Know Your History: Bethlehem Cigarette Factory Gives Cigarettes Zionist Names (1936)

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series where I bring to you news from the archives and historical documents to debunk common misconceptions about the Middle East conflict.


The following news item appeared in the January 2nd, 1936 issue of “The Sentinel”, a weekly newspaper published for the Chicago Jewish community.

Arabian cigarettes



Despite the prevailing narrative from the haters that we came and made life miserable for the Arabs, this is not the case. As you can see from this news article, there were Arabs who saw in the Jews an opportunity for economic growth.

In fact, you might recall another post of mine as part of this series, dealing with a New York Times report from 1970 highlighting other Bethlehem businesses enjoying the patronage of Jews.

By the way, “Herzl” is not the only uber-Zionist of the cigarette names. “Geulah” means “redemption”, referring to the return of the Jews to their homeland and the coming of the Jewish Messiah. And of course “Hatikvah” is the Israeli national anthem, but back then, it was the anthem of the Zionist movement.

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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