Palestine Marks Centenary of Laurence Oliphant
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Palestine Marks Centenary of Laurence Oliphant

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The Hebrew press features the centenary of Laurence Oliphant. His widow still resides at Haifa, where a public meeting was held in his memory.

Laurence Oliphant, who was born in Cape Town in 1829 and died at Twickenham in 1888, conceived in 1879 the idea of a Jewish settlement in Palestine. After personal investigations he decided that the colony should be located in Gilead, to the east of the Jordan, at the upper end of the Dead Sea. In spite of the semi-official approval of the British Government and the unanimous assent of the Ministers of the Porte, he failed to secure the Sultan’s permission. In connection with this project, he wrote his "Land of Gilead." In 1882 he again went to Palestine as an agent for the administration of the Mansion House Fund, raised for the relief of Russian Jews. He renewed his proposals to the Sultan, but with no better result. Abandoning the project, he retired with Mrs. Oliphant to Haifa, where they lived in the midst of a community of Zionist enthusiasts, among them the poet Imber, the author of the "Hatikvah," who was for a time his secretary.

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