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This Is Jerusalem Calling

State Radio in Mandate Palestine

By Andrea L. Stanton

Publication Year: 2013

This history of the long-overlooked Palestine Broadcasting Service (1936–1948) examines the role of government-sponsored radio in shaping Arab political and social life in the wake of British colonialism.

Published by: University of Texas Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv


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p. v-v

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pp. vii-ix

This project was a pleasure from beginning to end. I am deeply grateful to the many people and institutions who helped bring this project to life—starting with former Palestine Broadcasting Service Assistant Director Rex Keating, whose memoirs were my first indication that mandate-era radio in Palestine might be a subject worth investigating. ....

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Introduction: Tuning in to Palestine’s Radio History

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pp. 1-28

On the penultimate day of March 1936, as Palestine was moving from the pale gray of winter into the lush green of spring, the Palestine Broadcasting Service (PBS) began radio broadcasts from a new transmitter in Ramallah. The mandate state was well into its second decade, with the contours of British governance and Arab and Zionist contestation ...

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1. Selling Radio, Selling Radios: Advertising Sets in Mandate Palestine

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pp. 29-75

In order to answer the question why radio merits study as a historical subject it is necessary to resuscitate an awareness of the strangeness of radio—an awareness that has been lost in the seven decades since its widespread introduction throughout the world. “Radio” refers both to the object and to the broadcasting phenomena accessible through it. In ...

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2. Peasants into Palestinians: Rural and School Broadcasting

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pp. 76-122

In the wake of the 1936 general strike, some in the Arab community viewed the PBS with suspicion. Listeners of all communities criticized the station for its censored news broadcasts—a censorship more stringent than that enforced on Palestinian newspapers or on the BBC’s Arabic broadcasts. Yet Palestinians continued to tune in, and by 1938 the ...

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3. Broadcasting a Nationalist Modernity: The PBS Arabic Section

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pp. 123-151

This chapter examines the changes that World War II brought to the Palestine Broadcasting Service: tightening of home and mandate government controls over the station, including closer censor scrutiny over what was broadcast on air and the requisitioning of broadcasting hours for Allied programming. Despite the reassertion of government prerogative ...

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4. Putting Religion on the Radio

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pp. 152-167

Much of the PBS’s programming focused on cultural programs, which largely meant music and talks. Yet religion also played a crucial role—in entertainment programming and as its own broadcasting category. For the mandate government, a British Protestant institution attempting to govern Palestine’s internally diverse Muslim, Jewish, and Christian populations, ...

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5. Claiming the PBS: Whose National Radio?

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pp. 168-194

‘Ajaj Nuwayhid and Ibrahim Tuqan found that working oppositionally within the colonial structure of the British mandate allowed them to use the PBS as a means of supporting a nationalist modernity for Arab Palestine. However, this was only one possible Arab community response to the station. When the station was first established, it was ...

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Conclusion: The Multiple Afterlives of the PBS

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pp. 195-200

The mandate for Palestine officially ended at midnight on May 15, 1948. What did this mean for the Palestine Broadcasting Service? Like other government institutions, it had a postmandate plan intended to provide administrative continuity and uninterrupted service—a plan soon overtaken by events. The station’s footprint remained: the buildings ...


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pp. 201-202


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pp. 203-233


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pp. 235-246


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pp. 247-258

E-ISBN-13: 9780292747500
E-ISBN-10: 0292747500
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292747494
Print-ISBN-10: 0292747497

Page Count: 270
Illustrations: 23 photos, 3 charts/graphs, 1 table
Publication Year: 2013