Selling Zionism in the 1920s

The Palestine Poster Project reveals attempts to entice settlers into what is now Israel

Published May 17, 2012 12:00AM (EDT)

This article originally appeared on Imprint.

ImprintDan Walsh's incredibly rich Palestine Poster Project Archives includes much in the way of protest, but it also contains a trove of rare Zionist/Israeli posters from the 1920s through the '50s, largely before partition. The ones excerpted here are from the Mahmoud Darwish Memorial Gallery, which includes a collection of Zionist Worker agency posters calling for increased development of Palestine.

[caption id="attachment_318721" align="aligncenter" width="492" caption="The affairs of the workers of Eretz Israel should be in the hands of the workers of Eretz Israel, 1935."][/caption]

To experience the role of posters in the birth, growing pains, and ultimate conflict, this is perhaps the best online resource. Here's what Walsh collects: 1) international artists and agencies; 2) Zionist and Israeli artists and agencies; 3) Palestinian nationalist artists and agencies; 4) Arab and Muslim artists and agencies. And here is what he says about his collection of over 6,700 posters:

I first began collecting Palestine posters when I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco in the mid-1970s. By 1980 I had acquired about 300 Palestine posters. A small grant awarded with the support of the late Dr. Edward Said allowed me to organize them into an educational slideshow to further the "third goal" of the Peace Corps: to promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans. Over the ensuing years, while running my design company, Liberation Graphics, the number of internationally published Palestine posters I acquired steadily grew. Today the archives include some 3,000 Palestine posters from myriad sources making it what many library science specialists say is the largest such archives in the world.

[caption id="attachment_318731" align="aligncenter" width="492" caption="To fortify our home - use Hebrew cement, 1937."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_318761" align="aligncenter" width="492" caption="Come and See the Palestine Exhibition - Vienna, 1925."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_318771" align="aligncenter" width="492" caption="Text in logo in upper left hand corner - The Worker, 1937."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_318821" align="aligncenter" width="492" caption="Build Industries In Palestine!, 1927"][/caption]

By Steven Heller

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