Middle East Studies

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State Lands and Rural Development in Mandatory Palestine, 1920–1948


Before retiring Warwick P. N. Tyler was Senior Lecturer in History at Massey University, New Zealand. He has published in the field of Middle Eastern history, and New Zealand history.

The League of Nations’ Mandate for Palestine imposed two duties on Britain as the administering power with regard to land: to closely settle Jews on state and waste lands (Article 6), and to promote closer settlement, intensive cultivation and rural development in the interests of all the people of Palestine (Article 11). Britain's failure to live up to Jewish expectations in these two areas provoked and sustained Zionist complaint throughout the entire period of the Mandate. This book examines British pledges and performance; Jewish hopes, disappointments and achievements; and Arab opposition and loss.

Based on original research at British, Israeli and Zionist archives, this book also discusses the problems that needed to be addressed in order to revitalize the rural sector in Palestine and assesses the impact of British initiatives and Jewish land acquisition, settlement and example on Arab rural society and agriculture.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-902210-75-9
Hardback Price: £49.95 / $75.00
Release Date: September 2001
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-84519-229-7
Paperback Price: £25.00 / $39.95
Release Date: September 2013
Page Extent / Format: 272 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No


Foreword by Kenneth W. Stein
Linear Measures and Currency
List of Maps and Tables
List of Abbreviations


Part One: The State Lands Issue
1 The State Lands of Palestine
2 The Beisan Lands
3 The Huleh Lands
4 The Athlit, Kabbara and Caesarea Concession

Part Two: Rural Development
5 The Preservation and Improvement of the Natural Environment
6 The Improvement of Arab Agriculture
7 Major Structural Change and Investment in the Rural Sector



Tyler’s findings tell us again why the Zionists succeeded and the Arabs did not in the control of land areas that were essential for the eventual establishment of Israel . . . this book fits wonderfully into a series of those still too few available monographs, written since the June 1967 war, that focus on the economic and social history of the Mandate.
From the Foreword by Professor Kenneth W. Stein. Emory University, Atlanta

Tyler ably mines government archives and describes the often-complicated contest between Jewish and British officials.
Journal of Palestine Studies

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