Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hidden in a 74-Year-Old Newreel about Palestine:
The Foundations of What Would Be the State of Israel

The Jewish version of a "barn-raising" in what appears to be a new settlement
in the Jezreel Valley (British Pathé newsreels, 1940)
In our last posting we introduced readers to the latest archive released online -- British Pathé -- with its 85,000 newsreels uploaded to YouTube in April 2014.

Historians will have a field day. 

This Israel Daily Picture site presents early photographs and films and ends its research at the 1940 point. 

The British Pathé films include many films on the struggle to bring Jews into Palestine in the 1940s and the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

We were intrigued by one 8-minute silent film entitled Peasant Farmer Plugs Field With Bullocks, 1940. 

The film open with an Arab peasant tilling his field with a primitive plow.  But after that 10-second segment the films shows Jewish settlers building a new community in the Galilee, Jewish farmers plowing and irrigating their fields, a street scene in what appears to be Tel Aviv, Jews praying at the Western Wall, doctors and students on Mt. Scopus' Hadassah Hospital and Hebrew University.  There are also segments showing the Arab shuk and the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount.

We invite readers to identify the location of the "barn raising" photo above and to "plow" through other films to find noteworthy scenes.

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