Politics, nationalism and economics: The postage stamps of the British mandate in Palestine, 1920-1945

Yehiel Limor, Ido Zelkovitz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The years of the British Mandate in Palestine/Eretz Yisrael were a time of struggle between two competing movements, Zionism and Palestinian Nationalism, both of which dreamed of sovereignty over every part of the country. The article considers a third contested field, namely, the design, content and language of the postage stamps issued by Mandate authorities in the service of all inhabitants of Palestine. Stamps were viewed by the British, the Jewish leadership of the Yishuv and the leaders of the Arab-Palestinian population alike as a public opinion battleground in miniature, and a means of shaping the precarious future of the land. Stamps were powerfully symbolic devices, often illustrating sacred sites (like the Dome of the Rock or Rachel's Tomb), with captions in the corresponding languages (English, Arab or Hebrew), and relative script size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-216
Number of pages21
JournalIsrael Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
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  • Mandatory Palestine
  • Nationalism
  • Palestinians
  • Postage stamps
  • Zionism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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