New Article: Dolbee and Hazkani, Imperial Citizenship in Palestine

Dolbee, Samuel and Shay Hazkani. “‘Impossible is not Ottoman’: Menashe Meirovitch, ‘Isa al-‘Isa, and Imperial Citizenship in Palestine.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 47.2 (2015): 241-62.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0020743815000033

 

Abstract

This article explores a covert partnership between a prominent Zionist agronomist, Menashe Meirovitch, and the Christian Arab editor of the newspaper Filastin, ʿIsa al-ʿIsa, a founding father of Palestinian nationalism. Under the literary guise of an Arab Muslim peasant called Abu Ibrahim, the two men produced a series of Arabic-language columns in 1911–12 that exhibited imperial citizenship par excellence, demanding political and agrarian reforms in Palestine in the name of strengthening the Ottoman Empire. The article explores their short-lived political alliance to interrogate historiographical uses of the press as a source for social history. Moreover, it challenges the portrayal of cooperation between Jews and Arabs as “collaboration” in its pejorative sense. Far from a simple story of betrayal or corruption, the partnership between the two men demonstrates how a shared commitment to Ottoman modernism brought them together more than nationalism, language, or religion pulled them apart.

 

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