Election Posters

“Everyone together – one against the other – go!”. This quote is taken from a campaign poster of Mapai, and appears along with a caricature of kids representing different parties and waging a fight. This is a well-chosen way to portray what happens during an election campaign: each party tries to attack the opposing party at its weakest point.
Anyone who thinks that elections today are more dramatic and extreme than they used to be - is wrong. Elections were blustery and colorful even in the years preceding the founding of the State and in the years following, too. The various parties did not hesitate to attack their opponents. For example, Mapai represented Begin as an extreme and militant leader. In contrast, the Herut movement published a caricature of Mapai leaders standing on their heads (referring to the famous photograph of Ben Gurion standing on his head), with a mocking caption: “The Mapai policy”. The socialist parties started another front against the Mapai government by blaming it for ignoring the troubles of the simple worker. The Cherut movement attacked the socialists, and warned against Israel becoming a branch of the Kremlin.
In the early elections, posters and handbills were the main instrument for the spreading of party propaganda. The posters in particular had great influence over the viewer, being visual, and presenting short and direct messages. The best graphic designers and print houses worked on these posters and they are therefore very interesting to study, even today. When one examines the posters, one can see what subjects troubled the Yishuv and the State of Israel in its early years, and what ideas motivated them.
The Central Zionist Archives houses a rich and diverse collection of posters and handbills, many of them about elections and parties. The posters and handbills that are related to these subjects comprise about a fifth of the whole Posters and Handbills Collection. This is simply paradise for researchers or people who are interested in the elections and parties in the days of the General Council (the Va'ad Haleumi) and the Assembly of Representatives (the Asefat Hanivcharim).
As the upcoming elections approach, the CZA decided to provide a taste of the posters and handbills from its Collections, which are related to elections and parties from different periods.  You’re invited to view the posters and enjoy them.