Zionist Settlers and the English Private Trust in Mandate Palestine
Adam S. Hofri-Winogradow
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law
January 20, 2011
Law and History Review, 2012
This essay is the first sustained description, based on archival materials, of the use Zionist settlers in British Mandate-era Palestine made of the English private trust and trust company, and Mandate authorities' reactions to that use. An early, ill-fated attempt to create a family trust of land in the English style produced an ambiguous decision by the Supreme Court of Palestine, which could be construed to mean that the private trust was no part of Palestinian law. I show how in the shadow of that decision, the Zionist settler population of Palestine made significant use of the trust for a variety of purposes. The story thus provides a particularly sharp example of a colonial population adopting more of the colonizer's own law than that colonizer was willing to have it use. Still more use was made of the trust company; it was a key instrument in encouraging Jewish immigration to, settlement of and investment in Palestine. Thanks to a particularly sophisticated international trust structure set up in 1933, more than 50,000 German Jews escaped the Nazi noose with at least some of their property intact. Their arrival in Palestine largely created its middle class. The essay thus contributes to both the socio-legal history of British colonial law, the history of Mandate Palestine, and that of the worldwide dissemination and uses of the trust and trust company during the early 20th Century.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 38
Keywords: Trust, Trusts, Mandate, Palestine, Mandate Palestine, British Empire, Colonialism, Zionism, Emirgration, Currency Control, Exchange Control, Immigration, Nazi, Nazis, Holocaust, Banking, Land Purchase, Land Law, Commercial Law, Equity, Law and Colonialism, Construction, Legal Nationalism
JEL Classification: H30, H31, H32, K11, N10, N15, N25, N35, N10, N20, N 30, N40, O10, O14, O15, O16, O17, O53Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: January 21, 2011 ; Last revised: March 12, 2012
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