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  • Constructing the Boundaries of Social Consciousness under Conditions of War: The Urban Jewish Society in Eretz Yisrael/Palestine during World War I

    The paper deals with the impact of World War I on the construction of new social boundaries and social consciousness within urban Jewish societies in Palestine. The paper’s main contention is that changes in definitions of social boundaries are not merely a reaction to changing conditions—they also involve an active structuring process by elite groups. In the case examined here, New Yishuv public leaders made efforts to place the social discourse within the framework of the national discourse by, for example, influencing the conscious experience and understanding of everyday life. The study examines changes in the way social definitions were used to construct social consciousness, particularly the use of the definitions of “Old Yishuv” and “New Yishuv” to differentiate between nonnationalists and nationalists.

  • 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.