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Babel in ZionJews, Nationalism, and Language Diversity in Palestine, 1920-1948$
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Liora R. Halperin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300197488

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300197488.001.0001

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Peddlers, Traders, and the Languages of Commerce

Peddlers, Traders, and the Languages of Commerce

(p.62) Chapter Two Peddlers, Traders, and the Languages of Commerce
Babel in Zion

Liora R. Halperin

Yale University Press

This chapter reveals that the conditions for defending Hebrew and promoting its hegemony in Palestine were influenced by material and economic relations. It sites the marketplace and the commercial sphere as spaces of linguistic contact and contestation. It shows that one of the foundational economic strategies of the Zionist movement was labor separation and the “conquest of labor”. Additionally, it reports that assimilation and Levantinism were the two threats to the Hebrew culture. It shows that some observers were worried about diasporic forms of commerce, but the normality and depth of these forms were more richly a part of the Yishuv.

Keywords:   Hebrew, Zionist movement, Levantinism, commerce, Yishuv, linguistic contact

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