• The Zionist Leaders’ Fear: Perception of, Comparison with, and Reactions to the Armenian Genocide

    During the First World War, the Ottoman Empire was characterized by a political shift toward Turkish nationalism and the resulting growth of repressive measures against non-Turkish populations. From 1915 to 1916 this policy came to its climax in the extirpation of Anatolia’s Armenians. This change of atmosphere and the deadly actions of the Young Turk government were documented by Zionist leaders living in the empire. Not least because of the continued rise of a “Jewish Question” in Palestine, these events were regarded with anxiety. Based on research in the Central Zionist Archives, this article examines the Zionist leaders’ perception of the Armenian Genocide and focuses on the effects the massacres had on them. It expounds on the Yishuv’s problematic situation in Palestine, which was the result of repressive measures emanating from both the central and local Ottoman authorities, and shows how the Zionist leaders, keeping the fate of the Armenians in mind, coped with the situation. The topics of this article include the Zionist leaders’ concerns about the situation of the Jews living under Young Turk rule; their confrontation with various problems; and their fight for the future of the Yishuv, Zionism, and their colonization work in Palestine.

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