Palestine in Banking

The UT Libraries hold many years' worth of annual reports from the Arab Bank Limited, including from 1956 and 1968––significant moments in the history of Palestine.

The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, Jordan
General View of Bethlehem, Jordan
The Palestinian Population

By 1956, Jordan had annexed East Jerusalem and what would come to be known as the West Bank. The Jordanian state extended citizenship to Palestinians living in the annexed areas and declared East Jerusalem a second capital. The annexation was not well-recognized internationally, and so it may come as something of a surprise to see the captions that the Arab Bank included on the above photographs: "Jerusalem, Jordan" and "Bethlehem, Jordan." The Arab Bank also reveals interesting information about the Palestinian refugee population and the founding of the state of Israel, highlighting how the refugee "burden" is distributed across neighboring countries and the levels of exports to Palestine before 1948.

39th Annual Report of the Directors of the Arab Bank Limited

By 1968, Jordan had lost its annexed territories to Israel as a result of the Six-Day War. The Arab Bank does not mince words in the opening of the 39th annual report, for 1968 (above): "the results for the year are highly satisfactory in spite of the general conditions prevailing in the area of our operation as a result of the Israeli aggression of June 1967, and the financial, economic and political upheavals that disturbed world peace and stability in 1968" (15).

Jerusalem and Mount of Olives, part 1
Jerusalem and Mount of Olives, part 2

The two images above comprise one stunning panoramic photograph of Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives. However, it is the Arab Bank's caption that is most affecting: "A view of Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives––Christian and Moslem Holy Places Almost Deserted Throughout 1968 Because of the Occupation" (42-43).