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1799 in the year Napoleon, returning from Egypt, captured Jaffa and laid siege to Acre.

At this juncture the French in Egypt were being threatened by the British Fleet under Commodore Sir Sidney Smith, while a Turkish army was assembling in Syria. Napoleon's object was to compel the Ottoman Government to come to terms with France. He defeated the Turks on the Plain of Jezreel, and advanced as far as Nazareth and Safed; but he failed to capture Acre after a two month siege and the loss of most of his best soldiers, gallantly defended by Sidney Smith. By the beginning of June, 1799, Napoleon had withdrawn from Palestine. [Handbook of Palestine edited by H C Luke and E Keith Roach, McMillan, London, 1922 pp22-23]

Akka; Israel; Palestine Napoleon I; History (general); War (general)
1819–1831 `Abdu'lláh Páshá became the governor of `Akká in 1819. In 1832 when the Egyptians took `Akká he surrendered and was taken to Egypt. He was freed in 1840 when the area reverted to Turkish rule. [BBD5] Akka; Palestine; Israel; Egypt Abdullah Pasha; Governors; History (general)
1831 – 1840 Egyptian occupation of `Akká. [BBR202; DH128; Colonialism, Nationalism and Jewish Immigration to Palestine: Abdu'l-Baha's Viewpoints Regarding the Middle East by Kamran Ekbal p3, 20]
  • 'Abdu'lláh Páshá was the governor of 'Akká from 1819 to 1831. In 1832 when the Egyptians took the city he surrendered and was taken to Egypt. He was freed in 1840 when the area reverted to Turkish rule. [BBD5]
  • Akka; Palestine; Israel; Egypt; Turkey History (general); Abdullah Pasha
    1844. 21 Mar Edict of Toleration was issued by the Sultan of Turkey: The Muslim government of the Ottoman Empire was compelled by the Western Powers, notably Britain and France, to grant religious tolerance to all nations within its borders. Broader questions of religious tolerance, such as might presumably involve Jewish land rights and Jewish immigration are not mentioned in the Edict. [Sours (below) p9]

    To set the context, this came during the period known as "Tanzimat" (lit. Reorganization) 1838 to 1876. The Tanzimat era was characterised by various attempts to modernise the Ottoman Empire and to secure its territorial integrity against internal nationalist movements and external aggressive powers. The reforms encouraged Ottomanism among the diverse ethnic groups of the Empire and attempted to stem the tide of the rise of nationalism in the Ottoman Empire. During the Tanzimat period, the government's series of constitutional reforms led to a fairly modern conscripted army, banking system reforms, the decriminalization of homosexuality, the replacement of religious law with secular law and guilds with modern factories. The Ottoman Ministry of Post was established in Istanbul in 1840. [Wikipedia]

    The fulfillment of the prophecies of Christ and of the Bible has been over a period of a hundred years or more matter of common knowledge and remark in the West. But the full extent of that fulfillment is only seen in Bahá'u'lláh. The proclamation of His Faith was made in 1844, the year when the strict exclusion of the Jews from their own land enforced by the Muslims for some twelve centuries was at last relaxed by the Edict of Toleration and "the times of the Gentiles" were "fulfilled." [GPBiv Introduction by George Townshend]

  • See The 1844 Ottoman "Edict of Toleration" in Bahá'í Secondary Literature by Michel W. Sours and published in the Journal of Bahá'í Studies Vol 8 no 3 1998 pp 53-80.

    Michael Sours makes the point that there have been some Christian notions that have been adopted uncritically by a number of Bahá'í apologists that cannot be supported: 1. That Jews were strictly excluded from Palestine for 1,260 years prior to 1844 2. That Muslim Authorities were responsible for this exclusion 3. That the 1844 Edict ended the exclusion and enabled Jews to immigrate to Palestine 4. That the Edict brought about the fulfilment of the prophecy concerning the "times of the Gentiles". By extension it was the Christian maltreatment of Jews in Europe and elsewhere that prompted the large migration in the 19th and particularly in the 20th century. [Sours p77]

  • Israel; Palestine; Constantinople; Turkey Edict of Toleration; Jews; Judaism; History (general); Prophecies
    1868 30 Oct Christoph Hoffman, founder of the Templers, and Georg David Hardegg, his principal lieutenant, landed in Haifa to gather the Children of God in Jerusalem in preparation for the Second Coming of Christ. Hardegg remained in Haifa to head the Tempelgesellschaft while Hoffman went to Jaffa in 1869 to found a school and a hospital there. [BBD224; BBR204, 2, 15–16; DH133, SBBH1p215-218]
  • The colony on Mount Carmel was composed of a few dozen Templer families from Württemberg (S. Germany) and they were joined by kindred families of German origin from southern Russia and by some who had emigrated to America and become citizens, mainly from New York state. [Tablet to Hardegg (Lawh-i-Hirtík): A Tablet of Bahá'u'lláh to the Templer Leader Georg David Hardegg by Stephen Lambden and Kamran Ekbal, A Tablet of Bahā'-Allāh to Georg David Hardegg, the Lawḥ-i Hartīk by Stephen Lambden]
  • DH139 and GPB277 say this was 1863.
  • See BBR215–18 for the relationship between Bahá'u'lláh and the Templers.
  • A tablet addressed to Georg David Hardegg, Lawh-i-Hirtik, contained the proclamation of Bahá'u'lláh as the Promised One and the return of the Father. He also was warned not to make the same errors of the Pharisees who neglected the validity of Christ's own claims.
  • Bahá'u'lláh stayed in the houses of the colony several times. [BBR234]
  • Palestine was a neglected outpost of the Ottoman Empire when the Templers first settled in Haifa. Other settlements were soon founded in Jaffa (1869), Sarona (1871) and Jerusalem (1873) and, a generation later Wilhelma (1902), Bethlehem (1906) and, but a splinter group in Waldheim (1907). From initially hard beginnings, these communities went on to build the foundations for success: farms, flourmills, workshops, factories, shops, banks, hotels, hospitals, schools and even roads. Haifa was the largest Templer settlement. To this day, its main road is said to be the most magnificent in Israel.

    The Templers flourished in Palestine for nearly 80 years; they even survived the British occupation during World War I when many Templers were deported and interned in Egypt. Palestine was a British Mandated Territory from 1923 until 1948. Great Britain's entry into World War II signalled the end for the Templers in Palestine. The settlements of Wilhelma, Sarona, Betlehem and Waldheim were turned into internment camps, housing close to 2,000 people. In 1941, a large number of Templers (536) was deported to Australia along with 129 other German nationals. The last remaining Templers were expelled in 1948 when the State of Israel was established. [TSA website]

  • See BBR236–9 for articles written about the Bahá'ís by Templers.
  • See Der Herr ist Nahe: The Lord is Near: The Divine Mystery of the Transformation of Mt. Carmel by Harry Liedtke.
  • Haifa; Jaffa; Israel; Palestine Christoph Hoffman; Georg David Hardegg; Templer colony; Bahaullah, Life of; Lawh-i-Hirtik (Tablet to Hardegg); Interfaith dialogue; Christianity; Prophecies; History (general)
    1880. 18 or 19 Jun Bahá'u'lláh visited the Druze village of Yirkih (Yerka). `Abdu'l-Bahá joined Him for the last four nights. [DH123]
  • See DH123 for other Druze villages visited by Bahá'u'lláh.
  • Yirkih (Yerka); Palestine Bahaullah, Life of; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Druze
    1887. Date uncertain Husayn, the young son of Àbdu'l-Bahá and Munírih Khánum died in Akka at the age of three or four. In speaking with Lady Blomfield she said that five of her children died in Akka. [SoG 85; SUR235]

    She said that when Husayn passed away, Bahá'u'lláh wrote the following:

      "The knowledge of the reason why your sweet baby has been called back is in the mind of God, and will be manifested in His own time. To the prophets of God the present and the future are as one." [CH90]
    Akka; Israel; Palestine Abdul-Baha, Family of
    1914 1 Nov Turkey entered the war on the side of the Central Powers.
  • Palestine was blockaded and Haifa was bombarded. [GPB304]
  • `Abdu'l-Bahá sent the Bahá'ís to the Druze village of Abú-Sinán for asylum. [AB411; DH124; GPB304, BWNS1297]
  • For `Abdu'l-Bahá in wartime see CH188–228.
  • `Abdu'l-Bahá had grown and stored corn in the years leading up to the war and was now able to feed not only local people but the British army. [AB415, 418; CH210; GPB304, 306]
  • Properties in the villages of Asfíyá and Dálíyá near Haifa were purchased by `Abdu'l-Bahá, and, at the request of Bahá'u'lláh, bestowed upon Díyá'u'lláh and Bahí'u'lláh. Land was also acquired in the villages of Samirih, Nughayb and 'Adasíyyih situated near the Jordan river. 'Adasíyyah was the village occupied by Bahá'ís of Zoroastrian heritage that produced corn for the Master's household. The village of Nughayb is where the relatives of the Holy Family lived. [CH209-210]
    • See 'Adasiyyah: A Study in Agriculture and Rural Development by Iraj Poostchi. This village was purchased by 'Abdu'l-Bahá in 1901. He paid 400 Turkish gold lira for 920 hectares and then gifted 1/24th of the total area to the family from whom He had made the purchase.
    • Under the guidance of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi this village became a model of agriculture and Bahá'í life. The Bahá'ís lost ownership after 1962 when Jordan implemented land reforms.
    • 'Adasiyyah is mentioned in the film Exemplar (17:40-18:50).
  • See as well `Abdu'l-Baha in Abu-Sinan: September 1914 by Ahang Rabbani.
  • See Senn McGlinn's Abdu'l-Baha's British knighthood for more background.
  • Palestine; Israel; Abu-Sinan; Haifa; Asfiya; Daliya; Samirih; Nughayb; Adasiyyih (Adasiyyah); Jordan World War I; War (general); Druze; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Abdul-Baha, Knighthood (KBE); British; Charity and relief work; Social and economic development; History (General); - Basic timeline, Expanded; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline; Diyaullah; Bahaullah; Exemplar (film)
    1915 May The Bahá'ís of Haifa and `Akká returned to their homes from the village of Abú-Sinán. [DH147] Haifa; Akka; Abu-Sinan; Palestine; Israel Druze; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Charity and relief work; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline
    1915. Jul 1915 The McMahon–Hussein Correspondence was a series of ten letters exchanged from July 1915 to March 1916 between Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca, and Sir Henry McMahon, British High Commissioner to Egypt. In these letters, the UK government agreed to recognize Arab independence in certain regions after World War I if the Arabs revolted against the Ottoman Empire. The intended area for Arab independence was defined by boundaries proposed by the Sharif of Mecca, excluding some regions of western Syria. However, this correspondence became controversial after the Balfour Declaration in 1917 and the Sykes–Picot Agreement in 1916, which contradicted the promises made to the Arabs. As a result, Sharif Hussein later refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles and any agreements assigning Palestine to Jewish homeland or Syria to foreign control. The McMahon–Hussein Correspondence significantly influenced Middle Eastern history and continues to be a topic of discussion and dispute​. [Colonialism, Nationalism and Jewish Immigration to Palestine: Abdu´l-Baha's Viewpoints Regarding the Middle East by Kamran Ekbal p21] Israel; Palestine Imperialism/colonialism; History (general)
    1916 16 May The Sykes–Picot Agreement, officially known as the Asia Minor Agreement, was a secret 1916 agreement between the United Kingdom and France, to which the Russian Empire assented. The agreement allocated to Britain control of areas roughly comprising the coastal strip between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan, Jordan, southern Iraq, and an additional small area that included the ports of Haifa and Acre, to allow access to the Mediterranean. France got control of southeastern Turkey, northern Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Russia was to get Istanbul, the Turkish Straits and Armenia. The controlling powers were left free to determine state boundaries within their areas. Further negotiation was expected to determine international administration in the "brown area" (an area including Jerusalem, similar to and smaller than Mandate Palestine), the form of which was to be decided upon after consultation with Russia, and subsequently in consultation with the other Allies, and the representatives of Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca. [Wikipedia] Haifa; Akka; Israel; Palestine Sykes–Picot Agreement (Asia Minor Agreement); History (general); Middle East
    1917. 2 Nov The Balfour Declaration was a letter sent to Lord Walter Rothschild by British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour declaring support for the establishment of a ‘national home for the Jewish people' in what was to become the British Mandate of Palestine. It was the first official declaration of political support for Jewish independence and is viewed by some as paving the way for the legal foundations of the modern State of Israel as evidenced by the level of international diplomacy that went into securing the letter. In the context of WWI which was still raging at the time, it offered Britain the opportunity for a stake in the Middle East in the expected wake of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. It also marked one of the first major successes of the political Zionist movement which had officially been established with the First Zionist Congress in 1897.

    Given that the Balfour Declaration was not a unilateral document on behalf of the British but rather something which had been agreed upon privately by allied diplomats before it was issued, it is viewed as the beginning of a legal process, which involved the San Remo conference of 1920 where the Declaration was officially adopted by the allied powers and latter, the creation of the British Mandate for Palestine in 1922.

    The implementation of the Declaration was not without its failings. It provided for the safeguarding of the rights of the residents of Palestine saying ‘nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine'. In the run up to WWII that the British wanted to placate the Arab leadership in the Mandate. They issued a White Paper limiting Jewish immigration to the Mandate to fifteen thousand every year for five years, ultimately refusing entry to thousands of Jewish refugees from Europe, many of whom would tragically die in the Holocaust. [Wikipedia]

  • The Palestine Mandate.
  • Palestine; Israel; United Kingdom Balfour Declaration; Jews; Judaism; History (general); Palestine Mandate
    1918 Mar The British Military Administration of Palestine began. [BBR488]
  • Sir Ronald Storrs was detached from Jerusalem to organize the British Administration in Haifa. 'Abdu'l-Bahá offered him His staff and a gift of a little Bokkara rug from the Shrine of the Báb. He returned the visit to Sir Ronald at a later date in Jerusalem. [BW10 194-5; CH226]
  • Palestine British history; Ronald Storrs; Gifts; Carpets
    1919. 17 Jul From the newspaper Globe and Commercial Advertiser in New York, Àbdu'l-Bahá was quoted as saying :
      "If the Zionists will mingle with the other races and live in unity with them, they will succeed. If not, they will meet certain resistance. For the present I think a neutral government like the British administration would be best. A Jewish government might come later.

      "There is too much talk today of what the Zionists are going to do here. There is no need of it. Let them come and do more and say less.

      "The Zionists should make it clear that their principle is to elevate all the people here and to develop the country for all its inhabitants. This land must be developed, according to the promises of the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah and Zachariah. If they come in such a spirit they will not fail. [SoW Vol 10 Issue 10 September 8, 1919 p194-195]

    Palestine
    1920 (in the year) The British Mandate for Palestine began. [BBR488]
  • For `Abdu'l-Bahá's attitude to the administration see BBR339.
  • For British accounts of `Abdu'l-Bahá and the Bahá'ís in this period see BBR339-43 and CH225-8.
  • For details see SA140-3.
  • Palestine; Israel British history; History (general); Abdul-Baha, Life of
    1920 27 Apr `Abdu'l-Bahá was invested with the insignia of the Knighthood of the British Empire as Sir Abbas Effendi in a ceremony in Haifa. [AB443; BBRXXX, 343-5; CH214; DH149; GPB306; The Glorious Journey by Craig Weaver and Helen Bond p19]
  • For the document recommending `Abdu'l-Bahá for knighthood, see BBR344.
  • The knighthood was in recognition of `Abdu'l-Bahá's humanitarian work during the war for famine relief. [AB443]
  • He accepted the honour as a gift from a `just king'. [AB443]
  • He did not use the title. [AB443]
  • For Lady Blomfield's account see AB443-4 and CH214-15.
  • See SoW vol 13 No 11 p298.
  • See Senn McGlinn's Abdu'l-Baha's British knighthood.
  • Haifa; Abu-Sinan; Palestine; Israel Abdul-Baha, Knighthood (KBE); Abdul-Baha, Life of; World War I; British; Charity and relief work; Social and economic development; Lady Blomfield; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Abdul-Baha, Basic timeline
    1927 May The funeral of a believer resident in the Holy Land, Mírá Moshen Afnán, was the first entirely Bahá'í funeral to take place in Palestine showing the strong independence of the Faith. [SETPE1p147] Haifa; Palestine Mira Moshen Afnan; funeral
    1928 31 Dec Ruth White, who had met 'Abdu'l-Bahá in New York in 1912 and who had been on pilgrimage in 1922, wrote to the High Commissioner of Palestine with a charge that the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá was a forgery. [SETPE1p157]
  • See AY103 for 'Abdu'l-Bahá's reaction to Ruth White in New York in 1912.
  • See FMH64-65 for the story of how her plans to convince Doris and Willard McKay of her theories were thwarted by the sudden arrival of their two dogs who had had a recent encounter with a skunk.
  • Palestine; New York; United States Covenant-breakers; Ruth White; Abdul-Baha, Will and Testament of
    1929 4 May When the British Mandate in Palestine had been set up, an Order-in-Council had been enacted that allowed each of the recognized religious communities to be administered in all affairs of personal status according to their own religious laws and courts. The Bahá'í community had not, however, been accorded this "recognized" status and was thus compelled to submit to the Muslim Courts. In 1929 Shoghi Effendi asked Mountfort Mills to raise the matter with the authorities and the Bahá'í Community of Haifa formally petitioned the government that the Bahá'í laws on personal status be recognized in Palestine. [BBR459; PP284]
  • Recognition was granted later in the year. [BBR459; DH116; PP284]
  • Haifa; Palestine Recognition (legal)
    1933. (In the year) The construction of the Akka-Haifa highway. The town of Haifa was taking on a greater importance with the opening of the deep-water port on 31 October 1933. By 1936 there were over 100,000 inhabitants. [Sunburst p99; Wikipedia Akka; Israel; Palestine; Haifa; Palestine Statistics
    1938 (In the year) Shoghi Effendi remained in Europe for the year owing to terrorist activities in Palestine. [PP219]
  • "The Great Revolt" raged in Palestine from 1936 to 1939. It was a nationalist uprising by Palestinian Arabs in Mandatory Palestine against the British administration of the Palestine Mandate, demanding Arab independence and the end of the policy of open-ended Jewish immigration and land purchases with the stated goal of establishing a "Jewish National Home".
  • An innocent casualty of the unrest was Habib Miskar. He was one of the oldest Bahá'ís in Haifa at the time. On the 6th of March, 1939, while on his way home he was passing the gate of the house of 'Abdu'l-Bahá when he noticed a party of militia pursuing a fleeing man. He hurried towards the entrance of the garden to take refuge but the soldiers, having no way of knowing that he was not the terrorist they were pursuing, shot them both. [BW8p679]
  • Europe; Palestine Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Shoghi Effendi, Travels of; History (general)
    1947 9 Jul Shoghi Effendi, as Head of the Bahá'í Faith resident in the Bahá'í World Centre, received a letter from the chairman of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine requesting a statement on the relationship the Bahá'í Faith had to Palestine and the Bahá'í attitude to any future changes in the status of the country. [BW11:43, Text]
  • Shoghi Effendi replied on 14 July setting out the non-political character of the Bahá'í Faith and explaining that Palestine is both the administrative and the spiritual headquarters of the religion. In his reply, Shoghi Effendi made it clear that "Our aim is the establishment of universal peace in the world and our desire to see justice prevail in every domain of human society, including the domain of politics." The Guardian also pointed out his concern that "the fact be recognized by whoever exercises sovereignty over Haifa and ‘Akká, that within this area exists the spiritual and administrative center of a world Faith, and that the independence of that Faith, its right to manage its international affairs from this source, the rights of Bahá'ís from any and every country of the globe to visit it as pilgrims (enjoying the same privilege in this respect as Jews, Muslims and Christians do in regard to visiting Jerusalem) be acknowledged and permanently safeguarded." [BW11:42-44; BW12 p596-597]
  • He also included a statement of the history, aims and significance of the Bahá'í Faith, later published by the American National Spiritual Assembly in pamphlet form. [BW11:44; PP351]
  • For the text of this latter statement see Guidance for Today and Tomorrow p1–10.
  • Previous to this, on May 9, 1947, the Guardian had written through his secretary to explain why he was encouraging Bahá'í association with United Nations: "He feels that the friends should bear in mind that the primary reason that he is encouraging Bahá'í association with the United Nations is to give the Cause due publicity as an agency working for and firmly believing in the unification of the human family and permanent peace, and not because he believes that we are at present in a position to shape or influence directly the course of human affairs! Also, he believes this association will afford the believers an opportunity of contacting prominent and progressive-minded people from different countries and calling the Faith and its principles to their attention. We should associate ourselves in every way with all movements of UN which are in accordance with our principles and objectives; but we should not seek to take the initiative or . . . focus a glare of publicity and public attention on a very wide scale upon ourselves which might prove very detrimental to our own interests. He considered, for instance, the ‘Bahá'í Declaration of Human Obligations and Rights' appropriate and believes this type of action to be wise and suitable." [BW12 p597-598]
  • BWC; Haifa; Palestine; Israel United Nations; Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Shoghi Effendi, Writings of; Statements; Publications; Shoghi Effendi, Works of; Politics; Peace
    1948 (In the year) War broke out in Palestine.
  • Many Covenant-breakers fled the country. [DH118]
  • Palestine War (general); History (general); Covenant-breakers
    1948 14 May The British Mandate in Palestine ended and the state of Israel was proclaimed.

    The notion of a Jewish state evolved during the nineteenth century and in the aftermath of the French Revolution, which generated the idea of nation states and nationhood in the modern sense. The first plans came from non-Jewish sources. Napoleon Bonaparte suggested the settlement of European Jews in the Suez region to safeguard a canal project he had envisaged. Lord Palmerstone, British Foreign Secretary from 1830-1841, seeking to halt French advances in the East, planned the establishment of a British-backed Jewish client-state in Palestine to stop their advance and block Muhammad Ali´s progress. Plans of this kind set up by the Powers for safeguarding their own interests were quite numerous. When the Germans were constructing the Berlin-Baghdad Railway in the years before its completion in 1940, plans were made to settle Jews in Asia Minor alongside the rails or bestow an Ottoman Pashaliq (Territorial administrative division) upon the territory occupied by them.

    After the French Revolution the Jews of Central and Western Europe now felt that they were citizens of their respective countries. Orthodox Jews refused the idea of a Jewish state believing that only when the Messiah came that such a state could be founded.

    But then anti-Semitism was on the rise in Europe from the early and mid 1800s with such beliefs as Social Darwinism, Eugenics, Scientific Racism, Racial Hierarchy: the Nazi Racial Theories and the lingering concepts of colonialism and imperialism. The horrors of the Holocaust played a significant role in discrediting and rejecting these racial and biological ideologies that were not based on sound scientific findings.

    Jews had started to immigrate into Palestine after the first anti-Jewish pogroms in Russia in 1881 and more especially after the establishment of the World Zionist Organization in 1897, it was of a different, a political nature. The Jewish immigrants came now with the explicit aim to establish a state of their own and to the exclusion of the Arab inhabitants of the land.

    "The Jewish Colonial Projects in Palestine" refer to the efforts by Jewish individuals and organizations to establish settlements and communities in the region of Palestine, primarily during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These efforts were part of the broader Zionist movement which aimed to establish a Jewish homeland in what was then part of the Ottoman Empire and later became the British Mandate of Palestine. These projects played a significant role in the eventual establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.

    First Aliyah (1882-1903): The First Aliyah was a wave of Jewish immigration to Palestine that began in the early 1880s. During this period, many Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe and Russia settled in agricultural communities, known as "moshavot," in various parts of Palestine. They aimed to establish self-sustaining agricultural settlements and escape persecution in their home countries.

    Baron Edmond de Rothschild's Support: Baron Edmond de Rothschild, a wealthy European financier, provided financial support to many Jewish settlers in Palestine. His contributions were crucial for the development of Jewish agricultural communities and wineries in the region.

    Second Aliyah (1904-1914): The Second Aliyah brought another wave of Jewish immigrants to Palestine. Many of these immigrants were inspired by socialist and labour-oriented ideologies. They established kibbutzim and collective communities, which emphasized communal living and shared resources.

    Jewish National Fund (JNF): The JNF, founded in 1901, played a pivotal role in acquiring and developing land in Palestine for Jewish settlement. It purchased and reclaimed land, planted forests, and financed infrastructure projects.

    Balfour Declaration (1917): During World War I, the British government issued the Balfour Declaration, expressing support for the establishment of a "national home for the Jewish people" in Palestine. This declaration laid the foundation for future Zionist aspirations.

    British Mandate Period (1920-1948): After World War I, the League of Nations granted Britain the mandate to govern Palestine. During this period, Jewish immigration and settlement continued, despite tensions with the Arab population. The Arab-Jewish conflict over land and political control intensified.

    Haganah and Israel Defense Forces: Jewish settlers organized defense forces, such as the Haganah, in the 1920s to protect their communities. They provided defence for Jewish communities and countered Arab attacks, facilitated the illegal immigration of Jewish refugees to Palestine, coordinated the various Jewish paramilitary groups and were involved in the acquiring and stockpiling of weapons and military equipment. These groups later evolved into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

    1948 Arab–Israeli War (1947-1949)

    With the British Mandate coming to an end, the United Nations approved the partition plan for Palestine, leading to the declaration of the State of Israel on the 14th of May 1948. The following day a military coalition of Arab states, including Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq, invaded Israel to prevent its establishment. They took control of the areas designated for Arabs and attacked the Jewish forces and settlements. As a result of the war Israel got all the lands mandated to them by the UN and 60% of the territory meant for the Arabs as well as the area that had been meant for an "international zone". Israel had retained its independence and had expanded its territory.

    This period is known as "Nakba" ("catastrophe" in Arabic). Some historians estimate that around 720,000 out of the 900,000 Palestinian Arabs that had lived in the land that was to become Israel were expelled. Another estimate says the 400 Palestinian villages were destroyed, civilians were massacred and around a million men, women, and children were expelled from their homes at gunpoint. [The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Ilan Pappe; Colonialism, Nationalism and Jewish Immigration to Palestine: Abdu´l-Bahá's Viewpoints Regarding the Middle East by Kamran Ekbal p24; Palestinian Expulsion and Flight]

    Further details on the conflicts, Causes, Key Events of the War, as well as Outcomes and Consequences can be found here.

    The UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) is a UN agency established in 1949 that supports the relief and human development of Palestinian refugees. It's mandate encompasses Palestinians displaced by the 1948 Palestine War and subsequent conflicts, as well as their descendants, including legally adopted children. As of 2023, more than 5.9 million Palestinians are registered with UNRWA as refugees. [UNRWA]

    Palestine; Israel British history; History (general); ethnic divisions

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    from the Main Catalogue

    1. 1844 Ottoman 'Edict of Toleration' in Bahá'í Secondary Literature, The, by Michael W. Sours, in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 8:3 (1998). This edict, issued the year the Bahá'í era began, permitted Jews to return to Palestine. The return of Jews to the Holy Land was thought by Christians to be an event anticipated by biblical prophecy, heralding the Second Advent of Christ. [about]
    2. `Abdu'l-Baha in Abu-Sinan: September 1914, by Ahang Rabbani, in Bahá'í Studies Review, 13 (2005). The story of Abdu'l-Bahá's relocating the Haifa/Akka Bahá'í community of some 140 people to a nearby Druze village to keep them safe during World War I. [about]
    3. ['Abdu'l-Bahá] Declares Zionists Must Work with Other Races: From the Globe and Commercial Advertiser (New York, July 17, 1919), by Marion Weinstein, in Star of the West, 10:10 (1919-09-08). An interview with 'Abdu'l-Bahá on the League of Nations, Bahá'í ideas for peace, and the Holy Land. [Note: at this time in history, years before the Second World War, the terms "Zionist" and "Palestine" had somewhat different meanings.] [about]
    4. Babi and Bahá'í Religions 1844-1944: Some Contemporary Western Accounts, by Moojan Momen (1981). A lengthy collection of first-hand reports and mentions of the Bábí and Bahá'í religions in contemporaneous accounts and newspapers. [about]
    5. Babs and Their Prophet, The, by Laurence Oliphant, in Haifa, or Life in Modern Palestine (1887). Excerpt from a book described by E.G. Browne as "the first published notice of Behá and the Bábí colony at Acre"; includes PDF of complete book. [about]
    6. Bahá'í Settlements in the Jordan Valley, 1882-1954, The, by Shay Rozen (2011-04-05). [about]
    7. Call of Mt. Carmel, The, by Maude M. Holbach, in Bible Ways in Bible Lands: An Impression of Palestine (1912). Includes passing references to Abdu'l-Bahá and Akka, a description of life in Haifa at the time, and some history of Laurence Oliphant. [about]
    8. Chosen Highway, The, by Lady Sarah Louisa Blomfield (1940/1967). Oral Bahá'í histories collected by an eminent early English Bahá'í, first published in 1940. [about]
    9. Colonialism, Nationalism and Jewish Immigration to Palestine: Abdu'l-Baha's Viewpoints Regarding the Middle East, by Kamran Ekbal (2014). Abdu'l-Bahá was opposed to the cultural and political colonialism of foreign powers and their militaries. In spite of the Bahá'í principle of abstaining from politics, exceptions can be made in the face of tyranny and injustice. [about]
    10. Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, The: A World Religion, by Shoghi Effendi (1947-07). A summary of the origin, teachings and institutions of the Bahá'í Faith, prepared in 1947 for the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine by Shoghi Effendi in his capacity as Head of the Bahá'í Faith. [about]
    11. Humanitarian Responses to Global Conflicts, by Universal House of Justice (2015-01-13). A letter to and response from the House about why Bahá'ís do not condemn the 2014 attacks on Gaza, and principles to consider when addressing conflicts. [about]
    12. In the Noble, Sacred Place: One Rainy Day in a Holy City, by Sandra Lynn Hutchison, in elixir-journal.org, vol. 12 (2021 Spring). A memoir of visiting Jerusalem — a contemporary pilgrim's note written as a literary piece — with meditations on the spiritual truths of the Qur'an. [about]
    13. Itchyfeet: Travels with Reg Priestley, by Reginald L. Priestley (1991/2001). Autobiography of a world traveller who visited many places in and around Israel while in the Palestine Policeman service in the 1940s, and the story of his acceptance of the Bahá'í Faith. [about]
    14. Letter to the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, by Shoghi Effendi and Horace Holley (1947/1948). Shoghi Effendi's summary of the relationship of the Bahá'í Faith to Palestine, written as an introduction to the pamphlet "The Faith of Bahá'u'lláh: A World Religion." Includes Holley's letter to the UN the next year on Bahá'í shrines in Palestine. [about]
    15. Religions of Modern Syria and Palestine, The, by Frederick Jones Bliss (1912). [about]
    16. Remembering 'Abdu'l-Baha's Call for Unity, a Century after World War I, by Bahá'í World News Service (2018-11-26). Collection of newspaper articles and photographs of Abdu'l-Bahá, on the general theme of unity in the face of war. [about]
    17. Treasures of the East: The Life of Nine Oriental Countries, by Zia M. Bagdadi (1930). Descriptions of nine "Treasures" — Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Jijaz (Arabia), Transjordania (Arabia), Persia, India, and Turkey — by an Iraqi physician who traveled to the U.S. and was instrumental in the establishment of several Bahá'í communities. [about]
    18. "Two Great Powers" in the Lawh-i Maqsud, by Ismael Velasco (2014). On the identity of the two countries that arose against the followers of Moses, referenced by Bahá'u'lláh — likely Russia and France or Russia and Germany. [about]
    19. What is Bahá'í Orientalism?, by Geoffrey Nash, in Humanities, 10:2 (2021). Postcolonial theory can help analyze religious writing; Edward Said and the concept of mutual othering; power and knowledge are linked in the production of Orientalist discourse. Link to article (offsite). [about]
    20. Young Turks and the Bahá'ís in Palestine, The, by Necati Alkan, in Late Ottoman Palestine: The Period of Young Turk Rule, ed. Eyal Ginio and Yuval Ben Bassat (2011). Reform movements in turn-of-the-century Palestine and the influence of Abdu'l-Bahá on his political milieu. [about]
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