This study uncovers a Zionist plan for settlement outside the Land of Israel, in the region of Constantinople and Anatolia. The primary aim of the proposed plan was to achieve political goals leading towards an enhanced Zionist settlement in Eretz Israel. The project was to be carried out by a Zionist settlement society known as 'Agudat Neta'im', whose base was in Eretz Israel. The society, headed by Aharon Eisenberg, operated on a commericial basis, selling plots of land already sown and prepared for settlement. The project had numerous supporters, including prominent leaders of the Zionist movement. Its opponents also included members of the Zionist establishment, as well as Zionist activists from among the leaders of the settlement movement in Eretz Israel. Opposition was based, among other things, on the contention that all efforts should be channeled towards the Land of Israel, and on the concomitant fear that the settlement of the land would be undermined by settlement in Turkey. The opponents refuted the claim of 'Agudat Neta'im' that the plan would serve to advance the political aims of the Palestinian project, deeming this approach political naivete. 'Agudat Neta'im' did not consider the Turkey settlement project merely a commercial undertaking. It stressed, moreover, that work in Turkey should in no way be at the expense of efforts for settlement in Eretz Israel. On the contrary, every effort should be made to enhance the settlement of Eretz Israel. Settlement in Turkey, they stressed, would serve as a preparation for Eretz Israel, and politically it would convince the young Turks to support the settlement projects in the Land, in light of the economic advantages they provided. In effect, the debate surrounding this plan reflects the dispute within the Zionist movement over the appropriate policy towards Turkey. The plan was abandoned in the end, due to a broad-based Zionist demand not to engage in settlement outside the Land of Israel. The project was seen as a form of 'territorialism', and therefore rejected by the leaders of the yishuv.
|Original language||American English|
|State||Published - 1984|