Yuval Ben-Bassat received his Ph.D. from the Dept. of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago (2007). Currently he teaches Ottoman and Turkish history at the University of Haifa. His research focuses on petitions sent from Palestine to the Ottoman capital at the end of the 19th century, the rural population of Palestine at that time, the early Jewish-Arab conflict, and the 1908 Young Turk Revolution.
For more information about petitions from Palestine to Istanbul, see:
Petitioning the Sultan: Protests and Justice in Late Ottoman Palestine
The practice of “petitioning” the Ottoman Sultan existed throughout Ottoman history and enabled subjects far from the capital of Istanbul to convey their grievances directly to the supreme ruler. In Petitioning the Sultan: Justice and Protest in Late Ottoman Palestine, Yuval Ben-Bassat examines petitions, including many previously unpublished, sent by Arabs Palestine during the last decades of the Empire to Sultan Abdülhamid II. In doing so, Ben-Bassat explores Palestine’s history in this formative period from a unique perspective, providing first-hand accounts of the dilemmas, struggles, acts, concerns, schisms and transformations Palestinian society experienced.
Specifically on the incidents in Rehovot portrayed in the film, see:
“Incidents in Rehovot in Petitions Sent by the Neighboring Rural Population to Istanbul 1890-1913,” Cathedra, 146 (2012), pp. 101-116 [in Hebrew]
“Conflicting Accounts of Early Zionist Settlement: A Note on the Encounter between the Colony of Rehovot and the Bedouins of Khirbat Duran,” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 40/2 (Spring 2013).
See also a recent article in Haaretz about recent research in Istanbul:
New documents reveal early Palestinian attitudes toward Zionist settlements
Ben-Bassat is the co-editor of Rethinking Late Ottoman Palestine: The Young Turk Rule, 1908-1918. London: I.B. Tauris, Ben-Bassat, Yuval. “Beyond National Historiographies: Reflections on the Ottoman Background of Proto-Zionist – Arab Encounters in Fin de Siècle Nineteenth Century Palestine,” in Ginio, Eyal and Karl Kasr (eds.), Ottoman Legacies in the Contemporary Mediterranean: The Balkans and the Middle East Compared. Jerusalem: Hebrew University of Jerusalem, European Forum at the Hebrew University, 2013, pp. 93-118, Rural Reactions to Zionist Activity in Palestine before and after the Young Turk Revolution of 1908 as Reflected in Petitions to Istanbul, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Volume 49, Issue 3, May 2013, pages 349-363