Rare Color Footage Shows Jerusalem in the 1930s

In the 1930s, a Jewish family visited Jerusalem and filmed what they saw, in color, with a 16mm camera. Isaac Tessler reports that, as part of a larger project, the amateur movie has been restored and made publicly available. (A 5-minute video and pictures can be found at the link below.)

The rare documentation includes footage of Old City alleys, the Mount Scopus Hebrew University, and above all, the Western Wall, long before the modern-day plaza existed, when only a narrow path separated it from the Moroccan Quarter. . . . The highly prized material was transferred to the Jerusalem Cinematheque Archive, which digitized it and made it accessible to the public.

Photos [from the archive] show ḥaredi Jews from the Old Yishuv, Muslims wearing traditional garb, women in elaborate hats, camels, donkeys, and beggars on street corners. The few cars in the streets belong to people who served in administrative positions.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Film, Jerusalem, Mandate Palestine, Western Wall

The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7