Quotation from Yitzhak Epstein “An entire nation, which has occupied it for hundreds of years and has never thought to leave it” — Sep. 16 1905

Writer and linguist established in Palestine in 1886, founder of the first hebrew school, speaking during the 7th Zionist congress.

Author : Thematic :

Among the difficult questions related to the idea of the revival of our nation on its land, there is one that outweighs all others: that of our attitude towards the Arabs. This question, on whose proper solution depends our national hope, has not been forgotten but rather completely ignored by the Zionists, and in its true form is barely mentioned in the literature of our movement. The fact that it was possible to turn away from such a fundamental question, and that after thirty years of settlement work it needs to be addressed like a new inquiry — this unfortunate fact is highly emblematic of the irresponsibility prevalent in our movement and shows that we are still dabbling in the matter rather than delving into its core. One simple fact we have forgotten: that there lives in our Land of Promise an entire nation, that has clung to it for centuries and has never considered leaving it. It is about time that we uproot the misguided thought, now common among the Zionists, that in the Land of Israel there is land lying fallow due to the shortage of farmhands and the laziness of the inhabitants. There are no barren fields — on the contrary, every fellah does his best to extend his plot to the uncultivated lands around it, if that does not require excessive work. Thus, when we seek to lay claim to the land, should we thereupon not ask ourselves immediately: What will the fellahin whose fields we buy do?


In his book The Hidden Question (1907).

Full quote in  Yaara Benger Alaluf,  Why does the JNF still exist ? 



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