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Monday, August 10, 2009

Life Magazine photos of Israel 1948-67

Ben Atlas has posted a remarkable collection of Life Magazine photos from Israel that were taken betewen 1948 and 1967. The picture above, of a captured Jewish soldier sitting between two members of the Arab legion, was taken in Jerusalem in June 1948.
Frank Adam comments: Another useful detail in the seated three men photo:Jewish prisoner in pukka Brit shorts and two Arab Legion guards. The corporal on the viewer’s right is a negro. So? The nearest negroes to the Holy Land are in Sudan (deeply south from Egypt) or escaped slaves from Saudi Arabia. Either way he is an immigrant to the region which is one in the eye for the Arab complaint about Zionist Jews being immigrants.

This also illustrates the crafty recruitment of the Arab Legion any number were recruited from outside Jordan in southern Syria, Lebanon, (Saudi, Iraq) and Palestine as commonly taken to be the entire country West of the River J. This profile of personnel being foreign mercenaries were utterly dependent on their engagement & utterly loyal, but Glubb Pasha also realised that he would have less trouble to police by securing the consent of the desert tribes to his operations and recruited from them in balance pro rata to the size of each tribe which in the situation of nomadic pastoralists not averse to smuggling and theft in a subsistence society of who owes and owns whom amounted to representation and committment to the regime of the incipient Jordanian state. It was not so obvious nor institutionalised as the Indian Army system of ethnic regiments and companies with a company or two of different ethnicit(ies) ineach regiment, but it was nevetheless political balancing of the grass roots.
You can view the rest of the first part of the collection here. There are three other parts. You can click through to see them, or you can wait until I post them.


At 2:14 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Ben Atlas has an astonishing coda on Paul Schutzer's life. The photographer was killed in a hit on a IDF half track he accompanied during the Six Day War. Those remarkable pictures have been preserved for posterity. There is a depth of feeling to his pictures with a timeless style seldom seen today.

Its a riveting look back at Israel's past. Who knows what pictures will show tomorrow?


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