William WhiteNoel Temple Moore to Sir W.A. White

F.O. 195/1581 (No. 9) Jerusalem, March 5th 1887

I have the honour to state that for some time past the local Turkish Authorities, in pursuance, as the Governor informs me of orders from the Sublime Porte, have been inhibiting foreign Jews from coming to reside at Jerusalem, or in Palestine generally. Persons of that persuasion are only allowed to come on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for one month, after which they must depart. The reasons given for this unusual measure are that the great majority of the Jews that come here are of the indigent class, whilst numbers are old and infirm who come to end their days in the Holy City. Both these categories have no means of subsistence and live in much misery and want, depending on a dole of a few pence a week from the charitable collections received from Europe, the amount of which of course decreases as the demand on those funds increases, and flocking to the already overcrowded Jewish quarter of the City adding to its squalor and unhealthiness and thus jeopardising the public health, and are also the cause of dearth. That there is truth in these assertions is not to be denied; I imagine, however, that besides these considerations, a certain feeling of uneasiness must have entered the minds of the authorities at the large influx of Jews into the country within recent years, with their rights and privileges as foreign subjects, and they desire to check this influx. It was understood for some time that this regulation was especially directed against Russian Jews. Having myself had occasion recently to enquire of Raouf Pasha whether it would be applied to British Israelites, His Excellency gave a decisive reply in the affirmative. I, therefore, lose no time in reporting the matter to Your Excellency. The Jews that come to Jerusalem are mostly Russian, German and Austrian, and the Consuls of those nations seem to have acquiesced in the regulation in question.

On the 23rd of September Moore forwarded a note from the Governor of Jerusalem, which had also been addressed to the other Consuls, in which the Governor asked for their assistance in securing the departure from Palestine of their Jewish nationals who coming as visitors, remained in the country beyond a month. Neither the Ambassador nor the Consul could intervene on behalf of foreign subjects but so far as British Jews were concerned the reply of the Ambassador was that

Sir William White to N.T. Moore

F.O. 195/1575 Therapia, October 19, 1887

The right of British subjects to go and come within the Ottoman dominions is secured by the Capitulations and confirmed by all subsequent treaties. The special regulation above referred to (requiring the departure of Jews after one month’s stay) is therefore ipso facto null and void as far as it regards persons enjoying British protection. British subjects enjoy all alike the same rights and privileges and no creed or other distinction can be admitted as regards British subjects or proteges whatever religion they profess.

Hyamson, Albert. The British Consulate in Jerusalem in Relation to the Jews of Palestine 1938-1914. 2 vols., London- Jewish Historical Society, 1939-41.