Ronald Storrs 1918-1926 a Forgotten Legacy: Part II - the Pro-Jerusalem Society

On September 6, 1918, twelve individuals met at the residence of the military governor of Jerusalem.1 The room was filled with tension as the governor was trying to win the confidence of those who were still skeptical and suspicious of British rule. A few months earlier, in December 1917, General Allenby had led the British troops into Jerusalem, ending Ottoman rule in the city and paving the way for greater British success in the region. As Jerusalem was now under British rule, General Allenby appointed Colonel Ronald Storrs as governor of the city. This appointment proved crucial for the development of the city in the interwar period. In the early days of British rule, Storrs was immediately involved with the delivery of supplies for the city and, in a fashion that would characterize his governorship, he placed the distribution of food and medicine in the hands of the municipality, under the supervision of the representatives of all religious

communities. In this episode I discuss the establishment of the Pro-Jerusalem Society in 1918, its composition, and its aims. In presenting the society’s activities, I will focus on a particular decision first proposed by the society and later adopted by the Town Planning Commission: the adoption of Jerusalem – white – stone as the only visible building material allowed. This decision changed the way the city would look and develop.

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