Know Your History: James Bryce’s Impressions Of Palestine (National Geographic, Mar 1915)

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

In March 1915, National Geographic featured an article by James Bryce, former British Ambassador to the United States, on his impressions of what was then known as Palestine.

As usual with these old articles, it provides valuable insights, before political correctness and false narratives started to dominate reporting and discourse about this land. Note in particular:



  • Bryce’s constant references to Jewish history in the land
  • The map reference to Judea and Samaria (now referred to as the so-called “West Bank”)
  • His observations as to how poor in natural resources the land was (making Israel’s achievements since then even more amazing)
  • Nowhere is the word “Palestinian” mentioned, only Muslims/Mussulmans (you can work out why)
  • The references to the Muslim conquest of the area and Muslim vandalism
  • The mention of the demographics of Jerusalem at the time (40,000 Jews, 13,000 Christians and 7,000 Muslims)

Note: I cannot provide a link to the full article since it is only available to those who have purchased a National Geographic subscription. But I have provided screenshots below. As usual, click on the screenshots to enlarge.


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