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Donations and their destinations in the 1927 Palestine Earthquake

IRVING, Sarah (2021) Donations and their destinations in the 1927 Palestine Earthquake. Revue d’histoire culturelle, 2. ISSN 2780-4143

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Abstract or description

Soon after the 1927 earthquake in Palestine, Jerusalem’s Sephardi congregation contacted their co-religionists in London to ask for help rebuilding homes and synagogues. In doing so, they relied upon long-standing relations in which European Jews had helped to support communities in the Holy Land. In this instance, controversy arose when funds raised by the Spanish & Portuguese congregation in London were merged with the larger relief effort channelled via the Board of Deputies to an ethnically mixed fundraising committee in Jerusalem. Not only was the London Sephardim’s money not used specifically for congregations in Jerusalem, much of it was used to help destitute Arab victims.

This article places this internal conflict into the context of the wider relief effort, reconstructed using sources from the Mandate government, religious organisations working in Mandate Palestine, the Palestinian press, and memoirs and other reminiscences of the earthquake. It shows how experiences of the earthquake and of the relief effort involved both Jews and Arabs in Palestine, and their international networks, to help the worst affected. However, it also highlights the different understandings of these networks of solidarity and obligation, some of them long-standing, and the resulting competition for funds articulated in geographical, communal and ethnic terms, thus contradicting stereotypes about communal relations in Mandate Palestine and contributing to more complex understandings of Arab-Jewish relations. The competing understandings of aid also adds to the growing history of humanitarianism and to efforts to write histories which incorporate the viewpoints of the recipients of aid as well as of donors and relief organisations.

Item Type: Article
Faculty: School of Law, Policing and Forensics > International Studies and History
Depositing User: Sarah IRVING
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2021 15:10
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2021 04:30
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/7021

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