The First Diaspora & The Treatment of Jews–Alisa

“Proposal Concerning the Question of Understanding and Reaching an Agreement with the Land of Israel”, is a primary source document regarding the conflict between the Palestinians and Israeli, written by David Avisar, a teacher, Sephardic politician and a strong advocate of Mizrahi and Sephardi political activity. Having done research on previous proposals made by the Israelis, reading this document sparked my interest mainly because Avisar took an approach that no one ever had before. In October of 1930 David Avisar published this document as a pamphlet in Jerusalem. His motive was to come to an understanding and agreement with the Arabs of Israel in regards to building Israel, his national home. The document goes through 8 points; these points are basically his plan outlined and in his plan he is asking for the help of the Arab’s “to build the Land of Israel to prepare it and turn it into a safe haven,” for all Jews, and in return granting “a life of development, safety, freedom, and independence.” Earlier propositions made by the Israeli government created the Arabs’ lack of trust in the Jews. David Avisar has spoken about all of the declarations and proposals before his that would’ve resulted in more harm than good for the Land and all of its people. What makes this document so interesting to me is that David Avisar’s interest was in the future as well as in their now. His interest was also in the growth of not only his people but in the people who shared the Land of Israel.

Jacqueline Shields speaks about the summer of 1929, a year before Avisar’s proposal was published, when the Arabs in Israel rioted and killed hundreds of Jews. The worst massacres happened in Safed, Hebron, Jerusalem, and Motza; Hebron and Jerusalem being two of the places David Avisar lived and studied. These massacres left over one hundred Jews dead and wounded, creating an uproar within the Jewish community and Zionist movement especially. There were very few people, activists, or politicians who wanted to resolve this conflict in a peaceful way. This is what makes David Avisar stand out so much, amongst other things. He recognized that the violence and aggression was hurting the Land way more than anything else, he believed that they should all work together for the benefit of both groups.

Jewish colony of Artuf set on fire by Arabs. Courtesy of Jewish Virtual Library.

Jewish colony of Artuf set on fire by Arabs. Courtesy of Jewish Virtual Library.

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