The Ottoman response to Laurence Oliphant's Project of Jewish settlement in Palestine (1879-1882)
AuthorBuzpınar, Şit Tufan
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CitationBuzpınar, Ş. T. (2020). The Ottoman response to Laurence Oliphant's Project of Jewish settlement in Palestine (1879-1882). The Journal of Ottoman Studies, 56, 259-286.
This paper focuses on Laurence Oliphant's efforts to organize a Jewish settlement in Palestine between 1879 and 1882 and the Ottoman response to these efforts. After giving due information about Oliphant's Restorationist (Christian Zionist) background in order to understand why he was so deeply interested in the question of Jewish settlement in Palestine, his proposal to the Ottoman government in 1879 on this issue is explained in some detail, based primarily on Ottoman archival documents. This is the only instance in which the Ottoman government was officially faced with the issue of Jewish settlement in Palestine, and was also the first instance in which it was discussed at the highest level, resulting in a response that guided Ottoman policies during the rest of Abdulhamid II period.The following part of the article examines Oliphant's second attempt at obtaining permission for a Jewish settlement in Palestine in 1882. In this part, American support for Oliphant's efforts, as well as the Ottoman reaction to this support, will be explained. The Ottoman response to the question of Jewish settlement in Palestine constitutes an important component of the article.