Ex- 
cluded from Judaea they founded new home- 
steads in Galilee and in Babylon. The rabbis 
of the early centuries of the civil era are never 



weary of drawing homilies in praise of the 
pursuit of agriculture. From the verse in the 
Psalms : “ The Heavens are the heavens of 
the Lord, but the Earth hath He given to the 
sons of men,” one of the sages- taught that “ he 
who owns no land is no man.” Another inter- 
preted the saying in Proverbs : “ He who 

works his ground shall be satisfied with bread,” 
to mean that if a man works as a labourer on 
the soil he shall gain his" sustenance, and if he 
does not he shall go unsatisfied. “ He that 
buyeth corn in the market,” said another u is 
like a babe whose mother dies and he is given 
over to other nurses, but is never satisfied.” 
Frequent also are the praises of the agricultural, 
as compared with the commercial, life. “ He 
that toils after money while he has no land, 
what enjoyment hath he from his work ? ” 
Characteristic also is the rabbinical joy in the 
day of rain, which is u greater than the day on' 
which the dead are quickened. The latter is 
for the righteous and wicked alike : the former 
for the righteous alone.” “ It is greater,” says 
another teacher, “ than the day on which the 
Torah (Law of Moses) was given* The giving 
of the Torah was a joy to Israel only ; but rain 
is a joy for all mankind, and a blessing which 
absorbs all others.” Every page of the Prayer 
Book marks the permanence of this sentiment 
in the Jewish soul. 

When they were driven from their own land, 
the Jews of the West continued to be largely 


devoted to agriculture. It is not before the 
fourth or the fifth century that they are dis- 
tinguished in commerce, or prominent for 
their wealth in money. In Carthage, in Spain, 
and in Southern France they held to their 
ancestral vocation, till the Church, barbarous 
itself after its victory over the barbarians, set 
itself to tear them from the soil and forced 
them into uncongenial callings. And the love 
of Nature and the desire to till the soil, though 
it has been but a dream for scores of genera- 
tions, has never died away, any more than the 
yearning to return to the old home. 

It is not surprising, therefore, that one of 
the outstanding features of the Palestinian 
revival has been the return of the Jew in his 
old land to his old way of life. Scattered up 
and down the country are a number of Jewish 
agricultural villages which are commonly spoken 
of as the “ Colonies,” and contain together 
a population of over 12,000 souls. The word 
“ colony ” is used in the old Latin sense of a 
small community engaged in agriculture, and 
an outpost of the higher civilisation. Nor is 
it in Palestine only that the Jews have returned 
to the peasant life. Apart from some 25,000 
Jewish families (representing 150,000 persons) 
living on the soil in Russia, there are twice as 
many Jewish farmers in the Argentine as in 
Palestine, and nearly three times as many in 
the United States. In Canada, too, over 5,000 
have been settled in villages of the North- 



Western provinces during the last twenty 
years, and are prospering. These growing 
settlements have been promoted mainly by 
the Jewish Colonisation Association, the body 
to which Baron de Hirsch, aspiring to solve the 
Russo-Jewish problem by emigration back to 
the land, bequeathed twenty years ago a 
fortune of some nine million pounds. One of 
the Hirsch foundations in America is an agri- 
cultural college at Woodbine which trains 
annually about 150 pupils. The Alliance 
Israelite controls an agricultural school in 
Palestine, another in Tunis, and a third in 
Smyrna. The foundation of the agricultural 
school, Mikveh Israel , near Jaffa, in 1870, 
was the first step in the systematic settle- 
ment. It was due to the enthusiasm of a Jew 
of the Levant who, coming to France, pro- 
claimed in and out of season, and in the end 
convinced the most completely emancipated 
Jewry of Europe, that the Jewish problem 
might be solved by the return of the Jews to 
life on the land. 

The first colony to be founded (in 1873) was 
the hamlet of Moza , about six miles west of 
Jerusalem, on the site of the place where the 
willow branches for the Temple service at the 
harvest festival used to be plucked. It was 
followed by the foundation, in 1879, of Petach 
Pikvah (the Gate of Hope), a few miles from 
Jaffa, and in 1882 by the establishment of 
Rischon-le-Zion , in the same district, and 


Zic hr on- Jakob, near Carmel, farther north. 
The pioneers of the colonisation were young 
Russian and Roumanian refugees. The first 
Hebrew letters to the Biblical exhortation : 
“ O house of Israel, come let us go forth ! ” 
gave the name “ Bilu,” by which these 
pioneers were known. Some hundreds planted 
themselves in half a dozen other settlements 
during the eighties, making up for lack of 
farming experience by their enthusiasm. Their 
crops were attacked by droughts and locusts, 
and their bodies by malaria and fever, but by 
the help of Baron Edmond, head of the French 
house of Rothschild, who took the colonists 
under his wing, they were enabled to with- 
stand the inevitable trials and losses of colon- 
isers in a neglected country. The French 
administration of the Baron, it is true, brought 
at first a brazen yoke as well as a golden car ; 
it was often controlled by people who had 
inadequate sympathy with the national idea, 
the adventurers and tadpoles of the philan- 
thropic world. But one great and solid gain 
may be accounted to this early administration : 
the number of settlements increased, and the 
roots were firmly fixed in the soil. Gradually 
the bad features of the new regime became 
visible to the Baron, and were removed. The 
Jewish farmers, and the Jewish villagers, were 
the nucleus of the national revival, when 
Herzl’s trumpet call transformed a student’s 
dream into a people’s awakening. 



In the decade preceding the war the agricul- 
tural movement in Palestine was one of the 
chief objectives of Zionist effort : and in 1914 
there were some forty settlements ranging in 
population from three thousand in Petach 
Tikvah to less than one hundred in the smaller 
settlements, and comprising altogether an area 
of near 100,000 acres and a total population of 
twelve thousand. One- tenth of the Jewish 
inhabitants of Palestine lived in these colonies 
or villages, and about one-thirtieth of the soil 
of the country was in their hands. That is still 
a small proportion : but seeing that only eight 
per cent of the whole land area of Palestine is 
fully cultivated, and that the Jewish settle- 
ments are everywhere oases of development 
amid the wilderness of half-cultivation and 
neglect, the colonies play a larger part in the 
life of the country than their size and popula- 
tion might suggest. They play a still more 
striking part in the Jewish life. They are 
outposts of the new Hebraism, the first rough 
sketches of the Jewish community which is to 
be ; and, under the influence of the national 
movement, they will develop into the full 

Petach Tikvah is the largest as well as 
almost the oldest of the settlements, and that 
which the Jewish visitor usually sees first* 
because it lies near to Jaffa. When you have 
travelled along the Jaffa-Nablous road for a 
few miles, past the neat houses and the well- 


ordered fields of the German Templars’ village 
of Sarona, there can be seen stretching away 
to the east the green freshness of orange 
orchards, the rich tilth of well-cultivated 
fields, and the clustering of red-tiled roofs 
which bespeak the meeting of the West and 
East. The coming and going of waggons and 
American carts bearing Hebrew signs, and full 
of men and women who derive unmistakably 
from the Ghetto, prepare you for the entrance 
to the Jewish land. You skirt a river, deep set 
between banks of luxurious vegetation (the 
Nahr-el-Auja), and you pass on to the cluster 
of houses amid which the synagogue and 
school stand out. The synagogue is a gaunt 
bare building. It has been compared by a 
non-Jewish observer to a “ Methodist chapel, 
puritanical in its whole style, reflecting the 
religion of an ancient and tenacious race, 
which has long since discarded ritual for legal 
codes of morality in its religious life.” The 
writer can hardly have assisted at a service in 
the synagogue, or he would have found abun- 
dant survivals of ritual. But from the outside 
there is certainly little of the decorative, and 
scant appeal to the senses. The village is 
rather closely packed, for there was a tendency 
in the earlier settlements to create new Ghet toes 
for old. The emigrants from Russia and 
Roumania had been so used to live in cramped 
circumstances that they could not at first take 
advantage of Nature’s spaciousness in their 



new home. The houses here lie close together 
in one or two streets, not indeed huddled 
pell-mell like the huts of an Arab hamlet 
(which are only second to Egyptian villages 
in unfitness for human habitation), but lacking 
garden space or open places. There is nothing 
like a village green or a common, such as gives 
a bright and free appearance to the humblest 
homes of rural England ; no village pond for 
the ducks and geese ; no cricket-pitch for the 
boys. It is a village community whose tie is 
rather in learning and literature and language, 
than in long association upon a particular piece 
of land. 

In this respect the neighbouring German 
settlements founded by the sect of Templars, 
who emigrated in the “ sixties ” to the Holy 
Land to establish the good life communisti- 
cally, are a better model. The homesteads 
have pretty gardens, and the roads are turned 
to avenues with shady trees. But Petach 
Tikvah is also now expanding on the better 
lines, and a good many detached villas with 
gardens around them have been built of late. 
Attached to the Colony also are two settle- 
ments of Jewish working men, “ Poalim ” as they 
are called, who are employed by the farmers 
and have little garden plots of their own. The 
chief cultivation is of oranges. The groves 
which cover the dunes and plains for miles 
around Jaffa produce the large oranges for 
which Jaffa is famous, and the Jewish settlers 


have been quick to take to a form of agriculture 
which gives scope to intelligence. The groves 
are irrigated from the river, or from artesian 
wells, by petrol engines, which are tended 
by the Jewish workmen. 

It was made a reproach against the first 
development of Jewish colonisation thau the 
settlers were supervisors rather than true 
farmers, and employed Arab labour for the 
work of the fields. There was a danger of 
landlord-colonies cultivated by the less intelli- 
gent labouring class who looked with jealous 
eyes on their physically inferior masters. But 
during the last decade the need for encourag- 
ing the employment of Jewish labour has been 
universally recognised. For all kinds of skilled 
labour the emigrant Jew of Eastern Europe is 
better suited than the native Arab, and a large 
Jewish unskilled labour force has been found 
in the immigrants from Arabia, who are moving 
rapidly into the Holy Land. The Jews of the 
Yemen have been largely hewers of wood and 
drawers of water to the Arabs, and the opening 
of Palestine to immigration has seemed to 
them a veritable beginning of the Messianic 
age. They have a lower standard of living 
than the immigrants from Europe, and a 
greater aptitude for bodily toil ; and they 
have also a simple faith and a religious devotion 
which protects them from the restlessness of 
mind and body that attacks the wanderers 
from the European Ghetto. They live to some 


6 T 

extent their own lives, having their own 
habitations and synagogues and rabbis ; but 
their relations with the Russian Jews are per- 
fectly friendly, and the School, the great con- 
ciliator, rapidly breaks down, in the younger 
generation, the line of cleavage. Education 
will doubtless have the effect of raising the 
standard of living, which may affect the fitness 
of the Yemenites for the field work which they 
do to-day ; but when that change takes place 
a generation, it is hoped, will have grown up 
in the Colonies which will have more genuinely 
than its parents the peasant mind, and will 
till and plough, not as a strange occupation 
endured from love of the Holy Land, but as its 
natural work, inspired by love of the soil. 

Journeying once to Palestine I met aboard 
the steamer a bright young boy from Petach 
Tikvah, the son of a teacher in the school, who 
had been to Europe to have his eyes treated,' 
and was travelling with a party of Chaluka 
Jews of the class that spend all their time in 
prayer and study. When I asked him what he 
wanted to be when he grew up, he said he was 
undecided whether he wanted to be a gardener 
or a lawyer. The doubt was characteristic of 
a village boy sprung from a line of rabbis and 
scholars ; but it was something that he should 
consider horticulture as a serious rival to the 
law for a vocation. A child of the European 
Ghetto would not have had regard to that 


The population in the Colonies falls into two 
religious sections, the nationalists and the 
orthodox ; or those who attend the synagogues 
and those who refrain. Many of the early 
colonists were drawn from the pious com- 
munities in Jerusalem and so-called Holy 
towns, and had previously spent the better 
part of their days in prayer and study. They 
represent the extreme standpoint of religious 
observance which has been intensified by the 
life of the Ghetto. Some of the more recent 
settlers and the Poalim or working men, on the 
other hand, are drawn from the emancipated 
youth of Russian Jewry, to whom the Haskala, 
or “ Enlightenment,” movement has brought 
a revolution of ideas without any new faith or 
firm basis of religious belief. Non-observance 
is for them a principle, and they represent an 
extreme nationalising standpoint which has 
been intensified by the environment of the 
Ghetto. They regard Palestine as the land of 
free life, unhampered either by the law of the 
Pale or by the laws of the Bible. Religious 
conditions in modern Palestine started from 
two extremes ; but in the colonies generally a 
middle way is being gradually reached, both for 
religious observance and religious teaching. 

The main body in the villages holds in" 
practice to a conservative standpoint in 
Judaism which is free from the rigour of the 
very orthodox as well as from the studied 
laxness of the radicals. Religious ceremonies 



which may seem obsolete and irksome else- 
where become natural and welcome in the 
villages of Judaea and Galilee. The remark of 
a Russian orator at one of the Zionist Con- 
gresses that in the Diaspora the Jew who seeks 
to be orthodox cannot avoid breaking the law, 
while in Palestine the Jew who is indifferent 
cannot avoid observance, has a measure of 
truth. The Palestinian Colonies are in this 
respect remarkably contrasted with Jewish 
agricultural settlements in other countries. 
In the Argentine and Brazil, in the United 
States and Canada, in the colonies which have 
been promoted by the Jewish Colonisation 
Association, Judaism seems rapidly to decay 
and wither away. Material prosperity brings 
with it materialism of thought. Though the 
environment is Jewish, and there is not the 
destructive influence of a powerful industrial 
civilisation, yet the religious and spiritual life 
are none the less rapidly submerged. On the 
other hand, in Palestine a conscious spiritual 
and religious development makes for the 
blending of the ideas of to-day with the 
national heritage. At the moment the spiritual 
development, showing itself in language and 
literature and education, is the more promi- 
nent ; but by the side of the revived Hebraism, 
a revived Judaism is springing up which is 
destined to be the basis of a fresh inspiration 
to the Jews of the whole world. 

It is on the Sabbath day that the religious 


life of the Palestine settlements is best dis- 
cerned. Not that the day is marked by any 
ceremonies unknown to the Ghetto, but a new 
spirit inspires the old practices. The cessation 
from all work throughout the village — and the 
Arab labourers no less than the colonists take 
their rest on the Sabbath — the special pre- 
parations in each household to secure the 
brightness of the day, the Sabbath clothes 
which are donned by man, woman, and child, 
and above all the joyousness and gaiety which 
characterise the village from the Friday eve 
to the Sabbath night — these things proclaim 
the realisation of the spirit of the day in a way 
which cannot be attained either in a European 
Ghetto or any Western town. The younger 
men, or what is equally important, the younger 
women, seldom indeed take part in public 
worship, and the synagogue remains out of 
touch, even to the method of pronouncing 
Hebrew, with the new life-; but everybody is 
at rest, and everybody is becomingly dressed 
in honour of the day ; the youths and maidens 
take their walks together ; the older people 
pay visits to each others’ homes ; the reading- 
room and club-room — the Beth- Am (or House 
of the People), as it is called — is full of boys and 
girls speaking Hebrew to one another, or read- 
ing Hebrew journals and reviews. Here are 
the seeds of a Sabbath which may well be 
called a day of delight ; not a Puritan 
Sabbath indeed — that was never the Jewish 



mode — but a da y of repose with a touch of 
holiness, and a day on which every person may 
call his soul his own. 

On the working days it is in the early morn- 
ing and the early evening that the Jewish 
Colony everywhere is seen at its best. In the 
first hours of sunlight the colonist rides or 
drives out with his working tools or imple- 
ments ; the Arab labourer or Jewish workman 
leads the beasts from their stalls, the women 
feed their poultry, and the children troop to 
school. And at the setting of the sun, the men 
come in from their work and everybody is 
about in the streets, the animals are driven to 
their stalls, and the young people promenade. 
In the interval between sunrise and sunset the 
village itself is quiet save when the diligence 
starts out or returns from the larger towns, 
where all the marketing is done. There are 
few shops in the colonies. In the smaller 
settlements the druggist is often the one and 
only shopkeeper, and his is rather a profession 
than a trade — a busy one indeed as the colonists 
are keen on the wares of the apothecary. A 
few general dealers have established themselves 
in the bigger villages ; but the Jewish farmers 
and labourers have more mobility than the 
ordinary countrymen, and regularly go to the 
town when they want to buy things. 

One of the most serious problems of the 
colonisation movement is how to extend the 
area of the colonies so as to provide scope for 


the younger generation when they grow up 
and need land of their own. The Jewish immi- 
grant has driven up the price of land : for the 
Arab, though backward in other things, has 
been awake in his appreciation of the enhanced 
demand. Hence, hitherto the size of the 
colonies has increased slowly, and the more 
usual method of expansion has been to acquire 
a tract in another part of the country and 
settle the young men there. A constellation 
of settlements is congregated around Jaffa. 
Besides Petach Tikvah, and its two little 
dependencies there are two larger settlements, 
Rischon-le-Zion and Rechoboth , and three 
smaller, W adi-el-Ghanin, Katra and Ekron. 
They all owe their origin to the enthusiasm of 
the Russian “ Lovers of Zion.” They all, 
except Rechoboth, which was established and 
has been maintained on lines of self-depend- 
ence, received a considerable measure of 
support from Baron Edmond de Rothschild. 
To-day all are free from the direct administra- 
tion of the Jewish Colonisation Association 
(Baron de Hirsch’s foundation for Jewish 
settlements), to which the control of the 
Rothschild colonies was in 1899 transferred. 
Most of the colonists are independent, and the 
rest are gradually repaying their loans to the 
I.C.A., as the Association is familiarly called. 
Their chief cultivation is of grapes and 
oranges, and the co-operative principle is 
widely established. The whole wine industry 



is controlled by a single co-operative society, 
the Societe Vigneronne Co-operative, or 
Carmel , which has its centre and its 
“ caves,” or wine vaults, at Rischon. The 
Baron endowed that colony munificently with 
a splendid wine-plant, and the vaults are said 
to be the third largest in the world. The wines 
are exported, largely to Egypt, and also to 
Russia, France, England and the United States, 
and find a good market not only among Jews, 
who doubtless prefer them for sentimental 
reasons, but also among the general public. 

Rischon-le-Zion (First in Zion) is in many 
ways the favourite child of the Baron, and its 
red-roofed houses, peeping out amid the big 
trees which have grown up around it, give a 
striking air of prosperity. It has too, a fine 
park filled with tropical plants — another token 
of the Baron’s munificence — which was de- 
signed to be a training nursery for the Judaean 
Colonies, and is now a pleasure-place. But 
Rischon has not yet altogether recovered from 
the enervating atmosphere of philanthropy. 

Rechoboth is a more progressive settlement. 
Its name means “ enlargement,” and it has in 
fact grown within the last ten years from a few 
scattered houses to a colony of nearly a 
thousand souls. Several leaders of the Russo- 
Jewish culture have taken up their abode 
here ; and the intellectual life of the place is 
very vigorous. I was present some years ago 
at a general meeting of the inhabitants, which 


decided on the creation of a club-house ; and 
one could not help being struck with the public 
spirit which prevailed and with the power of 
the leader of the colony, a strong man of few 
words, over a gathering full of talents. The 
equality of men and women in the direction 
of communal affairs was signally illustrated by 
the woman’s equal right of voting and speak- 
ing, and the exercise of those rights. The 
colonies are almost unconsciously fashioning a 
new relation of man and woman in the East. 
Equality is secured without any of the struggles 
which mark the process in the West : because 
here there is no vested interest to crush, and no 
unthinking mass to arouse to consciousness. 
Sex-equality appears axiomatic to the Jewish 
“ intelligenzia ” of Russia : it can be, and is, 
immediately realised in the Yishub. 

The government of the Jewish village com- 
munities offers a striking example both of the 
growth of representative institutions, and of 
the effective sanction of public opinion in an 
intelligent people. It was the one redeeming 
point of the Turkish regime that, not only 
did it not govern, but it made little attempt 
to govern, so that the settlements were left to 
develop along their own lines. There was 
no grant of municipal or village autonomy ; 
but in fact autonomy existed. Almost the 
only work of the Turkish authorities was the 
collection of taxes, and this was done, not 
individually, but by villages. This condition 



of things, therefore, necessitated the appoint- 
ment of a representative, or agent, among the 
colonists, who was the intermediary between 
the principal governor, the Vali, or Kaimakam, 
and the inhabitants of the village. The value 
of the harvest of the whole community was 
estimated, and the U-sher (the government 
tithe) was fixed on the whole : it was for the 
agent, known as the Mukhtar, to render this 
sum to the Governor, together — it is needless 
to say, with the usual concomitant of back- 
sheesh for the various officials concerned. 
Turkish tribunals of justice, so called, existed 
in each district ; but they were avoided for all 
civil affairs, and in criminal affairs were so 
notoriously corrupt, that an aggrieved person 
seldom had recourse to them. Many of the 
Jewish settlers retained their foreign nation- 
ality of origin, in order to escape this un- 
satisfactory jurisdiction. 

With regard to policing the roads and hills, 
making highways and developing communica- 
tions, guarding against disease and infection, 
and generally promoting the welfare of the 
people and the prosperity of the country, the 
Turkish government pursued a thorough policy 
of laissez faire , save only that it put certain 
obstacles in the way, by obstructing immigra- 
tion, prohibiting foreign subjects from holding 
land, and refusing to allow buildings to be 
erected or extended on open lands without 
first obtaining a special Kushan , or land 


certificate. All these obstacles seemed de- 
signed rather as opportunities for replacing 
government pay of officials by private contri- 
butions, and the whole system was one of 
obstruction, tempered by douceurs. The 
Young Turks during their seven troubled 
years of power, before the war, had made 
some half-hearted and somewhat ineffectual 
attempts to improve things ; and in Palestine 
they had instituted something in the way of 
police, which had sporadic fits of energy. They 
had done something, too, in the way of road- 
making, mainly for military purposes. But 
scarcely any change had taken place in the 
relation of the government to the Jewish 
village communities. 

Each colony has a Committee ( Fa-ad) elected 
by popular suffrage, which exercises the general 
conduct and management of all matters of 
common concern. But beyond that there is 
no universality of system. In some cases only 
land-holders may have the final vote : in 

others a wider franchise has been conceded, 
and all adults living in the colony for a certain 
period are entitled to take part in the election 
of the Committee. In some cases the Com- 
mittee appoints a single executive official, who 
is, as it were, the Mayor, and wields a large 
power ; in others, the Committee as a whole, 
or a delegation of it, exercise the executive as 
well as the deliberative functions. The chief 
matters for which the local government is 


7 1 

responsible are justice, police, schools, roads, 
water supply and sanitation, including medical 

Justice is administered, in matters of re- 
ligious law, by the Rabbi ; in matters of private 
or civil differences, by arbitrators appointed 
by the Committee. So high is the repute of 
the Jewish justice, that the Arabs of the 
neighbourhood often bring before it their 
quarrels for settlement. The protection of 
the villages and fields, both against robbers or 
marauders and any internal trouble, is secured 
by the Shomerim (literally, Watchmen), who 
are the local police. They are young men, 
mostly Russians, who are organised for the 
whole of the settlements in a regular trade 
union, appoint their own officers, have their 
own rate of wages and hours of work, and are 
regarded with something of hero-worship. In 
many parts of the country they do really carry 
their lives in their hands, for they are liable to 
meet with lawless Bedouin tribes who when 
excited will stop at no violence. The Shome- 
rim themselves look like Arabs of the country, 
dressed in flowing burnouse with their 
kefiyehs, or white shawls, on their heads and 
carbines slung over their shoulders. But they 
take pride in speaking Hebrew. 

The water supply and the schools and 
medical attendance are already developed 
throughout the new Jewish life in Palestine 
on a communal basis. They are matters 


neither of charity, as in the old Jewish settle- 
ments, nor of private enterprise — as they are 
still in many European societies — but of public 
concern and public interest. The community 
levies a rate directly for these services, and 
also imposes a light tax for the same purpose 
on the sale of meat killed ritually. Failure to 
pay, except for good reason, is met by cutting 
off the supply. Moreover the control of these 
services by the representatives of the com- 
munity facilitates the execution of any decision 
of the Committee (Va-ad) whether given in 
an arbitration or legal suit or at a public 
meeting. The defaulter or resister finds his 
water supply cut off, his children excluded 
from the school, his household deprived of 
medical help ; for there is no private school 
or private doctor to whom to turn. The action 
in practice is as effective as that of the public 
force of the State in more regularly constituted 
communities, and it is sufficient, with the 
moral force of the Committee, to secure com- 
plete respect for the ruling of the people’s 

Another function of the Committee is to 
assess the Government tax in conjunction with 
the Mukhtar, equitably between the colonists. 
It knows the circumstances of each landowner, 
and so far there has been no outburst of graft 
or suspicion of corruption. One further 
development which has been mooted, and 
partially put in practice (in the Jaffa Suburb, 


Tel- Aviv) , is the taxation of improved land 
values so as to secure for the community the 
benefit which the improvement has brought. 
The betterment tax is in keeping with the 
socialistic character of the Biblical law of the 
Release, and its introduction shows the general 
line of tendency in the new settlements. 

Apart from the organisation of the S home- 
rim, little has been done, as yet, to federate the 
village committees under provincial govern- 
ment, or to form any kind of central Jewish 
council. On one or two occasions the villages 
have combined together for a common purpose, 
such as roadmaking and sanitation, but the 
larger development is for the future. So far 
there has been a natural and spontaneous 
movement towards wide self-government in 
the most advanced form by the villages. Out- 
ward conditions have strangely favoured it, 
and fostered the transformation of a people 
who had lived for generations in the Ghetto 
without any free political institutions, except 
such as were gathered round the synagogue, 
into self-reliant democratic communities. That 
is a development of excellent augury for the 
future when Palestine will be a Jewish country 
and these village communities will form the 
basis of free national councils and munici- 

Of the smaller colonies near Jaffa, Wadi-el 
Chanin, Katra and Ekron, the second offers 
the greatest interest and may be taken as 


typical. It lies hard by the probable site of 
the ancient Jabneh, where Jochanan-ben- 
Zakkai was allowed by Titus to set up the 
“ Scholars’ Garden ” which saved Judaism 
when the Temple was destroyed. The associa- 
tion of the place invites to a combination of 
study and the cultivation of the soil ; and the 
present settlement has achieved that combina- 
tion. The village might well be called the 
“ New Vineyard of Jabneh.” The colonists 
are Russian Jews who came in their youth 
fresh from a Yeshiba to the Yishub — from the 
college to the colony — in order to realise the 
prophet’s ideal. They have never lost their 
love of learning amid their other occupations, 
and they may be compared in character with 
the Pilgrim Fathers of New England. 

A personal reminiscence of mine is suggestive 
of the outlook and way of living of these 
scholar-farmers. My first visit to Katra was 
on a khamsin day, the wind was blowing sand, 
and we were weary with our ride. I looked 
for a house where we might rest and accosted 
an old man who was sawing wood on his 
balcony. He came out at once and led us into 
the house, and showered Eastern hospitality 
upon us. We were a party of five and without 
asking a question he gave us water to wash 
hands and feet, couches to lie on, provisions to 
eat, his finest buttermilk, his best cognac to 
drink. He was grieved that he had no wine 
and that his place was ill-provided because it 



was near Passover. All this time he was not 
even sure that we were Jews, but he genuinely 
loved the stranger within his gates. When he 
found that we were Jews from England he was 
delighted, and when he heard that I was the 
son of the jurist who drew up the statutes of 
the Jewish National Bank (the financial instru- 
ment of Zionism) he almost jumped with joy. 
He brought out all his treasures, his books, his 
writings, his letters, his pictures, and told us 
his history. Ele had been just a Teshiba 
Bochur (a student in a Talmudic college) and 
then a Melammed (teacher) in Russia for some 
twenty years. Not content with thinking 
Zionism, and desiring a larger life, he came to 
Palestine with a few enthusiasts like himself. 
They bought each their little plot at Katra. 
He had lived in the colony, its leader and 
counsellor for nearly thirty years, farmer-rabbi 
and priest in one. Ele was almost seventy 
years old now, but hale and strong and without 
the suspicion of a stoop, altogether a fine type 
of the Jew regenerated, returning to the old 
life of the rabbi in the national epoch, working 
at once with hand and mind, combining in a 
full sense Derech Eretz (The Way of the Land) 
with Talmud Torah (the Study of the Law). 
His tolerance and liberality were as charming 
as his hospitality. Fervent and proved Zionist 
as he was, he yet appreciated the ideal under- 
lying ZangwilPs project for the foundation of 
a Jewish territory elsewhere — it was the day 


when there was talk of an Itoland — and even 
respected the attitude of anti-Zionists, pro- 
vided they remained Jews. Israel, he said, has 
been and was to be Kahal-Amim (a congrega- 
tion of peoples), and there was no single way of 
righteousness for them either in religious or 
political life. He had lately suffered a little 
. experience typical of the hard struggle that 
the pioneers on the land must face. His son 
caught a Bedouin thieving at night, and 
struck him. A few days later he was, in re- 
venge, set upon by Arabs and, using a revolver 
to defend himself, shot a man dead. The hue 
and cry was raised and the colony was attacked. 
The son had to leave the country for the Jewish 
agricultural colony near Smyrna, and the father 
had to pay 1,200 francs — a large part of his 
savings — as blood money to the Arabs. Even 
so, his house was raided, and it still bore signs 
of the devastation, but his eyes filled with fire 
as he told us how he and his other son had 
driven off the invaders. His mother and wife 
were buried in the garden, each under a tree 
of which the fruit was dedicated to the poor. 
Having recounted his history he showed us the 
colony. Starting with his own plantation, 
which comprised a little vineyard, an almond 
orchard, maize and bean fields, he took us 
round the mile of planted hills and cultivated 
tilth which was owned and worked by the 
twenty colonists and their families. He 
pointed out with pride their distillery — the 



gift of Baron Edmond — and their artesian well 
— the gift of Baroness de Hirsch — and their 
school and synagogue and their chemist’s shop. 
Every colonist had his own little library where 
he studied of an evening when he returned 
from his farming. 

The new Judaea will be achieved when 
colonies like Katra are a hundred times multi- 
plied and linked together in one continuous 
area, stretching to the River of Egypt — the 
Wadi - el - Arish — which was the appointed 
boundary of Israel’s heritage. The most 
southerly colony to-day is Kastinie , the village 
in the plain of the Philistines, west of Ashdod. 
But before the outbreak of war tracts of land 
had been acquired further south for settle- 
ment at Djemana, east of Gaza, and around 
Rafa on the Egyptian side of the old frontier, 
where the just and firm administration of 
England attracted some Jewish pioneers from 
Russia. The war has hindered the develop- 
ment of this new area of Jewish enterprise, but 
it has revealed the wealth of the land regarded 
for generations as a wilderness. Once science 
and industry are applied to it, when the water 
that has for more than a year been led by pipe 
lines and used to maintain great armies on the 
land is turned on to the land itself, then indeed 
the wilderness of the Negeb will blossom as 
the valley of Sharon. 




As in the days of the Kingdom the people were 
divided into two states, Judah and Israel, so in 
the Return the pioneers are divided into two 
groups — those of Judaea and those of the North 
They are not, it is true, any more contending, 
or even rival peoples, but they have their local 
pretensions and their separate prides. Those 
of Judaea will speak of Tel- Aviv, the Jewish 
garden suburb of Jaffa, as the people of London 
will speak of the Hampstead “ Garden City.” 
Those of Galilee will point with pride, as does 
Sydney to its harbour, to the cluster of colonies 
around “ Our Lake,” or to the Jewish domain 
close to Haifa from which arises the new 
Polytechnic. And if, for the present, Judaea 
has the predominance in population because 
of the thousands that live in Jaffa and Jerusa- 
lem, the North has the predominance in 
holding of the land. 

The peaceful penetration has hardly reached 
as yet the interior hill country of Samaria, 
where the mountains are separated by rolling 



and fertile valleys. Nablous, the ancient 
Shechem and the dwelling-place of the 
patriarch Jacob, is the home of the remnant 
of the Samaritan Jews who have maintained 
their holy place at Mount Gerizim for 2,500 
years and still ascend its slopes each Passover 
to offer the sacrifice of the lamb ; but the 
Jew of the West has not established himself 
there. Haifa, however, which is the commer- 
cial centre of all northern Palestine, as Jaffa is 
of southern Palestine, has become one of the 
chief places of the Yishub, and along the coast 
of the Great Sea and the shore of the Lesser 
Sea (of Galilee) the Jewish estate is yearly 

Travelling northwards from Jaffa we reach, 
after a too long interval, the cluster of Jewish 
agricultural colonies which is known as the 
Samarian group. It comprises Chederah , 
Zichron Jacob and its dependencies ( Um-ed - 
Djemal and Schzveiye ), Athlit and the recent 
settlement Kerkur. They all lie near the sea ; 
Chederah, Kerkur and Athlit on the coastal 
plain, the others on the hills which form part 
of the Carmel ridge. The associations of the 
country link it with the Hellenistic era and 
the Crusaders’ invasion, for along this strand 
were the flourishing ports of Caesarea and Dor 
and Sycaminon, once brilliant with all the 
outward show of Greek temples, amphitheatres 
and colonnades. A thousand years later the 
mountain road was dotted with the castles of 



the crusading lords, of which the memory is 
preserved by the beetling ruins of Athlit. The 
most splendid of Hebrew associations with the 
district is the denunciation of idolatry and the 
declaration of God’s Unity by Elijah to the 
children of Israel on Mount Carmel. * The 
traditional site of that event is indeed outside 
the boundaries of the Jewish settlement, on 
the south-eastern spurs of Mount Carmel at a 
spot known as the Meharika (the place of 
turning), which, like many of the Biblical sites, 
is now marked by the presence of a monastery. 
But the whole ridge of Carmel is endeared as 
the type of what is pure and fresh and beauti- 
ful, and throughout the year that ridge is ever 
a delight to the eye and a spur to the imagina- 

Zichron Jacob, the largest village of the 
group, with a population of nearly one thou- 
sand souls, is peculiarly happy in its setting. 
Standing on a hill which rises precipitously 
about 500 feet from the maritime plain, it 
surveys the whole plain of Sharon to the 
south, the Carmel ridge to the Bay of Acre 
on the north, and the hill country of Samaria, 
beautifully intersected with vale and slope, to 
the east. The road by which it is entered from 
the north passes through a narrow defile 
between two encircling arms of the hills that 
here make their last inroad on to the fertile 
plain, and render it, as it were, a preserve 
from the half-cultivated plain about it, which 


is owned or worked by Arab farmers. The 
Arabs can only plough, and have shown no 
capacity for the introduction of western 
methods for plantations, or scientific agricul- 
ture. The zone of each colony is clearly 
defined by the indication of a proper road, 
distinct from the rutty track wdiich leads 
through the Arab villages, by the screens of 
trees, the hedgerows of mimosa and the better 
ordering of the fields. One cannot enter any 
colony without a thrill of feeling that here, in- 
deed, is Jewish land, the work of Jewish hands ; 
nor can one leave it without a pang of regret 
that the area thus reclaimed is still so small, 
and the area to be won still so large. The first 
colonists at Zichron planted vifieyards and the 
fall in the world’s demand for wine, coupled 
with an epidemic of phylloxera, having brought 
ruin to several, caused them to abandon their 
homesteads. But their place has been taken 
up by new settlers, and it is urgent to provide 
new means for the healthy expansion of the 

Chederah is a more spacious colony than 
Zichron. The holding of each colonist is 
large, for the land here was purchased more 
cheaply, being marshy, and when the pioneers 
first settled thirty years ago, it was infested 
with the malaria-carrying mosquito. Before 
the war the colony had been almost purged of 
the pest by the planting of large woods of 
eucalyptus, which gives it the appearance of 




a forest settlement. The houses are not massed 
together, as in the other colonies, but are 
separated by plantations and avenues. The 
afforestation serves also to check the growth of 
another obstacle to agriculture, the sand 
dunes, which threaten to encroach on the 
fertile plain. As our army learnt all too well, 
the dunes stretch already from El-Arish to 
Jaffa in almost unbroken array, and are making 
their way northwards. The sand is said to 
come from the Nile, and this Egyptian invasion 
has gone on relentlessly, year by year, un- 
checked by the Turks, so that miles of the most 
productive part of the coast have been lost. 
A serious effort is made in the Jewish colonies 
to-day to check the danger of sand-choking ; 
and large schemes of afforestation with pines, 
such as the French have carried out in Tunis 
successfully, might altogether stop it. But 
the work of this planting will have to begin 
anew at the end of the war, for the Turks have 
cut down all the trees for their military require- 
ments, and the beauty of Chederah has been 
felled to the ground. 

From Chederah one proceeds by the road 
to Athlit, the other colony of the group. It 
lies by the sea-shore, and we pass on the way 
the scattered ruins of the Hellenistic port of 
CiESAREA, and the site of the Hellenistic Doris, 
now covered by the Arab village of Tantura. 
Caesarea was one of the proud erections of 
Herod, and was designed at once to manifest his 


loyalty to his Roman patrons and his own mag- 
nificence. Marble was brought from Alexandria 
for its palaces and colonnades, and by a curious 
irony of fate, that marble has been transported 
back in recent years from its ruins to Alexandria 
for the construction of private mansions at the 
Egyptian port. In the early centuries of the 
Christian era, Caesarea became the chief city 
of the Holy Land, and* was famous for its 
schools of learning. In the middle ages it was 
a famous fortress ; to-day its port is repre- 
sented by a ruined mole, its commerce by a 
few sailing barges, and its colonnades and 
amphitheatres by a few heaps of stones and 
earthworks. Some Bosnian Moslems, who 
were settled there by the Turks in the middle 
of the nineteenth century, made a sad havoc 
of the ruins which, till their arrival, had been 
imposing. The only sign of the former great- 
ness of the place is a part of the mediaeval wall 
on which the rude huts of the present inhabi- 
tants are now built. 

Tantura is another derelict port some seven 
or eight miles to the north. Here an attempt 
to start a glass factory, which was made by 
one of Baron Edmond’s administrators at a 
most extravagant outlay, ended in failure. The 
record of that failure is to be seen in a tall 
gaunt building surrounded by palms set in a 
hedge of cactus. Malaria and inefficient 
organisation made the experiment abortive. 
In the middle ages, the Jews* were famous 

8 4 


craftsmen in glass, and Benjamin of Tudela, 
the famous traveller, who visited the Jewish 
communities of three continents in the 
eleventh century, records that small com- 
munities in Palestine were then engaged in 
the industry. 

A few miles north of Tantura stands a 
narrow promontory surrounded by the Cru- 
saders’ Castle of Athlit, and hard by lies the 
little colony of the same name and another 
Jewish enterprise, more successful than the 
glass factory, the Jewish Agricultural Experi- 
mental Station. The colony which consists' of 
some dozen homesteads was founded by the 
I.C.A. and is conducted on the metayer 
system, the tenant farmers giving a portion 
of their yearly produce as rent to the Associa- 
tion. One of the peculiarities of the Palestine 
colonisation came to my knowledge in this 
little settlement. Talking with a young 
farmer’s wife I learnt that she was a proselyte 
to Judaism, a Giyurith. She was a Russian 
peasant woman and, like several others, had 
come out to Palestine with her husband and 
brought to her new home an experience of 
peasant life, which is rare among pure Jewesses. 
At Chederah likewise a few Russian “ Seventh 
Day Baptists ” are settled among the Jewish 
colonists, and they regard it as a matter of 
immense pride if one of their family is united 
to a Jew or Jewess. A revival of Jewish 
proselytism may occur in the Yishub, for it is 


not principle, but proscription, which for 
centuries has repressed the Jewish Mission 
among the Gentiles. With the return to free 
conditions Judaism may show its old power of 

The chief present interest of Athlit is the 
Agricultural Station, which lies in the plain 
close under the ledge of Carmel. Its boun- 
daries are unmistakably marked by the begin- 
ning and end of a piece of well-engineered 
roadway, which would do credit to any 
countryside, and is almost unique in the Holy 
Land. The Station is due to the energy and 
enthusiasm of Aaron Aaronson, the son of a 
Roumanian colonist of Zichron, who, having 
served his apprenticeship in agricultural in- 
vestigation with the I.C.A. and the Turkish 
Government, sprang into scientific fame by 
the discovery of wild wheat on the spurs of 
Mount Hermon. He was unmoved by the 
offers of a professorial chair from several 
American universities and resolved to devote 
himself to Palestinian agriculture. Convinced, 
himself, that here was virgin scientific ground 
and fruitful physical soil, he knew how to con- 
vince the enlightened leaders of Jewry in the 
United States of the value of his idea. Julius 
Rosenwald, the multi-millionaire of Chicago, 
became president of an Association registered 
as an American company for the establishment 
of an experimental station in Palestine, and 
among others who were closely asssociated with 



the movement were Jacob Schiff and Nathan 
Strauss. The scheme had grown under his 
hand during the five years of its history before 
the war and the station comprised the stretch 
of land at Athlit, a nursery at Chederah and a 
chemical research laboratory and museum or 
library at Zichron Jacob. The fields at Athlit 
were a model of what all Palestinian fields 
might be if capital and enthusiasm were com- 
bined with science to develop them. Cleared 
of all stones and scientifically drained, they 
produce crops of monster grain which would 
rouse the envy of an American land-booster. 
They are flanked by an avenue of various trees 
which exemplify the varied possibilities T>f 
Palestinian horticulture. The beginnings are 
clearly visible of a park containing the flora of 
all countries which enjoy similar climatic con- 
ditions to those of Palestine. So far the 
Station has produced a display of the possi- 
bilities of cultivation on the land ; but the 
more solid usefulness to which it is destined is 
the determination of the various species which 
will flourish, and the dissemination of good 
stocks and seeds among the colonists, and the 
spreading among them of the knowledge of 
how to train such stocks and seeds. 

In Galilee a third cluster of Jewish colonies 
has been planted which is quite different in 
character from both the Judaean and Samarian 
groups of settlements. The Galilean cluster 
falls indeed into two divisions, the one grouped 


around the Lake of Tiberias, the other lying 
on the uplands in the northern part of the 
country. The rabbis lovingly dwell on the 
variety of nature in the Holy Land, which 
contained, they said, twelve different pro- 
vinces according to the number of the twelve 
tribes, each of which is a land with its different 
fruits and trees. George Adam Smith in our 
day has pointed out the extraordinary variety 
of the vegetation and physical conditions 
which are to be met with in the different 
sections of the country. The dividing line is 
the Vale of Esdraelon, or Jezreel, which 
separates Galilee from Samaria. South of that 
the general nature is sub-tropical, north of it 
we are in a temperate land, save in the Jordan 
Valley, where the vegetation and climate are 
similar to those of the southern part. On the 
hills and uplands, however, of Galilee, corn- 
fields, olives and almonds take the place of the 
orange groves and vineyards of the south. The 
Jewish settlements are rougher and less prettily 
laid out than those in Judaea ; at the same time 
more of the work is done by Jewish labour. 
For their foundations — with the single excep- 
tion of Rosh Pinah — owe less to the bountiful 
philanthropy of Baron Edmond and are more 
often the creation of popular societies which 
have as part of their programme the encourage- 
ment of a Jewish peasant class. Two of the 
colonies which lie on the outskirts of Galilee, 
Merchavya in the plain of Esdraelon and 



Kinnereth which nestles on the southern 
shores of the Sea of Galilee, were promoted 
by the Jewish National Fund. It is a happy 
feature of these colonies that they bring 
together the old and the new Jewish inhabi- 
tants of Palestine. In each of them may be 
found among the workers some who come from 
the more ancient Jewish agricultural settle- 
ments in the land, founded by the Turco- 
Jewish worthy, Joseph of Naxos, in the seven- 
teenth century, and there are a considerable 
number of local Sephardic Jews. The main 
element of these colonies, however, consists of 
young Russian and Galician Jews who immi- 
grated in the first place as labourers and were 
instructed in agricultural work, and are now 
encouraged and assisted to become the pro- 
prietors of small holdings. 

At Merchavya an experiment is being tried 
in co-operative colonisation. The settlers 
work under a single direction and share the 
profit on the year’s working. Though not 
immediately successful in the material way the 
Colony, which was planted in 1911, has already 
made great strides in the development of the 
land. I spent an evening or two there in its 
first beginnings when the habitations were 
little Arab huts, with a shanty or two for the 
women. Malaria threatened all the settlers. 
A young Russian woman doctor was looking 
after them as fever patients ; and, after our 
simple supper of vegetable soup and coffee, 


there was a quinine pill for everybody except 
our anti-quininists. The director of the settle- 
ment was troubled because of a threatened 
Arab attack. The land had been obtained 
from a rich Syrian-Greek landowner who dis- 
possessed his Arab tenants to make room for 
the Jewish settlers. Not unnaturally those 
who had been turned away did not welcome 
their successors. Acting on the maxim of 
obsta frincifus , they concocted some charge 
of child murder against the colonists and 
demanded revenge. The charge was in the 
end exploded, the Arabs appeased, the huts 
replaced by healthy and sanitary farm build- 
ings, and the malaria largely exterminated by 
drainage and quinine treatment. Before the 
war Merchavya was smiling and the Arabs and 
Jews worked peaceably together. The harsh 
circumstances of the last three years have 
prevented a fair test of the economic sound- 
ness of the co-operative experiments ; but the 
Labour party, if it may be so called, in the 
Zionist body will certainly press for the exten- 
sion of settlements of the kind. Herzl fore- 
saw that the Jewish colonisation would harbour 
all manner of ideas of the most advanced 
society. It is not for nothing that the Jew 
in Europe takes a leading part in economic 
and social movements. He carries with him 
wherever he goes — and back to his old country — 
the progressive mind ; and his tradition moulds 
him to socialistic institutions. The Sabbatical 



year and the Jubilee of Mosaic legislation are 
translated in modern life into the com- 
munistic colony. 

The intellectual level of many of the 
colonists in these labour settlements is remark- 
able, and even a little disquieting. It seems 
too high for those who are to be tied to the 
soil. Typical was a young Roumanian I met 
in Galilee, who had been educated at the 
Leipzig Realschule and had given up com- 
merce for the settler’s life. He was living in 
a simple hut, but his library comprised a 
Bible, a Talmud, Weber’s Welt Geschichte in 
many volumes, Lessing, Goethe, Heine and 
Nietzsche, a complete Shakespeare in German, 
a number of French classics, one or two 
English and Hebrew novels, the modern 
Hebrew poets, some Zionist literature and a few 
dictionaries. This was not the stuff on which 
the peasant mind vegetates. I was not sur- 
prised to hear two years later that he had left 
the colony and gone to America. There is no 
inherent reason why the philosophical mind 
should not go with the peasant quality, but 
many -of these later-day philosophers belong 
to the Peripatetic school, rather than to that 
of the Garden. It is inevitable that a con- 
siderable proportion of those who come out 
under the influence of a vague idealism to be 
pioneers should not find in the new sur- 
roundings the exaltations which they seek, 
and wander away. There will always be a 


certain wastage among the new immigrants, 
but the core of the population will be found 
in the younger generation of the settlers. If 
they are given the opportunity of leading “ the 
good life ” in the country, it will not matter 
that there is a coming and going of young 
men and women from the communities of the 

It must not, however, be supposed that the 
immigrant from Europe is always, or even 
normally, an “ intellectual.” There is a large 
enough class of the pure workman type, who 
are ready to be moulded into farm workers 
in the hope of ultimately becoming farmers. 
In Galilee there are two training colonies ‘for 
men of this kind ; Sedjera , on the flank of 
Mount Tabor, between Nazareth and the 
Lake, and Medjdel by the site of the ancient 
Magdala on the borders of the Lake. 

Sedjera was founded by the I.C.A. with the 
purpose of producing a more independent type 
of colonist than the farmer of the Baron’s 
colonies. All the work was to be done by the 
Jewish workman and the life was rigidly 
simple ; each homestead contained a bed- 
room, a living room, and a kitchen. Most of 
the colonists were unmarried, and for a time 
they received a living wage from the adminis- 
tration till they had acquired some skill in 
the work of the field. Among them I met an 
English settler, a man who had spent some 
years in London, tailoring, but who found 



ten francs a month and board in Palestine 
better than thirty shillings a week in White- 
chapel. The I.C.A. has since disposed of the 
land to the Jewish National Fund, but the 
functions and objects oi the settlement have 
remained unchanged. 

Medjdel is a Russian working-men’s colony 
which was taken over in 1909 by a Zionist 
group in Moscow from the German Templars, 
who had not made a success of the settlement. 
In 1 91 1 some hundred young Jewish men were 
working there under the direction of a very 
energetic agronomist who combined the parts 
of administrator, doctor, architect an<J secre- 
tary. Some half-dozen women were among the 
workers, and a disproportionate number of 
children. Many of the men came out with 
their children, and sent for their wives after- 
wards. To manage men in Palestine you must 
have some linguistic accomplishments, and the 
director talked Hebrew with the children, 
Jargon with some of the older people, and 
Arabic with the natives. The cultivation 
was partly of the regular Palestinian crops and 
partly of cotton. Water was abundant, the 
land was easily irrigated from the lake, and 
there was abundant heat, so that the cotton- 
growing experiment promised good results. 
Under a progressive administration the whole 
Jordan Valley could be turned by simple 
engineering work into an irrigated plain, like 
the Nile Valley, and not less productive. 


A number of Jewish colonies already exist 
round the Lake of Tiberias which only require 
linking up to form a continuous Jewish region. 
From the colony of Melchamyeh , south of 
the Lake, and Kinnereth , which lies by the 
outflow of the river, the line runs along the 
slopes between the banks, through Poria , 
T emma , Bedjen and Sedjera to the city of 
Tiberias, which is almost entirely Jewish in 
population, and then beyond it through 
Medjdel to Tesod- Hamaaleh and to Rosh 
Pinah , which lies on the hills to the north of 
the lake. Between these two last colonies and 
the rest there is a rather large gap in the 
Jewish territory, but no considerable Arab 
village occupies the interval. All this part 
of Galilee was in the early part of the Christian 
era famous for its fertility and its beauty. 
To-day the region to the east of the lake is 
deserted ; ap. attempt at a Jewish colony 
there, the Bnei-Vehuda , was not successful 
because the right people were not chosen for 
the enterprise, and the marauding Bedouins 
frightened the new-comers away. But nature 
has marked out the whole region for fruitful- 
ness ; it is a vast hothouse, with an immense 
reservoir for the purposes of cultivation, and 
if human industry is well applied its former 
glory will be revived. 

The most hopeful development in the 
modern colonisation has been the American 
plantation of Poria, which was founded some 



seven years ago by the Zionists of St. Louis. 
It is the first of the so-called “ Achuzah 5? 
schemes to be realised, and is auspicious of 
, what may be done by American enterprise 
combined with Jewish idealism. The idea of 
the Achuzah is that a number of small 
capitalists in the west should combine to 
acquire a tract of land in Palestine for their 
own benefit and have it worked by Jews of 
the country till they are ready to come out 
and settle. §ome may take up their inheritance 
at once, others simply receive their share of 
the fruits of the plantation. The defects of 
the system of absentee landlordism are avoided 
by the common national sentiment. Many 
Achuzah societies have beeh founded — among 
them an important one in England, the 
Maccabaean Land Company — but so far, 
besides Poria, only one such settlement has 
been planted. The movement for colonisa- 
tion on these lines was in full swing 
when the war broke out and stopped all 
activity. But when peace is restored it will 
be a fine achievement for these societies to 
link up the Galilean colonies with a continuous 
line of plantations. The few American 
settlers who are already in the land have 
brought an energy and initiative which are 
often lacking in the colonists from Eastern 
Europe. It was at Melchamyeh that I met a 
colonist who was watering orange plants and 
banana trees in his garden, the only man in 


the village who possessed such delights. The 
colonist turned out to be a Russian Jew who 
had been for many years a farmer in Minnea- 
polis, U.S.A. Falling ill there he was told 
that he must live in Palestine or Italy, and 
his wife insisted on Palestine. He was no 
Zionist and rather sighed for the beer and 
the flesh-pots of Minneapolis, but he found 
compensation in the excellence of the land 
and the climate, and declared that, with a 
settled government, the change of farming 
from the West to the East would also? be a 
profitable enterprise. 

The last group of Jewish colonies are those 
which lie in the northern part of Galilee. 
Rosh-Pinah (“ the Corner Stone ”) and its 
satellites T esod-Hamaaleh at the southern end 
of the Lake of Merom ; Mishmar Ha- Jar den 
and Machanaim by the upper waters of the 
Jordan; and Metullah , a mountain village at 
the lower spurs of Hermon. They have all 
striking situations, but to-day they give the 
impression of having seen better days. At 
first vineyards were here, as in Judaea, the 
chief cultivation, but while the orange gardens 
have elsewhere provided a fresh outlet for 
enterprise, in these more temperate regions 
they could not be introduced, and corn and 
almonds, which are now largely grown, are 
not yet as profitable. Perhaps it is defective 
road communication, for there is no proper 
highway to the Lake ; perhaps lack of resource 

9 6 


in the colonists ; perhaps the malaria which 
in the settlements by the river did its evil 
work, sapping the vigour of the little com- 
munity ; but certainly the spirit of hopeful- 
ness is less evident here than in the newer 
centres of Lower Galilee and Samaria. A fresh 
impulse from without is required to make the 
colonies of Northern Galilee as virile as those 
of the South. 

Metullah, the most northern outpost, is 
acquiring a new function as a summer resort 
for the rest of the country. Its mountain 
air and its splendid site, high up above a 
ravine, down which a stream dashes headlong 
to Jordan, makes it a chosen place in the dry 
days, and already its few homesteads are 
crowded in July and August. Metullah is a 
summer station for the hardy men and women 
of the colonies ; it lies too far from the high 
road to attract the tourist, but in course of 
time it, or some other place in the highland 
region, will become for the Jewish dwellers of 
the lowlands what a number of hill stations in 
the Lebanon are already to the Syrians of 
the plains. 

The Jewish traveller who does not restrict 
his time to the round of the chief towns and 
the Jewish villages can hardly fail to be 
struck by the smallness of the area still worked 
by Jewish hands. It is almost a Pale of Settle- 
ment, under free conditions. He may ride for 
days over hill and vale without seeing a 


Jewish farmstead or passing a Jewish waggon. 
From the great plain of Esdraelon through 
Jenin, and through Nablous and the centre 
of the country to Judaea, or from Jerusalem 
southward through Hebron to Beersheba, or 
again along the whole length of the country 
east of the Jordan, through the Hauran and 
Gilead and Moab, the way leads through hills 
that still show the lines of old terraces, and 
through plains strewn with the ruins of ancient 
villages and towns, with never a sign of a 
Jewish settlement. This is the wide field for 
future enterprise ; all this area cries out for 
an industrious and sturdy population to 
develop its resources. No children of Anak 
inhabit them to-day. 

Wandering tribes of Bedouins and sparse 
settlements of Arabs divide the Transjordania 
region, but there is room for another two and 
a half tribes of Israel, who would revive its 
old prosperity. Half a century ago Oliphant 
planned his scheme for a large Jewish colonisa- 
tion here, based on a Turkish charter to be 
backed by the European Powers. But the 
scheme was not followed up, and the only 
footing which has been attempted is the 
purchase by Baron Edmond de Rothschild of 
a considerable tract of Hauran land which, 
however, has remained in the possession of 
the Arab cultivators. An overseer of the 
property maintains lonely supervision. No 
overflow from the western villages has yet 


9 8 


made its way east. Occasionally a Jewish 
pedlar plies his trade in the little towns, and 
a few such settle and form new communities. 
At Beisan, the ancient Scythopolis and the 
famous seat of Hellenistic culture, a Russian 
Jewish apothecary told me that there were 
four or five families like his and as many 
Sephardim (oriental Jews) in the place engaged 
in petty trade. He had a story that Beisan 
was to be acquired by the Zionist organisation, 
and be the centre of a new Jewish agricultural 
region. The story will come true when the 
crown lands of the Turkish Sultan, of which 
Beisan is part, come into the market. Then 
the Jewish agricultural domain will be some- 
thing more than a fringe and a series of oases. 
The Jewish belt will spread out eastward and 
westward, and Jews will share the whole 
country with the Arabs in friendly emulation. 
Then we shall be able to speak of a Jewish 
country, instead of Jewish colonies. But this 
development will require a more whole- 
hearted effort of the entire Jewish people 
than Palestinian colonisation has yet evoked. 

But 60,000 of the Babylonian exiles returned 
with Zerubbabel to Judaea to form the nucleus 
of the restored Commonwealth. Before the 
war double that number of Jews had their 
home in Palestine, and were the pioneers. It 
is now necessary to organise on an altogether 
fresh scale the immigration into the country. 
Thirty years have seen the development from 


the impulsive movement of little groups of 
enthusiasts aided by philanthropic organisation 
to the systematic effort of nationalist societies 
to build a Jewish centre. But the effort of 
the whole nation to make Palestine a Jewish 
country and a national Home remains for the 
new era, which the world revolution has now 
ushered in. When peace comes, the time will 
have arrived to sound the trumpet, to raise 
the banner, %nd to gather the exiles from the 
four corners of the earth. Then the promise 
of prophecy will be in the way of fulfilment : 
“ And the seed shall be prosperous, the vine 
shall give his fruit, the ground shall give 
her increase, and the heavens shall give their 
dew; and I will cause the remnant of this 
people to possess all these things.” 



A great city is the type of a great idea, 
* — ancient Athens of art ; ancient Rome of 
empire ; London of liberty ; New York of 
enterprise. Jerusalem is the type of religion. 
Not only is the Holy City the centre to which 
three of the greatest religious communities 
look with peculiar veneration, but its site and 
its buildings are full of religious associations, 
and almost breathe the religious idea. Its 
Hebrew name is explained allegorically by the 
sages of old as meaning either “ the abode,” 
or “ the vision ” of peace : and, by a false 
etymology, the idea of holiness was imparted 
into its Greek and Roman names, Hiero- 
Solyma. The modern Arabic name, El Kuds, 
conveys more definitely the same notion of 
holiness. It means simply the holy place, the 
root being the same as the Hebrew Kadosh. 

The religious character of Jerusalem is not 
only a matter of history, but is imprinted 
almost in every foot of the soil on which it 
stands, and on all its surroundings. Each 
step you take is literally thick with religious 



memories, and the records of the past sink 
deep below the ground. Some of the streets 
of the modern city are 100 feet above the 
level of the older ways, the average depth 
being from 40 to 60 feet, and between them 
and the ancient foundations are layers on 
layers of civilisation. It is difficult, indeed, 
to reconstruct the topography of the city as 
it was in the days of the Temple and the 
Jewish national life, because the interior valleys 
which once separated the hills of Zion and 
Moriah and Ophel that lay within the walls, 
have been filled up with the dust of ages. 

In the 4,000 years which have passed since 
Abraham, fleeing from Chaldaea, met and was 
blessed by Melchizedek, priest of Salem, the 
town has been destroyed again and again and, 
as often, arisen afresh. It has been the centre 
of an age-long fight between two religions ; 
it has suffered many earthquakes, twenty 
sieges and eighteen reconstructions. The 
Psalmist spoke of it as splendid in elevation 
and “ the delight of all the earth,” a city 
which is all compact together. Its nature has 
not changed. It still rises proudly in a kind 
of splendid isolation from the bare hills of 
Judaea upon two rocky spurs that overlook the 
country for miles around and are entrenched 
on three sides by abrupt ravines. It has the 
aspect of a vast sanctuary, hedged off from 
the common world of traffic and industry. 
No highway of commerce passes through it ; 


no river here invites communities to assemble 
together ; no fertile plain around nourishes 
a teeming population. It has never had any 
considerable commercial importance, nor, apart 
from the passionate loyalty which its historic 
sites aroused, had it any strategic value. 
Before David conquered it and made it the 
capital of his kingdom, it was the fortress of 
the Jebusites, and it has remained, through all 
its varying fortunes, a stronghold difficult of 
approach. The old invaders of Palestine, 
whether from north or south, had regularly 
to conquer the rest of the country before they 
could lead their armies from the northern 
plateau against it. Even Napoleon on his 
triumphant march from Egypt to Acre did 
not dare turn aside to enter it, and General 
Allenby did an unparalleled thing when he 
captured it by an encircling movement from 
the south and west. 

Nature has fitted Jerusalem to be a city 
of a special type. It lies on the watershed 
between the east and the west, between the 
desert and the sea, facing the wilderness and the 
sirocco, yet so close to the Mediterranean as 
to feel the full sweep of its rains and humid 
winds. It thus enjoys a temperate climate, 
and a rainfall equal to that of London, though 
almost all the rain falls in four months of the 
year. It is perched 2,600 feet above the level 
of the Western sea that glimmers in the sun 
thirty- four miles away ; and the mountains 


go sheer down on the east side to another sea 
— the Dead Sea — some 1,300 feet below that 
level. The splendours of nature lie spread 
out to the observer standing on the top of 
its hills. Here, looking eastwards, he sees the 
abyss of the Dead Sea, the Jordan threading 
its way to it through the Wilderness, the blue 
Mountains of Moab rising precipitous on the 
further side of the river and this great collec- 
tion of its waters. Northwards are the terraced 
hills, and then the bare limestone plateau of 
Judaea. Westward and southward, beyond the 
ravines which guard the city, there is the half- 
wild, half-cultivated country leading down into 
the plain. It is impossible not to be moved by 
a panorama so eloquent of the Divine might 
and human insignificance. 

At night, especially, when the guides and 
tourists are at rest and the rumbling carriages 
no longer whirl up the dust, and all that is 
tawdry is hidden, the old city of Jerusalem 
weaves an extraordinary spell and is almost 
overpoweringly serious and solemn. In the 
Rabbinical literature it is said that it was a 
city of Joy — nobody should be troubled or 
concerned with business within it ; and a Hill 
of Accounts was selected outside the city to 
which everyone who had business repaired 
(Sifri Numb. 35, 10). To-day business affairs 
are settled inside its walls, but amusements and 
entertainments seem to be almost as rigidly 
banned as were accounts of old. Within the 


walled area there is no single pleasure-hall, 
but only meeting-places for solemn assembly, 
churches, convents, monasteries, schools, syna- 
gogues. Without the walls an enterprising 
Greek had erected, before the war, a cinema 
to lure the Arab, and an occasional cafe 
flared up along the Jaffa and the Bethlehem 
roads. A progressive municipality, emulating 
European ways, had installed arc-lamps along 
the chief streets in the suburbs, which took 
away from its unworldly character ; and of 
recent years, frequent menaces of electric- 
trams and motor-buses have been heard, 
which, however, have not taken on the ugly 
shapes of reality. And the railroad which 
has already forced its way has its station a 
respectful distance from the walls. The day, 
doubtless, will come soon when other appan- 
ages of civilisation will force their way, too, 
into the outer purlieus, but the inner enclosure 
will long resist vulgarisation, because nothing 
less than an earthquake or a big fire could 
make the invasion possible. 

There are, indeed, already two Jerusalems : 
the city of the storied past, occupying the 
ancient hills of Zion and Moriah and girt 
around with walls and crammed with monu- 
ments and sacred sites ; and the city of the 
relentless and restless present, spreading shape- 
lessly away to the north, without order or 
plan, and teeming with philanthropic institu- 
tions and religious foundations. The old city 


knows but two roads through which a carriage 
may pass, and its ways are stone steps, often 
vaulted over, so that you seem to be in some 
subterranean chamber ; but the new city is 
a maze of crooked streets and alleys through 
which the crazy carriages thread their way. 

The ravines which bound the city on three 
sides check expansion to the east, west and 
south, and so it is away on Mount Scopus and 
along the Jaffa road, where the ridge is con- 
tinuous, that the ever-growing population 
plants its homes. Like New York, which is 
framed on three sides by the sea and its two 
great rivers, and so has spread up the Island 
of Manhattan, so Jerusalem, penned in by the 
valleys of Kedron and Hinnom, stretches away 
over the northern heights. The growth of 
the city during the last century, and more 
especially during the last fifty years, has been 
striking. Chateaubriand, the romantic writer, 
who was there in 1808, a few years after 
Napoleon’s invasion of the country, described 
it as a City of Desolation. “ Not a creature 
to be seen in the streets, not a creature at the 
gates, except now and then a peasant, gliding 
through the gloom, concealing under his 
garments the fruits of his labour, lest he should 
be robbed of his hard earnings by the soldiers.” 
When Robinson, the American archaeologist, 
visited it in 1838, its population was 11,000, 
composed of 4,500 Mohammedans, 3,500 
Christians, and 3,000 Jews. In i860 there 


were only a few houses outside the walls, and 
Sir Moses Montefiore made a startling innova- 
tion when he provided land for a suburban 
colony of Jews about a quarter of a mile from 
the Jaffa gate. Twenty years later in 1880 
before the great immigration from Russia 
began the Jewish population had risen to 
15,000. After that it went on increasing by 
leaps and bounds, and at the outbreak of war 
in 1914 out of a total of 100,000 more than 
half, some 60,000, were Jews. 

There is no large city in which the pro- 
portion of the Jewish to the total inhabitants 
is so great, and there is no place in the world, 
not even New York, with its million Jews, 
where the Jewish population is so representa- 
tive of every section and class of Jewry. 
Already they have begun to stream in from 
the four corners of the earth, just as in the 
time when the Temple stood, they came up 
to the Metropolis of their nation. Here you 
find kaftanned and gaberdined Jews from 
every ghetto of Eastern Europe ; eager- 
looking students from the universities of the 
west ; tall, commanding figures clad in cloth 
of gold from Bokhara and Turkestan, and, 
living near them, poor weak immigrants from 
Yemen and Persia, hoping equally to hasten 
the day of the coming of the Messiah ; dignified 
but indolent Sephardim from the near East, 
side by side with the hustling Americanised 
Ashkenazis, or the highly-strung Russian 


Revolutionaries, half intoxicated with modern 

Of the many Jewish settlements or colonies, 
the most brilliant, outwardly, is that of the 
Jews of Bokhara. They are rentiers, mostly 
older men who, having secured material ease 
in their native homes, come to Jerusalem to 
devote themselves to study and mystic con- 
templation. Religiously they belong to the 
Chassidic and Cabbalistic section, but 
materially they are very differently placed 
from the Chassidim who come from the 
ghettoes of Galicia and Russia. Physically, 
too, they are fine figures of men ; tall and 
upstanding, with shaven polls, clad' in splendid 
raiment from the bazaars. They tower, like 
Saul, above their brethren and show what the 
Jew may be when he is not crushed by per- 
secution. They are somewhat detached from 
the rest of Jerusalem Jewry, having their own 
synagogues and their own schools ; but the 
aloofness is breaking down among the young, 
and it will disappear in a generation. The 
old Eastern communities, the Persians, the 
Yemenites, and the Aleppo Jews, are poor, but 
they earn their livelihood as skilled and un- 
skilled labourers, carriage drivers and porters, 
and they depend far less on the Chalukah (the 
eleemosynary fund), than the Jews of the 
West. The Yemenites of the town are 
generally builders or masons ; they will have 
their opportunity after the war when the 


rebuilding is undertaken. Their ideas of 
beauty, however, are still elementary. A 
deputation came to me to appeal for my aid 
in obtaining arc-lamps for their synagogue, 
which was at the time lighted by old can- 
delabra. The Persians had recently acquired 
one of the new “ Lux Lamps ” and this 
excited their emulation. 

No Jewish community, however remote, is 
unrepresented at Jerusalem. Even the Falashas 
of Abyssinia, a strange survival of the first- 
exile, mixed with foreign and strange elements, 
who have been cut off from the catholic con- 
science of Jewry for 2,000 years, have sent 
students there to be trained in the school of 
a broader Judaism, and so to be fitted to bring 
their brethren into touch with the congrega- 
tion of Israel. In New York, indeed, you may 
find nearly all these types, but there they are 
in the process of being de-Judaised or American- 
ised. Here they are being fused into a new 
Hebraic community. If New York is, as it 
has been described, a “ melting-pot ” for the 
Jews, Jerusalem is a refiner’s hearth which 
purifies even the dross. 

The Jewish settlements stretch away to the 
north and north-west, from the Damascus 
Gate to the Jaffa Gate. The older Jewish 
quarter within the walls lies to the south on 
the lower part of Mount Zion. It is a maze 
of crooked lanes, sadly congested and unrelieved 
by a single fine building or beautiful rnonu- 


ment. There is, it must be admitted, some- 
thing in Baedeker’s comment : “ The Jewish 
quarter offers nothing of interest, but con- 
sists of a number of dirty and malodorous 
streets.” The Mohammedans have their 
gorgeous Dome of the Rock ; the Christians 
have the Church of the Sepulchre, which if 
not lovely is imposing, and the Armenian 
Convent which is both ; the Jews, who are 
the largest community, can boast as yet of 
nothing noble, or worthy of their past, in 
the buildings of the old city. Two large 
synagogues of the Ashkenazi communities 
stand out from the mass of meeting-places, 
and their domes are prominent in views of 
the city ; but they are undistinguished save 
in size. One, known as the “ Synagogue of 
the Fall of the City,” associated with Rabbi 
Jochanan-ben-Zakkai, the saviour of Judaism 
after the destruction of the Temple, is, as 
it were, the Great Synagogue of that ritual. 
Here the saintly Rabbi Salant, who by force 
of character obtained the headship over the 
myriad Rabbis of his time (the latter half of 
the nineteenth century), used to preside and 
give his judgments. As a building it is garish, 
and the decorations, illustrating certain of the 
Psalms, but without any representation of the 
human figure, are grotesque ; a collection of 
harps and willows represents the captives hang- 
ing their lyres upon the trees by the river of 
Babylon, when they refused to be comforted 


for the destruction of their home. Some of 
the Sephardic synagogues are older, but 
architecturally of small account. But his- 
torically several of the smaller Houses of 
Assembly are of deep interest. 

Jerusalem offers not only the microcosm of 
present-day Jewry, but also an epitome of the 
history of Judaism. Judaism has never loved 
sects ; only the main stream has strength to 
flow perennially. But the sectarians that have 
broken away from the catholic body have still 
their lingering remnants in the centre of the 
religion. The Karaites, maintaining their 
succession from the Jewish Protestants of the 
early Middle Ages, hold assembly in a small 
dark room. They will have no light kindled 
in their habitations on the Sabbath. Still 
numerous in South Russia and in Cairo they 
lacked a Minyan — the ten male adults required 
to form a congregation — in Jerusalem when 
I was there a couple of years before the 
war. The tenth adult had recently died and 
there was no one to take his place. Another 
small community in Jerusalem which, how- 
ever, has a deeper root in Jewish feeling 
than the Karaites, is that of the extreme 
Cabbalists, who pray standing and clad in 
robes of white. Whenever they pronounce 
the name of God they indulge in a kind 
of intense and audible concentration which 
is called “ Zimzum.” Their outward peculi- 
arities reflect the intense devotional character 


of their religion. Mysticism, the seeking for 
an ecstatic union with the Godhead, has 
been at all times since the Psalmist wrote 
an essential aspect of Judaism — as indeed 
it is of every living religious creed — and these 
devotees in Jerusalem are in the lineal 
succession from Philo and the Chassidic 
Rabbis who “ extracted the sweetness of the 
mystery.” They attach, as our mystics have 
been wont to do, especial veneration to the 
Song of Solomon, and they chant it every 
Friday eve. On the occasion when I was at 
their synagogue one particular zealot stayed 
on after the congregation had left, repeating 
the song in a perfect frenzy and swaying as 
though possessed by some spirit. 

The great religious meeting-place of all the 
Jews of Jerusalem is the Kotel Hamaarabi, 
the western Wall of the Haram or Temple 
area. In the Middle Ages it was known as 
the Wall of Mercy. To-day it is inscribed in 
the guide-books as the Wailing Wall. It is 
made of rough stones, larger than those of the 
Gizeh Pyramids, rising to a height of ioo feet 
from the base, and, according to tradition, 
it is a part of Solomon’s Temple. It is the 
only portion of the Haram, or Temple area, 
to which the Jews have access. Along the 
foot of the wall runs a narrow causeway, 
where, without shelter and with scarce room 
to move, stand hundreds of the still mourning 
people, male and female, weeping and praying. 


They group themselves in clusters of twenty 
to fifty, each group following its own service, 
and the pious pass from one cluster to another. 
They come at all hours of the day and every 
day, but especially on the Sabbath eve and 
the Sabbath morning. There are Jews of 
every type and of varied garb. Sephardim in 
their turbans and tarbush and their Eastern 
garments, Ashkenazim in their felt and plush 
hats and their gaberdines. On the Sabbath 
the Ashkenasim wear their long plush robes 
and their fur-trimmed hats which they bring 
from the Ghetto of the Middle Ages. And 
if you descend, just after sunset, the dark 
and narrow cobbled lanes, shut in by stone 
walls, which lead to the place, and suddenly 
come across parties of strange figures returning 
from the Wailing Wall you feel carried as it 
were into another world. The scene at the 
wall itself has a poignant sadness ; it repre- 
sents the exile of the spirit, which is a bitterer 
thing than the exile from the land. Yet this 
bare fragment marks in a wonderful way the 
unity of Judaism through time and space, 
and its abiding spirit. The faces of the whole 
community of the Diaspora are turned towards 
it in prayer ; and it is this national monu- 
ment, not the resting-place of an indiyidual, 
which is the Jew’s supremely holy spot. Refus- 
ing to recognise in it the symbol of ruin he 
makes it the corner-stone of regeneration. 
Christianity and Islam venerate in Jerusalem 


scenes hallowed by the lives of their two 
founders. Judaism recognises no single founder 
and no single prophet, but centres its thoughts 
and hopes about the old national life and the 
coming national restoration. 

Zangwill has recently remarked that “ the 
Jew at the Wailing Wall is a far more poetic 
figure than the Jew in Wall Street ; yet 
neither will rebuild the Wall ! ” But a 
generation which will do that, which believes 
that work is the true prayer, is already settling 
in Jerusalem; and it awaits only a modern 
Cyrus, 1 and a modern Nehemiah, to give it 
the lead in restoring the visible sanctuary 
of Judaism. Characteristically its principal 
achievement so far has been the establishment 
of Hebrew schools. But this generation 
includes architects and painters, masons and 
craftsmen, as well as teachers and rabbis. 
They are the chief builders of the city. Ever 
since the destruction of the Temple of Herod 
by Titus the school has been the hearth of 
Judaism, and the rabbis (teachers), not the 
priests, have been the popular leaders. The 
Great Synagogue of the future, like the Great 
Synagogue of the pre-Christian epoch of 
which the foundation is ascribed to Ezra, will 

1 Only a few months after this was written the Proclama- 
tion of Cyrus had received its modern parallel in the 
Declaration of the British Government (November 2nd, 
1 9 1 7), pledging England’s efforts to secure the re-establish- 
mcnt of the Jewish national Home in Palestine. 



be a learned faculty rather than a priestly 

The holy area on Mount Moriah known as 
the Haram-el-Sharif (the noble Precinct) is 
now crowned with the Dome of the Rock 
which is ascribed to Omar, the Arab conqueror 
of Jerusalem, and is popularly known as his 
mosque. According to the tradition of Islam 
Mount Moriah is miles nearer to heaven than 
any other spot on the earth, and thence 
Mohammed made his journey to the celestial 
sphere. The dome is built over the stone 
on which Isaac was bound for sacrifice. 
According to the tradition of Islam the stone 
is the centre of the earth and is suspended 
miraculously from the ground. In the eyes 
of the Moslem world the Haram is the third 
most holy place, ranking only after Mecca 
and Medina. Unlike those religious shrines 
it is among the world’s most beautiful monu- 
ments. It covers an area of about thirty-five 
acres (one-sixth of the entire city within the 
walls) and the grassy court, the cypresses, and 
the flashing fountains which are set about the 
central dome are delightfully restful after the 
jostle and noise of the narrow lanes. They 
make the same appeal as the courts of the 
colleges at Oxford and Cambridge. Here it 
seems all men may meet in peace and recognise 
amid the beauty of Nature and the beauty of 
Man’s handiwork, the glory of the common 
Father. In another respect this holy area is 


fitted to be the centre of the religious life of 
the world. Within its borders there is not 
only the Jewish Temple wall, but one of the 
great basilicas of early Christendom, now the 
Mosque of El Aksa. In the new era, though 
it may remain the special religious demesne 
of the Moslems, the Haram must be opened 
freely to men of all creeds. 

The Jews will need go a little further afield 
for the site of their new rallying place. The 
Mount of Olives, to the east of the Temple, 
which was of old connected with it by a 
wonderful gold bridge that spanned the Vale 
of Kedron, is, in all but historical association, 
the fitting site for the central home and head- 
quarters of the Jewish Renaissance. The 
view that its heights command is inspiring. 
In front, the whole of the city with the area 
of the ancient Temple in the foreground, and 
around, the wilderness of Judaea, the Dead 
Sea, the mountains of Moab and the rolling 
hills of Judah — the country from which Amos 
received his inspiration, and Jeremiah, Isaiah 
and Zechariah spoke their messages. A great 
College on this site could hardly fail to fill 
young men and women (and it must surely 
be for both) with the spirit of the Prophets, 
and send them forth with a fresh message to 
humanity. 1 

1 The great house and lands of the late Sir John Gray 
Hill on the Mount of Olives has since been acquired by the 
Zionist Organisation as the seat of the future National 


Thus far the Jewish population has tended 
to expand not to the east of the city where 
this new Acropolis of the Hebrews may arise, 
but northwards. And there is nothing so far 
in the outward show of their expansion to 
arouse pride. They are spreading over the 
hills much as they spread in New York over 
Harlem and the Bronx quarters, putting up 
schools and synagogues between the monotonous 
rows upon rows of mean dwellings, but blotting 
out in the process the sweet fairness of Nature. 
The only free space left in the midst of this 
wilderness of bricks is “ Abraham’s Vineyard,” 
a missionary enterprise where some hundred 
Jews are employed in tilling the ground and 
planting it with olives and making soap of 
the berry. For the rest the new-comers have 
contrived to reproduce in the fair fields outside 
the walled city the squalor and congestion of 
the Ghetto within the walls. They have 
erected long rows of barrack-like buildings 
facing each other across narrow and crooked 
streets, so that the people see nothing but the 
rooms opposite to theirs and can only look 
sadly in each others’ faces. 

At Jaffa the Yishub (the return) has a fitting 
habitation — the garden suburb of Tel- Aviv, 
the Hill of Spring — as the outward expression 
of the new Jewish spirit of hopefulness and 
progress in the country. But in Jerusalem 
the outer life and the inner are not yet at one. 
Some attempt towards bettering housing con- 


ditions has been made by the Sir Moses 
Montefiore Testimonial Trust, which has 
assisted building societies to lay out decent 
roads with neat cottages. But the capital of 
the Trust is little more than .£10,000, and 
Jerusalem is in need of a large and heroic 
housing reform, and the thorough cleansing 
of some sanitary Hercules. The hills about it 
should be covered by garden settlements where 
every householder will live under his own vine 
and his own fig-tree. The ground indeed 
could be converted without much difficulty 
into a park-like demesne ; for there is abund- 
ance of rain water in the winter and plentiful 
springs in the hills around. And yet to-day 
the town has no regular water supply, though 
sixty years ago the Baroness Burdett-Coutts 
offered to furnish it, only to meet with 
invincible Turkish obstructiveness. 1 

Men only require to respond to Nature’s 
invitation to make the outer city as beautiful 
as the inner city is impressive. A settlement 
like the “ American colony,” as it is called, 
shows what a little loving care and Western 
order may effect. In that communistic settle- 
ment, the outcome of the aspiration of 
Swedish and American mystics to achieve the 
good life, which is strikingly told in Selma 
Lagerlof’s Jerusalem , there is a delightful 

1 The want has now been supplied by the energy of the 
British Army of Occupation, whose Engineers have brought 
a continuous supply of fresh water from the hills. 


garden full of cypresses and flowering shrubs 
and vine and fig-trees. The estate of the 
late Sir John Gray Hill on the Mount of 
Olives, surrounded by a plantation of pines and 
carob trees, proves likewise that fertility is yet 
in the soil and is the sure reward of industry. 
All the limestone terraces, now half ruined 
but still clearly marked, and all the rocky 
slopes of the hills of Judaea from which the 
soil has been washed down, may be made again 
smiling and fruitful with the olive and the 
vine so that a belt of green may be set around 
the stony masses of Mount Zion. 

Jewish Jerusalem is not pieced out with 
particular sites and venerated monuments 
covering such spots. The whole place and all 
the surroundings are dense, and crowded, with 
memories. Apart from the Temple wall there 
is, however, not one which is identified. But 
outside the city, by the Damascus Gate, there 
is a cluster of caves and tombs which are 
historic : the grotto of Jeremiah, whose 

native village of Anatoth lies but six miles 
away, the reputed tomb of Zachariah, the 
prophet of the new Jerusalem, and the so- 
called Tombs of the Kings. These last are 
not of the kings of Israel and Judah, as the 
name suggests, but of the royal house of 
Adiabine, a little state in Mesopotamia, whose 
rulers were converted to Judaism in the first 
century of the Christian era and aided the 
Jews in their struggle against Rome. Their 


sepulchres, with their traces of Hellenistic art, 
are the one outward sign of the spiritual 
empire which the Jewish people wielded before 
they lost their national independence. Out- 
side the walls, on the east, the Pool of Siloam 
recalls the earlier struggle for national liberty. 
From thence Hezekiah brought by a tunnel 
the water supply into the city when Sen- 
nacherib was camped around with the host 
of Assyria, and called on him to surrender. 
One of the few archaeological treasures of the 
Judaean kingdom was discovered some thirty 
years ago when a workman struck on the stone 
which commemorated the meeting of the two 
parties of tunnellers who were working through 
the rock from opposite ends. The inscription 
records their joy at the indication that their 
work was meeting with success. Legends 
and fairy stories have gathered around the 
reputed tombs of David and Solomon on 
Mount Zion, which are now covered by a 
mosque. Here from time immemorial, tradi- 
tion has recorded the storing of fabulous wealth 
and the miraculous defeat of all attempts to 
touch it. 

Another site outside the walls which is even 
less certainly genuine, but is nevertheless the 
object of special reverence, is the Tomb of 
Rachel, some five miles along the road to 
Hebron. A spot between Jerusalem and 
Bethlehem has been marked by a long tradi- 
tion as the resting-place of the Patriarch’s 


wife ; thither those who pray and weep at 
the Wall go to pray and weep again. “ Rachel 
weeping over her children ” is the symbol of 
grief for the destruction of Jerusalem in 
Jeremiah’s prophecy. The wall and the tomb 
are the two special monuments of the national 
tragedy. Not far from each is a monument 
of the national glory, both attributed to King 
Solomon, who became in Jewish legend the 
type not only of wisdom but of material 
magnificence and political power. Beneath 
the Temple area are stretched long subter- 
ranean caverns reputed to be Solomon’s 
stables ; and beyond Bethlehem in a basin of 
the Judaean hills are three large reservoirs 
known as the Pools of Solomon, “ those superb 
relics of inimitable magnificence,” as the author 
of T altered calls them in his extravagant 
rhetoric. The pools still provide water for 
the Temple area by means of an underground 
conduit, and modern engineering will in time 
convert them into sources of supply for part 
of the city. 

Christian Jerusalem is to-day a maze of 
institutions, jostling together in a strange 
medley, monasteries and convents, schools and 
churches, mission halls and hospitals, hydro- 
pathic institutes and orphanages. The Russians 
have the most imposing array. Near to the 
Jaffa Gate a vast pilgrims’ Close houses 
thousands of simple peasants in the holy 
season ; and on the Mount of Olives a big 


monastery, flanked by a belfry, commands the 
whole country and is the landmark for miles as 
you approach. The British Army, camped 
around Gaza before General Allenby’s rapid 
advance on Jerusalem, had this distant tower 
as its magnet. The Russian mujiks who 
throng the streets about Easter are the most 
picturesque and devout of the Christian 
pilgrims. The buildings of the other Christian 
Powers are not less imposing, but they are so 
stony and so empty that they seem to have 
no heart. They are more like fortresses than 
houses. The Germans with their trained sense 
for imposing on the Oriental mind, erected 
after the visit of their Emperor William four 
great buildings, where they could be felt and 
seen by all ; a massive Protestant Church 
within the city, a massive Roman Catholic 
Church near the Hebron road, a massive 
Roman Catholic Hospice outside the Damascus 
Gate and a massive Protestant Hospice on the 
Mount of Olives, said to have been used 
later as the headquarters of the Turkish Army. 
North, south, east and west the German eagle 
must make his showy flight. The Emperor, 
who had had a way cut through the walls 
previously, for his carriage to enter Jerusalem, 
certainly left more of a mark upon the 
imagination of the Arabs than any other 
modern European figure, but his passage is 
written big and ugly. 

The French, as heirs of the Frankish 


kingdom of the twelfth century, protectors 
of the Roman Catholic Church from the middle 
of the nineteenth century, have striven not 
to be outbuilt by the Germans. The English 
Protestants have but modest buildings com- 
pared with those of the other Powers ; but a 
new cathedral was nearly complete when the 
war broke out. Among the homes of the 
Eastern Christian Church, the American 
monastery on the south side of the city is a 
place of beauty and restfulness because of the 
trees in its garden. The Abyssinian Copts 
have their cathedral in the midst of the new 
Jewish quarter. Every Christian sect, indeed, 
has its priestly embassy at the Court of 

The common monument of all Christendom, 
the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, is a building 
of a different character. About the main 
shrine, which is covered by a black dome, are 
ranged the chapels and crypts of each particular 
sect and community. Crowds of pilgrims con- 
tinually pass to and fro shepherded by the 
monks or priests of their sect. The ceiling 
and walls of the chapel are hung with in- 
numerable golden and silver votive lamps ; 
the precincts are noisy with the stalls of the 
traffickers in candles and images and holy 
souvenirs. And the courtyard of the church 
itself is occupied by a Turkish patrol with 
rifles, put there to keep order between the 
contending churches. 


There has been much ill-informed criticism 
of the Zionist idea because of the alleged 
difficulty concerning the Eloly Places, if 
Palestine were inhabited and administered by 
the Jewish people. Plow can the Christian 
States, it is said, allow the most sacred sites 
to be under Jewish control? It would seem 
sufficient answer that the Jews will have at 
least as much regard for those sites as the 
Turks, and in modern times at any rate the 
Moslems have given no reason for a Crusade 
against them by their treatment of monu- 
ments. Despite the Hellenistic emperors, 
despite the Romans, despite the Crusaders, 
and despite the monks, Palestine is and always 
will be a Semitic country. 

The suggested difficulty of adjustment 
between Jew and Arab is somewhat more 
actual ; but with wisdom and goodwill, it 
too should not be hard to solve. The Jews 
and Arabs are of one stock, and it requires 
only sympathetic interpretation to make that 
community of origin a real binding force 
between them. In Jerusalem especially the 
genius of the environment helps to a good 
understanding. Abraham, the father of the 
two branches of the race, is, next to 
Mohammed, the most revered teacher of 
Islam, and Hebron is his town and known 
indeed, after Abraham’s attribute, as El- 
Khalil , the Friend. The Jaffa Gate, as the 
Franks call it, which opens on the road to 


Hebron, is for the Arab “ Bab-el-Khahil,” the 
Gate of Abraham. The great popular feast 
again is the Nebi Musa, the day of the prophet 
Moses. The Arabs from all over the district 
gather in Jerusalem and troop out in gay 
fantasias on that day to the mountain over- 
looking the Dead Sea, which they insist is 
the burial-place of the prophet. The Mosque 
of Omar, the religious centre, is built on the 
site of the Temple of Solomon, which, for Islam 
as for Jewry, has beloved associations. Apart 
from the ethnical points of sympathy, a 
fundamental unity of feeling exists between 
Jew and Moslem. One incident in a synagogue 
in Jerusalem brought home to me vividly this 
underlying agreement of religious outlook. 
We were repeating at the end of the Day of 
Atonement the last solemn declaration of the 
day, “ The Lord, He is God.” The synagogue 
was opposite a mosque and as we uttered 
Israel’s declaration of faith, a Muezzin ap- 
peared on the minaret calling the Moslems 
to evening prayer, and cried, “ Allah (the 
Lord) is God ; Allah is One.” For two 
peoples to whom religion is the deepest 
element of social and intellectual life, that 
fundamental basis of agreement is the best 
guarantee of a fruitful union. During the 
golden age of Arabic civilisation, both in 
Bagdad and in Spain, Jews and Moslems lived 
in harmony and rivalled each other in litera- 
ture and philosophy. If later there have been 



persecutions and intolerance, they have been 
due to the degeneration produced by barbaric 
incursions. The Turk indeed has not, for the 
most part, been harsh to the Jew, but he has 
ruined the development of spiritual life 
throughout the Empire, so that both Arabs 
and Jews beneath his sway have decayed. 
But a renascent Hebrew people and a renascent 
Arab people, who will arise after the war, will 
grow together in unity and share the common 
pride in the new destiny of the whole Semitic 
race, contributing again to the wealth of 
humanity. On the material side, moreover, 
a community of interest will strengthen the 
spiritual bond. The Arab Fellah or peasant 
needs Jewish energy and imagination ; the 
Jew in Palestine needs Arab hardihood and 
experience, for the prosperous development of 
the country. The Arab population in the 
country is indeed very sparse ; little more 
than a quarter of a million scattered over 
hundreds of miles. There is another quarter 
of a million in the towns which to-day looms 
large everywhere, save in Jerusalem, simply 
because it is the majority. But when organised 
Western immigration begins in earnest, the 
Arabs will be a comparatively small class. The 
talk about their having to leave their homes is 
folly. There will be room, rather, for an Arab 
immigration as well as a Jewish, when the 
wasted fruitful spaces are reclaimed and the 
robbers are put down, when the Negeb is 


cultivated to the river of Gaza, and the 
uplands of Gilead are redeemed from the 
destructive Bedouins. 

During the Tripolitan war between Turkey 
and Italy, a striking document was published 
in Jerusalem which gave a glimpse of the 
influence which the Holy City, when conscious 
of its spiritual power and inspired by some 
great revolution of the soul, might exert on 
the world. It was an appeal for peace or 
arbitration signed by the heads of all the 
different religious bodies in the city. Moham- 
medan imams and Jewish rabbis, Greek 
Orthodox papas and Roman Catholic priests, 
Protestant and Armenian bishops, all put 
their names to the protest against war in the 
name of a common belief in the reign of 
Justice. The appeal fell on deaf ears. The 
outer world was not yet attuned to the new 
message. But side by side with the League 
of the Nations to enforce peace, which is 
destined to be one of the great outcomes of 
the world war, there is a call for a League 
of the Religions, to foster peace among 
the peoples. Jerusalem has far older and 
more historical claims than the Hague or 
Washington to be the centre of the world’s 
peace movement, and the Temple Mount 
would be the ideal spot for a sanctuary which 
should mark this new harmony moving the 

The prophet Zechariah looking for the 


coming of the golden age 2,500 years ago, 
pictures Jerusalem without its walls, no longer 
a fortress but spread village-wise : “ Jerusalem 
will be inhabited without walls for the multi- 
tude of men and cattle therein. For I, saith 
the Lord, will be to her a wall of fire round 
about, and will be the glory in the midst of 
her ” (Zech. ii. 5). Another prophet of 
Jerusalem foretold the day when nation shall 
no longer lift up sword against nation, neither 
shall they learn war any more : “ And the 

mountain of the Lord’s house shall be estab- 
lished on the tops of the mountains, and shall 
be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall 
flow into it ” (Isaiah ii. 2-4). The Jews are 
peculiarly fitted in our day to be the mission- 
aries of peace, as they were once the mis- 
sionaries of justice, because they have 
pre-eminently the international mind and 
the sense of a divine unity embracing the 

Disraeli used to insist that the Jew repre- 
sented in Europe the Semitic principle — “ all 
that is spiritual in our system ” — and that it 
was his function to be the world’s spiritual 
teacher. In exile and dispersion his function 
has been cramped and almost forgotten ; 
back in his own land only can he revive it to 
fresh triumphs. 

When the Holy City is the home, not 
only of religious fervour, but also of the pro- 
gressive idealism which the Jew will bring 


with him from every hearth of thought, it 
will be the spiritual metropolis of mankind 
as the Hebrew seers conceived it : “ And the 
Lord shall be King over all the earth. In 
that day shall the Lord be One and His name 



The most beautiful part of Palestine scenically, 
without a doubt, is Galilee. It is a country of 
green hills and green valleys which roll up 
from the plain of Esdraelon to the snowy 
mountains of Lebanon. It reaches its greatest 
beauty by the shores of the Lake, known as 
the Sea of Galilee, through which the Jordan 
flows in full and rapid stream. Of the Lake 
the Rabbis said : “ God has created the seas, 
but Galilee is His particular delight.” In 
Jewish story it is known as the Sea of the 
Harp ( Kinnereth ) because of its shape, and its 
waters are set like silver threads in a frame- 
work of purple mountains. 

But from the Great Sea on the west to this 
land-locked Sea, and beyond to the plateau 
of the Hauran, and from hoary Hermon 
towering in the north to the comeliness of 
Mount Tabor that stands sentinel over the 
plain of Esdraelon in the south, the whole 
province is fair and verdant. Water is abundant 
and trees flourish wherever man chooses to 
plant them. Even to-day after a thousand 
k 129 


years of neglect the ground in the spring is a 
carpet of wild flowers, a garden of nature. 

The Jewish historian, Josephus, who was 
sent to defend the province against the 
Romans in the second century, thus rhap- 
sodises : “ The country that lies over against 
this lake bears the same name of Gennesareth. 
Its nature is wonderful, as well as its beauty ; 
and its soil is so fruitful that all sorts of plants 
can grow in it, and the inhabitants do accord- 
ingly plant all sorts. For the temper of the 
air is so well mixed that it agrees very well 
with their several sorts, particularly walnuts, 
which require cold air, flourish there in 
abundance ; there are palm trees also which 
grow but in hot air, fig trees also and olives 
grow near them which yet require an air that 
is more temperate. We may call the place 
the reconciliation of Nature, when it forces 
these plants that are naturally enemies of one 
another to agree together. It has a happy 
contention of the seasons as if each of them 
laid claim to the country. It supplies men 
with the principal fruits, with grapes and figs 
continually throughout the year, and with 
other fruit in their season ” ( Wars , iii. 8). 

Galilee was originally the territory of Asher, 
Zebulon, Naphtali, and Issachar. The blessing 
of Asher betokening the abundance of the 
olive trees in his land was : “ Let him dip his 
foot in oil.” And of him it was said again, 
“ His oil flows like a river.” When the 



Kingdom of Israel was taken into captivity, 
the territory of the four tribes was occupied 
by the surrounding peoples, and thenceforth 
the population was mixed between Llebrews 
and Gentiles. The country east of the Jordan 
was known particularly as “ Galilee of the 
Gentiles ” because of the preponderance of 
the heathen settlers. The Maccabaean princes 
conquered both parts of the country and con- 
verted the inhabitants to Judaism, and they 
settled there Judaeans from the south. The 
mountainous homes nourished an ardent and 
impulsive population. For more than a 
century before the final catastrophe of the 
Jewish nation, the rebels fought here unceas- 
ingly against Roman tyranny. Galilee was the 
stronghold and the hearth of Jewish nationalism. 
The Romanising priests who were powerful 
about Jerusalem and Judaea had little hold 
among the Northern Highlanders. The Gospel 
of St. Matthew records how the part of 
Israel’s kingdom which had first succumbed 
to the Assyrian invaders became the citadel 
of the Jewish religious revolt : “ The land of 
Zebulon and the land of Naphtali, by the 
way of the Sea beyond Jordan, Galilee of the 
Gentiles. The people who dwelt in darkness 
saw a great light ” (Matt. iv. 15). 

In those days Galilee was a densely populated 
country. Its name means “ a ring” or circle, 
and was given to it because of the ring of 
villages which the hills embraced. Alexander 


the Great after his conquest of the East 
planted settlements of Greeks near the lake, 
where Nature had invited men to dwell, and 
strategy required the guarding of the great 
military road fron Egypt to Sinai. The 
Ptolemies and Seleucids, who in turn ruled 
Palestine, followed his precedent, and an 
independent league of ten Greek cities in 
Galilee, Gilead, and the Hauran — the famous 
Decapolis — was constituted to maintain Hel- 
lenism. The Roman policy was to support 
the independence of the League against the 
Jewish Kingdom. Josephus writing in the first 
century of the Christian era speaks of 200 
villages in Galilee of which the smallest con- 
tained 15,000 inhabitants. Allowing for the 
exaggeration of a writer who never regarded 
truth as sufficiently impressive, it is certain 
that when Jesus was preaching the land con- 
tained several large cities besides many con- 
siderable villages. The ruins of Tiberias on 
the west bank and of Kerak at the southern 
end of the Lake, the massive marble founda- 
tions of the synagogue at Tell-Hum (identified 
somewhat dubiously with Capernaum) and 
the striking relics of other places of worship 
in the Greek style which have been excavated 
among the hills round Safed, confirm the 
story. The Romanising Jewish historian tells 
too of various strong places which it took the 
Roman armies more than a year of hard 
warfare to capture, Tarichea and Gischala, 


Magdala and Sepphoris, all mountainous fast- 

After Titus and Trajan and Hadrian had in 
turn devastated Judaea and driven out the 
Jews from their last stronghold in the south, 
Galilee became for centuries the chief seat 
of the national life, shorn of its political 
independence and of the colleges which pre- 
served the full vigour of that life. The schools 
of Sepphoris and Jabne gave the law to all 
Jewry, and the Mishna, the crystallisation of 
the oral law, was written down in Tiberias. 
But Galilee at this period continued to be a 
great centre of Graeco-Roman life, and the 
City of the Lake was as famous among the 
Roman nobles for its hot springs and its 
pleasures as it was among the Jewish congrega- 
tions for its rabbis and jurists. There Greek 
merchants plied their commerce, caravans 
came jingling from Egypt and Persia and 
Mesopotamia, and the life within the town 
was as bright as the life of Nature without. 

It was in this sunny atmosphere that the 
sages of the Talmud developed their wisdom, 
and the bright colouring of the Hagada and 
the homiletical literature doubtless owes much 
to their environment. Though the glory of 
the Kingdom was gone, the beauty of the 
land remained an inspiration. When, however, 
Christianity became imperial, and tyrants 
professing the new faith mounted the throne 
of Rome, the Jewish people were driven from 


Galilee as from the rest of Palestine. Small 
communities found their way back whenever 
the enemies of the Christianised Roman 
Empire prevailed, but the resettlement was 
short-lived ; the hegemony of the Galilean 
schools was gone and passed over to Mesopo- 

During the existence of the Latin Kingdom 
of Jerusalem (1099-1291 c.e.) -Galilee was 

full of the Crusaders’ strongholds which were 
built to protect the Christian fiefs from the 
incursions of the Arab armies of Damascus. 
It was at the Horns of Hattin, overlooking 
Tiberias, that Saladin destroyed the flower of 
Western chivalry and gave the death-blow to 
that kingdom. The Saracen victor restored 
the right of the Jews to live in Palestine, 
prompted thereto by his Court physician, 
Maimonides. The body of the great Jewish 
physician and philosopher was buried at 
Tiberias. But the hordes of Asiatic bar- 
barians who during the next 200 years over- 
ran the East, cut short the hope of a revival. 
It was not till the fifteenth century that 
Jewish life was again securely established in 
Galilee. Some thousands of the exiles from 
Spain and Portugal, driven out of the 
Peninsula by the Inquisition, made their way 
to Turkey, which was then the one tolerant 
power in Europe. They settled in different 
parts of the Ottoman Empire and soon made 
their way to Palestine, and they established 



a new seat of learning and law at Safed. That 
town is not mentioned by name in the Bible, 
though certain scholars have identified it with 
the “ city set on a hill ” of the New Testa- 
ment. A legend, however, of the early 
centuries of the civil era had it that the 
Messiah will spring thence, and its neighbour- 
hood was celebrated in the annals of Jewish 
resistance to Rome and of Rabbinical mysticism. 
It took the precedence in favour of all the 
historical sites of Northern Palestine, and the 
fame of some of the early settlers set the seal 
on its popularity. 

Jewish mediaeval scholarship and philosophy 
had reached their zenith shortly before the 
expulsion from Spain, and in the sixteenth 
century, Safed, continuing the work of the 
Spanish sages, had its golden age and became 
the chief university of Jewish learning in the 
world. It was then, as Schechter describes it, 
“ a city of legists and cryptics.” For Jewish 
literature at the time had two main streams : 
the development and codification of the legal 
traditions, and devotional writings directed to 
the inner mysteries of religion. It was in 
Safed that Joseph Caro wrote in 1542 his 
famous Jewish Corpus the Beth Joseph, his 
popular abridgment of which, the Shulchan 
Aruch , is still accepted as the authoritative 
legal and ritual code of orthodox Jewry. It 
was in Safed, too, that Isaac Luria (1534- 
1 572), gathering around him a body of dis- 


ciples, founded the modern school of the 
Kabbala — the traditional lore or sacred mystery. 

A little later on an endeavour of a different 
kind was made to restore the Jews to their 
ancient soil. Don Joseph of Naxos, a Jewish 
diplomatist at the Ottoman Court, who was 
sprung from a Spanish- Jewish family and had 
achieved a commanding position with the 
Sultan, obtained as a reward for his services, 
a Firman, sanctioning a Jewish settlement in 
Galilee. His attempt at land colonisation was 
made shortly after the collapse of the move- 
ment of the false Messiah, Sabbatai Zevi ; 
and the man of affairs aspired to do by 
practical means what the man of miracles had 
failed to do by appeals to the supernatural. 
Don Joseph died before the scheme was fully 
developed and left no successor. But some 
hundreds of Jewish families were planted on 
the soil in the hill country, and their de- 
scendants remain to this day still working as 
peasants on the land. Lord Kitchener when 
surveying Northern Palestine was amazed to 
come across them in Pekah and other villages 
in this district. By faith and feature alike 
they were different from the Arab peasants, 
and, on the other hand, in physique and 
habit they were distinguishable from the Jews 
of the neighbouring towns of Tiberias and 
Safed. They represent a genuine Jewish 
peasant class, with a title to their home- 
steads of more than two centuries. A century 



ago earthquake and fire laid Safed in ruins 
and reduced the once flourishing Holy City 
to little more than a holy village ; and the 
work of Joseph of Naxos was not taken 
up again till the modern development of 
Jewish colonisation. 

The nineteenth century saw a large increase 
of the Jewish town-dwelling population of 
Galilee. Tiberias and Safed became again 
predominantly Jewish towns. In the former 
there are not fewer than 8,000 Jews out of a 
total of 12,000 ; in the latter 10,000 out of 
15,000 inhabitants. But the greater numbers 
have not brought another Golden Age of 
learning. There are Talmudical schools by 
the score, but no famous scholars spring from 
them ; and the conditions under which most 
of the people live are extremely wretched. 
In both places man has contrived perversely 
to spoil Nature. Only a few ruins to-day 
suggest the Graeco-Roman splendour of the 
one place, the mediaeval and more recent fame 
of the other. Part of the Saracen walls and 
the castle of Tiberias are still standing. But 
within the walls to-day is a mass of huddled 
dwellings, dirty and ruinous. The only build- 
ings worthy of the name are the Serail, or 
Government office, two missionary schools, a 
hospital, and the German hotel. Kinglake 
sixty years ago marked the place as the residence 
of the King of the Fleas, and the dynasty is 
still in possession. The market, such as it is, 


is the rendezvous of the Jewish pedlars of the 
district, who, when not engaged in business, 
are also pietists. The one sign of modernity 
about the place is the motor-boats which an 
enterprising firm has started to run between 
Samach, the station on the Hedjaz line at the 
south end of the Lake, and the town. There 
are a number of stout fishing boats in the 
port and on the lake, such as doubtless were 
used by the apostles nearly 2,000 years ago 
The hot springs which made the fortune of 
Tiberias among the Graeco-Roman society are 
still frequented locally, but, like everything 
else in the place, they are half ruinous. The 
bath-house is an ordinary domed structure and 
the bathing is free, but there is a private bath 
supplied by a separate spring for the use of 
which a small charge, a beshlik (half- franc), is 
made. In time a great Sanatorium will arise 
here which will bring a fortune to its under- 
takers, and revive perhaps the old popularity 
of the district. 

The way from, Tiberias to Safed lies along 
the banks of the lake to its northern edge and 
then westwards over the hills till you finally 
come to the mountain, 3,000 feet high, on 
the flank of which the city lies. Along the 
banks of the lake the road passes the Russo- 
Jewish colony of Mejdel (Magdala of the New 
Testament) and close by is the settlement of 
Tapcha (reputed, doubtfully, to be the ancient 
Tarichea), where the German Templars of last 



century tried to establish an agricultural 
settlement. A single home, a luxuriant garden, 
and a few fertile fields now constitute their 
domain, for most of their colonists died in 
this malarial paradise. Mejdel also was a 
foundation of their society which had to be 
abandoned. The Jewish colonising societies 
have been more prudent ; experience has 
taught them that before these long abandoned 
marshlands can again become populous, man 
must clear and drain the overflowing vegeta- 
tion of a too luxurious nature. “ Sanity of 
sanities, all is sanitation,” is the note of the 
modern colonisers. 

Clustered along the mountain slopes, and 
fanned in all seasons of the year by the breezes 
of the Lebanon, Safed should be a garden 
city celebrated for its healthiness. In actual 
fact, it is a byword even in Palestine for con- 
gestion with all its concomitant evils. At a 
distance it is a vision of romantic loveliness 
comparable with Taormina in Sicily, but when 
you reach the place you find, as in many 
another Sicilian or Italian place of beauty, 
a baffling maze of squalid alleys which a single 
donkey makes almost impassable, and of 
squalid hovels which provide a doubtful 
shelter for their occupants. One refinement 
of civilisation had indeed come to Safed before 
the war : a public water supply laid on from 
a spring in the hills. Seventeen public foun- 
tains were set up in the various quarters of the 


town. This remarkable innovation was due 
to a progressive Kaimakam (or Prefect) — a 
Moslem-Arab, active and shrewd and am- 
bitious, and with some ideas of modern 
municipal development. He also was re- 
sponsible for the planning of a road to Tiberias. 
He told me when I visited him in 1911 that in 
both of these enterprises his chief help came 
from the Jews. He complained of the 
inadequate support which he got from the 
Town Council, which was elected by Ottoman 
subjects paying a certain amount of tax. Most 
of the Jews were Uitlanders, and had no voice. 
He had some ideas about the weaknesses of 
popular government in an uneducated people 
like the Arabs and Turks ; and he was in 
favour of granting the vote to foreign subjects 
because they were more progressive than the 
Arabs. It was an unfortunate feature of the 
Turkish regime that when a good Governor 
appeared once in a way, he was moved on 
before his work was half done, either as a 
reward for his success or as a warning against 
too much energy. The progressive Kaimakam 
of Safed did not stay long, and the sanitation 
of Safed remains a task for the future adminis- 

Apart from its public water supply Safed 
has little enough to boast of in the way of 
material civilisation. Nor is it rich any more 
in spiritual goods. It is of the degenerate 
type of Holy City ; an obsolete relic of 


I 4 I 

mediaeval piety almost extinct, unaffected 
by new ideas. The outer and inner con- 
ditions of life are at one, but both are in 

Mediaevalism, however insanitary, is at least 
picturesque, and the narrow lanes of Safed 
are attractive with their medley of peoples 
and manners ; Arabs, in their yellow and red 
and many-coloured head-scarves and sheep- 
skins, jostling with rabbis or students in their 
black velvet hats and dark kaftans ; peasant 
women bringing their baskets of fruit and 
vegetables, or carrying on their heads trays 
of chickens or leading sheep ; and Jewish 
women chattering and haggling in the shops. 
On the seventh day of the week, for the sake 
of which, according to a pretty saying, the 
other six are created, a genuine holiness trans- 
forms the place. As in Heine’s legend the 
Jewish pedlar on the Sabbath eve becomes a 
prince, so on the Sabbath in Safed the hovel 
becomes a home. The Sabbath is welcomed 
with the joy and love with which the groom 
meets his bride. The father of the family 
dons his silk and plush robe, his wife’s wedding 
gift, and his fur-trimmed strummel, an 
inappropriate but decorative costume ; his 
wife wears her white gown and silken shawl ; 
the little living-room is beautified by the white 
cloth, the Sabbath lights and the invisible 
spirit of the Sabbath ; the Ghetto streets are 
quiet save for the sound of singing, and the 


outskirts, as far as the stretched boundary of 
the Sabbath-day journey, are frequented by 
an almost merry throng. On the other days, 
morning, noon, and eve the young boys are 
gathered in the Talmud Torahs, where they 
learn only Jewish lore, and that in Yiddish 
or Ladino. The older boys and men of all 
ages are gathered in the Yesheboths (semin- 
aries), where they con for hours together the 
Rabbinical literature, and spin the subtleties 
of ritual jurisprudence. Here and there a 
new spiritual force is thrown off, a student 
of genius becomes a real teacher — but he 
leaves Safed. The director of Jewish educa- 
tion in New York and the chief Rabbis of 
Constantinople and Salonica were children of 
Safed whose intelligence was sharpened in its 
schools, their native energy being left, by a 
miracle, unimpaired. It must be difficult 
indeed to escape from the evil canker which 
afflicts the general community. 

Pauperism is a skilled profession here, 
practised by a whole army of scribes and 
collectors and distributors who thrive on the 
debasement of the beautiful idea that the 
Jewish people, though debarred from the 
contact of the land, should possess in their 
ancestral home a remnant to keep alive the 
tradition of learning. By the system known 
as the Chaluka (distribution) the Jewish 
communities of the Diaspora were united to 
contribute, by a kind of voluntary taxation, 



a fund for the maintenance of the schools in 
Palestine. This fund was divided among the 
representatives resident in the Holy Cities of 
the communities contributing. When I 
visited Safed there were twenty-one Kolelim 
(communities) each with a separate Chaluka 
fund and separate, and rival, staffs of missioners, 
scribes, and distributors. Some represented 
countries, others single towns. Middlemen in 
Europe and America intercept a large part 
of the fund, and according to report the 
beneficiaries receive little more than a quarter 
of what has been contributed. The petty 
jealousies and intrigues of a Barchester Close 
are multiplied in this Ghetto. Petitions 
wander the world over asking for help and 
composed in queer English, or more doubtful 
French, and dithyrambic Yiddish or Hebrew. 
With a little encouragement the emissaries 
will denounce the Chaluka system and confess 
its defects ; but they plead they are powerless 
agents in it, caught themselves in the wheels 
of its relentless machinery. In Safed anyway 
it is powerful and unchallenged, as Tammany 
Hall is in New York. 

The school of the Alliance Israelite has 
introduced the elements of a more independent 
life and outlook ; the boys and girls who are 
its pupils are taught to earn their living in 
other ways and, through the same influence, 
some touch of modernism is beginning to 
invade the dead piety and rampant beggary 


of the place. The war which is acting as the 
great sweeper away of cobwebs in all parts 
will sweep away, too, the spirit of the Ghetto 
from Safed, and when the larger Jewish 
immigration comes there, as come it will, the 
new energy will submerge the old passivism 
with all the evils that have followed from it. 
The Hebrew school has already freed the 
younger generation of Jerusalem from the 
taint of the Chaluka ; it will free likewise 
the younger generation of these Holy Cities 
of the north. 

A few miles outside Safed is Meiron , the 
most famous of Jewish pilgrimage places, 
where Rabbi Simeon ben Yochai, one of the 
great mystics of the Roman period and the 
reputed father of the Kabbalah, lived and 
died. Simeon certainly did not compose the 
Zohar , the Book of Light, which is the second 
Bible of the Kabbalists. But he has been 
venerated as the perfect sage, the patron 
saint of the Chassidim, the righteous. From 
the days of Ezekiel to the present time pious 
mysticism has formed an integral part of the 
Jewish consciousness. In the Dark Ages, 
which extended for the homeless people from 
the thirteenth to the eighteenth century, the 
Jews assimilated the religious weaknesses, as 
to-day they tend to assimilate the national 
weaknesses, of their environments. Holy sites 
and the tombs of holy men became objects 
of veneration to them as well as to Moslems 


and Christians. The fame of the schools of 
Safed served to increase the fame of the old 
shrines in its neighbourhood ; and while to 
visit Jerusalem was the desire of every Jew, 
to visit Meiron was the special object of the 
followers of the Kabbalah. 

The great day of the pilgrimage was the 
thirty-third day of the Omer (the days of 
counting between Passover and Pentecost), 
which is known as the Scholars’ Feast. Bands 
came together for that anniversary from 
Eastern Europe and Central Asia, from Persia 
and Salonica, which were all centres of the 
Kabbalistic schools ; and on the festal day 
itself they danced, and jumped through fire, 
and were carried away in frenzied ecstasy. 
Oliphant, a mystic himself, has described the 
scene in his Letters from Haifa , observing : 
“ The Jewish pilgrim has the same intense 
faith as the Russian peasants who assemble 
in the Church of the Sepulchre at Easter to 
catch the Holy Fire.” The pilgrimage is still 
observed on the traditional day, with some of 
the old traditional rites. At other times 
Meiron is remarkable only as the site of a big 
college, or rather two colleges, one for the- 
Ashkenazi ritual Jews and the other for 
the Sephardim. The traditional Synagogue 
of Ben Yochai is a Hellenistic ruin, lying 
higher up on the mountain ; and, on the hill 
beyond, another ruined synagogue of the 
Hellenistic period still witnesses, with its 


marble columns and pillars, to the beauty 
and the wealth that endured while the 
national life lasted. A little further along is 
the hamlet of Gis, covering the site of the 
historical Gishala, which was one of the 
fortresses that the Zealots held against Ves- 
pasian and Titus. From the mountain crags 
one surveys the whole of green Galilee and 
looks up to snowy Hermon and Lebanon in 
the north, to the cornfields of the Hauran 
on the east, and to the blue peaceful water 
of the Mediterranean, bordered by the white 
clusters of Acre, Sidon, and Tyre, on the west. 

It is not strange that those who dwelt on 
these heights and had these views continually 
before them, should have fought with desperate 
heroism to preserve their land from Roman 
domination. They were freemen of the 
mountains, and had the love of liberty which 
the Swiss and the Highlanders everywhere 
have shown. To-day it is still manifestly a 
land worth fighting for, and in those days its 
fertility and attractiveness were multiplied 
manifold. Gishala means “ a clot of oil,” 
and the name was given to the place because 
of its wealth of olive groves. To-day the hill- 
sides to the west of Safed are bare and treeless 
save where the little Jewish colony of Ain- 
Zeitun (the Spring of the Olives) arises in a 
green oasis in the midst of the limestone rock. 
On the other side of Safed, where the hills 
slope down to Jordan, groves are more frequent 


J 4 7 

and cover the grass for miles. The planting 
of forests is among the greatest needs of 
Palestine. The Turkish Government by 
putting a tax on every tree discouraged what 
is essential to the prosperity of the country. 
“ The oak scorns to grow except on free 
ground ” was the old English adage when, 
under the system of copyhold tenure, the lord 
of the manor could take for himself the best 
of the timber planted by his tenant. Similarly 
the Arabs have a saying : “ The olive has not 
time to grow in the Turkish Empire.” Before 
it can be firmly rooted it is taxed out of exist- 
ence. A wiser administration would give a 
bonus, instead of imposing a tax, for every 
tree planted ; and then the olive groves of 
Galilee would be as famous as the orange 
groves of Jaffa. 

North of Safed and the Lake of Galilee the 
country becomes more and more mountainous 
as it approaches the towering white crest of 
Mount Hermon. Water is abundant. The 
gorge of the Litany river and the headlong 
streams that make the beginning of the Jordan, 
are very different from the rivers of Southern 
Palestine, more like torrents that dash out from 
the Alps. New J ewish villages, T esod-Hamaaleh , 
Mishmar Ha-Jar den (Guard of the Jordan) by 
the reed-crowned waters of Meron (Lake 
Huleh), and Metullah, perched on the very 
edge of Lebanon, are at present the only 
settlements in this lovely region of Northern 


Galilee. The Hauran and Gilead await a 
strong government, and a devoted population, 
to bring back the old fertility. The Greek 
ruins of Banias, the ancient Dan, which 
changed its name when the temple of the 
Greek god Pan was erected there, give a 
suggestion of the splendour and spaciousness 
of the town which was the chief city of a 
province. It was one of the places on which 
the Herods, of barbaric origin, lavished their 
outward show of Hellenisation. The strategical 
importance of the site doubtless induced them 
to disguise the fortress in the setting of a 
pleasure city ; for Banias is the natural frontier 
stronghold of Palestine. Its position at the 
entrance of the defile between Mount Lebanon 
and Mount Hermon has been compared to 
that of Peshawur, at the entrance of the 
Khyber Pass between India and Afghanistan. 
The source of the Jordan here rushes out 
from the gorge, and, according to ancient 
legend, the river takes its name from two 
streams Jor and Dan which here unite. The 
abundance of waters has preserved a luxuriant 
wood even after hundreds of years of neglect. 
And beyond are the pine-clad slopes of Hermon 
and another land — Syria. 

On the coast which fringes Galilee two of 
the world’s most ancient havens for ships,. 
Tyre and Sidon , were famous at the time 
of the Homeric wars, and were the mother- 
cities of the Phoenician people. They owe 



their ancient pride to the rocky promontories 
which at either place jut out from the main- 
land and form an anchorage on each side for 
ships. Tyre was the Liverpool of the old 
world ; the principal port from which bold 
men sailed to the West and brought back the 
goods of the civilised world. Sidon was 
second only to Tyre. To-day their anchorages 
are still filled with fishing and sailing vessels, 
but larger ships must lie some way out. What 
were the marts of the East are now fishing 
villages. The strand, framed with its orange 
groves and its white clustered houses, is still 
a lovely Riviera. Palestine will certainly never 
lack an outlet for its trade. Along that short 
line of coast there are dotted six historical 
ports, Gaza, Jaffa, Haifa, Acre, Tyre, and 
Sidon. Each was a centre of commerce in the 
Hellenistic and the Roman epochs ; each was 
a fortress in the Middle Ages ; each may be 
a port and trading place again when the land 
in the interior is made fruitful once more by 
the toil of man. The stuffs of Phoenicia were 
famous in the commerce of a thousand years 
before the Christian era, and the purple shell 
which gave the Tyrian dye is still gathered 
on the beach. And one of the chief glories 
of the Constantinople museum is the sar- 
cophagus, entitled of Alexandra the Great, 
which was unearthed at Sidon. By the great 
decorativeness of its sculpture it shows how 
art was developed here in the Hellenistic 


period of Eastern history. The Jews will 
succeed to the Phoenician, as well as the 
Hebraic, heritage when they return to their 
own country. 

What an industrious population and a toler- 
able administration may do in restoring the 
ancient populousness and fertility of the land, 
is illustrated in the Lebanon province im- 
mediately to the north of Galilee. Fifty 
years ago that was as neglected and empty 
a country as Galilee or Gilead. But since the 
fierce feud between Maronites and Druses 
which led, on the intervention of France, to the 
grant to the Province of a semi-autonomous con- 
stitution, the Syrian Christians have been able 
to administer their affairs with only a limited 
amount of obstruction from the Turkish 
, authorities, and there has been continuous 
progress. The density of the population has 
been increased fourfold, the soil has been 
reclaimed to rich cultivation, great broad 
hard roads have been built over the Lebanon 
passes, large villages with unlimited water 
supply and lit up with electricity have grown 
up on the hill-sides. Beirut , from a fishing 

village comparable with Sidon and Tyre, has 
to-day again become one of the chief ports 
of the Mediterranean, with a fair harbour and 
150,000 inhabitants, and it has revived its 
ancient status of a University town, which it 
enjoyed under the Romans. The college of 
the Jesuits and the Anglo-American mission 



are the principal seats of learning of the whole 
of the Syrian people. The Syrians, in fact, 
through the enjoyment of a little autonomy 
and the appeal to their national pride have 
done on a large scale in their country what 
the Jewish settlers have done in miniature 
in Palestine. 

Give the Jews in Palestine the same oppor-. 
tunity as the Syrians have had in the northern 
province and the world will see, and wonder 
perhaps at the sight, for how short a time 
Judaea will remain barren, Galilee neglected, 
and Gilead deserted. When a larger body of 
immigrants from the free lands of the West 
have been brought in and established in 
settlements over the whole land, then Galilee 
will be again a ring of cities rising from 
wooded heights, of villages set amid smiling 
cornfields and olive groves, covered as it was 
in the past with roads — roads from the 
harbours of Phoenicia to Samaria, the Hauran, 
and Damascus, roads from Sharon to the valley 
of the Jordan, roads from the sea to the desert 
— the smiling province of a prosperous land, 
the pride of Israel the world over. 



In describing his ideal “ Republic,” Plato 
discusses at the outset the form of educa- 
tion which shall be given to its citizens. In 
order that they may maintain the new order, 
his guardians must have a new system of moral 
and intellectual training, based on a more per- 
fect psychology than was current in the 
Athenian schools of his day. The reform of 
society which the philosopher contemplates, 
is pre-eminently to be brought about by a 
reform of education, without which no political 
revolution can work any lasting good. “ Even 
as the twig is bent, so is the tree inclined.” 
The converse of the same idea is conveyed in 
the saying of a rabbi that the Jewish nation 
was destroyed because the mothers of Israel 
had ceased to teach their children the study 
of the Law. So, in our own time, it may be 
said that Judaism is in danger because of the 
neglect of that study. The deeper evils from 
which the Jews of the West suffer to-day, 
religious indifference, materialism, and a soul- 
less assimilation, are the direct outcome of a 



bad, or defective, Jewish education. The 
creation of a new spirit must be initiated in 
the schools. In the ghettoes of Eastern 
Europe, where Jews have been ruthlessly cut 
off from a free and full development of life, 
and their economic position is inconceivably 
wretched, Jewish education tends inevitably 
to be narrow and one-sided. In the cities 
of Western Europe, on the other hand, where 
Jewish life has continually to struggle against 
the compelling attraction of non- Jewish 
culture, religious teaching tends to be more 
and more neglected and to be crowded out 
of the child’s education. The development 
of a sound knowledge of Judaism is almost 
impossible, and at the best the Jewish part of 
the child’s training is a compromise. If any- 
where the growth of a healthier system may 
be looked for it is in Palestine, where Jews 
already live neither in a cramping ghetto nor 
amid a foreign culture, and where they have 
begun to found a proper home — ex Oriente 

Every variety of Jewish school is to be seen 
in Palestine to-day. There are, in the first 
place, the schools of the ghetto — the Cheder, 
and the old-fashioned Talmud Torah. The 
Jews, it has been said, have carried into every 
country of the exile a moral Palestine. But 
it is equally true that the Jews have brought 
back with them into Palestine something of 
the spirit of the exile. The greater part of 


the earlier Jewish inhabitants of the Holy 
Land came there from Eastern Europe, led 
by motives of piety to study, to pray, and to 
mourn for the sorrows of Israel. Dwelling 
for the most part in the four holy cities, as 
they are called — Jerusalem, Hebron, Tiberias, 
and Safed — places stored with venerable Jewish 
associations from the ancient and middle ages, 
they have brought to them the economic con- 
ditions, the costume, the language, and the 
manners of the European ghetto, all of which 
ill befit their surroundings. There is no scope 
for petty trading ; the climate makes kaftans 
and fur hats absurd ; Yiddish is an anomaly ; 
and the Cheder and Talmud Torah, in which 
Yiddish is the language of instruction, and the 
subjects and system of teaching are mediaeval, 
are anachronisms. But all these things must 
live on for a time. The old-fashioned Cheder 
and the Talmud Torah in the Palestinian towns 
are like the Cheder and Talmud Torah else- 
where, save only that here they provide the 
whole education of the pupils. There is no 
rival secular school, and the great majority 
of the parents will not let their children go to 
the Christian Missionary School, which is 
anxious to receive them. In the Cheder the 
teacher instructs in a little room a number 
of boys, ranging from ten to eighty, in couples 
or threes, while the rest con their lessons or 
repeat aloud what they have just learnt. His 
chief qualification is that he has none for any 


other vocation. In the Talmud Torah more 
approach is made to educational method. The 
pupils, who are more numerous, are divided 
into classes ; some syllabus of instruction is 
drawn up, and the Melammedim (teachers) 
have to satisfy a managing Committee as to 
their Hebrew knowledge and religious ortho- 
doxy. Other educational qualifications are not 
often demanded and are rarely forthcoming. 
In both Cheder and Talmud Torah the 
teaching is imparted through Yiddish, and 
the chief subjects of instruction are the Bible 
and its commentaries, and Talmud. Modern 
subjects are altogether ignored, and the ex- 
cellence aimed at is the knowledge of the 
Rabbinical literature. Finally, little provision 
is made for the teaching of girls in this old 
type of school. 

It was to remedy the economic evils and 
intellectual deficiencies which this system of 
education is calculated to perpetu-ate, that the 
Jews of Western Europe established during 
the latter half of last century a new kind of 
school in Palestine. A deep sentiment for the 
revival of Jewish life in the Holy Land moved 
the newly emancipated Jewries at that period. 
Under the influence of inspiring leaders like 
Cremieux and Moses Montefiore, the pros- 
perous Jews of the West, recognising that “ All 
Israel is responsible the one for the other,” 
manifested a strong feeling of fraternity with 
the struggling Jews of the East, and founded 


associations for their assistance. The French 
Alliance Israelite Universelle, followed by the 
Anglo- Jewish Association and the Hilfsverein 
der Deutschen Juden, provided in the towns 
of Palestine, as well as in other parts of the 
Orient, schools conducted according to modern 
ideas of education, for girls as well as for boys. 
But while these schools served a common 
purpose, each was, to some extent, designed 
according to the educational ideas of the 
country of the founding body, and aimed at 
instilling the ideas of that country into its 
pupils. To this end teachers were sent out 
from France, England, and Germany, and the 
teaching, naturally enough, was given in the 
native language of the teachers. The division 
of languages is the besetting problem of 
education in the heterogeneous societies of the 
Orient ; but the method of teaching the 
children three or four tongues, and all through 
a language different from that of the home, 
is not a happy solution. It sacrifices precise- 
ness of speech and vigour of thought ; for 
scarcely any can think clearly save in the 
mother tongue, and to speak in a foreign 
language is as cramping as to compose on a 

The founders of the Alliance Schools, 
Cremieux and Netter, had indeed an intense 
Jewish feeling, and were eager to foster a 
living Jewish culture in Palestine, but their 
successors did not inherit their enthusiasm, 


and allowed this part of their ideal to be sub- 
merged. The course of instruction was made 
to embrace the subjects which form part of the 
ordinary elementary education in the schools of 
Western Europe, and in some cases extended 
to a technical training to fit the pupil for 
a trade or handicraft. Elebrew and religious 
knowledge were, of course, part of the 
curriculum, but in the schools of the Alliance 
they took a secondary place, and the standard 
of attainment in them was low. The Alliance 
for long maintained the largest number of the 
European schools in Palestine. Besides a 
number of elementary schools, it supported at 
Jaffa and at Jerusalem technical workshops and 
it had the management of the agricultural 
college, Mikveh Israel (the Hope of Israel), 
which, as has been already noted, was the 
pioneer institution of the later agricultural 

By a certain irony of circumstances the 
Jewish community which was most thoroughly 
assimilated and most completely denationalised 
— the community of Paris — played for a long 
period the largest part in the educational 
organisation of the Jewish population of 
Palestine. The French schools were exotic ; 
and even when they started with some genuine 
Jewish enthusiasm, this was soon lost in 
art overgrowth of foreign influence. The 
Mikveh Israel College, which was founded 
by Charles Netter in 1876, was at the outset 


dominated by the strong Jewish sympathies 
of its founder, who had an ardent passion 
to bring the Jewish people back as cultivators 
to their old land. But when he died in 1882 
the enthusiasm died with him, and for thirty 
years the school directorate opposed the 
national longing of the Palestinian young men, 
and became more and more estranged from 
popular feeling and less effective for its 
special function. It is significant of the 
growing strength of the national conscious- 
ness in Palestine that, in the year preceding the 
war, the Alliance replaced their Frenchifying 
director by a man who was in full sympathy 
with the new Hebraism, and who, having spent 
many years in superintending some of the 
colonies in Galilee, could appeal to the young 
generation of the Yishub. 

The same foreign atmosphere for a time 
pervaded the Alliance schools in the agri- 
cultural colonies, which are scattered about 
the plains and hills of Palestine. When the 
colonies received the doubtful benefit of a 
French administration each large settlement 
was equipped with a modern elementary 
school. And while the whole environment 
called for a specifically Jewish culture of the 
mind, the tendency of the Alliance was still 
to establish a French village school with a 
Western outlook. It was inevitable that a 
school of this character, subordinating as it 
did traditional Jewish learning to practical 


subjects, should not satisfy the religious spirit 
of many of the settlers ; and side by side with 
the official school in the larger colonies, a 
Talmud Torah sprang up, perpetuating by 
its Yiddish and its neglect of secular know- 
ledge, amid the healthier Jewish life upon the 
land, something of the cramped spirit of the 

The Alliance schools have at times been put 
in Cherern (excommunication) by the most 
orthodox section of the community, and when 
they were built prayers were offered at the 
Wailing Wall for the preservation of Jerusalem 
from a new danger. None the less, they have 
usually attracted as many children as they 
could accommodate, and they have conferred 
some benefits on their pupils which their 
severest critics will not deny. They have 
inculcated habits of discipline, order, and 
neatness ; they have done much for the 
general uplifting of the girls, whose education 
had hitherto been almost entirely neglected 
and whose social position was consequently 
degraded ; and they have trained a large 
number of young men and women to useful 
occupations and saved them from the taint 
of pauperism and the demoralisation of idle- 
ness. But at the same time it is clear that 
they tended to encourage the young men and 
women to emigrate from Palestine and make 
their living in the West rather than in the 
East, to break down the religious loyalty of 


the younger generation, and to set up foreign 
ideas and fashions as the universal standard. 
The Alliance teachers carried to an extreme 
the alien influence, the foreign outlook, and 
the exhibition of the least regard for the 
traditions of the people for whose mental 
and moral equipment they were called on to 

The Anglo- Jewish Association, which is 
wholly responsible for one school only, the 
Evelina de Rothschild foundation for girls at 
Jerusalem, has shown, on the other hand, 
greater adaptability to the local conditions, 
and paid much greater regard to the feelings 
of the people. A strong religious tone per- 
vades the instruction, and nothing perhaps 
marks more strikingly the Hebraic revival in 
Jerusalem than the recognition of Hebrew as 
a living language at this important school, 
where till recently the teaching was imparted 
through English. Now the children learn to 
speak both Hebrew and English, and with 
that bright intellect which seems to flower 
even more in the East than in the West, 
they speak and write both equally well. 

The German- Jewish philanthropic associa- 
tion, the Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden, for 
a time also conceded much to the growing 
national spirit. But a year before the out- 
break of war, with what seemed then inex- 
plicable blindness, but now appears to have 
been the prompting of some political influence, 


its directors attempted to reverse this sound 
policy. Devoting itself largely to the educa- 
tion of the younger children, the Hilfsverein 
had established kindergartens in the towns 
which had a considerable Jewish population, 
Jerusalem, Jaffa, Haifa, Tiberias, Safed, and 
Hebron, and also in the larger villages. It 
had in addition assumed the direction in 
Jerusalem of the Von Lamel Secondary School 
for boys, which was founded in the sixties, 
and it had. opened a Teachers’ Normal College, 
also in Jerusalem, in order to meet the demand 
for trained teachers in the improved schools 
of the colonies. Further it was responsible 
for a girls’ secondary school, a school of com- 
merce, and a small Rabbinical Seminary, all 
in the same city. Finally, it had the direction, 
together with representatives of American and 
Russian Jewry and of the Zionist body, of a 
Technical Institute at Haifa which had not 
yet opened its courses. Hebrew was the only 
language in the kindergartens and a principal 
language of these other schools. The Hilfs- 
verein had thus embarked for some years 
before the war on a large and comprehensive 
programme of educational work in Palestine, 
and it was rapidly becoming the dominant 
outside body. Its larger understanding of the 
wants of the people, and its greater readiness 
to enrol on its staff the popular leaders of 
thought among the settlers, made it a far 
stronger influence than the Alliance Israelite. 



And it was the most powerful of all the 
foreign factors in the development of the 
renaissance of the Schools in Palestine. 

What followed, however, is instructive and 
illuminating, for in 1913 the society suddenly 
aroused a violent storm of protest throughout 
the country by increasing the German element 
in the curriculum of the higher schools and 
making it the main language of instruction. 
At the same time, the Council of Manage- 
ment of the Haifa Polytechnic, on which the 
Hilfsverein members had a majority, passed 
a resolution that German should be the 
language both for technical and general sub- 
jects at the Modern school and at the Poly- 
technic, which was then nearing completion. 
The Haifa Institute, built on the slopes of 
Mount Carmel, at a cost of .£100,000, was 
designed on a big scale and was to have de- 
partments of engineering, chemistry, and 
textile industries. It was the particular pride 
of Palestinian Jewry and was to play a great 
part, it was hoped, in the extension of manu- 
factures and commerce throughout the coun- 
try. A generous bequest of a Jewish merchant 
prince of Odessa had started the fund for the 
erection of the building, and the site was given 
by the Jewish National Fund. The Hilfs- 
verein and some leading Jewish philanthropists 
of America had contributed large sums to the 
building and maintenance funds, and it was 
understood that, in accordance with the wishes 


of the people, Hebrew would be the principal 
language of instruction. The decision of the 
council therefore came as a shock to the 
Palestine communities, and together with the 
new policy in the higher schools evoked the 
greatest hostility. When protest meetings 
were ineffective to secure a change, the 
Hebrew-loving teachers proclaimed a strike. 
A large number of the children and of the 
teachers withdrew from the Hilfsverein schools 
and it was announced that, unless the decision 
as to language was changed, the Polytechnic 
would be boycotted. The people were feeling 
their independence of foreign help, and with 
an ardent love of their newly won language 
refused to bend the knee to any Teutonic 

David Yellin, one of the leaders of the 
Hebrew revival and sub-director of the 
Teachers’ Training College, resigned his post 
and put himself at the head of a movement 
for the establishing of independent Hebrew 
higher schools. Over £5, 000 was subscribed 
for the purpose by the Western Zionists in 
a few months, and the people of Palestine, 
poor as most of them are, subscribed as much. 
The teachers willingly submitted to great 
material loss for the sake of their ideal, and 
the new schools were soon fully manned and 
fully attended. Nothing could better illustrate 
the spirit of the Palestine settlers than this 
bold championship of Hebrew, and this refusal 


to make concessions to any foreign influence, 
philanthropic though it might be, which 
challenged their national sentiment. The 
Polytechnic stood an empty fabric until the 
fiercer war outside came to resolve the struggle 
between the Teutonisers and these latter-day 
Maccabees. The school is the centre of 
Jewish life, and it was round the schools that 
the battle against foreign influence was waged, 
while it was the teachers who were to lead in 
the fight. What they aspired to, was a Hebrew 
people nurtured on a Hebraic foundation, 
and conscious of a national unity through 
their common Hebraism, instead of a collec- 
tion of Russo- Jewish, Franco- Jewish, and 
German- Jewish atoms, and they proved by 
their conduct in this struggle with the power- 
ful outside elements arrayed against them, 
their attachment to their ideals and their 
power to attain them. 

For thirty years, Jewish life in Palestine did 
not evolve a system of education in harmony 
with the ideal which prompted the return to 
the land. It continued to foster through the 
Talmud Torah and the Cheder, on the one 
hand, the spirit of exile in the form of a 
petrifaction of Jewish thought ; through the 
foreign schools, on the other hand, had the 
same spirit in the more insidious form of 
assimilation. The new spirit of the revival 
required a system based on Jewish traditional 
teaching free at once from the trammels of 


the ghetto and the slavish adherence to 
Western models, while remaining in touch with 
the best modern science and European thought. 
Since the beginning of this century at least, 
Jewish education in Palestine has in fact 
advanced far along the lines of such a develop- 

While orators were talking Jewish nation- 
alism in Europe, a few workers were fashioning 
it in Palestine. The enthusiasm for the revival 
of the Hebrew language was among the first 
expressions of the national consciousness of 
the people, and marvellously quickly it per- 
meated the mass. Necessity was the sister 
force of enthusiasm ; for a practical need 
supplemented the poetical sentiment. The 
immigrants spoke three or four languages in 
their homes, some the Yiddish of the European 
ghetto ; some the Ladino or Spanish dialect 
which is spread among the Jews of the Levant ; 
some Judeo- Arabic which is the native speech 
of the Orient. Hebrew was the single 
language which could give a corporate feeling 
to the mass of the younger generation, and 
it was therefore accepted by all but the very 
pious medievalists, who continued to regard 
its use for secular purposes as a blasphemy. 
The Talmud Torah in the village gave place 
to the Beth-Hasepher, which was designed to 
foster a new Hebraism. Taking over the 
modern subjects which had been introduced 
in the foreign schools by European teachers, 


it taught them through Hebrew, and though 
defects of methods remain, and enough good 
teachers are difficult to find, on the whole the 
colonies and the larger towns have now an 
adequate system of elementary instruction 
imparted in Hebrew and inspired by Jewish 

As Jewish life has expanded the educational 
demands have increased. The Jewish parent 
everywhere in Palestine, as well as in London, 
in Odessa, in New York, will make every 
sacrifice to give his child the best possible 
education ; and if it cannot be obtained near 
at hand, he will send the child abroad. Till 
recently most of the boys and girls who 
wanted a higher education, whether technical, 
professional, or artistic, left Palestine to seek 
it in Paris, or Berlin, or Switzerland. But 
apart from the foundations of foreign philan- 
thropic societies, the popular movement has 
already brought about the establishment of 
several higher schools in Palestine itself ; 
notably the Gymnasium at Jaffa and the 
Bezalel Arts and Crafts School at Jerusalem, 
which are the spontaneous outcome of the 
new Jewish settlement, and in their methods 
and objects reflect its character. 

The Hebrew Gymnasium at Jaffa was, up 
to the outbreak of the war, the special boast 
of the Jewish Garden City, Tel- Aviv ; what 
Harrow, at an earlier stage, was to the 
Metropolis. It was a high school for boys 


and girls between the ages of twelve and 
seventeen, and it had already sent scholars to 
European universities. During the ten years 
of its existence the roll of its pupils rose from 
1 00 to over 600, of whom about one half were 
drawn from Jaffa, Jerusalem, and the Agri- 
cultural colonies, and the other half from 
Southern Russia. The schools of Palestine 
were becoming the magnet of the Russian 
Jews, who could send but a small percentage 
of their children to higher schools in Russia 
itself, and were thus compelled to look to 
Western Europe before the new light began 
to shine in the East. But a Jewish Gymnasium 
in Jaffa was dearer to them far than a Swiss 
Gymnasium in Geneva, and a policy of re- 
striction against the Russo- Jewish immigra- 
tion had already begun to close the portals 
of the Western schools and universities. 
Through the generosity of an ex-Lord Mayor 
of Bradford, Alderman Moser, the Jaffa high 
schools were finely housed in a building which 
was one of the few architectural beauties of 
the town, standing in the centre of the Jewish 
suburb. The curriculum included Hebrew, 
Bible and Talmud, mathematics and natural 
science, Latin and Greek, Arabic and Turkish, 
French and English, singing and gymnastics. 
The list of the subjects is striking in its diver- 
sity, but the distinctive feature of the school 
was its method. Each of the lessons was given 
through Hebrew ; boys and girls were taught 


together. While in the ghetto the girls were 
neglected intellectually, in the new Judaea they 
were to have from the beginning equality of 
opportunity. The staff of the school was like- 
wise partly male and partly female, and was 
drawn mostly from the class of the Russian 
intelligenzia. Definite religious teaching was 
avoided because of the difference in religious 
standpoint among parents and teachers. 
Jewish beliefs, in Palestine, as everywhere, are 
in process of transition ; but there is nowhere 
else the Jewish environment, moulding the 
life of the people and compensating, to some 
extent, for a falling off in ceremonial observance 
The question of religious teaching has been 
a vexed one with the Jews not less than with 
other peoples, both inside and outside 
Palestine. A section of the nationalists pro- 
fess a complete secularism, while another 
section maintain a complete adherence to the 
religious tradition. Excess begets excess ; and 
the minute regulation of life by religious law 
which exists in the ghettoes of Eastern Europe, 
produces among the newly emancipated a 
violent reaction against religious belief and 
practice. But in Palestine the genius loci 
makes, undoubtedly, for the growth of a 
religious feeling of a deeper kind. Many of 
the boys and girls of the Jaffa Gymnasium, 
having a good knowledge of the Bible and 
of the literature which grew up around the 
Bible, already show a fresh religious sense 


which is of good augury for the future Jewish 
life of the new settlement. 

Besides its elementary and higher schools 
the Jaffa settlement boasted a Conservatoire 
of Music, the “ Shulamith.” Of all the arts, 
music has the deepest hold on the Jewish 
people, for it is that which is closest to the 
inner life. In their ghettoes, where they 
have been cut off from a free life and the 
inspiration of Nature, they have yet given 
birth to some of the world’s greatest musicians 
during the last two centuries. Amid happier 
surroundings they will develop a still greater 
artistic excellence. When they are a peasant 
people, as well as a town people, they may 
achieve that supreme creative genius in music 
which has been lacking in their famous com- 
posers of the nineteenth century. Such a 
genius can come only from the Folk. The 
reproach that Jews are imitative in art will 
pass away in a free Jewish environment, where 
Jewish artists can express the life and thought 
of the Jewish people. 

Another Art school of the new Palestine 
population which has attracted general notice, 
is the “ Bezalel ” of Jerusalem, named after 
the craftsman who designed the Tabernacle 
of the Israelities in the wilderness. It is a 
practical Arts and Crafts institute as well as a 
school, and has as its two objects to revive 
among the Palestine community the skill in 
the applied arts for which the Jews were dis- 


tinguished in the Dark or Middle Ages, and 
at the same time to provide the younger 
generation with a useful vocation. In the 
ghettoes the Jewish hand lost its cunning, 
and the Jewish eye its sense of beauty. In 
the new life that is budding, that cunning, 
and that sense, are being recovered. The fine 
arts also are taught at the Bezalel, and Pro- 
fessor Schatz, the director, is a distinguished 
sculptor. But, as befits a young community, 
the application of beauty to the useful is more 
regarded than the creation of beautiful things 
for their own sake, and the equipment of 
some hundreds of young men and women 
with a practical skill is considered more im- 
portant than the training of a number of 
artists. The particular branches of craft 
which are practised are, carpet-weaving, wood- 
carving, Jewellery, filigree and inlaid metal 
work, and lace making, and before the war 
the artistic productions of the school were 
displacing rapidly, in Jerusalem, the mere- 
tricious and tawdry souvenirs of hallowed 
memory. The Bezalel had, too, an export 
trade which was growing up by leaps and 
bounds, and amounted in 1912 to a value of 
over .£10,000. Exhibitions of Bezalel handi- 
work had been held at many of the chief 
centres of Europe and America, and had not 
only secured a large support for the school, 
but stirred a new pride in thousands of Jews 
whose respect for the people in the Holy 


Cities had been weakened by mere almsgiving. 
The idea of the Jerusalem Jew as a bad beggar 
was beginning to be displaced by the idea of 
him as a good craftsman. As at the Jaffa 
Gymnasium, young men and women study 
and work together, and representatives of all 
the communities which make the microcosm 
of Jewry in Jerusalem are gathered in the 
school, where the inherited skill in certain 
forms of craft which is possessed by sections 
of the population — such as by the Yemenites 
in filigree, and of the Persian girls in weaving 
— have been turned to account. As the agri- 
cultural colonies are the pledge of the repopu- 
lation of Palestine’s waste places by young 
Jewry, so the Bezalel is the pledge of the 
regeneration of the town-dwellers of Palestine 
by honest industry. 

The war has inevitably given a set-back to 
the development of the Bezalel ; it has not 
however, so far as is known, caused the 
closing of the Secondary Schools and Training 
Colleges which were started by the Hebrew 
enthusiasts when the struggle with the Hilfs- 
verein broke out. To the Jews the school is 
the last sanctuary, and even when the nourish- 
ment of the body is wanting, he will not give 
up, unless violently compelled, the nurture 
of the mind. To-day the schools of Palestine 
are saving the Jewish settlement from de- 
struction and despair, and keeping alive till 
happier days the spirit of the Renaissance. 


The enthusiasm of the Palestinian Jews for 
their Hebrew culture rose, even during the 
war, superior to its trials. After the out- 
break of hostilities between the Allies and 
Turkey, some 10,000 Jews of European nation- 
ality, preferring exile to forced Ottomanisa- 
tion and the tender mercies of Ottoman 
military rule, went down to Egypt for refuge. 
Among them were three thousand children 
of school age ; and as soon as it was clear 
that they would have to sojourn at Alexandria 
some time, the first care of the Refugees’ 
committee was to provide schooling for them. 
The head mistress of the Evelina School at 
Jerusalem was among the deported, and she 
undertook the management of two schools in 
the refugee encampments which were adminis- 
tered by the Egyptian Government authorities. 
The children in their exile acquired a delight- 
ful facility alike in the language of their 
mother country and in the language of 
their protectors. Their hearts were still 
firmly set on the return to Palestine ; they 
sang the songs of Zion, and talked the 
language of Zion, by the waters of the Nile. 
The Palestinian exiles contrived also to imbue 
with their spirit the older Jewish schools of 
the land of Egypt. A number of the expelled 
teachers found employment there ; and, 
bringing an invincible enthusiasm to their 
work, secured the acceptance of Hebrew as a 
living language. The ravages of war may have 


destroyed the buildings of the Palestine 
Jewish schools, but they could not quell the 
spirit that filled those buildings, and they 
actually gave it greater expansion. 

The war, however, has retarded for a time 
the creation of the crown of the educational 
system. The chief practical achievement of 
the Zionist Congress held in 1913 was to 
determine on the foundation of a National 
University in Jerusalem, and to appoint a 
Commission to elaborate a scheme or working 
project. Before the outbreak of hostilities 
things had got as far as the subscription of 
large sums for the building, and the Com- 
mission had secured the option of a worthy 
site. The building of the university may be 
delayed, but it will surely be one of the first 
ambitions of the Jewish people after the war 
to set up in Jerusalem a home of learning, 
which shall be the hearth of Jewish scholar- 
ship — the message of Jewish thought for the 
Diaspora of to-day, as the Temple was to the 
Diaspora of olden time. The Jew, it has been 
said, is born educated ; and, certainly, educa- 
tion and appreciation of intellectual excellence 
is more widely spread among the masses of 
Jewry than among those of any other people. 
Education has for two thousand years been 
their chief weapon of defence, and the Univer- 
sity will be the Palestine “ Dreadnought.” 

It is notable that the great Moslem Univer- 
sity, El Azhar, which survives to-day in Cairo, 


owes its design to one who was born a Jew — 
Jacob Ibn Killin — a convert to Islam, who as 
Vizier to the Fatimite Caliph, transformed 
El Azhar from mosque to university But the 
Jewish University of Jerusalem 'will not be like 
El Azhar, a stronghold of medievalism and 
inflexible theology, but a home of modern 
and progressive thought. For it will owe its 
existence in the first place to the aspirations 
of the young Palestinians for more knowledge. 
Some two hundred of them were before the 
war attending the college of the American 
Mission of the Jesuit Fathers in Beirut, which 
was the most important educational institu- 
tion of Syria providing a professional training. 
That the Jewish students were not much 
affected by the underlying spirit of the college 
is proved by the fact that they had a flourishing 
Zionist society and a club of their own ; yet 
it is a pity that they should have to seek their 
higher education and spend the impressionable 
years of adolescence in a strange atmosphere. 
A Hebrew university at Jerusalem would draw 
its students, however, not only from Palestine, 
but from the whole of the Diaspora. It would 
be to Jewry what Oxford and Cambridge are to 
the whole of the British Empire ; and more 
than that. Hitherto hundreds of Russian and 
Polish Jews, denied higher education in their 
own land, have flocked to the universities of 
France, Switzerland, and Germany. In the 
future they will eagerly turn to Palestine and 


receive their enlightenment in Jewish sur- 
roundings, and in their own national tongue. 
Much of the ardent thought which now runs 
to waste, because nourished in an alien and 
semi-hostile environment, will be fruitful 
when it develops according to its special 
bent and in tranquillity — inspired, too, by a 
national spirit. 

The University of Jerusalem will be not 
only a symbol of the spiritual hegemony of 
Palestine over the whole of Jewry, but it will 
be the actual radiating centre of the Jewish 
Renaissance. The scholars, the poets, and the 
philosophers of the dispersed communities will 
gather there, and in the fulness of time it will 
be the seat of a revived Sanhedrin which will 
develop, in accordance with the thought of 
the day, the heritage of Jewish Law. There 
will be established the embodiment of the 
catholic conscience of Judaism which alone 
can sanction, and secure general acceptance 
for, a reform of the religious practice. Jewry 
has been without an authoritative body of the 
kind for a thousand years, since the line of the 
Gaonim came to an end ; and its progressive 
development has, in consequence, been arrested. 
With the re-establishment of the true centre, 
Judaism will again be able to develop freely. 
However, it is the university, and not the 
Synod, which will be the moulding force of 
the religious, as well as of the national, culture. 
Religion indeed cannot be separated from the 


rest of culture in Judaism. And if the 
elementary, and secondary, and technical 
schools will be primarily for the part of the 
Jewish people living in Palestine, the Univer- 
sity of Jerusalem will be for the whole con- 
gregation of Israel. “ From Zion shall go 
forth the Law.” 

Very early in the history of the Zionist 
movement it was declared by Herzl that there 
was no remedy for the Jewish troubles except 
the return to Judaism : “ Zionism is the 

return to Jewry before the return to the 
Jewish land.” That there should be in 
Palestine a dissociation of Jewish national life 
from religion would be an unthinkable solu- 
tion. The great need of the East to-day is 
to revive the religious influence and inspira- 
tion required to strengthen the old faiths, 
which have been rudely shaken by the rapid 
incursion of Western rationalism. The East 
is absorbing European science, it is not recep- 
tive of European social ethics ; and in the 
younger generation, educated according to 
Western ideas, cynical self-interest becomes 
the dominant motive of conduct. The Jewish 
people, with their deep religious sense and 
their wonderful religious tradition, should 
play a great part in regenerating the people 
of the Eastern world upon a fresh basis of 
morality — “ a pure religion breathing house- 
hold laws ” — and anything which impairs the 
hold of Judaism is a loss to humanity. 


Wells has presaged a religious revival as one 
of the deeper effects of the war. Mankind, 
after the ordeal by fire, he thinks, will ac- 
knowledge the kingship of God in the way the 
children of Israel were called on to acknow- 
ledge it after the Babylonian captivity. 
National patriotism and pride of race will be 
subordinated to the sense that all men are 
subject to one Universal Ruler, and are 
members of one human society. What people 
has such capacity to give reality to this idea 
as that whose prophets taught it 2,500 years 
ago, when the military powers of the world 
had shattered their strength against one 
another, and the doctrine of “ blood and iron ” 
had been exploded by the fall of Babylon ? 
Viewed in the light of the world movements 
impelled by the war, the question of religious 
education in the schools of Palestine is not a 
matter of local or parochial interest only, but 
is integrally bound up with the significance 
of the Return of the Jews to the Land. Its 
solution is one of the chief problems which 
will confront the new regime. 




The Jewish population of Palestine suffered 
considerably between the years 1911 and 1913 
from the Tripolitan and Balkan Wars. The 
development of agriculture and industry, as 
well as of commerce and of communications, 
which had been rapidly proceeding in the 
previous decade, was gravely handicapped ; 
and the Ottoman Government pressed its 
demands for taxes and military service with 
greater strictness than heretofore. Under the 
Ottoman law all adult males of Ottoman 
nationality were liable to be called up for 
three years’ service, but a man unwilling to 
serve could redeem the obligation by payment 
of thirty pounds Turkish (£28). Many of the 
Jewish colonists, and more of the town- 
dwellers, retained their foreign nationality of 
origin after settling in Palestine, principally 
with a view to escaping this Turkish military 
conscription — which is not served under easy 
conditions. Of the rest, many redeemed them- 
selves and enriched the Turkish exchequer ; 
but still a considerable number were taken off 
to the army. 



When the Balkan War at length came to an 
end, there was a great stirring in the country. 
Projects of reforms, which had been delayed 
by the years of hostilities and unrest, were 
revived, and the representatives of syndicates 
for opening up new areas, making new rail- 
ways, and constructing new ports, arrived and 
set to work. There was a promise of some- 
thing in the nature of a Palestine boom. The 
French Government, as it was publicly an- 
nounced, obtained a concession for a railway 
from Rayak in Syria, between Damascus and 
Beirut, to Jerusalem, to run parallel for half 
its course with the Hedjaz railway, and after- 
wards to pass through the centre of the 
country till it met the existing French-owned 
line from Jaffa to Jerusalem at Ramleh. A 
group of French capitalists, moreover, were 
granted a concession for building ports at 
Jaffa and Haifa, of which men had talked 
and consuls had written for years and years. 
A Belgian syndicate was to develop the mineral 
wealth of the Dead Sea region, and one of the 
big oil trusts was to tap new reservoirs of 
petrol in the Jordan valley, and the Hauran 
beyond. Jewish hopes of agricultural expansion 
and industrial development likewise ran high. 
In the spring of 1914, a remarkable number of 
representative men visited the country, and 
after the U.S. Ambassador Morgenthau’s 
journey, it was announced that a Commission 
would be sent out in the autumn from America 


to report on what should be done for the 
general welfare of the inhabitants. I spent 
a few weeks in the Jewish settlements early 
in the summer of 1914, and shared in the 
general conviction that a bright era of pro- 
gress was opening. The atmosphere in the 
colonies was full of plans for the purchase 
of land to increase the Jewish agricultural 
colonisation and lay out fresh garden suburbs ; 
and the American Zionist Societies in particular 
were beginning to take a leading part in the 
labour of expansion and to bring a fresh store 
of enterprise and initiative to the work. 

When the tempest of war suddenly burst 
upon the world in August, 1914, it left Pales- 
tine, at first, comparatively unshaken. At the 
time it was not expected that the Ottoman 
Empire would join in the fray, and the chief con- 
sequence of the outbreak of hostilities was here, 
as in other neutral countries, a financial crisis. 
The gold and silver currency, always scarce 
in the country, was almost entirely stopped, 
the paper money issued by the Government 
was of doubtful value, and the colonists devised 
a system of credit among themselves. They 
issued promises to pay, which, characteristic- 
ally, were in Hebrew ; and these scraps of 
paper passed as coin of the realm. The 
colonists trusted the credit of the few men 
of means among them, and they were pre- 
pared to risk the loss in the case of a note 
emanating from one of their own number. 


Their communistic sense was strengthened in 
them, and they formed societies for relieving 
the distress of any who could not stand the 
shock of the world-quake. A great role was 
also played by certified cheques of the Anglo- 
Palestine Co. (a creation of the Jewish Colonial 
Trust, “ the financial instrument of Zionism ”), 
which had become the universal bank for the 
Jewish settlers, and served also a large part 
of the Arab population. 

In the towns, where the stringency was 
greater and the population less self-supporting, 
a remarkable organisation of mutual help was 
built up, and the fabric of educational institu- 
tions, so recently erected, was kept intact 
despite the difficulties of the crisis. After a 
month or two of indecision, the war began 
to come closer and make greater inroads on 
the life of all the people. Preparing for their 
entry into the conflict, which was already 
decided on, the Turks pressed men for military 
service more relentlessly than ever, and made 
requisitions of provisions and transport for the 
army. The Jewish colonists had to give up 
their horses and carts, to open their stores 
of grain, to cut down their trees, to hand up 
their arms, to receive the soldiers billeted on 
them, and to provide parties for defensive 
works. A little later came the declaration of 
war between the Ottoman Empire and the 
Powers of the Entente. Djemal Pasha, one 
of the leaders of the Young Turk party, who 


had proved himself brave in the Balkan War 
and active thereafter and had become Minister 
of Marine, was sent as Generalissimo of the 
Army of Syria. And plans were laid for a 
Turkish invasion of Egypt. 

This was of bad omen for the Jewish settle- 
ments, for Palestine, and especially the coast 
plain of Judaea, was the natural basis for such 
a campaign. The Turkish headquarters was 
in fact fixed at Beersheba. In the world war 
one of the world’s historical battlefields was 
again to know the tramp of armies. The 
struggle of nations has invoked everywhere 
the negation of the doctrine of Rousseau that 
war is a relation of States, and not of peoples. 
In every belligerent country the individual, 
sooner or later, has been identified with his 
State, and the mitigation introduced into the 
practice of war during the nineteenth century 
of allowing peaceful enemy aliens to reside 
in the belligerent country, so long as they 
were of good behaviour, was rudely swept 
away. Some thousands of the Jewish settlers 
in Palestine had preserved their foreign nation- 
ality, or at least had not assumed Ottoman 
citizenship, and upon the declaration of war 
they were given the alternative of accepting 
forthwith that citizenship and its obligations, 
or of leaving the country at short notice. 
Many chose the former course, especially 
among those who had a stake in the land. 
Becoming naturalised Ottomans they remained 


on their farms. They were promised release 
from military service, and were prepared to 
take the risk of the Turks keeping faith. Some 
thousands, however, of Russian, French, and 
English subjects, preferred a fresh exile to the 
tender mercies of the Ottoman Government 
and the prospect of famine which was already 
looming. They were mainly sprung from the 
towns, and a considerable proportion were 
recipients of the Chaluka ; but some hundreds 
were labourers (Poalim) of the colonies who 
were willing to take their part in the war, 
but desired to serve in the ranks of the Allies. 
These were afterwards embodied in the Zion 
Mule Corps which went through the Gallipoli 
campaign from beginning to end, as a transport 
unit of the British army at Cape Hellas, and 
acquitted itself well under the command of 
Colonel Paterson, who published a very popular 
book on the achievements of his little Jewish 

Few of the thousands who desired to leave 
the country had the means to get away on the 
very limited number of neutral vessels that 
were still calling at the Palestinian or Syrian 
ports. But the American Government, repre- 
sented at Constantinople by Mr. Morgenthau, 
who had developed a deeply sympathetic 
interest in Palestine during that very summer, 
came to the rescue. The United States 
cruisers, Tennessee and Des Moines and Chester , 
which were in Mediterranean waters, arrived 


off Jaffa and Beyrout, and in turn carried off 
thousands of refugees. The land of Egypt 
once again, as in the days of the Bible, was 
to be the land of refuge. Together with the 
exiled monks and nuns and the European 
Christians, the thousands of Jewish alien 
enemies of the Turks, were brought away 
with such only of their possessions as they 
could carry with them, and landed at Alex- 
andria. They were not all compulsory exiles ; 
some subjects of Spain and other neutral 
countries came away with the stream, anticipat- 
ing — not, as was proved by events, without 
reason — evils to come. The American cruisers 
deposited their living freights at Port Said 
and Alexandria, and there they were generously 
assisted by the British authorities, who formed 
regular refugee camps. They settled down 
to make what they hoped would be a short 
sojourn — a sojourn, however, which now, three 
years later, is still not ended. During this 
period of exile the greater number have 
achieved independence. Some 3,000 still 
remain in the Government camps, for the 
most part women, children, and old men. 
They have lived under hard conditions, but 
their presence in Egypt has had a reviving 
effect on the local Jewry, which had for long 
been sunk in a lethargy and indifferent to the 
national ideal. At first the refugees had with 
them in their new surroundings few of their 
home leaders ; most of the men and women 


of influence and personality had chosen to 
stand by their Palestine work. But in the 
beginning of the year 1916, the Turks, pursuing 
a more aggressive policy, turned against the 
heads of the Jewish institutions in Palestine 
who were of enemy origin. Exile, either 
within or without the Ottoman Empire, was 
the choice they offered, and many more made 
their \yay to Egypt. 

Djemal Pasha, the local autocrat, issued an 
almost savage proclamation against all Zionist 
enterprises, threatening with extreme penalties 
any who should make outward profession of 
adherence to the Jewish nationalist cause, or 
show the Jewish flag. He disarmed the Jewish 
police of the colonies, the Shomerim , who were 
the only security against robbery. And, what 
was even more serious, he took extreme 
measures against the principal Jewish financial 
institution, the Anglo-Palestine Bank, which 
had become the mainstay of the colonies. 
The bank was constituted as an English 
trading company, and therefore came within 
the scope of the action taken against enemy 
concerns. It was suddenly ordered to liquidate 
its business in Palestine, and to shut down all 
its branches. The distress of the masses, owing 
to want of money and of food, increased day 
by day. The Turkish army destined for the 
invasion of Egypt scoured the country-side 
for provisions and made pitiless requisitions. 
It cut down the trees and laid bare the forest 


colony of Chederah, Again it was American 
Jewry which came to the aid of its hard- 
pressed brethren. It had the means, and it 
gave them, as its way. is when moved, with a 
large hand. Soup kitchens were organised for 
feeding those in greatest want, and some 
thousands more of the destitute were brought 
away to Egypt, and admitted to the refugee 
camp at Alexandria. 

The Palestine settlement, however, had to 
undergo other trials. On top of the Turkish 
requisitions, which denuded the country-side, 
a plague of locusts of unparalleled severity 
burst on the devoted land in the spring of 
1915. It passed at the same time over Egypt, 
but there the whole manhood was called out, 
and marshalled on scientific lines by the 
central and local administration, to combat 
the pest, and the danger was kept within 
bounds. In Palestine no scheme of fighting 
the insects existed, and the administration 
was unequal to the task of improvising an 
adequate defence. It made a spasmodic 
effort, and called in the help of the Jewish 
agronomist Aaron Aaronson, who was director 
of the Agricultural Experimental Station. 
He, indeed, organised the population of the 
Jewish colonies, but he could not, with the 
insufficient means at his disposal, organise the 
undisciplined and ignorant and scattered Arab 
population. The orchards and plantations and 
vineyards fell a helpless prey to the swarms 


of insects, and the work of a generation was 
destroyed in a month. Owing to the dearth 
of food, various diseases ravaged the people ; 
and owing to the lack of drugs and medicine 
the death rate among the sick was terribly 
high ; typhus, small-pox, typhoid, and cholera 
followed each other. Though out of the 
immediate war zone, the country was suffering 
the worst horrors of war. 

Still the people never lost their zeal for 
the spiritual goods of the Yishub. Neither 
war nor want could undermine their love 
of education, and their ardour for their 
precious Hebraism. The schools all continued 
in session ; and this at least may be said for 
the Turkish authorities, they did not for a 
time attempt to close them. Where institu- 
tions were staffed by enemy subjects, as with 
the schools of the French Alliance Israelite 
and the Evelina de Rothschild girls’ school, 
the enemy teachers had indeed to leave the 
country. But the authorities permitted sub- 
stitutes to be appointed from among the 
Ottoman- Jewish subjects, and the only in- 
novation in the curriculum was to substitute 
Turkish for the enemy language. The two 
directors of the Gymnasium at Jaffa, who were 
Russian subjects by origin, were both com- 
pelled to go, despite the Ottomanisation of 
the institute. But, even so, the school kept its 
doors open, and the directors carried on a 
vigorous propaganda for their Hebraic method 


in the countries oi their exile. One of them 
led the movement for the foundation of a 
Hebrew high school in Alexandria for the 
elder children of the refugees, and the 
other went as an apostle of Hebraism to 

A new phase of Palestine’s trials opened in 
1917 when the British army, which had 
crossed the wilderness of Sinai, passed the 
frontiers. England came as a deliverer of the 
Arab and Jewish peoples from the neglect 
and misgovernment of the Turks ; and the 
Turks, conscious that the invader would be 
welcomed, wreaked their spite on the defence- 
less Jewish settlers. In accordance with the 
merciless policy initiated elsewhere by their 
allies, they moved the civil population away 
as the hostile armies approached. The in- 
habitants of Gaza, who comprised only a few 
hundred Jews, and the Jewish inhabitants of 
Jaffa, who numbered some fifteen thousand 
— but not the more numerous Moslems — were 
forced to leave their homes when the British 
forces, in the spring of 1917, reached the Wadi 
Ghuzzeh. The deportation at Jaffa was 
attended with every hardship and some cir- 
cumstances of wanton cruelty. The exiles had 
no city of refuge to which to turn. Egypt 
was now closed to them, and the humanising 
mediation of the United States could no 
longer be exercised. They had therefore to 
throw themselves on the charity of their 


brethren higher up the country in various 
settlements who were already desperately hard 
pressed ; and the general distress was in- 
creased. Very little news leaked through 
neutral countries of what was happening, but 
the tidings that came were increasingly alarm- 
ing. A list of the relative prices of the chief 
commodities before the war and at the be- 
ginning of the fourth year of the struggles, 
which was published in Palestine , September 
8th, 1917, speaks for itself: 

Bread per rotl 

rrice in 1914 

rrice in 1917 

about lbs.) 












Salt . 







• 3 


Wood . 

■ 7 ' 5 ° 


In Jerusalem, particularly, where the Turks 

fixed the headquarters of their Palestine 
army, the situation of the Jews, who always 
lived in congested areas and on the margin 
of destitution, recalled the horrors of the 
great siege which was the death agony of the 

“ The misery of the poor,” wrote a corre- 
spondent from Jerusalem, at the end of June, 
“ is unspeakable. The roads are lined with 


starving persons who lie about begging for a 
mouthful of bread. The poor Jews sell all 
their belongings and clothes, linen and bed 
covers, to the soldiers to get a few metalliks 
for food.” The words of the writer of 
Lamentations were realised : “ The young 

children ask bread, and no man breaketh it 
unto them.” 

Among the lands martyred by the war, 
Palestine has a principal place. The Belgium 
of the East, as it has been called, its people 
have suffered like the Belgians of the West ; 
yet throughout the times of stress and suffer- 
ing the Jews have held fast to their infant 
culture, and never lost their ancient hope. 
These 100,000 sufferers are the pledge of the 
Zionist movement, for it is their presence in 
the Holy Land which, more than all the speeches 
and assemblies in the Diaspora, more than the 
world’s Press suddenly grown universally sym- 
pathetic, focus the attention of the civilised 
world on the Jewish claim to the country 
They are therefore in a very real sense the 
advance guard of Jewry. Like the steadfast 
remnant that remained behind with Gedaliah 
when those of the second Captivity were 
taken away to Babylon, they to-day are the 
earnest of the Return. 

The colonies will inevitably be weakened by 
these years of privation, and the town popula- 
tion will be sorely reduced, both in number and 
in circumstances, but the character of the 


people will be the stronger for having passed 
through the ordeal, and the title of the 
nationality will be strengthened by the 
achievement and endurance of its repre- 

One compensation of the war, too, has already 
been revealed. The British army, since it 
crossed the border, has proved the possibilities 
of a greater prosperity which will speedily make 
up for the destruction wrought by the Turkish 
army of occupation. In the least favoured 
part of the country it has found, and developed, 
water for hundreds of thousands of men and 
hundreds of thousands of animals, where 
before a few hundred Bedouins half tilled the 
fields and pastured their animals. Where there 
is water in the East there is a way to fruitful- 
ness, and it needs only the will to bring 

As too the army of deliverance proceeds 
it will in simple truth extend the boundaries 
of justice and good government, and it will 
open up a new era in the annals of the Bible 

It is no wonder that many in these 
days of miracles have come to believe again 
in the literal fulfilment of prophecy. For 
they have seen before their eyes a highway 
built from Egypt into Syria, and the thirsty 
land becoming a spring of waters, and the 
wilderness a pool. The days of war have 
brought the beginning of fulfilment, and the 


days of peace will surely continue it to the 
full realisation of the dreams and hopes of 
the seers of 2,500 years ago, which have 
remained the dreams and hopes of their 



The future of Palestine, and the future of 
the Jewish people, have become two of the 
larger questions which will be treated at the 
Settlement of the Nations after the war. In 
the world struggle, of which one of the great 
moral issues is the right of nationalities to self- 
development, it is impossible to disregard the 
claim of the oldest surviving nationality, the 
veteran of history, to resume its national life. 
And in the redemption of the Ottoman 
Empire from neglect and misrule, it is im- 
possible to disregard the claims of the people 
who, for a thousand years, made Palestine one 
of the centres of the world’s civilisation, and 
who, during the last thirty years, have laid 
anew the foundations of the country’s fruit- 

Before the war Zionism was stated, by one 
of its chief critics, Mr. Lucien Wolf, to be 
“ the greatest popular movement that Jewish 
history has ever known.” To-day it has not 
only multiplied manifold its adherents among 
the Jews, but it has been adopted by the 
o 193 


representatives of the democracies of England, 
France, Russia, and the United States as the 
just solution of the Jewish problem. The 
conscience of mankind is stirred, at last, to 
do justice to the people which for nigh two 
thousand years has been a martyr for its faith ; 
to give, in Zangwill’s words, “ the Land with- 
out a People, to the People without a Land.” 
Considerable difference of opinion, indeed, 
exists as to the form of political sovereignty 
which Palestine should receive after the war. 
One school favours the constitution of the 
country as a British colony in which the Jews 
will enjoy from the first a large measure of 
autonomy, and eventually be a self-governing 
nation, like the people of the Australian 
Commonwealth, or the Dominion of Canada. 
Another school favours an international regime, 
such as existed before the war for the manage- 
ment of the Danube Navigation. A third 
party suggests an Anglo-French condominium 
over all Syria. A fourth, and bolder, view, 
asks for the foundation, immediately, of a 
Jewish State or Republic, guaranteed by the 
League of Nations. 

It is not the time now to consider the 
relative merits of these proposals. What is 
common to them all is the principle that the 
Jewish people shall have special rights in 
Palestine — not simply freedom of immigration 
and settlement, which have been denied to 
them under the Ottoman Government, but 


rights of self-government and powers of 
developing the country’s resources without 
let or hindrance. Whatever the form of the 
state, Palestine is to be the National Home 
of the Jewish people. State sovereignty is 
not essential to the Jewish national ideal. 
Freedom for the Jew to develop according to 
his own tradition, in his own environment, 
is the main, if not the whole, demand. 

It is a spiritual promise which the new 
Palestine pre-eminently holds out for man- 
kind ; but yet the material prospects of the 
country are worthy of consideration. As the 
meeting-place of two continents it has to-day, 
as it had throughout antiquity, a singular 
political and geographical importance. Its 
position, to the east of the Suez Canal, the 
great interoceanic waterway, serves but to 
increase that peculiar importance. The rail- 
way has taken the place of the road as the 
means of communication between countries, 
but it follows the lines of the road. And it 
is along the vale of Esdraelon — from Haifa 
eastward to the Jordan — and thence to 
Damascus, and along the Maritime plain 
— from Haifa southward to the river of Egypt 
(El-Arish) — and thence to the Nile delta, where 
thousands of years ago the armies and caravans 
of Asia met the armies and caravans of Africa, 
that to-morrow the railroad linking India to 
Egypt must pass. Here men seeking to 
regenerate the Land of Promise will find the 


overland route to India and China as of old, 
in looking for the seaways to the Indies, they 
found America. The military line built 
between 1916 and 1917 by the British army 
from the Suez Canal to Gaza has since been 
connected with the military railway built by 
the Turkish army in the same period from 
Jerusalem to Beersheba, and thus, through the 
exigencies of the war, the highway from 
Egypt into Syria has been made. 

Palestine had already before the war a con- 
siderable network of railways. The oldest 
lines are those between Jaffa and Jerusalem 
and between Damascus and El Mezeirib in 
the Hauran, both owned by French companies, 
the first mainly designed for the tourist 
traffic, the second for the transport of corn. 
Of much greater length and importance is 
the Hedjaz line linking Syria and Arabia, 
which was built by the Turkish Government 
— primarily for the pilgrims of Mecca — and 
opened some eight years ago as far as Medina. 
Running from Damascus southward through 
the Hauran and the eastern provinces of 
Palestine, Gilead and Moab, to Arabia Petraea 
and Arabia Felix, it opens up to economic and 
commercial enterprise a vast district, once one 
of the world’s granaries and — -as its ruins show — 
populous and prosperous, but for centuries 
abandoned to the marauding Bedouin. A 
branch of the Hedjaz line from Deria in the 
Hauran to Haifa connects it with the sea, 


and another small extension of that branch 
to Acre encircles the bay that forms Pales- 
tine’s natural harbour. Damascus, too, is now 
connected with Aleppo by a French line 
passing through Homs and Hama, and the 
Bagdad railway, which was designed to run 
from the coast of Asia Minor to the shores 
of the Persian Gulf and to be connected with 
Aleppo, has been nearly completed during the 

Thus the linking up of the Near East and 
the Far East, and of Europe and the whole 
Orient is well on the way to achievement. 
Haifa will be one of the principal debouches of 
this trunk system ; and when European enter- 
prise is unhampered, its bay, bounded by the 
length of Carmel on the south and the pro- 
montory of Acre on the north, will be again 
a haven for great ships, as it was in the days 
when Solomon was building the Temple, or 
the Franks fought the Saracens for the glory 
of God. 

Since the beginning of the war too, the 
Turkish Government has completed the chain 
connecting Haifa with Jerusalem by a line 
branching off from Afuleh, a village hard by 
the ancient Megiddo (the Armageddon of the 
Bible), and passing through Samaria and 
Nablous into Judaea. With the forging of 
the last link in this railway system, through 
Beersheba to Gaza, Palestine has become the 
nodal point, not of two, but of three con- 


tinents. The construction of these railways 
in Palestine increases, of course, the economic 
possibilities of the country. The interior of 
the country will henceforth be linked up, not 
only with the ports of Syria, but with the 
important markets of Egypt. Just as Lord 
Kitchener twenty-three years ago, by his 
military railway across the Nilian sands, pre- 
pared the way for a peaceful reclamation of 
the Sudan from neglect, so the British army, 
by the railway flung across the sands of Sinai, 
has prepared the way for the restoration of 
Palestine to its old productiveness. 

Agriculture has remained from Biblical 
times the chief pursuit of the inhabitants, 
and for some time the economic development 
must be largely agricultural. The experience 
of the Jewish settlements has proved that the 
ancient fertility of the country may be com- 
pletely restored by an industrious and in- 
telligent population. The soil indeed is more 
like to that of California than of any other 
part of the globe ; and the application of 
modern science to its resources will quickly 
undo the waste of centuries. All the authori- 
ties agree that the ground is good ; it is a 
question only of irrigation. An immense 
water power, which, in the East especially, 
is the key of prosperity, is at present allowed 
to run to waste. Almost all the stream of the 
Jordan, which should be to Palestine what the 
Nile is to Egypt, flows useless into the Dead 


Sea to be evaporated. The systematic dam- 
ming of the river would be a simple under- 
taking. From Tiberias to the Dead Sea there 
is a fall of ten feet a mile, and it is estimated 
that in that stretch of eighty miles, fifty 
dams could be erected for the irrigation 
scheme. From each such lake water would be 
drained out, with high-level canals contouring 
the hills, and giving perennial irrigation to the 
hothouse of the Jordan valley, which would 
become the greatest productive district in the 
world. So, too, the other streams and water- 
courses of the country will be dammed, and 
new areas will be won for intensive cultivation. 

A beginning has been made with the 
irrigation of the orchards around Jaffa, from 
the Nahr-el-Auja, which has a full and deep 
stream all the year round ; but the River 
Kedron, flowing through Esdraelon, and all 
the many streams which are full in winter 
and are dry beds in the summer, are com- 
pletely unharnessed. They may readily be 
turned into a chain of ponds and lakes and 
sources of abundant fruitfulness, so that the 
whole of the coastal plain will be a continuous 
stretch of gardens, cornfields, and vineyards. 

The water power of Palestine’s rivers will 
be used, too, for supplying electricity, as well 
for industrial as for agricultural purposes. 
While in its southern course from Tiberias 
the fall of the Jordan is gradual, in its upper 
course its falls are much more sudden. In 


its first twenty-five miles it drops nearly two 
thousand feet, or about seventy feet a mile. 
The Yarmuk, one of its chief tributaries, rolls 
headlong from the Hauran plateau to its 
junction, with a total fall of over 1,000 feet. 
Were the falls of these two rivers utilised, it 
is estimated that sufficient energy could be 
created to supply Acre, Haifa, and Tyre and 
the intervening country, i.e. the whole of the 
rich plain of Esdraelon and its sea-board, with 
electricity for lighting and power. There are 
other rivers in this land of mountain ranges 
and valleys which have an almost equal fall, 
more particularly those which descend from the 
plateau east of the Jordan into the main 
waterway. The use of all this potential 
electric energy will be a factor of greater 
consequence for the restoration of Palestine 
than the introduction of Western machinery, 
which has already been initiated by the Jewish 
settlers with striking results. It will not only 
revolutionise agriculture by rendering feasible 
large schemes of irrigation, but it will be the 
foundation of the growth of important in- 

Palestine has already a considerable industrial 
population among the Jewish town-dwellers, 
who have hitherto been only half employed. 
After the war, when Jewish immigration on a 
big scale is organised, it will have a much 
larger labour force of the kind. Hitherto, 
the only considerable manufactures have been 


of soap from the olive berry, and of souvenirs 
from the olive wood. But mineral deposits 
are known to exist which, already before the 
war, promised industrial expansion. Phos- 
phates have been mined in the region of 
Gilead, and the Dead Sea is an untapped 
reservoir of chemical wealth. The ' Biblical 
description of Canaan as a land “ whose 
stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou 
mayest dig brass,” may be justified when men 
start to survey, not only, as in the past, for 
the monuments of an old civilisation, but also 
for minerals to which the industry of a new 
population may be applied. 

The Jews have given to Europe great names 
in the history of chemical research ; and 
among those who go out to Palestine will 
certainly be men who will know how to 
utilise for the development of their country 
the forces and resources with which Nature 
has endowed it. Oil, too, has been struck 
in the land east of Jordan, and it is said that 
the arid country of the Negeb, the Southern 
wilderness, on the surface so inhospitable, 
contains veins of coal. But even if these hopes 
are disappointed, the harnessing of the electric 
energy which is stored up in the rivers and 
falls would provide the motive force for all 
the machinery required for the utilisation of 
the products of a redeemed Palestine, once 
an industrious population is settled in the 
land. The cotton of the Jordan valley may 


equal the cotton of the Nile valley when 
irrigation has reclaimed those wasted fields, 
and, when looms have been set up, part of 
the cotton of Egypt, too, may more profitably 
be spun in Palestine than in Lancashire. The 
Orient sends the greater part of its natural 
wealth to the West to-day to be worked up 
because it lacks just that class of enterprising 
and diligent working people which the Jewish 
resettlement will bring to Palestine. 

Nevertheless, although there is room for a 
considerable industrial development and for 
commercial enterprise, and the trend of events 
before the war gave promise of those things, 
yet for some time the chief expansion must 
be agricultural. The Jews have in the first 
place to make the soil theirs, to fill the land 
and develop it. “ Be fruitful, and multiply,” 
may well be their motto. The population 
had considerably increased during the half- 
century before the war by reason of Jewish 
immigration, but Palestine is still in great 
measure an empty land. It will be emptier 
after the ravages of the war. In 1914 the 
country had some 700,000 inhabitants, but, 
outside the towns, only about 250,000 Arabs 
were living on the ]and, and but eight per 
cent of the soil was cultivated. 

Historical Palestine — the territory between 
Dan on the north and Beersheba on the south, 
and between the Syrian desert on the east 
and the sea on the west — is about the same 


size as Wales. It has been called “ the least 
of all lands ” ; and, for the home of one of 
the historic nations, it seems small. You can 
see its whole length and breadth from the 
summit of several of the mountains, and there 
is no country which is spread so clearly, as on 
a map, before the traveller. And yet it 
embraces some 10,000 square miles, 6,000 to 
the west of the Jordan and 4,000 to the east. 

The late Colonel Conder, r.e., who spent 
years in surveying and exploring its ruins, 
calculated, from the records of the past, that 
at one time it supported at least ten millions 
of people, and, from the natural features, 
that it could immediately maintain three or 
four times the existing number of inhabitants. 
The density of population is now only seventy, 
and, excluding the towns, less than half that 
number, per square mile. Even without the 
foundation of industries, by the good organisa- 
tion of agriculture, and by the terracing and 
afforesting of the hill country, that population 
might be trebled and quadrupled. During 
the last century the population of Egypt has 
increased fourfold, while the country has 
remained almost wholly agricultural. The 
rabbis of old compared Palestine to a deer 
whose skin grows when it is well fed. The 
hills of Judaea and Samaria and Galilee, that 
are to-day covered with ruins, will be covered 
with hamlets when they are well nourished. 

Nor need the Palestine of the future be 


confined to its historic borders ; Jewish 
colonisation may extend to the whole territory 
which was contained in the Promise. From 
the Mediterranean to the Euphrates, and from 
Lebanon to the river of Egypt — this is the 
territory which was given to the chosen people. 
All this area, this Greater Palestine, cries for 
a population to redeem it from the neglect 
and decay of centuries, and all of it is full of 
historical associations for the Jews. The 
plateaus of Gilead and Moab, and the plains 
that stretch away to the Tigris and the 
Euphrates, may be reclaimed by Jewish enter- 
prise and industry, no less than the hills of 
Judaea and Samaria, and the green slopes of 
Galilee. Two years before the war a group 
of Russian Zionists had actually acquired land 
in the neighbourhood of Rafa, on the edge of 
the desert over the Egyptian border, for 
settlement. And the green oasis of Khan- 
Yunis with its orchards, rising like a little 
Damascus out of the rolling plains of Philistia, 
has brought it home to thousands of the 
British army that the Holy Land may still 
be made to flow with milk and honey even to 
its extreme limits. 

The congested Jewish town population of 
Palestine will be reduced, after the war, 
partly by diversion to the land, partly by the 
creation of industries which will immediately 
be required in new centres when a steady 
immigration begins. In Turkey’s Asiatic 


dominions there are a quarter of a million 
Jews outside Palestine — in the capital, in 
Smyrna, Damascus, Aleppo, and Bagdad — 
and many of these urban workers may be 
enticed back to the land ; while a further 
substantial contribution of the more active 
and enterprising, industrial and commercial, 
elements will certainly be made by the Jewish 
inhabitants of Salonica, of whom there were 
more than 70,000 before the war. Another 
formerly Turkish district, the Yemen, on the 
south of Arabia, possesses a reservoir of Jewish 
labour in the 50,000 people who at present 
eke out a wretched life in subjection to 
fanatical Arab tribes ; the whole community 
is eager to move when its emigration can be 
organised. Larger sources of a sturdy popula- 
tion to fill the waste spaces have only awaited 
the call of the new Cyrus. There are the 
homeless millions of Poland and Lithuania, 
exiled during the war and little likely to find 
a welcome back to their old homes when the 
hostilities are over. For them emigration is 
the only solution of the conflict of nationalities, 
and a steady stream will flow eastward to the 
land of Jewish promise as well as westward to 
the land of material prospects. 

For the Jews in Russia proper, the war 
indeed has brought a new hope and a wonder- 
ful redemption, but it has not destroyed or 
impaired the old hope, or shaken the faith 
in the redemption for which earlier genera- 


tions have prayed. It is a shallow reading of 
the Russo-] ewish character which finds in the 
civil emancipation the knell of Zionist aspira- 
tion. For them the glowing promises of 
statesmen in war-time, or the glib words of 
delegates at a Peace Conference, will not pre- 
pare the new heaven on a new earth. For 
they are Zionists, not only by repulsion from 
their environment, but by enthusiasm for the 
remaking of their own people. There are, 
too, the thousands in the ancient settlements 
in Georgia and Turkestan, looking with the 
simple faith of old for the chance of hastening 
the- coming of the Messiah. There are, lastly, 
the idealistic bodies of young Zionists in every 
Jewish community of the West, who see in 
Palestine alone the chance of realising “ the 
good life ” and the Jewish hope. Already small 
bands from all these scattered communities 
have fixed their home in Jerusalem. And, 
when Palestine is freely opened, the yearning 
for the Holy Land will be as strong as the 
yearning for the Holy City, and will more 
powerfully inspire to action. The love of the 
country will strengthen and revivify the love 
of the religion ; and the spirit of the land 
will weld the diverse mass into a conscious 
nation. Even as the prophets foretold, “ When 
the trumpet call is sounded the people will go 
up from the ends of the earth.” 

It has often been made an objection to 
Zionist hopes that the Moslem Arabs now in 


possession of Palestine lands, already number- 
ing more than a quarter of a million, cannot 
be ejected, and that the country adjoining is 
the home of wandering tribes of Bedouins. 
But it is neither to be expected, nor is it 
desired, that the Jews should occupy and 
appropriate the whole country. There is 
ample room for the children of Esau and 
Jacob to live together in harmony in the land. 
The interests of the present and the future 
population in fact coincides, and it will be 
within the power of a just administration to 
secure a good understanding and co-operation 
between the two elements that are in origin 
akin and have common ties of race. The 
local Arab population shows no tendency to 
increase, and the Syrian overflow, which has 
hitherto turned principally to America, will 
be likely to find a greater attraction in the 
rich valleys of Anatolia when that province 
is opened up, than in the more mountainous 
country to the south. The revival of the 
national life of the Arabs will be achieved in 
the home of the race, and in Mesopotamia 
which is rich with the traditions of their glory. 
The Jews, only, feel Palestine to be their 
Fatherland, the cradle of their history and 
the goal of their endeavour. It is the Jews 
alone who will make any large and systematic 
immigration into Palestine ; and it is Jewish 
enterprise and enthusiasm and devotion which 
will have to reclaim it to its former place. 


As to the Christian population, it is to be 
remembered that, even before the war, there 
were fewer Christians than Jews — less than a 
hundred thousand, including the 80,000 natives 
of different sects. The rest were mainly 
members of religious orders, and there were 
only small groups of European Christian 
residents in the towns. Save for the small 
German settlements, which had their origin 
sixty years ago in a religious enthusiasm that 
died away, none have been attempted during 
the last century, and the experience of the 
Swedish peasants and American mystics, who 
sought to establish an ideal community in 
Jerusalem, suggests that religious enthusiasm, 
when divorced from national sentiment, will 
not be strong enough to hold to the land 
those who come from a different national 
environment. The Christian interest will 
remain then rather that of pilgrims than of 
pioneers ; and it will be centred on the holy 
sites. The Pope has expressed his approval 
of the Zionist aspiration to make Palestine 
again a Jewish homeland, and the arrange- 
ments about the Holy Places, or about juris- 
diction over the persons and property of the 
religious orders, will be the mere details of 
diplomatic arrangement, which cannot affect 
the main lines of development of the country. 

The civilisation of Palestine can only be en- 
riched by the presence of diverse elements. 
The idea of a religious test for settlement in 


the country is a mere fantasy. A Jewish 
country will be open to men of all creeds 
and all nationalities as fully as the Anglo- 
Saxon countries. In the free state, as Zunz 
well said, it is not the Jew who rules over 
the Christian, or the Christian who rules over 
the Jew ; it is justice that rules. 

Western ideas and Western methods, how- 
ever, will be introduced into the villages and 
fields of Palestine, neither by Moslem Arabs 
nor by European Christians, but by Jews, who 
will come from Europe with the determina- 
tion of building up a fresh and a full national 
life. For nearly a thousand years the Jews 
have lived predominantly in Europe, and they 
will return to Palestine as the upholders of 
European culture, not only in its material, 
but in its deeper intellectual and social aspects. 
“ We mean to go to Palestine,” said Max 
Nordau at the Hague Zionist Congress (1907), 
“ as the standard-bearers of civilisation, with 
the mission of extending the moral frontiers 
of Europe to the Euphrates.” 

Palestine was a hearth of Western civilisa- 
tion, from the time of Alexander the Great 
almost unbrokenly till the thirteenth century, 
when the Tartar hordes burst upon it, and 
laid waste its towns and villages. The 
grandiose ruins of Hellenistic towns on the 
east of the Jordan, the Roman basilicas of 
Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and the massive 
walls of Crusaders’ castles up and down the 


country, bear witness to the succession of 
brilliant Western civilisations which have left 
their stamp on the land of the Hebrew pro- 
phets. The West, on the other hand, has 
here met and learned from the East. From 
contact with the progressive Arab culture of 
the day the Crusaders and merchants brought 
back to Europe, not only the arts and com- 
modities of the East, but also its science and 
philosophy. The Jews of that period were a 
link between the Arabs and Christians, ful- 
filling a mediating function, and preparing 
the way for the Reformation and the Renais- 
sance. The Jews who now return to Palestine 
will accomplish the converse service, bringing 
to their old home the ideas and the inventions 
of the countries of their sojourn, and preparing 
the way for the Reform and Revival of the East. 

A tendency towards secularism has caused 
some misgivings to sympathisers with Zionist 
aspirations, who fear the growth of an aggres- 
sively materialistic national spirit. But the 
genius of the country will surely revive the 
deeper spiritual powers latent in the race, 
which centuries of repression have diverted 
but never crushed. The immigration to 
Palestine will be, largely, not of adventurers 
seeking material gain, but of those anxious 
to realise an ideal, and therefore it will have 
a heightened consciousness of the aims of 
corporate life. Spiritually the infant com- 
munities of the pre-war settlement marked 


the beginnings of a new Hebraic life. Pales- 
tine, as Herzl conceived it, was to be the 
Old-new-Land ( Altneuland ) in which the 
spiritual heritage of the past should be com- 
bined with the social dreams of the present, 
by the people whose history embraces the 
whole of civilisation. In outward and in 
inward things it was to excel. The villages 
and cities were to be better planned, the 
houses and homesteads more beautiful and 
attractive ; universal education and co-opera- 
tive enterprise, and other devices of the 
Socialist state-craft for the happiness of the 
mass, would be established from the beginning. 

Side by side with these ideals of the modern 
commonwealth, Hebraic institutions making 
for equality — such as the Sabbatical year, the 
year of release and the Jubilee — would be 
revived, and become the basis of a happier 
social order than that which has grown up in 
Europe. The people who have given to 
mankind the founders of modern Socialism, 
when they have the opportunity to work out 
their political and social institutions on their 
own lines, will, it may be hoped, avoid the 
economic evils that have beset young political 
communities and reassert their function of 
spiritual teachers. A new generation of Mac- 
cabees will arise in this new Judaea who will 
spread the profounder aspects of European 
culture through the East, endowing it perhaps 
with that religious quality which is required 


to move the Orient. The Jew will be the 
ideal interpreter of West to East, and of 
East to West, for his history and his habit 
of mind make him kin, on the one side, to 
the Semitic peoples devoted to God and, on 
the other, to the Western masses devoted to 
human progress. He will be the reconciling 
element to bring back the Semites to com- 
munity of thought and action with the rest 
of the civilised world, and will thus lay the 
foundation of a true concord of the races. 

The events of the past century belied the 
high expectations of complete social and 
political emancipation for the Jews which 
accompanied the Vienna Congress of 1815, 
but they have, also, first revived and then 
transformed the national yearning for restora- 
tion to the old Home into a national move- 
ment. Jewish hopes will run high again at 
the congress — of 1919 ? — which is to inaugurate 
a new and stabler era of human brotherhood 
and international peace. But they will be 
centred now, not on civil emancipation but 
on national redemption, not on the means to 
individual freedom but on the goal of a 
people’s striving. Palestine for nearly two 
thousand years has been the object of their 
aspirations. At last the dream is to be reality. 
And if the thought of a restored national life 
in Palestine has been an inspiration to a people, 
the realisation of that people’s national life 
in Palestine will be an inspiration to humanity. 


For generations the Jew has disdained his 
present and kept his eyes steadily fixed on the 
future, “ living on hope, and, on that very 
account, eternal, like hope.” And now the 
day of fulfilment dawns and Jewry shall live, 
for a present worthy of its past, and preparing 
a worthy future. 

“ Thy sun shall no more go down ; 
neither shall thy moon withdraw itself : 
for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, 
and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. 

“ A little one shall become a thousand, 
and a small one a strong nation ; I the 
Lord will hasten it, in his time.” 





Sketches on the Advance of the British Forces 
to Jerusalem 


(April, 1917) 

Along the banks of the Suez Canal and 
thence along the old coast road to the east 
you will find to-day, between the endless 
series of British encampments, caravans of 
camels passing to and fro with their burdens 
or lying patiently at their mangers and chew- 
ing the cud with that tranquil expression of 
the beast which no stress of war can disturb. 
There are more camels gathered here than 
ever were assembled in the bazaars of Cairo 
or Damascus. Though the defence of Egypt 
has been carried forward from the Canal 
ipself to the hills and dunes of the Sinai 
desert and to the Land of Promise beyond, 
the Canal is still an integral part of the defen- 
sive scheme. Roads and railways, it is true, 
run out here and there eastwards from the 
bank, but there remains a vast hinterland 
unreclaimed from the desert waste in which 
our troops continually move. The riparian 




sands, if one may so call them, and the little 
Lancashires-in-the-desert which the loving 
sentiment of the North-Country Territorials 
has imagined, have become a network of 
roads and lines ; and a motor-lorry will 

rattle you from Ballel to (out away in 

the desert) as fast as a jolting car on the roads 
of Connemara. But ere long you will come 
to a region which car or locomotive has not 
yet defiled, and here the camel reigns supreme. 
Daily he carries the food and water for the 
men in the extreme line of trenches and at the 
outposts beyond, and on his back are loaded 
the posts and wires which daily extend “ civilisa- 
tion.” He bears too the material with which 
the line of defence is being pushed forward ; 
he is harnessed to guns in places where motors 
are baffled ; and he carries the ambulance of 
the desert, in which two men are balanced on 
either side of his hump. 

The Camel Transport Corps, although not 
exactly a fighting force, has been in action 
and received its baptism of fire. No shell or 
bullet can excite the stolid, contemplative 
animal ; but it might have been expected that 
the camel-drivers, fellaheen enrolled in the 
Egyptian villages, unarmed and untrained for 
war, would have run for it at the first sign 
of attack. Yet in fact most of them re- 
sponded admirably to the call of their British 
officers, and stuck to their animals while 
bullets whizzed around. With characteristic 


simplicity, or it may be obstinacy, when told 
to bring in their camels to shelter they in- 
sisted on taking with them the blankets which 
are issued to every man, lest they should be 
stolen in their absence. Some wanted to 
mount a hill under fire to get their money 
from their tents. The contempt which a 
Sudanese stalwart feels for the modern long- 
range fighting was expressed by one head- 
man — the more warlike Sudanese regularly 
act as headmen over the Egyptian fellaheen — 
who remarked, as the shells burst, that in his 
country they “ fought it out with knives.” 
But another, who possessed the little know- 
ledge of danger which is often so dangerous, 
when told to leave cover and fetch his camels, 
declined : “ Me stoppa one, Dardanelles ; me 
no stoppa two.” The camel-drivers themselves 
have placed a stigma on those who ran away, 
classing them as “Biats” (girls) who are not 
fit for the society of “ Rigala ” (men). And 
in some companies to-day the lines are divided 
between those who stayed and those who fled ; 
and it is reward or punishment to be moved 
from the one to the other. 

It is the paradox of modern warfare that 
with all the mechanical means of locomotion 
the progress of an army is almost always much 
slower than it used to be. To-day there are 
no brilliant dashes, and every mile of advance, 
even across the desert, has had to be painfully 
gained, and then — blessed word — “ consoli- 



dated.” The army which has thus, bit by bit, 
driven the Turk out of the desert that bounds 
Egypt on the east has advanced along the main 
track which passes near the coast-line from 
Africa to Asia. It is a country not of moun- 
tains and ravines but of rolling sand-dunes 
and green oases — Hods, as the Arabs call them 
— where palms, peeping out of the surround- 
ing bareness, give that wonderful variety of 
colour that is characteristic of the desert. It 
may be likened to a sandy Switzerland in 
which the yellow ridges and crests take the 
place of snowfields and glaciers, and the 
clusters of date trees represent the lakes. 
From time immemorial it has been the domain 
of the Bedouins, the true gipsies, who have no 
home save their camels ; but now it is populous 
with camps and bivouacs. You see before you 
an apparently endless vista of sandhills and 
palm groves, but descend the slopes a little 
and you will find a bustling camp gay with 
tents. In one hollow you will find the bonny 
lads from the Lowlands, in the next you will 
be greeted with a broad Yorkshire accent. 
Here the Australian and there the New 
Zealand flag marks the gallant rivalry of our 
oversea troops pushing forward their advance. 
Patrols of light horse scour every recess of the 
“ Gebel,” and caravans of camels, often a 
mile long, loaded with food and drink for man 
and beast, thread the ridges, from the gloam- 
ing of the dawn to the evening twilight. 


What makes life possible for the troops 
moving through the soft sand in the summer 
heat is that the sea is near, and the bathing 
is splendid — like the bathing at Ostend in 
the days before the war. A broad and level 
beach which would make the fortune of any 
resort at home stretches eastward from Port 
Said mile on mile. However still the day, the 
waves break in a continuous roll, and when 
the wind blows from the north the air is as 
fresh as on the Kentish coast ; nor is there 
wanting, as on that coast, “ a certain liveli- 
ness ” from occasional bombs. But there are 
days when the wind is from the scorching 
south or the east, and then the temperature 
may be anything between no degrees and 
120 degrees in the “ shade ” ; and there is 
no shade. It is a fair test of endurance for 
the Tommies to march through the sands 
under this blaze, but they count it all in the 
day’s work. Happily the desert casts out the 
heat by night as fast as it takes it in by day, 
and the evenings are always fresh. 

As in the days of the Exodus, the great 
need of the sojourners in the desert is water. 
Modern engineering, with all its devices, can- 
not improve much on the ancient ways of 
finding wells in the sand. A diviner with his 
rod regularly accompanies the troops at each 
forward move, and where the rod bends in 
his hands the sappers dig. The modern army, 
however, has not a miraculous rod like that 



of Moses which can make the brackish water 
sweet. It is not difficult to find wells, but 
few are serviceable for the men. Camels, 
luckily, are not squeamish about the more or 
less saltiness of the water, and they will march 
two, or even three, days on one drink. A 
continual string of camels, therefore, pro- 
ceeds from the bourne of civilisation, as repre- 
sented by pipes and a filtered water supply, 
into the depths of the wilderness, loaded 
with trucks of fresh water for the troops 
beyond. Before the campaign is over the 
desert route from Egypt to Syria will be 
lined with pipes below and wires above the 
ground, and a railroad running between 
them, for the Turks have been laying these 
things likewise from their end. But to-day 
there is still a considerable interval between 
the two armies innocent of pipes and wires 
and rails ; and here the camels are still the 
natural and necessary link. 



(May, 1917) 

It is amusing for us who have been in the 
advance from El-Arish to read in some of the 
picturesque chronicles of the dap how the 
Wadi Ghuzzeh, the river of Gaza, “ that just 
divides the Desert from the Sown,” is the 
true geographical boundary between Egypt 
and Syria, marking where vegetation begins. 
Rafa, it appears, is but a political milestone 
set in the sands, and it was only at Gaza that 
our army entered the Land of Promise. We 
who have read our Bibles and who have 
tramped the fifty miles from the Wadi El- 
Arish to the Wadi Ghuzzeh know otherwise. 
Of old for the Children of Israel the inhos- 
pitable desert ended at the river of Egypt, 
the Wadi El-Arish ; and for the last three 
months we have appreciated and enjoyed each 
successive stage from the barren sand to the 
green loveliness of the Philistine — and Turkish 
—stronghold. We have passed through the 
promise of Bourj (reminiscent of some Cru- 
sader’s castle) to the fulfilment of Sheik 
Zoweid, and thence along rolling downs and 



; 24 

waving meadows to Rafa, now famous not 
only as the scene of Sir Philip Chetwode’s 
dashing raid, but as the site of a March race- 
meeting, brilliant as any gathering on Ascot’s 

And after we passed that boundary stone 
at Rafa, not a sign of the desert remained, 
save the broad sand-dunes which fringe the 
sea. At our next halting- place of Khan 
Yunis, whence, according to tradition, Samson 
took Delilah to wife, we imagined ourselves in 
one of the home counties. Our camps lay in 
orchards and parks surrounded by cactus 
hedges, and we could pluck fruit and nuts off 
the trees around our bivouacs. Leaving that 
belt of fruitfulness, the descent to the Wadi 
Ghuzzeh through barley fields was almost a 
relapse to a commonplace greenness. 

It is amusing also to read in another com- 
mentary on the first attack on Gaza that “ the 
district through which the advance from 
Rafa had to be made is quite waterless ; every 
drop of water for men and animals had to be 
brought up in pipes.” We, and the horses 
and camels with us, would have been some- 
what parched if we had had to depend on the 
pipes, but in fact there is abundant water all 
along the track. It only requires to be 
“ developed ” ; and, though it may seem 
curious to the home expert, the army is 
provided with field companies of engineers for 
that purpose. Since we left El-Arish we have 



been put “ on the country ” in a new sense, 
and scarce a drop of water for men and 
animals has come by pipe. The difficulty 
arises only in distributing the water from the 
wells during the actual engagements. 

Gaza at a distance looks like a smaller 
Damascus ; a girdle of trees is spread around 
for two or three miles, and the town nestles 
amid the verdure, save the big mosque which 
dominates the wooded heights. To the south- 
east rises the natural fortress of Ali Muntar 
(the Watch Tower), which from time im- 
memorial has made the town hard to capture. 
In former ages it must have been girt with 
solid walls ; now it is a labyrinth of trenches 
and redoubts. But when the guns and snipers 
are at rest the vista over the gently undulating- 
hills and the cornfields and olive groves and 
fruit gardens is of idyllic peace. War loses 
half its evil in the East because it is so free 
from ugliness. 

Gaza, whose Hebrew name means “ The 
Strong,” has many a time caused a check in 
the invaders’ progress. For centuries it was 
a centre of struggle between the Philistines 
and the Hebrews ; and even Alexander the 
Great, who conquered the whole of the East 
in a few years, had to lay regular siege to it. 
A thousand years later Omar, the Arab con- 
queror, found it a greater stumbling-block 
than even Jerusalem itself ; and Saladin had 
to make his greatest efforts before he wrested 



it from the Crusaders, who had established 
there one of the chief fortresses of the Latin 
kingdom. The Tartar hordes razed its walls 
and citadel, but Gaza remains a place of 
great strength and strategic importance. 
Here a ridge runs across the coastal plain to 
the Shefelah, the range of low-lying hills that 
front the rugged backbone of the Judaean 
hills ; and the army that has passed it may 
sweep along the Valley of Sharon till it 
reaches Haifa and Acre, and the great plain 
of Esdraelon, the main artery between Egypt 
and Syria. 

Gaza in peaceful times is the centre of a 
fertile agricultural district and a busy 
Bedouin mart. It has a population of some 
35,000 souls, coming next to Jerusalem and 
Jaffa in the number of its inhabitants. Its 
trading importance is marked by the presence 
of some 600 Greeks and a British consular 
agent and a branch of the Jewish Palestine 
Bank, the Anglo-Palestine Company. Before 
the war the roadstead was visited by the 
smaller steamships of the Austrian-Llovd and 
the Khedivieh lines for the corn traffic, 
although there was no regular port of call for 
passengers. In the way of buildings and 
monuments the place has not much to boast. 
Naturally the spot where Samson carried off 
the gates, and the place where he was buried, 
have been “ identified,” and there are ruins of 
the old citadel. The Church Missionary 



Society had a school and hospital, and an 
enterprising German settler had erected a 
steam-mill (doubtless sheltering emplacements 
for guns). Otherwise modern ideas and 
methods have made little inroad, and the 
bazaars are hidden in narrow, tortuous lanes, 
characteristic of a small city and market town. 
They were the meeting-place of the caravans 
that passed between Syria and Egypt, and the 
Bedouins of the Sinai Peninsula had their 
chief markets here. Gaza was to Sinai as 
Damascus is to Syria. 

As the first big railway station in Palestine 
of the trunk line from Africa to Asia, Gaza 
would enjoy a new importance. The fruit- 
fulness of the country would be increased 
manifold when scientific methods and ma- 
chinery are brought to the aid of nature, 
and the neglect and mischief of man are no 
longer allowed to frustrate the bounty of God. 
And among the places where civilisation will 
spring up anew, Gaza, which has been cele- 
brated under the rule of Philistines and 
Hebrews, Persians and Hellenistic Greeks, 
Romans and Byzantines, Saracens and Cru- 
saders, will surely be counted one of the new- 
old cities of the East. 


III. ROSETTA, 1799-1917 

(June, 1917) 

It is a joy to get away altogether for a little 
from the great city and the haunts of soldiers 
and the colour of khaki. The one flaw in the 
ease and restfulness of the convalescent homes 
which the bountiful organisation of the Red 
Cross Society has provided for the sick wounded 
in Egypt is that the army is “ too much with 
us ” ; late and soon, getting and spending, in 
shops and clubs, in the street or on the sea, 
we constantly run into our brother officers, 
and must discuss the campaign or our chances 
of “ going up the line.” 

The day before I was to leave Alexandria 
for Gaza, being now again whole, a friend 
proposed a trip to Rosetta. The very name 
sounded attractive ; there is about it a 
breath of the old world, a suggestion of the 
unbroken quiet of a sleeping seaport. Rosetta 
has no garrison, no base camp, no convales- 
cent home, nothing military save the ordinary 
posse of Egyptian coastguards. A few forts, 
indeed, line the bay, among them Fort Julien, 


ROSETTA, 1799-1917 


in which the famous “ Rosetta ” stone, now 
in the British Museum, was discovered, giving 
the key to the hieroglyphic mysteries of 
Egypt’s monuments. But the forts to-day 
are as ornamental as our Martello Towers. 

Rosetta is some forty miles from Alex- 
andria, beyond the bay of Aboukir, and at 
the mouth of one of the great branches of 
the Nile. The river is dammed, and the green 
waters of the sea flow up to the town and a 
good sea smell pervades the atmosphere. A 
fleet of fishing vessels, and the white and red 
sails of the Nile barges, proclaim the port. 
On the west a sandy spit divides Lake Edkon 
from the sea, but on the east the fertile fields 
with their crops of rice and corn witness to 
the boundless gifts of the Nile. 

The journey to the town is interesting. We 
pass the villas of Alexandria’s wealthy citizens 
and the camps where drafts from home and 
men returning from hospital forgather be- 
fore they proceed to the front ; and then we 
skirt the Sultan’s fair demesne of Montaza, 
now a convalescent home. Next past Aboukir, 
the scene of Nelson’s decisive victory over 
the French fleet on August 1, 1798, and the 
scene also of Napoleon’s equally sweeping 
victory a year later over the Turkish army 
which came to drive him from Egypt. The 
Lord Nelson Hotel in the village still recalls 
our triumph, and sells tolerable beer. One 
other reminder of that Egyptian campaign in 



the last great world-war is the inundation 
which is known as the Lake of Aboukir. Our 
Expeditionary Force of the time, in order to 
isolate the French army, cut a passage through 
the dunes, and hooded the country for miles. 
A large part of the flooded area has been re- 
claimed ; but some of the 150 villages which 
were then destroyed are still submerged. 

Rosetta itself is a town of which the glory 
is gone, a victim to the ruthlessness of 
economic forces. Founded in the Middle 
Ages by a Caliph of Bagdad, it soon became 
one of the chief ports of the Eastern Mediter- 
ranean. As Alexandria lost her pride of place 
the bulk of Egypt’s coast trade found its way 
through Rosetta’s harbour. When Napoleon 
landed in Egypt, Alexandria had but 5,000 
inhabitants, and Rosetta nearly twice as 
many. To-day Alexandria is a city of over 
400,000 persons, and Rosetta stands where 
she was. The construction of the Mahmou- 
dieh Canal from the Nile barrage to Alex- 
andria has worked this change of fortune. 
Now Alexandria is the port of Egypt, and 
again one of the great commercial centres of 
the East. Rosetta is a local port, through 
which the trade of a single province passes. 
Its fate is like that of Galway or Westport on 
the west coast of Ireland, though it has not 
their deserted warehouses and grass-grown 
quays to attest what it once was. But the 
ruins of the houses and the sleepy Custom- 

ROSETTA, 1 799- 1917 


house tell their tale. Red and black bricks 
and solid beams of wood are the architectural 
features of Rosetta, and the narrow and 
sinuous streets still show some fine dwellings. 
Of the mediaeval walls little trace is left, but 
Napoleon’s Gate is still pointed out. In that 
wonderful year of his Egyptian and Syrian 
campaigns Napoleon left his mark here, as on 
the whole Delta. 

To-day the life of the place goes on scarcely 
ruffled by the war or by the century of pro- 
gress which has passed over Egypt since the 
first touch of European influence was brought 
to the country. Aeroplanes fly over from 
flying schools at Aboukir, but the natives are 
now as used to them as to camels. It is inter- 
esting to read the report on Rosetta which 
was made for Napoleon by M. Joilion, “ In- 
genieur en Chef des Ponts et Chaussees ” ; 
it is to be found in one of the 24 volumes that 
contain the researches of the savants with the 
French army. M. Joilion notes with a de- 
lightful freshness of interest the primitive 
Egyptian methods of agriculture ; the water- 
wheels of diverse kinds turned with a constant 
groaning by ox or mule, the absence of wind- 
mills, the heavy wooden ploughs, the flooding 
of the fields. The Kodak camera and the 
illustrated magazine have made these things 
the commonplaces of our pictures of the East ; 
but yet after watching men for two years at 
strange exercises designed to increase their 



powers of destruction, it is a fresh joy to 
watch them at humanity’s oldest and worthiest 
work labouring in the old way. 

Our guide, feeling, no doubt, that the 
question is expected of him, asks when the 
war will be ended. He tells us that the 
people are wretched and food is dear. The 
complaint, we know, is idle ; for Egypt is the 
one part of the Empire which certainly has 
not suffered by the war. Never has money 
been so plentiful, and never have her pro- 
ducts found so ready a market. Even Rosetta 
must be enjoying unusual prosperity, though 
no army is encamped about the town and few 
boats put out to sea. The hay, the rice, the 
corn, and the barley are carried up the Nile, 
where no submarine can get at them, to feed 
the army in Palestine ; and the fellah goes 
on his way rejoicing and bearing his sheaves. 

Outside the town is a famous mosque set 
on a hill, from which we look down, here on 
the fruitful plains of the Delta waving with 
green and golden crops, and there on the 
sand-dunes and the sea. Enthralled for a 
little by the peace of nature, we dream that 
we are looking over the Norfolk Broads and 
the fields of England. We would like to 
stay and continue the dream ; but to-morrow 
we must return to the trenches at Gaza and 
the fight with the Philistines. 



(July, 1917.) 

I had been down the Palestine-Egypt line to 
Cairo in the hospital train, that lovely thing 
of white and red which by its luxury gives 
you almost a thrill after months of “ bivvies ” 
and dug-outs. You travel in a car of cots and 
easy chairs with such comfort as the wagon-lit 
has not yet devised ; you have luncheon v/ith 
all sorts of half-forgotten delicacies ; the 
smiling steward offers you drinks at every 
hour ; a generous Red Cross Society presents 
you with a dainty wallet containing just the 
things you want — sweets, handkerchiefs, tooth- 
brush, paper and pencil, — and the train runs 
so smoothly that you hardly know you are 
crossing Sinai once more. 

After six weeks I came up the line again 
from Kantara to the railhead on the night 
“ sleeping-car ” passenger train, which is timed 
to do the journey in twelve hours, and keeps 
its time. The sleeping-car consists of hang- 
ing shelves, with a few leather cushions, in 
which some 30 officers doss for the night ; and 




as there are no restaurants, so far, at the 
stations of the Trans-Continental line, we all 
come prepared to picnic, and the floor of the 
carriage in the morning is like the Blackpool 
beach after a Bank Holiday. The tugging 
and creaking of the couplings wake you at 
each station and forcefully recall each stage 
of the year’s trek, and the year’s wanderings 
in the wilderness, before we reach our destina- 
tion. But the difference between the journey 
out and the journey back is not as striking as 
the difference between the scene which I left 
and the scene to which I returned. 

When I went down the line the plain be- 
yond the railhead, stretching away to the 
Gaza river and beyond, was populous with 
camps and tents and horse-lines and waggons 
that dotted the barley fields, a blue lagoon 
was set between the palm trees and the sand- 
dunes, and the ground sparkled and was 
fragrant with wild flowers. But oh ! the 
heavy change now. Spring has gone ! The 
barley has all been cut, and the ground is 
brown and burnt ; the lagoon has almost 
dried up, or perhaps it has been drunk up by 
the myriad horses and camels ; and the camps 
and tents have altogether disappeared from 
view. It is partly because our troops have 
gone forward since the second attack on 
Gaza and are now nearer the Turkish de- 
fences, but principally it is that they have 
gone underground. 


The Egyptian Expeditionary Force at last 
has had to follow the example of the other 
British armies, and dig in. After a year and 
a half on the desert sands pursuing an elusive 
foe it has met him face to face ; and straight- 
way both sides have been forced to hide. We 
have descended, in fact, to trench warfare. 
The British and the Turks confront each 
other — below the ground — on a line of some 
fifteen miles from the sea along ridges half 
encircling Gaza, and thence south-eastwards 
to Hareni and the hills which overlook Beer- 
sheba. They are waging the thorough trench 
warfare, with all its regular incidents, the 
early morning and the evening artillery 
“ strafes,” the saps and the tunnellings, and 
the night raids. But so far we have escaped 
the hideousness of the model on the western 
front. There is no heartless desolation 
around, no diabolical overturning of the face 
of the land. Behind both lines are green 
orchards, and even the little farmhouses are 
allowed to stand, though they are respect- 
fully recognised as “ unhealthy ” spots. No 
Man’s Land is still green, and as the line is 
long but not deep the ugly business of the 
fighting machine is decently localised. When 
the men in the front trenches are changed 
and come into billets they merely march back 
a few miles and camp in one of the wadis 
which scar the country and are toler- 
ably shell-proof and bomb-proof. A few 



fortunate ones are sent to rest camps on the 

There is, indeed, something artificial in the 
firing which does go on. It is managed with 
a deliberation and a carefulness that is strange 
to the deafening fury of war as we read of it 
elsewhere. The guns seem to say, “ We 
must have a little practice, so here goes ; but 
please get out of the way till we are finished.” 
Occasionally when there is a raid or an attack, 
and we are about to rush a trench, there is, of 
course, a bigger rattle. The heavy guns boom 
continuously, the light guns clatter, and the 
rifles ping, and if it is a night show there is a 
fine display of fireworks. But these things 
are rare, and for the most part we lead a 
peaceful life, somewhat cramped and somewhat 
bored, while we wait for our chance to drive 
out the Turk. 

We are better off on the whole than we 
were during the summer of last year, though 
we are further off from the leave-cities and 
have the Blighty mail but once a fortnight. 
Then we were in the desert scorched and 
parched, constantly digging, but only so as 
to have to dig again in the same place or 
somewhere further on. Now we are in a 
country which is still green — in parts, — and 
have the beauty of trees and grass-covered 
hills. We are fanned every day by the breezes 
of the sea, we have a definite line to hold, we 
have an enemy that we can see occasionally. 


We dwell in the land once sacred to Baal- 
zebub, the Lord of the Flies ; but perhaps 
because of the virtue of the Sanitary Section, 
or perhaps because of the strips of white 
muslin and fly netting which a generous com- 
missariat issues to us, the flies seem to have lost 
their terrors. 

And if the Turks choose to celebrate 
Ramadan this year, as they did last year, by 
an attack on our position, we shall not be 
sorry ; and we are confident that we shall 
knock them at least as badly as we knocked 
them at Romani. If they do not come to 
the attack we trust that we shall go forth 
and get a little farther into the Promised 
Land. On a fine day in the latter part of 
the afternoon, when the earth is lovely and 
the sky clear, those who are posted on the 
hills to the east of Gaza can sometimes see 
gleaming in the far distance a white tower. 
It is the belfry of the Russian buildings on 
the Mount of Olives just outside Jerusalem, 
and for us it is the magnet that draws us on 
to redeem the Holy City. 



(September, 191 7) 

The river of Gaza, or the Wadi Guzzeh, as 
it is called on the maps, is to the Palestine 
front what the River Somme was for so long 
to the western front. A few miles ahead of 
its serpentine meanderings, from the sea to 
the mountainous backbone of the Holy Land, 
run the lines of trenches which cover the 
armies attacking and defending Gaza, now in 
deed as well as in name u a Strong Place.” 

It is not indeed a full, broad stream like the 
river of the western front, but for the most 
part a dry river-bed hollowed between steep 
banks. In the summer a thin silvery streak 
of water runs between the stones, and here 
and there widens to a pool fringed with reeds 
and oleanders. In the winter, when the rains 
pour down from the hills, it is said to be a 
rushing torrent which overflows its banks and 
tears through the sandy soil to the sea. 

The Wadi Guzzeh is a narrow ditch in com- 
parison with the Wadi El-Arish, which sprawls 
out at its mouth a fair half-mile in breadth. 




But for that reason it is more headlong. At 
Shellal, where the Turkish army had taken up 
its main position to meet our advance in 
March, it falls in regular rapids. The name 
Shellal, in fact, is the Arabic for a fall ; and 
here, as at the more famous Shellal above 
Assouan, British engineers will one day con- 
struct a dam to bring a new fertility to the 
country around. 

The river of Gaza runs in curious and 
devious windings from its source above the 
Byzantine ruins of Khalassa to the sea, and 
all the way it is full of history. It has been 
at all periods the defensive line between Syria 
and Egypt, along which the armies of the 
Pharaohs faced the hordes of the Hittites, 
Assyrians met Egyptians, Selucid conquerors 
countered the Ptolemies, and Crusaders fought 
with Saracens ; and now, for nearly six months, 
Britons and Turks have fought each other 
here. The relics of war are imprinted on its 
banks. Tracing its career backwards, at its 
mouth we find large deep caves now inhabited 
by owls, but once the “ dug-outs ” of war- 
riors. Then passing Om Djerrar, the Gerar 
of the Bible, where Abraham and Isaac dwelt, 
we come to the fastness of T el- el- D j em m i . 
It is a towering earthwork where man’s hand 
has improved on nature. Our amateur anti- 
quaries declare it to be a Crusader’s bastion, 
because the skeleton of a man was found there 
with crossed knees. At Shellal, a few miles 



beyond, our amateur archaeologists, to wit a 
squadron of Anzac cavalry, lighted on a 
splendid mosaic pavement, with a design and 
an inscription which proclaimed it Byzantine 
of the early centuries of the Christian era. 
The pavement was lying half exposed in one 
of the Turkish prepared positions, and is to 
find its way to one of the museums of the 
Dominions. Beyond Shellal, again, rises 
another of those dominating mounds, Tel-el- 
Fara, which is likewise ascribed to the Cru- 
saders, and provides a providential place for 
an observation post. Thence the Wadi runs 
eastwards, almost at right angles to its original 
course, and is known now as the Wadi Shanag, 
and later as the Wadi Khalasra, after the 
ancient stronghold at the meeting of its sources. 

The country on either side of the river-bed 
is a rolling grassy plain broken with sandy 
ridges. Beautiful in the spring, when the 
barley waved for miles, it has been sadly cut 
up by the engines, waggons, and guns which 
have passed over it, till it is now almost as 
arid as the desert, save where the shells of 
some enemy battery secure respect from our 
transport. Here and there a splash of bright 
green marks a garden or an orchard, and an 
occasional homestead stands out of the plain, 
while in the distance southwards is the wooded 
oasis of Khan Yunis, and northwards the 
enticing orchards and olive groves of our 
immediate goal — Gaza of the Philistines. 



To-day the Wadi is the great watering- 
place of the British army. It is fortunate 
that the Turks abandoned their lines on the 
southern side, which they had elaborately 
prepared from Sheikh-Nuran to Shellal. Had 
they been able to hold them the summer 
might have gone more hardly for us ; as it is, 
we are safe from the trials of thirst. Although 
its bed is apparently dry and stony, the Wadi 
has a wealth of water underground ; and men, 
horses, and camels get their drink from it all 
along the line. For miles you pass from one 
enclosed area to another, each the jealously 
guarded watering-place of some unit, and 
hedged around with friendly wire and a 
chevaux-de-frise of waving tins. The in- 
extricable maze of barbed coils we reserve for 
the Turks, but as a sign of property over man’s 
most precious commodity we hang out these 
ornamental fences. 

In front of the Wadi are our systems of 
trenches, skilfully devised along the slopes of 
the hills that rise up around Gaza and con- 
tinually drawing closer to that objective. 
Batteries are hidden away in every • unlikely 
spot and sequestered nook-irritable things 
which are ever ready to spit out fire when 
they see, or think they see, something or 
somebody moving ahead. It is at night that 
they vent their full spleen, and when they are 
all irritated together they make a terrible din. 
By the morning we usually find it has been 



much ado about nothing, and as a display of 
fireworks the illumination hardly compen- 
sates for the noise. But we have the consola- 
tion that the enemy appreciate it still less than 

Behind the Wadi is gathered the more peace- 
ful apparatus of war — troops in reserve, am- 
bulance and dressing stations, supply depots 
with stacks of forage and biscuits high as the 
earthworks that dominate the river itself, 
treeless parks of all kinds — parks of barbed 
wire in coils, parks of motor-cars, parks of 
waggons and limbers, parks of caterpillar- 
tractors. There also are the companies of 
camels in their thousands. Roads innumerable 
cross the river-bed from the peaceful to the 
warlike region, over which at night the 
motors, the tractors, the waggons, and the 
camels wend their way. The Seine at Paris 
has not more bridges than the Wadi* has of 
these well-made crossings. 

To-day the river of Gaza is a highway of 
the commerce of destruction, but in the good 
days to come, when the waters from its upper 
sources are properly husbanded, it will be a 
highway of the commerce that reclaims and 
creates prosperity. 

GAZA {April, 1917) 

The stony heaps of storied history 

That dot the sand-cliffs by the Wadi’s bank 

Mark where the nobles of Palestine sank, 

And dying Samson pulled down victory, 

And venged his weakness and Delilah’s craft. 

Again by Gaza’s stream the battle is arrayed. 
Fire-breathing monsters leap from every glade 
And breasting cairn and hedge with fatal shaft, 

Like another Samson, crush the hostile line. 

Oh ! Lord of Hosts, let peace and justice thrive 
Where for two thousand years woe hath followed woe, 
When England’s flag shall fly o’er Palestine 
And Jew and Arab shall together strive 
To make their land with milk and honey flow 



(October, 1917) 

The British army outside Gaza has its holiday 
at the seaside. All along the beach from the 
old Turco-Egyptian frontier at Rafa to our 
trenches facing Gaza, a distance of some fifteen 
miles, runs a line of camps and a vista of tents. 
And here in turn come the divisions for their 
spell when they are relieved at the front line. 
The south-western corner of Philistia is an 
admirable strip of coast for a war-time holiday. 
The sea rolls in to the wide sandy beach in 
regular breakers, like those that made the 
fame of Ostend and Blankenberg ; but the 
plages of Palestine are more used to-day than 
the plages of Belgium. 

A thick fringe of sandhills that seem infinite 
from the sea and stretch back in fact two 
miles screens off the noise as well as the sight 
of war. Nor does the enemy make any 
attempt to disturb the peace, and only our 
own buzzing aeroplanes survey the scene from 
above. Blackpool and Margate cannot boast 
such spacious or populous sands as those of 



Khan Yunis or Tel-el-Marakeb. Some enter- 
prising syndicate in days to come will doubt- 
less establish here a fashionable watering- 
place and lay out the “ Philistine golf links ” 
over the dunes. The camps to-day are spread 
over mounds which cover ancient cities, and 
everywhere there are little clumps of palms 
which spring up miraculously from the sand. 
For water the men have only to dig anywhere 
a few feet, and straightway they have a well, 
or a sump, with scarce a tinge of brackishness. 
Napoleon, who passed this way a century ago, 
noted the extraordinary phenomenon that 
fresh water was to be had in abundance 
within a few yards of the sea when it could 
not be obtained 200 feet down amid the culti- 
vated patches of melon gardens where the 
Bedouins used to have their settlements. 

Animals as well as men have a complete 
rest — except, of course, the camels. In the 
balmy hours of the morning and the soft 
hours of the evening the long line of camels, 
each laden with burdens of some three hundred- 
weight, threads its way over the sand Alps, 
where scarce any other animal will carry a 
load. The army in Palestine votes the Camel 
Transport Corps a blessing. 

The Y.M.C.A. huts are far the biggest 
buildings in the landscape, and are always 
full. There is no pier, no casino on the 
beach, but there are military bands of the 
best playing the latest tunes. - A famous 



band from New Zealand vies with another 
famous band of the Territorial division in 
popular favour. Bathing is, of course, the 
great sport. At early morning, noon, and 
evening parties of men and horses invade and 
occupy the front-line trenches of the sea and 
withstand the counter-attack of all the waves 
brought against them. Anzacs who have 
learnt to shoot the surf in the South Seas 
perform to the admiration of Scottish and 
Cockney Territorials. After bathing, football 
and cricket follow in popular favour. Tommy 
in the held knows nothing of a football 
“ season.” The whole year is sacred to the 
game, and not even the summer sun of Egypt 
and Syria can deter him. A big match be- 
tween two regimental teams draws a crowd 
and excites cheering worthy of a League game 
at home. Cricket is a rather more exclusive 
game. Only the thorough enthusiast is pre- 
pared to hght the obstacles of pitch which 
the sand puts in the way. Boxing has a great 
vogue at night. There is an imposing Stadium 
wherein the ring is raised on sand-bags and 
floored by a great green tarpaulin, and here 
the Goliaths of New Zealand and Australia 
are pitted against the Davids of Caledonia 
and Canning Town. There are, too, numerous 
shooting galleries open free to the public, and 
the new amusement of bomb-throwing may 
be indulged in at the nation’s expense. 

In the life of play and amusement which 


fills the day the deeper things are not entirely 
forgotten, for amid the palms which fringe 
what was once a blue lagoon but is now a 
bright green oasis of grass and reeds in the 
yellow expanse there have arisen during the 
last few months two churches, or rather a 
church and a chapel. They bring back the 
thought of home more than anything else in 
the country. One is of the Church of England, 
the other of the Roman Catholic Church. 
They are frail structures of matting and wood, 
without ornament or decoration, but in form 
and in appeal they are pieces of England. It 
is fitting that in the new crusade for the 
liberation of the Holy Land from neglect and 
misgovernment the only stationary buildings 
erected by our army should be dedicated to 
worship and prayer. It gives the touch of 
the Hebraic spirit which ennobles the. war for 
a truer civilisation. 



(November, 1917) 

The first British troops entered Beersheba 
on the last day of October, and we followed 
them a day later. It was a striking proces- 
sion which threaded the way along the two 
chief roads from the west and the south, 
leading to what had been the headquarters 
of the Turkish army of invasion of Egypt ; 
infantry toiling along with their packs over 
the sand and the stony hills, and their follow- 
ing of baggage camels bringing their heavier 
burdens ; long creaking lines of waggons 
drawn by mules that raised their plaintive 
cry as they struggled on ; groaning cater- 
pillars moving their tons of ammunition and 
food noisily but surely ; rattling batteries 
forcing their wa y and asserting their privilege 
of the road over the toiling infantry and 
transport ; motor-cars with staff officers push- 
ing their way forward ; and dense masses of 
horses and mules coming to the town of wells 
to water. As we approached from the south 
the town seemed to beat a series of retreats. 



We breasted a hill only to find a higher hill 
behind it, and crossed one line of abandoned 
trenches only to find another, till at last we 
stood on a brow which commanded the whole 
country and saw Beersheba lying, sullen and 
clouded with dust, below us. 

It seemed extraordinary that the Turkish 
fortress should have fallen so easily. All the 
commanding hills, strong by nature, were 
stiffened with redoubts which looked as if they 
would have required months of approach. 
Yet the place had fallen in one day before a 
sudden attack of mounted troops on one side 
and infantry on the other. And the way was 
strewn with booty — ammunition of all kinds, 
and bivvies and officers’ kits, which are curi- 
ously like ours, the same ground-sheets, the 
same folding tables and chairs. 

Beersheba was unlike what we had imagined. 
We had thought to come to a white village set 
in an oasis, but in fact it looks like a small 
North-country factory town set in the midst 
of a bare sand-w r aste and limestone hills. The 
green pastures are to be seen stretching away 
to the east some miles distant, while the touch 
of romance lies further away in the misty blue 
mountains that form the wall of the Dead Sea. 
The dust of all ages from the time of the 
patriarch Abraham seemed to be blowing 
from the town. It was thick as a London fog 
and penetrating as a Scottish mist. We wished 
we could have exchanged our burden of re- 

25 ° 


spirators for dust helmets as we reeled in the 
whirl and eddies and were grimed all over, 
without hope of getting clean. 

The town itself was half a Germanised 
settlement without the Germans, and half a 
Bedouin village without the Bedouins. It 
had been the headquarters of Djemal Pasha’s 
army in 1914 and 1915, and the German 
advisers of the Turkish army had clearly set 
out to improve the place and improve the 
native mind with show 7 of power. The Ger- 
mans are fain to imitate the Roman emperors 
in this respect. Wherever they go they leave 
solid and imposing monuments of their passage. 
Only we it is who reap the benefit. Above 
the ramshackle, ruinous, and tortuous native 
quarters they have erected a suburb of strong 
and spacious buildings, with wide, straight 
streets, large plantations of eucalyptus and 
acacia trees, and an imposing railway station 
and depot. The dirt about the place sug- 
gested that this suburb had been given over 
recently to the Turkish forces, while the good 
condition of the buildings and the stores that 
w r ere found in them proved that the Turkish 
residents had left in a hurry. The biggest 
building, indeed, which was apparently de- 
signed for a Government house, had been 
converted into a hospital in which thousands 
of Turkish wounded were being treated to- 
gether with our own w 7 ounded men. The 
other main buildings were taken for the head- 


quarters of the different formations. In the 
midst arose the new mosque, a characteristic 
specimen of modern German art, half Orient- 
alised. It was strangely like to the German 
church in Cairo, save that the minaret re- 
placed the belfry ; but Deutschland was 
clearly written all over it. 

No civilian inhabitants were left/but a few 
Bedouins were wandering on the outskirts of 
the entering army undisturbed. The old 
bazaar was bolted, and the houses were all 
shut up, except such as were billets for out 
troops, and by all accounts the billets were 
not desirable, as the soldiers had to share them 
with many creeping things. The former in- 
habitants had left behind treacherous gifts : 
bottles that covered infernal machines, heaps 
of furniture that when you touched them 
exploded, live bombs and wires. The progress 
of the troops was marked by a running fire of 
explosions, most of which fortunately did little 

The essential thing in Beersheba now, as at 
all times during the ages, is the wells. The 
Well of the Covenant, Bir Sabe, from which 
the place has its name according to the Bible 
narrative, still gives its water, and there are 
beside it some half-dozen big Birs provided 
with modern pumping machinery. The 
Turks, when they made their hurried exit, 
had tried to wreck the machinery, and some 
of the wells were out of action for a few days, 



till our engineers, working day and night, had 
completed the repairs. But all the thousands 
of horses and mules and camels which thronged 
into Beersheba had their drink, though some 
had need put up with a long wait, and thousands 
of fantassas (camel tanks) were taken there 
daily and filled for the troops at the front. A 
picturesque contrast to our mass of khaki-clad 
troops around the troughs was offered by the 
few Bedouins in their sheepskins who came in 
from the wilderness of Judaea to their old 
watering-place, with their camels and donkeys, 
looking and living as they and their ancestors 
have looked and lived for thousands of years. 

The feeding of the thousands of men and 
animals camped in and around Beersheba pro- 
ceeded as smoothly as if we were still in our 
summer camps. Daily the Territorial in- 
fantry and the Australian and British mounted 
troops pushed the Turks farther towards 
Hebron and Jerusalem over the pathless 
mountain slopes, and broke down their close 
lines of defence stretching westward to Gaza, 
on which they had spent half a year of work. 
But their rations were always brought up in 
time to sustain them for the next day’s struggle. 
A great road, far wider than the grandes routes 
of France, sprang up from a little place of 
orchards and gardens, to which our railways 
had been hurried, to Beersheba ; and along 
that road there moved unceasingly cater- 
pillars and motor-lorries and miles and miles 


of camels, which in turn at Beersheba trans- 
ferred their loads to waggons and other camels 
that went on to the front by devious ways 
under cover of the dark night. The boom of 
guns echoed around us from all the hills, 
becoming daily more distant. But we were 
undisturbed save by occasional visitations from 
Fritz, and he, too, after a few days, had enough 
to occupy him elsewhere. 

Within a week Beersheba was almost a back- 
water, a mere depot for the advanced positions 
of our army. For we were on our march 
through Palestine, moving, maybe, to Dan 
and Damascus. 



(January, 1918) 

Two miles north-east of Lydda, or Ludd, as 
we now Arabise the name, there lies a small 
Jewish colony. It climbs one of the lower 
spurs of the hills of Judaea, and amid the 
wilderness of mud villages which rise from 
the plain it is one of the oases that provide 
a welcome billeting place for our troops. To 
the Arab natives of the neighbourhood it is 
known as “ Companie,” the general title they 
give to all the modern Jewish foundations. 
They appear to regard “ Companie ” as a wizard 
who, with a touch of his wand, produces out 
of mud fruitful orchards and red-tiled houses. 
By the Jews the place is known as Ben Shemen, 
meaning literally the Son of Oil, the original 
settlement having consisted of a factory for 
making olive oil and soap. The present colony 
is the creation of the Jewish National Fund, 
which was founded by the Zionist organisation 
to secure land in Palestine for national pur- 
poses, as a kind of public domain. The train- 
ing farm was established seven years ago, and 


the colony has sprung up around the farm. 
It is one of several institutions of the kind 
which have been preparing the way for the 
Jewish homeland, and training a people that 
for centuries have been debarred from the soil 
back to the life of their ancestors. 

The large farm buildings stand out on the 
hill from the surrounding wood of olive and 
eucalyptus trees. The houses are grouped 
around the lower parts of the hill, and most of 
them are now serving as billets. But the 
training farm itself goes on with its work un- 
perturbed by the presence of the troops. The 
Turks did some damage to the place, took 
their toll of the live-stock and the trees, and 
compelled a number of the young men to 
serve in the army. But the Russian Jews 
who are the workers on the farm are used to 
struggles with adversity, and renew a fresh 
hopefulness as soon as conditions improve. 
To-day some forty-five young men and women 
are happily and contentedly working on the 
farm. They live a communistic life together, 
like the craftsmen of the mediaeval guilds or 
the undergraduates of Oxford and Cambridge. 
They form a society for work and pleasure, 
and take all their meals in the common hall, 
forming what they call a “ co-operative.” 
The young men are dressed in white smocks 
and trousers, and wear their hair long a la 
Russe . The young women, on the other 
hand, have their hair cut short, and though 



they have not affected the masculine attire of 
the women land-workers in England, their 
costume is sufficiently workmanlike. Hebrew 
is their language at work and play. 

Despite the deportations of the Turks, the 
farm still boasts some prize live-stock, cows, 
oxen, and sheep, which are very different 
from the local kinds ; and it has still some of 
the prize fowls and geese which are to im- 
prove the breed throughout the land. The 
fields, too, are quite a model of cultivation ; 
and even in this fruitful corner of Judaea, 
where the olive groves stretch for miles, they 
form a purple patch of fertility. The war has 
indeed claimed one victim in this colony. A 
branch of the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts, 
which, in Jerusalem, has at once provided 
employment for some hundreds of Jewish 
young men and women and given a new im- 
pulse to the artistic spirit of the people, was 
planted at Ben Shemen a few years since. 
Working thus in the midst of the hills of 
Judaea, where the beauties of nature and 
historic association mingle with each other, 
the craftsman could scarcely fail to imbibe 
inspiration from the outward conditions of 
his life. The stress of the conflict, however, 
has cut off both the market for the artistic 
work of the Bezalel and the sources of out- 
side help, and though the main institution 
at Jerusalem has contrived to carry on its 
activity the infant offspring had to be aban- 



doned for the time. But without -a doubt 
it will spring to new and eager life now that 
England’s protecting hand is stretched over 
the country. 

The town of Lydda was in the early cen- 
turies a far-famed centre of Rabbinical learn- 
ing, and its schools were visited by students 
from the whole of the Jewish Diaspora. To- 
day the Jewish schools in this neighbourhood 
are of another kind. They are training the 
manhood and womanhood of the new Judaea 
for life on the land, helping to make the 
learned student a capable peasant. When the 
war is over and Jewry sets itself to its tasks of 
reconstruction and resettlement these schools 
^ill need to be multiplied a hundredfold 
throughout the country ; from them will go 
forth the new generation of Hebrew husband- 
men and craftsmen to reclaim the land which 
waits for the people who love it and will give 
it their whole energy and devotion. 




(February, 1918) 

The British forces drove the Turks out of 
Jerusalem on the first day of the Jewish 
feast of Chanuka, the anniversary of the entry 
of Judas Maccabaeus into the city after the 
rout of the Hellenistic hordes. The coin- 
cidence is a happy one for the future of Pales- 
tine. As the Maccabaean victory marked 
definitely the defeat of a debased Hellenism 
which threatened human liberty and morality, 
the present British victory marks definitely the 
defeat of the debased German will to domina- 
tion which threatened the independence and 
well-being of all small nationalities. Whatever 
the eventual political settlement of the country, 
the English entry means the opening of a 
new era for the Jewish people. It means also 
the liberation of Palestine from the mis- 
government and subversive anarchy which for 
eighty years have wasted its resources. 

The rapid advance of the British forces 
from Gaza has released the whole of Judaea 
in little more than a month. Within twenty 



days of the taking of the stronghold of the 
Philistines the army swept over the Plain of 
Philistia, the smiling park of the Plain of 
Sharon, and reached the River El-Auja, ten 
miles north of Jaffa. Within another twenty 
days it broke the Turkish defence line in the 
hills from Hebron to the ancient Bethel, and 
left no organised band of the enemy through- 
out what was the ancient kingdom of Judah. 
The area restored comprises all the Jewish 
colonies of Southern Palestine — Castinieh, 
Ekron, Katra, Rechoboth, Rischon-le-Zion, 
Petach Tikvah, lying in the plain, and Hulda, 
Moza, and Artuf in the hills. It comprises 
also, besides Jerusalem with its 50,000 souls, 
Jaffa, which is the economic and cultural centre 
of the infant Jewish resettlement, and Hebron, 
which is a holy city and has a Jewish popula- 
tion of several thousands. It includes also 
the large villages of Ramleh and Lydda and 
Mejdel and the town of Bethlehem, which 
has a considerable Christian as well as Arab 
population. And the occupation means that 
the nucleus of the Jewish resettlement is saved, 
even if disaster should overtake the settlements 
of the north. 

Within the country the English advance is 
taken almost as a matter of course. The 
Jewish people have been counting on it for 
a year, and they show no exuberant enthu- 
siasm now that their expectation has been 
fulfilled. They are more excited about the 



formation of the Jewish regiment, of which 
tidings have reached them in a somewhat dis- 
torted form. They regard it as a striking mani- 
festation of the national spirit which is their 
peculiar pride, and they enquire anxiously 
when it will arrive in the country to help 
drive the Turks from Galilee. Many imagined 
it was to come out under “ General Jabotin- 
sky,” the “ general ” being a prominent Russo- 
Jewish journalist, who has had much to do 
with the promotion of the idea, but who 
holds in fact a far less exalted position in the 
unit. Probably many of the young men would 
be eager to join the ranks when the regiment 
arrives in the land ; until then the settlers 
agree that the redemption came just in time 
to save them and their colonies from ruin. 

Menaced for three years by Turkish spite and 
jealousy, which occasionally broke into out- 
rage, and by German arrogance and methodical 
destructiveness, which sacrificed everything for 
military needs, they were likely to have suffered 
the fate which befell the Jews of Jaffa when 
the British army had to fall back last April 
from the river of Gaza. But the swiftness 
of the advance paralysed the power of destruc- 
tion as well as the power of defence. Save for 
Petach Tikvah, the largest of the colonies, 
which is situated on the course of the El-Auja, 
and fell into the no-man’s land between the 
two armies for a period, the villages have 
escaped with a few shells and bombs and a 


few days of Turkish military occupation. To- 
day they are the favourite resting-places of the 
British troops, who find something of the joys 
of home among the gardens and villas and 
cottages. To the soldiers who, many of them, 
have wandered for more than forty weeks in 
the wilderness of Sinai before entering the 
Promised Land, Judaea makes a different appeal 
from that which it made to the parties of 
beef-fed tourists who cried out at the barren- 
ness of the land. For them the Jewish en- 
closures seem on the whole, as they seemed 
to the Hebrew tribes who had wandered over 
the same wilderness, a land flowing with milk 
and honey. The orange groves, the vineyards, 
the plantations, which have somehow survived 
the drought of petrol and the wanton spoiling 
of the Turks, are a delight of fruitfulness, and 
the rich tilth is sharply contrasted with the 
stony, half-cultivated fells of the Arabs. 

The colonies, on their side, have a warm 
welcome for the British soldier, who comes 
not only as their deliverer, but in some 
cases as their kin. For there are young men 
born and bred in Palestine who, having 
emigrated in hard times to the Antipodes, 
have now returned to their homeland in the 
ranks of the Australian Imperial forces. The 
Arabs, too, are quick to realise the difference 
between the new and the old army sojourning 
in their midst. They are reaping a harvest 
with their eggs and their half-ripe oranges — - 



most of the Arab population, adult and infant, 
is engaged in hawking oranges on the roads — 
and they are again ploughing with their 
wooden ploughshares, drawn by camel or ox, 
being convinced that they will have the benefit 
of this year’s sowing, the first they will have 
enjoyed for three years. 

The war, however, has already made some 
retribution for the harm and hardship it has 
caused to the country. Against the loss of 
markets and the destruction of much property 
and the felling of the scant timber, may be 
set the opening up of roads and railways and 
the linking up of Palestine with Syria and 
Egypt. Palestine is again fast coming into 
its natural heritage as one of the chief junc- 
tions between the Orient and the Occident. 
The danger is rather that it will lose its 
simplicity in isolation, which, in former ages, 
helped to preserve its position and influence. 
The Jews are already in the forefront of the 
work of expansion. During the Turkish army’s 
occupation of the South a little settlement of 
them had found its way, or was transplanted 
forcibly, to Beersheba to work as artisans on 
the railway or on the water supply. The 
Jewish agriculturists, too, now find themselves 
placed near the main lines of railways, so that 
their produce will be carried to all parts of the 
land and to lands beyond. Jaffa is again 
becoming a port for the embarking of light 
ships, and some of the ancient harbours at 


the mouth of the wadis which have been 
derelict for nearly 2,000 years have suddenly 
sprung into fresh life. 

The green plains to the south and east 
of Beersheba, which were thickly populated 
in the Byzantine epoch, have been given fresh 
opportunities by the Turkish railway to the 
Egyptian frontier. They can easily be put 
into working order, and are to be settled and 
reclaimed. But even before the end of the 
war something can be done in these directions 
to prepare for the new age and to make the 
redeemed land at once more useful to the 
redeemers. Simple measures of irrigation would 
immediately render large areas, now waste, 
capable of full cultivation, and a population 
to work the land scientifically could be found 
in the Jewish villages and towns. Moreover, 
there are still in Egypt some thousands of 
Palestinian refugees waiting to return to their 
homes. The Germans during their occupation 
of Jerusalem and Beersheba have done some- 
thing in the way of town planning and building 
and tree planting, which shows what a little 
skilled direction may accomplish. The spiritual 
Renaissance which the romantic return of the 
world’s most steadfast nationality to its home 
will bring may, in part, wait till the days of 
peace ; the material basis of that revival may 
be laid in the days of war. 



(March, 1918) 

In these days of bounteous spring Jaffa more 
than ever justifies her Hebrew name, which 
she has kept inviolate through the ages, mean- 
ing the “ Beautiful Place.” When the whole 
countryside is fair to look on, the town, with 
its red roofs and white domes set round its 
orchards and gardens, and its palms and 
cypresses on the hills that rise straight from 
the sea, is yet distinguished by its loveliness. 
I had come down the flowery slopes of the 
Judaean hills, past the shady avenues of Wil- 
helm e — emptied now of its German inhabi- 
tants, but still preserving its German neat- 
ness — then over the meadows and cornfields 
past Yehudiyeh and Bnei Berak, villages cele- 
brated in Rabbinical lore, and, lastly, through 
the orange groves. It was a progress of fer- 
tility and fruitfulness, and at the end the 
scent of orange-blossom and the more trans- 
parent blue of the sky which is the sea’s gift, 
suggested an approach to the Elysian Fields. 

The promise is not entirely realised, for 



Jaffa is still largely a collection of mean and 
dirty houses. Outwardly it is little changed. 
It has escaped the horrors of war, and during 
the last three years has even been embellished 
by the Turks. Djemal Pasha has desired to 
be remembered for good in one place, and an 
avenue bearing his name now runs from 
Ramleh Road to the High Street which is 
flanked by ornamental gardens and has in its 
centre a music-kiosk of the most approved 
and showy character. The avenue was the 
work of a Jewish engineer and contractor, and 
was apparently prompted by a desire to emu- 
late the boulevards of the Jewish suburb, Tel 

Within the town the British authorities on 
their part have already introduced a measure 
of cleanliness and order, and they have 
cleared a road through the maze of lanes 
leading to the port. They have restored too, 
in part, the commercial activity of the place, 
and made it again a haven of big ships. 

Jaffa is, however, changed from what it 
was a few weeks ago. Then its narrow streets 
were bristling with soldiers, and Tel Aviv was 
the headquarters of a Scottish division. The 
names of places dear to the Scot were painted 
up by the side of the names dear to the 
Hebrew settlers. Princes Street and Lowland 
Avenue were set against the Avenue of Achad- 
Haam and the Boulevard of Edmond de 
Rothschild. The Scots’ pipes played to the 



delight of a Jewish gathering, while the pro- 
fessors of the musical conservatoire gave a 
concert of Russian music for their northern 
visitors. Now the Scottish division is gone, 
and Tel Aviv is almost entirely what it was 
before the war — the head-quarters of the 
Yishub, the Jewish Resettlement. 

Just over a year ago the Turks, in a mood 
of panic and spite, drove out the civil popula- 
tion, and 10,000 Jews were rendered house- 
less. Those of them who had the good for- 
tune to take refuge in the South of Palestine 
have been able since the English occupation 
to return to their homes, and three or four 
thousand are now back. Their houses had 
been little damaged, and the spirit which 
made the place has been quickened by the 
fresh hope of the congregation of Israel. 
True, the chief pride of the Jewish townlet, 
the Gymnasium or High School, is still used 
as a military hospital, and one school has now 
to suffice for a community which used to boast 
half a dozen. And in the main street, where 
formerly a half-score of dentists had their 
tables, there are now as many barbers’ signs, 
a survival of the conditions in which the 
dentist’s art is provided free by a generous 
army, while shaving is left to the individual. 

Tel Aviv, though not yet restored to the 
whole of its eager life, has, however, a new 
distraction. The Zionist flag flies from the 
house where the Director of the Palestine 


office of the Zionist organisation used to 
dwell, and it marks the presence of a head- 
quarters more nearly touching the people 
than any other. Here in constant session 
works the Zionist Commission which has re- 
cently arrived from England, authorised by 
the British Government to prepare the way 
for the national resettlement. The Com- 
mission is the earnest of the Jewish repatria- 
tion. Its arrival at this stage means that 
through England’s noble impulse the Jews are 
recognised by the Allies as the people who 
have a paramount interest in the living 
Palestine, and the capacity to restore the land 
to its fitting place in civilisation. The erec- 
tion of Tel Aviv is one of the evidences of 
that capacity. And as a young Jewess who 
lives there said : “ Not only is the place good, 
but the life in it is very good.” It is one of 
the principal tasks of the Commission to 
spread the spirit of the founders of Tel Aviv 
over the whole of the country that has been 
redeemed from the Turks. 

As I stood on the balcony of the house 
overlooking the townlet, which when I saw 
Jaffa first, ten years ago, had been nothing 
but sand-dunes, I remembered the last time 
I was there, a few months before the out- 
break of the war. Doctor Ruppin, the 
director of the Palestine Bureau, had brought 
out a telescope, and we looked through it at 
the moon and the stars. He was used to 



seeking peace and rest in this way from all 
the worrying cares of the world. The moon 
was in her first quarter, and, gazing through 
the telescope, I saw beyond the thin golden 
crescent the rest of the orb, touched with the 
light and relieved from the surrounding 
blackness. The sight blended strikingly with 
my thoughts concerning Palestine. During 
the last twenty years the Jews had opened 
a new era in the history of Palestine. As 
yet only a small portion of the country was 
lighted up by Jewish effort, but the rest, 
though still in semi-darkness, exhibited to 
the gaze of the faithful a reflection of the 
light which shone from the smaller part, and 
gave a suggestion of beauty of the whole 
which would be manifest when the Revival 
was fully achieved. 

Despite the gathering of terrible storms 
the light has never been eclipsed. It has 
continued so to extend its illumination that 
if the Jewish people will rise to-day to the 
height of their opportunity they may hope to 
see the perfection of the full orb. 



(March, 1918) 

Jerusalem is still, as the Psalmist describes 
it, builded as a city that is compact together. 
Though it spreads untidily outside the Cru- 
saders’ walls, it is a small place, and can be 
taken in at a glance from the Mount of Olives 
or Mount Zion. Outwardly the city has 
changed little during the years of war. There 
has been a little widening of parts of the Jaffa 
road, and there are trenches and gun emplace- 
ments on the Mount of Olives and Mount 
Scopus, where invading armies in former ages 
have often been encamped. But there is a 
striking change in the character of the place 
and in the people that throng its narrow ways. 

The city within the walls is still a religious 
preserve, screened off from the common world, 
and into which the soldier can only enter if 
he has a special pass. But without the walls 
the soldiers have taken possession of nearly all 
the places where the various religious bodies 
had their abode. The supply depot flounders 
in the mud of the courtyard of a Jewish 




school ; the headquarters of a division are 
lodged in the house of an English missionary 
society ; the Russian religious buildings, which 
dominate the suburbs around the Jaffa road, 
are now turned into a big military hospital ; 
the Abyssinian Palace is the home of English 
nursing sisters ; and the French convent, where 
the Turkish army had its offices, is still given 
over to the services of war, and has a French 
guard posted over it. Officers and men are 
billeted in houses and schools, and the horses 
and mules find shelter in the gardens. Along 
the Jaffa road tea-shops invite our soldiers 
with signboards in strange English to partake 
of tea, cakes, and sweets. Just outside the 
Jaffa Gate a primitive place of amusement 
has sprung up, where the entertainment is pro- 
duced by the troupe of a division that boasts 
professional talent from the neighbourhood of 
Drury Lane in one of its battalions ; and a 
kinematograph booth, which before the war 
had a precarious existence, has now a nightly 
crowd of patrons. 

Gone are nearly all the monks and papas 
and nuns ; gone, too, are the droves of pil- 
grims and the Baedeker-led tourists and the 
shouting donkey-boys. Cook’s offices, which 
were the hub of the visitors’ wanderings, are 
closed ; but the shop of the American colony 
has been opened again, and does a flourishing 
business in Palestine souvenirs and photo- 
graphs. The Turkish Crescent and Star have 


not yet been painted out from the Jaffa Gate, 
and it is a remarkable sign of the liberality 
of our occupation that the Arab police, clad 
in their dark blue serge and Astrakhan caps, 
keep order for us, as they did for the Turks. 
One curious reminder of home stares at the 
Englishman as he enters the city — the clock 
surmounting the tawdry tower within the 
gate, which bears on its face the legend 
“ Dent, Cockspur Street, London.” 

Within the walled city business seems to be 
going on as vigorously as before, and with no 
less chaffering. In the bazaars that thread 
the dark arcades the Arab and Jewish pedlars 
have still their little stalls ; the clothes 
market round the Church of the Sepulchre 
draws its wonted crowd of sellers and buyers ; 
and in one the street of modern shops the 
merchants bring out anew their wares of olive- 
wood and mother-of-pearl for the customers 
whom a kindly Providence has sent them after 
their lean years. We proceed to the Haram, 
the holy area, in the midst of which rises the 
Mosque of Omar. French Mohammedan 
soldiers guard its portals in place of the 
former Turkish soldiers, and the soothing 
greens and the quiet paths are now open to 
persons of all creeds. The Mosques of Omar 
and El-Aksa which are set on the pleasant gar- 
dens are, however, reserved more strictly than 
ever for the Mohammedan. Not even the 
consular kavass can conduct the non-Moslem 



sightseers over the beauties of the sanctuary ; 
but the Egyptian camel-driver or labourer 
who has accompanied our armies may now 
make his pilgrimage between his hours of 
work and become a “ Hadgi ?? when he returns 
to his village. The Church of the Sepulchre, 
likewise guarded by Moslems in respect for 
the ancient tradition, is also closed to the 

We leave the town by the Gate of St. 
Stephen and cross the Vale of Gehenna to the 
Mount of Olives to get the view over the 
city and Judaea — one of the most impressive 
views in the whole world. The monks 
are gone from the Russian monastery that 
stands on the Mount; but you may still climb 
the crazy spiral staircase of the Russian 
tower, and survey half Palestine. Of the 
war there is little trace as you gaze. One 
of our big guns occasionally booms over the 
wilderness, searching for some Turkish posi- 
tion; and through glasses you can see Turkish 
lorries and waggons moving round Jericho, 
and you can see little dots on the Dead Sea 
which are motor-boats. But the British and 
Turkish lines, which run by the Jericho road, 
are hidden away in the clefts of the rock. 

On one of the spurs of the Mount of Olives 
there rises a palatial building, which served 
as the headquarters of the Turkish army till 
we disturbed them. It is the Kaiserin Augusta 
Victoria Hospital, one of the five religious 


bastions which the Germans erected around 
the town “ in majorem Die gloriam.” From 
without it looks like some Rhine castle and 
cathedral combined. Within the decorations 
and the appointments are rich to the point of 
luxury. The height of splendour is reached 
in the chapel, which is a blaze of mosaics and 
coloured marbles. One of the largest mosaics 
shows the Kaiser and his spouse presenting the 
hospital to God, seated on their throne. The 
Kaiser is clad in the garb of a Roman Emperor, 
but is unmistakably Wilhelm II, for the name 
is written underneath to prevent error. Pruned 
of the ostentation, the hospital would make a 
worthy setting for that hall of peace and 
international justice which, when the war 
is over, might ^surely be established in Jeru- 
salem. The city which is the religious capital 
of half the world is the fitting place where 
men should judge the causes of the nations 
with righteousness. 

The population has fallen to less than half 
of what it was before the war, when it com- 
prised 60,000 Jews and 40,000 others. That 
is the most eloquent testimony to the suffer- 
ings of the last three years. A tithe may 
have left the country or been deported ; the 
rest have died of disease or starvation. Always 
dependent for its food and the money to buy 
it on countries abroad, the people of Jerusalem 
were cut off at once from nearly the whole of 
Europe and from America, and a prey to 



Turkish military exactions. In spite of all 
this, it is a notable fact that the Jewish com- 
munities did not allow their schools to suffer. 
The kindergartens, the boys’ and girls’ schools, 
the teachers’ college, the whole edifice of 
Hebrew education which was raised with such 
high hopes a few years before the war, has sur- 
vived the storm and stress, and is still up- 
right. In many cases the school buildings 
have been changed, perforce; in several the 
children are now sharing the premises with 
the troops. But the cramped spaces cannot 
impair their enthusiasm, which has been 
stirred anew by Mr. Balfour’s declaration 
that England will do what she can to make 
Palestine a Jewish homeland. Hatekvah , “ The 
Hope,” is the name of the Jewish Nationalists’ 
anthem, and hopefulness springs eternal in the 
Jewish breast. The more adverse the con- 
ditions, the deeper the faith in the approach 
of the better age. 



(March, 1918) 

We had been invited to an entertainment at 

the Jewish village of R , which was being 

given in support of the Red Cross. Everybody 
in the neighbourhood was going, and as we rode 
over from our camp we passed the rumbling 
American carts that were carrying the gentry 
from the surrounding Jewish villages. We 
arrived half an hour after the time stated for 
the performance, but still half an hour too 
early. The Jews- in their old-new home 
maintain Oriental standards of punctuality. 
We found a great gathering in the vast cellar 
of the wine-distillery, the biggest building of 
the colony, which, decorated with the British 
and Jewish flags and with flowers and foliage, 
made a fine public hall. The vintage has been 
scanty for the last three years, and no barrels 
encumbered the floor. Between one thousand 
and fifteen hundred people were assembled, 
one half of them officers and soldiers from the 
regiments in camp around, and the other half 
villagers, old and young, who had come with 




their families. The women and girls were in 
their best clothes, and very attractive they 
looked in their bright colours and their 
Oriental embroideries. It is wonderful how 
within the space of one generation the Jewish 
youth living on the land has gained an up- 
standing gait, clear, strong eyes, and a bright, 
fresh colour, which seem to be ages away from 
the bent backs, the sallow cheeks, and the 
hunted look of the Ghetto. All the Jewish 
part of the assembly talks Hebrew as a point 
of honour, and they are immensely delighted 
that Jewish soldiers from England (the land, 
as they regard it, of fullest liberty and decaying 
Judaism) should be able to utter a few sen- 
tences in their own language. The rejection 
of Yiddish, the Ghetto dialect, for Hebrew, 
the national tongue, is indeed symptomatic 
of the outlook of the new generation. 

The entertainment began with a play, 
which was, of course, in Hebrew, and was acted 
by workmen of the colony. It was a Hebraic 
imitation of an Ibsen tragedy, exaggerated 
to the point of the grotesque. A Russo- 
Jewish student returns from the university 
to his home to be married, and learns that 
both his father and his uncle had committed 
suicide years ago. Convinced that his family 
is degenerate, he cannot bring himself to 
marry the girl he loves, and while the wedding 
arrangements are being discussed he leaves the 
room and hangs himself. It was not a merry 


story, and the audience was in merry mood, so 
it simply made no attempt to listen after the 
first few minutes, which was the easier because 
the inexperienced actors made little attempt 
to speak up. The one incident in the drama 
that aroused any enthusiasm or interest was 
the drinking of two glasses of stage wine by 
one of the characters. That at least was a 
piece of realism which everybody could under- 
stand ; the rest was a mere homage to Hebrew. 

The drama was followed by music, a violin 
and piano sonata. The absolute silence that 
reigned in the hall was a striking tribute to 
the power of good art, and the whole audience, 
civil and military, which had not ceased its 
talking and laughter during the play, was now 
quiet. Music is the art in which the infant 
Jewish Palestine community already excels, 
and it will surely make a great advance in the 
next generation. Then came a little speech- 
making by the chairman of the “ Va-ad,” or 
village Committee, who was one of the original 
settlers 35 years ago. He made an appeal for 
the Red Cross funds in Hebrew, and his words 
were translated into English sentence by sen- 
tence. Young ladies wearing a red shield of 
David on their arms made a collection and 
sold lottery tickets and sweets and cakes for 
the cause, just as the ladies would do in an 
English village entertainment. 

Business over, we had more music, this time 
from the village band. The young men 



played wind instruments which had somehow 
been hidden away from the Turks, and the 
violinist conducted. The pieces were selections 
from the Yiddish operas — the Hebrew opera 
has yet to be born — which were altogether to 
the taste of the audience. The next part of 
the entertainment was a display of gymnastics 
by the school children. They looked admir- 
able in their uniform, and they performed with 
the vivacity and eagerness which has made the 
Jews among the world’s best entertainers. 
After that a comic duologue in Hebrew, trans- 
lated from the Russian. And so till the early 
hours of the morning we went on with inter- 
change of drama, music, and display, and ended 
with tableaux vivants of scenes from Bible 
history — David playing before King Saul, 
Solomon receiving the Queen of Sheba, and 
others. The scenes w r hich recall the glory of 
the old Hebrew kingdom in the heyday of the 
monarchy are those on which the young 
Palestinians love to dwell. 

When the entertainment of the programme 
w^as over at last the young people that were 
left — and there were still many — cleared part 
of the floor and started to dance. It is a 
good life and a merry in the village settle- 
ments of the Jewish pioneers. The young 
men and women know that they are remaking 
a homeland, and they rejoice with a light 
heart in the coming into their midst of the 
Power that stands for liberty and justice. 


They are freed at last from the cramping 
persecution that some of them have known 
in Russia, and from the menace of Turkish 
spies, which for the last three years has been 
the skeleton at every feast. The words of 
the prophet of an earlier Restoration are 
being fulfilled anew : “ The redeemed shall 

return and come with singing into Zion, and 
everlasting joy shall be theirs. They shall 
obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and 
mourning shall flee away.” 



(April, 1918) 

From generation to generation for nearly 
2000 years the Jewish people have renewed 
the wish at each Passover feast : “ Next year 
in Jerusalem.” This year it was given to 
some three hundred Jewish officers and men 
on the Palestine front to fulfil that aspiration. 
The Commander-in-Chief ordered that forty- 
eight hours’ leave to Jerusalem should be 
granted to men of the Jewish faith, wherever 
possible, for the celebration of the festival. 
The three hundred who assembled were but a 
tithe of the Jews on this front, to say nothing 
of the Judaean Battalion now training near 
Cairo, but it was a tithe representative of the 
dispersion of the Jews over the Empire and 
beyond. There were officers and men from 
Australia, New Zealand, and . South Africa, 
and a couple of officers of the French detach- 
ment decorated with the Legion d’Honneur 
and the Croix de Guerre ; two others who 
were Palestinians born, but were pursuing their 
studies abroad at the outbreak of war and 



joined the Allied armies ; and English, Scotch, 
Welsh, and Irish Jews. It was like the pil- 
grimages of old, when the representatives of 
every Jewry in the Diaspora used to journey 
to the capital and take part in the Temple 
service ; although, if Josephus is to be be- 
lieved, in those days they numbered a million. 

The three hundred were accommodated in 
the mansion — one of the large private houses 
in the city — of a Bokhara Jew, who is absent 
in America. All the populace delighted to 
do them honour, for the Jewish soldiers of 
the Allied armies were the symbol of libera- 
tion. They had brought not only relief from 
the Turkish misrule, but the promise of the 
new Jewish nationality re-established in its old 

Last Passover had seen the expulsion of the 
population of Jaffa and the threat of expul- 
sion from the whole of Judaea ; this year was 
a very real feast of freedom and a turning- 
point in Jewish history. The welcome to the 
soldiers was organised by the Young Men and 
Women’s Association of Maccabaeans, whose 
aim it is to revive the physical prowess and 
well-being of the people. Distinguished by 
the blue and white sash, the national colours, 
inscribed with the shield of David, the national 
emblem, they were throughout the guides and 
hosts of the soldier-pilgrims. An official recep- 
tion opened the feast, and was the occasion of 
much festal oratory. The heads of each section 


of the Jewish community spoke, all in Hebrew, 
for it is a point of national honour to talk the 
national language. The chaplain translated 
the addresses, and the welcome ended with the 
singing of the English National Anthem and 
the Hebrew national song “ The Hope.” 

The Passover Eve ceremony took place in 
the large hall of the house, which was filled 
with the soldiers and a large number of their 
hosts. Each portion of the narrative of the 
Exodus from Egypt and each incident of the 
ceremonial had a fresh thrill in the historic 
surroundings. The words, which are typical 
of the spirit of the service, “ It is not our 
ancestors alone whom God delivered from 
Egypt, but us and our children, who would 
otherwise be serfs,” came as the expression 
of our inmost feeling as we thought over the 
events of this annus mirabilis for Jewry — the 
emancipation in Russia, the liberation of 
Palestine, England’s declaration in favour of 
the Jewish homeland. And we ended with 
rival sing-songs in Hebrew and English. 

On the second eve of the festival the 
Military Governor of Jerusalem attended the 
ceremony and aroused the enthusiasm of the 
men at the end of a short address by wishing 
them “ shalom ” (peace), the Hebrew greeting. 
The most rousing incident, however, of the feast 
was the march of the men through the old 
city to the Jews’ Wall (generally known as the 
Wailing Wall), which is the Great Synagogue 


of Jerusalem. The march was followed by a 
great concourse, made up of the mediaeval- 
looking Jews in their robes of plush and shovel- 
hats trimmed with fur, of vivacious Jewesses, 
eager to walk by the side of the soldiers, some- 
what to the prejudice of good order and 
discipline. When, passing through the town 
by the Jaffa Gate, the men reached the 
narrow cobbled alleys of the old town, pro- 
gress was almost impossible. At the Wall 
itself it took half an hour to clear a space into 
which the parade could be squeezed. It was 
partly pride which the local Jews felt in being 
able to show their neighbours that they had 
brethren who could fight, and partly the sense 
of brotherhood that binds Jews together 
everywhere, that moved the mass. And the 
soldiers in their turn were deeply moved when 
they stood before the place where the Temple 
of Israel’s glory had been and recited the prayer 
for the restoration of that glory. They were 
privileged to enter the Haram, the holy area 
of the Temple, and to gaze on the -beauty of 
the shrines which have taken the place of 
Solomon’s Temple. From the Mosque of 
Omar they got an impression of what Jeru- 
salem the Golden had been and may be yet 

Jerusalem exercises a magnetism over almost 
all who come to it ; even in its present lowly 
state it draws Jews together and makes them 
feel one people. The sense of home and 



brotherhood rises there irresistibly. Before 
we left the city we were each presented with 
a ring bearing the legend “ If I forget thee, 
Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its 
cunning.” But even without that reminder 
it would be impossible to forget this Passover 
in Jerusalem that opens a new era in the history 
of the world’s oldest nationality. 

Some sadness must be mixed with the most 
joyous of celebrations. The squalor and 
wretchedness of so much of the city, both 
within and without its walls, came as a shock 
to many of the men, who had imagined a 
place of palaces and splendid ruins, and found 
rows of hovels and rubbish-heaps beside the 
holy places, and hostels, and the hospices. But 
already the cleaning-up process has begun in 
this wonderful year, and with England’s helping 
hand it will be speeded. Spring, too, was in 
the air, and men’s work, like Nature’s, can 
renew its beauty. So we parted, saying to 
each other, not the common “ Next year in 
Jerusalem,” but the other traditional greeting 
— “ Next year in the Jerusalem which is to be 

If* mis Bco 


Aaronson, A., and scientific cultiva- 
tion of land, 8 5 
“ Achuzah ” schemes, 94 
Agricultural Station, 85 f. 

Al-Charisi, 15 
Alexandria, Jews at, 6 
Palestinian exiles in, 172 
Alexandrians, connection with 
Temple, 6 

Alliance Israelite Universelle — 

found Jewish Agricultural School, 

schools in Safed, 143 L 
schools, 156 f. 

American plantations, 93 
colony in Jerusalem, 117 
Anglo-Palestine Bank, 36 
Arabs, cultivation, 81 
and Jews, 123 f. 
co-operation with, 206 f. 

Argentine, colonies in, 30 
Athlit, 82 

agricultural station at, 85 f. 

Babylon, seat of learning, 10 
schools transferred to, 11 
Karaites driven from, 13 
Banias, 148 

Beersheba, British entry into, 248 ff. 
Beirut, schools at, 150 
Benjamin of Tudela in Holy Land, 14 
Ben Shemen, 254 ff. 

“ Bezalel," school of Arts and Crafts, 
169 f. 

branch at Ben Shemen of, 256 
Bokhara, Jews of, 107 

Cabbalists, in Jerusalem, no 
chief seat of, in Palestine, 16 
Ccesarea, historical associations of, 
82 f. 

Caligula, statue in Temple, 7 
Carmel, historical associations of, 79 f . 
Carthage, seat of learning at, 10 
Chalukah, system of, 19 f. 
at Safed, 142 f. 

Chateaubriand on Jerusalem, 105 
Chederah, description of, 81 f. 
Chovevi Zion. (See Lovers of Zion.) 
Christian Emperors, oppression of 
Jews under, 14 

Christianity, rise of, 11 
Christians in Jerusalem, 120 f. 

population in Palestine, 208 
Church of Holy Sepulchre, 122 
Gobbett, taunt of, 31 
Colonial Trust, Jewish (“ the Finan- 
cial Instrument”), 35 
Colonies, Agricultural, 49 ff. 

Jewish, in Canada, 54 
Palestinian, compared with non- 
Palestinian, 63 
government of, 68 f. 
smaller, in Judaea, 73 f. 
local patriotism in, 78 
Samarian group of, 79 f. 
in Galilee, 86 f. 
training in, 91 
working men’s, 92 
in Northern Galilee, 95 
American, in Jerusalem, 117 
Colonisation Association, Jewish, 
work in, in Palestine, 66 
Committees. (See Va-ad.) 

“ Companie.” (See Ben Shemen.) 
Concordat and French Jews, 22 
Conder, Colonel, estimate of Palestine 
population, 203 
Congress. (See Zionist.) 

Crimean War, effect on Zionism of, 25 
Crusaders, capture of Palestine by, 14 
expulsion of, 15 

Cyprus, Jewish community in, 8 
Cyrene, J ewish community in, 8 
Cyrus, return of Jews under, 4 f. 

Damascus, community of Jews at, 14 
Blood Accusation at, 25 
“ Daniel Deronda ” quoted, 27 
Disraeli and Zionism, 27 f. 

“ Tancred ” quoted, 28 
Djemal Pasha, war measures of, 185 
Dome of the Rock, 114 
Don Joseph of Naxos, permission to 
rebuild Tiberias, 17 
attempts at land colonisation in 
Galilee, 136 

Donmeh, chief seat in Salonica, 19 

El-Arish, colonising of, 37 
the Wadi of, 223 
Eliot, George, quoted, 27 




England, Millenarian movement in, 19 
resettlement in, 19 
and Zionism, Declaration of British 
Government, 4 7 

English advance, effect on Palestine, 
191 ff., 258 ff. 

Falashas in Jerusalem, 108 
French Revolution, effect on Jews, 21 

Gains. (See Caligula.) 

Galilee, schools in, 9 
new settlements in, 17 
colonies in, 86 f. 
training colonies in, 91 
colonies in Northern, 95 
beauty of, 129 
history of, 130 ff. 

Holy Cities of, 138 ff. 
north country of, 147 f. 
seaports of, 148 f. 
future of, 150 f. 

Gaon. (See Wilna.) 

Gaza, 223 ff. 

appearance of, 225 
history of, 225 f. 
future of, 227 

summer-time outside, 233 ff. 
river of. (See Wadi Guzzeh.) 
poem on, 243 

Gilead, scheme for repopulation of, 29 

Haifa Polytechnic, 162 
Hebrew, struggle in schools for, 161 ff . 
Herzl, influence on Zionism, 33 ff. 
and Basle Congress, 34 
opposed to small colonising enter- 
prises, 36 

Hess, Moses, on “ Rome and Jeru- 
salem,” quoted, 26 
Hilfsverein, schools of, 160 f. 

Hillel the Second, 10 
Hirsch, Baron de, and Argentine 
Republic, 30 

foundation in America, 55 
Holy Sepulchre, church of, 122 

lea. (See Jewish Colonisation 

Ibrahim Ali conquers Palestine, 23 
Islam, rise of, 12 ff. 

Palestine under rule of, 15 f. 
Israel, a nation, 3 
division of, 4 
dispersion of, 8 
under Roman yoke, 8 
love for Palestine of, xo. (See Jeivs . ) 

Jabotinsky, and the “ Jewish Regi- 
ment,’ ’ 260 

Jaffa, growth of trade of, 32 
Hebrew Gymnasium at, 166 f. 
under British rule, 258 ff. 

Jehuda Halievi, 13 

Jehuda Hanassi, and the Mishna, 9 

Jerusalem — 

capture of, by Persians, 12 
revival of Jewish learning in, 15 
general characteristics of the cit y. 
100 ff. 

the type of religion, 100 
situation outlook, 101 f. 
old and new, 104 f. 

Jewish population in, 103 f. 
settlement and colonies in, 107 f. 
Jewish quarter in, 108, 118 f. 
synagogues, 109 
sects in, no 
Wailing Wall, 111 f. 

Christian, 120 f. 

influence of, 126 f. 

effect of war on, 189 

under British occupation, 269 ff. 

Passover in, 280 ff. 

Jewish settlers in Palestine, 14 f. 
learning, revival of, 15 
culture, new supremacy in Pales- 
tine, 1 6 

resettlement in Palestine, a Chris- 
tian ideal, 24 

nationality, revival of feeling for, 

foundation of Agricultural School 
by, 28 

agricultural settlements, 32 
immigration, stream of, 32 f. 
settlement in British East Africa, 

mission, 43 f. 

population in Jerusalem, 105 f. 
cjuarter in Jerusalem, 108 
in Jerusalem, 118 f. 
settlements, war and, 178 ff. 
people, future of, 193 ff. 

Jewish Agricultural Station, 85 f. 
Jewish Colonial Trust (“ The Finan- 
cial Instrument ”), 35 
Jewish Colonisation Association, work 
in Palestine of, 66 

Jewish National Fund, incorporated, 

colonies promoted by, 88 
Jewish Territorial Organisation. 38 
Jews, oppressed by Christian em- 
perors, 11 

persecution relaxed, 13 
expulsion from Spain, 16 
described by Lady Mary Wortley 
Montagu, 18 

resettlement in England, 19 
tendency to denationalise, 22 
contempt of, 26 
love of nature, 50 f. 
agricultural tendency, 53 f. 
and socialistic institutions, 89 
of Bokhara, 107 
and Arabs, 123 f. 

Jordan, possibilities of, 199 f. 

Joseph of Naxos. (See Don Joseph.) 



Josephus, on Jewish agricultural 
tendency, 52 
on beauty of Galilee, 130 
Judcea, political history of, 5 ff. 
colonies in, 49 ff. 
redemption of, 258 ft', 
appeal to soldiers of, 261 
Julian, the Apostate, li 

Kabbala, chief seat in Palestine, 16 
followers of, in Jerusalem, no 
Kalischer Hirsch, religious enthu- 
siasm of, 29 

Karaites, driven from Babylon, 13 
in Jerusalem, no 
Katra, life in, 73 f. 

Lassalle and Zionism, 28 
Lebanon, province of, 150 
‘ Lovers of Zion,” work of, 28 
Herzl and work of, 36 
opposition of, to Uganda Scheme, 

settlements in Palestine of, 66 
Ludd. (See Lydda.) 

Lydda, Jewish colony at, 254 ff. 

Maccabxn struggle, 6 f. 

Maccahcean Land Company, work 

w of ’ 9 + 

Maimonides, 15 

Manasseh ben Israel and a resettle- 
ment in England, 19 
Medjdel, a working man’s colony, 92 
Meiron, 144 

Merchavya, Colony of, 87 f . 

experimental work in, 88 
Mesopotamia, schemes for colonisa- 
tion of, 39 
Messiahs, false, 18 
Mishna, compilation of, 9 
Mohammed and Jerusalem, 12 
Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley, de- 
scribes the Jews, 18 
Montefiore, Sir Moses, effort to estab- 
lish J ewish Commonwealth, 23 f. 
Testimonial Trust, work of, 117 
Morgenthau, Ambassador, visit to 
Palestine of, 46 

on condition of Jews in Palestine, 
46 f. 

Moser, Alderman, T. founds Jaffa 
Gymnasium, 167 

Mosque of Omar. (See Dome of the 

Mount of Olives, view from, 115 
Moza, foundation of, 55 

N achmanides, description of Pales- 
tine by, 16 

Napoleon, publishes Manifesto to the 
Jews, 23 

connection with Rosetta of, 229, 

National movement, rise of, 31 ff. 
University, plans of, 175 f. 

Fund, incorporation of Jewish, 35 
Nehardea, sect of learning at, 10 

Oliphant, Laurence, and Gilead 
scheme, 29 

on the Jewish pilgrim, 145 

Palestine, historical significance of, 

1 ff. 

importance to Jews, 2 ff. 
laid waste, 7 f. 

Israel’s love for, 10 
invaded by Persians, 12 
sway of Crusaders in, 14 
condition of settlers in, 14 f. 
under rule of Islam, 15 f. 
description by Nachmanides of, 16 
conquered by Ibrahim Ali, 23 
Palestine Land Company, 24 
common goal of Jewish people, 
30 f. 

Movement, opposition to, 38 ff. 
Jewish ideal and, 42 f. 
future of, 193 ff. 
natural prospects of, 195 
railways in, 195 f. 
agricultural prospects, 198 f. 
irrigation schemes, 198 f. 
industrial development, 200 f. 
Conder’s estimate of, 203 
land of Promise, 204 
repeopling of, 204 f. 

Arab and Christian population in, 
206 f. 

effect of the war on, 261 ff. 
Palestinian schools, 9 ff. 
revival of schools, 165 ff. 
communities, decay of, 19 
village, at play, 275 ff. 

Petach Tikvah, Colony of, 57 ff. 
Working men’s settlements in, 59 f. 
Arab labourers and Yemenites in, 

population of, 62 
religious and social life in, 62 f. 
Sabbath observance in, 63 f. 
Poalim (workers’) settlements in 
Petach Tikvah, 59 
religious attitude of, 62 
Poria, American plantation of, 93 f. 

Rechoboth, Colony of, history of, 67 
Rischon-le-Zion, Colony of, 67 ff. 
Rome, Palestine under yoke of, 7 ff. 
seat of learning at, 10 
and Jerusalem, 26 
Rosetta, the war and, 228 ff. 
Rothschild, Baron Edmond de, visits 
Palestine, 46 

administration of, in colonies, 56 
and Rischon-le-Zion, 67 
Eveline de, School, 160 



Russia, effect on Zionism of persecu- 
tions in, 28 f. 

source of new population in Pales- 
tine, 33 

Sabbatai Zevi and the Donmeh, 18 f. 
Safed, rise of, 17 
golden age of, 135 ff. 
and Tiberias, 137 
insanitary conditions, 139 
water supply, 140 
picturesqueness of, 14 1 
life in, 142 

Chaluka system at, 142 f. 
heights round, 146 
Saladin, victory of, 15 
Salonica, seat of Donmeh, 19 
Samaria, Jewish colonies in, 78 ff. 
Sanhedrin in Tiberias, 9 
of Paris, 21 

Schools, Renaissance in, 152 ff. 
of the Ghetto, 153 ff. 
modern, 155 f. 

of the Alliance Israelite, 156 f. 
of the Hilfsverein, 160 f. 
struggle for Hebrew in, 161 f. 
religious teaching in, 168 
of musjc and art, 169 f. 
effect of war on, 172 f., 187 f. 
Sedjera, Colony of, 91 
Shomerim (watchers), work of, 71 
Sidon and Tyre, 148 f. 

Spain, Golden Era in, 13 f. 

expulsion of Jews from, 16 
Stanley, Dean, quoted, 27 
Suez Canal, advance from, 217 ff. 
Synagogues in Jerusalem, 103 f. 

Tantura, glass factory of, 83 
Tel Aviv, British occupation of, 265 f. 
Temple, rebuilding of, 5 
destruction by Titus, 7 
new shrine on site of, 13 
T erritorial Organisation, Jewish, 38 
Tiberias , Sanhedrin settled at, 9 
revival of Jewish learning at, 15 
rebuilding of, 17 
colonies round Lake of, 93^ 
and Safed, 137 
description of, 137 f. 

Titus, destruction of Temple by, 7 
Torah, strengthening of bond of, 9 

Transjordania, possibilities of, 97 
Turkish regime in Palestine, 68 f. 
Tyre and Sidon, 148 f. 

Uganda project, 37 f. 

University , plans of a national, 173 f. 

Va-ad, in. colonies and universal 
suffrage, 70 ff. 
justice administered by, 72 
assessment of taxes by, 72 

Wadi Guzzeh, description of, 238 ff. 
the watering-place of British army, 

Wailing Wall, Jews at, 1x1 f. 

Zangwill on, 113 
War, effect on schools, 172 f. 

and the Jewish settlements, 178 ff. 
retribution for, in Palestine, 262 
Watchers. (See Shomerim.) 

Wilna, Gaon of, 19 f. 

and the Chalukah system, 20 
Workers' Settlements. (See Poalim.) 

Yarmuk, battle of, 12 
Yellin, David, 163 

Yemenites, immigration to Palestine, 

their way of life, 60 
in Jerusalem, 107 f. 

Yishub (the return), ideal of, 20 
inspiration to whole of Jewry, 47 
sex equality in, 68 

Zangwill (Israel), joins Herzl’s follow- 
ing, 34 

forms I.T.O., 38 
on beggars and the wealthy, 41 
on the Wailing Wall, 113 
Zichron Jacob, Colony of, descriptio 
of, 80 f. 

Zion, Mule Corps, 183 

Zionism, Herzl’s influence on, 33 ff . 

' opposition to, 40 ff. 
ideal of, 42 

tide flowing towards, 45 f. 
adoption by democracies of, 193 f. 
Zionist Movement, use of, 21 ff. 
effect on Jewish life in Palestine, 
35 ff. 

Congress of, 1905, 38 
Commission, work of, 267