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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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Zion in Babel

Zion in Babel

The Yishuv in Its Arabic-Speaking Context

(p.142) Chapter Four Zion in Babel
Babel in Zion

Liora R. Halperin

Yale University Press

This chapter looks at the scope of Jewish engagement with Arabic in Jewish communities and organizations in Palestine. It addresses four discrete but interlinked ways and settings in which some Jews encountered, sought out, or deployed Arabic: community Arabic courses provided to kibbutz dwellers and other agricultural communities in rural regions of the country; Jewish contact with Arabic in the region of Tel Aviv; intelligence and military operations that gathered information about communal goings-on through the use of Jews who knew Arabic; and Zionist Arabic-language newspapers aimed to affect Arab public opinion. It shows that Arabic knowledge and use appeared to be a solution to both the apparent impossibility of future harmony and the loss of a past coexistence.

Keywords:   Jewish engagement, Arabic, Jewish communities, Jewish organizations, Arabic courses, kibbutz dwellers, Tel Aviv, intelligence, military operations, Zionist

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