The concept of the first Hebrew city has shaped the identity of Tel Aviv as it progressed from a garden suburb to a metropolis. Nevertheless, this concept was contested by Zionist leaders, who were inclined to consider the rural settlement venture as the harbinger of the national endeavour and the city as the depiction of diaspora lifestyles. The events of the 1936-1939 Arab Revolt and the refugee problem it created subjected the identity of Tel Aviv as a model urban Zionist entity to a critical test. The city had to confront the exposure of its poorer sections whose population bore the burden of the Arab attacks. The sudden arrival in the streets of central and northern Tel Aviv of poor refugees fleeing the southern sector of its urban area strikingly revealed the chasm between the concept of the first Hebrew city and the urban reality. Therefore, care for the refugees also involved the preservation of the identity of Tel Aviv as the first Hebrew city and its place as a major spatial constituent of the national revival project.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations