Israel's History in Pictures: The British Mandate

Ruling the British Mandate in Palestine was no easy task.

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Lenny Ben-David,

1938 Jaffa Gate
1938 Jaffa Gate
L of C

At the right: British troops on patrol at the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem (1938, Library of
Congress archives

In the 1930s the "Arab Revolt" was a full scale resurrection which had to be crushed. Arab terrorism, roadside bombs, and assassination immersed Palestine into tohuwabohu. Armored vehicles were deployed, thousands of soldiers were brought in, and military aircraft were used to bomb the Arab terrorists.

Particularly after World War II, when the scale of the Holocaust was revealed and Jews were still languishing in Europe, Jewish militias stepped up their attacks on the British authority keeping Jews out of Palestine.

Aftermath of Jewish militia bombing of British
Intelligence HQ at the King David Hotel (1946)

Burned out bus in Haifa (1938)

We were very interested when Paul O. recommended we look at a 1946 British recruitment film encouraging young British World War II veterans to join the British police.  How would the recruiters describe the conditions and political turmoil?

For the most part the life in Palestine was presenting as idyllic.  British officers came home to spend time with their wives and children, and sports activities wereavailable.

Scattered within the film were hints of the turmoil, but some of the most strenuous training appeared to be learning how to direct traffic with authoritative hand signals.


British police drill at their fort. (1946)

According to the Colonial Film website, "The film is intended to recommend the life of a Palestine policeman as a fulfilling career option during ‘peacetime.'"

Click here to view the film