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Historical background Jewish agricultural settlement in Israel started in the late 19 th century with the support of Baron Edmond James de Rothschild, who bought land and invested in infrastructure, farm equipment and agricultural research. Based mostly on horticulture (citrus, grapes), family farms relied on Palestinian hired labor which was abundant and cheap. In the early 20 th century, young socialist immigrants tried to compete with the Palestinians for the agricultural work, with littledoi:10.22004/ag.econ.182508 fatcat:tg6hkecauzccxe2aykhrf5ndp4