The Zionist settlers who came to Palestine, to the Land of Israel, found a Jewish settlement already there. In fact there had always existed some Jewish settlements in Palestine; even in the darkest periods of oppression under Muslim or Christian rulers, Jews continued to come on pilgrimage and to settle out of devotion to the Land, often seeing living there as the fulfilment of religious commandments and semi-Messianic aspirations. In particular, after the expulsion from Spain, under the aegis of the Ottoman government and not unconnected with Messianic aspirations, there were attempts at settlement under Don Yossef Hanassi (in mid-sixteenth century) in Tiberias and the Kabbalist-created active centres in Safad. But such periods of florescence were, on the whole, short, and from the early or middle of the eighteenth century on, while pilgrimage and some settlement continued, they were not very extensive. This settlement was based on the perception of settlement in Eretz Israel as a religious ideal. Economically speaking this meant that the Jews in Palestine were totally dependent on Jewry in the Diaspora. Each party regarded itself as fulfilling a religious duty. This support was as institutionalized as it was ideological. Funds were usually collected by special emissaries sent from Palestine to the Diaspora to collect the money needed by them.