Surviving the war : American assistance to the jewish community of Palestine, 1914-1917
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During the nineteenth century, in hope of finding a solution to the eternal “Jewish Question”, a movement that envisioned a Jewish homeland in Ottoman Palestine took root among European Jewry. The Ottoman Empire had no intention of harboring another nationalist movement within its territories and thus took measures to prevent the colonization of Palestine. However, Jewish immigrants made use of the capitulations, which provided foreigners with extraterritorial privileges, to curb Ottoman measures and go forward with immigration into Palestine. With the outbreak of World War I, the Ottomans abolished the capitulatory system and left the movement without the capitulations which was vital for the continuation of immigration. Additionally the difficulties of the war created unfavorable conditions for the Jewish community of Palestine. The disruption of the traditional way of life, accompanied by the difficulties of war rendered the future of the community questionable. At this point, the United States of America took on the duty of protecting and assisting the community. This thesis attempts to deal with how the United States assisted the community from the beginning of the war up till the rupture of Ottoman-American relations in 1917. How the United States helped the community and through what channels, will be explained.