Know Your History: Those Palestine Mandate Coins 1927-1948

series where I use history to debunk common misconceptions about the Middle East conflict.

One of the popular memes of the antisemites and Israel haters involves showing a coin from pre-1948 Palestine, somehow as proof there was a state of Palestine.

Here’s an example:

As I have pointed out before, it is laughable as proof, because no-one is denying there was a British Mandate Palestine, a geopolitical entity under British administration, carved out of Ottoman Southern Syria after World War I. And as you can see, the coin has Hebrew on it, in addition to the English and Arabic.

But actually, it is even more of an own goal for these haters.

The Hebrew on the coin is פלשתינה – Hebrew for “Palestine” – followed by (א”י).

palestine coin2jpg

What is this א”י?

It is none other than the abbreviation for ארץ ישראל – Hebrew for the land of Israel!

This was added to the coin to conform to the Balfour Declaration. In fact, the coins were officially introduced on November 1, 1927 – the eve of the 10th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

And what was the Arab response to this abbreviation on the coin?

This infuriated the Arab citizens who rioted in protest.

But of course.

So there you have it folks. Keep this in mind every time you see a hater posting a photo of this coin as proof there was a distinct palestinian nation living in a palestinian state before Israel came along. If anything, these coins are yet another reminder of the Jews’ deep connection to ארץ ישראל, the land of Israel.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

Daily Updates

Delivered straight to Your mailbox


By signing up, you agree to our terms