A Treasury of Photographs of Empty Palestine


Way to Jerusalem 1865


Hundreds of rare photographs from the 19th Century reinforce the conclusion emerging from the British Expedition’s map * The photographs were painstakingly collected by Eli Shiller, a Land of Israel researcher, and they can be viewed on the internet * This too is the opportune time to determine which of the terrorist leaders is actually a Palestinian

When I published the article on “The Great Map of the Empty Land”, I had difficulty in finding photographs that would support the conclusion arising from that map.

The map – which was drawn up by a British Expedition that made a comprehensive survey at the close of the 19th Century – proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that the people arriving in the First Aliyah (1882) found a desolate and empty land, exactly as the author Mark Twain and many other tourists had described.

There is an abundance of beautiful etchings of that era in travelogues. The problem with these etchings is that they reflect more about the romantic notions of the etchers towards the landscape and people of the “Holy Land” than the actuality. In Mark Twain’s book there are several photographs, but they are of such poor quality that they are not helpful. So, also, are photographs of that period from other sources, among them the photographs appearing in the books of the members of the British Expedition.

It’s all a matter of luck akin to that of a Torah Scroll in the Holy Ark [a Hebrew reference to the arbitrary-like decision of which of the scrolls is the “lucky” one to be chosen for a service]. And if so for a Torah, how much more so, and no actual comparison intended, for a column in a newspaper. It was a matter of luck that one of my readers, Yoav Rophe, brought to my attention the fact that a website existed in which there was a great treasure of photographs of Eretz Yisrael from the 19th Century. For those readers who cannot resist I will list the website right here. After having seen their fill of these treasures they can resume reading my article. The address of the website is:

The Website’s Contents

The site contains many good items but its primary importance is its album of photographs. These pictures confirm the words of Mark Twain who described what he saw in his visit to Palestine in 1867.


 “arid plains hills”. MARK TWAIN 

A land of desolate dusty roads, arid plains, hills and mountains, devoid of people and shade, miserable clay houses, pestilential swamps. A photo of Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus from 1865 shows a wretched ruin (the Palestinians did not then know that it was one of their holy sites) in a barren environment. The Arab cities, those to which the Palestinians want to return by virtue of the “Right to Return”, are small settlements – Jaffa, Haifa, Acre, Nazareth. Everything that can be concluded from the map of the British Expedition is apparent, black on white, in actual real-time photographs.

The pictures are accompanied by captions and explanations as to the year the picture was taken and the location. This album of photographs is accompanied by a succinct English text describing the period, written by the veteran researcher of Eretz Yisrael, Eli Shiller.

I asked Elli Schiller about the way in which the collection was assembled. It turned out that what exists on the website was copied (“without my permission”) from a book which he published many years ago and is no longer available. He told me that he gathered the collection after much effort, bit by bit, from archives, private collections, and many other sources.


Hifa  1887

The site also includes important groups of articles on the history of Eretz Yisrael by Joan Peters, Shmuel Katz, Rabbi Joel Katz, et al. There is also a collection of articles from the “Palestine Post” (the English language daily precursor of the “Jerusalem Post”) from the years 1932-1950.

Compare the PLO Websites

Obviously, a comparison is required between this website and those many of the PLO, and in particular with the “Palestinian Memorial”. Most regretfully there is no comparison. The photographic website is part of “ERETZ YISRAEl” which is infrequently visited. There are no signs of any activity at all – there are no updates, no readers’ responses, and no information on the number of “hits”. There are hardly any links to corresponding sites. In short: it is not what could be expected from a site which is battling an existential war for the Land of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish People.

The Palestinian memorial site, by contrast, is substantial, well-maintained, and dynamic. This is their electronic intifada. There are no photos of the 19th Century that expose the truth. Most of the photos are either nostalgic pictures from the twenties and thirties (of the 20th Century), and primarily contemporary photographs. All corners of this country were photographed portraying Palestinians pointing to homes and locations that were “stolen”, “robbed””, etc. This section of the site also includes no few falsehoods – photos of Jewish homes as if taken from Arabs.

The academic section of the Palestinian site is very impressive. There is a systematic collection of the narratives of refugees who were uprooted in 1948.
There is a series of quotes that ostensibly verify their contentions – beginning with quotes from the essay by Achad Haám – “Truth From Eretz Yisrael” and ending with the slanders of Ilan Pappe. There is an arrangement of questions and answers “What you should answer Zionists”. There are quotations from the letters of Chaim Weitzman, David Ben-Gurion, Arthur Ruppin, Zeev Jabotinsky, Menachem Begin, Yigal Alon, and many others. Then, too, there are dozens of documents and explanations of the intentions and plans of Zionism for transfer of Palestinians from the Holy Land, from its beginnings through the War of Independence and to date.

The initiators of the Palestinian site and those who maintain and update it make considerable use of Israeli texts, precisely to reinforce their point of view. Understandably, the Post-Zionist historians are their stellar attractions, as they relate the terrible injustices we have caused the Palestinians. Moreover, it is precisely these quotations by authors who are part of the Zionist establishment that sound so much more powerful and convincing. Thus, for example, they quote from Michael Bar-Zohar’s biography of Ben-Gurion a sentence that reads that the motto “A people without a land to a land without a people” as being factually incorrect and that Eretz Yisrael was not an empty land when the first Zionists arrived.

The Jewish Collaborators

No doubt that a Jewish mind, or perhaps many Jewish minds are involved in the Palestinian site. The traces of Jewish collaborators are conspicuous everywhere: in the contemporary photos from all parts of Israel, in the search for locations of lost villages without a trace, and in obtaining quotations from forgotten sources. For example: A quote from an article by Zeev Jabotinsky that appeared in Haáretz in 1923.

The website has a section devoted to a “Guest Book” that indicates its influence and effectiveness. There are many letters from Arabs the world over in the vein of “We will never forget a single grain of our land”, “Palestine will yet return to you”. There are, too, many letters from non-Jews in the style of “Now we understand the problem”, or “”It is time to put an end to the sadistic Apartheid regime”. But, there are also letters from Israelis. For example a letter from Dr. Yehuda Ben-Hur, who presents himself as a physicist and patriot, who writes “it is time that I and others like me should use our intellectual and technological position in order to stand against the oppressor and to free ourselves from this pollution”.


Who is a Palestinian

Yasser Arafat was born in Cairo.

Eduard Said, “the ultimate refugee” who claimed to have been expelled from his home in Jerusalem spent most of the years of his childhood and maturity in Cairo.

Fawzi el Kajukji, one of the leaders of the 1936 riots, who headed the Palestinian Liberation Army during [Israel’s] War of Independence, was born in Tripoli.

Na’if Hawatme, the leader of the Popular Front for a Free Palestine, was born in Jordan.

Iz A-din el Qasam was the head of the terror gangs in the twenties and thirties. The military wing of Hamas is named for him. He was born in Syria and educated in Egypt.

Mohammed Budiya, the chief of operations of Black September, was born in Algeria.

The House my Grandfather Built in Safed is
 Documented as a Robbed Palestinian Home

The means of deception which the Palestinians exploit in their website are exemplified via the following letter I received from a reader, Atzmona Waxman Shabtai (nee Perl), a Safed native:

“As a result of your article (On The Great Map) I accessed the site of the Palestinian Memorial and found that among the houses documented there as  “robbed”, the house built in 1904 by Yoel Bershad, my great-grandfather.  My grandfather decorated the gate and façade of the house with Stars of David.
The Palestinian propaganda wizards photographed the house from the  courtyard. I have no doubt that they knew exactly that the house had always belonged to Jews, but shamelessly they included the picture into the site.


The Barshad femily house

The plo on Mark Twain
In the PLO websites there is much comment made about the Mark Twain descriptions which details the Eretz Yisrael of 1867 as an empty and desolate land. They have a response for each of his revelations.

• He came during the hot season

• In 1861 there had been a fierce war between the Christians, Moslems and Druze.
• In the Lebanon more than 10,000 Maronites were murdered. (How does that relate?)
• His visit was brief and included only the Holy sites.
• He doesn’t mention any statistics about demography or agricultural produce.
• It is unfair of him to compare Eretz Yisrael to the fertile lands of America



[Translated by Joseph Schachter. Words in [brackets] added for comprehension.]

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to A Treasury of Photographs of Empty Palestine

  1. Pingback: The Big Map of the Empty Land | The Logic in Madness

  2. Pingback: אוצר צילומים של PALESTINE הריקה | היגיון בשיגעון

  3. Very impressive info,I am emailing onto the misrad hachutz for the likes of Gabrieala Shalev
    Chag Pesach Sameach
    Basil Frank
    Note me on GOOGLE under Basil Colin Frank

  4. There are several more arguments:
    Large parts of the land, including in Samaria and areas also in south Lebanon, Syria and trans-Jordan, were purchased by Jews, many of them from Europe, who later were murdered in holocaust, but all the documentary is in the central- zionist- archive in Jerusalem (אצ”מ= ארכיון ציוני מרכזי).
    2. One should not forget the property Jews lost when they had to escape from Arab countries, and land they owned there, 4 times larger than today’s Israel.
    3. In many places there was Jewish majority for many years, or there was a large community: in Hebron for instance, this large community was massacred in 1929 by Arabs. Such events have nature of genocide, and are legitimate cause to teach the aggressors a lesson and to expel the Arab conquerer from OUR land. Their violence toward Jews is a reason to kick them out, even if they had a claim to rights (which they don’t).

  5. one more movie:
    Azmi Bishara: there is no Palestinian nation, it was south Syria

  6. sandra742 says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

  7. I love your site. 🙂 Love design!!! I just came across your blog and wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. Sign: ndsam

  8. megan fox says:

    Sign: umsun Hello!!! rcuwwymhyw and 2946ssgfhphzye and 9559Sorry, what did you mean?? A??

  9. billymayer says:

    Sign: uwfgv Hello!!! khctf and 6133xhbyfwwuus and 9765 My Comments: Thanks. We look forward to hearing from you again and for your opinions on the world of work.

  10. nemogbr says:

    Interesting website.

    THank you.


  12. Carl says:

    Large parts of the mid US are without people, does that mean foreigners who are unhappy whith their living conditions can simply make this area their homes? Lack of inhabitants does not give Jews the rights to a homeland. My backyard is empty, do I need to protect it from people moving in?

    • Dave says:

      Such a strange comment from an American. How do you think your ancestors inhabited the USA? They sailed to New York and settled throughout the land. The sparse population of Palestine consisted of Jews and Arabs. Jews and Arabs migrated to the region at increased rates until the British started to block Jewish immigration while allowing Arab immigration from Syria, Egypt and beyond. Your back yard is your own property, but if I buy the empty plot of land opposite you, I have as much right to a home as you.

  13. Josh says:

    Excellent document – spread the truth!

    (But ask please an English native speaker to correct the many spelling errors)

  14. bina says:

    I’m convinced tell this to the Arabs

  15. bina says:

    Please spred it in EuRopa

  16. Tony says:

    “His visit was brief and included only the Holy sites.”

    So the muslims did not cherish the Holy sites. Is that one of their best answers!? The arguments used is not really rocket science. ;=)

    Good site, hope you feel good.

  17. LVSTEVEO1 says:

    Virtually NO Arab/Muslim country will recognize Israel until they become more democratic/humane in terms of their own citizens and their view of the ‘other’. Israel is just an excuse 4 their own failings and curruption – when not killing Israelis or other Westerners, they r killing their own citizens or @ war with their neighbors (i.e. fellow Arabs/Muslims. The so-called Palestinian question and their claim to land encompassing Israel r ‘manufactured’ problems of the above cited states to deflect from their own negatives. All difficulties in the NE will virtually disappear when and if the above will start acting in a civilized manner and conform to modern norms of behavior. They can no longer hide their reactionary behavior as in the past – the internet, cell phones, tv, and other modern communications devices reveal how horrible they treat their own people in spite of their public denials and protestations to the contrary.

  18. Sorry to correct you:
    Palestine Post was a Jewish (!) NewsPaper later renamed to “Jerusalem post”.
    Please fix it.

    Thank you

    מצטער לתקן אתכם:

    פלשתינה פוסט הוא עיתון יהודי אשר הוקם בידי יהודים ציונים בפלשתינה (אז השם הרשמי של ארץ ישראל), אשר שונה לאחר מכן לג’רוזלם פוסט.

    נא לתקן

    תודה רבה

  19. EMontgomery says:

    After the vote for partition the Arabs were given 3 plans about where they wanted an Arab state. Each time they refused. The Jews even settled on Jerusalem remaining international. The bottom line is this: The Arabs want to wipe Israel off the face of the map. It goes back to the Mufti (Hussein) who was plotting during World War 2 (with Hitler) to exterminate as many Jews as possible. He repeated the line about pushing the Jews into the sea. Dick Morris said it perfectly: When the Arabs put down their weapons there will be peace, when Israel puts down their weapons, there will be no more Israel. Do you think the Arabs care about their own refugees? No!! Yassar Arafat died a billionaire and his wife lived high on the hog in London. Why didn’t this money go to help the innocent woman and children? The refugees are pawns in getting the international world to pity the Arab cause.

  20. caron says:

    Do you know of the names of Jewish photographers of nineteenth century Palestine. I am doing research on that time, and have come across many European and Arab photographers who were active during that period – do you know of the Jewish photographers? Thanks, appreciate your input

  21. סושי says:

    I know this website presents quality depending posts and other material,
    is there any other web page which gives these data in

  22. Dominik says:

    Hello admin, i found this post on 24 spot in google’s search results.
    I’m sure that your low rankings are caused by high bounce rate.
    This is very important ranking factor. One of the biggest reason for high bounce rate is due to visitors hitting the back
    button. The higher your bounce rate the further down the search
    results your posts and pages will end up, so having reasonably low bounce rate is important
    for increasing your rankings naturally. There is very useful wordpress plugin which can help you.
    Just search in google for:
    Seyiny’s Bounce Plugin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.