During the period of British rule in Jerusalem (1917–1948), the “Gemilut Hesed shel Emet” society—or Gahsha—a burial society was founded by Jerusalem's community council. From the perspective of national Zionist activity, Jerusalem's burial society reflected attempts to firmly establish a general national awareness within the Jewish community. The idea of a cemetery for all Jews with no distinction made based on origin constituted a significant change for Jewish cemeteries in Jerusalem and in the entire land at the time. Establishing this type of cemetery conveyed an important Zionist principle: the national movement aspired to represent all Jews, in their lives and even in their deaths. Zionist activity in the field of burial and cemeteries was one driving force for creating a new sense of space in Jerusalem, the kind that hoped to connect local identity with Zionist identity and used the language of new Jewish nationalism in the land of Israel. The burial activity should be viewed within nation-building efforts and the Zionist movement's attempts to promote a central authority in the land, which ultimately led to the founding of a sovereign Jewish state in May 1948.
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- Mount of Olives
- Sheikh Badr
- national identity