Pre-1948 Advertisements by the Jewish Agency for Palestine

A small series of decades-old photo advertisements was posted recently in a Facebook group called “Christians United for Peace.” These interesting advertisements (see photos below) were created by the Jewish Agency for Palestine at some point prior to 1948, when the nation of Israel was founded. This organization “began as the Palestine Office…founded in Jaffa in 1908, as the operational branch of the Zionist Organization.” Then in 1929 this organization was “renamed, restructured and officially inaugurated as The Jewish Agency for Palestine by the 16th Zionist Congress, held in Zurich, Switzerland.” It took on the name “Jewish Agency for Israel” after Israel became a nation in 1948 (source)




These advertisements are not only interesting and historical, but they also reveal [1] the fact that there was a region known as Palestine and [2] the push for “a Jewish State” (despite only 7% of the people in Palestine being Jewish in 1914, 11% being Jewish in 1922, 17% being Jewish in 1931, and 30% being Jewish in 1942 – source).

To some, the first point might be a no-brainer, but a simple Google search will turn up all kinds of claims that there never was a Palestine and there never were people called Palestinians before Israel became a nation. Dean Obeidallah, whose father was born in Palestine in the 1930’s, recently published an article in The Daily Beast titled “Do Palestinians Really Exist?” According to Obeidallah, “People will tell me to my face that there has never been a Palestine and there are no such thing as Palestinians. To them, I guess Palestinians are simply holograms.” He notes that this claim contradicts the official summary of the United Nations in 1947 that “Palestine is the common country of both indigenous Arabs and Jews, that both these peoples have had an historic association with it.” Dean’s article is an interesting one, and his perspective is worth considering.

What do you think of the seven photos above?

Related post: The Land of Palestine from 1896 – 1948 (Two Videos)

Postal Stamp from 1850 (Photo Source); Khan Yunis is now a rapidly growing city in the south Gaza Strip, and was the site of a massacre in 1956

19 thoughts on “Pre-1948 Advertisements by the Jewish Agency for Palestine

    • I agree that Palestine was not a state. I thought these photos were great pieces of history.

      They do bother the assertion, if or when someone makes it, that Palestine never existed and that there were no Palestinians prior to Israel becoming a nation in 1948. No one here has said that recently, but you can easily find this claim being made in multiple locations across the internet, and I’ve seen it even recently at major Christian websites and online magazines.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I love the first one in particular. They are all beautiful works of art. They also substantiate the truth. which most do not want to accept.

    That was an interesting point, concerning Dean Obeidallah’s father, who was born in Palestine in the 1930’s. And sadly, totally believable. You (and i both) have posted a number of photos and videos confirming the existence of the Palestinian people (their daily lives, homes, families, businesses etc) over the last couple years, from as far back as the 1800’s, but there are people who still deny they existed. It kinda reminds me of the story told of the rich man who died and asked to go back to warn his family. What was it he was told?

    “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.”

    I believe in the case of the Palestinian people’s existence (thriving existence!) in Palestine, the same could be said where it concerns many who deny it: even if one came back from the dead, they would still deny it.

    Wonder what it’s like to be a people, whom other people even deny the very existence of? I cannot imagine how it must make Palestinians feel, especially those with a very long family history in the area.


    • My great great grandfather, the Revd Joshua Hughes-Games, Archdeacon of the Isle of Man, was a well known Anglican theologian, and in his hand written diary of his visit to the Holy Land in 1890 noted , like Mark Twain, that the land was desolate, numbering the population of Jerusalem at about 50 000. Unlike Arabs, or Jews, he had no reason to put forward an agenda other than to report what he saw. There certainly was no thriving existence there.


      • Paul, I don’t believe I understand your great, great grandfather’s thinking on the land of Palestine, although he may have elaborated more in his diary. I currently live in a city with a population of 30,000 people, and it’s not desolate here. There are six Subway restaurants and they all seem to be drawing enough business. If Jerusalem’s population was nearly twice that amount 120 some years ago (when the world’s population was much lower than it is now), I don’t understand what supposedly made it desolate. Were certain patches of land outside of Jerusalem desolate? That’s true a few miles outside of my current city too.

        If that number (50,000) is accurate, Jerusalem’s population at that time was about 10% of Palestine’s population. There were approximately 481,000 people in Palestine in 1882 (94% Arab) and about 600,000 people in Palestine in 1900 (also 94% Arab).

        I don’t know if you saw this article I posted about two months ago, but the first video in it depicts life in Palestine in 1896, less than a decade after your great, great grandfather visited there:

        Liked by 1 person

    • I think they’re beautiful too, PJ, and the first one strikes me as well – not just because I love palm trees.

      I’ve seen a few Palestinian Christians speak out concerning those who say that there is no such thing as a Palestinian, that they have no historic ties to the land, etc. They’ve said it’s bewildering and feels like a betrayal, especially when such claims are made by their brothers and sisters in Christ. As one example, Elias Chacour expressed these things and more in his book, “Blood Brothers.” His family could trace their history in the land back many, many centuries, as could many others in their village of Biram (Upper Galilee).


  2. Adam, i remember watching those videos…went back to your post via your link and found out the second one has been replaced at youtube with an advertisement, so took the liberty of locating it (again) for you at youtube. You might want to fix the post where you had posted it–in the meantime, here it is again.

    I’m still amazed at how modernized many of the people appeared (clothing, schools, etc). As i wrote in the original post, many of the family photos depict people who could have been living in early 20th century America.

    Thanks for the information on the first poster. It’s beautiful. I had noticed earlier these posters calling for people to “come visit Palestine” originated from an Jewish agency (Jewish Agency for Palestine). Wonder if this agency worked together with both Jews and Palestinians living there at the time, to promote some type of tourism. Looking over the posters it appears this is why they were created.


    • Thank you, PJ. It turns out that this video (above) is the same one as in that post from two months ago. There was a 3 minute, 48 second advertisement when I opened the YouTube link, but after a few seconds I was given the option to skip it and go straight to the Palestine video.

      I agree that the photos in that video are similar to photos we see of America during that same era.

      You’re welcome for the information on the first poster.


      • Something must have happened when i tried playing it last evening for the option to skip it never appeared! aha. Well, it’s nice to see it (again) in this post as well, so hope you don’t mind that i included it. The video itself shows these were a thriving people prior to 1948, not unlike many other people in other parts of the world: many holding on to past cultural beliefs and practices, others seeking to move ahead and progress along with the rest of the world, early in the 20th century. They farmed, owned family businesses, and at one point even formed an organised Arab labour union which operated between 1925 and 1947. From the photos it’s obvious many had already been influenced by western culture.


  3. Re-read your post and saw the answer to my question:

    “This organization “began as the Palestine Office…founded in Jaffa in 1908, as the operational branch of the Zionist Organization.” Then in 1929 this organization was “renamed, restructured and officially inaugurated as The Jewish Agency for Palestine by the 16th Zionist Congress, held in Zurich, Switzerland.” It took on the name “Jewish Agency for Israel” after Israel became a nation in 1948”

    The timing is interesting. Historically, figures show a substantial Arab population in Palestine until 1914 when European Jews began to migrate to Palestine due to the Zionist movement.


  4. Adam

    That is not a very convincing argument. The existence of a population small or otherwise says nothing about whether there is a thriving existence. There are cities in Africa where millions live, where life is desolate.


    • Paul, I was responding to the report you passed on from your great, great grandfather. You said that he “noted , like Mark Twain, that the land was desolate, numbering the population of Jerusalem at about 50 000.” It appeared to me that you were saying the existence of only 50,000 people in Jerusalem was the primary evidence that the land of Palestine was desolate.


      • Adam

        I meant that when an ancient capital, like Jerusalem has only 50 000 people it shows that the country as a whole was very sparsely populated. This was not very well worded on my part because the implication was as you took it. I should have added that this small number of people in the capital was accompanied by great desolation in the land itself. You are right that the numbers of people living in a city are not the sole proof of the quality of life in the land. Hence the fact that millions live in many African cities is not a sign of affluence, as we know these countries are very poor. With regard to the desolation, you are also right that there was obviously more that my great great grandfather had written about. He was awestruck by the ruinous decay that characterized the land, and wondered almost prophetically if in one hundred years the “dejected Jews” as he called them would drain the swamps. How right he was!


  5. Excuse me, but you can’t be releasing info like this. You’re messing with people’s heads and making them think outside of the box. It’s just to much to process(dripping with sarcasm).

    I like your perspective & also like playing devils advocate on issues that people are clearly deceived. Somebody’s got to do it!


    • Thanks, change to reform. It’s good to think outside of the box. There have been times that my head was “messed with,” but, despite whatever I thought then, I’m grateful for it now.


  6. Hi Adam!  are there some photos missing in this article or is it me…again?  🙂 val  Valery Roman 562.682.0448 It’s not what you look at, but what you see.


    • Hi Val. Thank you very much for pointing that out. It wasn’t just you. Only one of the photos was displaying for me too. I have no idea why. All seven of them are still up at the original (Facebook) link, so I re-attached them to this post. They’re all displaying for me now, and hopefully they are for you and anyone else as well.


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