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By Kathleen Christison

For an total view of precisely what occurred, learn an outstanding first-hand account of a reasonable Palestinian.

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Political expression did not reach the stage of mobilizing popular support, building institutionalized mass movements, and engaging in the kind of activism that could directly confront political adversaries until the years between the world wars. 58 As far as Americans were concerned, the Arabs of Palestine were political ciphers. Arab lobbyists were not strong or numerous enough to counter the sophisticated intercessions of Zionist lobbyists. No Arab bloc of voters influenced American politicians, no newspapers or books or travelers to Palestine juxtaposed favorable images of Palestine’s Arabs with the increasingly common images of pioneering Zionists in Palestine, and no one ever thought it necessary to take the Palestinian Arabs seriously.

The Zionists mounted a multipronged effort, simultaneously attempting to shape the views of the public through frequent and well placed media stories, of Congress through direct lobbying, and of key policymakers themselves through personal contact. The Zionist effort marked the already fairly sophisticated beginning of what was to become an extensive, well-organized pro-Zionist and pro-Israeli lobby. S. Zionist organizations ebbed and flowed in the 1910s and 1920s, but enthusiasm was at a peak precisely when it needed to be— in the war years and immediate postwar years, when government and congressional support was most necessary and the United States was making crucial decisions.

No list of early movie classics is complete that does not include such 02-C0422 10/9/01 1:51 PM Page 41 Woodrow Wilson / 41 films as Rudolph Valentino’s The Sheik and Son of the Sheik, The Thief of Bagdad, Beau Geste, The Desert Song, or Kismet or, in the 1930s, Eddie Cantor’s Ali Baba Goes to Town or Boris Karloff’s The Mummy and its sequels. The most engaging Arab portrayed in these movies was a buffoon or a charming rogue. S. fascination with foreign villains and carrying the dark image of the Arab to a much wider audience than books would ever do.

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