The map of Palestine appended to the British Mandate document was used for many years as the emblem of the Revisionist movement and its political successors even after the establishment of the state. It became the most recognizable of all Revisionist symbols. But why would the Revisionists who fought bitterly against British rule and viewed themselves as those who helped precipitate its end, sanctify a map drawn up for the purposes of the Mandate? Why would they embrace a map with borders drawn by France and Britain to accommodate their own vested interests, entirely disconnected from history, geography, or demography, let alone Zionist aspirations? The unembellished Mandate map first appeared as a Revisionist symbol on the masthead of Hamashkif, the organ of the Revisionist movement (published from late 1938 to 1949). Its use as the logo of a newspaper under the editorship of Revisionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky attests to a shift in Revisionist ideology: The masthead of Hayarden, the daily that preceded Hamashkif, bore a different map. After its appearance in Hamashkif, the Mandate map was also incorporated as the emblem of the Etzel underground movement, superimposed with a hand holding a rifle. After the establishment of the State of Israel, the unembellished map became the emblem of the Herut movement and remained so throughout the movement’s existence as a political entity (until 1988). The conventional view that this map symbolizes sovereignty over the historic Land of Israel on both sides of the Jordan River in keeping with Jabotinsky’s famous poem “The East Bank of the Jordan,” is not borne out by the facts and even conflicts with what the author of the poem is trying to say, as we shall explain below. The article explores the attitude of the Revisionist movement and its organizations to British rule with a focus on differences of opinion within the movement and how these led to the adoption and “canonization” of iconic maps.


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pp. 179-195
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