By October 31, 2017 Read More →

1914 Palestine Since the Arab Conquest

Western Jezreel ValleyIn the twelve centuries and more that had passed since the Arab conquest Palestine had virtually dropped out of history. One chapter only is remembered ― the not very noble romance of the Crusades. In economics as in politics, Palestine lay outside the main stream of the world’s life. In the realm of thought, in science or in letters, it made no contribution to modern civilization. Its last state was worse than its first. In 1914 the condition of the country was an outstanding example of the lethargy and maladministration of the pre-war Ottoman regime. The population, still overwhelmingly Arab in character, eked out a precarious existence mainly in the hills.  On the Plains, where life and property were less secure, such irrigation works as had existed in ancient times had long disappeared. Oranges were grown round Jaffa, but most of the maritime belt was only sparsely populated and only thinly cultivated.  for the most part was marshy and malarious. Eastwards beyond Jordan nothing remained of the Greek cities of classical times save one or two groups of deserted ruins. Southwards in Beersheba, once the site of several prosperous towns, all trace of urban life had long lain buried under the encroaching sand.

Source: Gudrun Krämer. A History of Palestine. (p. 166)

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