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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Welcome to Palestine!

Today, a bunch of anti-Israel activists are attempting to embarrass Israel by flying in to the country to hold protests. They call this stunt "Welcome to Palestine." So far, it looks like a spectacular failure.

It wasn't that long ago that there was a concerted effort to get people to visit Palestine, and the Palestinians at the time were actively seeking these visitors. But those Palestinians were Jews.

A few years ago I collected a series of posters created by the Jewish Palestinians of the 1930s meant to encourage tourism to Palestine. Here are some others that are most interesting, especially for those who think that Palestinians are identical to Palestinian Arabs.







There were a series of Levant Fairs held in Tel Aviv in the 1920s and 1930s, and the 1934 fair was considered a "World's Fair." Exhibitors came from many countries worldwide - including Arab countries like Egypt and Syria. Here is one poster from the 1936 Levant Fair that shows how things could be today if Arab nations accepted Israel:



And here is the Lebanese Pavilion in Tel Aviv:



Incidentally, the logo for the later Levant Fairs was a flying camel, because (the legend goes) the mayor of Jaffa told Mayor Dizengoff of Tel Aviv that a Levant Fair would only happen "when camels fly."


Thanks to the Palestine Poster Project for these images. (They have posters from both sides, including some of my own.)