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History of Jewish Palestine

Kotel-smAs in the geographical reference to Palestine, we have been compelled to be content with mere traces, the same will be the case in our historical account of this country. There are nowhere to be met with regular documents in respect to its history, states, and towns; the past seems to have been entirely forgotten; so that the whole country cared, so to say, only for the present, and took no cognizance of what had preceded or was to follow. It is true that some few Arabic historians have written something concerning Palestine, such as Abulfeda and Serif ibn Idrus; but their works have almost entirely disappeared, as was to be supposed would be the case under a government which had not and suffered not a free press.

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The Occident and American Jewish Advocate

It is a time-honored custom, that when an Editor appears for the first time before the public, he is to state something of the course he means to pursue, and of the subjects he intends laying before his readers. In our case, this is hardly necessary, since the name of "Jewish Advocate" amply shadows forth what we mean to devote our pages to the spread of whatever can advance the cause of our religion, and of promoting the true interest of that people which has made this religion its profession ever since the days of the great lawgiver, through whom it was handed down to the nation descended from the stock of Abraham. But this general view may, perhaps, not be sufficiently detailed for many whom we would gladly number among our readers; and we will therefore briefly state our object in assuming the editorship of this new periodical, and of the course it is our firm determination to pursue.

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Ulysses S. Grant and the Emissary from the Holy Land

Haim Tzvi SneersohnRabbi Hayim Tzvi Sneersohn, a great-grandson of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the "Alter Rebbe" of Chabad Hasidim, visited the United States in 1869 on a mission for the Jewish community of Palestine. He was received at the White House by newly inaugurated President Ulysses Grant.

The Washington National Intelligencer described the reception of Rabbi Sneersohn, wearing traditional Palestinian Yerushalmi costume, by the President of the United States.

Rabbi Sneersohn said, "Mr. President: Permit me to give my thanks to the Almighty, whose mercy brought me here to behold the face of the chosen by the millions of this great nation... I come to your Excellency from the East, to entreat you in the name of G-d, who created all men equal, to listen to the prayer of your humble servant, standing before you to advocate the cause of his oppressed brethren in the Holy Land. The Israelites in Palestine possess no political or civil rights whatever, and oftentimes deprived of protection by the representatives of the civilized nations which the Christians enjoy, are exposed to violence and arbitrary rule. The only shelter the Israelites occasionally find is in the courts of the different European consulates, where one of their co-religionists is employed either as interpreter or deputy consul, who convey their grievances to the proper channel. This free Republic alone, whose banner covers the oppressed, whose foundation is based on equality, toleration, and liberty of conscience, has no Israelites employed near the consul at Jerusalem. I do pray, therefore, your Excellency, to turn your attention to the deplorable condition of my brethren in the Orient, that the principles of this government may be truly embodied in its representatives abroad; and I do further pray that your Excellency may show me that mark of favor which will enable my brethren in the Holy Land in the hour of need to seek refuge under the Stars and Stripes, that this free country and its exalted chief should be blessed on the sacred spot of our common ancestors."

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