Arthur Ruppin and the Production of Pre-Israeli Culture
Arthur Ruppin’s immense contribution to the Zionist movement gave him the title “The Father of Jewish/Zionist settlement in Palestine.” Nevertheless, the common narrative sets Ruppin’s historical persona in an ambivalent position and suppresses his formative role and heritage. Part of the reason for this is that, in many ways, his history causes a crack to appear in the Zionist national “cover stories.”
This study utilizes innovative archival research and contains provocative theses which make us view the foundation of Israeli culture differently. It addresses the cultural interaction between the German Sonderweg, with all its proto-Nazi and völkische ideas, and Palestinian Zionism. The study therefore exposes the sources and presence of internal Jewish racism while also analysing the anti-Semitic aspect of Pre-Israeli culture. A particularly important section details Ruppin's crucial influence on the Labor Movement and the colonization of the Land of Israel/Palestine.