Blues for the Men in Blue

Curator: Ora Pikel-Tzabari

Opening: 29.5.2017

The exhibit  follows  the integration of Hebrew policemen into the Mandatory police force, principally in the Old City of Jerusalem from the year 1918 until the War of Independence.  The Zionist Commission clearly saw the importance of integrating the Hebrew youth into the Mandatory police force, in spite of the many difficulties, as one of the means to “A State in the Making,” and made every effort to encourage enlistment into the police force.  The training for police work, licenses to carry weapons, and guarding the interests of the Hebrew Yishuv (settlement) were fruits of this policy.


The harsh conditions of service in the police force (a hostile environment, particularly in Jerusalem, slow promotion, a poor salary, and more) were responsible for the fact that the number of Hebrew policemen never rose above a few hundred.  Over the course of the years, the number of Hebrew policemen serving in the Mandatory police force fluctuated: in calmer days, the number of the volunteers to serve in the Mandatory police force dwindled, while during the riots, the importance of service in the Mandatory police became more pointed in the eyes of the captains of the Yishuv, so they acted to improve the conditions of service of the volunteers, and the number of Jewish policemen grew.

A significant chapter has been dedicated in the exhibit to the story of the police band, mainly because its activity was documented in the Hebrew press.