Protest Against the Division of Jerusalem
The writing on the poster begins in large, bold text in the upper part and gets smaller in the lower part. The caption begins with a direct command – “Do not forget the City of David!” and then quotes the head of the Herut party and future prime minister of Israel, Menachem Begin: “The walls of the Old City are not the border of Jerusalem!” The poster contains a picture of the Western Wall which, due to its location in the Old City, was off limits to the Jewish population in the years following the War of Independence until the end of the Six-Day War.
This poster was published in 1948 at the end of the War of Independence by the Betar movement and protests the division of Jerusalem: East Jerusalem was under Jordanian control, while West Jerusalem was under Israeli control. At the time of the poster’s creation, it was not known when Jews would be able to visit the Old City again.
Betar was a revisionist Zionist youth movement founded by Ze’ev Jabotinsky. Betar was traditionally linked with the original Herut party and the Etzel (Irgun) underground paramilitary organisation during the time of the British Mandate. Menachem Begin, who is quoted in the poster, led the Betar movement in Poland prior to World War II and, upon his immigration, led the movement in Israel.
This poster can be used in Jewish History lessons as part of a discussion about the War of Independence and the outcome of the war in Jerusalem. This poster can also be shown when teaching about the different Israeli political parties and ideologies from before the establishment of the State to today.
Geography teachers can use this poster to examine the borders of Israel and how they have changed over the years.
Jewish Studies teachers can use this source to analyse the status of Jerusalem in Judaism throughout the ages.
What is written on this poster?
When was the poster distributed?
What historical event is the poster referring to?
Who is quoted on the poster?
Which site is portrayed on the poster?
What is the City of David?
Reading Between the Lines
What is the message of the poster?
When was Jerusalem divided?
What were the different parts of the divided city and who ruled them?
Which important Jewish sites were not accessible to Israelis when Jerusalem was divided?
When did this situation end?
Why did the designers of the poster include a picture of the Western Wall?
The poster includes a quote by Menachem Begin.
What was his role at the time?
Explain Menachem Begin’s quote.
Why was the quote included in the poster?
What do you think was the purpose of using large bold writing at the top of the poster?
What official position did Menachem Begin go on to hold?
Jerusalem was divided between the new western side of the city and the older eastern side. Differences between the two sides can still be seen today.
Research some of the differences between old and new Jerusalem.
What happened in 1967?
How did the situation change?
Compare the Western Wall as seen in this poster to how it looks today.
Create a poster from 1967 celebrating the reunification of Jerusalem.
What texts and images have you included in your poster and why?
DO NOT FORGET THE CITY OF DAVID!
19th Iyar – The day on which the Old City fell
The walls of the Old City are not the border of Jerusalem! (Menachem Begin)
Printed by Betar’s Representatives in Eretz Israel