This book gives the political and economic background to the many complex differences between Israel and the Palestinians today. It describes the economic development of Palestine during the early years of the British mandate in Palestine, and discusses British policy on Jewish settlement and enterprise. The author argues that this policy, gave preferential treatment to Zionist economic development, and that the Zionist settler movement, unsuccessful during the period of Ottoman rule, flourished under the British: within a few years of the establishment of British administration, the Zionists had laid the foundations of a national economic base which underpinned their nationalist ideology. British policy thus contributed significantly to the division of the country on ethnic lines and ultimately to the partition of Palestine and the establishment of the state of Israel. This central argument informs a wide-ranging discussion of economic policy, embracing immigration. land, labour, industry, agriculture, education, social welfare and taxation.
Part 1: weaving the web of British colonialism; an impoverished metropolital link; unequal balances in public finance. Part 2: building the Jewish national home; facilitating Jewish immigration; the search for vacant land; monopoly rights for Jewish enterprise. Part 3: breaking colonial rules; the anomaly of a worker settler movement; protecting Jewish industry. Appendix: mandate for Palestine; abbreviations.