The Oldest Guard: Landowners, Local Memory, and the Making of the Zionist Settler Past

15 Nov 2021


*Promoted by University of Pittsburgh*

Speakers: Liora Halperin

Description: In this talk, Liora Halperin tells the story of Zionist memory in and around the private Jewish agricultural colonies (moshavot) that were established in late 19th-century Ottoman Palestine. Though they grew into the backbone of lucrative citrus and wine industries in British mandate Palestine and Israel, absorbed tens of thousands of Jewish immigrants, and became known as the “first wave” (First Aliyah) of Zionist settlement, these communities have been regarded—and disregarded—in the history of Zionism as sites of conservatism, lack of ideology, and resistance to Zionist Labor politics. Treating the “First Aliyah” as a symbol created and deployed only in retrospect between the 1920s and 1960s, and drawing connections to memory practices in other settler societies, she discusses how private agriculturalists and their advocates on the Zionist center and right celebrated and forged the "First Aliyah" past as a model of private ownership, political impartiality, and hierarchical relations with hired rural Palestinian labor. She also considers the centrality of settlement to Zionist collective memory and the politics and erasures of Zionist celebrations of "firstness.”

Event Date: 
Monday, November 15, 2021 - 4:00pm
Sponsored By: 
The University of Texas Austin Center for Middle Eastern Studies