Thursday, May 9, 2013

"The Zionist Message Hidden within Antique Pictures of the Holy Land" -- Published by Jewish Political Studies Review

Jerusalem's Old City
The journal article by Lenny Ben-David, the publisher of Israel Daily Picture, is based on the pictures of the Library of Congress archives and the American Colony photographers.

The Jewish Political Studies Review article discusses the importance of historical photographs for the study of Jewish life in the Holy Land in the 19th and 20th centuries.  The following is the introduction to the article:

Harvesting at Jewish settlement

A 110-year-old trove of pictures taken by the Christian photographers of the American Colony in Jerusalem provides dramatic proof of thriving Jewish communities in Palestine. Hundreds of pictures show the ancient Jewish community of Jerusalem’s Old City and the Jewish pioneers and builders of new towns and settlements in the Galilee and along the Mediterranean coastline. The American Colony photographers recorded Jewish holy sites, holiday scenes and customs, and they had a special reason for focusing their lenses on Yemenite Jews.  
Yemenite Jew

Students in Mikve Yisrael
agricultural school
The collection, housed in the U.S. Library of  Congress, also contains photographs from the 1860s, the first years of photography. 

These photographs provide a window rarely opened by historians—for several unfortunate reasons—to view the life of the Jews in the Holy Land. The photographs’ display and online publication effectively counter the biased narrative claiming that the Jewish state violently emerged
ex novo in the mid-twentieth century. 

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