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A Post-Script to American Interests in the Holy Land An Incredible Picture from the Rijksmuseum
The world's great libraries and archives continue to digitize and post photographic treasures. We publish this photo from the archives of the Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam. With its amazing resolution, this photo from the Bonfils studio reveals fascinating details, including the American Consulate inside the Jaffa Gate of Jerusalem's Old City.

Inside the Jaffa Gate of Jerusalem, See "Bonfils" signature on the bottom right. The Rijksmuseum
dates the picture as "circa 1895-1915." Several historical facts dictate it was taken prior to 1898.
Here are some of the interesting details in the photo:

1. The moat on the right side of the photo behind the shops was filled in in 1898 so that German Emperor Wilhelm's carriage could ride into the city through a breach in the wall. The picture, therefore, was taken before 1898.

2. While attempts were made to appoint an American Consul already in the 1830s, the American Consulate was established in the Old City in the latter half of the 1800s.

Centered in Bonfils' photo is the American Consulate building, obtained in 1857, with the U.S. seal on the second story window.

Note the American seal (eagle) on the building.
A drawing and blueprint of the building can be found in Ruth Kark's American Consuls in the Holy Land, 1832-1914.

Kark's book states that this picture was drawn by an American traveler and cites a report in the U.S. National
Archives by U.S. Consul FrankdeHass on April 28, 1877. Note the U.S. flag.
Bonfils photographs for sale
3. Other oddities in the Bonfils photo include an advertisement for Bonfil's own photographs. Pictures and postcards were major tourist souvenirs.

4. Note the advertisement for the Thomas Cook Tourist Agency. Many of the major visits and expeditions to the Holy Land were outfitted by Cook's.

5. Also note the advertisement for "Valero." The Jewish Valero family arrived in the 1840s and opened the first private bank in the land. Their office was inside the Old City. A detailed feature on the Valeros appeared in these pages in July 2012. The family also held valuable areas of Jerusalem real estate outside of the Old City.

Chaim Aharon Valero (1845-1923)

Book Launch at AIPAC Policy Conference, March 26-28, 2017, Washington, D.C.
The book will be on sale in the AIPAC bookstore.

"Meet the Author" session during the Conference.

Hi-tech exhibit in the AIPAC Village.

AIPAC Village touch screen exhibit in 2015. Updated and improved in
2017 to include photos from the book. The author and Australian
friend, Jeremy Jones, pictured above.

What They Say About "The Holy Land Revealed"
Oded Ravivi, Mayor of Efrat, Israel

Can't wait to read the history of the period and judging by the pictures, it looks like a fascinating book.

Lenny, thank you very much.

What They Say About "The Holy Land Revealed"
Senator Joe Lieberman --

U.S. Interests in the Holy Land Revealed in Early Photographs exposes the secrets that would have been hidden away by history: Chief Rabbi Abraham Kook visiting President Coolidge in the White House, the U.S. Navy’s evacuation of 6,000 Jews from Jaffa in 1915 before the Turks could expel them, the visit to a synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem by Lincoln’s Secretary of State William Seward in 1872, and more.

I first met Lenny Ben-David 20 years ago when he was an Israeli diplomat in Washington. With this wonderful book, he continues to strengthen the bonds between the United States and Israel.

What They Say About "The Holy Land Revealed"
Amb. Dr. Dore Gold --

I congratulate Lenny Ben-David on the publication of this major work illustrating over a century of American support for the Jews of the Holy Land. For over 39 years, Lenny and I have cooperated on projects in our respective professional lives. His knowledge and experience dealing with U.S.-Israel relations, Middle East affairs, and Jewish history in Eretz Yisrael is rich and vast."

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