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Jewish life in the Holy Land reawakened during the 19th century, but photographs from this period are scarce.
Collecting images from the archives of the
Library of Congress, the Ottoman Imperial
Archives, the NY Public Library, university and church libraries worldwide, and family albums, Lenny Ben-David provides a unique visual history of the American fascination and dedication to a Jewish national home in the Holy Land. Short photo essays include details such as why Lincoln wanted to visit Jerusalem, how the U.S. Navy saved the Jews of Palestine in 1915, why the Chief Rabbi of Palestine visited the White House in 1924, where Mark Twain stayed in Jerusalem, and much more.

Image: U.S. Senators visiting the Western Wall, 1936

American Interest in the Holy Land Revealed in Early Photographs
World War I in the Holy Land Revealed in Early Photographs

World War I, the “great war,” was supposed to be the “war to end all wars.”  It was not.  Indeed, it set the stage for World War II in Europe and the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.

The “Western Front” seemingly attracted the most interest among journalists and historians.  The “Eastern Front,” however, was just as brutal, also covered vast areas, and killed, maimed, and displaced millions.  Its historic significance is still being unraveled in the disintegrating Middle East of today.


World War I in the Holy Land will appear before the centenary of the December 1917 liberation of Jerusalem. The book will contain short essays and rare photographs to expose the stories behind the war that laid the groundwork for the founding of the Jewish State in 1948.

Image: The surrender of Jerusalem to two British soldiers, December 1917


Forthcoming Book

Book no.2
Book no.1
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