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Palestine from 1851 to 1880, as Reflected in the New York Times Articles


Korean Minjok Leadership Academy
International Program
Kim, Ji Ho
Research Paper, Fall 2010



Table of Contents


I. Introduction
I.1 Purpose of this Research
I.2 Method of this Research
I.3 Approach and Time Span
II. An Attempt of a Balanced Overview of Palestine in 1851 to 1880
II.1 From the Point of View of Western Nations
II.2 From the Point of View of Middle Eastern Nations and Palestine
II.3 From the Point of View of Jews
III. American View of Palestine
III.1 New York Times
III.2 Article List Relevant to Palestine from 1851 to 1880 with Summary
III.3 Keywords, Standard of Relevance and Appendix
III.4 Sources other than New York Times
III.5 Major Issues in News Articles and American Stance
III.6 Underlying Perspectives and Implications
III.7 What the NYT did not write about
IV. Conclusion
IV.1 Implication of the Research
IV.2 Limits and beyond
Notes
Bibliography



I. Introduction

I.1 Purpose of this Research
            The purpose of this research was to examine how the New York Times viewed Palestine and related issues for the set time span. The research is mostly limited to the articles of the New York Times, yet I tried to generalize the results of the research to certain extent along with the sources other than the New York Times. Through this study, not only the basic attitudes embodied in the articles were touched but the underlying perspectives and motives were deeply considered. I also cautiously suggest that the point of view of the New York Times back then quite fairly represents American interests in terms of international relations and diplomacy. With this approach, I delved into figure out the general Western stance on the issue reflected in the attitude of the United States government.

I.2 Method of this Research
            I searched for any articles of the New York Times relevant with Palestine and related issues. I could access to the articles online thanks to the online archive, http://www.nytimes.com/. Basically, I looked up all the articles in PDF form that showed up under several key words I had come up with. I sorted out the articles that were "initially identified relevant", double checked, and then made the final list of the articles with a brief summary. This research is mostly based on this list.

I.3 Approach and Time Span
            As press is always under a great deal of influence of the public and the government, one of the ever most widely-read newspaper in the United States, the New York Times was selected as the main source base. The focus of the research was on the underlying perspectives and attitudes toward Palestine reflected in the articles. The time span of the research is set as from 1851 to 1880. In the first place, I wanted to concentrate on the modern view point regarding Palestine before the Zionist movement gained its momentum. Roughly saying, of the three stages of Western-Palestine relations; the beginning, from the germination of the Zionist movement to Balfour declaration, after the declaration, I was more interested in its beginning, the onset of one of the most sensitive and controversial issues so far in the course of Western and Middle Eastern history.

II. An Attempt of a Balanced Overview of Palestine in 1851 to 1880

II.1 From the Point of View of Western Nations
            To briefly touch the viewpoint of Western nations from 1851 to 1880, they paid the lesser amount of time and attention to Palestine. European countries were involved in territorial conflicts and diplomatic deadlock in their own continent. The United States had gone through a decade of internal dispute Civil War since 1851. The conflict finally escalated into the Civil War in 1861, which lasted until 1865. Complications of the multiple alliances and hostilities marked by the Crimean War and the conflict between Prussia and Austria were then primary agendas in Europe. In the United States, not Palestine but Native Americans were the major issue. (1) However, general American attitudes toward the Palestinian Arabs were at least germinating at that time. Though the Zionist movement began to be formed on a full-scale in 1882 (2), the United States had been supposed to consider in earnest the relations with Jews beforehand. (3) Hence, it suffices to say in general, the Palestinian Arabs were rather a minor issue in Western nations from 1851 to 1880, yet as "official American attitudes" (4) started to be influenced by the underlying ideal of the Zionist movement, it is worth looking at how the United States viewed Palestine in their major organ of public opinion, the New York Times.

II.2 From the point of view of the Middle East and Palestine
            From the point of view of the Middle East and Palestine itself, Palestine could be characterized by "the spiritual world, the religious network and the customs of habitation". (5) The inhabitants of the Middle East, including the Palestinian Arabs, believed the region should be governed not by a certain entity but the traditions and the religion. Hence, even Jews and Christians often resorted to Muslim laws when they sought for the basis of justice. (6) This tendency was for granted in the perspective of nearby Muslim nations and Palestinian people. They thought both modern urban and rural Palestine were then the extension of the course of history. Still, Palestine was not a political entity but a historical and religious land. As a result, the Ottomans could not effectively administer vast territories of Palestine. Its "coercion policy" instigated the small and big uprisings not only in Palestinian region but in other regions of the Middle East it governed. (7) The reorganization of the region was also the cause of a great disorder. The Ottomans redrew the map of Palestine in order to govern in a more modern way. Yet, Palestine was different from other regions of the Middle East. Rather than forming into a modern state, the reorganization brought up a fundamental question : if Palestine becomes a state, whose state is it ? The view that the state of Israel should succeed Palestine was accepted by Zionist Jews, but "totally rejected by the Palestinian view". (8) Palestinians were by nature completely against Zionism itself. Others in the Middle East also rejected the ideal of Zionism. Although the Zionist Movement began to form in 1882, which is out of time span this paper covers, I would like to point out that Palestinian people and other inhabitants of the Middle East regarded the ideal of Zionism as a colonialist impetus selfishly aimed at the revival of Jewish people in the land of Palestine. (9) In a nutshell, then, Palestine and the rest of the Middle East were both totally not prepared for and against the rapid geopolitical changes made by the Ottomans, Jews and Western nations.

II.3 From the Point of View of Jews
            It is too patent to explain in detail that Jews originally and constantly had believed the land of Israel is their homeland. In thoughts of rebuilding their homeland and restoring the bygone glory, Zionism, Jews began to form the Zionist movement in 1882. However, before 1882, except one settlement, Jews only had this romantic longing for their ancestors¡¯ land, Palestine. That exception is "Petah-Tikva". In 1878, religious pioneers from Europe built their first settlement to be founded under the cause of Zionism in the Palestinian region although even the word, "Zionism" did not exist back then. It was called "Petah-Tikva". (10) Although before the formation of World Zionist Organization, WZO in 1897, Zionism was hardly mounting to an "organized movement" (11), since the 10th BCE, Jews had believed Jerusalem is the holiest city as well as their spiritual center. (12) Also, since long before, Jews had accepted the idea that it is right for them to succeed their homeland, Palestine. Jews used to recite "Next Year in Jerusalem" at the end of their Yom Kippur service and the Passover Seder. (13) Roger Friedland also said about this longing in his book, "To Rule Jerusalem" :
            "Israel was first forged into a unified nation from Jerusalem some three thousand years ago, when King David seized the crown and united the twelve tribes from this city ... For a thousand years Jerusalem was the seat of Jewish sovereignty, the household site of kings, the location of its legislative councils and courts. In exile, the Jewish nation came to be identified with the city that had been the site of its ancient capital. Jews, wherever they were, prayed for its restoration." (14)

III American View of Palestine

III.1 New York Times
            The main source base of the research, the NYT archive provides "Advanced search" with "Custom date range". I set the range, from January 1st, 1851 to December 31st, 1880. Under the six key words, "Palestine", "Jews and Arabs", "Gaza", "the Holy Land and Jerusalem", "Hebron", "Nablus", 1,447 articles came out. Of 1,447 articles, 76 articles were initially identified relevant. After double check, 6 articles were removed, and 70 articles were identified closely related with the issue and listed below.

III.2 List of Relevant Articles of the NYT on Palestine 1851-1880

Keyword : PALESTINE.      ; Out of 968 results, initially 50 were indentified relevant; 44 were included in the final list
1. Jerusalem Delivered June 9, 1853, Wednesday What is the significance of holy, "hallowed" Palestine ?
2. Rev. Mr. Jones and the American Consul at Jerusalem July 15, 1854, Wednesday Jones: sent by Jews to Palestine to build colonies
3. No Title (commission) June 29, 1862 incomplete, second part of an article; agricultural school for the poor Jews of Palestine
4. NOTES FROM THE PEOPLE.; Resumption of Specie Payments. Disastrous Effect of the Mechanics' Lien Law upon the Growth of the City. Our "Moses" and Our "Israelites." A Name for the County: February 26, 1866 American Israelites; => Deleted due to little relevance directly to Palestine
5. THE BOARD OF DELEGATES OF AMERICAN ISRAELITES.; Seventh Annual Convention in this City - Report of the Executive Committee - Interesting Proceedings: May 28, 1866 The Seventh Annual Convention of the Board of Delegates of American Israelites) +> Deleted due to the same reason
6. The Maine Colony in Palestine November 12, 1866 arrival of small group of colonists from the state of Maine at Jaffa, the Holy Land
7. EUROPEAN NEWS November 12, 1866 see under no.6
8. NEWS OF THE DAY.; EUROPE GENERAL NEWS. LOCAL NEWS.: November 12, 1866 see under no.6
9. The Jaffa Colony--The Bright Side of the Picture. February 17, 1867 the positive aspects of the Jaffa Colony
10. THE AMERICAN COLONY AT JAFFA March 20, 1867 About colonizing leader ADAMS and colony
11. The Americans Colony at Jaffa - Visit of the Agent of the United States Government.: April 15, 1867 Mr. Seward sent an agent to Jaffa colony
12. THE AMERICAN COLONY AT JAFFA.; Some Personal Reminiscences of "High Priest" George J. Adams - His Carcer as a Mormon Elder and Strolling Actor.: August 19, 1867 story of their sufferings for the past year and of their present wretchedness
13. The Jaffa Colony - Favorable Report from a Member October 22, 1867 They are now prospering
14. THE LAST OF THE JAFFA COLONY.; A Criticism of Adams by one of the Returned Colonists - Its Present Condition and Prospects.: February 2, 1868 criticism of Jaffa Colony and failed attempt to convert Palestine
15. THE HOLY LAND.; The Palestine Fund, its Origin and Objects - Interesting Summary of Labors and Discoveries - An Appeal for Aid in Prosecuting the Work.: October 6, 1868 Palestine Exploration Fund and its objects, status quo
16. The Israelites of Palestine.: April 28, 1869 Opinion about American protection of the Israelites of Palestine
17. PALESTINE.; The Exploration Fund--What has been Accomplished--Letter from the Secretary. October 24, 1869 accomplishments of Palestine Exploration Fund
18. AMERICAN ISRAELITES.; Annual Meeting of the Board of Delegates - Report of the Executive Committee - Christianity and the Constitution.: May 24, 1870 about a meeting; => Deleted due to the same reason as for no.4, 5
19. Explorations in Palestine.: September 10, 1871 about English explorations of the Holy Land and their significance
20. GLORIES OF THE TEMPLE AT JERUSALEM September 10, 1871 temples
21. Palestine July 10, 1872 the exploration of Palestine
22. The Palestine Exploration Corps.: March 11, 1873 the palestine exploration corps and expenses, it is promising
22. The Palestine Exploration Corps.: March 11, 1873 the palestine exploration corps and expenses, it is promising
23. Palestine Exploration.: March 25, 1873 plan of exploration corps
24. The Palestine Exploration Society.: April 9, 1873 report and contribution list again
25. Palestine Exploration Society.: April 23, 1873 making a good beginning, report and contributions
26. Palestine Exploration Society.: May 14, 1873 contributions
27. Palestine Exploration Society.: May 29, 1873 contributions
28. Palestine Exploration Society.: June 16, 1873 progress of palestine expedition in Moab
29. Palestine Exploration Society.: July 11, 1873 decoding of Egyptian inscriptions and state of expedition party
30. AMERICAN EXPLORATIONS IN PALESTINE July 22, 1873 advice from expedition leader and goal achieved in Moab
31. PALESTINE EXPLORATION SOCIETY.: August 28, 1873 the publication of the second statement and contributions
32. THE EXPLORATION OF PALESTINE August 29, 1873 accountant of work and recent discoveries by the expedition society
33. AGRICULTURE IN PALESTINE.: July 20, 1874 A scheme for the encouragement of agriculture in Palestine, during a meeting of the Board of Deputies of the British Jews
34. EXPLORATIONS IN THE HOLY LAND.: November 19, 1874 An interesting session
35. PALESTINE EXPLORATION.: December 21, 1874 A large meeting at the Park Street Church of those interested in the Exploration
36. THE PALESTINE EXPLORATION SOCIETY'S SECOND EXPEDITION.: July 18, 1875 British and American cooperation for the second expedition
37. JERUSALEM.: October 10, 1875 The basic infromation of the place and the inhabitants
38. PALESTINE AND ITS PEOPLE February 22, 1876 The geography of Palestine and its current situation, sufferings of the people, missionary movements
39. SODOM AND GOMORRAH.; EXPLORATIONS IN PALESTINE. THE "TEL" SYSTEM OF THE JORDAN VALLEY - CITIES IN RUINS STANDING UPON MOUNDS - THE LITTLE CITY TO WHICH LOT FLED - THE DESTRUCTION OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH - THEIR SITES NOT TO BE LOOKED FOR AT THE BOTTOM OF THE DEAD SEA.: August 7, 1876 The Tel system of the Jordan Valley
40. PALESTINE IN THE LAND MARKET.: January 29, 1877 The plot about selling the part of the Holy Land to any candidate accepted by Jews in return for a loan
41. THE AMERICAN ISRAELITES; THEIR BUSINESS FOR THE YEAR. ANNUAL CONVENTION OF THE BOARD OF DELEGATES THE CONGREGATIONS REPRESENTED CONDITION OF THE JEWISH RACE IN EUROPE, ELECTION OF OFFICERS.: May 29, 1877 Annual convention yesterday at the Temple Emannel, Forty-third-street and Fifthavenue
42. THE AMERICAN ISRAELITES.; PROGRESS AND WORK OF THE SECT. PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF DELEGATES STATISTICS PRESENTED OF THE JEWISH POPULATION OF AMERICA THE PERSECUTION OF ISRAELITES IN ROUMANIA CHARITABLE AND EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS.: May 30, 1877 A report which, though incomplete, contains much valuable information concerning the Jews in America; => Statistics about Jews who lived in the United States before they moved into Palestine; => Also about general information of American Jews; Considered relevant
43. PROTECTION FOR JEWS IN PALESTINE.: July 15, 1877 Protection for Jews in Palestine
44. EXPLORATIONS IN PALESTINE.: November 9, 1877 Modern researchers in Palestine
45. PALESTINE July 29, 1878 Exhibition of a model of Palestine in the U.S., unstability
46. JEWS IN JERUSALEM December 29, 1878 Miserable Jews in Palestine
47. A MASONIC EXCURSION.; MEMBERS OF PALESTINE COMMANDERY MAKING A TRIP WESTWARD.: June 8, 1879 A pilgremage to the West; deleted
48. PALESTINE COMMANDERY AT HOME.: June 13, 1879 The arrival of Palestine Commandery; deleted
49. THE PALESTINE RAILROAD.; NOT EXCLUSIVELY A MASSACHUSETTS AFFAIR - THE ROUTE PROJECTED.: March 31, 1880 Additional facts concerning it which give the enterprise new importance, particulary in a case of war
50. DESOLATION OF PALESTINE.; A TRAVELER TELLS WHAT TURKISH RULE IS DOING FOR THE HOLY LAND.: May 3, 1880 Environmental desolation of Palestine under the Turkish Government


Keyword "Jews & Arabs".      ; Out of 54 results, initially 2 article were identified relevant; 2 were finalized
1. Egypt and Palestine December 11, 1858 The lecture given on the Holy Land of a descriptive character
2. Lecture on the Holy Land by Rabbi Sneersohn February 19, 1869 A lecture on the "Past Biblical History of Jerusalem and its Present Condition"; The present circumstances of Jerusalem are more favorable than the past


Keyword "Gaza".      Out of 80 results, initially 2 articles were identified relevant; 2 were finalized
1. The Jaffa Murderers.; ANTICIPATED ARREST OF ONE OF THE GANG February 4, 1860 The murder of Mr. Dickson in Jaffa who was defying against local authorities, Consular and Governor of Jerusalem
2. THE WELL OF THE LEAF, JERUSALEM January 4, 1880 A story about the well of the leaf in Jerusalem


Keyword "the Holy Land & Jerusalem".      Out of 196 results, initially 16 articles were identified relevant; 16 were finalized
1. Articles from the Holy Land for the Crystal Palace - Cholera on the Ship Sagadahock - Death of Gottschalks Father October 22, 1853 The ship bringing the articles from the Holy Land and Jerusalem was struck by Cholera and lost its 50 passengers
2. Egypt and Palestine December 11, 1858 same as Jews & Arabs 1
3. Lecture on the Holy Land by Rabbi Sneersohn February 19, 1869 same as Jews & Arabs 2
4. The Holy Land.: September 22, 1869 Same as Hebron 2
5. The Holy Land.: December 27, 1870 Miss Burdett Coutts' contribution for bringing water to Jerusalem
6. Explorations in Palestine.: September 10, 1871 Same as Palestine 19
7. Selous' Pictures of "Jerusalem in Her Grandeur and Her Fall.": April 5, 1872 The discovery of the two fine pictures which vividly convey the image of the Holy City and Christianity
8. THE HOLY LAND.; Perils of Travel in the Orient What Befell a Party of Scientific Men.: May 12, 1872 Scientific explorations of the Holy Land
9. ARCHAEOLOGICAL FRAUDS.; SOME OF THE ROGUERIES PRACTICED IN THE EAST.THE "GREAT SHOWMAN" OF JERUSALEM, AND THE "BAKSHISH" CONSPIRACY OF ARABS TO HUMBUG THE FERINGEES June 14, 1874 The archaeological fraud in Jerusalem
10. JERUSALEM AND THE HOLY LANDS.: October 7, 1876 Lecture on the shrines and temples of the East delivered
11. TRAVELING IN THE HOLY LAND: January 7, 1877 The head Sheiks of the Bedouin tribes who are the actual masters of Palestine and Syria
12. AN IOWA INN-KEEPER IN JERUSALEM.: September 15, 1878 A pioneer in the work of rebuilding and Christianizing the Holy City
13. JEWS IN JERUSALEM.: December 29, 1878 Same as Palestine 46
14. THE WARS FOR THE HOLY LAND.; ACHIEVEMENTS AND FRUITS OF THE CRUSADES - LECTURE BY DR. JOHN LORD.: February 6, 1879 Lecture on the Crusades
15. THE WELL OF THE LEAF, JERUSALEM.: January 4, 1880 The rumor about the well of the leaf and the prophecy
16. DESOLATION OF PALESTINE.; A TRAVELER TELLS WHAT TURKISH RULE IS DOING FOR THE HOLY LAND.: May 3, 1880 Same as Palestine 50


Keyword "Hebron".      Out of 147 results, initially 4 articles were identified relevant; 3 were finalized
1. Suicide of a Prominent Citizen of Hebron, Conn. June 1, 1868 Suicide of American merchantman in Hebron; deleted
2. The Holy Land September 22, 1869 Rabbi in oriental costume enthusiastically lectured on the Holy Land, mainly about the City of Hebron
3. BIBLE LANDS.; A Visit to Hebron Measures of the Ports and Policy of Russia.: September 10, 1871 Gross injustice done by Americans at the site of caves in Hebron
4. NEW PUBLICATIONS; PALESTINE. YALE LECTURES. LITERARY NOTES. April 14, 1880 Extended research about Palestine region beyond generally vague and superficial information regarding Palestine


Keyword "Nablus".      Out of 2 results, initially 2 articles was identified relevant; 2 were finalized
1. The Jaffa Murderers.; ANTICIPATED ARREST OF ONE OF THE GANG February 4, 1860 Same as Gaza 1
2. ORIENTAL BARGAINS.: November 30, 1879 Peculiar bargaining culture in Palestine regions


III.3 Keywords, standard of relevance and appendix
            The key words I used for searching the articles were "Palestine", "Jews and Arabs", "the Holy Land and Jerusalem", "Gaza", "Hebron" and "Nablus". To avoid undercover bias, I searched with the five key words other than "Palestine" that were considered probably relevant with the issue. As a result, I could look through the related articles that did not directly mention "Palestine". About the relevance, basically, the articles that contain any meaningful contents, claims, points of view, political opinions, official announcements about Palestine. Those that have the key words but are tangentially related or simply mention the words and talk about other things were considered irrelevant. For example, goes and comes of the ship called "Palestine", notices of church gatherings, or geographical information about "Gaza" were omitted.


This graph shows that as time passed, the number of articles about Palestine had increased.


This graph shows the bias of the New York Times. I categorized the articles into the particular regions they deal with. As we can see above, many articles covered Jerusalem, Jaffa Colony and the Holy Land as a biblical reference, yet few articles bring up the Arab towns as the issues.

Table 1 : Population of Palestine 1890 by Faith, in Thousands (16)
Year Jews Christians Muslims Total
1890 43 57 432 532

This table shows that the Muslims were the absolute majority of Palestine in 1890.


This graph shows another bias of the NYT. The blue bar indicates the number of articles that cover the certain religious group; the red bar indicates the actual population of the certain religious group in the region. The graph is drawn based upon the proportion, not the number to compare two variables. As we can easily infer from the graph, despite the extremely high percentage of the population of Muslim Arabs in Palestine, they were undoubtedly underrepresented in the articles. In reverse, the number of articles about Jews is relatively high when compared with the actual population of Jews in the region.

III.4 Sources other than New York Times
            To get a balanced view, I looked for sources other than New York Times that describe the status quo from 1851 to 1880 in the perspective of Arabs or the third party. Among uncountable books and treatises on Palestine, "Perceptions of Palestine: their influence on U.S. Middle East policy" written by Kathleen Christison provides the unbiased description of Palestine in a neutral tone. In the first chapter, "Palestinians in the Nineteenth-Century Mind", Christison points out the partial viewpoint of travelogues, their influences on Americans, American sentiment toward Palestinian issues and Arab's attitudes. Including Mark Twain's derogatory depiction of Palestine as a desolate land, many travelogues made a lasting impact on people in viewing the region. These biased travelogues were often used by "U.S. propagandists for Israel" and "Israeli government press" to justify the massive settlement of Jews in the Palestinian region. (17) Americans, as a result, became used to accept the ideal of Zionism and the oppression of Arab people in Palestine without hesitation. Also Christison says the sentiment underlying the U.S. Middle East Policy could be characterized by "Orientalism" marked by the elements of both religion and politics. (18) On the one hand, Americans got purely interested in the mystique state itself, yet on the other hand, like the doctrine of "Manifest Destiny", they considered Palestine as a place to be owned and ruled by themselves. In the perspective of Western Christians, the U.S. government erroneously regarded its intervention in the regional politics and the Zionist movement as justifiable and morally right. However, the Arabs in Palestine were not prepared for the U.S. intervention at all. They simply ignored the circumstances without any sense of a common entity while feeling no need to present their case. (19)

III.5 Major issues in news articles and American stance
            Major issues that are steadily touched throughout the articles from 1851 to 1880 can be categorized into six items. They are as following below;


1. Historical significance of the region, Jerusalem
2. Jaffa Colony in the Holy Land
3. Explorations, excavations, development and rebuilding; Palestine Exploration Fund
4. Jews in Palestine, protections of Israelites in Palestine, Turkish rule
5. Academic interests in the region, studies, researches and lectures: agriculture, religion, geography, history
6. Disposal of the part of the territory by sale


            Basically, six topics above are the major focus of the 70 articles. Even at a glance, it is possible to recognize the United States was quite actively engaged in working out the fundamentals of the further relations with Jews and the Palestinian Arabs. Followings are the NYT's attitudes toward each issue, which can be generalized to certain extent as the official American stance.

1. The New York Times considers Jerusalem as one of the most historically significant site. It often expresses awe about biblical importance of the region.
2. Jaffa Colony in the Holy Land is described in a rather neutral tone. It views the colony as no more than a means of additional economic profit of the nation. The New York Times is positive in addressing the easy status quo of the colony and its bright future.
3. The New York Times in its articles indirectly champions the cause of the explorations, excavations, development and rebuilding of the Holy Land. It also praises the intention and the progress of Palestine Exploration Fund high in the relevant articles.
4. The New York Times is hostile against the Turkish rule of Palestine. It criticized the leadership and governance of Ottoman Palestine. Also it supports the cause that the United States should protect Israelites in Palestine. It expresses sympathy with the "miserable" conditions and state of Jews under the "cruel" Turkish rule. The New York Times often calls for an action to better the status quo in Palestine.
5. It, however, seems to be purely interested in the Palestinian region. It is enthusiastic about informing the public of further discoveries or results of the researches in Palestine. Also it announces about even the minor lectures that cover history or geography of Palestine.
6. As it shows a detached and unaffected attitude about Jaffa Colony, the New York Times addresses only the facts about the disposal of the part of Palestine by sale. The underlying perspective is to be covered below.

III.6 Underlying Perspectives and Implications
            To briefly state the American attitudes toward Palestine from 1851 to 1880 in a sentence, the United States still viewed Palestine as a mystical state with little to be known, yet it was obviously against the Turkish rule and considered the region as the cornerstone of both American economic development and the cozy relations with Jews. The United States reflected in the New York Times is strictly for its own economic interests and diplomatic supremacy in the relation with Palestine and its people. As a matter of fact, every nation has been always pursuing national interest as the ultimate goal; therefore, it seems too plain and meaningless to simply state the United States did so. However, what is worth pointing out is that the United States had been in accordance with the cause of Jews even before the Zionist movement gained its momentum and publicly formed in late 1880s. While exploring and excavating the site in order to gather the sufficient amount of information about Palestine, the United States also sympathized with Israelites that inhabited in the region under the Turkish rule with emotional words such as "miserable". The shift of tone through the articles is noticeable; when it talks about Jaffa Colony and the sale of the part of the region to whomever relevant Jews agreed with, the New York Times mentions only the facts devoid of any opinion, yet when it comes to touching the issues of Palestinian Jews, it appeals to emotion and sympathy. It shows the New York Times strived to imbue readers with that there is nothing wrong in its explorations of the region, colonization and the sale of the territories. Along with purely academic interest in Palestine, the development and rebuilding of the region by the United States were completely justified as the effort to restore the Holy Land which is qualified as historically significant and religiously symbolic. In the same context, the biased viewpoint that the United States should protect Jews in Palestine was artfully rephrased into a general support for human rights so that the nearly propagandistic point of view turns into one natural enough to convince other nations to embrace without a suspicion. At the end of those articles, as a result, the point the New York Times intends to make is totally justified at any rate. Also, the New York Times calls for an action to redress the wrong committed in the region of Palestine. Perhaps even back then, the United States started to at least indirectly uphold the intention and purpose of the Zionist movement that mounted to the international organized migration of Jews from other countries to the Holy Land.

III.7 What the NYT did not write about
            Also none of the articles mentioned about Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. Grand Mufti of Jerusalem is "the Sunni Muslim cleric in charge of Jerusalem's Islamic holy places, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque". (20) As the highest religious leader in the Muslim lands, Grand Mufti was a spiritual symbol of Islam. From 1851 to 1880, however, there was no article at all that covered Grand Mufti despite the fact that he must have had a great influence on the Arabs of the region. I interpret it as a serious bias that could lead to the formation of the wrong impression about Palestine in the United States.

IV. Conclusion

IV.1 Implication of the research
            Through the close examination of all the NYT articles about Palestine from 1851 to 1880, I could figure out the basic perspectives underlying the biases and the one-sided views of the articles. Then, I generalized those viewpoints into the official American attitudes towards the Palestinian issues since the New York Times was the most widely-read newspaper in the United States. In a nutshell, the New York Times failed to impartially address the issues while intentionally emphasizing certain points and omitting others. It is possible to infer that the fact that Jews owned the NYT company had a great impact on its attitudes toward Palestine. By presenting the viewpoints in three perspectives; Western nations, the Middle East and Palestine, and Jews, I could provide the comparison between the status quo in real and the description of the New York Times. This research not only shows the New York Times distorted the facts in favor of Jews and Western countries but imply that the government and those who share common interests can easily use the press to disseminate their ideals. Also it shows that the press can play a role as the indicator of the official stance of a nation. Hence, it is possible to figure out the official stance about the issues and the general sentiment of the people by looking at how the press including the major newspaper approach the issues and delivered its opinions about them.

IV.2 Limits and beyond
            The limit of this research is perhaps that I referred solely to the New York Times. I guess if I had also used other materials than the New York Times, the generalization I made could have been more solid and valid. However, I provided a fair analysis of the attitudes and the underlying perspectives of the New York Times articles, which can be, to certain extent, generalized into those of the United States. I think this research can be the basis for further study about the American policies towards Palestine before the Zionist movement gained its impetus.


Notes

1.      http://www.fincher.org/History/WorldAD.shtml
2.      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zionism#History
3.      Mattar, 415
4.      Mattar, 415
5.      Pappe, 16
6.      Pappe, 16
7.      Pappe, 21
8.      Pappe, 26
9.      Pappe, 35
10.      http://www.petah-tikva.muni.il/htmls/english/municipality.html
11.      Mattar, 455
12.      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem_in_Judaism
13.      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem_in_Judaism
14.      Friedland, 8
15.      http://www.nytimes.com
16.      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Palestine#Demographics_in_the_Ottoman_period
17.      Christison, 16
18.      Christison, 18
19.      Christison, 22
20.      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Mufti_of_Jerusalem


Bibliography

Note : websites quoted below were visited in 2010.
Primary Source 1.      New York Times; http://www.nytimes.com/ Articles from January, 1st 1851 to December 31st 1880
Secondary Sources 2.      Reich, Bernard. Historical Dictionary of Israel. New Jersey: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1992
3.      Shulman, Abraham. Coming Home To Zion: A Pictorial History of Pre-Israel Palestine. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1979.
4.      Rubin, Jacob. Pictorial History of Israel. New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1958
5.      Mattar, Philip. Encyclopedia of the Palestinians. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 2000.
6.      Pappe, Ilan. A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
7.      Christison, Kathleen. Perceptions of Palestine: Their Influence on US Middle East Policy. California: University of California Press, 2001
8.      Wikipedia; Zionism; Demographics of Palestine; Grand Mufti of Jerusalem; Jerusalem in Judaism
9.      http://www.fincher.org/History/WorldAD.shtml
10.      http://www.petah-tikva.muni.il/htmls/english/municipality.html
11.      Friedland, Roger; Hecht, Richard D. To Rule Jerusalem. University of California Press, 2000



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