Thursday, May 14, 2015


The Emir of Transjordan owes his success entirely to English
patronage . His one military campaign was staged against
Ibn Saud, when that gentleman with tacit British approval chased
Abdullah's father, Hussein, off the throne of Hejaz . Abdullah
himself was disastrously routed and had to flee for his life into
the desert .
The Emir is an excellent chess player and indifferent poet .
He has only one legal wife, but enough concubines of every
color and nationality to suit the most capricious taste . In April
of 1931 he attempted to make the use of automobiles illegal in
Transjordan, but was overruled by the British . Christian Arab
papers in Palestine have attacked him regularly for his hostility
to Christians . His son, Tallal, attempted to assassinate the royal
father in May 1936, and has since been imprisoned in what passes
for the Palace . The Emir is wise enough to know the limitations
of his power . With the external affairs of his country he
has little to do, even nominally . Its internal affairs are supervised
with autocratic powers by the smart British Resident, Colonel
His administration proved so erratic and extravagant that the
English finally deprived him of the administration of even his
own estates and put him on the civil list like a pensioner . The
balance is reserved for the payment of his debts .13 He is known
to privately favor a great Semitic State made up of Jews and
Arabs with himself at the helm . Publicly he is more circumspect.
Once he is said to have declared : "Why should we not
allow the Jews to come into our country ? We shall take their
money and then drive them out again ."
He is a realist of the first water, who would not hesitate at any
time to cut His Britannic Majesty's throat if anything could be
gained by it. Lord Raglan, former British political officer in
Transjordan, informed the Lords on February 21, 1922 that he
himself "had heard Abdullah with his £ 5000 in his pocket 14 hold
up Sinn Fein as an example to the Arabs of Palestine . The inhabitants
are disgusted with Abdullah and they are still more
disgusted with the British Government which has forced him
upon them."
During the Winter of 1935-36 the Emir wrote the French
Foreign Minister offering France the annexation of Transjordan
to Syria on condition that he become king . "If for no other
reason," says Ernest Main, "than that they suspected Abdullah
of being a tool of Britain, the French had nothing to do with
this scheme ." 15
The Emir's country is so pathetically undeveloped that "even
a horse tied to a tree is a wayside event ." 16 Kenneth Williams,
accompanying the Peel Commission during their 1936 visit, describes
the greater part as inhabited "only by wandering tribes .
Only one-fifth of the total area of the Emirate, in fact, is cultivated."
Impelled by their extreme poverty, the Tribes have long gazed
with envious eyes at their lucky brethren across the river, now
prosperous enough to own many wives and all the good food
they could eat . Even Abdullah himself, usually so tractable,
could not restrain his cupidity. He began to regard himself in
the light of a land-owner whose vast stretches could be given a
fabulous market value, though at the time they were not worth
the taxes paid on them . His cronies among the land-owning
effendis also began to grow restless despite hand-outs and patronage.
They smelled bigger game ; and, mouths watering at this
tempting stream of yellow metal pouring before their eyes across
Jordan, they acted at times like a dog teased with a bone that
has a string attached to it . Much to British disgust, the patriotism
ready-made for them by Whitehall began to look phony to all
sections of the Transjordan population .
Back in 1924 Jacob De Haas had already been offered ioo,ooo
dunams at "about a dollar an acre, on condition that the sale was
not disclosed to the British officials in Jerusalem." 18 Then and
since, the Emir has been anxious to sell to Jews, but the British
have persistently interfered . In 1926 they forced the dismissal
of Premier Rikabi Pasha for "favoring Zionist immigration ." By
the end of 1932 the Emir himself started negotiations with Jewish
political circles and arranged a 99-year lease on 70,000 dunams
near the Allenby bridge."' The exultant crowing of some
members of the Jewish Agency, who could not resist premature
publicity over this `stupendous victory,' killed the deal . Becoming
really annoyed at what they considered Arab `rapacity,' the
British stepped in and smashed the proceedings .
But the Arabs were not to be put off . On January 17, 1 933,
Mithkal Pasha, most powerful sheikh in Transjordan, offered
to lease one hundred thousand dunams. Heads of other tribes
approached the Jewish Agency with similar propositions . On
January 2o a great meeting of sheikhs at Amman resolved to support
Abdullah up to the hilt . Three days later, in an interview
carried by the entire Arab press, Abdullah bluntly accused the
Palestine Government of forcing him to rescind his agreement
with the Jewish company.
Events tumbled over themselves in swift succession . On February
6, a group of the most influential tribal leaders drew up a
petition demanding the right to lease or sell their land . Pointing
out the terrible poverty and underpopulation of the country,
they declared that salvation could come only through the Jews .
Under the direction of the Government propaganda officer, the
Palestine Arab press accused Abdullah of having engineered the
petition himself. Undeterred, Abdullah banned offending Arab
papers from his territory . Transjordanian leaders, determined
to have their way, staged impressive demonstrations demanding
land sales . The opening of the Legislative Assembly on February
9, was all set for fireworks . The group in favor of legalizing
land sales to Jews, having a clear majority, had taken the
bit in their teeth and meant to be stopped by no one . The Assembly
had already met when the Secretariat announced that it
had been dissolved and that future sessions were indefinitely
postponed . According to the story carried openly by all Arab
papers, both the High Commissioner and the British Commander
of the Transjordan Military had held a hurried conference with
the Emir, laying down the law to that refractory gentleman in
no uncertain manner .
Meanwhile the Palestine Government was with meticulous
correctness advising the Jewish press that "this matter is not
within our jurisdiction as Transjordan is under a different government."
At almost the identical moment, it informed the
Emir that his subsidy would be reduced by twenty-five percent
during the coming year . But for once the rubber-stamp Legislature
confounded its masters by running completely amuck.
On April r, at its next session, the High Commissioner's bill prohibiting
sale or lease of land to non-Transjordanians (Jews) was
unexpectedly beaten by thirteen votes to three . The session
closed in surly mood with no affirmative measure allowed to
come before it.
Still trying to force the issue, on May 25, representatives delegated
from twenty-three Transjordanian towns waited in a body
on the Jewish Agency urging them not to give up the fight . It
was apparent that operating deviously with his left hand and
hungrier than ever, Abdullah was sitting tight . That forced the
British to lay aside their switch in favor of the cudgel. They
3 50
reminded the Emir of what had happened to his illustrious father,
King Hussein, when he thought he was a bigger man than
the King of England. Though Abdullah wisely modified his
position, his followers were not nearly so circumspect . Enraged
meetings were held regularly in violent protest . As late
as March 27, 1935 the heads of the most important tribes convened
in an uproarious session, demanding the cancellation of
anti-Jewish laws "because Jewish money which is destined to
develop Transjordan is being diverted . . ." With unerring
awareness they ignored the fiction of a Transjordanian Government
and addressed their resolution direct to the British, who disregarded
However, it should not be believed that English solicitude for
their tribal wards is limited to some skittish desire to fence them
off picturesquely on their reservations . British officials themselves
have been buying up large tracts of the most fertile acreage
and placing them under cultivation.20 Palestine Arabs, too,
are taking over extensive tracts on speculation, considering an
eventual Jewish settlement inevitable .21
There have been other settlement schemes which had British
approval . In the Spring of 1927 the English Government put
up a demand that land be made available for the immediate settlement
of Armenians . Sensing no monetary advantage, and disliking
Christians with a keener gusto than they did Jews, Arab
sheikhs submitted a counter-memorandum angrily rejecting the
proposition . It was consequently dropped . Early in 1929 the
English backed another plan to colonize refugees from Tripoli
and Bengasi after those territories had been occupied by the
Italians . Three hundred thousand dunams were to be granted
under the most favorable conditions, but the prospective settlers
proved unorganized and capital was lacking .22 At still another
time, under London's request, Abdullah presented one hundred
thousand dunams near Amman to a large contingent of exiles
from Morocco. The settlers were guaranteed adequate deeds,
freedom from taxation for three years and military protection
against Bedouin attack.
Whitehall is still fearful that the Jews will find a way someTRANSJORDAN
how to break through the wall which holds them west of Jordan.
When they do, the 'landless Arab' bogey, the Statutory
Tenant Laws, the whole absurd system of blockade and restriction
in which the land-hungry Jew is caught, must fall apart
of its own inert weight. With the vast unpopulated reaches of
Transjordan in prospect, they would become too foolish to retain
even a pretense of plausibility . The Bureaucrats know that
if they succeed in securing themselves on the soil the Jews will
never be driven out o f the Holy Land, and that the whole
carefully raised scheme against them must then ultimately fail .
In its issue of February 4, 1937, Great Britain and the East echoes
official apprehension, crying that "a treaty or some conclusive
guarantee with Transjordan, that the Jews will not be allowed
to take land there, would greatly pacify the country ."
Most Transjordanians seem to believe, however, that their
country would be better `pacified' by the removal of the British.
The final stroke, which was to deal the death blow to Zionist
hopes, was simply conceived . It rested on the establishment of
that great democratic institution, a parliament, in Palestine . Superficially
the Bureaucrats thus placed themselves in the vanguard
of progress . Who could challenge the undoubted right
of men to rule themselves through their own elected representatives
! By intent, however, the scheme was a long step forward
toward the liquidation of the Mandate . As envisaged by Whitehall,
the Legislative Assembly would be a ready-made dummy
congress which could be implemented at any time as a perfect
sounding board for British policies . At the same time it would
place the Zionists within brackets so that they could not attack
without the risk of losing world sympathy .
All of this was urged in the name of the `sacred promises'
made to Hussein of the Hejaz, despite the fact that in the Hejaz
itself there is not and never has been any parliamentary system
whatsoever. Throughout the `free' countries of Arabia democracy
is noteworthy by its absence . Yemen and the immense
territory of Saudi are ruled without even a pretense of constitutional
government . The equally vast Hadramaut, as well as
Aden, cowers under the despotic authority of British guns .
Iraq, most developed of all these Arab countries, is ruled by a
shadow Government constituted with the assistance of British
officials. "Notwithstanding the Constitution," says Lieutenant-
Colonel Stafford meaningfully, "British policy in Iraq was directed
. . . towards making Feisal a real King in the Eastern
sense ." 1 "The country's Parliamentary system," he tells us, "is
a farce." The Government is cordially hated by the majority of
the population . Armed revolt is always in the air and is kept
down with an iron hand.2 Even the barest pretext to constitu-
tionalism vanished in 1936 when the Army bombed the capital
and seized control .
Toward the great illiterate bulk of the population the educated
Arab classes are no more democratic in the political sense
than the Athenians were to their slaves . "Even within their
own circle," remarks Ernest Main, "they have little sense of
what real democracy means." 3 The orbit of politics in `free
Arabia' revolves around the sheikhs, emirs, imams and their supporters.
"The Arab masses," says Professor Scherger, "do not
fit into any other system of government except the foreordained
traditional rule of sheikh and religious leaders . . . Conspiracies
and assassinations are the only popular procedure adopted
and practiced by the Arabs when electing representatives and
rulers." 4 Throughout every portion of Arabia slavery flourishes
with the full support of public opinion . It is a vested interest
of immemorial respectability, writes Bertram Thomas,
"and any extraneous authority interfering becomes odious in
the eyes of the people ." 5 How can one talk of democracy in
the same breath with this !
The readiness of the Palestinian Arab for self-rule is not less
unpromising. He is just as backward, excitable and fanatic as
his brother in the desert. The various Commissions of Inquiry
have themselves declaimed that he was incompetent and must be
protected against the superior capacities of European immigrants
. Eighty-five percent of his men and ninety-three percent
of his women are illiterate .6
The setting up of a parliamentary body, under the circumstances,
would only serve to provide an arena for general intrigue
and agitation against the whole policy and purpose of the
Mandate. The Colonial Office itself informed an Arab Delegation
in March 1922 : "The position is that His Majesty's Government
is bound by a pledge which is antecedent to the Covenant
of the League of Nations, and they cannot allow a constitutional
position to develop in a country for which they have
accepted responsibility to the principal Allied Powers, which
may make it impracticable to carry into effect a solemn undertaking
given by themselves and their allies . . . It is quite clear
that the creation at this stage o f a National Government would
preclude the fulfillment of the pledge made by the British Government
to the Jewish People."
The greatest authority in the British Commonwealth on constitutional
reform is the India Report of 1934. It lays down the
following principle : "Parliamentary government, as it is understood
in the United Kingdom, works by the interaction of four
essential factors : the principle of majority rule ; the willingness
o f the minority for the time being to accept the decisions o f the
majority ; the existence of great political parties divided by
broad issues of policy rather than by sectional interests ; and
finally, the existence of a mobile body of public opinion, owing
no permanent allegiance to any party and therefore able, by its
own instinctive reaction against extravagant movements on one
side or the other, to keep the vessel on an even keel ." In Palestine
none of these requisite conditions exist. A few families,
the Nashishibis, Husseinis and Khaldis, monopolize all public
power, and would soon rend all public life to shreds in their
mutual struggles . "Of a genuine rivalry of political parties,
presenting alternative municipal programmes to the electorate,"
says the Peel Commission, "there is no trace ."
Still another British authority, the Hilton Young Commission,
lays down the precedent that where a fundamental division
exists of race or religious hatreds, or a difference in level o f
civilizations between the various elements o f the population,
"the abstract principle o f `majority rule' cannot be dogmatically
applied ." How does this fit the Palestine situation ?
In July 1924, Ormsby-Gore informed the Mandates Commission
that "if in this [legislative] council there should be brought
forth an anti-Zionist majority, the Government will come into
an impasse, since it must execute certain provisions of the Mandate,
on the one hand, while, on the other hand, a hostile majority
would oppose such measures ." Three months later Herbert
Samuel is droning to the same Commission "that the Arabs
have declared they would, if they had the majority [in the proposed
Parliament], use it to prevent the creation of the Jewish
National Home."
Everyone, including the British, agreed that the setting up of
any such parliamentary apparatus was a direct refutation of the
manifest purposes of the Mandate, that it would automatically
crystallize the Jews as a helpless minority in their National
Home, and that no right thinking man could countenance such a
procedure. Nevertheless, London is soon after found espousing
this very scheme as one of its fundamentals of policy. Every
High Commissioner had to make it his own . Though the Jews
fought the proposition desperately, for once solidly united, the
Bureaucrats pushed it with all the power at their command .
Time after time when it appeared on the verge of adoption, unlucky
accident intervened .
On several occasions, when all else seemed propitious, the
Mandates Commission rejected the proposal as "premature and
ill-advised ." Notwithstanding, in 1923 London officially declared
it in existence . But the Arabs foolishly refused the proffered
bait . Completely misjudging English motives, they believed
that a little additional pressure would bring about the
complete squashing of the Mandate, and the elimination of the
British as well . With consequent bravado they boycotted the
election to the new Parliament, and announced that they would
sabotage all laws accepted by that body. Left without a leg to
stand on, the Government annulled the election and reinstated
the former Advisory Council, taking the occasion to reduce the
former Jewish proportion .
After the 1929 pogrom the Arabs again renewed their demands
for the `true processes of democracy.' They could not
have chosen a more awkward moment . A volcanic eruption of
horror still convulsed world opinion . The temper of Mr. .
Weizmann's Zionists was yet an unprobed factor . Uncertainty
made the Bureaucrats wary . With scrupulous probity Whitehall
proclaimed that "since the effect of meeting the wishes of
the Arab delegation as regards democratic government would
have been to render it impossible for His Majesty's Government
to continue as Mandatory for Palestine . . . it became evident
that this matter could not usefully be pursued further." This
was in May 1930. In October we are told by the same Gov35
ernment "that the time has now come" when the question of
constitutional changes must "be taken in hand without further
delay," and that "the time has arrived" for the setting up of a
Legislative Council for Palestine.
For five more years the matter seesawed back and forth. Finally,
on December zz, 1935 High Commissioner Wauchope
sounded the tocsin for democracy by once more proclaiming
the establishment of a Legislative Council . The announcement
carefully avoided all reference to the Balfour Declaration and
the Jewish National Home . It was made on Saturday, the Jewish
Sabbath, and was addressed to the Arabs, ignoring the Jews
as if they did not exist.
The `Council' was a precious piece of humbug . Out of
twenty-eight members, four Jews and eleven Arabs were to be
elected. The balance were to be appointed by the High Commissioner,
to include five Englishmen . The High Commissioner
retained wide veto powers. If a miracle happened and his handpicked
`legislative body' bucked the traces, he merely had to
deem its measures invalid to rule them out without ceremony .
The Jews anxiously asked themelves : What was back of the
British mind ? What purpose could there be to all this artful
simulation ? Was it to provide a rostrum for anti-Zionist agitators
who could be represented as expressing the country's
will? Was it a smokescreen behind which anti-Jewish officials
could plot the death of Zionism ? With dogged resolution they
notified the Government that they would neither participate in
the elections nor recognize the proposed assembly . The reply
was the icy ultimatum that "with them, without them or
against them, a Legislative Council would be established in
This was all very well, but it did not take into account the British
Parliament itself . The Council scheme was debated in the
Lords on February z6,1936, and on March 24 in Commons, where
it was disastrously routed . In the latter body, recites Lord Peel
dolefully, "the Secretary of State, whose speech was constantly
interrupted, had only two supporters ." 7
After all the moralizing which accompanied the Legislative
Council plan, one is astonished to discover that the British have
neglected to put any of these fine precepts into operation during
the entire period of their administration in Palestine . Such
local autonomy as the Jewish settlements retain is almost entirely
a carry-over from the Turkish regime. The Arab masses have
no more voice in even their local community affairs than if they
lived in Timbuctoo .
The electoral system the British introduced (no one else
wanted it) is a grotesque travesty on democratic processes .
The country was divided into community rolls based on religion.
A Jew could nominate only a Jew, a Moslem a Moslem
and a Christian a Christian . Suffrage is based on property
rights, and there is no educational test . From here on, the proceedings
become heavily involved . Despite the fact of three
community rolls for nomination purposes, there is only one
common roll for election purposes. Now a Christian, Jew or
Mohammedan may vote for anyone he pleases, but Government
decree determines the number of each religion which must be
elected !
An analysis of the polling lists in representative towns shows
Nablus to have less than goo voters, out of a population of
20,000. Gaza, a city of 19,000, boasts 500 voters. Ramleh,
with 12,000, has 300 voters. The link between Government
officials and the peasantry is the village Mukhtar, a worthy
whom Lord Peel describes as "usually illiterate ."
The Capital City itself is a perfect example of what the British
mean when they talk about `democracy' and `self-determination.'
The Jews of Jerusalem constitute seventy-two percent of
its 110,000 souls . Moslems are twenty percent, with the balance
Christians . Despite this numerical preponderance, the
Government has always insisted on the appointment of an Arab
Mayor, who runs the city with a high hand ." Jews, who pay
practically all the taxes, are allowed the barest minimum of pub358
lic benefits. Some of the older Jewish quarters such as Nahlat
Zion, which have been paying taxes since the British occupation,
have yet to be provided with a single yard of road .
An incident which occurred in 1930 thrusts this whole
strange situation close to the realm of fantasy . We see the
Mayor of Jerusalem, Ragheb Bey Nashishibi, at the head o f an
anti-Jewish delegation, proceeding to London in his capacity of
Mayor, armed with a bristling political program aimed directly
against his own constituents ! And this on the very eve of
Municipal Council elections where the Mayor was engaged in
a mortal struggle with his ancient enemies the Husseinis ! The
Jews stormed like madmen. Stentoriously they promised retaliation
by throwing their support to Nashishibi's opponents .
Immediately the Government rose to the occasion with a decree
postponing the elections for three years . In the Mayor's absence,
it refused pointblank to allow Chaim Solomon, Jewish
Vice-Mayor, to sit as acting-executive, and appointed an Arab
instead. Completely disgusted, the Jewish members of the
Municipal Council resigned in a body .
In 1933 the Government introduced an election scheme which
gerrymandered the election districts with such strategic cunning
that the Jewish majority was turned into a minority . Part
of the maneuver which arranged this result lay in the granting
of special rights to owners of property in the Old City . These
regulations so curtailed the right of suffrage that out of its entire
population only 3900 individuals in Jerusalem were entitled
to appear at the polling places .
In January 1935 the Government appointed Hussein Fakri
El Khaldi mayor for five years, to take Nashishibi's place. A
Jew, Daniel Auster, was given the title of Vice-Mayor . Right
after being inducted into office, Mayor Khaldi refused to countenance
the presence of the Jewish Vice-Mayor and even denied
him an office in the Municipal Building . A new roar of
indignation arose from the Jews . As a result, permission was
now given the Vice-Mayor to sit in the Municipal Building,
where relieved of all duties he twiddled his thumbs .
The farcical drama continued to unfold . In 1937, Arab
Khaldi himself was picked up by a squad of soldiers for alleged
complicity in the murder of a British official, and exiled
to a small island without benefit of trial . Thus unexpectedly
Vice-Mayor Auster found himself acting-Mayor. Officialdom
was nonplussed . At that very moment London was seeking to
put over its great coup, the Partition Plan . For the sake of
world opinion the Jew must be allowed to remain . But what
to do about the Mayor's salary, which totals C 144.6 a year !
To give it to Mr. Auster would be to recognize his position .
Naturally, Arab Khaldi, in exile in the Seychelles Islands, could
not receive it. From that point on the problem is solved by
being studiously ignored. So Mr. Auster, who is Mayor and
yet not Mayor, continues to perform the mayoral duties gratis .
Just what his status is, no one, least of all himself, can say .
In Haifa the situation is much the same . Though the Jewish
community is over fifty percent of the population and contributes
around seventy percent of the municipal income, it is
represented by only four out of twelve Councilors on the
Municipal Board . A number of other towns have, on paper at
least, some rights of self-government, with power principally to
raise taxes for municipal affairs . But only two Jewish towns
come within this category. "Why," asks Wedgwood, "are
Arab towns given self-government if they have populations of
2500 or more, while Jewish towns like Petach Tikvah, with a
population of 25,000 or 30,000, do not get self-government?"'
Even Tel Aviv did not attain the status of a municipal corporation
until 1 934.
Tel Aviv's self-rule is not worth too much . A Council is:
elected, which selects a Mayor and Vice-Mayor from among its
own members, subject to the approval of the High Commissioner.
How much `democracy' this entails is demonstrated in
the elections of November 1936, when General Wauchope
calmly invalidated the election of Moshe Chelouche as Mayor
without offering any reason for his action, and appointed Dr.
Israel Rokeach, Mayor in his stead .
Tel Aviv is the only city in Palestine where women enjoy
the franchise . Here they may even hold important municipal
posts. On the extraordinary excuse that this was contrary to
public policy, the Administration suddenly placed this right,
which Jewish women have had for a decade, into question . By
regulation issued February 9, 1 933 the High Commissioner was
granted the power to decide whether or not a woman has the
right to active or passive participation in municipal elections, entitling
him at will to throw out of office such women as might
have been duly elected, as well as to deny them suffrage .
Though they are taxed to the hilt, Jewish colonies fail to receive
the grants-in-aid allowed to Arab towns for public services
; and the Government at the same time consistently refuses
them permission to make use of outside credit facilities,
even for self-paying projects. Thus the Council of Rehovoth
tried vainly for three years to get permission to raise a loan for
building a market. In the end Rehovoth built its market without
the loan by straining its resources to the bursting point . When
in 1933 the Tel Aviv Municipality negotiated a loan of C350,000
with the Prudential Assurance Company, the Government refused
permission for any sum over J 6o,ooo. (This loan, incidentally,
was to be devoted to the construction of schools, built
in other cities by the Government at its own cost.)
This despotic, minute control extends to trivia undreamed of
in any other State but Soviet Russia. When, after the outbreaks
of 1929, Tel Aviv sought to set up its own slaughter house because
Jewish butchers did not feel safe in Jaffa, the Government
not only ignored the petition but would not even allow the city
to "meet the requirements by supplies of meat from elsewhere ."
It was either Jaffa or no meat .9 Years later a slaughter house
was ultimately built, but the situation continued provocative .
In 1938 Tel Aviv was faced with an enormous increase in meat
prices, "owing," says Palestine and Middle East Economic
Magazine, "to the domination of the market by a group of cattle
importers who now run what is virtually a meat racket on a
large scale." 10 By manipulating supply and transport at both
ends, these importers had succeeded in wiping out all competition,
with the result that the price of cattle for slaughter imported
from the identical Balkan countries "is almost three
times higher in Tel Aviv than in Egypt." When the Tel Aviv
Authorities decided to take action against further increases in
the cost of meat, the Government withheld its consent for
Municipal regulation of meat prices . Moreover, it refused to
sanction the import of cattle through Tel Aviv Harbor, which
would have cheapened transport and insured independent supplies.
Calling things by their right names, the Jerusalem Palestine
Review states the fact that the real ruler of the city is the
District Commissioner, not the "fictitious Council and bogus
Mayor." Fully as courageous, the Jewish Vice-Mayor (now
Mayor ?) writes that "although a cursory reading of the Palestine
Corporation Ordinance may give the impression that the
Corporations established under that law have wide powers of
civic administration, such an impression is erroneous . . . Municipalities
have practically no authority in connection with
the welfare of their citizens . . . Authority of the Municipal
Councils is so limited that even if it is decided to appoint a
minor clerk at a salary of 436 per annum . . . the approval of
the District Commissioner or the High Commissioner is necessary.
A Council of twelve or fifteen elected representatives
may spend hours and days arriving at a decision which, when
submitted to the Commissioner, is responded to by a curt note
canceling it. Against that rejection no action can be taken .
. . . The Palestine Government has, in effect, turned our Municipal
Councils into debating clubs ."" These Councils are
not even empowered to regulate building and layout or direct
roads in traffic . Their budgets must receive official ratification
from the District Commissioner, which may not be forthcoming
for a year or more . "For example," writes Lord Peel, "the budget
of Jerusalem for the financial year 1935-36 was not approved
until August 1935 ; and . . . the majority of the municipal
budgets for 1936-37 were still not approved by January
1937." 12
It is interesting to discover that the Moslem Wak f Administration,
though largely supported from taxes and not subject to
the democratic control of the Arab community, has been al362
most completely free of Government supervision, presenting
its budget only for `information' ; while the Jewish National
Council, democratically elected and supported entirely by internal
contributions, must submit its budget for Government approval
It is shocking to learn that Palestine is one of the few places
in the world where the slave traffic is carried on openly . "We
talk about slavery in Abyssinia," states a sickened English writer,
"but how many people know, for example, that [in Palestine]
you can buy the most beautiful girl . . . for a couple of hundred
pounds . You can buy her when she is twelve years old,
and you can take her home, there and then, to live with your
other . . . wives . . . and all of this in 1936, in a land administered
by Great Britain under a Mandate from the League of
Nations !" 13 He gives the current price of women as £5 for an
`old' woman of twenty or a girl of fifteen who is non-virgin.
,00 to C50 gets you a first class concubine, while f200 Will
buy you the modern equivalent to the Queen of Sheba .
According to the recent Annual Report of the American Colony
Aid Association, among three hundred mothers treated at
the Infant Welfare Center, one was thus purchased for the purpose
of sexual abuse at the age of seven, one at eight, 7 at nine
years, i i at ten, 2 2 at eleven, 41 at twelve, 51 at thirteen, and
54 at fourteen . Of the mothers treated, 62 .5% were defenseless
children who had been sold into slavery . How casually this
brutal trade in human flesh is regarded can be understood from
the following item which appeared in the Palestine press of
December 27, 1930 : "Three fellaheen of a Gaza tribe, now
residing in the Beisan district, have sold their daughters at a
good price, and already handed them over to masters in Tulkarm,
Nablus and Haifa, according to a letter to El Carmel."
One of the most persistent complaints of this people whom
British propaganda regards as long-suffering patriots, is that the
Zionists have inadvertently chased the price of women out of
sight. Arabs who sold land to Jews had enough money to buy
six, seven - sometimes a dozen or more women . The price of
female slaves rose dramatically in accordance with the law of
supply and demand so that exorbitant prices must now be paid
for women, who are dragooned from even far-away Ethiopia . "I
assure you," a highly placed Arab told Farago, "even such episodes
add to the general hatred of Jews, and one must not judge the
Arabs too harshly if they take to arms in desperation ."
It is a striking commentary on the Mandatory's conception
of government that Jews lucky enough to be nationals of States
tolerably free of Jew-baiting will not risk Palestinian citizenship,
even though they have come to the National Home to stay .
As in the worst days of the old barbaric Turks, they take special
trips back to the old countries, registering their children there
so that they might enjoy protection against a Government they
have learned to distrust thoroughly . It is estimated that fully
one hundred and sixty thousand Jews permanently domiciled in
the Holy Land thus keep their old nationality.14

You may search the map through and you will not find a
single area administered by the English Colonial Office where a
constitutional position in favor o f the native population has been
allowed to develop. Is it not astonishing, then, that they should
exhibit such a compelling sentiment for the `rights' of natives in
precisely the area they are under pledge to relinquish ultimately
to the Jews ?
British Central and East Africa may be taken for convenient
comparison . The native races here are certainly as intelligent as
those of Palestine, and infinitely more tractable . They outnumber
the whites four hundred to one . Nevertheless, wherever
representative institutions have been granted to English
colonies and dependencies in these territories, the native peoples
have not been allowed to participate either as voters or as
members. The voting power and the right to be elected as
members is vested mostly, if not always, in the British European
immigrants. 15
Still more significant, there are large colonies of East Indians
and Arabs settled in these places . They came long be364
fore the British immigrants and they play a vital part in the
economic life of these communities . Notwithstanding, the constitutional
power is invariably placed in the hands of British settlers
It is worth tearing off the cover of this thing to get a look
at some of its detail . We find Tanganyika, also a mandated territory,
with a British population of 4000 submerged in some
5,02 2,000 natives. In addition there are 71 oo Arabs and 2 3,400
East Indians . Yet under the Constitution of 1926 a Legislative
Council is constituted consisting of twenty British Europeans
and three British Indians . Neither the native populations nor
the 7000 Arabs, who alone outnumber the British two to one,
are represented at all . In Kenya Colony, in which much the
same situation obtains, the best part of the agricultural land is
sequestered for white settlers only . Into this restricted area
neither the large native population nor the considerable proportion
of Indians and Arabs may penetrate .
Zanzibar is another fair sample of this weave . In addition to
its native population of 186,470, it has 33,400 Arabs, 14,0o0
British Indians, and only 300 Europeans. Yet of the fourteen
members of the Legislative Council, ten are British Europeans.
Arabs apparently do not count here either .
In South Africa, which as a Dominion (not under the direction
of the Colonial Office) invites no absolute comparison, Europeans
are but 1,890,300 out of a total population of 8,370,000.
Yet it is mandatory that members of both the Senate and House
of Assembly be British subjects of European descent. Colored
people (including Arabs and East Indians) are subjected to discriminatory
regulations of the most severe type . When the
Hindu leader Gandhi visited there several years ago, he was not
allowed to enter one of the great public buildings on this account.
A comparison from another angle is offered by British experience
in the Island of Cyprus . To spike the Greeks, who
hoped for enosis (reunion with Greece), a Legislative Assembly
similar to that proposed for Palestine, was formed . In it the
Turkish minority of twenty percent plus Government officials
formed an actual voting majority . The result was economic
stagnation and political chaos. Greek members refused to cooperate
with the Government or the Turk minority. Bills in
the Legislature were jettisoned . National hatreds reached an
explosive climax. The gulf of culture, hopes and physical differences
between the two races was so fundamental as to contravene
ordinary differences of opinion . As a result of this selfgenerated
combustion, the Island almost blew itself off the map
-and the British were glad enough finally to haul out from
under. In November 1931 they withdrew the Constitution as
"premature, excessive and unsuitable ." From that time forward,
Cypriots were not so much as allowed to discuss or hear a
political speech . 16 The game had been played out in favor of
the baldly stated conviction that if Britain is to stay there, she
must rule there.
The British, with this experience immediately behind them,
do not need to be told that the differences between Arab and Jew
- in ideals, dreams, mentality, culture, and objectives - are far
more exaggerated than anything they ever witnessed between
Turk and Greek in Cyprus. But Whitehall had not confounded
itself by turning evangelist . Its continually publicized efforts
to establish a parliament in Palestine had a far more practical
purpose. The Zionists had to be pried loose no matter what
was forfeit . Towards this end it was desirable to encourage the
Arabs to consider themselves the rightful rulers of the country,
and to foster the belief that a decisive action on their part would
sweep away the last tottering remnants of the Balfour Declaration
and the Jewish National Home project .

Page 365 Book





The British, who were later to talk imposingly of `Arab nationalism
in Palestine,' were of a quite different view in 1918 .
British Peace Handbook No. 6o declares briskly that "the people
west of the Jordan are not Arabs, but only Arab speaking .
. . . In the Gaza district they are mostly of Egyptian origin ;
elsewhere they are of the most mixed race ." As late as 1921
the Administration was still officially claiming that the word
`Arab' as applied to Palestinians was a misnomer .'
Actually there are no `Arabs' anywhere . There is not even
a fairly homogeneous mixed race. Throughout the Peninsula
the Arab has ceased to exist . Those who have taken his place
are a motley assortment of peoples, low in the scale of human
development, who speak the Arabic tongue . Even the courtly
Saladin was no Arab, but a Kurd . Hussein of the Hejaz, himself,
was mothered by a Circassian and had his official heirs by a
woman of Turkish blood ..2
The countless cities, tribes and nations incorporated at
sword's point into the swollen host of Allah, soon drowned the
Arab out by the very suffocation of their numbers . An even
more dreadful revenge was exacted by that cruel institution, the
Harem. How enormous this practice was can be seen in Sykes'
description of the empire of fabled Haroun-al-Raschid, with its
tremendous seraglios stocked with women from every conceivable
corner of the globe .3 He marvels at the unending supply
of female slaves, of every color and kind . Since purity of
blood in the community of Mohammed always gives way to
purity of line, where are the descendants of Qoraish 3a now ?
Even in the very core of desert Arabia, the race has been steadily
adulterated by an incoming flow of slave girls, most of them, in
recent centuries, from the Sudan and other places in Africa .
The offspring of these stolen creatures are not slaves but free
Moslems, since the moment a woman conceives she attains the
status of a legal wife .
Pilgrims from such faraway places as Java and Morocco,
streaming like columns of magnetized ants toward the holy
cities of the Hejaz, contributed liberally to this melange . The
Moslem habit of giving a slave girl to an overnight guest for
his comfort, the frequent looting of visiting caravans of the devout,
all sweetened the mixture . "If we make exception of the
Sherifian families - the descendants of the Prophet - and some
very few other people of undoubted Arab origin," writes the
great Turkish scholar, Dr. Riza-Tewfik, "all the population of
Mecca is alien to the Semitic race ." 4 The Syrian author, Rihani,
describing the population of the Arabian coast, is even
more emphatic .5
History gives it as a fact that the Arabs never settled Palestine,
merely taking control and providing the usual military and
administrative caste . They imposed their religion on the native
peoples but failed to exterminate them. Here, too, gradual racial
suicide was the price of uncontrolled lust . As far back as
the Latin Kingdom in Jerusalem, Edris comments on the vast
number of captive females required to satisfy the wants of these
amorous gentlemen . He reports slaves brought from all parts
of Africa and the East, with good-looking Nubian girls most in
demand. The Crusaders found a country peopled by a mixture
of all the races of the Orient, intermarried with Greeks .
On the founding of the Kingdom they had to recognize the
existence of five types of Moslems (each of different racial antecedents),
as well as Jews, Druses, Samaritans, and others.°
By i 120, when the Council of Nablus was held, the Latins themselves
were already reported half absorbed in this churning stew
of races.
Of even greater significance than the loose social habits of
the Moslems was the physical position of this little land, which
turned it into a bloody charnel house for unending centuries.
Spoliation, destruction, rapine, extermination, claimed the land
like an ever-recurring plague. The invasions which regularly
smashed against its stricken borders were countless . It had been
devastated by the Scythians from north of the Caucasus . The
Romans populated it with vast settlements of Greeks and other
races from everywhere . It was scoured soon after by the wars
of the Seleucids and Ptolemies . In 634 A.D . occurred the Arab
conquest. By 868 A.D . an Egyptian invader named Mehmet
Tulum had wrested the country from them in the usual blood
bath. Now for a period of centuries Turks, Egyptians, Crusaders,
alternated in control, periodically baptizing the shuddering
country in a bath of blood .
After the Twelfth Century, Palestine was invaded time and
again by wild hordes from Asia who plundered, slew and violated
without halt . In 1256 the Mongol, Hulagu Khan, sacked
the stricken area and put the entire population to the sword . A
scarce hundred years later, Timur the Lame, a sanguinary destroyer
who called himself `The Wrath of God,' made this
whole sector the scene of one of the cruelest massacres of his
blood-drenched career. Now for generations Palestine became
an outspread altar on which human sacrifices were offered continually.
In their savage unending struggles for mastery, Mongols,
Mamelukes and the fierce Charismean tribes of Middle
Asia butchered its people indiscriminately. Between 126o and
1400 A.D . not a single city, town or village remained intact .
When the next conquerors, the Ottoman Turks, came in, rapine
and slaughter had left an indelible mark in the character of
the survivors. "In few parts of the world," says Lieutenant-
Colonel Stafford, "were there more different types ." 7
It was always the foreign soldier who was the police power
in Palestine. The Tulunides brought in Turks and Negroes .
The Fatamids introduced Berbers, Slavs, Greeks, Kurds and
mercenaries of all kinds . The Mamelukes imported legions of
Georgians and Circassians . Each monarch for his personal
safety relied on great levies of slave warriors . Saladin, hardpressed
by the Crusaders, received one hundred and fifty thousand
Persians who were given lands in Galilee and the Sidon
district for their services.
Out of this human patch-work of Jews, Arabs, Armenians,
Kalmucks, Persians, Crusaders, Tartars, Indians, Ethiopians,
Egyptians, Sudanese, Turks, Mongols, Romans, Kharmazians,
Greeks, pilgrims, wanderers, ne'er-do-wells and adventurers, invaders,
slaves and backwash of all corners of creation, was
formed that hodge-podge of blood and mentality we call today
'Levantine .' As this wild medley of ungovernable, lawless men
were killed off from time to time by incessant wars, raids and
plagues, more from everywhere were constantly merged into
the common melting pot. In the Fourteenth Century, drought
caused the immigration into Palestine of eighteen thousand `tents'
of Yurate Tartars from the Euphrates. Soon followed twenty
thousand Ashiri under Gaza, and four thousand Mongols under
Moulai, who occupied the Jordan Valley and settled from Jerusalem
south . Kaisaite and Yemenite tribes followed in their trail .8
In 1830 the Albanian conqueror Mehemet Ali colonized Jaffa,
Nablus and Beisan with Egyptian soldiers and their Sudanese
allies. Fourteen years later Lynch estimated the thirteen thousand
inhabitants of Jaffa to be composed of eight thousand
Turco-Egyptians, four thousand Greeks and Armenians, and
one thousand Jews and Maronites . He did not consider that
there were any Arabs at all in that city .®
During the middle of the Nineteenth Century the entire territory
of the National Home, east and west of the Jordan, is
computed to have held no more than sixty thousand people all
told. Of this number, non-Moslems, living under the bitterest
persecution, were still heavily in the majority . The huge population
growth since that time has been due to large contingents
of new arrivals . The Turks introduced Circassians around Amman.
When North Africa passed under European authority,
the fanatic Moghrabiyeh Moslems moved out and settled in the
Holy Land . (It was they who were responsible for the Safed
butchery in 1929, and who supplied the continuous tension at
the Wailing Wall .) So too, were introduced into the permanent
population of this little land, Bosnians, Turkoman nomads, and
a stream of Levantines, mixed desert wanderers and Africans
which continues to the present day.
As for the Christian population, we are told by the learned
Dr. Christie that it is made up of fragments of all the Levant
races. The native Christians of Nazareth come from the Hauran
and from Merj-Ayun ; while the Christians of Safed are the
children of immigrants from Hasbeiya who came in the second
half of the last century .
In the Arabic language only the Bedouin is designated by the
word `Arab.' But here, too, unless the eyes cannot be trusted,
there is little evidence of common descent. The Ghawarineh
tribe of the Jordan Valley have strongly marked African features,
fuzzy hair, black skin and guttural voices . A short distance
away is the tribe of Ghazawiyeh, shrill-voiced, gaunt and
large-featured. Nearby are the blue-eyed blondes of Bethlehem.
Several tribes of alleged Jewish stock have even been described
in Transjordan.1o
Until English political maneuvering recast their viewpoint for
them, the townspeople were insulted if they were referred to as
Arabs. They wanted to be known for what they were, Syrian
Levantines. Count Sforza designates the inhabitants of this entire
region as a medley of peoples "with not the slightest bond
between them." 11 Mrs. Andrews remarks drily that "in Jerusalem
today there are two or three families that claim to be of
the fine Arab stock which entered the country in the Seventh
Century." 12 Dr. Christie doubts whether there is any Arab
blood in the peasantry or villages at all . 13
As long as these masses have lived side by side, they have been
at each other's throats. Tribe hated tribe, city man hated fellah,
the Bedouin despised both, sect cursed sect, and even family disdained
family as unworthy scions of an inferior race . That all
this ill-assorted, explosive mixture can be organized into one
autonomous nation may also be doubted for the future.
From steppe, mountain, jungle and desert, an agglomeration
of primitive, savage man had swarmed in successive waves over
Palestine, and left their seed there . These with a vast admixture
of slaves and a leavening of nobler blood represent the racial
antecedents of the people we call 'Levantine' today.
Many of these people are shrewd, clever and even charming .
The studied gentility of the upper-bracket Arab leaves little to
be desired . Dressed in his Abaye 14 and red tarbush 15 he is a
colorful figure . His bearing is languorous and courtly, in vivid
contrast to the direct speech and often uncouth manners of the
immigrant Jew. Beneath this thin stratum, the balance of the
Arab population is primitive in the extreme. For the most part
it can hardly be said that they have risen above the stage of barbarism.
They are, on the whole, of poor physical type and of
low mentality . It would be hard to pose a wider disparity of
culture, instinct and mind than lies between these people and
the returning Hebrew. It is on this cold reality that all the finespun
visions of the Zionist theoreticians run afoul .
English as well as American observers, where they are free
from the corrosion of Empire politics, give a none-too-flattering
estimate of this population . Laconically the American, Commander
Lynch, reported that they were "far inferior to the North
American Indian" 16 then being held on reservations by the
United States Government . Drawing a sharp difference between
them and his desert tribesmen, Lawrence refers to the
Palestinians as "an ape-like people, having much of the Japanese
quickness, but shallow." 17 The late Governor of Sinai Peninsula,
C. S. Jarvis, sweepingly disposes of the Arab as "undoubtedly
the most striking example of decadent and decayed gentry
in the world ." He finds that "the Arab works about i o days
out of the 365," and that "all forms of manual labor are abhorrent
to him ." Like Petrie and other English observers, Jarvis
calls the tribesman a bane to the country he inhabits, asserting
that this once prosperous area "will remain wilderness as long as
he encumbers the land." While "the Arab is sometimes called
the Son of the Desert," he continues, quoting from Palmer, "this
is a misnomer as in most cases he is the Father o f the Desert, having
created it himself, and the arid waste in which he lives and
on which practically nothing will grow is the direct result of
his appalling indolence, combined with his simian trait of destroying
everything he does not understand." 18
Almost a century ago Lieutenant Lynch wrote that "the ruling
passion of an Arab is greediness of gold, which he will clutch
from the unarmed stranger or filch from an unsuspecting
friend ." 19 In 1935 Jarvis remarks that "his love of money is
such that he loses all sense of proportion whenever currency is
discussed, whilst if actual coins and notes are displayed before
him he not only loses his sense of proportion but his self-control
as well." 20 St. John Ervine adds that "when I hear an Englishman
sentimentalizing about the noble Arab and remember the
dirty and greedy baksheesh hunters I saw wherever I went, I
feel rage rising within me ." 21
Any attempt to judge these people by European standards is
anomalous in itself . Their language, for example, contains loo
words for camel and 99 for woman, but none for murder. There
is not a single Arabic word by which one can distinguish between
the slaughter of a sheep and the premeditated killing of a
man. Under his Abaye the Arab wears a long, wicked-looking
stiletto which he will use with lightning quickness on the slightest
provocation . Brutality is common to Arabs of all classes .
Their "utter callousness . . . for the suffering of animals," comments
Reverend H . V. Morton, "is a terrible thing ." 22 "All
their horses, in the tourist season, have bleeding knees," adds the
Reverend Mr. . Jannaway.23
Among all strata of Arabs woman is regarded as a mere animal .
The Moslem does not believe that a woman has a soul . If two
men begin to make complimentary inquiries about their respective
families, the wives are mentioned last, the boys and cattle
being named before them . "A father who has several daughters,"
writes Pierotti, "regards them just as he would sheep or
cows, and sells them in the same way ." 24
Girls are often not even counted in the figures given census
takers . A woman who bears a female child may be beaten and
reviled as if it were her fault . If she bears a large number of
daughters, she is despised . Merrill mentions a typical unfortu"
nate, thus described by sympathetic neighbors : "Poor thing,
poor thing ! She's got no children-only girls ." A barren
woman is promptly divorced, and her life made a constant series
of humiliations . An amusing side-light on this attitude is contained
in the petition submitted to the Government in 1935, asking
a ban on the showing of motion pictures to women ; asserting
that such entertainment was "contrary to Moslem law" and
"had a demoralizing effect on women ." 26
The Arab's sanitary arrangements do not bear mention . They
are long past the stage where they could be described as vulgar
or offensive. He has an incurable habit of using the middle of
a busy street for a latrine, shocking visiting European ladies beyond
measure .
Contrary to what might be expected, the Arab is of generally
poor physique . The geographer, George Adam Smith, describing
a locality, speaks of the inhabitants as "a sickly and degenerate
race ." Tuberculosis and malaria are rampant . Syphilis
is a chronic affliction which few escape.26 The dread amoebic
dysentery, meningitis and cholera are common . The Arab's
medical arrangements are elementary . He continues to tend
wounds by the application of fresh cow dung ; and in the case
of eye disease, applies bandages soaked in camel's urine . An
Arab will come to a fountain and wash his hair, ears, face, mouth
and feet in it, before drinking . He is much amused over the
European's ideas of hygiene . St. John Ervine speaks the mind
of most visitors when he remarks that "the man who can cure
the Arab of his filthy habits will be his benefactor ." 27
The Arab believes religiously in occult powers, in Shaitan,
the evil one ; in afrits, malicious little devils ; in Djinnieh, wicked
female spirits who suck the life from men's bodies. They cure
illness by prayer at a sacred tree or shrine . Slips of paper with
verses of the Koran on them are soaked in water and the drink
is given to patients ; or they use the froth from the mouth of a
mania dervish who has fallen in a fit . They believe a wolf's jawbone,
worn around the neck, to be a potent charm .
The Arab is stubbornly opposed to modernity of any kind .
He has no conception of civic duty. Broadhurst found that
he could not even organize a voluntary fire brigade in Jaffa, and
that the city had to be served by the Jewish group in Tel Aviv .
There is no intellectual life . The only Arab writer of any consequence
is Aref-al-Arif, whose book on Bedouin life could not
even find an Arabic publisher and had to appear first in Hebrew
There is no denying the fact that the Arab is on the whole
likable - as are all primitives . When not aroused by cupidity
or anger, he can be openhanded to a fault . His very ineptness
is engaging. Even his knavery is tolerable and amusing . In a
typical instance given by Meltzer, an elderly woman in a law
court, obviously not less than sixty, claimed to be twenty-seven.
"But your son says he is twenty-three years old, so how can you
be only twenty-seven ?" asks the red-faced English judge, on the
verge of apoplexy. "My Lord," answers the hag, "upon my head
be it if I am lying . That is how it is. Everything is in the hands
of Allah. He alone knows the ages of women ."
Like the heroes of old, Arabs think it a stain on their reputations
if they do not gorge . To say how much a man can eat or
drink is their way of expressing how strong he is . They are
also inordinately fond of perfumes and unguents . Men who can
afford it will walk around smelling as if they had fallen in a vat
of attar of roses .
Few of them have family names . They are simply called after
the tribe to which the family belongs . There is no set style. A
child may be called by name, followed by his father's name, as
`Yakub Ibrahim' ; or the father might be called `Abu Yakub'
(father of Yakub), and the mother, 'Umm Yakub' (mother of
Yakub) . Sometimes they are merely known by the trades they
ply, as Hadad (blacksmith), Hajjar (stoneworker), etc.
Perched atop of the social scale is the Effendieh class, characterized
by Duff as "those masters of low intrigue ." They have
not altered since Turkish times when the engineer Pierotti dcscribed
them in an ironic simile as "a curse to the country - a
greater evil to Palestine than the plagues were to Egypt, because
those were temporary and these are permanent ." 28 They consider
work of any kind to be degrading ; poverty and loss of
3 75
face, unpardonable crimes . They used to extort money from
Christian travelers and convents, but this easy source of revenue
has been stopped since British occupation . Their usual method
of living is by usury . Blackmail is another accepted feature of
their system of existence . It is this class which provides the
politicians who have kept the country in so much turmoil .
The sex habits of this gentry are notorious . Their word is
valueless, even under oath. Most of them have immense families,
with many wives and concubines, purchased with money
derived from Jewish immigration . "A Moslem family of five
wives and thirty or forty children," says Mrs . Erskine, "is no
rarity ." 29
In the cities is a mongrelized horde of ruffians whose presence
makes it impossible for any European woman to walk alone on
the streets after dark . Their insolent eyes undress every woman
they see, with lingering deliberation . The `middle class,' as in
all undeveloped peoples, is neither numerous nor well-defined .
European opinions of this group are not complimentary . Duff
terms them "absolutely incapable of loyalty . . . If money or advantage
is to be gained by betraying partners, there are very few
of them that will not snatch at the opportunity ." 30
At the bottom of the social scale is the Bedouin, whose black
hair tents can be seen today exactly as in the time of the first
Pharaoh.3' He has seen Abraham and Solomon pass . Nebuchadnezzar,
Belshazzar, Alexander, the Ptolemies, a dozen civilizations
rising and falling, have flitted before his eyes . He
remains the same. If his horizon was altered at any point, it speedily
shifted back again as soon as the disturbing element was removed.
The Bedouin is the traditional enemy of the villagers who, not
without justice, regard him as an incorrigible robber and thief .
Bedouin life has always been one of naked struggle between the
stronger and the weaker, the dominant and the subservient tribes.
The former took possession of the best pastures and wells,
plundering the weaker on whom they imposed tribute . Today,
as in the past, the youth of the tribe is nurtured on war songs and
tribal epics of valiant deeds and victories . The principle of im376
placable vendetta is a standard part of their existence . The
Bedouin cuts down orchards, burns crops and kills cattle like
any other corsair. The Reverend Henry Field described them in
1884 as "a horrible set of cutthroats, useless in war, as they
were subject to no discipline, and only intent on pillage ." 32 In
our own time, Lowell Thomas reiterates that "the desire to loot
is an all-consuming passion with the Bedouins and is not considered
a form of stealing with them, but is listed among the cardinal
virtues ." 33
The Bedouin has no conception of the word `home' analogous
to ours. He roams a certain well-defined territory with his
herds, paying no attention to international boundaries . He eats
anything : boiled grasshoppers, roast rats, lizards, cats, or any
kind of bird he can snare.34 The life of songbirds in his vicinity
is precarious since he will eat any he can catch .
No fuss is made over the dead . When the body is done with
life, it is simply laid out of sight and promptly forgotten . "The
living do not lay to heart the death of friends ." 35
There is no sentimentality wasted on women, who do all the
slave's work around camp. The Bedouin has a belief in regard
to a certain aromatic shrub that if a man can tie a bow in a twig
with one hand, he will marry two wives . "This superstition,"
says Merrill, "comes the nearest to romance of anything that I
have seen in Arab or Bedouin life." 36
Bedouin women are graceful in youth but begin to walk with
a peculiarly waddling gait after they leave their teens . They
weight themselves down with pounds of barbaric jewelry . Their
faces are disfigured with tattooed patterns of stars, circles and
lines of blue spots. Their knowledge is limited almost entirely
to the trivial tasks of camp life . "They do not know what year
it is," writes Madeleine Miller, "what month, what hour ." 37
Almost alone among the peoples of the earth the Bedouin has
virtually no creative gifts . He destroys and never builds . His
browsing herds of sheep and goats gut the last blade of green
from wherever he camps. His utterly primitive mentality almost
baffles description. In the settled districts he is as likely
to ride straight through a cornfield as bother about skirting
around it.
The settled Arabs, known as the fellaheen, are considered by
the Bedouin to be of different (and inferior) race from himself.
The fellah lacks nearly all the undeniable charm of his
Bedouin countryman . He is incredibly backward and fanatic,
and usually of low intelligence . He wears a long plain cotton
dress resembling the old-fashioned nightshirt, which is never
washed and lasts him for years . He is generally undersized and
The villages of gray mud huts invariably nestle on the side of
a hill, with an evident eye to safety from surprise attack . The
dwellings themselves are rude structures made of mud or camel
dung thatched with straw, without windows or ventilation . In
one part of the shack lives the owner and his family, sleeping together
on straw mats. In the other part is housed the cattle,
together with the hired hand, if one is employed . The place
is heated by a rough oven which burns the usual fuel, dried cattle
In the house is not the slightest evidence of artistic or creative
impulse to remind the visitor that these people are lifted above
the stage of simple animal appetite . There are neither beds,
tables, chairs nor candlesticks . On the clay floor are usually a
plentiful supply of homemade rugs . The diners sit at mealtime
in squatting position around a common dish, reaching in with
unwashed fingers for the food . Women may not sit at this
rude table, but get the remains, together with the dogs, when
the men are through.
Around the houses filth accumulates like guano. Not a tree
is to be seen in the whole village, with the exception of an occasional
gnarled olive planted by some generation long forgotten.
The only vegetation is a clump of cactus here and there. The
children run around half naked. Before the Jews came, most
of them suffered from horrible eye disease: many were blind.
The haggard faces and monotonous dark blue rags of the women
make them actually repulsive. They work exactly like animals.
To this day they give birth to their children in the middle of the
road, returning to their village not only with the new-born child
on their back, but with other heavy loads besides.38
The male peasant himself is no lover of hard work. Dr. Morton,
with long opportunity to observe what the Arab calls `land
cultivation,' comments: "For the most part, the Arab watchword
is `do as little as you can, and let what must be done be
done by your wife !' " 39 And Jarvis remarks sarcastically that
if the poorly sowed crop is a failure, "the Arab is on the whole
pleased, as the awful necessity of garnering the corn is thereby
obviated." 40 He is invariably in debt to the effendi loan sharks
of neighboring cities. The fellah's farm implements consist
solely of a wooden plough of the most elementary design. He
may own an emaciated donkey or camel. If he has a cow, it
is as lean as the proverbial creature of Pharaoh's dream. Cattle
and chicken diseases are a widespread and permanent feature.
Only a few varieties of vegetables are planted except near the
Jewish villages.
Much of the land is held under the antiquated rusha'a system.
The village lands are owned by the community in common, but
cultivated individually. Every two years or so, each tiller moves
on to a fresh holding. Thus this curious rotation goes on indefinitely.
The result is that no one attempts to make any
permanent improvements. Not even stones are removed from
the fields. The fellah, like his Bedouin brother, quite respectfully
consigns the future to Allah whose business it is to take
care of it.

There has seldom existed such a tangle of murderous animosities
as those which divide the many creeds in this motherland
of religions .
The majority of the population is Moslem, divided into two
great camps, the Sunnites and Shi'ites . The Sunnites, most numerous,
are in turn split up into four principal sects, all of them
fanatics who hate each other hardly less than they do the de"
spised infidel.41 Around Acre is a large group of Bahaists, an
heretical offshoot of Shi'a. In Galilee are a considerable number
of war-like Druses, who believe in successive reincarnations
of the one God, including Jesus but not Mohammed .42
Islam in Palestine is a magnificent jungle of faiths and dogma .
In the north the inhabitants hold the Caliph El Hakem Biamrillah
as the Messiah and the incarnation of Ali . The numerous Shi'-
ites place Ali above Mohammed . There are considerable sects
which believe in the twelve Imams, one of whom is destined to
return, like Jesus, to relieve mankind of trouble and unbelief .
Different groups recognize various Imams as the deliverer : the
Caliph All, Mohammed al Bakr, Zeidi, Ismail and Suleiman .
They go so far as to acknowledge different religious holidays,
with varying degrees of importance attached to the days mutually
celebrated . Combined with this tangle of dogma is a
confusing medley of fetish and spirit worship dependent on locality.
Whatever Islam might have been in the past or might be elsewhere,
the Palestine Moslem has grooved it into line with his
own peculiar racial mentality . He considers the word `Jew'
obscene and generally uses it as `Al Yahud, Tikram' -using a
word of excuse for mentioning an object indecent to respectable
Moslems. At the Nebi Moussa festival each year, an hysterical
mob of true believers goes through the streets in procession, in a
delirium of wild, whirling dances, waving huge knives and clubs .
They are led by young townsmen of the low-effendi type who
distribute pamphlets and shout bawdy songs of their own composition.
Rising in low frenzied wail from this serpentine line
as it swings along is the continuous guttural chant : "El Billad
billadna, Wa el Yahud Kellabna" (This is our land and the Jews
are our dogs) . The Christian is despised with even more uncompromising
rigor. On this score Sir Ronald Storrs states
briefly that Moslems are "everywhere more tolerant of Jews
. . . than of Christians ." 48 The expulsion of all Christian missionaries
is one of the standard Moslem demands .
Christian Arabs are not only of markedly different racial mixture,
but their whole role in the country's social-economic struc38o
tore is strikingly like that of the Jews in the Diaspora . They are
mainly engaged in service occupations . Approximately 12%
of the population, they are 37.7% of those engaged in manufacturing,
transport and commerce . Only 1 5 % of the Christians
of working age are in agriculture as compared to the Moslems'
66%. And like the Diaspora Jews they are huddled together
in certain towns and villages, forming what is f or all practical
purposes a Christian ghetto .44
Christians number today in the neighborhood of one hundred
thousand. There are no exact denominational figures available .
The official figures for 1920 named thirty-five thousand Greek
Orthodox communicants, twenty-five thousand Catholics (split
into two distinct groups centering around the Italian and French
clerics respectively) and an assortment of others, including Maronite,
Coptic, Anglican, Armenian, Gregorian, Jacobite, Abyssinian,
as well as varieties of Uniate Churches and a sprinkling of
Protestants . All of these share in the principal shrines . All
hate each other with an explosive bigotry hardly understandable
to anyone who has not breathed this morbid atmosphere .
Among their squabbles is the question of the actual site of the
Annunciation. At Nazareth the Catholics have a chapel to mark
their claim, the Greeks another, the Rumanians a third . "For
all one knows," remarks Beverley Nichols, "there may be a
dozen similar chapels." 45 Vicious struggles go on for every
foot of the Holy Places . The contest between the Franciscans
and the Orthodox priests as to who is to be permitted to clean
the north window of the Basilica in Bethlehem, usually ends in
an open row. When on December z8, 1936 the Basilica was
again cleaned, both the District Commissioner and the Police
Chief had to be present . In the Holy Sepulchre, the presence
of military guards is always required on high holidays to keep
the Armenians, Latins and Orthodox priests from bashing in
each other's heads . In the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem,
the priests of the different sects have been known to brain
each other with the brass candlesticks at Christmas.
Their brawls never cease . If not over `Holy Places' and
liturgical rights, they are accused of stealing each other's con"
verts. Their statements are always bald and uncompromising .
An example is the accusation hurled by the Latin Patriarch in
Jerusalem against the Protestants, claiming that they had "despoiled
many important Catholic sites in Jerusalem ." 46
The classic quarrel is between the Greek and Roman Catholics,
with the British invariably taking a covert stand in favor
of the Greeks. An outstanding instance occurred during 1921
when the collapse of Russia left the Greek Patriarchate practically
bankrupt. This was the hour the Latin Church had
waited centuries for. Promptly it entered into an agreement to
purchase the rights and properties of its Orthodox rival, including
the envied Church of the Sepulchre . The Authorities, getting
wind of what was occurring, stepped into the breach and
forbade the sale . They did not care to allow the Catholic
Church to gain the paramount importance which possession of
these sites would give . The collapsing Orthodox clericals were
bolstered up by a subvention from the public funds and a British
puppet, His Beatitude the Greek Patriarch Damianos, was installed
on the bankrupt patriarchal throne over the violent opposition
of the majority of his own synod .47
Beneath the surface, the Latin Church has been in almost a
continuous state of war with the Authorities since the Administration
began. The English suspect that the Vatican is working
hand-in-glove with the Italian Foreign Office . The Vatican in
turn is aroused because the Holy Places Commission has not yet
been constituted, though the League had instructed Britain to
do so from the beginning.
There is not the slightest concord in the religious life of this
land. The Latin Patriarch, for example, considers the local
Y.M.C.A. not only a Protestant missionary institution but an
English propaganda center to boot, and has threatened with excommunication
every Catholic who dares enter its portals .48
On the other side of the fence is the symbolic case of a Moslem
sentenced to one month in jail (on June 23, 1931) for having
been converted to Protestantism.
No matter how virulently these factions may detest each
other, they all join in the opinion that to injure a Jew is a work
well pleasing in the sight of God . The Greeks, particularly, are
fond of raising the old blood-libel charge, exactly as they used
to in Russia . This type of Jew-baiting the Administration seems
to regard with surreptitious enjoyment . A speaking instance
occurred in March 1921, when the Greek Orthodox daily Falastin
headlined an atrocious story accusing the Jews of kidnaping
Arab children in order to drink their blood during the Passover
rites. Jewish agencies angrily remonstrated to the Government .
The result was a typical piece of horseplay, with an official
named Mark Young ordering the Jaffa authorities "to investigate
the report immediately to ascertain what truth there is
in it."
With the cooperation of Government House, native Christians
have placed themselves in the forefront of Arab nationalist agitation.
49 The intellectual activity and propaganda work is almost
exclusively in their hands . It flatters their vanity, says
Duff, "to believe that they are on equal terms with the young
Moslem gentlemen of Jerusalem and Jaffa to whom through all
the centuries, their people have had to look up with awe and respect."
50 There is no doubt in the minds of unbiased observers,
however, that any idea of a lasting alliance between Cross and
Crescent in Palestine is a chimera . Christians have undergone
an oppression here not one whit less horrible than that meted
out by their co-religionists to the Jews in Europe . Periodic
massacres have occurred consistently since the time when the
Moslem Chief, Ashraf Khalil, celebrated his conquest of Acre
with a great display of Christian skulls on the spears of his bodyguards
As long as the Crescent ruled, the Christians were to be pointedly
reminded by blackmail, bloody repression, rape and murder
that they were inferior sons of dogs whom the Prophet for
some reason of dark mercy allowed to carry on . After subjecting
Jews and Christians to every barbarity a distorted imagination
could invent, the notorious el Djezzar actually issued orders
in I8oI to massacre every Christian in Palestine . Only the
threat of the great British Admiral, Sir Sidney Smith, to blow
Acre out of the ocean if a single Christian head fell, saved them
from extermination. Living men still remember the terrible
events of i 86o when in a widespread murderous attack reminiscent
of the riots of 1936, sixteen thousand Christians were slaughtered
and countless others left destitute . Throughout Palestine
and southern Syria whole villages embraced Islam as the only
alternative to certain death . Again only the hurried intervention
of the Great Powers prevented a general massacre .
In each of the pogroms which have occurred under British
Administration the old enmities have come to the surface . Soon
Christians, too, heard an angry familiar scream which made them
shiver in their skins . They and their forefathers knew its meaning.
It was the call to war against the detested infidel, the old
battle-cry of Islam : "Mohammed and his sword!" The Christians
knew it meant them and no one else . Christians were
freely attacked, and kept to their houses for safety .
The publicity officer of the Palestine Administration has
always been at eternal pains to broadcast the slightest squabbles
between Arab and Jew "apparently to indicate the terrific difficulties
in judicial handling the Mandatory labors under ." 51 But
news of the constant brawls and killings between followers of
Cross and Crescent is always carefully suppressed . Actually the
hatred which separates Moslem and Christian is far more fundamental
than that held by either party for the Jew . This enmity
does not need to be fostered, since it is traditional .
Despite rigid censorship, news events break through, such as
the mob attack on the Protestant Missionary Council Conference
held in April 1928, when a pitched battle was fought between
rioters and police . Moslem attacks flared up viciously in September
1930 . Christian notables were assassinated. In mixed
quarters, Moslem well-owners refused to sell water to Christians.
The paper El Yarmonk, bespeaking the general feeling, advised
Arab Catholics coldly : "Christians are not entitled to speak for
the Arab nation ." 52 Feeling was at a dangerous tension . With
an iron hand, in significant contrast to its handling of Jewish-
Arab disturbances, the Government swiftly intervened . Troops
patrolled the danger zones, prepared to make short work of the
slightest disturbance . Special regulations were issued and rigidly
enforced against assemblies of any kind .
During the recent rebellion, too, Arab bravos swollen with
their own truculence could but with difficulty be restrained
from including their ancient enemies, the Christians, in one
grand all-embracing terror. Pious Moslems, with an eye for
business, called for a boycott of Christian shops . A violently
worded ukase was issued forbidding `loyal Arabs' from even
using busses run by Christians. The Christian chairman of the
Arab Labor Association was butchered in cold blood . Followers
of the Cross and Crescent fought it out in bloody scrimmage
on the streets. Once more the Administration stamped its foot
down with surgical efficiency, and put a summary end to this
phase of the disorders. Even the slightest hint of what had
taken place was deleted from news dispatches sent abroad .
Hope-Simpson's thesis that Zionist development has impoverished
the Arab, remains the text from which the ruling coterie
of Whitehall continues to draw its inspiration . Utter despondency,
we are told, has made the Arabs desperate . The semiofficial
British press characterizes them as "a people in despair ."
The root of all the troubles, past and present, Great Britain and
the East assures us solemnly, "is inherent in the Mandatory policy
of making Palestine a National Home for the Jews, with the inevitable
consequence o f reprisals on the part o f the Arabs when
their security and livelihood are threatened ." 53
Has the Arab really been reduced to penury by Zionist immigration
? Has he been actually driven to "despair," as the
Colonials so zealously insist ? The best answer to these interesting
questions lay in the English records themselves .
The returning Zionists found a country sunk in the most
wretched poverty. Malaria, trachoma, dysentery and tuberculosis
stalked everywhere like great shadowy werewolves . Trans"
Jordan was almost deserted by human life . "In Western Palestine,"
writes De Haas, quoting from a U . S. consular report,
"they [the Bedouins] had driven the population to the hills and
its plains were wholly neglected ." 54 The majority of Jerusalem's
nineteen thousand inhabitants were "mendicants and beggars.'"-'
In 1881, states another official American report, there
was "not even a good wagon road" in the entire country .56
Some years earlier Churton had written : "In the whole of Palestine
there is not a single cart or vehicle on wheels ." 67
The population lived in a state of squalid degradation not surpassed
by the most miserable savages in creation . There was
no professional class . Only 1 % % lived from the rude handicrafts
and small industries that existed. The demoralized inhabitants
would not even trouble to cut wood for fuel "but
found it easier to set fire to the trees on a mountainside to obtain
the charcoal they needed ." S8 The peasant scratched a miserable
living from land which he leased from gouging landlords .
Other human vultures burned his fields and robbed him of even
the pittance he managed to eke from the unfriendly soil . Laborers
employed in the few orange groves belonging to the
effendis received one bishlik (5¢) per day, working from sunup
to sundown under supervisors armed with whips .
At the turn of the century there were 40,000 Jews in Palestine
and about 140,000 others of all complexions ." The inhabitants
had no other feeling for this pauperized, disease-ridden
country than a fervent desire to get away from it . Emigration
proceeded steadily. Immigration was virtually non-existent .
Not until the Zionists had arrived in numbers did the Arab population
begin to augment itself . The introduction of European
standards of wage and life acted like a magnet on the entire Near
East. Abruptly Palestine became an Arab center of attraction.
By 1922, after a quarter century of Jewish colonization,
their numbers mushroomed to 488,000. Today they are over
a million .
If the English contention were accurate, we should expect to
find an exodus of Arabs from areas where Jews are settled, into
purely Arab regions . But exactly the opposite is true : it is
precisely in the vicinity of these Jewish villages that Arab development
is most marked . Arab Haifa, profiting by the Zionist
boom, grew from 1922 to 1936 by 130%, Jaffa by 8o% and
Jerusalem by 55% . The Arab rural settlement in the Tel Aviv
district increased by over 135%. The all-Arab city of Nablus,
which held 33,000 before the War, has fallen to less than 12,000.
Safed which had zo,ooo, dropped to less than 9000.
In the vicinity of Jewish villages Arab workers earn twice the
wage paid in other parts of Palestine . Unskilled labor receives
three to five shillings a day, and skilled workers eight to twelve
shillings . In neighboring Egypt, Iraq and Syria a worker considers
himself well off if he gets one shilling a day .
Palestine is the only country in the entire Middle and Near
Eastern section where there has been any substantial increase
either in nominal or real wages since the War . The official
index of wages shows a rise from zoo in 1913, to 390 in 1932 .
No Government figures have been published since that date, but
the report of the Department of Overseas Trade in 1935 states
that wages have progressively increased since 1933. The simultaneous
fall in the official index number of retail prices, from loo
in 1922, to 55.1 in 1934, indicates the enormous increase in real
wages in post-war Palestine.
According to the Royal Commission's Report of 1937, forty
percent of all labor employed on Jewish-owned plantations is
Arab. Against this, Arab establishments employ practically no
Jews whatever .
Jews spend annually about £ 1,500,000 for agricultural produce
of the Arab fellaheen, and about £750,000 on the products
of Arab quarries and industries ." It is estimated that they pay
Arabs in direct wages, £ 86o,ooo ; in rentals, £ 5oo,ooo, and in
trade and transport, £200,000 . 61 Payments for land are about
£ 1,650,000 . To these annual figures must be added the tax
moneys derived from Jews and expended for Arab benefit (computed
at (1,250,000) . Balanced against these sums, the Arab
payments to Jews for all causes during a single year, come to
around 10,200,000 . It does not require expert bookkeeping to
determine who is getting the better of this bargain.
Modernization, copied directly from the Jew, has benefited the
Arab greatly. Machine production is being introduced into the
manufacture of oils and soaps, silk and cotton textiles, and tobacco
working. In 1928 the industrial census registered ten
thousand persons employed in Arab industries and handicrafts,
representing an investment of £ 1,100,000 . Four years later the
census showed twenty thousand persons engaged in the same
industries, with capital expanding to C2,500,000.
In the short period from 1931 to 1935 Arab land under vegetables
rose from 20,000 dunams to 65,000 and Arab citrus groves
increased from zo,ooo dunams to 135,000. In a span of hardly
eight years, Arab orchards devoted to bananas, figs, apricots,
olives and grapes rocketed from 18o,o6o dunams to 1,651,466
In 1927 Arab urban building represented an average annual
investment of £2oo,ooo. By 1935 it had inflated itself to
£ 1,500,000 ; and Arab bank deposits had grown from £ 1,ooo ;
000 to £4,000,000 .
Once the poorest, sorriest population in this whole section of
poverty-stricken masses, the Arabs of Palestine are now on their
way to be the richest per capita of their race . As an index to
their prosperity, they import £4.5s . per head, as compared with
£3 .7s . for wealthy Egypt and £3 .5s- for oil-rich Iraq . Motor
cars, unknown here before the War, now number one to every
352 inhabitants, as compared with one to every 730 in Iraq.62
The network of Jewish medical centers, hospitals and dispensaries
has served the Arab equally with the Jew . It is these
Jewish services alone which carry on the bitter fight against trachoma,
malaria and other devastating diseases . These benefits
are amply reflected in the great natural increase in a population
disease had once brought to a standstill . "One of the most important
consequences of the rise of the cultural and economic
level of the country due to Jewish immigration," a British representative
told the Mandates Commission, "is the high increase
in the Arab birth rate ." 63 The death rate at the same time goes
down steadily year by year.
Some mention must also be made of the assertion that Jews
are dispossessing Arabs from the land. As far as one is able to
make out, the area of the entire mandated territory is 26,ooo,ooo
dunams west of Jordan, and something over ioo,ooo,ooo east
of Jordan. Of this total, Jews own 1,300,000 dunams - a grand
over-all acquisition of approximately one percent of their National
Home - by which, according to the tenaciously held British
thesis, they have managed to frighten and abuse the natives,
and present the Mandatory with a major crisis in the shape of a
landless Arab problem.
Fully seventy-five percent of the area in Jewish hands, moreover,
had not known the plough for centuries . The northern
colonies in Galilee were built on land rendered impossible for
life since Roman times because of marsh and endemic disease.
Tel Aviv was erected on sand dunes which were considered to
be without monetary value . That great granary, the Valley of
Jezreel, now nestling so trim and green in the shining Palestine
sun, was so deserted and pestilential when Jews bought it that it
was said that any bird attempting to cross it would fall dead in
its flight . That adjacent scene of Jewish colonization, the Plain
of Esdraelon, was in i 9 i 9 desolate and abandoned except for a
few sickly villages built on camel dung .
In the case of those peasants who sold to Jews, with the exception
of a bare five percent who bettered themselves in urban pursuits,
all remained on the land . Most of them sold only a part
of their acres and with the money obtained got out o f debt for
the first time in their lives. Within the past six years the indebtedness
of the Arab cultivator has been reduced by sixty percent,
and the tax burden by as much as seventy percent, while
at the same time his income has sharply increased. The years
have proven the landless Arab hypothesis to be nothing more
than simple humbug . The most solicitous prodding by the
Government over a period of the last ten years has not been able
to bring forth more than 664 Arab families who could come even
vaguely under the definition of displaced cultivators . Of these,
317 families refused the Government's offers, presumably because
they had more satisfactory employment elsewhere .
A very real and harsh condition, which the British carefully
slur over, is the fact that a handful of large land-owners hold
as much acreage as all the Arab peasantry put together . The
Husseini family holds fifty thousand dunams ; the Abdul Hadi
family, sixty thousand ; the Tajji family, fifty thousand, etc .
The bulk of this ground lies permanently fallow, happily untaxed.
The rest is rented out to tenants under conditions which
would make the lot of the average American sharecropper look
heavenly. The Hope-Simpson Report estimates a year's income
of a tenant farmer at only eighteen dollars - this for an
entire family !
The prevailing system is one of actual peonage . The fellah
is continually in debt to the effendi-usurer . According to the
Johnson-Crosbie Report "a rate of thirty percent per annum is
perhaps the commonest, but fifty percent for three months is not
unusual." Arab improvidence and extortionate interest charges
have had their result in the taking over of many small tracts for
debt. The French Report states that as a consequence, in one
Sub-District in the hills "no less than thirty percent of the land
has passed from Arab peasants to Arab capitalists" in a single
decade . This is the type of creature existence to which British
policy would freeze the Arab forever !
Though British `investigators' have proven `conclusively' that
Zionism is an unrelieved menace to the `helpless' natives, it appears
that surrounding countries would like very much to be
exposed to a similar risk . In his book, Europe and Europeans,
Count Carlo Sforza states that Syrians of all classes, who have
been watching Palestine's development with envious eyes, are
anxious to have something of the same phenomena duplicated in
their country. This desire is written in the clamorous petition
sent the French in 1935 by the inhabitants of Lebanon, begging
them to encourage Jewish immigration as that would bring prosperity.
Said the important Damascus paper Lissan Alakhar in
a fiery editorial on this subject : "We ought to demand Jewish
immigration, for through it our situation will be saved ." 64
In Palestine itself, if official encouragement to hoodlums and
agitators were removed, the whole condition would alter overnight.
The Levantine mind is sensible enough to know which
side its bread is buttered on, and to pay that side a proper regard.
In 1926 Major E. W. Poison stated unequivocably that
despite mischievous propaganda, "if the Jews were to leave Palestine
tomorrow, the Arabs would be the first to cry out ." 85
"We are led by a group of men who bargain us away, buying
and selling us like cattle," asserts the newspaper Al Igdam in
May 1930. "The Arab people have not yet said their last word
on the Arab-Jewish question . When this word has been said,
it will not be one of hatred and war, but one of peace and
brotherhood, as is suitable for two people who live in one country."
Says a round robin issued during March 1934 by the
leading Moslems and Christians of Nazareth : "On behalf of the
majority of the property-owners and consumers, we declare that
we would welcome Jewish immigration and trust that the enlightened
Jews with their financial and commercial associations
will hasten, to respond to our appeal . We have had enough of
losses ; we want a system of reciprocity and understanding.
We are tired of the obstinacy of the money-lenders and shopkeepers
who pursue a policy of boycott and preach hatred ." In
the very hotbed of unrest, on May 2.1, 1936, the merchants and
shopkeepers issued a manifesto urging fellow-Arabs to repudiate
the self-seeking agitators who were leading the `Arab cause' -
a courageous enough act, since some of the signers were soon
after murdered .
The claim that Jewish colonization has ruined the Arab and
driven him to the desperate acts of despair, is obviously a fabrication.
Hidden beneath this pretext lie the deeper issues of
classic anti-Semitism, British self-interest and Arab family feud .
Little in the way of political reasoning can be expected from
the inert Levantine mass which has been elected to rake Whitehall's
chestnuts from the fire . These people have never been
able to reason along other than religious and economic lines .
Colonel Wedgwood tells us that they think more "of the next
meal than of greater Arabia ." Duff found that they had not the
slightest conception of sacrifice for the common good. They
invariably bow with respect to the authority of the powerful
and rich. They are forever intriguing against each other . "The
Arab who has a Government position," writes Senator Austin,
"is always exposed to the attempts of other Arabs to put him
out and get his place ." 66
Combined with these traits is an inordinate love for the excitement
of feudal contention . Given an opportunity for guntoting,
almost any banner would suit the average tribesman .
Their whole economy centers around the patronage, power
and influence of half a dozen wealthy families . These invariably
lay claim to hereditary rights of overlordship based on aristocratic
lineage. There are, in the main, two great camps . One is
headed by the Husseinis, who allege themselves to be sprung from
Mohammed himself. The other is led by their traditional enemies,
the Nashishibis, whose boasts of noble descent are no less
lofty . Beyond a natural quest for power, no one actually knows
on what tangible grounds this rancorous rivalry is based, least
of all, probably, the Husseinis and Nashishibis themselves .
Of the six Arab parties in Palestine, five are family or patronage
organizations. Only one, Istakial, could be considered a
political party in the European sense . Istaklal is a minor but
loud-voiced group which represents the young-bloods of the
country. It is the party of the pan-Arabs and dopes itself on
dreams of a revived Arabic empire stretching over all of North
Africa as well as the Arabian Peninsula . It regards the Jew as
an hereditary enemy who is to be rigorously annihilated . The
violent tone of this group, and its fantastic utterances, conforms
to the best traditions of Nazism, overlayed with a thick buttering
of oriental mysticism . Its members no longer wear the
Tarbush, sacred to Mohammedans, but a smart brown military
hat. Istaklal believes in direct action and is known for its thugs
and assassins . Other Arab leaders are so desperately afraid of
this organization that they rarely oppose it publicly for fear of
The British have tolerated Istaklal as a hedge against futures ;
but its usefulness to them now seems about at an end . It is
headed by an ambitious radical named Awny Bey Abdul Hadi,
a man with broken teeth, a cynical laugh and, strange in Levantines,
a sense of humor . He comes from a large and quarrelsome
family who are always in litigation with each other which
sometimes ends in murder . One member of the family is a
judge of the Supreme Court. Another graces the Secretariat.
The titular head of the Husseini clan is Haj Amin, whom Samuel
had appointed Mufti . For years he was the `fair-haired boy'
of the Administration . He was a frequent and favored visitor
at the High Commissioner's table. He had his own brand of
shock troops, openly tolerated by the Government . Apparently
his position was impregnable .
If the Mufti had been created by some fiction writer instead
of having been authored by the Mandatory for Palestine, he
would have been considered too exaggerated a character to be
included in a serious work . He occupied the unique and unparalleled
position of being at war with the same government
which was subsidizing him . In every one of the riots which
shook Palestine the Mufti was an acknowledged leader . He
openly directed the rebellion of 1936 and at the same time continued
to act as a high official of the Government . He is violently
and incurably anti-Jewish . He has a fixed delusion that
the Jews are conspiring to tear down the Mosque of Omar and
build a Jewish Temple on its site . In June 1936 he sent a cablegram
to the Syrians in Brazil beginning with the theatrical words
"Jews and Arabs at war !"
It cannot be emphasized too clearly that the Mohammedan
Church in Palestine is not a private organization as are churches
elsewhere, but an official body with prescribed secular functions.
As its head the black-robed Mufti was a Government
employee . Under his control was the rich Moslem Wak f, which
possesses an income of some C 1 oo,ooo a year, and literally untold
wealth in ancient treasure . The Wakf is the largest landowner
in the country, holding over a million dunams, including
office buildings, apartment houses, shops, factories and warehouses.
It is paid by the Government a fixed sum in lieu of
tithe, and thus receives seventy percent of the total Government
revenue from rural property in Palestine . The Mufti in addition
had autocratic authority over the Moslem Courts, also
Government-subsidized, and could appoint or dismiss judges
and employees at will .
Haj Amin was thoroughly resented by his fellow-Moslems
who accused him of every crime on the calendar . He never
kept accounts and the disposal of all funds was his personal secret.
His power came completely from Government patronage.
An insight into this relationship of Mufti to Government was
provided by the Tiberias Arab leader, Mohammed Tawil, who
declared from exile in 1930 that "the Palestine Government is
protecting the Grand Mufti, supporting his anti-Jewish policy
and going so far as to suppress those who favor peace ." He asserted
that those opposed to this agitation lived under a veritable
reign of terror and were afraid to open their mouths .67
The crowning insult in the Government's favoritism to the
Husseinis was reached in 1934 when Ragheb Bey Nashishibi,
Mayor of Jerusalem for 14 years, was ousted and Dr . Husseini
Khaldi appointed in his stead . The Nashishibis, cut to the quick,
went wild. They even urged that a Jew be appointed mayor .
It looked like their star had set, when the Mufti made the
crowning mistake of his career : he refused to denounce Mussolini
during the Ethiopian invasion, making it plain that he took
British utterances seriously and considered himself no puppet .
The British believed, and with reason, that Haj Amin was convinced
that ultimate victory in the Near East would be with the
Italians, and that he had quietly switched allegiance . It was
evident that he considered himself so powerful a figure that the
Government would not dare remove him . From that day onward,
Jerusalem maneuvered to create a situation which would
bring about the Mufti's fall .
Now began a game of high politics and involved intrigue
almost impossible to describe . The Administration had planned
Haj Amin's ruin by the Legislative Council project with Ragheb
Bey slated as its president. Thoroughly alarmed, the Mufti
fought this proposal tooth and nail, joined enthusiastically by the
Jews. This land makes strange bedfellows . The Nashishibis,
taking their cue, began to send spellbinders to the villages who
soon had the countryside in an uproar. The strategy was to
undermine the Mufti by depicting him as an enemy of Arab national
aspirations. This seemed easy since the secular form of
state was anathema to Haj Amin, who was dreaming of a new
edition of the old Moslem Caliphate with himself as the boss .
The agitation became more and more violent . Government
House watched it with circumspect eye. Here was a chance to
kill two birds with one stone : to unload the Mufti, now grown
dangerous, and to smash the unwanted Jewish National Home
once and for all.
But Haj Amin was no fool . A Husseini suddenly bobbed up
as one of the most violent of the extremists . He declared for
his party in a press interview that "between the Arabs and Jews
a life-and-death struggle is raging, which will not cease before
one of the parties has been completely crushed ." Against his
will the Mufti found himself forced, temporarily at least, into
the nationalist camp .
Quite different from the squat, ape-like figure of his archopponent,
Ragheb Bey Nashishibi is a tall personable Arab with
white hair and almost fair skin. His manner is smooth and he
has a certain easy Levantine charm . Though he now heads an
Arab independence party which bases its demands on alleged
promises made by Britain for Arab help during the War, Nashishibi
himself had fought on the opposite side as an officer in the
Turkish Army. He is said to have three legal wives, one Moslem,
one Jewish and one Christian, choosing them deliberately
from each faith so as to enhance his chances to get into Heaven
when he dies, by whichever gate is open. He plays the game
of practical politics in much the same pragmatic manner and
can shift his ground on any issue with the most bewildering ease.
The program of the Nashishibi party now coincides exactly
with British aspirations in the Near East. Today they are plumping
for a reunited Arab Transjordan and Palestine, under the
current British favorite, Abdullah of Transjordan. The Mufti
clique rejects Abdullah and hopes for a renaissance of fanatic
Mohammedan times in a great loose Moslem Federation, with
the Church as the ruling power. In every country where influence
counts, these rival groups lobby, not only against the
Jews, but with still greater violence, against each other.
The part Whitehall has had in all this can be easily guessed from
the constant open advice given by British officials, urging these
warring parties to "get together" in their fight against the Jews.
Colonial Office organ Great Britain and the East was full of these
admonitions; nor could even the High Commissioner refrain in
his Annual Report from expressing his "regrets" over this inability
of Arabs to create a truly `united front.' 08
Under the patronage of the Government, Arab leaders representing
all the various groups have long been joined in a superbody
called the Arab Executive,* most members of which are
directly on the Government payroll. A sample of this body's
policies is contained in a proclamation issued February 21, 1931,
which calls on the entire Moslem world to massacre Jews wherever
they may be found.

The Arab politicians and the anti-Semitic officials of London
and Jerusalem who spur them on, always paint the Arab as an
under-privileged creature who is unable to get a hearing in Britain
because the Jews control the press there and by inference
hold the mass of M . P.'s efficiently under their thumbs. This,
of course, is nothing but an extension of that lively humbug, the
Elders of Zion story . Says Wedgwood, drily disposing of this
contention : "These officials claim that the Arab case is not put
before Parliament . The Arab case cannot be put in a British
House simply because their case is anti-British ." 69
The pro-Arab case in its entirety is a post-war product . During
the War "there were no pro-Arab sympathies [in Palestine]
as [there] were in parts of Arabia . . . and the question of a
Palestinian nationality had never entered their heads ." 70 The
great Near East negotiator Sir Mark Sykes dismissed them with
the deprecatory remark that they had "long had the knack of
0 The Arab High Committee, has, since 1936, superseded the Arab Executive.
falling in with the plans of a successful conqueror ." The British
Peace Handbook No. 6o observes crisply : "With the Arab
movement centered at Damascus, Zionism in Palestine would be a
help rather than a hindrance to it ; for that movement would
only suffer from the attempt to absorb a district ethnologically
and otherwise so different from countries in which the Arab element
stands alone or is distinctly predominant ."
Despite these facts and the solemn agreements signed by the
House of Hussein with the Zionists, the pan-Arabs, backed by
their powerful sympathizers, continue to harp on the `promises'
made to Hussein by McMahon .* Time after time, Mc-
Mahon himself denied this claim with considerable show of irritation,
71 but it makes no difference. The British-Arab clique
held on to this bone with all their teeth . Discredited or not, we
find even Lord Peel repeating it as a fact in his official report
in 1 937 .
Looked at over a period of years the Arab story strikes an
amusingly self-contradictory note . In 1925 it rests its case entirely
on the alleged failure of Zionist colonization. The Arab
Executive speaks in sepulchral tones of "the economic retrogression"
of the country . It groans dolorously that "the figures are
growing darker every day" and that "Palestine's general wealth
has been reduced by 4 16,604,594 during the last four years
alone ." 72 In March 1927, after a year's slump had slowed up
Jewish immigration till it was only a dribble, the Arab Executive
asserts triumphantly that "the decrease in Jewish immigration confirms
our contention that the Government's policy in Palestine
was wrong."
When this line of argument became silly on the face of it, the
Arabs suddenly swung over to the discovery that Palestine, virtually
ignored in Moslem religious tradition, was "a Holy Land
for Moslems also ." 73 It was on this concept that the horrible
events of 1929 pivoted .
It is at least a curious accident that all these inconsistencies of
Arab viewpoint correspond exactly with whatever happens to
be agitating Whitehall most at the moment. When the British
* See Appendix B, p. 580.
switched to a policy aiming at the consolidation of Arabia into
a confederacy under their control, the character of Arab demands
shifted accommodatingly . At a conference in Jerusalem,
the Arab leaders took a pledge under oath "to uphold the
integrity of Arabia as a nation and to recognize no divisions
therein." 74 Yet when it became apparent to the British Foreign
Office that it would have to go slow on such a program, the Arab
agenda shifted obligingly once more . Now the demand was
for sectional independence, a concept regarded as nothing less
than traitorous a few months earlier .
Present-day demands are for a complete stoppage of Jewish
immigration and a cessation of land sales . The claim is that
Palestine is an Arab land and that the Jews, entering on Arab
sufferance, can only hope to attain the status of paying guests .
Some leaders go so far as to propose the confiscation of Jewish
property ; others are satisfied with political domination only.
The Mufti's gang would force them all to become Moslems ;
while the followers of Awny Bey would drive them into the
sea altogether.
Much of this, of course, is the sheerest political hokum, since
very few Levantines have ever been known to lose an opportunity
to make money. Duff writes that "nearly every man of
Nazareth had land ready to sell to the Jews, despite the fact that
they were continually signing high-sounding declarations about
never surrendering one inch of the `Fatherland' to the detested
intruders." 75 At the very peak of the 1936 revolt the three
visiting United States Senators found that "while the Arab High
Committee in charge of the Strike is officially demanding prohibition
of, the sale of land to Jews, some of the prominent Arab
leaders active in that Committee are quietly trying to sell land
to Jewish buyers ." 76
If this proposed tabu were placed into effect a number of
knotty problems would at once arise which none of the Arab-
English solons have yet attempted to answer. Could Arab land,
for instance, be sold to a Jew who has become a convert to Mohammedanism
? May the Druses, who are not Arabs but Persians,
and heretical Moslems to boot, own land? A large part of
the Afghan population calls itself B'nai Yisroel77 and claims
Jewish descent though they are fanatic Moslems . If they
came to Palestine could they own land ? Half a century ago a
great number of Samaritans accepted Moslemism for the practical
advantages involved . May these people buy land ? Finally,
what is the attitude toward Arabs who are converted to
Judaism ?
It is also claimed that the Nations, in authorizing the establishment
of a Jewish National Home, disposed of a country
which did not belong to them but to the Arab people . But
here again they appear to be flying in the face of facts . Mr.
Van Rees of the Permanent Mandates Commission remarks that
it is "enough to point out that Palestine had belonged before the
War to the Ottoman Empire . That country had been conquered
not by Arabs of Palestine, but by the Allies, and had
finally been ceded to the Allies and not to the Arabs ." 78 If the
League's right to act on behalf of the Jews is contested, it would
be equally valid to challenge the status of every other area disposed
of through the Mandatory system. Turkey then would
have an a priori case for the return of all her lost territory in
Arabia. Certainly if this business of self-determination is to be
carried through honestly, the rich oil area of Mosul must be
taken from Iraq and given back to the Turks . Of the 342,000
people who inhabit the Mosul Vilayet, only 6o,ooo are Arabs,
and these are newcomers living in the town of Mosul itself . Yet,
since Mosul oil is one of the major reasons for British presence
in the Near East, would they dream of urging its return to Turkey
under the same rules they are attempting to apply in Palestine
During the middle of the last century, before Zionist immigration
began, there were not one hundred thousand people all told
in the entire country on both sides of the Jordan . There are
plenty of official statistics and hundreds of books and consular
reports on every detail . The vast majority of Arabs are therefore
newcomers, the same as the Jews . Wherefore are they so
land-hungry that they must debouch onto this little territory ?
The question arises : Are they without adequate territories of
their own ? Here we come to a new application of Aesop's old
story of the dog in the manger. We discover that in Asia the
Arabs inhabit an area of 2,o i 6,000 square miles, three-quarters
the size of the United States . It is so wild and unpopulated that
Lowell Thomas was led to exclaim that "we have better maps
of the North Pole ; in fact, we have better maps of Mars than we
have of some parts of the interior of Arabia ." 79 The total population
roaming this tremendous expanse is less than twelve million,
including a healthy proportion of minority peoples . If
Syria and Iraq are excluded, this vast domain holds less than six
million human beings . In North Africa, which pan-Arab visionaries
also dream of incorporating in the Arab Empire of the future,
is another territory almost as large and nearly as underpopulated
Here we find the Arabs in possession of what is by all odds
the world's last frontier. No colony held by any European
Power is as sparsely peopled . No nation on earth can even remotely
compare with the Arab in per capita land possession .
He has so much of it that he is actually land-poor, its value having
fallen to zero, since there are no human beings to work it .
The great territory of Saudi, whose unsurveyed area can only
be guessed to be approximately a million square miles, contains
not three million human beings, and is undoubtedly the most
underpopulated space on the globe today . The rich Hejaz has
only eight hundred and fifty thousand people within its 150,000
square miles : yet it was from here that Abdullah and his desert
tribesmen came to squat on the Jewish National Home territory
in Transjordan. Arabs have also the vast spaces of Oman, Yemen,
the Hadramaut and Syria on the Peninsula, as well as
Algeria, Tunisia, Lybia and Morocco in Africa. Even Iraq,
thickly settled by comparison to the immense empty expanses
to the south, has less than three million people in a territory of
143,250 square miles. In ancient times this magically fertile
earth, watered by two of the great rivers of Asia, was the granary
of civilization . It alone could support the entire Arab nation
and still present all the aspects of an underpopulated country .
If the matter be considered from the purely Moslem view400
point, which admits of neither racialism nor nationality beyond
the community of Mohammed, the axis of possible settlement
stretches itself immeasurably . Even Asiatic Turkey is impoverished
for want of men . In 1926 Kemal Pasha offered large
holdings to Palestine Arabs on the homestead plan if they would
immigrate to Turkey. (After a considerable group of families
left to take advantage of this attractive tender, the Palestine Government
suppressed the whole business, even forbidding any public
mention of the Turkish Government's offer .)
Since the emphasis of Arab demands centers on a united Arab
Empire, it seems fantastic to believe that they also require for
their national development the nine thousand square miles of
Western Palestine. "When the Arab talks of his right of selfdetermination
in Palestine," comments Herbert Sidebotham, "he
really means his right to suppress Palestine and to merge it with
some other country. Palestine as a political unit is a ghost of
the Jewish past alone . It has never had a separate existence as
a political unit except through the Jew nor will it ever have in
the future." Actually, Arab politicians do not recognize Palestine
at all. In all their public statements they deliberately refer
to it as `Southern Syria .' They protest continually because
Palestine has been severed from the main body . In their minds
it can be no more than a geographical concept . It is only
through the introduction of the Jewish factor that it becomes
meaningful as a national-territorial organism .
One is forced to concede that wherever two divergent races
inhabit the same territory, prejudices, hatreds and envies must
arise, if only due to differences of habits and culture and temperament.
Despite this, the prosperity brought in by the Jews
would be an almost certain guarantee of permanent peace if
pernicious propaganda were eliminated. "The Jew would welcome
fellowship with the Arab," says Broadhurst . 80 And Colonel
Wedgwood states fearlessly that the Arabs would give little
or no trouble "were they not encouraged and stimulated to do
so by the effendis of the Higher Arab Committee and by a Government
which does not like the Jews and lets the Arabs know
it." 81 Arab papers reflect all the contempt the permanent officials
hold for English party politicians . Insolently the Arab
press asks : "What is the British Parliament but a Council of
Elders of Zion ?" 82 Falastin (usually accounted the semi-official
voice of the Government) berates Ormsby-Gore as a stupid
heretic who "cannot free himself from the influence of the Bible."
"The British Government," it warns, "must forget the
Bible" and must order "the Church of England in no uncertain
terms to refrain from interfering in political matters ." 83
It must not be doubted that the Arab has some forbidding
grievances, real enough to him, no matter how puzzling they
may appear to alien minds . One of these is the fear of the
emancipation of women . Another is the alarm of the effendis
lest the end of the feudal period terminate their privileged position
in society. To these Colonel Blimps of the Near East it
is useless to argue the benefits which Jewish science, industry
and medicine have brought to the people of Palestine . "They
will reply," relates the London Times, "that these are luxuries
which the people of Palestine can do without." 84 Like all
other forms of existence the medieval mind dies hard . This
deep-rooted resistance is shown by the petition of professional
camel drivers in June 1936, complaining against the competition
of such devilish inventions as the automobile and railroad . The
camel drivers are hence losing "their independence and dignity,"
and must be protected by turning the clock back. Another reason,
which appears too ridiculous on the surface to be credible,
though Duff assures us it is so, is that "the Arabs still hate the
Jews, and despise them because they hold that Ishmael, and not
Jacob, was the legal son, and that Hagar was the wife of Abraham,
and that Sarah was his concubine ." 85
The final and clinching argument is that no matter what benefits
might come of it, the Arabs do not want Jewish settlement,
and that they have a `right' under the principle of majority rule
to forbid Jews from immigrating . Would not the same argument
oblige the British to retire from South Africa and other
places where they are in the minority ? Since the successful
issue of a wrong does not make it right, must not America then
be returned to the Indians ; and perhaps England itself to the
Celts ?
Certainly of all peoples, the English must know that the history
of the world is the history of colonization . Every civilized
country is the result of some such process in the past . Today
all the major peoples continue to colonize . In Arab Algeria and
Tunisia, for instance, both France and Italy are steadily pouring
in European immigrants without anyone in particular objecting.
In the case of the Jews there is infinitely more reason to
seek mass resettlement. Not poverty or impulse alone drives
them forth, but a grim and terrible battle against extinction .
They cannot retreat from Palestine because there is nowhere else
for them to retreat to .
If the question be one of title and legality, the Jews have in
their possession a charter signed by the Nations and countersigned
by Feisal of the House of Hussein for the Arabs . If a
moral right is to be posed, can it be offered by the voracious appetite
of a new Arab imperialism, already swollen and choking
on vast territories it cannot possibly digest ? You may scratch
Palestine anywhere and you find Israel. There is not a spot
which is not indelibly stamped with the footprint of the Jew -
"not a road, spring, mountain or village, which does not awaken
the name of some great king or greater prophet . Surely," cries
Dr. Holmes, "this is his homeland, if ever again he is to have
a home." 86
If British plans ever materialize, Palestine will eventually come
under Arab domination, presumably as part of the great Arab
Confederacy . The fate of the Jews in this eventuality becomes
an interesting conjecture.
There is a pleasant fiction, implicitly believed by many Jews,
that Israel has been well-treated by the followers of Mohammed
; that some sort of modus vivendi was established in the dim
days of antiquity, so that the two groups got along famously to"
gether. This fantasy grew out of the liaison between the Jews
of Spain and their racial kinsmen, the invading Berbers, zvho were
largely of direct Jewish and Phoenician descent .87 It was the
Jewish Berber, General Tarik-es-Ziad, who began the Moorish
conquest of Spain . During the Arab invasion of Spain in 71 z,
Jewish troops often as not garrisoned important fortresses .
Lloyd George states that "in science and art the superiority of
the early Moslem is attributable to the Jews." Lecky tells us
that "Jewish learning and Jewish genius contributed very largely
to that bright . . . civilization which radiated from Toledo and
Cordova." 88 And H. G. Wells declares that it is "difficult to
say . . . when the Jew ends and the Arab begins, so important
and essential were its Jewish factors." 89
As the invading tribes began to be suffocated by mass conversions
and the holding of innumerable concubines, whatever
bond of attraction might have existed between the two peoples
completely disappeared . Soon thereafter, to continue to this
day, Moslem rulers placed a penalty of death on apostasy to
Judaism. Jews were forbidden to ride on horses and were
marked with special clothes . Politically they were consigned
to the same second-rate citizenship which Nazi Germany is now
introducing ." In this cruel condition they remain, considered
in the same light as dogs, creatures the true Believer utterly despises.
The Arabic culture known to history was a modification of
the several ancient civilizations absorbed bodily by the barbaric
Arab tribes in their swift march of conquest . It never touched
the Arabs of Arabia, the peninsular Arab . These, writes Bertram
Thomas, "remained inviolate by their poverty, their remoteness,
their unwillingness to change. . . An intolerance survives
which is almost without parallel in the world today and
explains why so few European explorers have penetrated deep
into the peninsula - scarcely twenty throughout the ages ." 91
As early as Roman times, when the Hebrews with their backs
to the wall were struggling for their very existence, Tacitus informs
us that "a considerable body of Arabs . . . took the field
as avowed enemies of the Jewish nation ." 92 Wherever the
Arab has seized control since, a critical situation has risen for
the Jews . A modern instance is the revolt of Palestine Arabs
in 1834 against the exactions of the Caliphate . Mobs converged
on Jerusalem from all over the country, and for several weeks
held the city. Venting their ugly passions on the horror-stricken
Jews, they gave themselves over to a mad orgy of rapine, murder
and pillage, until the Egyptian general Ibrahim, with equal
barbarism and ferocity, annihilated them .
If one may judge from the tone of the Arab press, the lot of
the Jew under the coming `National Government' will be anything
but pleasant. El Jamiya Arabiyah snarls that "the English
can stand the pride and impudence of the Jews, but the Arabs
know what kind of vermin the Jews are and will know how to
silence them ." Another ready example is the editorial in Islamia
on October 4, 1936, appealing to foreign Arabs not to confine
themselves to mere boycott of Jews but to drink their blood .
It may be seen again in the inflammatory circulars systematically
scattered in Jerusalem, reading : "Kill the Jews until not one of
them remains. Gird yourselves and satiate your souls that thirst
for blood, souls that cannot be sated but with the blood of the
. . . alien and loathsome Jew ."
Farago found that "Arab agitators visit the peasants and promise
them that at the end of the struggle the land and wives of the
Jews will be distributed amongst them . With this expectation
the peasant digs up his money and buys rifles and ammunition
from wandering gunrunners ." 93 Like many other informed
men, Duff gave blunt warning that "as soon as the Palestinian
leaders understood that Great Britain had really left them to their
own devices . . . a general massacre of the Jews and the destruction
of their colonies would occur ." 94 It need occasion
no surprise that the words 'Heil Hitler' proved a magic password
during the recent rebellion, protecting Europeans against
In every Moslem country the situation of Israel is tragic and
frightful. When the French came into Arab North Africa on
a frank war of imperial conquest, the Jews were overjoyed .
Their position had been so terrible that the invading French
were looked on as if they had been the troops of Messiah . Even
after European intervention, characteristic pogroms have flared
up like a windswept flame . The fiendish attack on the Jewish
quarter in Constantine, Algiers, in 1934, was a particularly atrocious
event. When French troops finally arrived, they found a
bloodcurdling scene of ruin and horror . Over a hundred Jews
had been slaughtered . Whole families had been locked in their
homes and burned to death . Houses were sacked, women violated
and children hacked to pieces . Among the countless injured
were young girls with their breasts cut off, creatures mutilated
beyond recognition but somehow alive .
In as dire misery are the one hundred and twenty thousand
Jews in French Morocco . In Tunis, Tripoli and Spanish Morocco
the picture is as wretched. Only the protection of European
soldiers saved the North African Jews from an orgy of
torture and merciful annihilation ; and some day, the Socialists
promise, these troops will be withdrawn .
In Iraq the one hundred and ten thousand Jews live under a
sanguinary reign of terror, not much different from that taking
place in Germany . They are mercilessly boycotted . Savage
beatings, murders and robberies are a daily occurrence . Jewish
girls are forcibly seized and dragged into harems . Yusuf Malek
assures us that "in Iraq a Moslem finds it more easy to kill a Jew
than to kill a chicken ." 95
In Syria Jews face famine and gradual extinction . Since they
are completely Arabicized, their fate gives an abrupt answer to
Arab claims that the tension in Palestine springs solely from a
conflict of national aims . The Jewish population of Damascus
has collapsed from twenty thousand after the War to less than
four thousand in 1935. In the last five years, ten thousand Jews
have emigrated from Damascus and Aleppo alone . In every
city and village they are systematically terrorized and boycotted .
In the streets and mosques they are openly threatened with the
same fate as befell the unfortunate Assyrians in Iraq, just as soon
as Syria obtains its independence . The French Mandatory Authorities
show little concern for Jews and are either vague or
frankly indifferent . Nevertheless, the Jew views the day when
a native government will be installed, with horror . The sudden
move of Leon Blum's Socialist ministry to make good on its
theories by granting independence to Syria, threw all Syrian
Jewry into a panic. To a man, they are trying to leave the
country before the French-Syrian Treaty goes into effect .
The only redeeming spot on the Syrian map is the autonomous
Christian district of Lebanon . These people are the only friends
the Jews have in Western Asia . Centuries of bloody persecution
have taught the Syrian Christian a lesson he has not forgotten.
The Lebanon is completely and whole-souledly pro-
Zionist. It wants the Jews for neighbors by the south, to lessen
its isolation in this forever-menacing Moslem sea. When pan-
Arab congresses held their anti-Jewish sessions, the Lebanese
papers roundly denounced them .116 The Government of the
Lebanon Republic has even proclaimed the Jewish Day of
Atonement, Yom Kippur, as an official holiday .
Arabia Felix, that immense curtained mystery, is a graveyard
in which lie buried the many strong Jewish tribes who once
graced this area with their intelligence and learning . In this vast
stronghold of the fanatic Ishmaelites no Jew may enter and live .
In Yemen, at the south end of the Peninsula, Jews are locked
into ghettos as in the Middle Ages, reduced to conditions of economic
desperation even worse, if that be possible, than the Jews
of the pogrom areas of Europe . Their women are at the constant
mercy of every wandering desperado who takes it into his
mind to invade the ghetto. Jews must wear a distinctive dress .
They must keep in the shadows . They are prohibited from
riding on horseback . Their children, by edict of December
1928, must embrace Moslemism on the death of their parents .
Those who believe the assurances of the English have only to
read the gory history of the Christian Assyrians in Iraq, after
Britain terminated its Mandate there in 1932, to gain a picture
of what is impending in Palestine . Just as the English made
an arrangement with the Zionists, so they had made a similar one
with the Assyrians, inviting them to rise against the Turks and
promising them independence and protection if they would do
so. Moved by these pledges, the Assyrians were the only peo"
ple in what is now Iraq who took up the Allied cause and fought
loyally for the British Empire .97 Their territory was later placed
under Arab rule because London was anxious to include the
Mosul Oil District within Iraqian frontiers .
When the Assyrians expressed alarm over the British proposal
to grant statehood to Iraq, the Mandates Commission was solemnly
assured that the anxiety of these minorities was due to
"mischievous propaganda." Iraq, said the British representative,
was "a country where the Moslem, Christian and Jew have
lived happily side by side for centuries . . . His Majesty's Government
fully realizes its responsibilities in recommending that
Iraq should be admitted to the League . Should Iraq prove unworthy
o f the confidence which has been reposed in it, the moral
responsibility must rest with His Majesty's Government ." 98
In vain the Assyrians pleaded . The engineer A . M. Hamilton
and other thoughtful Englishmen immediately called the
turn without reservation, stating that "the lives of the minorities
have been placed in the hands of people without any morals or
conscience." e°
Scarcely a year after Iraq was granted its `independence,' and
despite the readiness of His Majesty's Government to assume
"moral responsibility," the Kurdish settlements were bombarded
by airplanes. A month later (in August 1933), a holy war was
proclaimed against the Assyrians . The Government offered
Arab tribesmen one pound bounty for every Assyrian head
brought in, as well as license to plunder any Assyrian property
they could find . The Arab press made it known that all acts
of violence were lawful and that anyone not participating in
this war would be betraying his religion and country.'°° At the
head of the Criminal Investigation Department was an Englishman,
who watched this terrific barrage of wild propaganda and
incitement without making a move .
Lieutenant-Colonel A. S. Stafford, British Administrative Inspector
in Iraq, gives a blood-curdling eye-witness account of
what followed. The Assyrians were first systematically disarmed.
On August 5, an Army detachment swept through
their territory and the Assyrians were hunted down as one stalks
rabbits. "No pretence was made that these operations had any
purely military objective, for the Army Intelligence Officers
did not even take the trouble to cross-question the captured Assyrians,
who were simply shot as they were rounded up ." 101
At Dohuk they were taken from their villages in vans, in batches
of eight or ten, and shot down with machine guns . "The heavy
armoured cars were driven over dead and dying alike ." 102
On August 7, the inhabitants of the whole surrounding district
were ordered to come down to Simel, the largest Assyrian
settlement. After days of sacking, the troops began a coldblooded
and methodical massacre . "Machine gunners set up
their guns outside the windows of the houses in which the Assyrians
had taken refuge, and having trained them on the terrorstricken
wretches in the crowded rooms, fired among them until
not a man was left standing in the shambles ." 103 Women
were ripped open with knives and then made sport of while they
were in a state of agony . Little girls of nine were raped and
burned alive. After being barbarously tortured, priests were
slaughtered, holy books piled over their bodies and burned with
them. When there was no one left to kill, the troops took their
departure, carrying with them for their amusement a large number
of luckless Assyrian girls. The Tribes, who had been interested
spectators of these unspeakable events, then came in and
completed the looting. "I saw and heard many horrible things
in the Great War," related an English eye-witness, "but what
I saw at Simel is beyond human imagination." 104
The troops engaged against the defenseless Assyrians were
given a royal reception on their return. In Mosul the Crown
Prince, now King of Iraq, decorated their colors with his own
hands. The various officers concerned were promoted . Enthusiastic
applause greeted their triumphant procession through
the capital.
After this cowardly slaughter, occurred other massacres, this
time of the Yezidis, "planned by the Central Authorities at Baghdad
and conducted by the army with no less barbarity than the
previous ones." 105
To the present day Christians are effectively boycotted in the
Government service, debarred from primary schools, and militated
against in all ways . Girls are never safe; and "acts of
sodomy by force," states Malek, are committed on boys by education
and administrative officials.100
In these circumstances the Zionists may well read a ghastly
projection of the future. In ringing accents the Assyrian
leader Prince Gambar told them: "Despite the empty assurances
of Great Britain, those who have eyes with which to see,
and know what Arabs of the type of the Iraqis can do when
let loose, must share your fears as to what is positively to happen
to non-Arabs when placed under Arab rule." 107

In 1936 again, uncontrolled violence rolled like a sheet of
seething flame over Palestine . For the sixth time since British
occupation, armed revolt broke out, turning the country into a
roaring furnace. And as before, the lawlessness timed itself to
coincide exactly with events of major importance in Empire
politics .
If circumstances are to be believed at their face value, the
recent revolt in Palestine was a marvel of valor and military
genius. For more than two years a handful of petty ruffians,
sniping from ambush in the hills, have held the greatest empire
in the world at bay . "It may be doubted," states Sidebotham,
"whether there were ever more than one thousand men in the
field against us." 1 What London is asking us to believe at
the moment is that in a country half the size of Ohio, thirtytwo
thousand troops equipped with airplanes, tanks and all the
trappings of war are unable to subdue a small gang of desperadoes
who have succeeded in keeping it in a state of insecurity
and uproar for years. The utter helplessness and awful inefficiency
of the Mandatory in the face of this minor insurrection
is laid on too thick to be credible .
In scarcely more than a century London has managed to seize
for itself over a quarter of the land surface of the globe. Is
not the very existence of this vast Empire a gilt-edged guarantee
that England has never shown herself inept at the business of
handling rebellion ? It is not generally realized that the British
are constantly engaged in putting down insurrection in farseparated
places . In the Hadramaut they have been going
through a merciless mopping-up process . Along India's north-
west frontier they are cleaning out the revolting tribesmen of
Waziristan with a ruthless hand . The colonies without exception
are ruled by the axiom, `Spare the rod and spoil the child .'
In Kenya, another mandated territory, when a government
clerk named Thuku founded the "East Africa Native Association"
to protest the peonage system introduced by the Colonials,
he was grabbed on the charge of `sedition' and deported without
trial, after the police had slaughtered a score of his followers
for demonstrating in front of the jail where he was held . In
Iraq an emergency similar to the one in Palestine was handled
by Sir Percy Cox with scant ceremony . All the Arab leaders
concerned were immediately placed in custody, offending newspapers
suppressed and their editors arrested . Sir Percy's comments
were brief and to the point : ". . . the High Commissioner
will not hesitate to take drastic steps against any persons,
tribesmen or townsmen who do not take the present warning,
but continue to emulate the seditious vagaries of those now
placed under restraint ." This was language that Arabs could
understand, and the whole affair died aborning. Subsequent rebellions
were handled in short order by the Iraqi shadow government,
by simply detailing a few British airplanes to bomb
the tribesmen into submission .
In Palestine the close integration of officialdom itself with
the `patriotic' movement is hardly open to doubt . It is sufficient
to cite the Nationalist demonstration of October io, 1 934,
attended by prominent Government functionaries in their official
capacity, where "Arab civilization" was lauded and "the
coming independence and unification of the Arab countries"
(including Palestine) enthusiastically hailed . This hidden complot
reveals itself even more obviously in an incident of twelve
months earlier . An anti-Jewish demonstration had been announced.
The usual preparations had preceded it, the ferocious
bluster and screaming agitation, led by the familiar leaders of the
Arab Executive . Unfortunately for these plans, Nazi violence
in Germany, then unique and shocking, suddenly shook the soul
of civilization like an earthquake . All articulate reaction to
these startling events was overwhelmingly with the stricken
Jews. Sympathy for human suffering and despair was the prevailing
mood, and it was apparent at that moment that anti-
Jewish riots would be more than embarrassing to the British
Government. In an amazing about-face the scheduled disorders
were converted into a peaceful demonstration against the Government,
in which the word Jew was not even mentioned . A
strike had been called, but it was quietly recalled, without a
word of explanation . Part of the mob which had been so carefully
prepared could not, however, be headed off. Several
thousand hoodlums charged the police in Jaffa after having been
told by their own leaders to disperse . Taking his duties seriously,
Assistant Superintendent of Police Faraday ordered his
men to fire. In the melee he himself was badly wounded ; and
as a result an irate British judge sentenced some of the rioters to
imprisonment. Immediately the District Court quashed the
sentence and released the prisoners on "promise of good behavior
." The bewildered Faraday soon after had his post taken
away from him and was exiled to Beersheba .2
The British are reputed to possess the shrewdest Intelligence
and Secret Service in existence . Concentrated in one small
branch of the War Office, known as M.I.5, this superbly organized
spy and counter-spy system is respected wherever espionage
exists . Yet in strategic Palestine the Authorities never
seemed to know that seditious unrest of the most explosive type
was being openly organized right under their noses . Like the
previous uprisings, the rebellion of 1936 was scarcely a bolt
from the blue. It only became possible after prolonged elaboration
and shaping. Much of it was openly bought and paid for .
"Fifty well-armed, resolute Franks with a large sum o f money,"
observes an official United States Report, "could revolutionize
the whole country ." 3 "It is always easy in Arab countries,"
confirms Ernest Main, "to buy agitators and even murderers
for a pittance. It is easy, too, to work up political demonstrations,
even culminating in riots, if the fee paid is sufficient . All
you have to do is to summon a local labor contractor and tell
him you want a thousand men to demonstrate . His fee will be,
say, C50 or C 7o, and if you hand over this money you will
41 3
get a perfectly good demonstration in the streets, perhaps with
a few persons injured and some windows broken . . . It is important,
therefore, to realize that so-called `spontaneous' outbreaks
among the Arabs are less common than those that are
engineered ." 4
Before this kind of backdrop the riots were openly rehearsed
and agitated. For eighteen months the Government allowed
the Arab press to keep up a daily barrage, systematically branding
the Jews as "the human sexual disease," as "a gang of swindlers,"
and "a menace to all mankind ." Arab leaders publicly
threatened violence and bloodshed . Terrorist organizations
paraded themselves without the slightest attempt at secrecy .
Among others, there was the Red Shadow, the Black Hand, and
a formidable murder gang calling itself simply `G,' over whom,
says Farago, "the British made merry," referring to its members
as 'G-Men.' 5 All over Palestine groups of brown-clad storm
troops were marching, shouting 'Heil Hitler .' At Nablus,
boldly operating in the open, was a military training school for
the Arab Scouts, prime leaders in the disturbances .
Late in March a meeting of influential Arabs, practically all
of them Government employees, was held at Safed to plan the
uprising. A delegation consisting of members of the Iraqian
Parliament arrived to attend . It behaved itself in a flagrant
manner which would have led to strong diplomatic representations
in any other country, but here its stay was made pleasant
by every official courtesy. Fifteen days before the lid finally
blew off of this seething caldron, the Revisionist leader Jabotinsky
cabled the High Commissioner warning him that "specific
Arab manifestations on an unprecedented scale are being
exploited to revive the ominous battle cry, `Eddowleh Maana'
[the Government is with us]" and received a contemptuous
There was hardly one of the Arab ring-leaders who was not
on the Government's payroll . In any other country these men,
self-announced plotters of riot and rebellion, would have immediately
been tried for high treason . On the statute books
was the Seditious Offenses Ordinance, providing severe penalties
for any act which conspired "to raise discontent or disaffection
amongst the inhabitants of Palestine ; or to promote feelings of
ill-will and hostility between the different sections of the population
of Palestine." Yet on one of those rare occasions when
this ordinance was applied, the dangerous firebrand, Hassan
Sidki Dejani, was let off with the derisive fine of C 25 after he
had been found guilty of inciting Arab officials to revolt . "If
one thing stands out clear from the record of the Mandatory administration,"
concedes the Peel Report, "it is the leniency with
which Arab political agitation, even when carried to the point
of violence and murder, has been treated ."
Responsible Arabs who wanted peace were treated with all
the contumely of renegades who had joined the enemy camp .
In Britain itself, Colonial Office publications were blatantly advising
the Arabs to "unite on a common front ." An Arab delegation
was invited to present its grievances officially in London
- though no Jewish delegation was asked ." The tomtoms beat
in frenzied repetition as Whitehall circles called on the Arabs
not to let this opportunity to smash Zionism go by . The Bureaucracy
was now stalking its game brazenly in the clear .
While Arabs who made no secret of their revolutionary aims
were being pampered on the Government payroll, the steamroller
of official authority was ironing out the Jews. Among
other incidents, every Revisionist leader in Palestine was arrested
on suspicion of being connected with a "secret revolutionary organization,"
and held for considerable periods, without trial .
Even the innocuous little Jewish State Party was refused registration
as a legally existing organization. With withering
mockery the Government announced that unless it "eliminated
from its platform the demand for a Jewish majority . . . the
Jewish State Party could not be registered by the Palestine Administration."
Under this kind of patronage Arab megalomania developed
like a well-watered weed. A droll example is provided by the
indignant protest sent to a Jewish newspaper by a bandit named
Nabulsi during the height of the riots. Complaining that the
paper was not even concerned "with common politeness," he
says, making his point: "Never have the Official Communiques
designated us as inciters, terrorists and murderers!" 7 Of course
Mr. Nabulsi was quite right -the Official communiques had
never done so.
Unless the British are the victims of the worst accumulation
of circumstantial evidence that ever made white appear to be
black, the current disturbances, as well as the preceding situations
they have been required so busily to police, were created
with adroit cunning by themselves. The hope was plainly to
institute a struggle which would paralyze the Jews, after which
the Administration could come to terms with the Arabs. And
so we see the fantastic picture of a State surreptitiously engaged
in undermining its own authority and ruining its own commerce
and security by an act of civil rebellion to which it has lent its
own tacit permission. The three American Senators, Austin,
Copeland and Hastings, who visited Palestine in 1936, made
no bones about their impressions. Copeland, product of the
unbending morality of an upper-state New York village, bluntly
wrote that "there are really two strikes going on in Palestine .
One is conducted by Arab terrorists, who throw bombs and
snipe at passersby in the streets and highways. The other is
conducted silently by the Mandatory Government of Palestine
against the proper administration of justice. The prolongation
o f the terror in the Holy Land is due . . . to a manifest sympathy
for the vandals and assassins displayed by many officers
who are sworn to uphold the law . . . creating a condition
which could not but shock any American observer." 8

For months, fifteen thousand soldiers had apparently been unable
to render safe a few miles of road between Jerusalem and
Tel Aviv . There had been innumerable hold-ups by armed
gangs, in which Jewish passengers had been hauled out of their
cars and wantonly butchered. Not a soul had been punished
for any of these brutal crimes . With unrestrained arrogance
the intransigeant Arab press hailed these killers as heroes and
boasted of further horrors to come . The nerves of the Jewish
community were worn to a frazzle. On April 17, 1936 the
funeral of a murdered Jew was made the occasion of a protest
demonstration . In an ugly mood, the police fired into the
crowd, wounding thirty persons . Immediately after, steelhelmeted
officers invaded Tel Aviv, dragging out householders
on suspicion of having been connected with the protest . Bearers
of black-bordered Zionist flags of mourning were beaten into
unconsciousness . Sullen, angry apprehension once more made
the air of the Holy Land a tinder box . It was in the midst of
this charged condition that the explosion was touched off .
The actual lighting of the fuse took place on the nineteenth of
April when a blood-curdling tale was circulated in Jaffa that
four Arab men and women had been beheaded by Jews in Tel
Aviv. Instead of counteracting these wild rumors, the Government
added fuel to the fire by dispatching enlarged police
units to Tel Aviv, obviously to protect Arabs from Jewish attack.
The outbreaks were swiftly and shrewdly plotted . On the
scheduled day not a single Arab was to be seen in Tel Aviv
though they generally offer their vegetables for sale as early as
five in the morning. Jews visiting Jaffa were irritably told by
the Chief Officer there that he "really did not understand why
they had come . . . since everybody had already known yesterday
that anti-Jewish attacks were to take place ." e Not a
finger was lifted by the Authorities . On the entire road from
Tel Aviv to Jerusalem only one policeman was posted though
the roads were almost bursting with armed and threatening men .
Jaffa burst into flames with the familiar cry "the Government is
with us" urging the demented horde on . By midday the streets
were running with Jewish blood . Many were slaughtered and
mutilated past identification, right under the eyes of the police
who made no effort to interfere .
The contagion spread to all parts of the country like wildfire .
Little boys of six carried automatics, shooting them off on the
streets of Jerusalem as if they were toy pistols . Unhindered,
the Arab press beat a loud tattoo for murder and revolt . GramJEHOVAH
4 1 7
ophone records made their appearance in the shops, calling on
the Arabs to annihilate the Jews . Nazi flags and pictures of
Hitler were prominently displayed in store windows . Booklets
explaining Nazi methods of forcing Jews from the Reich were
distributed freely . Only the Haifa district remained immune,
miraculously free of violence to the end, leading Jabotinsky to
ask coldly if it were true that this was "a revolt by leave" in one
part of Palestine, with no revolt where it was requested by the
Authorities that there should be no revolt .
On May 21, the Arab High Committee called a general strike,
stopping all work. Contrary to its own organic law, the Government
did not declare the strike illegal . Despite the fact that
it was an openly seditious body, the Arab High Committee was
not interfered with. The queer business by no means ended
here. At the end of June a mutinous memorandum was submitted
to the High Commissioner, signed by 137 senior Arab
officials, telling him bluntly to yield to the Arab High Committee.
This singular paper was duly forwarded through proper
channels to the Colonial Office, "who politely acknowledged it
and so far from rebuking the signatories, thanked them for their
loyalty!" 10 It was followed by even more impudent memoranda
from Arab officials in the second division, and the
Government-paid judges of the Moslem Courts .
With the exception of Government employees, virtually the
whole terror was led by Syrians, and Arabs from Mesopotamia
and Egypt. Violent men from all quarters slipped in and out
of the border as if it were non-existent, attracted by the lust
for action. The most important of these was Fawzy Bey el
Kaougji, self-styled commander of the Arab bands . A somewhat
handsome adventurer of neurotic impulses, Fawzy was a
Syrian who had been sentenced to death by the French for his
activities during the Druse revolt . Escaping to the Hejaz, he
had to fly for his life again, this time for being mixed up in a
tribal rebellion .
More lately he had been Commandant of the Military Training
College of Iraq . The Arab outbreak had already lasted three
months when Fawzy made his sensational appearance in a battle
in the Nablus area. Soon after, reports came through describing
how he had actually made his way in broad daylight across
the desert from Iraq, accompanied by many motor lorries laden
with full military equipment, and a considerable body of professional
desperadoes said to have come from the Iraqian Army .
To reach the Jordan River he had to pass through a veritable
network of military posts and patrols by which every waterhole
and lane is watched with a hawk's eye. The Jordan crossings
themselves are well known and well guarded . Fawzy
was no ectoplasm which could waft its way across these threedimensional
obstacles like Shaitan's spirit. The passage was that
of a regular expedition replete with weapons and military baggage
; but there he was on the wrong side of Jordan.
His appearance in Palestine was greeted with a well-organized
blast of publicity not less than that given the British expeditionary
force of General Dill." Within a few days his photographs,
describing him grandly as "Commander-in-Chief of the Arab
Armies in Southern Syria," were being sold and displayed in
bookstalls throughout the Holy Land . The entire Arab press
featured them with such provocative statements as "long live
the leader of battles, Fawzy, the messenger from Iraq," and "unsheath
your swords and daggers and press the enemy till he is
strangled." None of this met with the slightest interference
from the all-powerful censorship bureau . Aping the Government
itself, Fawzy even published his own war communiques,
making extravagant claims of `victories .' These were posted
prominently, sometimes on Government buildings themselves,
where they were allowed to remain for Arabs to see and believe .
An apparently frantic search by the combined forces of the
Army and Police found him as elusive as the proverbial greased
pig. While the Authorities were supposedly turning the country
upside down to find him, fifteen thousand Arabs assembled
on the banks of the Jordan to give the `hero' a royal reception .
From the very start, the rebels showed that they possessed an
inexhaustible supply of weapons and ammunition and were being
guided by a skilled military hand . Most of the Arab arms
were "brand new British weapons and ammunition manufacJEHOVAH
tured in the celebrated Woolwich Arsenal ." 12 It is reliably declared
that practically all their bombing operations were conducted
with hand grenades of official army issue . 13 Searches
for arms in Arab towns were preceded by a great stir in advance
so as to apprise the villagers that the raid was imminent, giving
them plenty of time to put their houses in order. In many cases,
groups of rebels used police cars and possessed special police
passes .
With bandits and mutineers swarming over every road, soldiers
were under instruction to fire only in the air. British
Tommies informed Farago : "We are not allowed to use weapons
without the written permission o f the District Commissioner
!" 14 And Duff was told in disgust by a loyal Arab policeman
: "Life is almost impossible for us men of the police
nowadays. We dare not do our duty for fear of being reported
and punished ." 15 "Both men and officers," states the London
Morning Post sharply, "have been quite bewildered by the fact
that operations have frequently been canceled at the moment
when they were on the point of being successful ." 16 A cloak
of bleak mystery shrouded these strange instructions . Where
they came from, no one seemed to know .
The streets of all cities were made the daily stamping grounds
of gangs who threatened Arab shopkeepers and beat up peasants
who came into town with their vegetables . "For an Arab to be
suspected of a lukewarm adherence to the nationalist cause,"
says Lord Peel, "is to invite a visit from a body of gunmen ." 14
Gangs visited villages and threatened to burn them down unless
they supplied quotas of men, firearms and provisions . When
the Mayor of Beisan displayed a foolish unwillingness to swell
the terrorists' funds, his young son's throat was slit in reprisal .
In deadly fear of their own nationals, 1 zoo wealthy Arabs fled
the country.
Shootings, bombings and every conceivable form of violent
outrage now became the daily routine . Bombs were thrown at
homes, railway stations, hospitals and public buildings . Kindergartens
and playgrounds were dynamited, tearing little children
to shreds. Nurses were slain by snipers as they went on duty .
Trains were fired on and wrecked ; cinema houses blown up ;
crops burned ; trees whose planting represented a lifetime of
heartbreak and industry, maliciously uprooted . Nothing that
would yield to knife or flame was safe from the destructive hand
of the vandal .
The chivalrous stuff these pampered `patriots' were made of is
typified in the case of a gang who invaded the home of a Safed
rabbi at midnight . They found his three little children on the
veranda and butchered them in their sleep. Their mother,
startled by the commotion, ran out and flung herself down to
protect her brood . The Arabs shot her without mercy. Her
husband coming on this terrible scene had barely time to see his
family dying before his eyes when a bomb hurled by the retreating
intruders decapitated him .
The Yishub was caught in a trap, but it knew from what
source its agony came . Courageously the head of the Palestine
Jewish Community, Mr. Ben Zvi, asked : "Who can say that his
hands are clean in these outrages ? Can the High Commissioner
?" In refreshing contrast to the fawning rhetoric of
Zionist `statesmen' in London, forthright old Mayor Dizengoff
of Tel Aviv saddled the High Commissioner with direct responsibility,
bluntly accusing him of having introduced "demoralization,
anarchy and lawlessness into the country ." He declared
that "the Government railways have become the strongholds of
terrorists from which they set fire to Jewish cornfields and bombard
peaceful towns," and that "Palestine is now directed by the
Arab High Committee and hooligans." "You assure us solemnly,"
he exclaimed (addressing himself to the Government),
"that you are fulfilling your obligations to us, but in practice
you have outlawed the Jews and handed them over to a mob of
criminals." 18
As in previous riots, the Jews were rendered impotent by being
forcibly disarmed. Drivers of vehicles compelled to run the
gauntlet of frequent attacks could not carry so much as a club
to protect themselves with. The police regularly searched Jewish
busses and passenger-cars on the roads, while Arab vehicles
derisively passed them, neither examined nor stopped .19 DeJEHOVAH
spite the fact that vandals were systematically uprooting valuable
groves and applying the torch freely, Senator Copeland found
that owners were flatly refused permission to have armed guards
on their properties.20 Jewish watchmen found in possession of
pistols were sentenced to long prison terms, though it was shown
that their posts were dangerous and that other watchmen had
been killed in the very neighborhood. Even colonies which
were subjected to recurrent assaults were religiously ransacked
by police, and colonists found in possession of weapons were
punished by imprisonment. Jews were warned that under no
circumstances might they own a rifle or fire a gun . Colonists
exposed to Arab violence were advised to lode out until troops
came. Even the Jewish Ghaffirs and supernumerary constables
were usually armed with truncheons only, or at best, with decrepit
shotguns that had little military value . Moreover, they
were not permitted to pursue marauders beyond the confines of
their settlements. "Jaffa Jews may be done to death in the very
sight of Tel Aviv's Jewish policemen, but these police may not
go to the rescue !" cries the Palestine Post indignantly.21
In vain the Jews pleaded to be allowed to defend themselves.
Students and veterans of the battalions who had fought under
Allenby begged to be mobilized, urging that they "did not de
sire to see any British blood spilled . We are quite capable of
defending our own homeland ." The Revisionists offered fifty
thousand Jewish soldiers, some of them seasoned World War
veterans, for police duty . The mobilization of five thousand
Jewish youths at any time, would have made short work of the
killers, but the Authorities had other ideas .
Arabs arrested for carrying arms were either freed outright or
fined as ridiculous a sum as three shillings (about 75¢) . Those
convicted of murderous assaults or of arson were indulgently
released "on probation ." For months, though there had been
numerous murders of Jews, the Government did not take the
matter seriously enough to offer any reward at all . It was only
after a British constable named Bird had been assassinated that
they suddenly came out with a substantial reward . Despite the
wholesale murders which took place in 1936, there was not a
single execution, a more than startling circumstance, since the
normal crime calendar of Palestine accounts for twelve hangings
annually .
Officers who took their duties too seriously were rebuked in
open court or transferred to less desirable posts as a warning to
others . The following cases, selected at random, show the general
tone of the courts . In one case, three Arabs, arrested for
sending an infernal machine in a suitcase to a Jew in Tel Aviv
and found with a whole arsenal of bombs in their possession, were
released on bond of L25. In another, two Arabs positively
identified by seven eye-witnesses as having dynamited a cinema
in Tel Aviv, murdering three people and mangling many others,
were given seven days in jail for carrying guns . The murder
charges were not even brought up. In another, some two hundred
ruffians armed with knives and iron bars, fell on the Jewish
quarter of Tiberias . When the military and police finally arrived
they `escorted' the assailants out of the vicinity . The
journey was made a source of great merriment . Shop windows
were broken and passersby stoned . "The next day the police
returned and arrested fifteen Jews ." 22
When the Administration dealt with outrages it really regarded
as scandalous, it made short work of the miscreants .
Rebels who damaged the Iraq Petroleum Company's pipelines
were not only apprehended, but their houses and those of their
relatives demolished in reprisal . When the military railway
was scathed by unidentified vandals, the nearby city of Lydda
was fined J 5000. An Arab who set a relative's grain field on
fire was sentenced to four years' imprisonment .23 Insurgents
caught firing on British troops were speedily handed the death
penalty, these crimes apparently being classified as `premeditated,'
as opposed to the `unpremeditated,' hence forgivable,
murder and arson committed on the person and property of
While Arab papers were allowed to carry on the most unbridled
anti-Jewish incitement, it was a different matter when
El Jamia al Islamia engaged in what was alleged to be pro-Italian
propaganda . Its editor, Khalil Yousuff, was picked up with no
more ceremony than if he had been a sack of potatoes, and deported.
24 Similarly, when some swashbucklers with little imagination
took their immunity too literally and dropped some bombs
outside the residence of the High Commissioner, "the Palestine
Government ordered the suspension of all Arabic newspapers indefinitely,
beginning at once ." 25
What the attitude was is shown in the order to Jews to bury
their dead at five o'clock in the morning so that there would be
nothing ostentatious about it . At the same time the Arabs were
turning the funeral of an ordinary outlaw into the most spectacular
celebration ever seen around Haifa .
Though in every case Jews were the victims, the Authorities
felt justified in alluding to the marauding operations of the insurgents
as 'Arab-Jewish clashes' requiring the meting out of
equal punishment to both sides `impartially .' To justify this
piece of hypocrisy, Jews suspected of nationalist leanings were
arbitrarily picked up and jailed, without cause or trial . When
an old Arab woman was assassinated by thieves from Arab Tireh,
known as a den of cutthroats since time immemorial, 26 the peaceful
little Jewish hamlet, Achuzat Herbert Samuel, was stigmatized
with the onus of murder by the imposition of a huge collective
fine, without the slightest offer of evidence.
Perhaps the most revolting part of this ugly pantomime was
the treatment accorded the Jewish refugees who had escaped the
storm area with their lives . By June more than twelve thousand
homeless creatures had streamed into Tel Aviv for protection,
their possessions destroyed and occupations ruined . The Government
finally agreed, under pressure, to contribute the sum of
2o mils (1o¢) a day per head to their upkeep . After a few
weeks it abruptly notified the Municipality that it would terminate
even this meager contribution (June 17, 1936) ; and in an
astounding decree taking effect thirteen days later, it denied the
city of Tel Aviv permission to provide for or deal with these
unfortunates. In this amazing order the dictum was laid down
that though the refugees were not to be permitted to return to
their ruined homes, it was up to the voluntary contributions of
Jews abroad to maintain and house them . The Government
washed its hands of the proposition and refused to accept, or to
allow the Municipality to accept, the responsibility .
Since it is apparent that this whole mad fury of lawlessness has
been prompted from an outside source, the question naturally
arises -where did all the money come from to keep it alive?
There were men to feed, committees to keep going, agents to
support in foreign countries, and arms and ammunition which
had to be purchased. It is estimated that these activities were
costing in the neighborhood of f 3000 a day.27 This is a large
sum when it is applied to a struggle lasting many months on end .
Those acquainted with the country know that the rich Arab is
not prepared to donate "even a pound of his own free will for
communal purposes." 28 Nor did his nature show any change
in this case . The Arab landlords, effendis and merchants gave
very little support to the strike . Many, in fact, left the country
to protect themselves .
According to the continental press, the Jerusalem Police found
documents proving that the rioters had received C70,000 from
European sources actuated by anti-British as well as anti-Jewish
motives. In addition to this and other sums which came from
Fascist countries, the London Daily Mail reported that a police
raid in Jerusalem discovered receipts and documents indicating
that the Soviet Department for Near East Propaganda had sent
large sums to Palestine to support the insurrection .29 Another
considerable amount was reported to have been remitted to Arab
emissaries at Cairo, Egypt, via the American Express Company .3o
A great part of the revolt funds came from England itself . Allied
anti-Semites in America supplied another portion .31 Some
came directly from the Palestine Government in various disguises,
as the £ 30,000 loan "to needy farmers," actually used
to buy arms and ammunition . 32 The Government-controlled
Moslem Wak f contributed another sizable sum . Mohammedan
.countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq which fall in the British
sphere of influence, made a number of public collections for this
;purpose. The London Daily Mail of July 15, 1936 reports that
£ 11,000 was sent from India, apparently without the slightest
;interference by either the Indian or Palestine Authorities .
"One of the surest sources of strike funds," states the London
Times, "remains the contributions from Arab officials in the
Government service, most of whom regularly surrender a fraction
o f their salary." 33 For the right to continue working,
Government employees were assessed by gangster methods, up
to twenty percent of their monthly salary . By August 15, 1936,
according to a detailed statement published by an Arab paper,
around £ 5000 was collected in Jerusalem from this source .
According to an incomplete list appearing daily in Ad Difaa,
twice that amount was collected in Jaffa by the same date .
This tax, writes Horace Samuel, fell impartially on every Arab
official from the most junior teacher "to the most senior of Sir
Michael MacDonnell's Arab judges in the Court of Appeal, taking
in, presumably, in its stride, Ishak Effendi El Hashim, the
Arab private secretary of Sir Arthur Wauchope ." 34
By Fall the Levantine began to grow heartily tired of the revolt.
All this turmoil was the incomprehensible business of
Allah and the strange Angliz who for some reason wanted it that
way. The fellah and Bedouin, for their part, had had enough .35
The citrus season was coming on . The fruit hanging on the
tree was like ready money. There were not enough hands to
go around . Tradesmen and merchants found themselves almost
bankrupt and wishing the `patriots' all in hell in consequence.
The British had moreover accomplished all their objectives for
the moment. They had succeeded in concentrating a huge
military force in the delicately balanced Near East without protest
from any source . A Royal Commission was already on its
way to complete the work of demolishing the Mandate . After
dilly-dallying around for months with his huge imported military
machine, General Dill bluntly made it known that the curtain
was about to be rung down on the play .
The Arab ring-leaders were now in an all-but-impossible situation
. With nice consideration Whitehall conceded that their
prestige must be saved at all costs . "The Arab Higher Committee,"
states Great Britain and the East, "cannot of itself say that
the strike shall end without renouncing the whole position it has
taken up . A 'face-saving' development is however possible." 38
With extravagant mummery, as if they were dealing with a
powerful opponent, the Colonials made the proper motions .
Low-flying airplanes scattered tons of Arabic leaflets promising
that if the strike were dropped, a Royal Commission would immediately
come and "give the Arabs justice ." With ill-concealed
clarity they were told by manifesto and proclamation that all
their demands would be granted .
With brilliant forethought the Bureaucrats cushioned the collapse
for their friends in the Arab High Committee . They invited
the Arab kings into the situation . But here came a snag
the Arab kings smelled a rat and would not budge . Abdullah,
who believed he was to be the Emir of a reunited Palestine and
Transjordan, was mortally afraid of baiting Ibn Saud by a public
declaration, since the latter understood that it was his second
son who was to get the Holy Land throne . Each waited dead
in his tracks, desperately afraid of being double-crossed .37
Finally, the Iraqi Foreign Minister, Nuri Pasha Said, was
dragooned to act as mediator . He assured the rebels that "the
Palestine Government would not only announce stoppage of
Jewish entry into Palestine but would also declare an amnesty
for individual Arabs participating in the outbreaks, as quid pro
quo concessions for Arab cessation of the strike ." 38 Almost
immediately afterwards, Nuri Pasha was overthrown in his own
country and chased out to exile in Egypt. The new Government
of Iraq turned its back on the pan-Arab world . Ibn Saud
and Abdullah continued to eye each other suspiciously . Only
after these gentlemen had been stiffly reminded that they owed
their eminence to British bayonets, did they cautiously allow
themselves to be drawn into the 'face-saving' process .
With this theatrical piece of staging the `strike' ended . It was
not a surrender, but in the nature of an honorable armistice.
The plain inference in this gentleman's arrangement was "that
pending the findings of the Commission, the terrorist organization
is not to be unduly harassed, so that it shall be in a position
to resume hostilities should it not be satisfied with the findings
of the Commission ." 311 With superb courtesy, Fawzy Bey and
his followers were allowed passage into Transjordan . "Though
the Army had successfully surrounded him and his foreign supporters,"
writes the Jerusalem correspondent of the London
Times, ". . . his capture would have been embarrassing," so he
was "allowed to escape across the Jordan as a more tactful solution,"
enabling him to "conclude his spectacular career here
with honor and without surrender." 40 Why, one wonders, was
it necessary to allow this invading desperado to depart "with
honor" ? By what providential device was he "surrounded"
immediately after the conclusion of the strike, though seemingly
so elusive before ? And why would his capture have been
"embarrassing" to the Government of Palestine ? Returning to
Baghdad with a large party of followers by motor convoy, Fawzy
was given a rousing official reception which included "a message
of welcome from the Prime Minister, who congratulated him on
his safe return." 41 Since Iraq is frankly a British dependency,
must not this circumstance also be included in the puzzle ?
One hundred and seventy-five days had elapsed . During this
time, Palestine had wallowed in a horrible blood bath which had
cost seven hundred lives and thousands of wounded . Trees by
the hundred thousand had been uprooted ; innumerable stock
animals slain ; forty-eight bridges were destroyed ; telephone
and telegraph wires damaged ; trains derailed, buildings burned
and looted. There had been, all told, 1996 attacks on Jewish
settlements and communities, and numerous other forays directed
at busses, police stations and public buildings . Business
was at a standstill . Property loss was estimated at L 3,000,000.
The extra expenditure for military and police ran to another
The Holy Land was tense and anxious as still another of the
obliquitous Commissions entrained from London to `investigate :
While London was thus engaged in victimizing the Jews, official
publicity agencies were losing no opportunity to squeeze
every ounce of advantage from the situation . A venomous and
apparently incurable quarrel had developed between England
and the ambitious Italian dictator Mussolini . Frankly worried,
London was straining every nerve to quarantine the Italian by
depicting him as an international criminal who must be ostracized
by all decent opinion . The efficient English propaganda
machine was now operating on the old war-time basis . From
London and Jerusalem came a roll of sensational stories fastening
responsibility for the riots on the scowling figure of Mussolini.
Veiled allusions were made to the Pope and to his liaison
with the Italian Dictator . Catholic nuns, nurses and teachers
were accused of carrying on secret propaganda against Zionists
and British alike .42 In beautifully chosen words which inferred
an anti-Jewish as well as anti-English plot the British Foreign
Secretary pinned the whole blame on the Italians .
The entire liberal press rose to the bait so dexterously flicked
upon the water . Like a pack of dogs hot after game, the Marxist
press aggressively took up the cry. The London Daily Herald
asserted that Italy had sent enormous sums to Arab leaders
through secret agents . It even went to the point of claiming
that Mussolini had offered the Bedouins of Transjordan three
dollars a day per man if they would cross over into Palestine and
loot Jewish stores and houses .43 Responsible publications went
so far as to feature as news a weird story, concocted by the press
officer of Palestine, alleging that posters printed in Italian had
been stuck up all over Jerusalem urging Arabs to slit the gullets
of the Jews .44 Even the Zionist spokesmen, anxious now for
some unreal explanation of distasteful reality, seized on this fragile
straw which the Mandatory for Palestine had thoughtfully
A scant two years later, Italy, under pressure from its Nazi ally,
was to join the anti-Semitic Internationale so sedulously promoted
from Berlin.45 Jews, who had occupied the most illustrious
positions in Italian life, were to find themselves, in a single
merciless stroke, ostracized, vilified and threatened with exile.
In 1936, however, before this chameleon-like development in Italian
policy had taken place, Fascist Italy could truly have been said
to be freer from anti-Semitic agitation than London itself .46 On
June 20, 1937 the Italian Dictator had told Generoso Pope, New
York publisher : "I authorize you to declare and to make known
immediately upon your return to New York, to the Jews of
America, that their preoccupation for their brothers living in
Italy is nothing but the fruit of evil informers . I authorize you
to specify that the Jews in Italy have received, now receive, and
will continue to receive, the same treatment accorded to every
other Italian citizen and that no form of racial or religious discrimination
is in my thought, which is devoted and faithful to
the policy of equality in law and freedom of worship ." Ten
years previously he had advised the Rumanians : "Anti-Semitism
is a product of barbarism to which our movement is diametrically
opposed. Fascism seeks unity ; anti-Semitism seeks destruction
and separation . If we are to exclude Jews, we will only
strengthen our enemies." 47 In 1935 he had again warned the
pogromists that "if Rumania goes along the road of anti-Semitism
it will have very severe consequences not only inside the country
but in its foreign relations ." 48
Before events forced him into the unhappy position of being
the tail to the German kite, Mussolini had been a persistent advocate
of State Zionism . On February zo, 1934 he urged in
Popolo D'Italia the creation of a "true Jewish State in Palestine,"
pointing out that a "National Home" could logically mean only
this and nothing else . As late as January 18, 1937, he had written
an editorial warmly lauding the Zionist cause, though soon
after he was found attempting to match cards with Britain by
posing as the friend and patron of the Arab .
There can be no doubt that Mussolini, a hard-fisted realist,
would have considered it good business if he could have disengaged
the Jews from the English orbit . A powerful independent
Zion with which he was on a friendly footing would have
suited him perfectly . The Jews themselves eliminated this prospect
by their persistent Anglophilism, and Mussolini has come to
regard Zionism as merely a mask for the creation of another zone
of English political and economic expansion in the Mediterranean.
It hence looms in the Italian mind as an anti-Italian force.
Nevertheless, not a shred of real evidence has ever been offered
to substantiate the charge that Italian intervention was a factor in
the recent Arab revolt in Palestine.
Far more potent than any interference by Italian or Papist has
been the German intervention, which the English studiously
ignore. It has been shown that agitators now active in the Near
East have been trained in a special school in the Brown House
in Munich ; that pamphlets in Arabic are printed in Berlin and
Hamburg for distribution in Palestine 4 9 On October 22, 1 933,
it was announced that Eissael Bendek, member of the Arab Executive's
Administrative Bureau, would direct a propaganda
campaign in the interests of the Nazi Party . On June 8, 1934
the Jerusalem Arab daily, Mukkattar, reported the formation of
an Arab Nazi Youth Organization . The French Weekly, Marianne,
reported in 1937 that a great part of the arms employed in
the rebellion were supplied by the Suhl and Erfurter Gewehrfabrik
of Germany, which sent, in particular, many rifles and
machine-guns. The Arab journals Falastin and Al Dijah published
regularly articles of a racial nature, together with large
portraits of the various leaders of the Third Reich . They did
not even attempt to conceal the fact that they had become tools
of the Ministry of Propaganda in Berlin . The shout of `Heil
Hitler' became a catchword which rang insolently over all Palestine.
Nevertheless, the British Foreign Secretary has persistently
informed Commons that Nazi propaganda in Palestine is not of
such a nature as to require representations to the German Government.
This is a subject which Sir Robert Vansittart's publicity
bureau has also continuously soft-pedaled .
The Mandatory's press releases, however, made much of Communist
agitation in the Holy Land, inferring by unmistakable
innuendo that this was a Jewish introduction and one of the unspoken
horrors against which patriotic Arabs were rebelling .
This was a deft trick which the Soviets returned even more
deftly. Identifying Zionism with British Imperialism, they
placed themselves in the vanguard of the pan-Arab movement .
Communist hatred of Zionism is fundamentally rooted . AcJEHOVAH
cording to Marx, the Jews are not a nation but merely a product
and relic of an outmoded economic system . Hence a Jewish
regeneration based on its own (i.e., capitalist) values is contradictory
to the first and initial postulates of Communist theory .
Despite this ideological overgrowth, however, one may suspect
that this rancorous hostility is actuated by a more realistic reason
: Palestine as a stronghold of British Imperial interests could
by virtue of its strategic position be turned into one of the keystones
in the arch of anti-Soviet attack . The Kremlin, therefore,
not daring to attack England openly, does so by sneaking
through the back door and lambasting the Jews.
As long ago as November 15, 1926, a letter to the Palestine
Arab Executive from the Executive Committee of the Communist
Party of Great Britain offers "the wholehearted help of the
British Communist Party in the great historic mission of establishing
a united workers and peasants republic in the Near East
from Morocco to Syria . . . Great Britain," it asserts, "has
treacherously betrayed the Arabs by establishing Palestine as a
National Home for the Jewish People under an imposed British
Mandate." In Russia the Moscow Pravda roars on August 13,
1935 that "the Communist Party is building a people's front of
the entire Arab Nationalist Movement against Imperialism and
against Zionism." In 1936 the Kremlin decreed "a united front
between the local Communist Party and the Arab nationalists ."
By order of the Comintern the Palestine Communist Party was
Sacrificing outright their social propaganda, which the Arabs
could not be expected to understand, the Palestine section of the
Communist Internationale issued the following manifesto just after
the riots erupted in 1936 : "Arabs, you have seen the open and
clear villainies of the Zionist despoilers . . . Through their despicable
methods they have managed to deprive your tribes of most of
their land and to cut you off absolutely from all means of livelihood.
But they [the Zionists] are not satisfied with establishing
their National Home on the bayonets of British Imperialism . . .
They are bringing in large quantities of arms with but one aim -
to shoot at the hearts of the Arabs, whom they seek to wipe off
the face of the earth. The Arab people have two ways open to
them. One is the road to annihilation . The other is the road
to life and honor. He who is ready to take the second road
must choose war, just as his fathers and grandfathers spilled their
blood for their fatherland . The present Strike is our opportunity.
The Communist Party joins this Strike, but demands that
it must assume revolutionary proportions, and not by sleeping at
home or sitting around coffee shops . The Strike must not end
until Jewish immigration and the sale of land to Jews will be
stopped, and until the Jews are disarmed and the Arab masses
armed!" 51
As a result of this agitation, organized Jewish labor in Palestine
almost alone in the labor world refuses to admit Communists
to its ranks, stating simply "that such people have cut themselves
off from the Jewish people." The Communist is nicknamed
Mups, a contemptuous label which even the most radical
worker resents. "In my candid opinion," wrote Senator Copeland,
"there is no more solid anti-Communist body in the world
than the four hundred thousand Jewish people in the Holy
Land." 52 Farago, on the other hand, noted that Arabs were being
strongly influenced by Communist propaganda.53 An official
of the Criminal Investigation Department asserted to Duff that
Communism is "becoming a terrible menace now. The Arab
peasants are being inoculated with the poison . . . The fellaheen
believe that a Bolshie revolution in Palestine will mean three
cows for each man, J4 a month in cash, and 2o dunams of land
apiece. On top of that the Communists will expel the Jews and
all the rich colonies will become the property of the Arab peasants."
However, these activities were more sinister vocally than important
in reality. The British are not kindly disposed toward
Communists, and only let them on the loose for short periods
when their inflammatory material is required to keep the pot
boiling. When the dangerous woman agitator, Regina Brodskis,
was arrested in September 1935, a storehouse of inflammatory
literature and a counterfeit seal of the High Commissioner
were found in her possession. Despite these damning facts, this
woman and her gang were released in the Spring of 1936 "for
lack of evidence." The very unusual nature of this act in itself,
plus its exact timing with the outbreaks, hardly leaves this
trouble-breeding policy open to doubt.

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