Tuesday, November 26, 2013

From Ma'an, by Alex Shams:
In markets across historic Palestine, tourists can buy old coins and bills emblazoned with the phrase "Palestine pound."

The bills often catch visitors off guard, a stark reminder of a world that existed prior to the partitioning of the Palestinian homeland in 1948.

Indeed, the Palestine pound gives lie to the oft-repeated Zionist mantra that Palestine was a "land without a people for a people without a land" as it demonstrates the existence of a shared currency used throughout the British Mandate of Palestine for nearly 30 years by Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike.

The Palestine pound is an inconvenient reminder for many Israelis that a cosmopolitan and tolerant society thrived in Palestine before its dismemberment and exile by the emerging Israeli state.

But the creation of the State of Israel on the majority of mandate Palestine and the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, alongside the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza by Jordan and Egypt respectively in response, put an end to the currency's usage.

After Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967, all of historic Palestine came under the rule of the Israeli lira (and later the shekel), while the Jordanian dinar and eventually the US dollar circulated alongside.

One Palestinian researcher, however, is determined to bring the Palestine pound back, this time as the currency of the newly emerging State of Palestine.
This is the illustration of the Palestine Pound used in the Ma'an article:


Would the revived Palestine Pound include Hebrew?

Now, let's look at the bank name. Hmmm. "The Anglo-Palestine Bank Limited." What is the history of that bank?

It was formed in 1902 - as a subsidiary of the Jewish Colonial Trust, created at the Second Zionist Congress in 1899. Wikipedia notes "The bank opened its first branch in Jaffa in 1903 under the management of Zalman David Levontin. Early transactions included land purchase, imports and obtaining concessions. Branches were opened in Jerusalem, Beirut, Hebron, Safed, Haifa, Tiberias and Gaza. The Anglo-Palestine Bank offered farmers long-term loans and provided loans to the Ahuzat Bayit association which built the first neighborhood in Tel Aviv....During World War II, the Anglo-Palestine Bank helped to finance the establishment of industries that manufactured supplies for the British army. After the founding of the state of Israel, the bank won the concession to issue new banknotes. In 1950, the bank was renamed Bank Leumi Le-Israel (National Bank of Israel). "

The note illustrating the article is in fact the first currency of Israel, used for four years before the Israeli lira was established to replace it. It was not used by Palestinian Arabs who fled to Jordan.

The earlier Palestine Pounds, issued by the British - never by the Arabs - also featured Hebrew. This one had the Kever Rochel - an indisputably Jewish shrine - on the front:

The initials after the Hebrew "Palestine" stand for "Eretz Yisrael."

The adoption of a specifically Palestine currency was pushed not by Arabs, but by Jews, as early as 1917. Arabs complained when the first Palestine Pound notes were issued in 1927 and they wanted to continue to use the Egyptian Pounds that they were used to.

Indeed, the history of the Palestine Pound is nothing but a recent history of the Jews of Palestine, and it is what became the Israeli currency while Palestinian Arabs rejected it.

Alex Shams is a propagandist. The truth about the pound shows a slice of the history of Zionism, not of a "Palestinian people."

UPDATE: Shams is also the author of the bogus "Ukrainian girl claims to have killed kids as an IDF soldier" story. Ma'an must be proud to have hired him.

UPDATE 2: What a surprise - Ma'an silently changed the photo of the Palestine pound away from the one that was used in the new state of Israel and rejected by Palestinian Arabs.

Erasing history is par for the course for Palestinian Arabs. Literally.

They pretend they want to bring back "historic Palestine" but the Palestine they are talking about only thrived because of Zionists! Yes, Zionists created their sports leagues, orchestras, newspapers, tourism initiatives,  and a pavilion at the World's Fair all proudly named after Palestine. 

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