Quotation from Alexander Lindsay “Waits for the return of her banished children” — 1838

Scottish aristocrat known as an art historian and collector, in a book where he develops an authentic pre-Zionist discourse.

Author : Thematics :

It is possible that, in the changes of the Turkish Empire, Palestine may again become a civilized country, under Greek or Latin influences; that the Jewish race, so wonderfully preserved, may yet have another stage of national existence opened to them; that they may once more obtain possession of their native land, and invest it with an interest greater than it could have under any other circumstances […] Many I believe entertain the idea that an actual curse rests on the soil of Palestine, and may be startled therefore at the testimony I have borne to its actual richness. No other curse, I conceive, rests upon it, than that induced by the removal of the ancient inhabitants, and the will of the Almighty that the modern occupants should never be so numerous as to invalidate the prophecy that the land should enjoy her Sabbaths so long as the rightful heirs remain in the land of their enemies. Let me not be misunderstood: richly as the valleys wave with corn, and beautiful as is the general aspect of modern Palestine, vestiges of the ancient cultivation are every where visible – waste and unreclaimed districts constantly intervene between the Oases of fertility— while, except immediately round the villages, the hills, once terraced and crowned with olive trees and vines, are uni­formly bare or overgrown with wild shrubs and flowers;— proofs far more than sufficient that the land still enjoys her Sabbaths, and only waits for the return of her banished children, and the application of industry, commensurate with her agricultural capabilities, to burst once more into universal luxuriance, and be all that she ever was in the days of Solomon.”


Lord Lindsay, Letters on Egypt, Edom and the Holy Land, Henry Colburn (London), 1838. Google Book. Italisized except quoted by Ilan Pappe, Ten Myths about Israel, Verso, 2017.

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