‘Political Balance’ or ‘Natural Growth’? The British Mandate, Meir Dizengoff, and the Struggle over Tel Aviv Port in the 1920s and 1930s

On 24 February 1938, a crowd of 30,000 onlookers gathered in the rain awaiting the official opening of Tel Aviv port to passenger traffic. Due to bad weather conditions, however, the ceremony had been moved inside a ‘gaily decorated warehouse’ on the shore of the Mediterranean in the north of the ‘first Hebrew city’. To make matters worse, the rough seas prevented the landing of passengers at Tel Aviv port on that day, and the SS Har Tsiyon had to be redirected to Haifa.1

Yet such adverse conditions did little to dampen the Tel Avivians’ celebratory mood. The city’s port had been a project long in the making, and it held great significance not only for Tel Aviv, but for the Zionist project as a whole. Although long disregarded by a historiography focused on the Zionist ‘return to the land’, visions and schemes of a maritime revival—as part of national self-fulfilment and realization—were an integral part of Zionist thought.

Continue reading ‘Political Balance’ or ‘Natural Growth’? The British Mandate, Meir Dizengoff, and the Struggle over Tel Aviv Port in the 1920s and 1930s
  1. ‘New “Gateway to Zion” Inaugurated’, Palestine Post, 24 Feb. 1938, 1; ‘Tel Aviv—Sha‘ar Tsyion, Derekh Ba Ya‘avru ha-Ge‘ulim’, ha-Arets, 24 Feb. 1938, 1. []

Social Inequality: Early Medieval Perspectives on a Modern-Day Challenge

Social inequalities are among the most pressing challenges facing us today. Yet they also affected the past in many different ways. Investigating historical inequalities can sharpen our understanding of present-day phenomena. This is true even of an era whose social order no longer exists: the Middle Ages.

Continue reading Social Inequality: Early Medieval Perspectives on a Modern-Day Challenge
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