John David Whiting, born in 1888 in Jerusalem, grew up within the American Colony community the Old City. The Library of Congress records that he was a "tour guide, businessman, writer and photographer." He served as American Vice-Consul of Jerusalem from 1908-1910 and from 1915-1917.
He was also a British intelligence agent - a spy - who was fluent in Arabic and took interesting pictures as he went about his business.
This photograph is of a car that found a novel way to sweep away the tacks strewn on the road by strikers.
It was taken in 1936 during the Arab general strike that lasted from April–October 1936 during the British Mandate and was part of the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine.
The strike began in Nablus and soon other committees in Haifa, Jenin, Tulkarm and Jerusalem were formed to join the protest. The demands of the strike were Independence for Jerusalem and a stop to removals of workers from the land. Religious leaders became involved and that led to the formation on 25 April 1936 of the Arab Higher Committee or HAC.
The response of the British was to impose heavy fines on villages and cities. The British ordered the demolition of hundreds of homes in Jaffa and more than a thousand in neighbouring villages. The British also authorised the Zionist Movement to build a port in Tel Aviv to compete with the strike-bound Port of Jaffa.
.More historical pictures and essays at www.israeldailypicture.com Descriptions based on photo-essays by Lenny Ben-David and Israeli history sites.