Cite: Shafir, Capitalist Binationalism in Mandatory Palestine

Shafir, Gershon. “Capitalist Binationalism in Mandatory Palestine.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 43.4 (2011): 611-633.





In response to the outbreak of the Arab Revolt of 1936, a coterie of five prominent entrepreneurs and intellectuals in the Mandatory Jewish community formulated a capitalist binationalist resolution of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. This paper examines the genesis of and debate over the little-known Concord they proposed and compares it with better-known liberal and socialist binationalist plans. “The Five,” as they came to be known, were the only binationalists seeking to base political parity on economic integration. The occasion of their blueprint allows further exploration of the preconditions for an effective binationalist program, among them the structure of labor markets, political preferences of minorities and majorities in regard to sovereignty, and levels of mutual trust. Ultimately, binationalist resolutions of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict were precluded by the Labor Settlement Movement’s separatist state-building strategy.

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