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Mr. Oliphant’s Scheme for Colonizing Palestine
The London Times says: The Rev. George Nugee gave a lecture yesterday, May 13, at St. George’s hall, on a proposal for colonizing Palestine by Jews, and referred incidentally to the existing establishment of a Jewish agricultural colony of fifty-five inhabitants near Jaffa. After some statistics relating to the modern Jews, who, he said, had shown themselves so alive to the advantages of education that they numbered half the university students, half the barristers, and more than half the merchants of Vienna, the lecturer proceeded to develop a plan which he said had met with the approval of many Jews and had been communicated by Mr. Lawrence Oliphant to the sultan, who received it favorably, for establishing a Jewish colony on the east bank of the Jordan.
The plan was to purchase 1,500,000 acres, to introduce a European element into the government, and to settle colonies there, either of Jewish peasant farmers or of Jewish farmers employing the labor of the indigenous fellah. The incursions of the Arabs were a danger, but might be bought off. He had sent a circular to Mr. Goschen, the new special envoy to Constantinople, who had expressed a deep interest in the scheme. The lecturer described the country which was to be settled as exceedingly fertile, and identified it with the land allotted to Reuben, Dan, and the half tribe of Manasseh.
An international convention of Hebrews from all portions of the world will be held at Paris, September 10, under the auspices of the Alliance Israelite Universelle. Matters affecting the interests of the whole Hebrew race will be discussed. Delegates have been appointed from ten countries, the Rev. Myer S. Israel, the Rev. H. S. Jacob, Myer Stern, William Seligman, and Simon Wolf being the delegates from the United States. Among the subjects to be discussed are the amelioration of the Hebrews in Palestine and the promotion of emigration to that country, the promotion of Hebrew literature and education, and the persecution of Hebrews in Roumania and elsewhere.
JERUSALEM seems to be growing in favor as a place of residence for foreigners who find their native countries uncomfortable. The foreign Jewish population has, according to Consul Moore, increased considerably of late years. That community is now estimated at 15,000, including native Jews, against 10,000 in 1873. The desire to avoid compulsory military service now enforced in most European countries, and the right of holding real property in Turkey, probably account for the increased immigration. The German colony at Jerusalem now numbers nearly 400 persons, that at Jaffa about 300. There is a third German settlement at Califfa of about equal number with the last mentioned. The settlers are mechanics, artificers, carriers, and agriculturists, and are fairly prosperous.
— September, 1880 —