The land currently contested by Israelis and Palestinians has a long history of being contested. In the 19th century, when the area was under Ottoman control, several foreign missionaries settled in the land where Jesus walked. Philip J. Baldensperger, born in 1856, was the son of an Alsatian missionary living near Jerusalem. As a boy who grew up in Palestine, he learned first hand many of the customs and wrote his observations down. His magnum opus is The Immovable East, published in 1913, and available for free as a pdf at archive.org. I attach here the introduction to the work by the bibliophilic Frederic Lees. The pictures are well worth looking at the text, which is a fun read with banal Orientalist trimmings of an area where politics rules the day as never before.




to be continued…