Thursday, May 14, 2015


"Having read `The Rape of Palestine,' I stand amazed at the scholarship,
the courage and the competence of William B . Ziff, its author.
The book is full of political dynamite -in its documented indictment
of the British camarilla which in betraying the Jewish nation is betraying
the British nation as well ; in its unsparing exposure of self-deluded
Zionist leadership ; in its passionate and convincing demonstration that
anti-Semitism threatens to annihilate not only us Jews but everything
connoted by `Christian civilization .' It is a moving and powerful and
vastly significant book, the kind of book, it seems to me, that makes
history." - Eugene Lyons
"The Palestine problem is not a local issue. It has become one of major
significance to the world at large . Mr. Ziff's great book is a splendid
contribution to the clarification and ultimate solution of that problem .
It is a perfectly amazing historical document . Its clarity and charm of
style, its forthright logic and masterly presentation' of facts make it one
of the outstanding books of this generation ."- William Griffin, Editor
and Publisher, New York Enquirer
"At last there has come what has so long been needed, a clear, accurate,
dependable account of the betrayal of the world's hope in Palestine ."
-Charles Edward Russell
"This book should be read by all those in responsible position in
American public affairs who are interested in the foreign scene ."
- H. Styles Bridges, U . S. SenatorNew Hampshire
"Every lover of humanity and everyone who hopes' to preserve our
present civilization against disaster should read these dynamic pages.
This book is an eye-opener." -William Green, President, A . F. of L .
"I heartily recommend Wm . B. Ziff's book . This great book should
be in the hands of all those interested in gaining a proper understanding
of the vexing Palestine problems of today ." - Reverend Ralph Sockman,
Former President, Greater New York Federation of Churches.

`William 13. Ziff


First edition November 1938
Second edition November 1938

" . I hope the Hon . Members will believe me when I say that
I am not pro-Jew ; I am pro-English . I set a higher value on the
reputation of England all over the world for justice than I do on
anything else . . . but when I see this sort of thing going on,
with the Government unable to put any argument an the other side,
it makes me perhaps bitterer than even a Jew can be against the
Government of Palestine today."-Address by Colonel Josiah C.
Wedgwood, M.P., to his peers in Commons, May 29, 1934.

The parlous condition of the Jewish people over a large part
of the known world, and particularly in such countries as Germany,
Poland and Rumania, has called increasing attention to the
workings of the Mandate for Palestine now administered by
Great Britain under the authority of the League of Nations . The
Mandate, when it was written, as well as the antecedent Balfour
Declaration, clearly contemplated that the "home" to be established
in Palestine was intended for the whole Jewish people who
were to be established there by international sanction in the
future. The intention was to provide a sane and reasonable solution
to the age-old Jewish problem, and it anticipated those
circumstances which have rendered so large a portion of the Jewish
race homeless.
If this was indeed the purpose of the Mandate it has proved a
miserable failure, since it has solved nothing and has only succeeded
in adding a new and formidable problem to a world already
sinking under the weight of problems . Many reasons are
adduced for this failure . Much is made of the irreconcilable
differences between Arabs and Jews, which the mandatory now
claims render the Mandate unworkable.
The claim that an opposing promise was made to the Arabs will
be examined in these pages, as will be the circumstances under
which the Balfour Declaration and Mandate were issued . The
assertion that the Declaration was extorted from an unwilling
Britain by Jewish financiers during the War, can be obviously
disposed of as a pure invention of the anti-Semitic mind . Another
and more reasonable claim made to justify Britain's position
in this matter is that she was totally ignorant of the real conditions
in Palestine and the actual problems she was letting herself
in for when she made her bargain with the Jews. Under ex-
amination this contention loses much of its plausibility. For a
hundred years Zionism, as we shall see, had been almost as much
an English movement as it was a purely Jewish one . As for local
conditions in Palestine, it is undoubted that British officialdom
knew more about Arab social and economic problems than the
Jews aspiring to settle there . From the time the American
scholar Robinson attempted to explore archaeological remains in
the Holy Land in 1837, London has, through the Palestine Exploration
Fund, concentrated on the study of every minute detail
that related to Palestine . "Theirs," state De Haas and Wise,
"were the surveys, the compilation of flora and fauna, theirs too
the enumeration and localization of the Bedouin tribes ; theirs the
studies in local conditions, the compilation of customs and excise,
estimates of population, speculation as to the origins of peoples,
observations on everything that relates to the area between
the River of Egypt and the cedars of Lebanon ." 1 Reaching far
back into the i 1840's, Lord Palmerston had compiled for his Government
thorough material on Palestine, considering the possibility
of exercising a British protectorate over that region in the
Jewish interests. Since that time the accumulation has been so
vast that it is only fair to say that the British archives contain a
better survey of Arab social, economic, agricultural and other
problems than the Arabs have of themselves .
As for the Declaration itself, it may be assumed that Lord Balfour,
its author, is an infallible witness to its intended purpose .
He wrote : "The national and international status of the Jews to
that of other races . . . would be promoted by giving them that
which all other nations possess : a local habitation and a national
home . . . [where] they would bear corporate responsibilities
and enjoy corporate duties of a kind which, from the nature of
the case, they can never possess as citizens of any non-Jewish
state ." 2 It will be evident from the records that neither the
Declaration nor the Mandate confers upon non-Jews any rights
which would allow them to interfere with the growth and operation
of the National Home. It is obvious that if these documents
were to be interpreted so as to include National Home rights to
non-Jews, both the National Home grant to the Jews and the
rights of non-Jews would be repealed by implication . The document
would then repeal itself, which on the face of it would be
a reduction ad absurdum .
As will also be seen from these pages, British trusteeship of the
Holy Land was the result of Jewish demand itself, Wedgwood
admitting rather shamefacedly in this respect that the Jews were
"almost the only non-Anglo-Saxon people who seem to believe
that on the whole England does try to behave decently towards
other people." 3
If the records are to be believed, the Mandatory for Palestine
has followed a deliberate defaulting policy in respect to its obligations
there, and has itself largely created the conditions which
it now so thoroughly decries . A large share of its policies have
been motivated entirely by British power politics in the Mediterranean,
in which the Mandate was used for the purpose of
surrounding British Imperial strategy in the Middle East with the
aura of sanctity. A factor of even greater importance, however,
is the gross anti-Semitism of a handful of civil servants in the
bureaus of Whitehall and Westminster. It is to the phobia of
these men against Jews that most of the troubles agitating the
Holy Land can be traced . Its wantonness is not flaunted, it is
true, like the excesses of the German Nazis or the Polish Endeks.
It lies icily beneath the shining hardness of bureaucratic logic.
It is overlaid with the softness of English colonial skill - but, as
we shall discover, it is in no sense less intense, and fully as implacable,
as the open anti-Semitism of the Nazis on the Continent.
This, briefly, will be found to be the underlying condition
which hides beneath the maze of pretension by which London
has consistently justified its bad faith to the Jews and to the
world. It is this factor which has caused the declared policy of
the Mandate to fail so ignominiously and which has allowed the
Holy Land in these past years to be given over to hooligans and
desperadoes who have murdered its citizens, burned its crops and
houses and demoralized its commerce .
The records are voluminous . This book attempts only the
barest factual description, as free as such an account may reason-
ably be from evaluations or interpretations which the facts do
not bespeak in themselves.
For those who desire fuller information on the various aspects
of this subject, a selected list of reference works will be found in
the notes and bibliography. The attention of the reader should
also be brought to the fact that except where otherwise indicated,
italics are in every case my own .

The Ancient Land of Israel -Character of the
Hebrew - Struggles for Independence - Final
Rebellions - The Dispersion
The Jew Never Gave Up His Claim to Palestine -
The First Essential to Jewish Title
Fifteen Hundred Years of Tragedy - "Liberty !
Fraternity ! Equality !" - `The Lost Ten Tribes'
- Reawakening Hebrew Consciousness - Herz1
Topography - Jewish Pre-War Settlements
5 2
Palestine and the War - Events Leading to Lord
Balfour's Commitment - Struggle with the Non-
Zionists - What Did the Declaration Mean ?
Marching Jews - Revolting Tribesmen - The Arab
View of Zionism - The Military Junta - Hand rubbing
Statesmen - Pogrom and World Horror
Weitzman Obliges - The First Partition
Under the Colonial Office - A Jewish Ruler After
Two Thousand Years - The Pogrom of 1921 -
The Grand Mufti - The Churchill White Paper
- Severance of Transjordan - Samuel is Replaced
- Field Marshal Lord Plumer
The Third High Commissioner -The Pogrom of
1929-Who Was Responsible? -Commissions
and White Papers - The Report of Hope-Simpson
- The Passfield White Paper - The MacDonald
Letter - The Kid Glove High Commissioner -
The Report of Mr. . French
The Zionist Organization - The Palestine Dreyfus
Case - Labor Dictatorship - Reigning Zionist
`Unprecedented Prosperity' -Population and Cities
- Character of the People
The Holy Land and Whitehall - The Jewish
Nuisance - `Rule Britannia !' - The Arab
Empire Project- Interpreting the Mandate
The Jew Tries to Enter Palestine - Tourists -
Hunting down Illegal's - The Arab Comes in Like
a Gentleman - Britain Puts on the Heat
Soil Hunger - A Famine in Land - Double Standard
of Taxation
2 54
Sabotaging Industry -Banking and Currency -
Citrus - Economic Insanity -'Heads, I Win
Tails, You Lose' - On Air and Sea - Roads and
The Tax Moneys - Public Expenditures - Cheating
Children with Cockles - Health and Sanitation -
Laws, Benefits and Public Services -'No Jews
Need Apply' - An Anglo-Saxon System of
Jurisprudence -The Wolf Named Sheriff to
Does an Arab Race Exist? -Arab Types and
Traits - Levantine Worship of God - The Son of
the Desert Suffers from Jewish Competition -
Nashishibis and Husseinis - Claims, Objectives
and Methods -'Semitic Brothers'
`Let Not Thy Right Hand Know What Thy Left
Hand Doeth' -Revolt by Permission - Blaming
Italians and Communists - Another Royal Commission
Downing Street Runs the Gauntlet -
Mr. Weitzman Obliges Again - Saint George
Spits in the Dragon's Eye
the Lambs - Numerous Clauses and Censorship
Legalities : `Made in England' - Abdullah Puts His
Hand Out
I .
The Legislative Council - "By Their Acts You Shall
Know Them!" - Some Odious Comparisons

Spits in the Dragon's Eye
the Lambs - Numerous Clauses and Censorship
Legalities : `Made in England' - Abdullah Puts His
Hand Out
I .
The Legislative Council - "By Their Acts You Shall
Know Them!" - Some Odious Comparisons
`Enemies of All Mankind'- The Refugees
Absorptive Capacity - Landless Arabs and Agricultural
Possibilities -'No Water' - A Prospect of
Agricultural Competence - Mineral Resources -
Other Possibilities - An Overcrowded Country
Maps appear on end pages,
inside front and back covers.
5 1 4
57 1
5 84


The Zionist fabric is not new. It is of a piece with the whole
history and tradition of the Hebrew people . It is inextricably a
part of that dynamic stream of consciousness which has swept the
Hebrew past a long succession of centuries which, by all logic,
should have suffocated him . Unconsciously, even the apostate
Disraeli acknowledged the great compulsion of the Hebrew past
in the life of the living Jew . Cut to the quick by fellow-members
in Parliament who taunted him with being a Jew as he made his
maiden speech, he cried in reply : "That is all very well -but
when your ancestors were chasing each other around trees with
stone axes, mine were writing the Talmud."
A short glimpse into the history of this remarkable people will
shed a clear light on much of the present Jewish situation which
must otherwise remain confused and inexplicable.
For countless generations the world has been content with the
paradox which allowed it to affirm with Sir William Jones, that
the Hebrew Scriptures "contained more sublimity, more exquisite
beauty, and finer strains of poetry and eloquence than could be
collected from all other books that were ever composed in any
age or any idiom" ; and in the same breath to believe that the Hebrews
who wrote them were a tribe of wild, illiterate shepherds
on a scale of development comparable to that of the modem
Recent archaeological research brings us to the more reasonable
conclusion that the people who wrote the Bible were a race who
lived in a high state of civilization, not inferior in many of its
aspects to that of the present day .
Among the most interesting of these discoveries is the un-
doubted proof that Abraham actually lived . We have the word
of Sir Leonard Woolley and other scholars, that "the fact of
Abraham's existence was vouched for by written documents almost,
if not quite, contemporary with him ." 1 And Prof . J. Garrow
Duncan remarks that in Genesis i-xi are whole passages which
"describe actual history dating two thousand years before Abraham,
and other passages which are translated from ancient cuneiform
records as if the writer had the tablets before him ." He
describes at Ur, the Jewish patriarchs' birthplace, two-story
houses with plastered rooms, together with sewers, pillars and
courtyards . "Some of the cuneiform tablets were on the subject
of mathematics," from plain sums in addition to methods of
extracting cube roots, a knowledge, he avers, Abraham most certainly
possessed .2
It is now clear that the Jews originated in Mesopotamia, a
colonizing offshoot of that ancient Akkadian-Sumerian culture,
in which, according to the consensus of modern scholarly opinion,
civilization itself was cradled .
The Hebrews entered Palestine as an educated people. That
writing was in common use among them even as early as the time
of Moses, is shown by the findings at Lachish . Here Sir Charles
Marston came upon letters written in ink describing contemporary
history, the earliest known use of alphabetical writing .3
Recent excavations confirm completely descriptions in the texts
of the Old Testament. At Tell Sbustujeh in Samaria were found
exquisite decorations, delicately carved inlays, and various articles
of metal craftsmanship, obviously those referred to in Kings
22 :39, Amos 3 :15 and Psalms 45 :8. Here are the palaces of
Ahab, and houses built with hewn stone, often of two or three
stories, speaking evidence of the rich civilized life which produced
them. Excavations elsewhere in Palestine tell exactly the
same story. Apparently even the greatest attention was paid to
matters of sanitation, and "the great water tunnels at Gezer and
Jerusalem show that no amount of trouble was considered superfluous
in order to provide uninterrupted access to water ." 4
In the light of these findings, the great prosperity of the Hebrew
nation cannot be dismissed as so much oriental braggado
cio. It must be accepted as a faithful account of historical fact .
The soil had been the basic source of Palestine's wealth and had
been so during all the ages until the hand of a barbaric and improvident
race fell heavy upon it and robbed it of its fertility . The
Song of Solomon describes the luscious beauty of the well-kept
and thickly populated country in the springtime ; and we have today
for reference the remarkable notes of an Egyptian named
Sinuhe (about the twentieth century B .C.) who, compelled to
reside for a while in the highlands of Palestine, relates tersely
"There were figs and grapes and more wine than water . Its honey
was ample and its oil abundant, and all kinds of fruits hung from
its trees . There were wheat and barley and all kinds of flocks,
without number." 5 About 200 B.C. another articulate traveler,
one Aristeas, raptly describes the country as an agricultural paradise
." Josephus himself never grew tired of praising the fertility
of his native land . The Galilee uplands he describes as being so
closely cultivated as to resemble "a large garden ." Tacitus echoes
much of this unbounded adulation ; while Polybius declared that
the district between Beth Shan and the Lake of Galilee alone
could support an army .
Biblical testimony itself was unstinting in its lush description
of the region as being a land flowing with milk and honey . Deuteronomy
describes it as a beautiful country with "brooks of water
and fountains and lakes that spring out of valleys and hills, a land
of wheat, barley and vines, and fig trees and pomegranates, a land
of olive oil and honey, a land where one can eat without scarceness,
where there is no lack of anything . . ."
The Jew had been a skilled agriculturist . He knew how to
prepare the soil, manure it and clear it of stones and debris. He
was accustomed to terrace the hills and knew how to practice irrigation
by means of cisterns, wells and canals . The ploughshare
itself was made out of iron .? The ground had to be turned over
at least three times, and the plough followed by the harrow ., So
highly was agriculture esteemed that even Saul, although he was
already anointed king, is seen returning from his day at the
In the hands of this provident people who loved their soil, this
whole territory was an eden of rich meadows, numberless fruit
trees, vineyards, palms and closely cultivated farms and gardens.
Grain crops and vegetables of all kinds grew in profusion both in
the valleys and on the hills . The land was so rich in fruits of
every kind that they were exported to world markets, where they
were famous for their superior quality . All through ancient times
the Jordan Valley was noted for its corn, dates, balsam, flax and
other products . Here in the last century Tristram came upon
elaborate ruins of sugar mills still surviving . 10 Pliny called Judea
as famous for dates as Egypt for spices. Galilee was known
throughout the ancient world for its olive oil. Its importance
alone is shown by the amount supplied annually to the King of
Tyre by Solomon : 16o,ooo gallons of best quality ." Across
Jordan the sleek, fat kine of Bashan were proverbial . And Gilead
bore perfume and medicine for the whole Eastern world . Hence
the proverb, "Is there no balm in Gilead ?"
Up to the Fifth Century A.D . the bare hills of Moab were covered
with waving corn and closely settled vineyards . Some remnants
of the immense forests which once stretched from Kfar
Saba and east into Bethlehem still existed as late as 1840, when
they too capitulated to the general war of extermination waged
by the wandering native population against the woods and soil of
this favored country . Writers, even down to the Crusades, described
great woods like those of Sharon. As late as Nehemiah's
time there was a forester in the Royal Service to control the timber
supply around Jerusalem, 12 and from the hieroglyphic papyrus
Golenisheff (about 1150 B.C.) we learn that the Egyptians had
been importing timber from the Carmel region for generations ."
In this eden of prosperous husbandry it is no surprise to see industry
and manufacture keeping pace to create a well-rounded
base for the wealth of this fortunate nation . Allied with the
farmers were innumerable shepherds, cowherds and cattlemen .
Dairying was of sufficient importance to make a cheese market
necessary in Jerusalem. On the other side of Jordan the Jews
dealt in wool, and everywhere raised poultry from the earliest
They were equally alert and practiced in handicrafts which
were considered a family pride and tradition . At the time of
Jesus, Jewish literature mentions no less than forty kinds of craftsmen.
Hillel was a woodcutter ; R. Yeshoshua Ben Hananya a
smith ; Jesus of Nazareth a carpenter and maker of cattle yokes,
and Saul of Tarsus a weaver of tent cloths . An interesting picture
of various crafts is given in the Wisdom of Ben Sira (Ecclesiasticus),
a book belonging to about zoo B.C . Here the
ploughman, the grazier, the carpenter, the engraver, the smith, the
potter and the physician are all spoken of .
Excavations at Tell Beit Mirsim (the Biblical Debir) showed
that the industrial life of Israel onward to the end of the Exile was
well developed . "The evidence of weaving and dyeing, of the
pottery industry, and especially engineering, is now greatly
strengthened. The evidence of the weaving industry is overwhelming."
14 At Debir, Dr . Albright discovered six dye plants
and remnants "showing that there must have been a loom in nearly
every house." 15
At the south end of Lake Tiberias was one of the first purely
manufacturing towns in economic history . Beautiful dyed cloths
and dyes were exported as well as phosphorus, asphalt, tar, salt,
glass ornaments and perfumes. Pliny tells us that 'Judean pitch'
was world famous. Iron mines were found in the Lebanon and
near Jerash. Josephus mentions the `hill of iron' which "extended
as far as the land of Moab ." Dr. Glueck found in 1934
abandoned workings of rich copper fields in the region north of
the Gulf of Aqaba and remarks : "When the Biblical historian
asserts `there was no weighing of the bronze from which he
[Solomon] made all these vessels, because it was so much,' one
may believe that he was not exaggerating the facts ." 16
In those days the present industrial relations between East and
West were reversed . The Orient was then the great industrial
center and exchanged its manufactured products against the raw
materials of the less developed Western countries .
Solomon was canny enough to exploit the unique geographical
position of his country. He was the originator of the policy of
customs and levied on both imports and exports to keep his treasury
full.17 The commerce of the Hebrew State extended in all
directions, as far east as China, and as far west as Natal and Zululand
where coins dating from the time of the Macabees have
been recently discovered."'
On the sea, Rawlinson observes that while the friendly dealings
of Hiram with David and Solomon are well known, "the continued
alliance between the Phoenicians and the Israelites has attracted
less attention." 19 This continued composition of interests
between the two neighboring Semitic nations is mentioned
by Herodotus and other ancients and is confirmed by modern
authorities.20 Says Klausner : "Jewish sailors were just as numerous
as Jewish donkey-drivers ." 21
Fishermen too were numerous and the catch so plentiful that
much of it was salted and sold abroad . Trade both by sea and
over the camel routes thrived . Aristeas declares fulsomely that
"a great mass of spices, precious stones and gold is brought into
the district . . . For the country is well adapted for commerce
as well as for cultivation, and the city [Jerusalem] is rich in the
arts, and lacks none of the merchandise which is brought across
the sea."
This was the country which Jehovah had promised to his people
Israel "for an everlasting possession" ; a veritable beehive of
plenty and happiness, tribute to what will happen when a favored
land and a gifted people meet in conjunction . The Assyrian
Sennacherib leaves a record of its populous ness : "I took forty-six
of his strong walled cities as well as the small cities in their neighborhood,
which were without number." 22 Josephus remarks
that "the cities lie here very thick and the very many villages that
are here, are everywhere so full of people . . . that the very
least of them contained above fifteen thousand inhabitants ." 28
Population estimates vary, curtained by the dust of antiquity,
but in every case they were so considerable as to cause the modern
observer to gasp . In an age where opportunities for sustaining
concentrated industrial populations were largely non-existent,
the land certainly maintained a per capita density incomparably
larger than that which allegedly overcrowds it today.
Diodorus, Strabo, Tacitus, and Dio Cassius all agree that "the
population to the square mile was larger in Palestine than in any
other portion of the Roman dominion." 24
In Exodus. 12 :37 we are told that there were "about 6oo,ooo on
foot that were men, besides women and children" plus "a mixed
multitude" that went up from Egypt . Chron. 21 :5 asserts that
when David numbered the people, including the soldiery, or
those who were called into the actual service of the King in due
course, month by month throughout the year, "all they of Israel
were i,ioo,ooo that drew sword ; and of Judah, 475,000," exclusive
of Levi and Benjamin. Josephus estimates the number shut
up in Jerusalem during the siege by Titus at 2,700,000.25 From
the figures he gives, Galilee alone must have held fully 3,000,000
people, while the whole of Palestine could be conservatively estimated
at least 12,000,000.
Certainly if one may judge from Roman accounts of the wars
with Judea, where figures running into the millions were given
for the slain, and the numbers sold into captivity ran into legions,
these figures are not incredible .
If the Jews are to return to become a collective force in the
world of men, they will beyond doubt resuscitate their ancient
law. Prof. A. A. Berle points out that "that law, only vaguely
understood, and of only very limited application in world history,
will have then a full exposition and a thorough working out in
terms of modern life ." 26 An increasing army of educators, disgusted
with the tyrannical and unpleasant philosophies which are
blasting civilization to its foundations, see in the Hebrew laws the
elements for a social regeneration of this sick world . "Certainly,"
says Berle, "many of the laws relating to the ordinary life and
relations of mankind, as laid down in ancient Mosaic law, if applied
to a modern city block, would regenerate it root and
branch ."
Most of what passes for a history of the Hebrew people has
been filtered through hostile Greek and Roman sources and
through the hardly less hostile bias of medieval Christianity . The
significance of Hebrew genius in relation to its peculiar understanding
of cultural values is hence not generally understood .
Dr. Marion E . Cady says of this situation that "now it is being
fearlessly asserted that as in religion, so in education, the Jews
have made the greatest contribution of any nation, ancient, medieval
or modern." 27 Prof. E. C. Baldwin of Illinois University
concludes that "modern culture, both artistic and ethical, goes
back to Athens and to Jerusalem, but that English culture owes
far more to the Hebrew than to the Greeks ." 28 And Dr. F. T.
Lamb asserts that "if our boys and girls were trained as Jesus was
trained up to twelve years of age, they would be in every desirable
respect greatly the superior of the boys and girls trained under
the best methods of the present day." 29
The essential core of the Hebrew idea was the superiority of
reason. That system of life which is commonly called Judaism,
was in the most real sense no religion at all . It was never formal,
abstract and separated from life, but a throbbing and vital part of
it. It was completely unlike pure theological systems such as
that evolved by the Greeks - which, attempting to reconcile
themselves with the world in its broadest sense, found religious
inheritance irreconcilable with rational thinking . It is necessary
to understand Judaism in this sense, as a civilization rather than a
religion, in order to grasp adequately the dynamics and vitality
which have kept Zionism consciously alive over this great lapse
of years . Judaism was concerned deliberately with the quality
of living on this earth, with the bringing of every phase of existence
into relation with eternal truth. "It is worth remarking,"
comment Graham and May, "that no matter to what heights of social
vision and spiritual exaltation the Hebrew seer might climb, he
never lost that urge toward physical well-being which had impelled
his remote ancestors to venture into the Promised Land .
In the same breath in which he speaks of multitudes streaming to
Zion to commune with God, he mentions the vine and the fig tree
which every citizen may call his own ." 30
"The drift of all Hebrew thinking," says MacDonald, "as
thinking, was to link up morals and intelligence ." 31 Judaism
significantly regarded stupidity as the source of evil in individual
man. A sinner was a blunderer and not a rational person, and the
ultimate morality was not to be a fool. Worshiping Reason,
the Hebrew could not credit anything which was either irrational
or static. To his mind, nothing existed rigid and unalterable in a
state of `being,' but only of `becoming .'
The great Rabbi Hillel, who preceded Jesus by a generation,
typified this remarkable viewpoint . Asked by a heathen who
wished to make sport of him, to be taught the whole Torah 32
while standing on one foot, the gentle Hillel replied : "What is
hateful to thee do not to others . This is the whole Torah . The
rest is merely commentary."
While the Hebrew concept regarded all life forces as constituting
one unity not capable of being subdivided on varying moral
bases to suit varying emergencies and occasions, it was irrevocably
anchored in an implicit belief in the sacredness of the individual
personality. At a time when Romans compelled gladiators to
slaughter each other for sport in the arenas, when material appetites
and gross oppressions were the elements of universal law,
this free people was living in accordance with a code which for
sheer gallantry of expression has had no equal before - nor perhaps
since. A spirit of mercy and humanity pervaded the Hebrew
legal system . In Jewish law there was never such a thing
as legal justification for inequality . No man could vindicate an
act of injustice by an appeal to law . Complete equality before
the bar of justice was the right of all from humble herdsman to
king. The Deuteronomic Code declares no single witness sufficient
to convict a man of wrongdoing . Malicious witnesses
were severely dealt with . "A straying animal must be taken up
and returned to its owner, and if a beast has fallen under a burden
the passerby must aid the owner in raising it to its feet again ." 33
This applied also to lost articles and provided that if the owner
were unknown the finder must care for them until the owner
Israel had a real love for animals . The law required a man
to hasten to the aid of any beast, even if it belonged to an enemy,
that was sinking under its load ; 36 a sense of justice that
even extended to the threshing floor where the law provided that
"thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the grain ." 38
Love of the resident alien is explicitly demanded in Dent . 19 : 3 3 ;
Deut. i o:19 and Exodus . 2 2 : 21 ; 2 3 : 9. The duty of treating strangers,
together with orphans and widows, with justice, mercy and
generosity is emphasized, decreeing that the gleanings of grain
fields, orchards and vineyards must be left free for them to gather
and enjoy .37 The taking of interest on loans to the poor is forbidden.
38 Runaway slaves must be received and treated kindly
and are not to be surrendered to their owners or oppressed .39
More amazing still, in an ancient world of cruelty and ruthlessness,
are the injunctions of Dent . 24: i6, where the principle of
individual responsibility is laid down, so that a relative may not be
punished for the misdeeds of a son - in striking contrast with
practices in operation even today in such allegedly civilized states
as Russia and Germany . Reverence for the aged is strictly enjoined,
as is the use of just weights and measures . The animism
still practiced throughout Europe and in parts of America, is declared
strictly illegal . Prohibited also are practices of magic,
spiritism, and pagan rites of communion with departed spirits .40
Uncleanliness is completely discountenanced . In his splendid
book, Medicine in the Bible, Dr. Charles Brim details the amazing
medical knowledge and sanitary understanding of the ancient Israelites.
Says Dr. Victor Robinson in this regard : "There are
passages in the Pentateuch which deserve a place in the Corpus
Hippocraticum." 41 And Col. Edgar Erskine Hume avers that
every principle of modern military sanitation was known and
used by Moses.
Hebrew law also emphasized good breeding, as : "Let another
man praise thee and not thine own mouth," 42 or : "When thou
sittest among many, reach not thine hand out first of all ." 43
Education was widely diffused . The sons of rich families had
their tutors, while parents in more modest circumstances taught
their own children . Those who could afford it wore handsome
clothing of various colors and often the outer garment was embroidered
with gold . Everywhere and at all times song and music
were to be found . The harp or organ was one of the many
i z
instruments known . We hear of pipes, psalteries, cymbals and
trumpets, all of which required skill in playing and therefore implied
instruction ." Music seems to have been the joyous climax
of all occasions of public or private life . The international repute
which Jewish singers had achieved is indicated from the inscription
on an Assyrian monument where the chief item of tribute
laid on Hezekiah by an Assyrian ruler was the demand for a
company of men and women singers .
Labor was highly esteemed. The Talmud directed every father,
regardless of his social position, to teach his son some useful
trade.45 "The tradesman at his work," it declares, "is the equal
of the most learned doctor" ; and avers that "he who derives his
livelihood from the labor of his hands is as great as he who fears
God." The most prominent authors of the Talmud were in fact
simple workingmen, shoemakers, ironworkers, laborers ; proud
men who knew no masters and brooked no slaves .
We can also conclude that among the Jews, women enjoyed a
free and independent social position. Two of the twenty-four
books of the Bible received their titles from the names of women,
Ruth and Esther . There were seven prophetesses spoken of in
the Talmud . Among them Deborah judged the people and went
out with Barak to fight against Sisera . During the reign of Josiah,
Huldah was so highly thought of as to be consulted by the
chief officers of the kingdom. The king himself bowed down to
his mother, as Solomon did to Bathsheba . Wherever in Precepts,
Psalms or Proverbs filial devotion is mentioned, father and mother
are made equal, as is done in the Fifth Commandment .
Hebrews were never ruled like slaves of an Eastern despot .
They were called into council by their kings and contended
boldly for their rights. Decrees affecting the whole community
were ratified by the general voice of the people, freely assembled .
This free people, for all their gentle philosophy of life, were al=
ways animated by the spirit of liberty and inspired by the cry
`To your tents, 0 Israel !' They knew how to resist oppression .
They were not overawed by the cruelties of Antiochus or Herod ;
nor, alone among the peoples of the earth, cowed by the might
of Imperial Rome .
Specific legislation defined and restricted the powers of the
crown, in itself eloquent testimony to the democratic spirit prevailing
in Israel throughout the whole history of the monarchy .46
We search antiquity in vain for an example of free government
comparable to that provided by Israel . In all the other States
of the ancient world, the life, honor and property of the subject
were at the disposal of the sovereign ; but to the Jewish mind, absolute
power in a ruler was incomprehensible . The power and
authority of the king were directly circumscribed by law . The
highest executive, political and judicial powers of the State were
vested in a council of seventy Elders (Zekenim) and a smaller
chamber composed of twelve Princes (Nesiim), who together
constituted the Congregation or Parliament of the nation . As we
learn from Kings 21 :23-24 and 23 :30, it had the authority to
make and unmake kings and on occasion actually did so . Remarks
Sulzberger : "While the modern monotheistic conception
of the universe is largely the product of their [the Jewish] genius,
so the modern conception of the rational, democratic, representative
government owes its origin to the same ancestry ." And adds
the famed Master of Balliol, Edward Caird : "It is not without
significance that the great struggle for political freedom in this
country [England] was led by men who drew much of their inspiration
from the Old Testament . . ." 461,
The bulk and mainstay of the nation were middleclass farmers
and villagers, each one of whom felt himself equal to Caesar .
Tacitus remarks on their health and the fact that they are "capable
of enduring great fatigue ." Josephus describes them as a warlike
people, greatly desired as mercenary soldiers and disliked
for their arrogance and pride of race .
The idyll of Jewish speculation was no Valhalla, but a time
of grace when swords would be beaten into ploughshares and
spears into pruning hooks .47 They were the first people in history
who regarded their fate not from the standpoint of physical
supremacy but from that of moral harmony; yet there was no
people in history who possessed the haughty pride in race and
the passionate love of country which continually distinguished
1 3
them. This passion of the Jewish people for Palestine is coeval
with the Race and is disclosed in every turn in their history - a
sentiment as enduring as the Jew . "How shall we sing the Lord's
song in a strange land ?" begins the Psalms . The Hebrews, a
poetical people, addressed their country with all the ardor of one
referring to a loved one : "Land of beauty !" "The princess
among the nations!" "The joy of the whole earth !"
Coexistent with this infatuation for the country was an unbending
love of liberty, so reckless and intense as to amount almost to
an obsession . The Jewish greeting was Shalom (peace), but all
who encountered him were shortly to discover that it did not
mean peace at any price .

Situated in the very pathway of invading world conquerors we
find this brave people again and again refusing to pay tribute or
accept oppression . Typical in sheer pathos is the bitter rebellion
of the little country, under King Jehoiachim, against the
world power of Babylon during the reign of the omnipotent
Nebuchadnezzar ; and nine years later, under King Zedekiah, the
doughty refusal to pay tribute . Enraged at the unaccountable
nature of this long and obstinate defense against his advancing
hordes, the lordly Chaldean determined that the city of Jerusalem
should be no more inhabited . He ordered it leveled to the
ground. An indiscriminate massacre took place and those who
survived were carried off into captivity . The entire country
laid in ruins and all that would burn was put to the torch . The
prophet Jeremiah, witness to the destruction, wept : "How doth
the city sit solitary that was full of people ; . . . What thing shall
I liken to thee, 0 daughter of Jerusalem ? . . . Our inheritance
is turned to strangers, our houses to aliens ." 48
Nebuchadnezzar thought he had put a final end to this rebellious
and irreconcilable people ; but not more than fifty years
later he who by his own claim sat at the right hand of God, became
with all his works only a memory and the Jews returned
to Palestine. The mighty one had fallen in 539 B.C. to the Persian
Cyrus, who was happy to have a nation settled in this seaboard
province bound to him by the thongs of gratitude .
Typical again of the magnificent character of this race were
their later wars under Judas, son of Mattathias, who was surnamed
Maccabeus. A new conqueror had risen in the shape of
Antiochus, the Syrian Greek. Now was to begin the first of
those world struggles in which the force of idea was advanced as
taking precedence over that of inherent personality . This war
was fought to stem the sweeping onrush of Hellenism by which
the known world seemed about to be engulfed .
With a small group of his determined followers Judas refused
to yield. Attacking giant armies again and again with his little
band of guerrilla fighters, he won a succession of victories . The
Syrian in a towering rage at this lilliputian effrontery, declared
his intention of utterly exterminating every individual of the
Jewish people . He invaded with the enormous armies so characteristic
of despots of the period .
Able to muster but a handful of ill-equipped men, Judas was
counseled to retreat. He replied with characteristic recklessness
: "If our time has come to die, let us die ; but let it never be
said of us that we turned our back on an enemy ." With only
eight hundred men he attacked the invading legions near Adorsa .
Here, fighting grimly to the last, the stern company gave up their
lives . But the miracle had happened : the invader, nonplussed
by the unexpected nature of this furious resistance, was stopped
dead in his tracks. Jonathan, brother of Judas, took up the struggle.
The Syrian levies, dismayed and beginning to believe they
were fighting devils instead of men, gave the matter over as a bad
business and went into retreat .49 Once more Jews saluted each
other with the old greeting of Shalom and began to build where
they had left off.
It was inevitable that the lengthening shadow of Rome should
fall on this little land which, for all its smallness, was yet the
crossroads of the world and necessary for anyone who would hold
a firm grip on the rich hinterland of Asia and Africa . The times
were turbulent . The Maccabean princes themselves were in civil
war, Hyrcanus warring against his brother, Aristobulus II . Finally
the two brothers entreated the assistance of Pompey, then
commander-in-chief of the Roman troops in the East, and elected
him arbiter of their mutual differences . The consequences of
this step were fatal to the Jews . Pompey with true Roman forthrightness,
finding the place pleasant, decided to remain . He
therefore invested Jerusalem on his own account . The Jews,
trapped by their own folly, put up their usual stiff resistance and
the usual slaughter ensued. "The constancy and unshaken firmness"
of the defenders, says an account of the siege, "excited the
astonishment and admiration of the conquerors" who, however,
with fine circumspection, were not so abashed as to omit reducing
the country to the status of a Roman province and exacting
a crushing tribute . This was about 63 B.C., after the Jews had
enjoyed scarcely a hundred years of freedom .
Under Herod, who was soon to sit on the Jewish throne as a
Roman puppet, a conscious policy was adopted aimed at denationalizing
this dynamic people. In despair the frantic nation
writhed and spat in every direction like a caught wildcat . Continuous
sullen insurrection made the air electric . A large number
of Jews turned in sheer weariness from what was evidently a
hopeless struggle, to a desire for a world religion where peace
and justice would reign once more. The new prophet, Joshua
of Nazareth whom the Greeks called Jesus, arose to interpret
this new direction of Jewish hope . He preached to a rebellious,
crushed and unhappy people, his own nation, a class whose stake
in the world had been gradually destroyed . Reason had spoken
against the futility of attempting to maintain a Culture and State
independent of the redemption of unhappy mankind the world
over. They turned to this great new prophet, confidently considering
the national devotion of the rest of Jewry as so much
outworn, reactionary adherence to a social order clearly failing
and soon to be outmoded in the coming brotherhood of man .
The Jews of the Dispersion carried the new faith with them and
"formed the bridge across which Christianity entered the Roman
world." 50 It was from the synagogues of the far shores of the
Mediterranean that its gospel of world brotherhood was fervently
proclaimed, so that for generations there was so little difference
between Jew and Christian that both factions attended the same
synagogues together. Had anyone told the followers of this new
idyllic creed that in its name their brother Jews would one day
be flayed alive and boiled in oil, he would have been considered
a lunatic .
In Judea itself things went from bad to worse . One Roman
governor outdid the other in cruelty and rapacity . The whole
Hebraic conception of life crumbled under an onslaught of graft,
lust, sabotage and provocation . The old courtly idea of Jewish
ethics became a liability ; dishonesty and venality were soon recognizable
as the only guides to a comfortable existence, and began
to corrupt the character of the people themselves . The
country was overrun with robbers, and justice was sold to the
highest bidder . Great numbers of the wretched Jews, unable
to stand this intolerable situation any longer, emigrated .
These were the conditions that preceded the disastrous war
which desolated Jewry and dispersed the Jews. Goaded to wild
desperation they rose once more in insurrection, a rebellion the
most desperate of any recorded in history .
Ironically enough, Agrippa II, descendant of the Maccabean
kings, thoroughly Latinized, joined with the Romans . Attempting
to show the rebels the folly of opposing the conquerors of the
world, he urged them to lay down their arms and submit. The
reply was open defiance .
Retaliating, the Romans massacred almost a hundred thousand
Jews. The hills around Jerusalem were turned into a forest of
crosses on which despairing patriots paid in last full agony for
their devotion .
The rebels however were made of stuff that was not to be
cowed by these punitive measures . They attacked with such indomitable
fury that they soon held a large section of the country .
Enraged by this unheard-of insolence, Cestius Gallus invaded
from Syria with an immense army, burning all the towns and vil-
1 7
lages on his way and slaughtering the inhabitants . Investing
Jerusalem, he was to his own astonishment defeated and put to
The Emperor Nero, puzzled by this extraordinary occurrence,
wisely decided to take no chances . He appointed the great General
Vespasian to prosecute the war, who again laid siege to the
Meanwhile the Jews were wasting their strength and resources
in internal quarrels. Within the city sanguinary civil wars
and sub-civil wars rent to shreds the defenders, who displayed
a common front only when the invaders were visible beneath the
walls. When the Romans had been driven back, these fraticidal
contests were at once resumed .
The attack was now in the hands of Titus, Vespasian's son .
Grown weary of this interminable investure, he attempted to
parley with the insurgents, who contemptuously refused any
terms whatsoever save unconditional freedom . Finally, as a result
of the continuing internal struggles of the defenders themselves,
the city fell. Josephus graphically pictures the indescribable
events that followed : "One would have thought that the hill
itself on which the Temple stood was seething hot, full of fire
in every part, yet there was more blood than fire, and those that
were slain were more in number than those who slew them . Nowhere
was the ground visible, so covered was it with the dead
. . . but Simon and John were still living, and a few brave men
were with them, who took up a position in the Upper City, on
the Hill of Zion, and still held out. For the last time Titus . . .
again offered terms to the insurgents ." They declined them, and
eighteen days later the Holy City of the Jews was at last subdued .
Refusing all mercy, the defenders had fought for every house
on every street . It is said that 1,ioo,ooo Jews were slaughtered .
And Josephus assures us that there was no place in the land which
did not suffer the same calamities as the Capital . "The Romans
pursued, took, and slew them everywhere ." 52 They were without
question the most formidable opponents that Rome had ever
encountered, and Roman hatred for these bitter rebels extended
even to foreign parts . Great massacres took place in Egypt and
Cyrene. Tremendous numbers were taken away as captives, to
fight as gladiators in the public theater or to be devoured by wild
beasts .
Living symbol of the indomitable Semitic spirit, three fortresses
still held out to the end. The last to be taken, Masada, under
the command of the lion-hearted Eleazor, maintained itself for
long months as an island of resistance after the sea around it had
been beaten into submission. Rather than surrender, the defenders
slew each other, the last survivor defiantly setting fire to the
castle before executing himself . So they fell, writes Tacitus,
"with swords in their hands, contending for liberty, and, in the
act, preserving it. . ." 63
It had taken Titus more than seven years to subdue a tiny
corner of the earth whose inhabitants had not much more to offer
in arms and battlements than their simple valor . Returning to
Rome, the weary conqueror caused an arch to be erected to commemorate
the event, a recognition only given to honor a victory
over great and formidable enemies .
Large numbers of Jews who had escaped the destruction sought
asylum in various parts of the world . The dispersion had begun
in earnest.
Even these catastrophic losses did not serve to break the Jewish
spirit. Scarcely a generation had passed when the same old revolt
broke out again, more tempestuous than ever (A.D. II6) .
This time the dispersed Jews suddenly rose in blazing fury to
aid their brothers who had been struggling in Judea . "Myriads,"
says Eusebius, "had already been killed in the past seventeen
years." There is plenty of evidence that the Jews did equal damage
to their enemies .
Simultaneously the scattered men of Israel rose in mad rebellion
in the provinces of Egypt, Lybia, and Cyprus, determined
to recover their patrimony . They were led by one of the most
stirring figures in all the records of man, a new Hannibal come to
plague the Roman, named Bar Kochba. Eusebius declares in
righteous indignation that entire districts were terrorized by
their armies ; they "laid waste the land ." Whole provinces were
devastated in this amazing struggle of one small gallant nation
against the mightiest empire of the world . Bar Kochba had succeeded
in accomplishing the impossible : he drove out the Roman,
holding the entire Empire at bay, and set up a Jewish State . The
quality of the man may be judged from the prayer he is said to
have addressed to the Lord Jehovah asking that no assistance be
given to the enemy . "As for ourselves," he finished piously, "we
ask no help - we will take care of ourselves ."
The Emperor Hadrian was appalled . In desperation he set
aside all other tasks of state, concentrating his energies on the
business of wiping out Judea, which had now become a menace
to the very life of the Empire .54
For almost four years the contest continued . When finally
resistance ceased, Judea resembled a wilderness . All men capable
of bearing arms had fallen, together with their auxiliaries from
the Diaspora ; and "the unburied bodies of the hundreds of thousands
of the dead poisoned the air ." At the fall of Bether alone
half a million Jews are said to have lost their lives.
Such vast numbers were sold into slavery that in Rome a Jewish
slave was cheaper than a horse . Determined to put an end to this
refractory race, Hadrian devastated Judea and swept it clear of
Jews. He rebuilt Jerusalem under the name of Aeolia Capitolina
and issued an edict forbidding any Jew .to set foot in it on pain
of death . Such Jews as survived withdrew into Galilee .
It is interesting to note that to the Roman, Christianity was still
merely a schismatic Jewish sect . Even at that late date he regarded
Mount Calvary and the Holy Sepulchre as spots especially
venerated by the Jews . And in his anxiety to stamp out what
he considered to be Jewish rites, Hadrian built a Temple to Venus
on Golgotha or Calvary ; and in the Grotto at Bethlehem where
Jesus was born, the worship of Adonis was established .
Even after the ferocious revenge taken by Rome for their last
uprising, the will of the Jews for a free Zion remained unbroken .
Utterly ruined and bitterly oppressed, they still had strength
enough under the reign of Constantine to erupt again in open
rebellion in the Fourth Century A.D. The Roman Emperor sent
a powerful army against them, which stamped out the uprising
with indiscriminate slaughter . The survivors taken captive were
sold as slaves. But if the Imperial Government thought it was
through with this obstinate race whose will to national existence
continued without a State, without territory and almost without
human rights anywhere, it soon realized its miscalculation . The
fierce determination of the Hebrew to recover what was his by
main force, remained fiery and undeterred as before . When King
Chosroes of Persia proclaimed war against the Western conquerors,
the Jew, Benjamin of Egypt, created a Hebrew army of
thirty thousand desperate men . Together with the Persians they
conquered the larger part of Palestine and held it under Jewish administration
for fourteen years .
This was the last straw. Along with the barbarians it had absorbed,
Christianity had taken on much of the pagan hatred for
Jews. The monks had long been urging the Emperor Heraclius
to exterminate this obstinate people . This was their opportunity
to drive their argument home . When the country reverted to
Byzantium, the contentions of these men who alleged to speak in
the name of a Jewish Prophet, bore fruit. In one fell swoop
every right the Jews had to human existence were taken from
them and they were hunted down like animals . Those who
escaped fled to the arms of their brethren in Egypt and the Mediterranean
world to hope. anew. Palestine itself was now peopled
almost exclusively by Roman soldiers, Greeks and the inmates
of Christian monasteries . Thus the Jews defended to the last
their right to the land whose every stone they adored, and entered
the long trek of homelessness which was to be their destiny
through the ages. If ever sheer love, devotion, courage and sacrifice
spoke for a human right, it speaks in the wars of the Jews for
the heritage given them by their Father Abraham . In all the
world of fact or fiction there is no record like this . A man must
indeed be pulse less who can survey it without admiration and

The whole history of the Jew, if it has any meaning at all, lies
in a demand f or political restoration . Despite the spirit in which
Jewish history later began to be falsified, one may understand
that what these unhappy exiles concentrated all their hopes and
yearnings on was the dream of a reborn Jewish State . It dominated
the writings of the rabbis ; it permeated prayer and poetry ;
it was part and parcel of every expression of existence . "We cannot,"
they complained in prayer, "serve Thee according to Thy
commandment." And mournfully the Talmud proclaims : "He
who has not tasted the bread of Palestine does not know how
bread tastes ."
Their oath of fealty is famous wherever men gather who love
character and devotion : "May my right arm wither ere I forget
thee, 0 Jerusalem !" For a thousand years their toast and blessing
rang in challenge : "Next year in Jerusalem!"
Jews were buried with a bag of Palestine soil under their pillows,
that they might poetically have in death what had been so
cruelly driven from them in life . In Jerusalem where some few
stones of Solomon's Temple still survived the ravages of the
vandal, the Jew poured out his sad, passionate heart .'
No matter where the Jews lived, culturally and spiritually they
moved in a Palestinian milieu . "It did not matter to them that
Palestine was in the possession of Bedouin or Turk" - three times
daily the petition went up that her crops might prosper - exactly
as though the Jews still lived there in undisturbed possession .
"After each meal the Jew gave thanks for the Land as though he
were still living in it and enjoying its produce ." 2 He was certain
of again occupying it, and always remembered that he was in
exile .
The scattered communities of the Jews, until modern enlightenment
shattered them beyond recognition, were far more than
mere retreats of religious zealotry . They were rather an organized
attempt to continue their national existence in every possible
sphere and to remain as an individual force in history . All
through the Dispersion, from the captivity in Babylon, wherever
Jews migrated they sought each other out and formed themselves
into self-governing communities as a matter of collective self-determination
. Thus until the Emancipation the Jews were to
all intents a territorial group. The fact that they were distributed
in a number of pales or ghettos did not render a common territory
less of a factor in their lives.
The entire structure of Jewish existence stemmed from the
faith that the Temple would soon be rebuilt and the Jewish State
restored. And they wished to be ready when this happy time arrived
. Thus these pathetic exiles lived, like creatures stepped
from drama, and forgot the dreary present in dreaming of an
idyllic future which they believed near at hand .
One can readily understand the sweet Hebrew poet Halevy,
singing a thousand years after the Exodus in identical strain with
the troubadors who composed the psalms . All chivalrous hearts
must weep for the constancy and the beauty with which he lifts
his lyrical voice and cries : "To weep upon thy misery I am like
a howling jackal ; but when I dream thy return and restoration
I am the harp for thy joyous songs ."
So also, in this unbroken continuity of belief and longing, the
modern Hebrew poet Bialik, eye-witness to the pogroms of South
Russia, was to pledge his faith in the destiny of his people ; singing
in deathless words that unending claim which to the Jew is
his title in this world
"Thou wilt not totter, tent of Shem -
I shall rebuild thee .
Thou wilt yet outlive the palaces
As thou didst the days of the destruction
When the towers crumbled."
It is on this tenacious, unwavering concentration of hope, sacrifice
and prayer that the first part of the Jewish claim to Palestine
is based and not alone, as Judeophobes would attempt to make
out, on the mere existence of a Jewish State in remote antiquity .
Dr. Wm. E. Blackstone, quoting the foremost authorities on
international law, pointed out in 189 i that since the Jews never
gave up their title to Palestine, the general `law of dereliction'
could not hold in their case : "for they never abandoned the land .
They made no treaty, they did not even surrender . They simply
succumbed, after the most desperate conflict, to the overwhelming
power of the Romans . . . and were captured or enslaved . . .
Since then, having no sovereign nor political head through whom
they could speak, they have disputed the possession of the land,
by continued protest through their literature and their public and
private worship ." He showed that the Jews throughout the ages
have continually stated in the Passover service : "Next year we
hope to celebrate it in the land of Israel," and that other feasts
and prayers recount the same unbending sentiment, as, "Next
year children of freedom in Jerusalem! " 3
Blackstone quotes the outstanding legal luminaries of his day,
who agree that the Jewish claim was legally, at least, sound . He
points out that according to the logical precedents established by
such authorities as Buswell, Wheaton, Clifford, Phillimore and
others, "the forcible manner by which Israel has been kept out of
the land, with no means of redress, is equivalent in principle to a
continued state of war," and that therefore "limitations should
in no event run against them until they have had the opportunity
to present their claim at the bar of the only possible earthly court,
an International Conference ."
The greatest legal authorities have agreed that according to the
foundation principles of international law there is no basis for
prescription against Israel, either on the ground of dereliction or
of undisputed possession - that therefore the Jews have a valid
claim on Palestine as long as there is a single Zionist alive . Certainly
no more desperate opposition to despoliation has ever existed
in history, nor a sterner demand for restitution .
The British Government in 1920 recognized without reservation
the validity of this claim .4 It points out in clear, ringing
words that Jewish nationalism has been continuous, and refers to
the fact that it is "the oldest nationalist movement in history ."
No more thorough, comprehensive or understanding statement
of Jewish aims has ever been penned than this official English
publication which is now buried somewhere in the dusty files of
Despite the frightful suffering to which their position in medieval
life daily exposed them, the Jews maintained a vigorous,
colorful, picturesque existence in which their communal and personal
life blossomed out in rich and luxuriant beauty. Scattered
from the Persian Gulf to the Irish Sea, the Jewish communities
acknowledged equally a system of law that bears comparison
with the great systems of the world . With dynamic resilience
Jewish life readjusted itself to the new conditions, but carried over
with it the old Eastern civilization intact. In the midst of the
intellectual decay which overtook mankind during the Dark
Ages, it is astonishing to see Levi Ben Gershon calmly asserting
the existence of primary matter, Hasdai Crescas refuting the narrow
concepts of Aristotle, and Rambam dipping his majestic mind
into the realms of psychiatry . Academic research and such modern
subjects as sex hygiene were part of the regular curriculum
of Jewish schooling . Every child was taught the Law ; and the
sages even implied that the study of the Torah and the observance
of its laws were more important than the ceremonies of Worship .
"All the mitzvoth [religious injunctions] are not equal to one
word of the Torah," says an authority of the Third Century with
sweeping bluntness .
It was in this vibrant atmosphere that Judaism thrived and held
staunchly to its belief in the recon quest of the Promised Land,
and not in the pallid air of religious zealotry which was later to
settle on its spirit like a sickness .
Behind the shroud of silence to which anti-Jewish bias has
consigned it, the organized civilization of the Jews during the
Dispersion glistens like a diamond . While all else was in the most
impenetrable darkness and ignorance, Hebrew writers and scholars
not only constructed original works, but studied and elabo-
rated the writings of classical antiquity and rendered them accessible
to the Christian countries of the Occident . The Arab
invasion which followed the rise of Islam was instructed from the
same source . Jews wrote the first works on fevers and material
medical and translated them into other languages . They founded
and supported the famous schools of Salerno and Montpellier .
Until the end of the Sixteenth Century medicine was almost a
Jewish monopoly. In all of the other arts and sciences, mathematics,
astronomy, physics, alchemy, history and geography, Jewish
minds excelled. Typical of the stature and enterprise of these
lordly exiles was the expedition of Columbus . The great navigator
himself is said to have been a secret Jew or Morrano . More
to the point, every officer on board the three ships was a Morrano ;
the nautical instruments, charts and tables without which the
voyage would have been impossible, were all invented by Jews .
According to the historian Francis Trevelyan Miller, Columbus'
ships were owned by the Jewish Pinta Brothers, and as for the
myth of Isabella's jewels, Herbert Adams observes that "not
jewels, but Jews were the real financial basis for the first expedition
of Columbus." 1 It is also interesting to note that the first
European to set foot in the New World was the Jewish interpreter
Luis de Torres, closely followed by the Jewish surgeon Marco
and the Jewish physician Bernal .2
The Jews left no branch of learning or science untouched .
Said Sombart : "Israel passes over Europe like the sun ; whenever
it appears new life shoots up, but when it is withdrawn all that
once flourished withers away ." 3 The German scholar, Dr. M. I.
Schleiden, declares that during the Middle Ages "the Jews were
the preservers of agriculture, of all large industries ." 4 And
Valeriu Marcu assures us that "the most important monarchs seem
to have been unable to manage without Jewish educators, advisers
and ministers. . ." s
In commerce as in culture, the part played by this expatriate
people was tremendous . "At all points where the formation of
cities was going on, where an urban community was developing
out of the former castellum of the Romans, the Jews contributed
a decisive element by bringing trade within the walls ." 6 This is
expressed in a truly classic manner in the words with which Bishop
Rudiger of Speyer opens his charter to the Jews in the year Io84
"Desiring to make a city out of the village of Speyer, I have admitted
the Jews . . ." Summing up their collective relationship
to a single State, Abbott comments on the expulsion edicts of
1492, that "the life of Spain went out with the Jews."
The distinguished character of this Hebrew culture is traceable
everywhere, where it is not hidden by slander and omission .
The personal life of the Jew was no less well-ordered . Until
later edicts ousted them from that work, agriculture was the most
highly esteemed of occupations ; and they practically held a
monopoly on handicrafts where taste as well as manual skill was
required . As a speaking instance, when the edict of expulsion
reached Sicily in the Fifteenth Century, the State Counselors entreated
the King to delay the measure, for they said : "Nearly all
the artisans in the realm are Jews. In case all of them are expelled
at once we shall lack craftsmen capable of supplying mechanical
utensils, especially those made of iron, as agricultural
implements and equipment for ships, galleys . . ." 7
Labor itself remained dignified in Jewish life, as it was in the
old homeland . Bespeaking this attitude, Maimonides laid down
the axiom that "a single coin earned by one's manual labor is
worth more than the whole revenue of the Prince of the Captivity,
derived as it is from the gifts of others ." 8
The sanctity of the Jewish home continued in undiminished
tradition . Nothing in modern life can excel the courtly respect
and single-hearted devotion which the Talmudic husband displayed
towards his spouse. "He loves her as himself," declares
the Talmud, "but honors her more than himself ."
All through this period the Jews justly prided themselves on
their fastidious habits and regard for the amenities . Cleanly habits
were in fact codified, and Jewish medieval law contained a
systematized scheme of etiquette, of good custom and refined
taste . It was not until centuries of ghetto life and cruel degradation
had rendered the Jews indifferent to their surroundings that
this old characteristic ceased to distinguish them .
It was the Fourth Lateran Council under Innocent III which
in 1215 made the first serious encroachments on the freedom and
possessions of the Jews, forcing them by decree to wear a distinctive
mark on their clothes, the so-called `yellow badge.' The
decree of the Synod of Breslau in 1267, prohibiting Jews from living
together with Christians in the Eastern provinces where
"the church was still a tender shoot," finally led to the establishment
of the Ghetto in all countries . The Jewish quarter was
usually situated in a disreputable, crowded, unhealthful section
of the city. It was guarded by night so that no one could enter
or leave. Its area was to serve for all time ; it was not to be enlarged
. Its narrow, crooked streets were always dark . In this
foul area where sunlight could not enter, there was no room for
trees, grass or flowers . Infant mortality was staggering ; the
faces of young and old alike were habitually pallid .
Deprived of all legal position and branded as incorrigible Satanists,
isolated like lepers from the rest of mankind, these proud
Semites found themselves unwittingly the prey of all comers .
The attitude of the Church gave pitch to the orchestra of hate
and despoliation in which state, city and populace largely participated
. Not content with humiliating and caging them like
dangerous animals, accusation upon accusation was piled at their
door. It was claimed that they made a practice of stealing the
consecrated host wafers, mistreating the body of Christ in them
until blood flowed forth . At the time of the Black Death they
were accused of poisoning the wells ; and lending tone to these
charges, in many places confessions were extorted from them on
the rack.
Jews were compelled like cattle to pay a poll tax, a heavy admission
tax, and a whole list of other imposts partly ridiculous
and partly humiliating . When they could be mulcted of nothing
further, they were expelled over night and their meager possessions
Even the written records of Hebrew science, philosophy and
learning, so lovingly and painstakingly collected, were prohibited .
A typical example is the decree of destruction of the Talmud in
France, in 1242, followed by the public burning of twenty-four
wagon loads of Jewish books.

In Germany especially, the massacre of Jews took place before
the Plague gave an added impetus to the pogrom frenzy . Murderers
and incendiaries were allowed free rein and in more than
three hundred and fifty communities the Jews were murdered,
drowned, burned, broken on the wheel, hanged, strangled, buried
alive and tortured to death for the sanctification of the name of
The entire world had become a horrible dungeon in which
this proud and intellectual people suffered the tortures of the
damned. They were exterminated in York and London ; in
Spain at the instigation of St . Vincent Ferrer ; in Italy where
John of Capistrano preached ; in Poland, Bohemia, France,
Moravia and Austria . They were turned into human torches to
fiendish rites from one end of Europe to the other, ripped open
with pitchforks and scythes, or beaten to death like dogs . In
France alone, during the reign of Charles VI, over a hundred
thousand Jews, totally destitute, were forced to leave their homes
and seek refuge in Germany, Spain and Savoy . Typical of the
period were the actions of Philip the Fair, who in the Fourteenth
Century had the Jews unexpectedly driven out to obtain possession
of their goods ; and that of Charles VI, who in 1394 again
decreed banishment and conversion of their possessions to the
State Exchequer .
The onrush of the Crusaders exposed the Jews to a new series
of sadistic outrages. Whole communities were wiped out in
cold blood, sacked, and forcibly converted . In the Rhineland,
and in France at Anjou, Portou and Bordeaux, thousands were
burned en masse ; and when in 1105 Godfrey de Bouillon took
Jerusalem in the name of Christendom, his first act of piety was to
drive the Jews into the synagogue and burn them alive .
The list of tortures and outrages suffered by this unhappy people
is unending . In 1336 a mob of five thousand peasants led by
two nobles, the `Armleders,' armed with pitchforks and axes,
traversed Franconia, Alsace, the Rhineland, Bavaria and Austria,
and massacred all the Jews of one hundred and twenty communities
in their lust for spoil. In 1298 a nobleman from Roettingen
named Rindfleisch, declaring himself appointed by heaven to ex30
terminate the Jews, marched through the country and for six
months committed the most unheard of outrages against his hapless
victims . One hundred and forty-six communities were reduced
to bloody shambles .
In Spain and Portugal during the Fifteenth Century more than
a million and a half horrified beings slipped into the crazy whirlpool
of the Inquisition, the auto-da-fe, torture, violation, banishment,
and death . In faraway Ukraine in the decade following
1648, the entire Jewish community, almost eight hundred thousand
human creatures, was butchered with revolting tortures so
hideous as to defy description . All over Europe the dread "Hep !
Hep ! Hep !" of the hooligans echoed in the dark streets of the
ghettos. In all parts of the Western world Jewish blood flowed
down many widely separated rivulets into one mighty stream . In
North Africa and the Orient, like a sickening flood, the same indignities,
cruelties and disasters overtook their fleeing footsteps .
Each new depth to which this once sturdy people were pushed
only served to open up deeper and unsuspected abysses of horror.
Forbidden to own land, to engage in handicrafts, deprived of
membership in the all-powerful guilds so as to be virtually excluded
from trade, harried, slandered and ridiculed, the walls of
the Ghetto held them like a prison .
The effects of this system of branding a whole people as a
pariah class were as deplorable as they were inevitable . The Jew
became the mark for the meanest of insults . He was beaten,
reviled, scorned and abused by everyone . This constant humiliation
and degradation finally brought him so low that he became
the mockery of mankind . He lost the courtly bearing, the refinement
of speech and manner which had always distinguished the
Hebrew character . Suffering and debasement had also wrought
vast changes in the inner consciousness of the race . Where once
he had stood on his native Judean hills, the fiercest, most intractable
fighting man in all the ancient world, long centuries of persecution
had made him submissive like a whipped dog . Meekness
and non-resistance became rationalized into a veritable philosophic
code. The once lofty Jewish mind hardened and be
came grooved in a maze of ritual . Where once had stood the
proud gentility of Hillel, now huddled the wraith-like figure of
the pious Israel of Miedzyboz, who preached "humble submission"
and a dervish-like rapture of worship which could not but
have amazed the stiff-necked old Hebrews in whose name this
slave doctrine was enunciated .
The love of inquiry, the intellectual penetration traditional to
the Jew, was now transformed into an absurd concentration on
dialectical speculations. Deprived of normal outlets to his energies,
futile speculations and the splicings of fine theories became
his entertainment . The old great Jewish culture disappeared,
unnoticed, in a wilderness of stratified formalities, words and
ritual .
To complete this sorry picture of deterioration and collapse,
the strangled Jewish mind became obsessed by a peculiar indirectness
of approach to all problems . The most realistic of all peoples
became unreal, pedantic and mystical . All of these changed
factors of character and outlook are reflected in the development
of the Messianic doctrine .
It must be noted that the earlier seeking after a Messiah rested
on quite a different base . It spoke for the sturdy rebellious nature
of this people, that their thoughts were always on freedom .
It reflected a passionate desire for a leader who in strictly mortal
fashion would help them redeem what had been raped from them .
The remolded concept rested very subtly on a completely opposite
psychology, although the idea appeared to be the same .
The impatient rebelliousness, the stiff self-assurance, the commonness
of instinct, which had caused the widely separated Jews
to rise like one man under Bar Kochba, had vanished . In their
stead lived a new zealotry in which dogma and visionary metaphysic
vied for mastery . Like a dazzling light, blotting out the
sordidness of his surroundings, a deep sense of mission now enveloped
the befuddled Jew . With humble piety he conceived of
himself as the instrument whereby all the peoples of the earth, including
those who had abused and vilified him, would be led into
eternal gentleness and bliss. Thus tremulously awaiting the di32
vine deliverer lived the Jews, a great nation who had shriveled to
a caricature of themselves through the cruelest set of circumstances
ever to beset the path of man .
They had not long to wait . A whole host of Messiahs appeared
in response to this wishful expectation . From Abu Isa of
Ispahan in the Seventh Century, Zonarias of Syria in the Tenth, to
the shabby Zabettai Zevi, they periodically kept the Jewish world
in a fever.
Most notorious of all of these was perhaps Zevi, who announced
himself to be the Messiah in Smyrna in the year 1640 . Wild
frenzy possessed the Jewish communities . Shrewd business men
in Amsterdam, Hamburg and Venice disposed of their possessions
in order to be prepared for the hasty journey to the Holy Land .
Others subjected themselves to penance in order to be rendered
worthy of redemption . In the meanwhile the `Messiah' was
hamstrung by the Moslems, who gave him the usual choice, and
Zabettai, no martyr, became a Mohammedan .
The colossal collapse of Zevi sent a crushed chill through the
Jewries of Europe . They shrank like condemned men into their
hovels . Only an ironclad religious particularism could save the
Jew from the deep confusion and widening chaos which was engulfing
him everywhere . To this he retreated.
Two events conspired to put an end to the Ghetto . One was
the discovery of America, releasing vast rich areas for settlement
and exploitation . The other was the gradual dry rot which
overtook the feudal era and its master, the totalitarian church .
Out of the ashes of this decaying order gradually developed a
new force, the power of industrial capital . This new force immediately
discovered itself in mortal opposition to the entire system
of life the Medieval Era had erected, since it could only maintain
itself by free competition and continuing consumer expansion,
which meant the opening of new markets . The greater the
competition among merchants and those who held the power to
grant credit, the better would industry flourish .
The Ghetto was one of the medieval corporations which had
to go in the interest of a speedy evolution of capitalism. Though
it continued in some cities into the modern era, its fate was sealed .
It was this young and growing industrial capitalism which was
the great lever creating the modem democracies, and with them
the emancipation of the Jews .
The new system soon developed a philosophy justifying itself,
and fiery expounders of its tenets. "Liberty ! Fraternity ! Equality!"
became the rallying cry of the day . Leading in the van of
this movement, the French revolted and solemnly declared the
principle of the inalienable Rights of Man .
The question arose as to whether this queer race of the Jews
whose glorious past history was long forgotten, sunk in the torpor
of religious formalism, was capable of supporting such enlightened
ideas. Learned debates took place as to whether, if they
were enfranchised, they could take their place in an organized
secular society ; whether they could become soldiers, manufacturers,
artisans, professional men - in short, whether they were
capable of competing in the civil society which was to be based
on the new order. The atheist and liberator Voltaire considered
them dangerous and incurable reactionaries, a source of religious
superstition. Others like Tallyrand, Montesquieu and Mirabeau
asserted that the Jew must be included in the new dispensation .
Almost coincident with these events the American Revolution
exploded in the face of an archaic world and based its fundamental
principles on the same Rights of Man . Soon thereafter
the victorious young Napoleon was carrying the doctrines of the
new belief along with his cannon and gun-powder and putting
them into operation by force.
In this onrush of the Liberal spirit the Western Jew miraculously
found the walls of the Judengasse 10 torn down. They
fell before his eyes like the walls of Jericho, and he stood blinded
and unaccustomed in the streaming sunlight . The inner glow
which had made his world a place of happiness despite its drab
cruelty, was dimmed by the new glare.
Enthusiastically the Jews put themselves in line with this
glorious theme of world brotherhood . For the first time the
vernacular took the place of Hebrew in their daily life . The
Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries were the age of Massentau
f en (mass baptism) . In Berlin alone it is said that over half the
Jewish community was converted in the course of one year .
Early an attempt was made to meet this wholesale desertion of
Judaism by creating a new and reformed liturgy and a new
attitude towards Jewish destiny . Inaugurated in Germany, `Reform
Judaism' quickly took shape as a creed . Jews who had
formerly considered themselves expatriate Palestinians who
would in the fullness of time be returned to their own country,
began to refer to themselves in Germany as `Germans of Mosaic
persuasion.' The question arose as in the emancipation in Holland,
whether Jews were a nation or a religious cult . This was
straddled at the Reform Conference at Brunswick in 1844 by
Ludwig Philippson who declared : "Every nation has its historical
mission, and the Jews have theirs . They are a nation
dedicated to religion ." This new attitude soon spread among
the Jews like a devouring flame . The fine old Jewish civilization
had finally become a religious cult, separate from secular
life, with an ordained pastorate and all the paraphernalia of that
office .
The last step in this denationalization process, in which the
Reform Rabbis led the procession, was the transformation into
metaphor of the doctrines of Jewish nationalism for which the
race had steadfastly held over so long a period . All that now
remained of laws meant to control the social and economic interests
of the Jews was dead ritual .
For a brief century the ideal of again making themselves an
individual force in history sank into comparative insignificance
and gave place to a desire to become adapted to environment .
Both the spirit and fact of Jewish history became falsified ; and
Jews endeavoring to win equal rights in every sphere of human
activity began to frame both their thought and action with an
eye to the opinion and point of view of others . As a living force
with legitimate, healthy rights of its own, Judaism was discountenanced
by Jews, who had transformed themselves into neo-gentiles
. It survived only as an innocuous shadow.
The inexorable forward movement of `toleration' hit its peak
immediately after the World War . Palestine was seemingly returned
to Jews who wished to go there . In the last strongholds
of anti-Jewish reaction, minority clauses guaranteed by the nations
of the world were put into operation . In Germany a Jew,
Dr. Hugo Preuss, framed the Constitution of the Weimar Republic,
hailed as the last word in justice and democracy .
Enthusiastically the Western Liberals and 'Assimilationists'
went to the very point of denying the existence of a Jewish nation
altogether . Learnedly they `proved' that a Jewish race
could no longer possibly be in existence .
Had anyone told these enraptured Jews that the last strongholds
of ignorance, meanness and tyranny would not yield but
would instead reacquire a vitality and strategy capable of once
more putting Liberalism desperately on the defensive, his only
reply would have been a smile of pity and commiseration . How
could they dream that the Germany of Mendelssohn and Lasker
would become the Germany of Hitler and Goering ; that
throughout the civilized world the old blood libel, the old mass
hysterias and slanders, the old in humaneness and cruelties, would
be revived with even increased force and viciousness. All of
this was contrary to the rationale of the new order ; hence it became
schematically impossible.
While all this was happening, the torch of Jewish nationalism
distorted and vitiated, but alive, spluttered among the masses still
going about their daily tasks in the ghettos of East Europe .
In the wake of the irresistible Liberal sweep which was de-
Judaizing the Jews, occurred a most remarkable phenomenon
the Anglo-Saxon people, rising rapidly to world power, literally
pitched themselves headlong at the same time into a Judaizing
Aroused by such magnetic personalities as Knox and Tyndale
the British peoples retreated to creative Prophecy, to the stern
and simple democracy of the Hebrew Bible . The Old Testa-
ment in particular was studied with impassioned thoroughness .
James Truslow Adams remarks that "Christ did indeed occupy a
place in their [the Puritan] theology, but in spirit they may be
considered Jews and not Christians. Their God was the God of
the Old Testament, their laws were the laws of the Old Testament,
their guides to conduct were the characters of the Old
Testament."" "They baptized their children," writes Lord
Macaulay, "by the names, not of Christian saints, but of Hebrew
patriarchs and warriors ." 12 Even the old Saxon names, once
household words, were condemned to oblivion .13 "Cromwell
hath beat up his drums clean through the Old Testament," comments
Cleveland. "You may know the genealogy of our Saviour
by the names of his regiment ."
Every attitude of the aggressive young imperialism which the
Anglo-Saxon was erecting became tinctured with Hebrew philosophy.
So completely was it absorbed that a large section of
the English people began to look upon themselves as being actually
descended from Israelites . A whole body of literature
sprang into being claiming that the word British was derived
from Brith and Ish of Hebrew, meaning `circumcised man,' and
that the English were descended from the Lost Ten Tribes of
Israel .14
This conviction on the part of a large part of the British
public became so great that it resulted in the forming of `The
British-Israel World Federation,' at one time claiming over five
million members, and including such eminent personages as
Queen Victoria and King Edward VII.
The Hebraizing spirit attended other considerable sections of
the Reformation though it was particularly at home with the
Anglo-Saxon peoples, whose identification with Hebrew history
and philosophy became so complete as to almost appropriate it
for themselves . Lecky expressed this debt in the famous remark
: "Hebraic mortar cemented the foundation of American
Democracy!" In the same vein Ulysses S . Grant advised his
countrymen to "hold fast to the Bible . It is the sheet-anchor of
your liberties. . ." And Jean Paul bespoke his times when he
declared that "the first leaf of the Mosaic record has more weight
than all the folios of men of science and philosophies."
Protestant theology in particular, rested on the belief that the
world of mankind was evolving towards a millennium in which
holiness was to be triumphant everywhere, and that a primary
prerequisite to this happy eventuality was the return of God's
Chosen People, the Jews, to the Holy Land .15 Supporting their
position with direct quotation from Biblical Prophecy, a large
group of earnest men, divines, statesmen and writers, set themselves
to be the instruments to speed this desired end . Specialized
histories of the Jews gained wide circulation, and it was not long
before the political emancipation of Zion became a lively topic
in English politics .
By 1839 popular interest had become so intense that the General
Assembly of the Church of Scotland, after sending a special
commission to the Holy Land to report on conditions there, addressed
"A Memorandum to the Protestant Monarchs of Europe
on the Subject of the Restoration of the Jewish People to the
Land of Palestine ." From this date onwards a pro-Jewish Palestinian
discussion ran parallel in the London Times with the agitation
over the Eastern question .
The Government, taking canny notice of this body of public
feeling and being interested in the Near East on its own account,
commenced to take a hand. With the entry of the murderous
anti-Christian Mehemet Ali into Syria, the advocacy of Zionism
became quietly identified with English foreign policy .
Interest mounted rapidly in all circles . The statesman Lord
Shaftsbury became so absorbed in the project that he learned
Hebrew. The colonization expert, Colonel George Gawler, devoted
virtually all his time to this cause, firmly convinced that
Jewish repatriation was a political desideratum for England, conveniently
sanctioned by Holy Writ . A whole succession of
English representatives in the Near East befriended the Jews
and took an active interest in their cause . It became a ruling
passion with such men as Laurence Oliphant and the archaeologist
Conger .
A mountain of literature and a whirlpool of activity had by
now been brought to bear on the matter . All these writers and
orators pointed out the desolate, empty, semi-savage condition of
the country . Various associations were formed to agitate the
cause, and monster mass-meetings were held. English statesmen
such as Sir Samuel Montague guaranteed publicly that "not only
will the Jews be assisted in colonizing Palestine, but practical
shape will be given to their aspiration for the restoration of the
Jewish Kingdom ."
While the interest in the fate of the Jews was most spectacular
and deep-seated in Britain, manifestations of it were evident
everywhere .
In France, Joseph Salvador called for the assembling of a European
Congress to restore the Holy Land . Here, too, Henri
Dunant, founder of the Red Cross and author of the Geneva Conventions,
was an ardent Zionist . Napoleon also is said to have
contemplated the restoration of Palestine to the Jews. This is
reported to have been one of the objects of his ill-fated adventure
in Egypt and the Near East.
In America the second president of the United States, John
Adams, announced himself an ardent Zionist who "really wished
the Jews again in Judea, an independent nation . . ." The lively
sympathy for Hebrew resettlement is shown also by the petition
to President Benjamin Harrison submitted by Dr. Wm. Blackstone,
Chairman of the Conference of Christians and Jews, in
1891 . Signed by an imposing list of the greatest names in America,
clergymen, corporation presidents and public officials, it offered
an elaborate plan for Jewish colonization, declaring that
"not for twenty-four centuries since the days of Cyrus, King of
Persia, has there been offered to any mortal such a privileged opportunity
to further the purposes of God concerning his ancient
By 1914 a powerful non-Jewish public opinion, favoring the
enterprise as a rational historical development, existed everywhere.
In England itself, long habituation to this program as
well as what appeared to be obvious self-interest had committed
British policy to it.

As unaware of all this as if it had taken place on Mars, a wholly
independent movement began stirring in the Hebrew ghettos .
As early as 1857 the Hungarian Rabbi Yehuda Alkalai suggested
the purchase of Palestine by a company to be formed for
that purpose, and in 1864 Professor Heinrich Graetz demanded a
Zionist solution for the problems confronting the Jewish race .
Others like the writers Hess, Kalisher and Smolenskin began to
voice articulate opinions .
In 1882 Leon Pinsker issued his volume Auto-Emancipation in
which he demanded that the Jews redeem themselves by their
own self-will . Like a lone tragic eagle, Pinsker gazed with tortured
sympathy at the misery of his people . Appalled at their
apathy and wretchedness he wrote : "Among the living nations
of the earth the Jews occupy the position of a nation long since
dead. With the loss of their fatherland, the Jewish people lost
their independence and fell into a decay which is not compatible
with existence as a whole vital organism . The State was crushed
before the eyes of the nations, but after the Jewish people had
yielded up their existence as an actual State, as a political entity,
they could not nevertheless submit to total destruction - they
did not cease to exist spiritually as a nation . The world saw in
this people the uncanny form of one of the dead walking among
the living. The ghostlike apparition of a people without unity
or organization, without land or other bond of union, no longer
alive, and yet moving about among the living, this eerie form
scarcely paralleled in history, unlike anything that preceded or
followed it, could not fail to make a strange, peculiar impression
upon the imagination of the nations."
Finally fired by the atrocious pogroms that were taking place
in South Russia a group of intellectuals formed the Chovevi Zion
Society 16 which soon attempted practical work in the direction
of a resettlement in the Old Land .
Jewry which had been gazing on all these vague gropings with
tolerant amusement, living like a drugged man on promises of a
new world order where men would live like gods, was jolted from
this fantasy by two startling events . The first of these had been
the arrest, torture and conviction of the leading Jewish notables
in the city of Damascus, Syria, on a charge of having murdered a
local friar for blood ritual purposes . The whole Jewish community
was terrorized, with the agreement and connivance of the
English and French consuls, who stated their belief that the ritual
murder charge was historically proven .
In France, the very center of enlightenment, after a long barrage
of anti-Semitic incitement, the Jewish officer Dreyfus was
railroaded by a secret military tribunal in 1894, degraded and
condemned to penal servitude for life for alleged treason . Everywhere
press and populace placed the stigma on the entire
Jewish community, with the weight of the Government thrown
behind a deliberate persecution of those attempting to prove the
unfortunate man's innocence . It soon became so apparent that
the whole case was a deliberate frame-up that the ensuing hubbub
forced the authorities to retry the Jewish officer some four years
later, when, under farcical circumstances, he was once more sentenced
to Devil's Island .
The doughty novelist, Zola, risked his career by issuing the
famous J'Accuse, exposing the outrageous nature of this affair .
Arrested, he fled to England where he went into hiding .
After an agitation which convulsed the entire civilized world,
Dreyfus, who had been kept in an iron cage on the Island, was
pardoned, still un-vindicated .
The anti-Semitic movement now grew with marvelous rapidity,
confounding every theory of the educators, who had held such
a result impossible. Jewry once more began to seek communion
with its own organic forces . The desire for a specifically Hebrew
cultural scheme in which they could live their lives out, began
to arise in the minds of the unhappy creatures groping their
way around tortured ghetto paths .
Sitting quietly in the press galleries during the second Dreyfus
trial was a young Viennese journalist named Theodore Herzl .17
A thoroughly Westernized Jew who accepted the Enlightenment
as a matter of course, he suddenly saw the Jewish problem
outlined stark naked. Returning to Vienna, his head full of the
question, all unaware that anyone had ever written on this subject
before, he penned his pamphlet The Jewish State."'
Friends, de-Judaized like himself, to whom he enunciated these
`revolutionary ideas,' counseled that he had been working too
hard and urged him to see the great brain specialist Max Nordau,
which nothing daunted, Herzl did.
One of the journalist's friends inquired anxiously of Nordau
after the visit : "What do you make of him?"
"Well," said Nordau thoughtfully, "it is of course quite possible
that he is crazy - but if he is, so am I, because I agree with
Tall, majestic, handsome, looking like an Assyrian god who
had stepped down from an old frieze, the magnetic personality
of this figure suddenly galvanized the incoherent movement into
action . Until then Zionism had been resting upon a vague
cultural-settlement base, with no definite scheme of control .
The great difference between Herzl's viewpoint and that of his
immediate predecessors was his pointblank insistence on political
guarantees before a single other step was taken . Claimed this
new master : ". . . the solution of the Jewish difficulty is the
recognition of the Jews as a People, and the finding by them of
a legally recognized home to which Jews in those parts of the
world in which they are oppressed would naturally migrate, for
they would arrive there as citizens just because they were Jews,
and not as aliens." With prophetic insight Herzl insisted on
complete political guarantees . He wrote : "An infiltration is
bound to end in disaster . It continues until the inevitable moment
when the native population feels itself crushed, and forces
the Government to stop the further influx of Jews . Immigration
is consequently futile unless based on an assured supremacy ."
His a priori demand was for "sovereignty over a tract of the
earth's surface that is adequate for our rightful needs as a nation ."
There was something almost omniscient in the man's ability to
peer into the curtained future . In a letter to the Rothschild's at
Vienna he pointed out that the Liberal governments of Europe,
apparently so firmly established in the prosperity of those days,
were not to last . They would fall and would be replaced by
tyrants, either royal or popular, who would be worse than
the aristocracies whom the parliamentary governments had displaced
.19 It took less than forty years for this prophecy to come
At the first Zionist Congress he predicted that the Jewish problem
would inevitably be turned into the problem of Zion. "We
are laying the cornerstone," he declared, "for an edifice that will
house the entire Jewish nation ."
On all sides the storm of opposition mounted like a rising hurricane.
Assimilationist rabbis thundered against him in their pulpits.
The Jews of Germany, where he proposed to hold his first
Congress, gazed on the man as a dangerous lunatic, so the historic
Congress was held in Basle instead . But he had gotten the
ear of the crushed Jewish masses and had touched their imaginations
as no figure had since the ill-fated messiah Zevi .
Abused and ridiculed as few men have been in history, Herzl
continued with his plan to attempt the purchase of Palestine, and
to form a chartered company which was to control and direct the
resettlement . He finally received an audience with the Sultan,
who placed an itching palm on the table . The Zionist leader
went out to find ways of covering it.
Jewish millionaires might have easily provided the 41 o,ooo,-
ooo demanded by Abdul Hamid for a concession in Palestine, but
they shied away from the idea . Herzl, hat in hand like a petitioner,
presented his plan to the philanthropist Baron de Hirsch .
The great man listened benevolently and finally said : "Herr
Herzl, I observe that you are an intelligent man - but you have
such fantastic ideas ."
In vain Herzl cajoled and pleaded : he could not raise the
money ; and in the meanwhile the `Young Turks' made an end
to Abdul Hamid and the Palestine negotiations together .
On the pulse of these events the British kept practiced and interested
fingers . When Herzl came to London he found to his
amazement that English public opinion, joined by a government
whose interests were coincidental to this scheme of development,
had created ready-made for him a galaxy of famous and influential
supporters . Powerful organs such as the Daily Chronicle
and Pall Mall Gazette were demanding the fulfillment of the
Zionist program and calling for a conference of the Powers to
consider it .
Herzl had already appeared at the sittings of the Royal Commission
on Alien Immigration . Given the honor of being the
first witness on the problem of Jewish homelessness and immigration,
he had been questioned closely by the Commission for an
exact definition of what was meant by Zionism . He replied
with his usual straightforwardness that it meant the establishment
of a Jewish State under absolute guarantees of political control,
and nothing else.
The British now took a direct hand and offered the territory
of Uganda in West Africa on a full autonomous basis under
chartered rights, "a recognition," states the official British Peace
Handbook No. 162, "that Herzl and his following were regarded
seriously in serious quarters ." Supporting the Government in
this well-intentioned offer was a young M .P. named Arthur
James Balfour.
But the Russian Zionists rebelled ; and at the next Congress the
whole Uganda scheme was thrown out. It was Palestine or
nothing . 20
Within the Zionist movement itself various schisms began to
develop . The widest of these, was that of the so-called Practical
Zionists who derived from the old Chovevi Zion Society . They
were bitterly opposed to Herzl's policy, were uninterested in
political guarantees, and stressed `cultural' and `practical' work .
One of their rising stars was the young chemist Chaim Weitzman.
Their leader was Achad Ha'am, a little pinch-faced man
with a goatee and the eye of an ascetic.
Achad Ha'am represented all that his arch-enemy Herzl would
never understand in his lifetime. He was born in a little village
in the Pale and was brought up in an ultra-orthodox home where
secular knowledge was tabu . He literally concentrated on the
Talmud, and his knowledge of that book became so great that
local rabbis would come to consult him when he was still in his
early teens . He was a typical hair-splitter in words, the personified
ideal of the spirit of philosophic dialecticism in the flesh .
He considered all `political' Zionists to be barbarians . "What
we lack," he wrote, "is a fixed spot to serve as a national spiritual
center, a safe retreat, not for Jews, but for Judaism . . . The
foundation of a single great school," he insisted, "of learning or
art in Palestine . . . would be, to my mind, a national work of
the highest import and would do more to bring us near to our
goal than a hundred agricultural colonies ."
Fanatically understood by the queer type of scholastic whose
soul he interpreted, Achad Ha'am, if influence counts, was the
most potent of all the modern Zionist forces . Belittling Herzl as
a wild dreamer, his influence began to be apparent after the Tatter's
death, and finally triumphed . He was an extremist who
could care much for idea and little for men, a product and consequence
of that tragic pariah world into which the gentiles had
sequestered Jehovah's people .
Herzl saw what Achad Ha'am did not - what, indeed, he was
incapable of seeing -that a free and living culture is not the
source but the outcome of an organized and stable life, and that
this contemptuous attitude towards political control could only
end in one more ghetto - this time in Palestine.
It is the Hebrew tragedy that the manly Herzl should have
died young and the visionary Ha'am should have lived to a ripe
old age. On July 3, 1904, harassed and worn, the incomparable
leader suddenly sickened and died. He was then only forty-four
years old .
The Zionist movement had already begun to be encumbered
with ideological contentions, and factions of various descriptions
. Its leadership fell in the hands of minor worthies, followers
for the most part of Achad Ha'am, who talked in learned
circumlocutory motions and all but smothered in the mantle
they had inherited . Even so, carried along by its own irresistible
momentum, Zionism continued to grow rapidly.
The name `Palestine' occurs for the first time in Herodotus.
Like its Hebrew equivalent, Pelesheth (Land of Wanderers), it
meant only Philistia . At first applied to a small section of the
coast it later spread to encompass the entire country . Until the
resurgent Zionist movement brought this area into the sphere of
world politics its identity was largely interchangeable with that
of Syria,' a generic term used to describe the entire region of Asia
Minor but later contracted to cover the confines of Palestine and
the block of territory immediately to the north of it .
With proprietary determination the Jew has always referred
to his homeland as Eretz Israel, The Land of Israel .' The Arabs
call it Esh-Sher (the Land to the Left) since it represented the
northernmost limit of their natural range .
By and large, this territory must be accounted one of the most
stirringly beautiful and, certainly, one of the most remarkable
countries on the face of Mother Earth . It is not to be wondered
by those who have seen it that "some of the finest visions of the
true age of reason have been penned within its borders ." 2
Here in matchless beauty can be found every climate from
tropical to sub-alpine, and a bewildering variety of flora and
fauna to match - all in a half hour's ride . It is possible to pass
through four different zones, from the scotch fir in the hill country
down to the date palm growing in its native soil on the plains
of Jordan.
The valley of the Dead Sea, sultry and depressing, lies thirteen
hundred feet below the level of the Mediterranean . From this
strange salt lake, almost visible to the naked eye is Jerusalem,
twenty-six hundred feet above sea level, where in the sparkling
night air one feels as if he could reach up and touch the cold white
stars . In the north the country rises precipitously to a height of
nine thousand feet above the ocean calmly sunning itself below,
and becomes alpine . On the central range, snow has been known
to reach a depth of nearly two feet . This explains the feat of
Benaiah who went down and slew a lion in the midst o f a cistern
in the day o f the snow . The beast had strayed up the Judean
hills from Jordan and had been caught in a sudden storm .
A fertile plain fronts the Mediterranean for the entire length
of the country except where rugged Carmel reaches down to the
shore . East of this plain, finally giving way to the mountains of
Judea, lie rolling foothills studded with rich valleys . South of
Jerusalem this range gradually fades into a forbidding sandy
waste of desert, what is left of ancient Edom, glowering in the
hot sun . In the north, the historic valley of Esdraelon, ancient
highway between the great land masses of Asia and Africa, splits
the mountain range which spreads across Palestine from Haifa to
In an area but little larger than Vermont this endless variety of
view seems almost theatrical . No other country can begin to
match it. None has a valley like that deep gash called the Ghor,
where bananas droop like lolling odalesques in the shimmering
heat ; nor a roll of iridescent desert like that which falls from the
multi-colored rocks of Judea to the opal shores of the Dead Sea.
Yet in these neighboring hills the climate is so temperate that first
rate apples may be grown ; and on the hottest days the nights are
cool enough to sleep under blankets.
The climate is divided roughly into a rainy and dry season, with
a short period of scorching desert winds called the Humseen.
The rain falling in the three winter months becomes a deluge .
Wild flowers follow each other in stunning confusion . Glittering
like precious gems, anemone, crocus, poppy, wild mignonette,
oleander and narcissus, sparkle in the sun just as they
must have once delighted the Hebrew women in the old days .
Overhead, birds of all kinds make the air gay with their limpid
notes . Whole hosts of harmless lizards of every color dart like
small genii across the banks of hedge and sward . In the wilderness
are tiny gazelles who look as if they had been painted on the
landscape. It is claimed that there are still wolves, hyenas and
jackals in the hills. Tristram speaks of foxes near Nablus ; 3 and a
crocodile is said to have been caught in the River Zerka as late as
the year 1902.
Beyond this eloquent native beauty, which the hand of barbarian
man is not powerful enough to destroy, the country has
been stripped and starved . In parts it is a veritable carcass of a
Travelers gazing on Palestine for the first time, aghast at its
stony hills and deserted valleys, invariably exclaim : "Can this unflavored
country be indeed the Land of Promise, the land flowing
with milk and honey ? "
The great oak forests of Gilead, Bashan and Lebanon are gone,
as are the groves of the Jordan Valley and the date palms of the
maritime plain. The Hebrew laughter which once came down
from the hills lives only in echo . These hills, once covered to
their tops with cornfields and vineyards, are dead . It is hardly
an exaggeration to say that while for miles and miles there is no
appearance of life or habitation in the hills of Judea except an
occasional goatherd, there is hardly a hilltop of the many within
sight which is not covered by the vestiges of some fortress or city
of former ages . Where now only forbidding rocks greet the
eye, the soil on their steep sides was once held securely in place
by ingeniously devised terraces .
The indescribably wild state of the country, before the Zionists
came, is pictured graphically in the chronicles of the last century.
Some of the descriptions given are almost unbelievable . Churton
refers to the plain between Jerusalem and Jordan as "bare as a
desert." 4 Walpole exclaims : "On my road I saw six ruined
towns and only six living persons ." s Mark Twain called it "a
hopeless, dreary, heartbroken land . . . inherited only by birds
of prey and skulking foxes ." 6 And that staunch believer in
Prophecy, the Rev. A. G. H. Hollingsworth, wept that "here is
one of the most remarkable and best situated countries in the
world, without a population, without resources, without commerce."
West of the Jordan even the surface ruins of cities have been
obliterated. Only the bare remnants of the once extensive He48
brew irrigation works crumbling on the hillsides, remain to remind
the traveler that once this country was populated by a civilized
people. Standing on the Moab hills and looking east, one
can see nothing but a tired, worn country, as naked of signs of
life as mid-ocean . In Old Testament times it included the fruitful
lands of Moab, Gilead and Bashan . That this vast region was
then one of the most fertile and populous on the globe is amply
proven by the multitude of ruins which dot its surface at the
present day. From a single outlook Merrill counted as many as
forty ruined cities and towns.8 Buckingham described "ruined
towns in every direction, both before, behind, and on every side
of us. . . There was not a tree in sight as far as the eye could
reach." 9
Even in early Christian centuries Trans-Jordan * was so thickly
settled as to be honored with the seat of a bishopric . Many
Greeks drifted in and settled among the Syrian and Roman elements.
After the Fourth Century, the Bedouin Arab inundated
the country and left it a wilderness again, as it remains today .
The tumbling remains of fine marble baths, great columns, evidences
of a cultivated life now hushed in death, are looked upon
by the Arab with uncomprehending eye . Merrill, with the hurt
conscience of a great archaeologist, complained bitterly that these
aboriginals were wantonly smashing the famous ruins.
At Jerash alone are remains unexcelled by the best antiquities
of northern Damascus. Throughout the length and breadth of
the land these relics may be seen, the names of many of them
forgotten. Polla, overlooking the Jordan, once a great city with
castle, colonnades and mausoleums, is now distinguished by only
a few pillars.
Today the very names of these places are forgotten . The
Bedu 10 herd their sheep in these deserted courts and make their
rude beds of grass among their stones . They extract the same
blackmail, and if it is withheld, sweep off the harvests in the same
time-sanctified retaliation . Their frail houses of hair had been
* Trans-Jordan, the territory of the Jewish National Home lying east of the
River Jordan (so designated to distinguish it from Cis-Jordan, the area lying
west of the River Jordan) was later detached by the British as a separate administrative
area under the name of `Transjordan :
there four thousand years before, and are there again today unchanged.
The whole of Eastern Palestine is incomparably more fertile
and better watered than the western third of the country . Draining
it are a number of large rivers, fed by innumerable springs,
filled with fishes and other aquatic life .
Travelers glowingly describe its rich soil and natural beauty .
Irby and Mangles mention "the vast variety of natural flora ; and
downs with verdure so thick as to appear almost turf ." 11 Lord
Lindsay declares that "the whole of the country . . . on the
east of the Jordan . . . is fertile in the extreme ." 12 And Merrill
comments that he has seen men on the plains of Gilead "turning
furrows which were nearly a mile in length, and as straight as
one could draw a line ."
This whole area across Jordan is one of the most favored territories
on the earth. It only awaits the coming of an energetic
and intelligent race to become again everything that it was in the
Historians agree that there has been no period since the time of
Joshua when there have not been Jews in Palestine . If length of
continuous settlement makes the case, Jewish residence of some
44oo years vastly overshadows any rival claim which can be offered.
The oldest identifiable community whose continuing record
can be established are the Jews of Pekiin, a village in the hills of
upper Galilee near Safed, a group which has not moved in two
thousand years. This settlement is referred to in the Talmud under
the name of Tekoa, and then reappears more than a thousand
years later in the narrative of an early Sixteenth Century traveler .
At Bukeia in the mountains is another ancient community of Jews
who claim to be descended from Israelites living there before the
Dispersion ; and the Samaritans at Sechem are known to have been
there since the days of Nehemiah .
All through the Dispersion, Jews sought to return to their
homeland . They trickled in from all directions after each catastrophe
in the Diaspora. Most of them succumbed to massacre,
forced conversion and disease . The rest were turned into broken spirited
men whose cowed eyes became hypnotized by mere liturgical
The first practical steps for modern colonization were taken
in Russia where Zionism was growing rapidly . About i88o, a
group of students, mostly from the University of Odessa, formed
a group called `Bilu .' 13 They took oath to renounce their studies
and to devote their lives working at common labor for the reconstruction
of the Land of Israel .
Students with soft white hands and determined wills, began to
arrive in small groups . The great-hearted Englishman, Oliphant,
his head full of idyllic schemes for buying the country from the
Sultan, found a number of them stranded in Galilee . He helped
them found what is now the prosperous colony of Zichron Jacob,
near Haifa . Through him, also, the aid of the philanthropist
Baron Edmund de Rothschild was enlisted for the struggling
Soon at Petach Tikvah a thriving agricultural colony was established.
Jewish resettlement had begun in dead earnest . By
1883, three thousand of these hardy dreamers had landed in Jaffa .
Progress continued quietly and steadily . Arabs attracted by
the magnetizing vitality of the returning Jew began to drift in
from impoverished Syria, from Egypt, and from the desert wastes.
Palestine was making enormous strides . As far back as 19oo, a
British consular report recognized that "there can be no doubt
that the establishment of the Jewish colonies in Palestine has
brought about a great change in the aspect of that country" ; and
in 1904 another consular report reiterates that "the Jewish element
is spreading all over Palestine and represents today the most
enterprising part of the population."
Exports from the port of Jaffa had jumped to 0682,000 in
191 I, from C264,000 in i goo .* A Blue Book issued by the British
Board of Trade in 1911 acknowledges that "the chief feature
* The Palestine Pound is worth approximately the same as the English Pound
Sterling -or about $5 .00 in American money.

of the economic development of Palestine in the past year was
the Jewish immigration."
By 1914 the Jews had increased to over ioo,ooo . There were
now fifty-four agricultural colonies, with a total area of i i o,ooo
acres . New land was being rapidly purchased, garden suburbs
laid out. The all-Jewish city of Tel Aviv was growing out of
its swaddling clothes. The pace of building was feverish . A
great new wave of immigration was gaining momentum . Zionism
had seemingly won its battle and was about to cash in on its
investment of blood, courage, lives and money .
The official British Peace Handbook on Zionism thus describes
the settlements : "The Jewish agricultural colonies, which have
grown up during the past 25 years, show a level of agricultural
and scientific development far ahead of anything else in Palestine
. . . The colonies are inhabited by strong and healthy agriculturists
living in clean, well-built houses and possessing a high
degree of commercial and political organization as well as a distinctive
social life. . . The children think and talk in Hebrew,
and all the colonists possess the newly acquired national consciousness.
. . "
So stood the Jewish effort at reclaiming their homeland, at the
beginning of the World War, when they wholeheartedly threw
their destiny into the balance with that of the Allies . They had
already achieved a solid foundation for a sound national economy.
Soon they were to have the solemn promise of the nations for a
charter which would finally end the tragedy of Jewish homelessness.
Indirectly, the World War was fought for possession of the
Near East . The natural route for expansion of the mushrooming
industrial growths of Europe lay in the direction of the great
sluggish masses of Asia where vast consumer needs and untapped
natural riches excited the cupidity of Europe's imperialists .
All great conquerors whose interest was divided between East
and West have considered the possession of the land bridge between
the Mediterranean and the Euphrates essential to their
security. Assyria and Egypt spilled out their life blood for it.
It was pivotal to the empires of Macedon and Rome . Napoleon
made a desperate bid for it when his ambitious eyes stretched
longingly toward the rich mysterious East . It was the `Near
East Question' which lay at the bottom of the plotting and
maneuvering that led to the Balkan and Crimean Wars .
Here Great Britain, Russia, Germany and France engaged in
a sometimes open, sometimes hidden, struggle for the most important
intercontinental routes of this planet, and with them,
world power and influence.
Britain was aiming at complete domination of Asia . She already
held fabulously rich India by the throat . Her interests in
China, and in lesser countries, had grown to gigantic proportions .
The only formidable competitor who developed during this period
was Germany whose great commercial barons were now
looking at the wealthy East with scarcely concealed appetite .
The Kaiser and his entourage realized that here was the path to
power. Moreover, it was here that they considered Britain to
be vulnerable. The whole course of German policy centered
around the Drang nach Osten (Drive to the East), whose undeclared
objective was to cut the lifelines of British communications
with India and the East. Berlin had already established a
clear pathway through the Balkans . The dying Turkish Empire
was flooded with German generals, engineers, diplomats and
agents. "The Baghdad Railway was pushing rapidly down towards
Mesopotamia . When it got to the Tigris and Euphrates,
it would proceed to Basra, and thence, somehow, to Karachi and
Calcutta and Delhi . Everyone in Whitehall and in The City
knew that, and knew what it would mean ." 1
Here was the most potent threat the British Empire had faced
in generations. If the German plans were allowed to come to a
head, the Reich would be in an infinitely better position to deal
commercially in the East than Britain who held the paramount
political position. It would mean whopping big orders for German
goods of all kinds, from steel down to knickknacks . It
would present the threat of a half million Teuton warriors who
could be transported within a matter of days by train from Berlin
to the very gates of India .
It was imperative to British strategy that the German drive to
the East be halted at the gateway of the Asiatic continent . It
was apparent that Great Britain must control the Near East if
her Empire was to survive . Like two great patient cats England
and Germany watched each other, unspoken challenge, suspicion
and hate staring from their eyes . Another predatory creature,
the Russian bear, as well as minor scavengers, stood by . The
two feline antagonists had stalked each other for a decade, tensely
awaiting der Tag, when the fight was unexpectedly precipitated
by the explosion at Sarajevo which signaled the outbreak of the
World War.
Though the primary struggle was between the rival economic
ambitions of the English and Germans, the French too had their
eye on this strategic sector . In March 1915, Paris made a claim
for the ultimate control of all Syria including Palestine . In November
19 1 5, M. Picot again insisted that the whole of Syria down
to the Egyptian frontier must be assigned to France . Finally in
May of 1916, a secret agreement was concluded known as the
Sykes-Picot Agreement, dividing up the spoils of the `war for
democracy' in advance. Under this agreement Palestine was to
be made International, with the exception of Haifa and neighbor54
ing Acre, which were to go to England . The entire Mediterranean
littoral was to go to France, whose influence was also to
be paramount in Damascus, Aleppo and Mosul .
From 1788 till 1914, Great Britain had fought some twenty
wars to keep the route to India open . Now for this identical
reason, to put a complete end to the German Drang nach Osten,
she was fighting the Great War with Germany . With farsighted
suspicion she saw the friend of today as the enemy of tomorrow,
and looked askance at France and the French demands .
Anxiously the British Foreign Office began casting its eyes around
for some plausible method to forestall the ambition of its powerful
ally .
By the autumn of 19 17, after a startling attack by the Turks on
the Suez Canal, a wholly new idea had taken possession of the
minds of politicians and strategists . It was obvious that a protective
bastion had to be created to buttress the artery of communications
with India . Such a plan made necessary absolute
possession of the Palestinian coast as well as the Judean hills that
command it. Now, reasoned Britain's strategists, would be an
auspicious time to revive the old Palestine. In this way, instead
of the proverbial two birds who were killed with one stone, a
miracle could be maneuvered to make it three . First, an end
would be put to French pretensions to control over this vital
area. Scarcely less important, the enthusiastic support of the
Jews all over the world to the Allied cause could be gained . And
still a third factor, not to be overlooked, was the poverty of Judea
and the surrounding desert . If the Jews would undertake to
form a country here and would invest the necessary money, Britain
would achieve every result it hoped for ; and this ideal fortress
for the imperial lifeline, being self-supporting, would not cost the
Royal Exchequer a penny.
All this sounded too good to be true, and the Government began
putting out feelers to see if it could be finagled through . So
potent, in fact, did this new policy appear that already on November
22, 1915 a leading article in the Manchester Guardian stated
that Palestine must be created as a Jewish Nation to act as a buffer
state for Egypt, and concluded quite seriously that "on the realization
of that condition depends the whole future of the British
Empire as a sea empire ."
From a purely military viewpoint, the friends of this idea in
Britain urged that "the only possible colonists of Palestine were
the Jews." Only they could build up in the Mediterranean a
new dominion associated with Britain from the outset in Imperial
work, at once a protection against the alien East and a
mediator between it and England .3
Still other factors of pressing importance were at work . Lloyd
George, wartime Prime Minister, was anxious to bring over the
United States to the Allied side and was attempting to make good
on the propaganda that the War was fought for democracy and
for the righting of old wrongs . There was also the fear that Germany
itself would declare for Zionism . The German Government
was fully alive to the importance of rallying Jewish opinion
to her side . It was suspected that the Kaiser was thinking of following
Napoleon's example in his Eastern campaign . The German
ruler had once declared to Herzl, when the two met in
Palestine, that he was willing to undertake the `mandate' for the
Zionist settlement in Palestine if Turkey would agree .4 News
reached the British Foreign Office that Baron Rosen, German
Ambassador to the Hague, had been in conference with leading
Dutch Jews.
Aside from specifically British questions of policy, the hard-pressed
Allied spokesmen were poignantly aware of the instability
of their ally Russia, in whose army six hundred thousand
Jews were serving, men who were fighting for a government they
hated, and whose success could mean nothing but degradation
for them and their families. The Allies were aware that the
propaganda bureau of the Central Powers was exploiting this fact
for all it was worth . Daily, proclamations were scattered over
the Eastern battlefront informing Jews that German victory
meant liberty for them ; s and in all neutral countries adroit advantage
was being taken of the propaganda story which set the
Kaiser's legions up as crusaders in a war of liberation .
Thus in a large sense the alliance of the Western Powers with
Russia was a direct liability, souring any sympathy either Jews or
Liberals might have had for their cause. This the declaration
for a Jewish commonwealth was designed to correct. Said the
British Foreign Office at the time : "The persecuting Governments
became our friends, and Palestine was a most important
factor in the war policy of the Allies ." 6
Among the details is a significant aide-memoirs by the British
Embassy in Petrograd to Sazanov, Russian Minister of Foreign
Affairs, on March 13, 1916, reading
". . . Although as is known, many Jews are indifferent to the
idea of Zionism, yet a numerous, and the most influential, part of
Jewry in all the countries would very much appreciate an offer of
agreement concerning Palestine which would completely satisfy
the aspiration o f the Jews .
"If the above view is correct, then it is clear that by utilizing
the Zionist idea important political results can be achieved .
Among them will be the conversion, in favor of the Allies, of
Jewish elements in the Orient, in the United States, and in other
places, elements whose attitude at the present time is to a considerable
extent opposed to the Allies' cause.
". . . The only purpose of H. M. Government is to find some
arrangement, sufficiently attractive to the majority of the Jews,
which might facilitate the conclusion of an agreement ensuring
the Jewish support."
The rumors that Germany was attempting to get Turkey's
consent to some sort of pro-Zionist declaration crackled along
the grapevine route . President Wilson, raised on Bible Prophecy,
allowed it to be known in London that he would welcome
a British pronouncement in favor of the Zionists .
When the inevitable happened and the great Russian bear began
to collapse, the question of an alliance with Jewry took on
even greater importance . Jewish influence in Russia was supposed
to be considerable . Jews were playing a prominent part
in the revolution - but they were greatly divided . "Some were
for peace at any price, some for the maintenance of the alliance
with the Western Powers ; many were utterly uninterested in
Zionism and had found a messiah in Karl Marx . . ." 7 But the
great bulk of the Russian Jews were known to be Zionists ; and
with calculating eye the British computed that the alliance with
Jewry might have permanent value . Zionism became an important
political issue.
Negotiations were instituted with the Jewish leaders to sound
them out on this pressing subject and to determine their demands.
By February 1917 the way had been prepared for a formal meeting
with Sir Mark Sykes of the British Foreign Office . Soon
after, Mr. . Nahum Sokolov, representative of the Zionist Organization,
opened discussion with the French and Italian Governments.
In July the Zionists submitted a memorandum to the
British Cabinet suggesting the formula to be used in an official
pronouncement of sympathy for their cause .

If the purposes and aims of the Zionist movement needed
clarification in anyone's mind, a circumstance at once occurred
supplying that deficiency . The intentions of the Government
were no sooner manifest than a loud and violent protest was set
up by certain classes of Jews in England, France and America .
Among them were the `new thinkers' who, enveloped in a cloud
of Marxist pharisaism, saw the projected return to Zion as a reactionary
movement which violated their `deep Socialist convictions.'
Others were the great capitalists, who were afraid that
any declaration in favor of a Jewish State might place their hard-won
social position in jeopardy . Included in this strange gathering
of the clans were the ultra orthodox fanatics who were
awaiting the divine Messiah ; and the Reform Rabbis whose
tissue-paper houses this new movement seemed destined to destroy.
The Conjoint Committee, the most influential of all Jewish
bodies in England, issued a public attack on the `political char-
acter' of the Zionist demands, asserting that the Jews were only
a religious community and not a nation . "The granting of a
charter for Palestine to the Jews," it declared heatedly, "would
be a disaster for all Jewry, since the equal status of the Jews with
the other citizens of different States would thereby be risked ."
Immediately the Zionists replied with vigor . The press of the
day was full of the argument, with' the Government and the entire
gentile world solidly on the pro-Zionist side .8
"Under the pressure of Allied needs," says the official British
historian at the subsequent Peace Conference, "the objections of
the anti-Zionists were either overruled or the causes of objection
removed. . ." s At that time the Zionists could have practically
written their own ticket, since there was no subject on which
everyone but the Jews themselves were so unanimously agreed
as the matter of a pro-Zionist declaration . The only powerful opponent
of this course in the Government was the India Office,
ultra-Islamic under a Jewish Secretary of State .
Although the members of the Conjoint Committee had been
hopelessly buried under an avalanche of public ridicule, certain
changes were made in the wording of the Declaration to placate
As early as October 19 16, the Zionist leaders in Britain had already
submitted to the Government a formal "program for a new
administration of Palestine and for, a Jewish resettlement in accordance
with the aspirations of the Zionist movement ."
On February 7, 1917, Sir Mark Sykes communicated with
Weitzman and Sokolov, together with M. Georges Picot, representing
the French Government ." This was the first of a series
of round-table conferences . Its full minutes, as well as those of
subsequent sessions, were transmitted to the American Zionist
Organization by officials of the British War Office .
Throughout the negotiations President Wilson who, as early
as 1911 had made known his profound interest in the Zionist idea,
was intimately consulted ; and all drafts of the proposed Declaration
were submitted to the White House for approval .
The formula accepted in July 1917 by the British Cabinet
read : "H. M. Government, after considering the aims of the
Zionist Organization, accepts the principle of recognizing Palestine
as the National Home of the Jewish people, and the right of
the Jewish people to build up its national life in Palestine under a
protection to be established at the conclusion of peace, following
upon the successful issue of the War .
"H. M. Government regards as essential for the realization of
this principle, the grant of internal autonomy to Palestine, freedom
of immigration for Jews, and the establishment of a Jewish
National Colonizing Corporation for the resettlement and economic
development of the country.
"The conditions and forms of the internal autonomy and a
charter for the Jewish National Colonizing Corporation should,
in the view of H. M. Government, be elaborated in detail and determined
with the representatives of the Zionist Organization ." 11
One of the changes introduced to mollify the anti-Zionist Jews
was the substitution of the phrase "the establishment of a Jewish
National Home in Palestine" for the previous wording, "the
establishment of the Jewish National Home in Palestine." 12
By November 2, 1917, after its wording had been sufficiently
emasculated to suit the `ideals' of Jews all around, Lord Balfour
placed it in the form of a letter to the pro-Zionist, Lord Rothschild,
reading as follows
"I have much pleasure in conveying to you on behalf of His
Majesty's Government the following declaration of sympathy
with the Jewish Zionist aspirations, which has been submitted to
and approved by the Cabinet.
"His Majesty's Government view with favor the establishment
in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish people, and
will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this
object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done
which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-
Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status
enjoyed by Jews in any other country .
"I should be grateful if you would bring this Declaration to
the knowledge of the Zionist Federation ."
Ironically enough, the second part of the Declaration, which
was since construed by Britain to make it a self-annulling docu-
ment, was inserted on the insistence of the Zionists themselves,
partly to meet the objections of Sir Philip Magnus, Mr. . Claude
Montefiore and other powerful non-Zionist Jews ; and partly as
a symbol of that "nobility of social vision" with which the strangled
ghetto mind was obscured . 13
Written by Achad Ha'am, this proviso was not in any remote
sense considered as a modification of the Declaration but rather
as a polite sop to quiet the fears of the non-Zionist Jews, and an
equally considerate makeweight assurance to the various religious
communities scattered over the Holy Land .
All of these alterations and changes in the British Government's
commitment, says Herbert Sidebotham, then secretary to
Premier Lloyd George, "were inserted in deference to the opinion
of a minority, in the hope of securing complete unanimity
among Jews . . . It was certainly no British interest, either at this
stage or later, that weakened the scope of the promise and infected
it with ambiguity ." 14
The Zionist negotiators, naive and inexperienced, felt that the
introduction of these nice, virtuous phrases in their magna carat
was a fitting and seemly gesture with which to begin their great
adventure . Herzl, who had the gift of seeing beyond his nose,
would have known better .
In view of the cool disclaimers which were to come later, it is
interesting to note what interpretation was placed on the British
Government's Declaration to the Jews at the time . Whatever
bearing it might have had on the commendable questions of humaneness
and justice, it could hardly be regarded as a wholly
benevolent gesture. Balfour himself, handsome, clever and icy,
was no mere romantic. He who had pacified Ireland with guns
and was known as `Bloody Balfour' in consequence, could hardly
be accused of suddenly developing a philanthropic complex in
favor of Jews.
The benefits immediately accruing to the Allied cause need
hardly be argued . Certainly the tremendous number of Jewish
soldiers fighting in the Armies of the Western Powers were fired
by this warm earnest of good faith . Nor can one estimate the
weight of Jewish influence in neutral countries, which dropped
heavily on the Allied side of the scales. Nor the enthusiastic aid
given to the Allenby invasion of Palestine . Nor the stirring effect
of the Jewish Legion, fighting to right the oldest wrong in history,
on the imaginations of Jewry and the world . Nor the fillip
it gave the Allied claims when Palestine, the first conquered territory,
was trumpeted to all humanity as newly liberated .
Not only was the effect of this superb piece of propaganda felt
in all neutral countries but it was immediate in its reaction on the
morale of the Central Empires, with their stew of subject races,
accelerating the cleavage then taking place between the subject
nationalities and their overlords . Worthy of note, too, is the
boldness with which the German Zionist Conference in Berlin
adopted and cabled a Resolution "greeting with satisfaction the
fact that the British Government has recognized in an official
declaration the right of the Jewish people to a national existence
in Palestine." In fact, after the British announcement, the Central
Powers did all they could to win the Zionist movement over
to their side. They formulated a rival proposition, involving a
chartered company with a form of self-government and the right
of free immigration into Palestine ; and "by the end of 1917 it was
known that the Turks were willing to accept a scheme on those
lines ." 15
Wholeheartedly the great and important body of fundamentalist
Christian opinion, hating war for any proclaimed purpose, rose
to the bait. Jannaway expresses this profound conviction in his
book, Palestine and the World, asserting that Biblical Prophecy
was being fulfilled exactly as predicted, thus placing Jehovah
squarely on the side of the Western Powers.
"Indeed," says a semi-official British publication, "support of
the Zionist ambitions promised much for the Allies . . . That it
is in purpose a direct contract with Jewry is beyond question ." 18
This was acknowledged plainly by General Smuts, member of
the War Cabinet, who speaking retrospectively some years later,
asserted that "the Declaration was intended to rally the powerful
Jewish influence for the Allied cause at the darkest hour of the
War" ; a statement which David Lloyd George, Winston Churchill
and others, emphatically reiterated .
The Declaration was unreservedly endorsed by the other Powers.
On June 4, 1917 the French Government, through its
Minister, M . Cambon, formally committed itself to "the renaissance
of the Jewish nationality in that Land from which the
people of Israel were exiled so many centuries ago ." Even in
faraway China, Wang, Minister of Foreign Affairs, assured the
Zionists that "the Nationalist Government is in full sympathy
with the Jewish people in their desire to establish a country for
themselves." 17
In America, echoed by practically every official of public importance,
President Wilson wrote that "the Allied nations, with
the fullest concurrence of our own Government and people, are
agreed that in Palestine shall be laid the foundations of a Jewish
Commonwealth." In gratitude the American Jewish Congress
cabled H. M. Government, on November 2, 1917, its desire that
Great Britain should be given the trusteeship, "acting on behalf
of such League of Nations, as may be formed, to assure the development
of Palestine into a Jewish Commonwealth . . ." In
the United States Congress, members expressed general accord
with "the British Declaration in favor of a Jewish State in the
Holy Land." The minutes of its sessions show that this understanding
had not altered by an iota five years later, when the
American Congress was induced to put its seal of approval, by
resolution, on the selection of Great Britain as the Mandatory
for Palestine .
The utterances of the Cabinet ministers who framed the
Declaration were no less emphatic . General Smuts asserted
that "in generations to come you will see a great Jewish State
rising there once more ." Declared Lloyd George grandly
". . . Great Britain extended its mighty hand in friendship to
the Jewish people to help it to regain its ancient national home
and to realize its age-long aspirations ." Said Lord Robert Cecil
"Our wish is that Arabian countries shall be for Arabs, Armenia
for the Armenians and Judea for the Jews ." And on another
occasion he lumped the whole matter in a nutshell, telling the
excited Zionists : "We have given you national existence . In
your hands lies your national future ." Lord Balfour was no less
clear . "The destruction of Judea i goo years ago," he asserted,
"was one of the greatest historical crimes, which the Allies now
endeavor to remedy."
British newspapers were as one in their mighty paean of approval.
Without exception they spoke of "the new Jewish State
which is to be formed under the suzerainty of a Christian Power ."
Across the water, the American newspapers echoed these remarks
in the same expansive detail. A representative editorial of the
time explains : "The Zionists are that group of Jews who wish to
found a Jewish Republic in Palestine with Jerusalem as the capital.
. . The British cabinet has pronounced in favor of Zionism."
Anti-Zionists invariably stress the part played by the Arabs
during the War, inferring that the sons of Ishmael earned their
patrimony, and that the Jews, who had done nothing, insolently
demanded a chunk of the Arab pie when the spoils were being
divided .
Actually the Jewish share in the victory was significant, well
justifying in value received the solemn bargain made with world
Jewry to reconstitute the Land of Israel as a living factor among
the nations .
In the neutral countries the Allied cause, associated everywhere
in the Jewish mind with justice and equity, was given invaluable
support. Jews fought in the armies of all the Western
Powers. Over a hundred thousand Jewish soldiers were killed
in action . In the British Empire itself, out of a total community
of 425,000 Jews, 50,000 were in uniform . In true Maccabean
spirit they earned more than their share of honors and decorations
on the battlefield. One of them was the heroic Sir John Monash,
leader of the Australians .
Behind the lines, the Zionist leader Chaim Weitzman was the
genius directing the Admiralty Chemical Laboratories . According
to Lloyd George, he "absolutely saved the British army at
a critical moment" by devising a substitute for exhausted English
supplies of acetone, used in making the basic material in gunpowder.
Among others, Sir Alfred Stern invented the tank,
which saved the Western Powers from annihilation during the
latter part of the fighting . Solomon J. Solomon created the idea
of camouflage, allowing harassed Allied shipping to run the Uboat
blockade . Everywhere Jewish brains, money, valor and
enthusiasm were placed wholeheartedly at the service of the
Allies .
In Palestine itself, as a result of their commitment to the Western
Powers, Jews were tortured, executed and deported. When
the final truce came, fully half of them were dead or had fled
In 1915 Palestinian refugees in Egypt had organized the Zion
Mule Corps under the leadership of dashing Captain Trumpledor,
a one-armed veteran of the Russo-Japanese War . Colonel Patterson,
the British officer who led these men in the ill-fated Gallipoli
campaign, declared : "I have been in the army a long time,
but I never saw anything like the way those Zionists picked up
the art of soldiery ." For the first time since Roman days, the
Zion Mule Corps fought under the proudly floating Jewish ensign,
the blue and white Mogen David (Shield of David) .
In the meanwhile a brilliant young Russian writer, Vladimir
Jabotinsky, had been scurrying around in an attempt to organize
a legion of Jewish volunteers from the Diaspora countries to fight
directly under the Jewish flag. With rare insight he pointed
out that words and promises were soon forgotten and that the
most enduring Jewish title to the Holy Land would come from
a direct investment of Jewish blood under a Jewish flag .
The influential capitalist Jews were aghast . They put pressure
on the British War Office to stop this little impassioned Zionist
with the under slung jaw who they believed was jeopardizing
their position in the gentile world with his lunatic nonsense .
But the British needed this Jewish regiment for publicity purposes
: they had made themselves the champion of the oldest betrayed
nationality in existence, impressive to the Poles, Czechs,
Armenians, etc ., who had been listening to the noble assurances
of the Western Powers with their tongues in their cheeks . The
War Office consequently overrode the objections of the anti-
Zionists and allowed Jabotinsky to form The Jewish Regiment.
As the protest of the scared English Jews became louder, the
regiment's name was changed to The Judeans, official sub-title for
the 38th Royal Fusiliers. Following hard on its heels came another
Jewish battalion, the 39th Fusiliers .
London was groggy with excitement . The official propagandists
did not miss this glamorous opportunity to exploit the
sheer romance of the historic occasion . At a giant mass meeting
seeing the Jewish warriors off, the Hon . G. N. Barnes, M.P.,
spoke fulsomely in the name of His Majesty the King . He eulogized
the Jewish soldiers as "fellow fighters for freedom," and
assured his listeners that "the British Government proclaimed its
policy of Zionism because it believes that Zionism is identified
with the policy and aims for which good men and women are
struggling everywhere ."
In Palestine The Judeans were joined by Colonel Patterson's
seasoned campaigners, the Zion Mule Corps . The Jewish national
anthem rang in their ears as they marched, and over their
heads waved the Jewish flag .
Wildly enthusiastic, the able-bodied Jews in the conquered territory
enlisted . With an appreciation almost reverential the
British Peace Handbook No . 6o announced that "the most important
event which has taken place . . . since our occupation,
has been the recruiting of the Palestine Jews, whatever their national
States, into the British Army . . . Practically the whole
available Jewish youth of the Colonies . . . came forward for
voluntary enlistment in the Jewish Battalions ."
The distinguished service rendered by these Jewish regiments
is indelibly written in the records . Said General Bartholomew
"For the Turks the end of the War was dependent upon maintenance
of the Jordan front against Allenby, and on this decisive
sector of the front not the Arab Army fought, but the Jewish
Legion ." 1 It was the Jews who took the fords of the Jordan,
thus opening the way for the passage of the British Army and
contributing in great measure to the brilliant victory at Damascus.
This was amply confirmed by General Chaytor, leader
of the Australian and New Zealand cavalry and Commander-in-
Chief of all troops in the Jordan Valley, who emphasized
publicly "the facts of the heroic struggle made by the 38th and
39th Fusilier Battalions," who had marched on to conquer Transjordan
and had thus contributed heavily to the victory over the
Fourth Turkish Army.2
Of fully as great importance was the voluntary intelligence
service rendered by the celebrated Nili Society all over the Holy
Land. Organized by the scientist Alexander Aronson, 3 its daring
exploits were largely instrumental in the success of Allenby's
campaign . Far from giving the invaders any help, the
Palestine Arabs were, as we shall see, either apathetic or directly
Spiritedly the Palestinian volunteers addressed themselves to
Colonel Patterson when he landed with his Jewish boys : "We
are convinced that Britain's victory is ours and our victory
Britain's. This war and Balfour's declaration have made us a
sister nation of England. We hope to convince by our fighting
that the soul of the Macabees has not dried up and that we
know how to countersign Balfour's declaration with our own
blood." 4
They had every reason to feel `convinced .' In April 1917
the British War Department had issued a statement on War
Aims in the Near East in which it was proclaimed that "Palestine
was to be recognized as the Jewish National Home . . . The
Jewish population present and future throughout Palestine is to
possess and enjoy full national, political and civic rights. . .
The Suzerain Government shall grant full and free rights of
immigration into Palestine to Jews of all countries . . . The
Suzerain Government shall grant a charter to a Jewish Company
for the colonization and development of Palestine, the Company
to have the power to acquire and take over any concessions for
works of a public character . . . and the rights of preemption
of Crown lands or other lands not held in private or religious
ownership, and such other powers and privileges as are usual in
charters or statutes of similar colonizing bodies ." These statements
were simultaneously reduced by the Allied war propagandists
to brief slogans and exploited to the fullest advantage
Addressing the first Conference of Jews in the liberated area,
Major W. Ormsby-Gore, later as Colonial Secretary to suffer
a serious case of amnesia, orated for His Majesty's Government
as follows
"Mr. Balfour has made a historic declaration with regard to
the Zionists : that he wishes to see created and built up in
Palestine a National Home for the Jewish People . What do we
understand by this ? We mean that those Jews who voluntarily
come to live in Palestine, should live in Palestine as Jewish nationalists
. . . You are bound together in Palestine by the need
of building up a Jewish nation in all its various aspects, a national
center for Jewry all over the world to look at ." a
The marching Jews listened . The great dream which had
inspired the Jewish mind for so many long centuries, seemed
about to be realized. They believed Britain's word implicitly .
Part of Lloyd George's technique during the War was connected
with the old art of inciting dissatisfaction within the
enemy camp. This practice had proven especially effective
with the moribund Austro-Hungarian Empire, and several capable
agents, including the famous Lawrence, were sent to
Arabia to foment an insurrection there if possible .
The English started with little in their favor . To speak of
Turkish oppression of the Arab was actually an absurdity, unless
one referred to the Levantine Christian on the coast . The
constitution of the Ottoman Empire was the Arab's Koran from
which the Turk derived his law, religion and culture . Even the
Turkish language became half Arabic ; and it was only with
the later revolution under Kemal Pasha that the decadent Arab
cultural pattern which ruled the life of the Ottoman nation
was eliminated .
Under Turkish suzerainty the Arab areas were virtually independent,
razed by local chiefs whose authority was recognized
by the Sultan . Arabs held high position all over the
Empire. The Sultan's Guards were almost completely Arab .
The schools and army were dominated by them . Even the
Prime Minister, Mahmoud Chawkat Pasha, was an Arab .
The whole system of Muslimism itself practically precluded
any idea of national sentiment, until it began to arise under
the stimulus of British agitators . In Baghdad some Arabs of
vaulting ambition had formed Nationalist Committees, but the
mass of townsmen and fellaheen were utterly apathetic to any
nationalist feeling. Regional sectarianism was everywhere the
rule. The Shiahs did not desire a Sunni government ; nor
would the Sunnis tolerate a Shiah rule, while the mass of tribesmen
did not desire any government at all.
As matters rested, the British were compelled to create a completely
synthetic situation if they were to have the great Arab
revolt come off. They decided to rely on private rivalries and
ambitions ; and here they made a shrewd guess : the desert was
a hotbed of rapacity, hatreds and feuds .
Sitting immobile in the Hejaz was the Sherif Hussein, descendant
of the Prophet and unbending hater of Christians and
all their works . Almost alone among the Arabian princes he
was the nominee of the Turks. His measure may be gained
from the fact that he even prohibited talking-machines in his
kingdom, believing them to be the invention of the devil .
On the other side of Hussein was his mortal enemy, the gigantic
Ibn Saud of Nejd. Saud, a good hater who believed in
the old Mohammedan tenets of conversion by disemboweling,
was also in conflict with the powerful Emir of Hail, who was
being supported by the Turks .
The British wanted Hussein for the moral effect they presumed
his name would have on the Faithful, and made overtures
to him early. Part of these `negotiations' lay in the bland threat
to feed him outright to the ferocious Saud, to whom they were
handing a subsidy of 4 5ooo a month to insure his neutrality .
To make the argument more pointed, Britain politely withheld
the annual donation from Egypt to the holy cities of Mecca and
Medina, threatening the Hejaz with bankruptcy, since this pilgrimage
provided the barren land with its chief source of revenue.
The Sherif had still other and more urgent considerations
to hasten his decision . One of these was the British naval
blockade of the Arabian coast, "inevitably aggravating the internal
distress caused by the lack of pilgrims ." 8
That Hussein's over-lordship of the Holy Places would make
him an acceptable leader to all the Arabs of the Peninsula turned
out to be an error. Even at that time, his mortal enemy, Saud,
was the principal power in South Central Arabia as was another
mutual opponent, Ibn Rashid of Hayil, in the North Central part .
Nor would the great sheikhs, such as those of the Huwallah,
the Shammar, or the Mutair accept Hussein's over lordship, or
even permit him to speak for them 7
The whole business degenerated into a confused medley of
intrigue, directed by a multitude of British agencies acting under
conflicting instructions and authority ; the powerful India Office,
for example, bucked the traces completely and gave encouragement
to Ibn Saud as the logical leader of the rebellion .,,
Just what kind of `Arab patriot' Hussein was, may be learned
from the fact that he allowed a contingent of volunteers to be
recruited in his territory for the abortive Turkish expedition to
the Suez Canal in February 1915, and used his influence to assist
the crew of the German cruiser Emden which had been harassing
British communications off the Red Sea Coast.9 Thus he
negotiated with Turks and British alike until he could make
sure he was backing the right horse. Actually all he wanted
or hoped to secure was complete independence in his own
corner of southwestern Arabia, military support against his rival,
Ibn Saud, and unfettered control of the lucrative pilgrim revenue.
Finally, the British High Commissioner in Egypt, Sir Henry
McMahon, tried his hand . He found Hussein a good horse trader,
non-committal and holding out for the highest bidder .
In order to force the `Arab patriot' to move, the British had
to submit to as fine a mulcting as they have ever experienced .
The Agreement entered into early in i q i 6, reads that "The
Government of Great Britain agrees to furnish this Arab Government
with all its needs of arms and ammunition and money
during the War ." What this transaction was like is more than
explained in the wireless received by McMahon's confidential
assistant, Sir Ronald Storrs, just before the `rebellion' broke out.
It read : "Foreign Office has approved payment of £ io,ooo to
Abdullah and C So,ooo to Sherif o f Mecca. But this latter payment
only in return for definite action and i f a reliable rising
takes place." 10 All told, the English handed over to the Sherif
a cool J i 1,ooo,ooo in materials and money, and stimulated his
patriotism with grandiose promises of personal power ." Nothing
else than this flood of gold, writes Lawrence cynically,
"would have performed the miracle of keeping a tribal army in
the field for five months on end ." And C. S. Jarvis, English
Governor of Sinai Peninsula, comments that Arab actions from
start to finish "proved that they were only interested in the
revolution for three objects in the following order of importance
- gold, loot, and the satisfactory clearing up of their own
daraks or areas." 12 Indeed, the only time a full muster of the
`patriots' could be counted on was payday.

The whole `campaign of the desert' was a strangely inept piece
of business, vastly enlarged on by British publicists for outside
consumption . A good account of it is given by the French
General, Edouard Bremond, in his book Le Hedjaz dans la
Guerre Mondiale . Hussein himself is described as "an obstinate,
narrow-minded, suspicious character," so insanely jealous
of his son Feisal that he was forever issuing from his throne
in Mecca, out of sheer pique, "orders that from time to time
jeopardized the cause ." 13
Observers, neutral and friendly, have described the character
of these purchased levies. They were not, by our standards,
good soldiers. Bloodless victories were the kind that they appreciated,
and Lawrence's understanding of this preference
dictated his whole strategy of irregular warfare . Colonel Wilson,
the English representative at Hussein's court, contemptuously
refers to them as "a cowardly and undisciplined rabble" ;
and Lawrence makes no bones about their cowardice under
Turkish fire . 14 "Lawrence knew," says Jarvis, "that if his
Arabs suffered heavy casualties in a direct attack they would
never recover from the effect and would disseminate into thin
air." 15
Lawrence states, moreover, that "it was impossible to mix or
combine tribes, since they disliked or distrusted one another .
Likewise, we could not use the men of one tribe in the territory
of another." 16 With sardonic resignation he observes : "My
men were blood enemies of thirty tribes, and only for my hand
over them would have murdered in the ranks every day . Their
feuds prevented them combining against me ; while their unlikeness
gave me sponsors and spies wherever I went or
sent. . ." 17
Often the Arabs refused to fight at all because they were not
satisfied with the amount of loot they were receiving . Lawrence
himself was once abandoned with two companions in the
middle of an engagement, his Arab allies having gone raving
mad with the lust of plunder. In their frenzy they fought
among themselves, and soon were all `missing,' "having dispersed
with their spoil ." Even in victory they did not hesitate to leave
their own wounded lying helpless on the ground while they
looted. Under these circumstances, says Lawrence, they lost
their wits completely and "were as ready to assault friend as
foe." 18 Without exception, every observer comments that they
invariably broke off in the middle of an engagement to disappear
into the desert with their captured gains . There is actually
no recorded instance of an Arab accomplishment in the way
of a spectacular battle or the capture of a large town with its
The British, in fact, had their hands full with their wild allies.
Aviators had to fly at a considerable height to avoid being
shot at by the Bedouins, who had "an irresistible desire to
shoot anything that was moving fast ." 19 They found the Arab
chiefs volcanic and suspicious and ever ready to resent the
presence of infidels. "Many of them," writes Captain Hart,
"behaved as if the British officers were their servants, and set
an example of rudeness that was imitated by their followers, as
well as by their slaves." Lawrence cautioned his men frankly
before an excursion into the desert "that there was no need to
worry about the Turks, but every need to worry about our
allies, the Bedouins ." 20 Nor would he instruct his tribesmen
in the handling of the high explosives used to cripple the Turkish
transportation system, afraid that they "would keep on playfully
blowing up trains even after the termination of the war ." 21
The whole Lawrence legend in itself has been sadly exaggerated.
He was a brave and clever man, but the truth of the
matter is that he never penetrated into Arabia at all, and merely
went down the western coastal fringe from Mecca northward
along the Pilgrim railway .22 Most of the inhabitants of Arabia
could hardly have known of his existence, "while the suggestion
implied of Arabian unification under a foreigner and a non-
Moslem is, of course, a myth ." 23
His entire `army' of purchased irregulars did not amount to
a row of peanuts when compared with the Arabs fighting on
the Turkish side against the detested infidel . Simultaneous with
the Sherif's commitment to the Allies, his powerful neighbor
Hussein Mabeirig, chief of the Rabegh Harb, joined the Turks ;
and facing the invaders was at least one entire Ottoman division
made up entirely of Arab men and officers .
The number who participated in the `revolt' were an uncertain
and fluctuating quantity, "simply gathering," says Bertram
Thomas, "for some particular expedition in numbers that sometimes
reached a few thousand, but were more often only a few
hundred." Lloyd George estimated their total number to aggregate
"but a few thousand horsemen," remarking that "the
vast majority of their race in the Great War were fighting for
their Turkish conquerors." 24
There have been few peoples in history who have gotten so
much for giving so little . In Iraq the Arabs took almost no part
whatsoever in the fighting, and always were to be found on the
winning side. Now with the Turks, now with the British, loot
was their principal object . Blood-curdling eyewitness accounts
tell how Turks and Englishmen alike were murdered for their
small possessions . Unfortunate prisoners had their bellies
ripped open in search of the gold liras which the Arabs thought
the soldiers had swallowed. Graves containing Turkish and
English dead were despoiled for any articles which might have
been buried with them . Throughout the Turkish Empire the
phrase Khayin Arab (treacherous Arab) became an ugly
As shown by the records, as far as Palestine is concerned, the
Arab contribution to its conquest was indirect and trifling . Not
a single Arab was employed in the conquest of Cis-Jordan . In
Trans-Jordan it was the Jewish Legions who, having assisted the
English to take the passages of the Jordan River, marched on to
capture Es Salt, then considered its principal town. Lawrence's
Arabs were far away in the desert engaged in butchering and
looting fleeing men, fellow-Arabs of the Turkish army, who had
been routed by British guns and airplanes . The soldier, Duff,
his blood turned cold by these activities, describes their "strange,
twisted mentality. . ." 26
At this time the dazzling fiction of a Palestinian Arab struggle
against the Turks had not yet been invented . The British themselves,
roiled by the disinclination of Palestine Arabs to assist
in any way, described them as "sunk in almost animal brutishness,
moved by no spirit of personal liberty or freedom for their
native land ." A study of Lawrence's Seven Pillars o f Wisdom
reveals that his levies were all desert tribesmen except for ten
Syrians, of whom six `ratted' and four deserted . No Palestinian
Arab is mentioned by Lawrence . The British, who were later
to speak pompously of Arab nationalism in Palestine, were of
quite a different sentiment in 1918 . British Peace Handbook
No. 6o declares briskly that "they have little if any national
sentiment . . . The Moslem Effendi class . . . evince a feeling
somewhat akin to hostility towards the Arab movement . . .
This class, while regretting the opportunities for illegitimate
gain offered by Turkish rule, has no real political cohesion, and,
above all, no power of organization ." There was in fact not a
single Arab personality in Palestine with whom the British could
negotiate . With their experiences still fresh in English minds,
the Peace Handbook repeats Burton's jibe that these Levantines
"hide their weapons at the call of patriotism ."
Despite the ado subsequently made over the vaunted promises
to Hussein, all the evidence indicates that until British policy
shifted after the War, the idea that Palestine should become
Arabic had not even been contemplated . It is certain that during
Lawrence's campaign Feisal and his principal henchmen had
their eye upon Syria, not upon Palestine, and that the rank
and file were interested in money and loot and nothing else .
McMahon himself vigorously denied that any pledge had been
given to Hussein which could be construed to mean that Palestine
was to be included in the Arab area ; and in Commons on
July 11, 1922, Winston Churchill, then Secretary of State for
the Colonies, declared : "No pledges were made to the Palestine
Arabs in 1915 . So far as I am aware, the first suggestion that
Palestine was included in the area within which His Majesty's
Government promised to recognize and support the independence
of the Arabs, was made . . . more than five years after
the conclusion of the correspondence on which the claim was
based." The promise to Hussein was in any case crazy ; for, as
Sidebotham points out, he was not in a position to pledge the
Arabs outside the Hejaz to anything.
When Hussein finally proclaimed himself Commander of the
Faithful, it proved a fatal step, hardening against him the Wahabis
and other fanatic Moslem groups in whose eyes the Sherif
was an infidel backslider . London, too, was tiring of his incessant
demands and arrogance ; and burned with rage when
the new King of the Hejaz refused to sign the Treaty of Versailles
and wriggled out of joining the League of Nations under
British tutelage. Quietly they withdrew their support from
the recalcitrant Hussein and let it be known that he was now on
his own.27 Saud, who had been waiting for this moment,
needed no further invitation . He promptly occupied Mecca,
chased Hussein off to exile in Cyprus, and henceforth styled
himself King of the Hejaz and Sultan of Nejd .
While the Sherif was engaged in this death struggle with his
ancient enemy, Britain stepped in and demanded that he place
Maan and the Red Sea port of Aqaba under British Mandate .
On May 27, 1925, the British Government regretfully informed
the Commander of the Faithful that if he would not accede
to this demand, it "would have to take Aqaba and Maan by
force." On June 18, both towns became part of Transjordan .
Here was created the need for a fresh departure in British Arabic
policy since their new protege, Saud, would not accept the fact
of British possession gracefully ; he continued to roar with aggrieved
self-righteousness that he had been robbed . This friction,
which persists until today, resulted in still another of
Whitehall's famous zigzags, this time back in the direction of
Abdullah of the House of Hussein .
During all the period that the Zionists had been without benefit
of Balfour Declaration or Mandatory `assistance,' the attitude
of the Arabs toward the Jewish National Movement had been
one of almost unanimous approval . In 19o6, Farid Kassab, famous
Syrian author, had expressed the view uniformly held by
Arabs : "The Jews of the Orient are at home . This land is their
only fatherland . They don't know any other ." 28 A year later
Dr. Gaster reported that he had "held conversations with some
of the leading sheikhs, and they all expressed themselves as very
pleased with the advent of the Jews, for they considered that
with them had come barakat, i .e., blessing, since the rain came in
due season ." 29
The Moslem religious leader, the Mufti, was openly friendly,
even taking a prominent part in the ceremony of laying the
foundation stone for the Hebrew University on Mt. Scopus.
Throughout Arabia the chiefs were for the most part distinctly
pro-Zionist ; and in Palestine the peasantry were delighted at
every prospect of Jewish settlement near their villages . They
let few opportunities slip to proclaim in flowery oriental rhetoric
the benefits that Jewish colonization was bringing them .
Land acquisition was easy. Commercial intercourse between
Arab and Jew was constant and steady . In the face of the practical
regard with which the impoverished natives viewed these
queer Moskubs 30 who brought with them manna from heaven,
the anti-Zionist elements, if they existed, kept silent . Remarkably
enough, the incoming Zionists, vigorous, modern, and capable,
were treated with high respect, while the native Jew still remained
The Arab National Movement itself, puny, inexperienced,
and hated by the huge Levantine population who continued to
regard themselves simply as Ottoman subjects, looked to the
strong, influential Zionist Organization for sympathy and assistance
Hussein of the Hejaz who had been booted upstairs by the
British into a position of recognized authority in the Arab Nationalist
Movement after the War, distrusted European nations
and their statesmen to the very marrow of his bones . He looked
to the Zionists, as a kindred folk, for the financial and scientific
experience of which the projected Arab state would stand badly
in need. When the Balfour Declaration was communicated to
him in January 1918, he had replied "with an expression of good
will towards a kindred Semitic race ." 31
In May of the same year, at Aqaba where he held court and
made camp, Hussein was visited by Dr. Weitzman, head of the
Zionist Commission . At this desert conference the British Government
and the Arab Bureau in Cairo were well represented .
Feisal, dark, majestic son of the Sherif, spoke as the Arab representative
. Intimate mutual cooperation between the two Movements
was pledged . The Zionists were to provide political,
technical and financial advisers to the Arabs ; and it was agreed
that Palestine was to be the Jewish sphere of influence and development.
This alliance fitted perfectly with Hussein's ideas .
Basic hostility to all Christian powers characterized father and
son, who felt that the Jews were the indispensable allies, and
indeed the instruments, of a new Arab renaissance . They
regarded a dominantly Jewish Palestine as the necessary foundation
to a greater Arabia ; and were anxious for a rapid development
of the Peninsula if it were to become capable of resisting
the attacks which their weakness must sooner or later
When Feisal came to Europe in i 919 representing the Arab
cause, the Zionists submitted their plans to him . Both Feisal
and Lawrence approved of them, and early in i 9 i 9 these conversations
culminated in a Treaty of Friendship . Solemnly
signed, this convention provided for the "closest possible collaboration"
in the development of the Arab State and the coming
Jewish Commonwealth of Palestine . National boundaries were
considered ; 32 Mohammedan Holy Places were to be under Mohammedan
control ; the Zionist Organization undertook to provide
economic experts to the new Arab State ; and the Arabs
agreed to facilitate the carrying into effect of the Balfour Declaration
and to "encourage and stimulate immigration of Jews
into Palestine on a large scale ." 33
On March 3, I9I9, Feisal acting officially for the Arab movement,
wrote : "We Arabs look with the deepest sympathy on
the Zionist movement . Our deputation in Paris is fully acquainted
with the proposals submitted yesterday by the Zionist
Organization to the Peace Conference and we regard them as
moderate and proper . We will do our best, insofar as we are
concerned, to help them through . We will wish the Jews a
most hearty welcome home ."
The Arab leaders placed themselves on record everywhere in
an obvious effort to attain Zionist support for their own aspirations,
then under the cloud of European Imperialist ambitions .
A representative example is Feisal's public communication to
Sir Herbert Samuel, pleading the need to "maintain between
us that harmony so necessary for the success of our common
On meticulous English records, carefully buried in the Government
vaults, the entire story is written in comprehensive detail.
At all discussions British representatives were present .
Lawrence was the official translator at almost all of them . Officially,
Major Ormsby-Gore was liaison officer on the ground .
It was he who pulled the strings between Arab and Jew, at a
time when Zionism was still persona grata to the gentlemen who
rule Whitehall .
Whatever the mighty deeds and feats of derring-do by English
arms elsewhere in the Great War, it is not a fact that they
alone conquered Palestine . It is only a fact that an English general
led the attacking forces, much as Marshal Foch commanded
the Allies on the Western Front .
When with pennants flying, Sir Edmund Allenby made his
historic entry into Jerusalem on December 9, 1917, the Hebrew
battalions were also there. Sir John Monash's Australians were
the bulk of his effectives . Under his command, among others,
was a contingent of French Colonials and a force of Italian
Bersaglieri from Libya . As he victoriously entered, Allenby
was flanked on one side by M. Francois Georges-Picot and on
the other by Major d'Augustino, the French and Italian representatives
respectively .
It was understood all around that the expressed Jewish wish
was to have the British in control during the early period when
the foundations of the Jewish National Home were to be laid .
The Zionists were at the time much afraid of the practical results
which might follow from the International control favored
by the French and Italians ; and they looked on the English as
their friends and sponsors . Under this Jewish insistence the
Latins generously allowed their interests to lapse, and the English
military was left in complete authority .
The surrender of Jerusalem coincided exactly with the Feast
of Chanukah, which commemorates the recapture of the Temple
from the heathen Seleucids by Judas Maccabeus in the year
165 B.C. Lending color to this coincidence, General Allenby
said on entering : "We have come not as conquerors but as deliverers
But hardly had the Turks been driven out when it became apparent
to Jew and Arab alike that the entire Administration was
uncompromisingly opposed both to the letter and the spirit of
the Declaration . In his solemn proclamation after taking the
Capital, Allenby spoke as if the Declaration had never been issued.
In fact no mention was made of the Jewish National Home
in any official announcement in Palestine until May 1, 1920.
Even all references to the Jewish Legion, unstintingly praised in
the military dispatches f or its gallantry in action, were suppressed
by G.H.Q. from the dispatches as published in the Palestine and
Egyptian papers . The amazed Zionists suddenly discovered
that "the Military Administration . . . was anti-Zionist and
perhaps anti-Jewish ." 34
Weitzman and his cohorts had been used to dealing with
suave statesmen whose assurances were still ringing in their ears.
Balfour had just reiterated that "no one is now opposed to
Zionism. The success of Zionism is secure ." 35 Ormsby-Gore
had even gone so far as to urge the immediate creation of a Jewish
passport. In Jerusalem the consuls of almost every country
were, out of courtesy, newly appointed Jews . The official
British Peace Handbook on Zionism, giving on the highest possible
authority the Government's conception of what it had
agreed to, read : "Jewish opinion would prefer Palestine to be
controlled for the present as a part, or at least a dependency, of
the British Empire ; but its administration should be largely entrusted
to Jews of the Colonist type. . . Zionists of this way of
thinking believe that, under such conditions, the Jewish population
would rapidly increase until the Jew became the predominant
partner of the combination ."
The Zionists were under the impression that they had "gained
the adhesion of the Powers to practically the exact terminology
of the Basle program adopted in 1897" under the direction of
Herzl.3B They were totally unprepared for the unexpected attitude
of the Military, and stood around rubbing their hands in
The Generals, looking on the pro-Zionist commitment of the
Foreign Office as little less than criminal lunacy, virtually refused
to carry out London's orders. In this they were obviously
abetted by headquarters in Cairo which, in addition to
holding the direction of military operations, contained a staff of
political observers . For reasons which will be discussed later,
the Military considered the Jews to be dangerous Bolsheviks
who were conspiring to upset the Empire . Moreover, the
rivalry with the French was now going on full blast and the
Generals hoped to exclude them from Syria altogether . Sir
Arthur Money, who took over the administration for Allenby,
in high elation reported that he had interviewed a number of
`Syrians' and that "their idea of Government for Palestine was
that we should govern it ; the idea was pure bliss to them ." In
his mind's eye he already considered Palestine a British colony
from which Jews were to be excluded.
The Zionists were put in their place with a bang . Despite
the Jewish majority in Jerusalem, "the Army . . . appointed
two-thirds of the Jerusalem Corporation Arab and only one third
Jewish ." 37 General Money decided that all tax forms and
receipts should be printed in English and Arabic only ; and the
Military Governor of Jaffa declared insolently that he was going
to address Jewish delegations in Arabic .
The attitude of the Generals toward the Jews was contemptuous
and hostile ; and subordinates were swiftly responsive to the
cue supplied by their superior officers . General Money asserted
with cool complacency : "I have asked many people in
position - in England and elsewhere - why England has capitulated
to the Zionists, but none of them has been able to give me
a straight answer ." He came to the amusing conclusion that
the Holy Land had been handed over to Weitzman who had
demanded it as his pound of flesh for having invented "in the
nick of time . . . some ultra-Teutonic deadliness of gas and
bombs." 38
Not un-instructive of the whole tone of this administration is
the case given by Horace Samuel, late Judicial Officer in Palestine,
of a medical official "who quite frankly and with barely
concealed relish announced that Jew-baiting had been the sport
of kings for centuries and centuries ." 39 All told, the British officers,
quite apart from any question of higher politics, "regarded
the Balfour Declaration as damn nonsense, the Jews as a
damn nuisance, and natives into the bargain ; and the Arabs as
damn good fellows." 40
It was tragic for the hopes of Zion that the spirit of the Ghetto
still stared from the brooding eyes of Jewish leaders . With a
few notable exceptions, they carried with them into the new
movement the spirit of philosophic resignation, the unworldly
dreaming and weakness under attack which had characterized
life in the Russian Pale . Wise politicians would have known
that the Balfour Declaration was only the beginning of their
troubles ; that from this time onward, the Jewish estate would
have to be protected by every artifice that stubborn determination
and vigilance could invent . But the inexperienced Zionists
considered their provisional charter to be the solution to all
problems. Learnedly they mapped and blueprinted the perfect
society which was gradually to unfold its petals like a lovely
orchid in the new Land of Israel .
Shocked by these pedantic vagaries, the shrewd Nordau urged
that a half million Jews be thrown into Palestine at once . The
Bolshevik horror alone could have supplied such a number of
weary refugees who would have been eager to migrate to the
Holy Land under any conditions . The practical difficulties to
such a project were by no means insuperable, and, fully as important,
Arab resistance to the policy of the Jewish National
Home was at this time scarcely visible . Arab landowners, holders
of great vacant stretches, were under the impression that
radical land legislation was impending and were anxious to sell
at any price. It was a golden opportunity, never to come again .
But Zionist spokesmen at that time were opposed to what
they considered `premature' immigration, and wanted to build
on `sound' lines . With cautious logic they demanded to know
"How will these people live ? We have no houses for them -
they will starve ! " 41
"Let them live in tents - let them starve !" replied Nordau.
"But you had better bring them in at once while the opportunity
lasts. Gentlemen, you have the Balfour Declaration : but you
don't know England !"
The Hierarchy, condemning Nordau and his followers as
`impractical, un-idealistic and headstrong,' was content to wait .
Its initiative had been immobilized by the collapse of Russia
which had been the great center of Zionism . The Bolsheviks,
coming into power, had outlawed the movement on the grounds
that it was a tool of the Imperialists and a betrayal of the Jewish
masses. Quoting the master, Marx, to show that Jews were
only a social class and not a nation, they declared Jewish nationalism
a counter-revolutionary activity .
Completely upset by this volcanic withdrawal of their principal
source of support, the bewildered Zionists did nothing .
Their complete reliance on the good faith of British assurances
caused them to neglect the most logical and prudent step, that
of consolidating their position quickly, before opposition forces
had had time to collect themselves .
The British could hardly believe their eyes when the Jewish
leaders, obsessed with vague schemes for national ownership of
the land, actually welcomed the drastic legislation ordered by
Allenby prohibiting land sales as well as immigration . They
did not even protest when the Jewish Legion was ca'Talierly disbanded
and told to leave the Holy Land for their points of
origin, though the balance of Allenby's force remained under
In London a Jewish Commission had been arranged for, ostensibly
to take over the business of developing the country
under the protecting arm of the Military . Headed by Dr.
Weitzman, it arrived July 24, 1918, equipped, with the authority
of the British Government, to advise the Palestine Administration
on Jewish affairs . As head of this essentially political
body, Weizmann's first act was to warn his hearers to beware
of treacherous insinuations that Zionists were seeking political

The Generals, who had been treating the Jewish population
as if it were non-existent, did not even bother with blandishments
; they simply ignored the Commission altogether. Not
even a pretense of friendship with the Government could be
With a pointed demonstration of contempt, when the Jewish
National Anthem was played at a concert in a Jewish school,
General Money and his staff deliberately kept their seats . Putty-souled
Zionist leaders, who might have used the incident for a
complete show-down fight in a world where the advantage of
sympathy and legality was all theirs, remembered the knout of
the Czars, sweated and kept silent .
Incident multiplied itself on incident, and for twenty months
the status quo of the country remained unchanged . The only
time the Zionist leaders opened their mouths was when "the
notorious anti-Semite Colonel Scott (acting head of the judiciary)
publicly insulted the Jews and the Jewish religion in the
corridor of the Law Courts ."" The howl that went up,
forced by Orthodox institutions, compelled him to resign .
The Zionists were badly rattled . Wanting the hardihood
necessary to handle this admittedly difficult situation, they could
only sit helplessly by, hoping for the best . They watched
apathetically while a civil agent of the Government, an apostate
Jew named Gabriel, busied himself in promoting British commercial
interests while the Jews, treated as social, commercial
and political outcasts, were kept at a distance. With equal
meekness they stood by while the Government sabotaged Jewish
efforts to come to an understanding with the Arabs .
With conscious design the Administration fostered hostility
between Arab and Jew . It directly advised the amazed Arabs
of Palestine and Egypt to abstain from any concessions to the
Jews. It formed the Moslem-Christian Association and used it
as a weapon against the Zionists on the slightest pretext . It instructed
astonished Arab young-bloods in the technique and
tenets of modern nationalism, in order to resist Jewish `pretenses.'
And in London it contacted reliable anti-Jewish elements,
to form a liaison which has endured to this day .
The Arabs were not only instigated and advised, but supplied
with funds, and their arguments ghost-written by Englishmen
in high places . They proved a tolerably good investment .
Their ready compliance may be seen in the very convenient demands
put forward in the Third Arab Palestine Congress (timed
to coincide with the British plot to force the French out of the
Near East altogether) that the Holy Land be not separated from
During all this time the Military had been playing a high game
of politics on its own, maneuvering carefully to present the
forthcoming Peace Conference with a fait accompli which
would set the lily-livered civilian officials in London back on
their heels. Tension was strong between British and French as
to who should control the Eastern Mediterranean . The French,
traditional protectors of Syria, had a long-hooked finger in the
pie. On Bastille Day, during the sessions of the Peace Conference,
when the Tri-color flag was run up at Sidon, a chill went
down the spines of the military gentlemen in Jerusalem .
The Generals aimed at one big Arab state or federation of
states, to include the Hejaz, Iraq, Syria and Palestine, which was
to lie, as Egypt had lain, in the political and economic pocketbook
of Britain. For this consummation to be realized it was
essential that the population of Palestine should be so anti-
Zionist and the population of Syria so anti-French that with the
best will in the world, bier entendu, it would be impossible to
put into force a French control of the Levant or a Zionist policy
in Palestine .
Now began a technique of instigation and incitement from
which the Anglo-Saxon rulers of the Holy Land have never
varied wherever they had a point to be gained . Tension between
France and England over this continuous stream of intrigue
finally reached a point where a breath would have precipitated
it into armed conflict . The French statesman M . Barthou
sharply protested . With its tongue in its cheek, London blandly
forwarded the protest to Palestine, abjuring the Generals to behave
themselves .
Matters came to a head in I92o when Feisal staged a revolt
against the French in Damascus, with money and ammunition
supplied by the British General Headquarters .44 He had been
proclaimed King by a `Syrian Congress' which included Palestinians,
and which asserted the principle that Palestine was a
part of Syria and could not be cut off from it . Almost simultaneously,
in order to show how impossible it was to implement
the Balfour Declaration in the face of native hostility, the Generals
arranged a pogrom in Jerusalem. They hoped it would
mean the end of Zionism, that the League of Nations, which had
not yet officially named a mandatory, would be forced to `recognize
the rights' of the native population and cancel out the Zionist
adventure .
The Governor of Jerusalem was General Louis Bols . Chief
of Staff to Bols was Colonel Waters Taylor, whose ideal polity
was a military government in perpetuity, and who later became
an anti-Zionist organizer in London .
When Colonel Patterson, staunch Zionist friend, heard that
Bols had been appointed, he was shocked . He writes : "I knew
Bols well, having worked with him for two years . I knew him
as an out and out anti-Semite, who would leave no stone unturned
to destroy the Jewish National Home root and branch."
So moved was this honest English soldier that he boarded a train
for Cairo that very day in order to warn Weitzman of the danger,
urging him to oppose Bols' appointment with might and
main. In reply Weitzman informed Patterson that his fears
"were really exaggerated, as he had just had a two-hour conversation
with Bols and had found him a very nice man ." Despite
Weizmann's optimistic appraisal, the result of Bols' appointment
was soon to be written in Jewish blood.
Ominous incidents crowding fast on the heels of the intensive
propaganda which followed the crowning of Feisal in Syria, had
caused a number of saner Zionists to warn the Government . It
responded by ordering the disarming of the population, enforcing
the order only insofar as the Jews were concerned .
The riots of April 1920 broke on the heads of the astonished
Jews like a clap of thunder . Misled by the naivete of their responsible
leaders, they awoke from their dreams of a Jewish
Commonwealth to scenes no different than those from which
they had fled in Russia .
The action was perfectly timed . Moslem crowds had gathered
for the Nebi Moussa festival in Jerusalem . The usual
frenzy of chants and wild dances was driving them into a dangerous
emotional delirium . Propaganda of the wildest sort was
being circulated ; and whispers went through the crowd, which
was going rapidly berserk.
Now agitators were addressing this churning mass, urging
them forward against the Jews . Hesitant for a moment, the reassuring
cry arose : "The Government is with us!"
The stage had been ably set . All Jewish policemen had been
relieved from duty in the `Old City,' a walled section of Jerusalem
where the bulk of the Jews resided. Totally unopposed
and making a directed attack from three different parts of the
town at the same moment, the mob rushed into the Jewish
Quarter, brandishing knives and clubs .
Shrieking madness covered the Old City. The most horrible
and repugnant scenes took place . Amongst other manifestations
of patriotism, some elderly Jews were locked in a house
which was set on fire, while a number of women were subjected
to rape.
Shivering with the emotion of an unhappy, betrayed man,
Weitzman, supreme Jewish leader, wept bitterly. In another
part of the city, Jabotinsky, the little Russian writer with the
prognathous jaw, was raging. Cursing the wordy timidity of
his Zionist confreres he swiftly gathered together a group of ex-
Legionnaires. Heartened, other young Jews joined the "Self-
Defense." Where they appeared the rioters ran for their lives .
Meanwhile the Government surrounded the Old City with a
cordon of police and troops, preventing Jabotinsky's boys from
going to the assistance of the defenseless Jews, giving them over
for three days to murder, loot and rape before the authorities
raised a hand to interfere .45
Jabotinsky and his Legionnaires were arrested as fast as they
could be apprehended . It was symptomatic of the general tone
of the Administration that Howes, the Commandant of Police,
caused Jabotinsky to be held in the common lockup, while Arab
agitators who had also been arrested were accommodated in a
pleasant room in the Governate itself . Zionist stock slumped
still lower when Jewish notables were refused an audience,
while motor cars were placed at the disposal of Arab leaders for
the purpose of granting them an interview with the Chief Administrator
With ghoulish thoroughness the Government both during and
after the riots searched the Jews for arms, deliberately rendering
them defenseless, and causing numerous arrests of those
guilty of protecting their homes and loved ones. Cynically
Sir Louis Bols complained in a dispatch to Cairo : "They [the
Jews] are very difficult to deal with . . . They are not satisfied
with military protection, but demand to take the law in their
own hands."
So devilishly inhuman a course would hardly seem credible if
it were not supported by the word of many witnesses, some of
them distinguished Englishmen, revolted by this sickening parade
of events. The tone of the Administration was so hostile
that a celebrated American archaeologist, a non-Jew, told Horace
Samuel "quite specifically" that because of his sympathy for
the riot victims "he found himself deliberately cold-shouldered
by the British officials ." 47 A thoroughly upset British lady felt
compelled to write that "for the first time yesterday I felt
ashamed of being born an Englishwoman ." 48
Jerusalem had undergone an orgy of slaughter, rape, torture
and sack . Everywhere homes and stores were wrecked . Sixty
innocents lay dead, and innumerable victims were injured, the
memory of unspeakable horror engraved on their consciousness,
never to fade. Far away in the little Galilee village of Tel Hai
the knightly Captain Trumpledor was killed with nine of his
men, murmuring as he fell, "It is good to die for one's country ."
In a vermin-infested jail, awaiting trial, was Jabotinsky - Jewish
patriot and ex-officer of His Majesty's Army- now stripped
of his honors and treated like a dangerous felon. With scant
ceremony he was tried, and with his Legionnaires sentenced to
fifteen years at hard labor .
Shocked by this savage order, the Jews shut their shops in
protest. The Government replied with a ukase ordering the
shops reopened under penalty of a fine of £ 50 ; an action more
than interesting in view of the way subsequent Arab strikes
were handled .
Suddenly, like a typhoon which had gathered from nowhere,
a tremendous wave of protest swept the world . England with
her hands full in Ireland and India, smarting under the conBRASS
demnation she was receiving in all civilized quarters, was aghast .
The Generals' plan had become a boomerang .
The League had not yet granted an official mandate ; and the
French, irritated to the boiling point, took action to throw
Feisal out. Angling for Jewish support, they let it be known
that they would not refuse if the mandate for Palestine were offered
to them.
The English were in a tight spot . They stood morally condemned
before the world . The precious life line to India was
in danger.
Here was another shining opportunity laid right in the Zionists'
laps. The functionaries in Whitehall were in rapid retreat .
To show their good faith they severed the heads of the top administrator
of Palestine together with his Chief of Staff, and
served them up on a platter for the edification of the French
and the Zionists. The Jews at this moment could have named
their own price . They were now top-dog in a situation that
had reversed itself . But Zionist leaders continued to temporize
and placate . With no conception of the moment for swift, decisive
action, they settled down to ponder their old vaporous

At the Peace Conference, held at Versailles in February i q I g,
the historic opportunity for which Herzl had built and struggled
had suddenly come to a head. The Allies were tired and in a
generous mood. The hysteria founded on the claim that the
`War was fought for democracy' was still much in evidence.
Jewry was, moreover, reckoned as a world force whose good will
could count powerfully in the reconstruction period which was
following. At this psychological moment, had Zionist leaders
possessed the political shrewdness which induced the other nations
to scramble eagerly for the biggest hunk of spoil they
could get, the Jewish problem would have found its solution,
and would not today be a plague spot in the life of Europe .
Poland was being handed whole sections of Germany and the
Ukraine to satisfy its `economic needs' as well as the ideals of
democracy. Other nations similarly were fighting for and securing
their share . The Jews could have demanded and received
not only the present boundaries of Palestine, but a large
part of the rich Lebanon Valley, the fertile Hauran, and the
vast uninhabited territory to the east . This area was practically
vacant ; and the signs were already written on the heavens that
Israel must soon evacuate Europe or perish. The Arabs, undeterred
by the restraining `principles' of the Zionists, had demanded,
and received, more than they had ever envisioned in
their wildest dreams . At a moment when public opinion would
have completely approved of the Zionists taking immediate possession,
they demurred on `democratic' and `social' grounds .
An example of their attitude is contained in the assertion by Sir
Herbert Samuel that "the immediate establishment of a complete
and purely Jewish State in Palestine would mean placing a
majority under the rule of a minority ; it would therefore be
contrary to the first principles of democracy. . ."
Both at Versailles and later, the chief Jewish negotiator,
Weitzman, maintained the mild demeanor of humanist and philosopher
. Asked what the Zionists wanted, he contented himself
with the remark : "Ultimately, such conditions that Palestine
should be just as Jewish as England is English ." 1 Lloyd
George commented that "Weitzman was the only modest man
at the Peace Conference . . . who was decent in his demands" :
a bitterly questionable compliment to the oppressed Jews who
survey it in retrospect .
Throughout the Versailles Conference the view taken by the
British delegation, and supported by the Plenipotentiaries, "was
that if there was to be a Jewish nationality, it could only be by
giving the Jews a local habitation and enabling them to found in
Palestine a Jewish State ." 2
Powerful America, holding the economic future of Europe in
her pocket, was heart and soul for a Zionist solution . The official
American recommendation at the Peace Conference was
for the establishment of a Jewish State. A commission of prominent
Americans had been sent by President Wilson to investigate,
and their recommendations, adopted by the President and
other American delegates without dissent, were direct and forthright,
stating bluntly that "it is right that Palestine should become
a Jewish State." 3
The frank of America on this proposal was tantamount to its
acceptance by the Conference . With the exception of some
demurrage from the Catholic Church, which wanted to make
doubly sure that its own interests in the Holy Land were protected,
opposition virtually did not exist . The Arabs themselves
were more than friendly and in fact were looking to the obviously
influential Zionists for support of their own program .
Again, as in the case of the Balfour Declaration, the only oppositionists
were Jews - capitalists or Marxists - who considered
Zionism a move of gravely dangerous import . In England a
"League of British Jews" led by the important Claude G . Montefiore
was formed to lobby against the proposition . In America
three hundred representatives of Jewish moneybags, led by the
Reform Rabbis, forwarded a protest to the Peace Conference
"against the program of political Zionism ." But the only effect
of these hysterical renunciations was to cause the Plenipotentiaries
to scratch their heads in wonder and dismiss the authors
as a bunch of well-meaning crackpots .
Heavily in the Zionists' favor was the biting rivalry between
the British and French, each determined to shut the other out of
the Near East if it could . Sticking in the craw of the British
was the Sykes-Picot Treaty, which all but handed the Levant
over to France . The British realized that they had made a bad
bargain, and now this Treaty came back to haunt them . They
had allowed oil, trade, potential rail-heads, and with them a de
facto control of the route to India, to slip through their fingers .
Able tacticians, they pointed out that the Balfour Declaration to
which Paris had agreed, invalidated the Sykes-Picot Agreement .
The French, secure in the largest military establishment on
earth, already almost at war with England over Lloyd George's
support of the ill-fated Greek invasion of Asiatic Turkey, countered
by claiming Palestine as an integral part of Syria, over
which they held traditional rights of protection .
Though the Kaiser was chopping wood somewhere in Holland,
and Generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff were now just
two harmless old boys out on probation, the old German dream
was still very much alive . The English had quietly taken it
over as part of their profit in the war they had just fought for
humanity . If it was to be put into operation they needed Palestine
The French stood pat . They wanted Palestine, but were
willing to accept a condominium . The British were aghast .
They relied on the Jews and on President Wilson to provide
the necessary brake to French ambitions .
As it became evident that the Zionists held the decision in
their hands they were courted by both sides. Sir Mark Sykes
and M. Georges-Picot, authors of the earlier agreement, both
declared themselves as favoring the Zionist solution .
What the French had not figured on was the almost pathological
pro-Anglicism of the Jews, enduring product of an earlier
generation of English friendship . It must be noted that
there was nothing either in the Balfour promise or in the negotiations
at Versailles which assured Great Britain of the Mandate.
It was still very much open to the Powers to appoint
anyone they pleased . The only positive commitment was that
Palestine was to be a National Home for the Jews .
The Zionists, prompted by London, now went into action .
In the name of the Jewish people the American Jewish Congress
solemnly pleaded with the Powers for the appointment of Great
Britain as Mandatory because of her "peculiar relationship to
the return of the Jews to Zion ." Similar action was taken at
congresses representing the millions of Jews in Poland and
the Austro-Hungarian Empire . Now at the Versailles Conference
the Zionist Organization formally asked that the Mandate
should be entrusted to Great Britain under the sovereignty of
the League of Nations . This request was made in an elaborate
statement on the future of Palestine, in which the word `Commonwealth'
reappears as a synonym for the Jewish `National
Home.' This determined demand for English stewardship left
nothing for France to do but gallantly withdraw her claim . She
had been checkmated by a master tactician, and she took her
licking gracefully.
Condensing a volume of duplicity and ingratitude in a few
words, De Haas remarks that "the British at once commenced a
process of whittling the phraseology before the Supreme Council
of the Peace Conference ." 4
So matters stood when in April of 1920 the League Council
met at San Remo to go through the motions of ratifying the
Mandate. World indignation over the pogrom inspired by the
Generals was blazing at white heat . The French, smiling delightedly,
were confident that the Zionists had had enough of
English patronage. Despite the recommendations of the Peace
Conference, technically the Sykes-Picot Agreement was the
document which governed the future status of Palestine . It was
still possible for Herzl's followers, enjoying the powerful French
and American support, to upset the British applecart by demanding
another mandatory . Weitzman, however, still believed
implicitly in English honesty and good faith . He again
reiterated the demand that England be confirmed as the trustee
for the Jewish estate .
The reaction of the Arabs to the San Remo decision was extremely
friendly . Representatives of the Arab territories welcomed
the idea of the Jewish State which was soon to rise up in
their midst . King Feisal of Iraq wrote a cordial letter congratulating
the Zionists on their triumph .
London's delight knew no bounds . At a public demonstration
to celebrate the grant and its inclusion in the peace treaty
with Turkey, Lord Balfour, reminding the Arabs that they had
been handed vast areas on a gold platter, hoped that "remembering
all that, they will not begrudge that small niche - for it
is no more than that geographically . . . being given to the
people who for all these hundreds of years have been separated
from it - and who surely have a title to develop on their own
lines in the land of their forefathers ."
A few months later the matter was clinched for England .
The Treaty of Sevres was signed between Turkey and the
Western Powers. It reiterated the decisions of the Nations,
ceding Palestine with the proviso that the "Mandatory will be
responsible for putting into effect the Declaration originally
made on November 2, 1917 by the British Government and
adopted by the other Allied Powers in favor of the establishment
in Palestine of the National Home of the Jewish People ."
Secure in the knowledge that the overlordship of this coveted
territory was now theirs, London sprang a series of new surprises
on the Zionists . It quibbled on words, seeking to reduce
the content of the Mandate by a wearing down process before
producing it in its final form .
The Zionists made plea after plea, realizing that they had put
their feet in quicksand . They appealed to the League as if the
procrastination lay there . On February 27, 1922, representatives
of the Zionist Organization went through the play-acting
of informing the League Council in Paris that the Jews of Palestine,
at a conference in Jaffa, appealed to the Allied and Associated
Powers "to nominate Great Britain as their trustee, and to
confer on her the government of Palestine with a view to aiding
the Jewish People in building up their Commonwealth ." s A
confirmed Zionist, President Harding made his interest known
unofficially ; and in April of 1922 the United States Congress
stated by resolution its profound satisfaction that "owing to the
outcome of the World War and their part therein, the Jewish
people, under definite and adequate international guarantee, are
to be enabled . . . to recreate and reorganize a National Home
in the land of their fathers," commending "this act of historic
justice about to be consummated" as "an undertaking which will
do honor to Christendom."
Still the British continued to hem and haw, utilizing every
trifling technicality to spar for time . It was not until the revised
convention with Turkey, the Treaty of Lausanne, was
signed in 1923, that the Mandate, adroitly mutilated, was accepted
in its final form .* The Jewish Agency, originally conceived
to be a chartered colonizing body like the Hudson Bay
Company, was given the right to act in an advisory capacity, its
powers limited by language ambiguous enough to be interpreted
in any direction the ruling power of Palestine wanted . Also
inserted in its phraseology at the last moment was an innocuous
little paragraph which the Zionists paid but scant attention to .
It provided that in the territory east of Jordan, the Mandatory
could postpone such provisions of the Mandate as might be inapplicable
to local conditions . It was understood that this related
only to the unsettled condition of this area and the possibilities
of policing it properly . What this innocent appearing
clause meant in far-sighted English minds the Jews were presently
to discover.
In view of later English contentions that under the Mandate
they were forced to consult the Arabs in implementing their actions,
it is interesting to note that the Arabs were not approached
when that responsibility was handed to Britain - only the Jews
were consulted . It is also remarkable that the word `Arab'
never once occurs in the whole document as apart from the recognition
of Arabic as one of the official languages of the country.
A most casual reading makes it plain that the League had
* See Appendix `A,' p . 571 .
engaged itself to a definite and positive policy of Jewish development,
not only permitted, but fostered and subsidized by the
Government of Palestine. The Balfour Declaration and its consequence,
the Mandate for Palestine, ushered in a new concept
of international law, widening the scope of the law itself . While
in all other cases it is the actual inhabitants of the countries in
question who are dealt with, as being too backward to govern
themselves, under the Palestine Mandate it is the Jewish people
as a whole who are the beneficiaries. The Mandate is clearly
for an absent people who are not yet there on the ground, with
the existing populations secondarily guaranteed full liberty and
civil rights.' This alteration of basic law came under discussion
at the twelfth meeting of the Twentieth Session of the Mandates
Commission (June 1931) in connection with a British observation
to the effect that "in international law there was no
such thing as a Jew from the standpoint of nationality ." To
this the Vice-Chairman of the Commission replied that the remark
would be correct except for the existence of the Balfour
Declaration and the Mandate, which had introduced a new element
into this law in favor of the Jewish People .
Included in the Preamble was the Balfour Declaration and its
ratification by the Powers at San Remo . The Preamble concludes
that "recognition has thereby been given to the historical
connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the
grounds for reconstituting their National Home in that country,"
certainly implying that the future Palestine should be as
Jewish as the Palestine of the Bible .
Of the direct commitments the most important was Article II
which stated that "the Mandatory shall be responsible for placing
the country under such political, administrative and economic
conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish
National Home as laid down in the Preamble . . ." While Article
VI ordered the Mandatory to "facilitate Jewish immigration"
and to "encourage, in cooperation with the Jewish Agency
. . . the close settlement of Jews on the land including State
lands and wastelands not required for public purposes ."
On December 3, 1924, the United States became one of
the contracting parties to this international arrangement . This
treaty, known as the American-British Mandate Convention on
Palestine, recites verbatim all the terms of the Mandate worked
out by the League of Nations. In the correspondence relating
to the several draft treaties submitted, it is plainly evident
that the American Government considered England only as the
temporary custodian for what was soon to be a Jewish State and,
for this reason only, allowed herself to relinquish the special
capitulation rights she had enjoyed under the old Turkish regime.
The final draft of this agreement guarantees that "the
United States and its nationals shall have and enjoy all the rights
and benefits secured under the terms of the Mandate to members
of the League of Nations and their nationals, notwithstanding
the fact that the United States is not a member of the League of
The determination of America to safeguard this arrangement
from the conniving hand of European political vandalism is
stated in Article VII . It reads : "Nothing contained in the present
Convention shall be affected by any modification which may
be made in the terms of the Mandate, as recited above, unless
such modification shall have been assented to by the United
States ."
For once the Nations were attempting to solve their problems
in a consciously intelligent manner . They had tackled the question
of Jewish homelessness vigorously, and rested from their
labors sincerely believing that they had rid the world of one of
its oldest problems.

At the time of the Peace Conference there was no haggling
over the size of the Jewish territory . The American Commission
took it for granted that "the new State would control its
own source of water power and irrigation, from Mount Hermon
in the east to the Jordan ." 8 As conceived at the time by the
Plenipotentiaries, Palestine was to comprise a minimum of some
sixty thousand square miles, bounded on the north by Syria, on
the southwest by Egypt, on the east by Iraq and Saudi and on
the south by Saudi and the Hejaz . The English viewpoint, embodied
in British Peace Handbook No. 6o on Syria and Palestine,
even contended that Damascus itself could very well be included,
asserting that the whole "portion of the center of Syria
that lies to the east of Jebel esh-Sharki may easily be separated
from northern Syria and associated with Palestine ." To the
east it was understood that the Zionists could have any part of
the great desert they wanted ; and that the southern boundary
was to be established at the historic line, the "River of Egypt ." s
With the San Remo decision tucked comfortably away in
its waistcoat, Downing Street, suddenly showing a neighborly
spirit, began to make territorial concessions to the French at the
expense of the Jewish National Home . Satisfied with those elements
relating purely to the safety of their Empire, English
negotiators were completely indifferent to proper Palestinian
boundaries from any other point of view . The Zionists were
in consternation when London serenely yielded, without the
slightest objection, every area on which the future economy of
the country was to be based .
Since the coming Hebrew Commonwealth had no visible fuel
supplies of its own, it appeared to be vitally dependent upon
water power for industrial expansion . Of essential significance
to its future industrial growth was the River Litany in the north
and the watershed lying directly south of Mount Hermon . This
strategic sector, as well as the lands of Naphthali, Dan and
Manasseh, was lopped off and uselessly handed to Syria. Also
trimmed away was the Hauran, ancient granary of Israel, and
most of fertile, well-watered Galilee whence came the chief
Zealots and patriots of the Roman wars .
Mincing no words, Colonel Wedgwood wrote that this first
jettison of the patrimony of Israel had been actuated by a fit of
sheer pique to annoy the Jews.'°
Outraged by what he also considered an act of unpardonable
vandalism, President Wilson rose from his sick bed and cabled
the following protest to the British Cabinet : "The Zionist cause
depends upon rational northern and eastern boundaries for a
self-sustaining, economic development of the country. This
means on the north, Palestine must include the Litany River and
the watersheds of the Hermon, and on the east it must include
the plains of the Jaulon and the Hauran . Narrower than this is
a mutilation. . . I need not remind you that neither in this country
nor in Paris has there been any opposition to the Zionist
program, and to its realization the boundaries I have named are
This was in the Spring of 1920 . Procrastinating, sugaring the
Zionists with promises, London finally amended the Franco-
British Convention to recover a few square miles of the headwaters
of the Jordan and ignored further protest . The area of
the Jewish National Home had now been shrunk to some 44,000
square miles : approximately 1o,ooo square miles west of the Jordan
and 34,000 to the east .
The logic of this inexplicable indifference to British interests
became clear later when the Zionists began to get a glimpse of
what was in the back of the bureaucratic mind . Even at the
sacrifice of desired territory, they wanted to make certain that
Zionism could not succeed . A Zionist Palestine they regarded
as a new Ireland in embryo, a development even more fraught
with trouble for the Empire .
They proceeded cautiously . Time was in their favor.
Bols and the Generals had been dumped overboard . To show
good faith a hand-picked Jew, Sir Herbert Samuel, had been appointed
first High Commissioner under the coming Civil Administration
. Of this change, Colonel Patterson commented
grimly : "Bols went, but the system he implanted remained .
The anti-Semitic officials that he brought with him into the
country remained . . ." it
The Military Administration was over. Anxious, but still
unprotesting, the Zionists discovered that the Palestine Mandate
had been incomprehensibly shifted to the Colonial Office for
implementation . There were some among them who knew what
this move meant, but the Zionist leadership as a whole was far
too inexperienced and trusting to do anything about it .
The country was now being directly governed by the Crown
Colony Code and by a bureau which by the very nature of its
experiences and interests could not fail to be opposed to the
Mandate. This type of administration is maintained almost
solely for the control of uncivilized tropical or sub-tropical
races. The English themselves were later to admit that it "is not
a suitable form of government for a numerous, self-reliant, progressive
people, European for the most part in outlook and equipment,
if not in race ." 1 The evolution of self-rule even in backward
India left this stage behind in i9oq .
The worst of its features is the unwritten law of the Colonial
that the Colony exists chiefly to supply cheap raw material to,
and to buy manufactured goods from, the mother country. It
is his business to discourage industrial development, which might
eventually offer substantial competition to the factories at Glasgow
or the mills of Lancashire. The perfect example of desirable
condition was that offered by Indian and Egyptian cotton,
which after being hauled over half the globe to England,
was retransported to Egypt and India and sold at a handsome
profit in the shape of cotton goods.
The Colonial Office, caring nothing about developing a body
of officials acquainted with the needs of the country, actually
does the reverse. It wants no functionaries even remotely identified
with the territory they rule ; hence it rotates these officials
from one colony to the other . Typical of the men who were to
interpret the needs of Zionism were Police Chief R . B. G. Spicer,
late Police Chief in Kenya Colony ; Chief Secretary Mark Aitchison
Young, previously Colonial Secretary for Sierra Leone ; Michael
Francis Joseph McDonnell, Chief Justice of the Palestine
Supreme Court, formerly Assistant District Commissioner of the
Gold Coast ; and Sir John Chancellor, High Commissioner of unlamented
memory, who came from Southern Rhodesia where he
had kept the peace with rifles.
These were all career men, suffering invariably from an ingrown
sense of superiority ; some of them educated and clever,
others recruited from the backwash of the English slums . They
were taught an attitude of cold reserve, a system of playing native
factions off expertly against each other, a technique of incitement,
and a calloused disregard for everything not connected
with the spirit of the Crown Colony Code .
Under this set of regulations, created to serve settlements of
Englishmen marooned among easily subdued or barbarian natives,
the Zionists found that even the slightest trivialities had to
be referred to some bureaucrat in London for decision . The
plans for a hotel in Jerusalem not only had to be submitted to
the Department of Public Works but that department had to refer
the plans and specifications to London . De Haas and Wise
give some details on the bizarre workings of this Code in Palestine.
Native-born Jews and immigrants holding public office
could not cooperate financially or as a matter of formal association
in the development of the country. The Crown Colony
Code forbade it . A judge was denied the right to participate
in what was hoped to be an important financial institution for
issuing mortgages and bonds on Jewish property . The reason
given was the Crown Colony Code . Another official was refused
permission to aid in the development of so unprofitable a
venture as the Hebrew Opera Company. The reason ? The
Crown Colony Code .2 Even though there is only a scant handful
of English school-children in the area, under the Code, Palestine
must pay for special British School Inspectors.
Just what rights the Crown Agents had in a mandated area
was never made clear. But the Zionists were not to be bothered
by formalities . They had a colossal disrespect for politics .
They declared that what they wanted was to `build up the country'
and let politics take care of itself.

Sir Herbert Samuel arrived in due course, dressed for the occasion
in gold braid and a resplendent white uniform . Throughout
the Jewish world he had been trumpeted as the new Moses,
the man of destiny . When he at last arrived in Jerusalem, the
whole majestic symbolism of the event fairly staggered the imagination
of Jewry everywhere . Jews went hysterically wild
with joy.
Samuel was an impressive man, handsome and soldierly looking
as he clicked his heels before the welcoming cameras ;
though closer inspection was not so reassuring, revealing a
moody face whose whole expression was searching and suspicious
. He had been Home Secretary in the British Government
during the War and "had a reputation for treating Jews in
a way that would not redound to the credit of a liberal gentile
administrator." 3 The famous `Tay Pay' O'Connor had briefly
described him as having an "utter disregard for all the occupations
and prizes of life except those to be found in politics ." 4
His inability to understand even the most obvious conditions
under which the masses of Jewry lived is shown by an incident
occurring in the Fall of 1 q 1q when Samuel was functioning as
leader of a British Committee of Investigation in Poland . Failing
to reach an agreement after eight days of negotiations with
the Warsaw Zionists, he asked in order to obtain a result : "Do
you then accept the paragraphs of the Peace Treaty aiming at
the protection of minorities ?" When this had been affirmed
he inquired conclusively : "So you consequently do not want
to be a nationality but a religious group?" Whereupon the
Zionists broke up the negotiations as hopeless and stalked out of
the room .5
The heavens were almost covered with omens in reference to
the mettle of Mr. . Samuel ; but nevertheless the Zionists allowed
themselves to be hoaxed into accepting him . Acting on a polite
hint from high British quarters, they actually sponsored him ; and
officially his appointment was the result of their direct demand .
Ruefully, Weitzman was later to admit : "Perhaps 1 am responsible
for this chapter `Samuel.'" r -
History will undoubtedly look on the man Samuel with wonder,
as a striking commentary on his times. His first official
act was to throw the brave Jews, jailed for their part in the selfdefense
during the riots, into the same class with Arab rapists by
magnanimously pardoning both, all in the same breath and the
same document?
Shortly after his arrival he held a reception for the members
of his staff . The reaction, blurted out of the mouth of one of
them was : "And there I was at Government House, and there
was the Union Jack flying as large as life, and a bloody Jew sitting
under it ." 8
Sir Herbert was surrounded from the first by anti-Zionist
subordinates, whom he was afraid to offend by appearing to favor
the Jews . Horace Samuel declares that throughout his
whole tenure of office Sir Herbert suffered acutely from the
consciousness of being a Jew, causing him to pivot right around
to an actual pro-Arab attitude .
The important Political Department of the Secretariat was assigned
to an officer who labored under an intensive and fanatical
hostility to the declared policy of His Majesty's Government in
Palestine, one E. T. Richmond. Richmond who had referred in
a signed article in the Nineteenth Century to "that iniquitous
document known as the Mandate for Palestine," 9 was fairly
representative of the body of officialdom . These men made no
secret of their antipathy to the policy of the Balfour Declaration,
which they had been appointed to carry out, contributing
the most violent anti-Jewish articles to such journals as the
Edinburgh Review, the Nineteenth Century and the Fortnightly
Review.10 There was only one officer in Samuel's entire
retinue who could even remotely be described as pro-
Zionist. That was the gentle-mannered Sir Wyndham Deeds
whose influence was reduced to little . In the subordinate jobs,
particularly on the Police Force and Intelligence Department,
nearly all the key non-British positions were filled by Arabs,
who were quick to respond to the cue given them by their superiors.
The situation became so obvious that a number of
Jewish officers of the Administration threw up their jobs "with
the statement that they were doing so because there did not seem
to be room for Jewish officials in the National Home .""
It is no exaggeration to say that every subterfuge used to obstruct
Zionist advance in future years, originated with Samuel.
Characteristic of the man was this statement attributed to him
"If the Jews really want Palestine they will pay more for it than
it is worth ." At the Fifth Session of the Permanent Mandates
Commission he stated that it was "the fundamental intention of
the Government" to deal with the Arabs "as if there had never
been a Balfour Declaration." 12 Samuel's interference almost
lost the important Dead Sea concession for the Jews . He had
deliberately held it up, not considering it seemly that Jews
should get such a valuable concession .13
Incongruously enough, Sir Herbert was so religious that he
believed it a sin for Jews and non-Jews to intermarry . He deliberately
snubbed a senior Christian official who had married
a Jewish girl, remaining stiffly rude to both man and wife, even
on those occasions when the duties of His Majesty's service
made it impossible to avoid him .
The result of Samuel's policies was a pogrom . Only a scant
year had passed since the previous massacre of Jews in Jerusalem.
Once again the lust for blood asserted itself in the narrow
streets. As usual, the riots were timed with a major change in
British policy, soon after to be announced.
It was the end of April . The Moslems were celebrating their
annual festival of the Prophet Moses . This fiesta at which
howling creatures with quivering eyes and distorted features
worked themselves into a lather, had been the starting point for
trouble the year before . Each year, as the Moslems carried on
their wild dances in the streets, anxiety spoke from the faces of
the Jews until the Nebi Moussa festival was over . Notwithstanding
this, the British Commandant of Police was conveniently
away. The few Jews on the police force had been mysteriously
taken off duty for the day.
"Bolsheviki ! Bolsheviki ! The Zionists are flooding the
country with Bolsheviki !" This ugly cry had reverberated
from many throats, Christian and Moslem alike, for a long period
of months. With tacit consent the Authorities had given
sullen approval to the accusation that "every Jew is a Bolshevik."
This malignant propaganda had been carried on openly
under the eye of the Administration until the saturated minds
of every section of Palestine's population literally dripped with
the poison .14
Suddenly during the Festival the mad shout arose that "the
Mosques were being attacked by the Bolsheviks" (Jews) . At
Jaffa, starting point of trouble, the Arabs went on an orgy of
murder and pillage "under the official protection and assistance
of a substantial number of Jaffa police ." 15 In many cases the
observance of a benevolent neutrality was insufficient, and the
police gave full vent to their patriotism by shooting at Jews, directing
the mob and plundering Jewish shops .
A howling horde led by uniformed policemen armed with
rifles, bombs and ammunition stormed the Zionist Immigration
Depot. Thirteen newly arrived immigrants were butchered
amid horrible scenes of rape and looting . The water-front
workmen, huge ruffians armed with long boat-hooks, ran
through the streets impaling Jews on their weapons . Respectable
looking Arabs with well-ironed fezzes, polished shoes, wellcreased
pants and starched collars, rushed into stores and helped
themselves to all kinds of merchandise .16
The conflagration immediately spread beyond the Jaffa district.
In Tel Aviv the disarmed Jews courageously formed a
self-defense, holding the `patriots' at bay with hastily mustered
sticks and stones . On May 5, the settlement of Petach Tikvah
was attacked by thousands of armed fellaheen from nearby viiio6
lages. The assault was delivered in military formation, "directed
by a gentleman with binoculars ." 17 Hopelessly outnumbered
the colonists fought with desperate courage for their
lives. The colony Kfar Saba was destroyed and Rehovoth and
Hedera badly damaged. Everywhere Arabs ruined beautiful
fruit orchards, the work of a lifetime, burned homes and carried
off movable property and cattle. Only the circumstance
that almost all Jewish workers were former soldiers prevented
the Jewish National Home from being consumed in one grand
conflagration ."'
The most revolting spectacles had taken place . Defenseless
old people and little children alike had been cut to ribbons and
mutilated beyond recognition. Women were dragged out into
the open street and outraged before being murdered. Bedlam
shrieked all over the land of Moses, Isaiah and Jesus . Forty
Jews had been killed and countless others injured on the first day
alone, before the iron hand of official censorship made all other
casualty figures a pure matter of conjecture. Horace Samuel
observes bitterly that the Government "refrained from publishing
the number of the Arabs who had been killed in the attack
on Petach Tikvah, for fear presumably of unduly depressing
and discouraging Arab susceptibilities." 19 The property damage
was incalculable .
All Palestine believed that British officials had prepared the
disturbances behind the scenes .20 Returning to England after
her visit to the Holy Land, the wife of the Labor leader Philip
Snowden fixed the responsibility on "the activity of certain
British subjects in Palestine and certain English politicians in
England." 21 Arab politicos openly boasted of their alliance
with the British `Black Hundreds.' The visiting American
clergyman, Dr . Dushaw, speaking to an English soldier in the
infested area, asked him what his orders were and received the
reply : "I must not shoot ." 22 The policy of the police can be
judged from the case of Shakeer Ali Kishek, one of the Bedouin
chieftains who had led the attack on Petach Tikvah . Subsequently
arrested, he "was immediately released on bail as a
graceful gesture ; while . . . the chief notable of the colony,
one of the most respected Jewish colonists in the whole of
Palestine, Abraham Shapiro, was arrested by order of the same
officers, not on any charge, but administratively, and carted off
to Jerusalem in a motor lorry." 23
As a token of its displeasure the Government plastered a punitive
fine on the villages that had attacked Hedera, which the
Arabs never bothered about paying . Warrants were issued
against some individuals living in the notorious Tulkarm district
who were identified as having been involved in the murderous
assaults, but "no efforts were made to execute the warrants."
The Authorities refused pointblank to make any investigation,
so the Zionist Commission together with Judge Horace
Samuel and Mr. . Sacher engaged the services of a British enquiry
agent, "who, immediately after he had gotten on the track, was
promptly ordered by the military authorities to leave the Jaffa
district ." 25
According to the principal Medical Officer the total number
of casualties in the pogrom were 95 killed and 290 wounded.26
Lending a ghoulish touch to the after-performance, while the
Jews were bowed in mourning for their dead, General Storrs,
Governor of Jerusalem, arranged gay parades and interesting literary
lectures as if celebrating some festival occasion.27
The insurrection of 1921 marked a variation of Administration
technique . It constituted a precedent for the principle -
observed by all ensuing Administrations with almost religious
scrupulousness - that every outbreak of armed Arab violence
was ipso facto to be rewarded with political concessions and to
be followed by a Commission of Inquiry whose importance was
to be in proportion to the scale of the revolt .
The Haycraft Commission was appointed to investigate and
fix responsibility for the terrible events which had just passed .
One of its three members was Harry Luke, the man whom
Palestine Jewry was to hold responsible for the terrible excesses
of 1929, when Jewish Palestine almost went up in smoke. This
body finally ended by finding guilty the `Bolshevik' Jews who
had been coming into the country and who had aroused the
patriotic Arabs by their May Day demonstrations .
Within forty-eight hours of the Jaffa massacre, Samuel, shivering
in his pants, phoned the Governor of Jaffa, instructing him
to announce to the Arabs that in accordance with their request,
immigration had been suspended .28 Though this prohibition
was a general one in its official terms, it was interpreted to apply
only to Jews. Immigrants who were non-Jews were not affected
by it . The most ludicrous stories are told of the way
this ordinance was applied, Arab officials often compelling incoming
immigrants to expose themselves physically in order to
prove that they were not Jews, before they would allow them
to land.29
Samuel went so far as to offer the Arabs complete control over
immigration, a tender they foolhardily refused . Reduced to
simple terms, what they demanded was the enforced return of
the Jews to their pre-war status as a tolerated minority without
political rights.
This was the same Samuel who had asserted in 1917 that Jewish
immigration must be regulated by the responsible Jewish
body in Palestine, and not by the Government ; and who had
declared on the second anniversary of the Balfour Declaration
that Palestine must become "a purely self-governing community
under the auspices of an established Jewish majority ." 30 Sir
Herbert was now thoroughly scared . Sir Wyndham Deeds,
the only pro-Zionist in his Cabinet, was shunted off, to be superseded
by one Sir Gilbert Clayton . Like a disturbed crustacean
Samuel retreated backward as far as he could go .

Implicated in the disturbances of 1920 was a political adventurer
named Haj Amin al Husseini .31 Haj Amin, a leering ruffian
with misshapen ears and close-cropped scanty beard, was
descended from an Egyptian family known for its turbulence
and penchant for intrigue . In a general housecleaning underA
taken to appease the Jews at the San Remo Conference, he had
been sentenced by a British court to fifteen years at hard labor,
as a dangerous gang leader and agitator. Conveniently allowed
to escape by the police, Haj Amin was hiding out in neighboring
Syria, a fugitive from justice . This was the gentleman whom
Samuel now recalled from exile and appointed to one of the
most important positions the Government had to offer . Just
as London controls the Eastern Moslems through the acquiescent
Agha Khan, so it was now planned to harness the Western
Moslems by setting up a counterpart to the defunct Western
Caliphate, in Jerusalem .
Haj Amin was not in the literal sense an Arab patriot . He
considered Western Nationalism a work of the devil . His ideal
was the old Moslem particularism functioning in an area without
boundaries, where none but the Faithful would be allowed
to remain with bowels . Beyond that, he was somewhat stupid,
honest in his way, ambitious, and a fanatical hater of Jews .
During the war he had been an officer in the Turkish Army .
With a pardon from Sir Herbert tucked up his flowing black
sleeve, this man who had fled Palestine as a common felon, now
returned to find himself one of the key figures in the Administration.
Despite the opposition of the then Moslem High
Council, which regarded him as a parvenu hoodlum of the most
unsavory stripe, Haj Amin was appointed by the High Commissioner
as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem for life . Meeting in
secret conclave the Moslem bigwigs rejected his nomination by
an overwhelming vote . Stiffly Sir Herbert acquainted the discomfited
Moslem notables with his displeasure and ordered them
to accept the reprieved convict as their religious leader.
This was only the beginning . Samuel was determined to go
whole hog in anchoring this son of the Husseini in the seat of
power. He created the `Supreme Moslem Council,' which was
presumably authorized to elect its own leadership by democratic
vote. In the balloting the Government candidate, Haj Amin
al Husseini, polled only nine electoral votes against nineteen,
eighteen and twelve for his three rivals . This fact, however,
weighed little with the High Commissioner, who forced the
chosen candidate, Sheikh Hussam ed Din Effendi Jarallah, to
step aside, and made Haj Amin President . Soon after, the Mufti
was created Reis al Ulema, president of the religious (Sharia)
courts, thus concentrating in his hands the highest posts of distinction
and power Palestine had to offer a Moslem .
Few men have had such benefactors as Haj Amin discovered
in Sir Herbert Samuel . In his person he now combined the
headship of the Church and the Law, so closely connected in
the Islamic religion . Under the Turks the Wak f, or religious
bequests, were under rigid State supervision from Istanbul .
These were now handed over to the Mufti free of all control
by the State . He was given complete authority over all Wak f
or other charitable endowments, as well as the Mohammedan
courts and educational institutions, including even the Industrial
School in Jerusalem . In addition he was provided with a handsome
salary out of the public funds ; and a staff of two hundred
and fifty paid assistants was allowed the Supreme Moslem Council
to superintend the six hundred men employed in the various
Wak f departments.
As if to make the anti-Jewish lineup airtight, Sir Herbert took
the pet scheme of the Generals, the Moslem-Christian Union,
under his wing. Although a large number of Arabs objected,
he gave it semi-official standing . Under his generous patronage
it soon developed strong roots .
In June 1922, Samuel drew up a long document, deadly in its
import to the Jews, which when signed by Winston Churchill
became known as the Churchill White Paper . The Papal Secretary,
Cardinal Gaspari, annoyed by the procrastination in
formulating Article XIV of the Mandate, regulating the Holy
Places, had put up an outright demand that this Article be clarified
and acted upon . Whitehall chose this occasion for another
of its flank attacks on the Zionist position in Palestine .
London's principal objective now was covertly to cut off the
Zionist Organization from any share in the Administration . The
document it issued to accomplish this purpose constituted a bold
reinterpretation of the Balfour Declaration . With carefully
chosen words it smashes at the legal base for Zionist repatriation,
arriving at the remarkable conclusion that the terms of
Balfour's Declaration "do not contemplate that Palestine as a
whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home, but
that such a Home should be founded in Palestine ."
In phrases unctuous with sophistry the White Paper attempts
to explain away Britain's pledged word and the commitments
on which the Jewish National Home was based . The purpose
of the Declaration, it now discovers, "is not the imposition of a
Jewish nationality . . . but the further development of the existing
Jewish community, with the assistance of Jews in other
parts of the world, in order that it may become a centre in which
the Jewish people as a whole may take, on grounds of religion
and race, an interest and a pride . But in order that this community
should have the best prospect of free development and
provide a full opportunity for the Jewish people to display its
capacities, it is essential that it should know that it is in Palestine
as of right and not on sufferance . That is the reason why it
is necessary that the existence of a Jewish national home in
Palestine should be internationally guaranteed, and that it should
be formally recognized to rest upon ancient historic connection."
Thus in two short years Samuel had changed from an impassioned
advocate of the reborn Jewish State, to a pleader for
"a national Jewish home in Palestine ." As a trial balloon for
the Colonial Office he had already reinterpreted the Declaration
to mean that "these words [National Home] mean that the
Jews . . . should be enabled to found here their home, and that
some amongst them, within the limits fixed by numbers and
the interests of the present population, should come to Palestine
in order to help by their resources and efforts to develop the
country to the advantage of all its inhabitants ." Thus, in a
sentence, the 2ooo-year old Jewish dream, the unbroken hope
for which countless generations of martyrs fought and prayed,
is reduced to a philanthropic scheme for improving the eco112
nomic position of the Palestine Arabs by bringing in a leavening
of able, enterprising Jews .
Buried in the Churchill-Samuel White Paper was a neat little
paragraph holding that while Jews had every right to return to
their homeland freely, this immigration must not be so great in
volume "as to exceed whatever may be the economic capacity
of the country at the time to absorb new arrivals ." This
sounded very nice and sensible ; but it was to prove the formula
which future anti-Semitic administrations utilized to justify their
depredations by principle .
Included also was a scheme for an elective Legislative Assembly
to be composed of a trinity of Arabs, Jews and British officials,
who would presumably spend their time in the subtleties
of reciprocal intrigue. Samuel had originated this as bait for the
Arabs, who were mortifying His Excellency by referring to
the Administration as `that Jewish Government .'
Ably the White Paper juggled words, hemmed and hawed,
to make it clear that Palestine was in future to be considered
like any other non-Jewish country, under certain conditions
willing to accept a given number of Jews and even to grant
them a certain specious autonomy-but no more. Herzl's
dream had been permanently laid in moth balls .
The Zionists were in an uproar. The White Paper had been
sprung on them out of the clear sky, a few days before the
terms of the Mandate were to be published in their final form .
Fuming with indignation, the Zionist Executive balked . At
this, Churchill called in the ever reliable Weitzman and pointed
out to him that the tenor of the Memorandum was a reflection
of British needs in the Near East. Britain had to go slow . Her
situation in Egypt and India was critical in the extreme .
Churchill, the friend of Zionism, pleaded with Weitzman and
his colleagues, the friends of Great Britain, to accept the
Memorandum and to trust that Britain, realizing why they had
accepted it, would make ample amends at some future date .32
Having reminded Weitzman of the obligations of British patriots,
the clever English statesman drove his arguments home by
11 3
threatening to cancel the entire Mandate if the Executive did
not agree in twenty-four hours .33
Weitzman hurriedly called a meeting of his colleagues, most
of whom wanted desperately to call Churchill's bluff . The
fact was that the only method by which the projected revision
of Jewish status in Palestine could be accomplished legally, was
with the consent of the Jewish leaders. But Weitzman wheedled
and cajoled, and his associates finally agreed, signing the
death warrant of their own movement in one of the most astonishing
capitulations to high pressure salesmanship on record .
There can be no doubt that the largest share of the Zionist
acquiescence to this move rested on an exaggerated loyalty to the
interests of their friend and patron, Britain . They were told
that this was merely a temporary makeshift to pull British administrators
through a bad spot in the Levant. Had they stood
their ground, any coercive tactics used against them would have
reacted infallibly against the schemers in London and Jerusalem .
The French still wanted Palestine, and the only title Britain had
there was vested in her Jewish wards .
Acceptance of the White Paper at the same time placed the
Zionist stamp of approval on another outrage even more deadly
to their hopes.
On the second anniversary of the Balfour Declaration Samuel
had quite rationally declaimed that "you cannot have numbers
without area and territory. Every expert knows that for a
prosperous Palestine an adequate territory beyond the Jordan is
indispensable ." Yet it was Samuel who cut off Trans-Jordan
from the Jewish National Home and handed it to some foreign
Arabs for a private pasturage .
Palestine east of the Jordan comprised some two-thirds of the
entire mandated area - by far the best part of it, well-watered,
fertile, and as empty as the American West when Daniel Boone
crossed over from Carolina . The history of Israel is written
indelibly over every part of its hills and plains. It was the
permanent home of two of the Twelve Tribes, as well as the half
tribe of Manasseh . The five cities of the plain were Trans-
Jordanic . Two of them, Nebo and Pisgah, are like household
Between 1918 and 1921, when the creation of a Jewish National
Home was being negotiated with the Zionists by the
British Government, there was no question of a Palestine West
of the Jordan River or East of the Jordan River. The Balfour
Declaration embraced both sides of the Jordan. When one of
the Zionist spokesmen mentioned the eastern boundary of Palestine
he was informed that there was no eastern boundary because
in the east Palestine bordered on the desert .34 It is important
also to recall that in the Zionist proposals presented to
the Peace Conference in February I9I9 (the text of which, like
that of all Zionist political documents of the time, had first been
seen and approved by the British Government) Trans-Jordan
was as a matter of course included in the boundaries of Palestine.
This whole area was embraced in the British Mandate largely
because of London's insistence on "a good eastern frontier for
the Jewish Government in Palestine ." Argument had arisen as
to whether Syria or Palestine should get the territory . Unanimously
the British papers pounded the drums for its inclusion
lest Palestine be unforgivably mutilated by letting the French
have it. The London Times insisted that Palestine without
Trans-Jordan was a travesty on good sense ; 35 the Manchester
Guardian alleged that both from a historical and economic
viewpoint Trans-Jordan was an organic part of the Holy Land.
Downing Street had demanded Trans-Jordan in the name of
"the forthcoming Zionist Government," 36 and the French finally
conceded the issue . Under the Leygues-Harding Agreement,
signed December 23, 1920, in Paris, this territory was relinquished
by the French in favor of the Palestine Mandate
Agreement . Britain now had a solid land bridge to Iraq and
the East, but the military clique was not satisfied as long as there
was a Gallic foot on that part of the globe .
Feisal, puppet of the British generals, had just been driven
out of Syria by French rifles. His brother, Abdullah, a plump,
bearded little man, strikingly like a dark edition of Lenin in appearance,
was approached by the Military, who were still looking
for a tool with which to pull their chestnuts out of the fire .
In March of 1921 the so-called Churchill Conference took place
in Cairo, where it was decided that Feisal, rejected by the
French, would get the throne of Iraq and that his brother Abdullah
who had been crowned King of Iraq during Feisal's
`reign' in Damascus, should be quietly supported in one last
attempt at ousting the French .37
Abdullah, gathering an army of his wild nomads, marched out
of the Hejaz and headed north for Syria . He got as far as
Amman in Trans-Jordan, when the French quietly let it be
known that they had had just about their belly full of English
Samuel again grew jittery . He had to curb the Military or
face the possibility of the French attacking Abdullah in Trans-
Jordan and remaining there . But Abdullah refused to budge .
It seemed necessary to placate him in some fashion-and Sir
Herbert had a brilliant idea : he invited the little Arab to a
conference to `talk things over,' and suggested that he park a
while in the territory of the Jewish National Home . Abdullah,
gaping at this unexpected chance for power, thought that this
would be very nice. He took over the administration of Eastern
Palestine "for a period of six months," ostensibly to restore
order 38 - a rather comic provision since the only disorder in the
territory was that created by Abdullah and his Sherifian Army
Stroking his chin quizzically at Samuel's droll move, Churchill
waited for the Zionists to blow the roof off . For once Winston
Churchill, master of bluff and stratagem, was nonplussed . The
Zionists had been gagged by Samuel's threat of still further restrictions,
and their silence was token of acquiescence .
Secure in the knowledge that Jewish spokesmen would not
prove troublesome, London began searching for a basis to
further separate Eastern Palestine from the rest of the country .
The earlier drafts of the Mandate all contained twenty-seven
paragraphs, none of which mentioned a separate Transjordan .
The final text, sprung with the quickness of legerdemain, consisted
of twenty-eight paragraphs . The new one, number twentyfive,
empowered the Mandatory with the consent of the Council
of the League of Nations, "to withhold or set aside, in the territories
between the Jordan River and the eastern boundaries of Palestine,
the employment of such mandate agreements which are
found to be inapplicable because of local conditions," certainly
an innocent enough appearing proviso. It was explained on the
basis of Britain's anxiety lest Jewish life be sacrificed if colonization
were attempted before this turbulent, lawless area was
pacified and made suitable for European settlement . It must be
pointed out that this article, though it stipulates for the first
time a difference between East and West Palestine, nevertheless
considers the former an integral part of the Jewish National
Home and in no sense even infers its right to separation ; its
carefully chosen words merely `entitling' the Mandatory to meet
temporary emergency conditions, as they might arise, in a special
manner - that is by "postponing and withholding" the application
of the Mandatory provisions for the Jewish National
Great Britain had no rights in this territory which enabled
her to dispose of it . Article V of the Mandate stipulates that
"the Mandatory shall be responsible that no Palestine territory
shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the
control of the Government of any foreign power." Certainly
the act of handing it over to these invaders from the Hejaz was
a clear violation of both the spirit and letter of this provision .
Right after the Zionists, cringing under Churchill's empty
threat, ratified the White Paper, Abdullah and his invaders were
installed as masters of Eastern Palestine . In July the terms of
the Mandate for Palestine were approved by the League of Nations,
and in the same month Abdullah was formally instated as
Emir of Transjordan . Adding insult to injury, the Palestine
exchequer handed him f i 8o,ooo to cover his initial expenses -
the beginning of a long list of generous subsidies paid out of the
11 7
treasury of the Jewish National Home. Sonorously Sir Herbert
declared "in the name of the British Government . . . that
Great Britain is willing to recognize the independence of Transjordan
under Emir Abdullah ." This was a polite euphemism
since Transjordan was ruled directly through a British Resident
acting on behalf of the High Commissioner.
The second brutal rape of the territory of the Jewish National
Home was now all but accomplished. Transjordan henceforward
became the only territory in the world to all intents and
purposes JUDENREIN (free of Jews) . It was the first country to
prohibit Jews from even practicing a profession or owning land .
Its ban on them was complete .
Beyond whimpering a little, the Zionist Executive kept its
peace, and actually covered up this gigantic theft of the Jewish
patrimony by a new festival campaign "for the Jewish National
Fund." As late as October 1934, Dr. Weitzman was with gentle
self-abnegation declaring that "we do not wish to change
the status of Trans-Jordan by applying the Balfour Declaration
there. . ." 40
Probably no man was so cordially detested by his own people
as this latter-day Herod called Herbert Samuel . In any other
community this deep-seated resentment would have flared up
in periodic attempts at violence . Jews, who have an instinctive
abhorrence of lawlessness as a method of settling their problems,
kept their peace but hardly hated him the less .
Among his public acts was the matter of the allotment of
the Crown lands, which under the Mandate were to have been
placed at the disposal of the Zionists . The story of their distribution
is amazing .
The cream of these Government lands were in the Beisan
area, in the fertile region known as the Ghor Valley. When
the British first took over they found this territory, according
to the subsequent report of Lewis French, inhabited by a degraded,
sickly population who lived in mud hovels, "and of too
low intelligence to be receptive to any suggestions for improvement
of their housing, water supply or education . . . There
were no trees, no vegetables . The fellaheen, if not themselves
cattle thieves, were always ready to harbour these and other
criminals. . . The Bedu, wild and lawless by nature, were constantly
at feud with their neighbors on both sides of the Jordan,
and raids and highway robberies formed their staple industry ."
His Excellency had visited Beisan, chief marketing town of this
section, and had been "received with hostility and contumely"
by the ruffian population, a Transjordan tribe of nomads who
had pitched camp there for the winter .
Nettled, Samuel returned to his earlier technique of placating
the tribesmen with gifts . He immediately announced that he
was giving the Beisan lands to the same truculent nomads who
had insulted him . All told, the Government gave these Arabs
almost four hundred thousand dunams (a dunam is about a quarter
of an acre) 41 of the best land in Palestine, while the Jews
received not so much as a square yard .42 At the most conservative
estimate the land was worth at least C 6 per dunam, even
at that time . It was disposed of to the Bedouins for C i per
dunam, to be paid in yearly installments of two shillings each .
Immediately these lands became the subject of the most cynical
speculation. Tribesmen were not interested in the hard
work cultivation requires and most of them were given far more
acreage than they could handle by themselves . The net result
was that the major part of the soil was immediately offered to
the Zionists at fancy prices . Even more sardonic, much of the
land given to these Bedouins was resold later to the Government
at a profit of some 5oo percent, to be used for the resettlement
of so-called displaced Arabs .43 Everywhere Arab speculators
entered, scenting a middleman's profit. Many of the
tribesmen sold at inflated prices and disappeared into Transjordan
and Iraq, rich beyond their fondest dreams of avarice .
The Government was now in fact compelled to tackle a new
problem : that of preventing the Beisan lands from subsequently
falling into the hands of land-hungry Jews, who were willing to
offer almost any price .
It was during Sir Herbert's regime that Arab opposition to
the Jews took definite form and grooved itself . The entire
Administration was honey-combed with anti-Semitic officials
who made the Executive Offices a nest of pro-Arab activity.
Samuel, masking himself behind a screen of `liberalism,' made
not the slightest move to interfere .
When in 1925 Sir Herbert was relieved by Lord Plumer,
Jewish Palestine woke as from a nightmare and breathed free
again . He had done about as much damage as it was possible
for one man to do to the Jewish cause ; but the Zionist Organization
thought it politic to go through the mummery of
giving him a testimonial banquet.44
When the hated Samuel finally packed his duffle and left for
England, the Zionists experienced another of those swift surprises
that were so continually being prepared for them . Article
IV of the Mandate makes it clear that the Jewish Agency
has certain powers, that it should be consulted concerning the
appointment of any High Commissioner. The Bureaucrats destroyed
the vestigial remnant of this section of England's pledge
when they made a test case of it and appointed Field Marshal
Lord Plumer out of the clear sky. The Zionists, living up to
precedent, simply looked startled and went about their business
of `non-political' activities .
Compared to Samuel, Plumer was a vision of fair delight .
By any other reasonable criterion he was a total loss . The
Field Marshal was a hard man, iron-willed, who ruled with a
clenched fist. He was the only High Commissioner who held
his Jew-baiting subordinates within reasonable check . The best
that can be said for him is that under his rule there were no pogroms.
When the Arabs, persisting naively in the same tactics
which were so successful under Samuel, approached him in delegation,
warning that if a planned procession of Jewish war
veterans were held, they "would not be responsible for the peace
of Jerusalem," Plumer withered them by replying, "No one asked
you to be responsible .. I am the High Commissioner and I will
be responsible." The Arabs never tried that trick again as long
as the Field Marshal remained in Palestine.
However, the old policies continued unchanged . Typical of
his regime is the loan of f 20,000 to the Beersheba Bedouins in
1928 to quiet their grumbling against the indirect Governmental
refusal to allow land sales to Jews .45 It was also under Plumer
that Jews were practically banned from participation in the defense
forces of the country . A whole succession of carefully
developed ordinances directed against Zionist penetration
marked his regime . Despite this, the Zionists, with good reason
fearful of his unknown successor, were sorry to see him go .
When he resigned, a sudden outburst of Jewish energy
brought General Smuts, Zionist friend and incorruptible executive,
under consideration for the post. Smuts declined, obviously
not caring to accept the burden of reconciling his conscience
with the policies of the Colonial Office .
Page 135

The soldier Plumer was succeeded in 1928 by Sir John Chancellor.
Chancellor was an unfortunate choice for the Jews.
He had the general appearance of the Shakespearean actor who,
with a certain forgivable pompousness, loves to play the great
man. His graying hair and regular features were imposing ; but
his countenance was too complacent and unwrinkled for a man
his age, giving an impression of appalling smugness . His contempt
for Jews was so deliberate as to appear ostentatious .
It was under this man that the bloody outbreak of 1929 took
place. When these excesses brought on an unlooked-for wave
of world indignation that threatened to swamp his regime, he issued
an hysterical statement condemning the Arabs in terms of
unbridled virulence . When he saw the Zionists disinclined to
press their advantage and yielding to British blandishments, he
maneuvered the placing of political responsibility onto Jewish
Chancellor was hardly equal to the standards of shrewd manipulation
set by the Colonial Office . When he retired in July
1931, he became an anti-Zionist spokesman in London . No
tears were shed when he left the country, to be succeeded by
Lieutenant-General Arthur Grenfell Wauchope .
There are few chapters in civilized history that can match for
sheer inhumanity and outrage the record of the British Government
in Palestine. Now was to be written in letters dripping
red with blood one of the crowning achievements of that record.
With characteristic blind-optimism the Zionist leaders were
running around like fussy ants, unconscious that a heavy heel was
about to crush down on their hill. With fine disregard for ac-
teal conditions, they were making ready to repair to Europe for
a Congress which was announced as "a turning point in the history
of Zionism - the close of an illustrious epoch and the beginning
of a new and still greater period ." Ignored were the
desperate appeals of Palestine Jewry, who knew better how to
evaluate the signs and portents written on sky and fencepost
than the mighty orators who held the fort in Europe .
For a period of six years the Zionist Executive had been negotiating
with powerful Jewish bodies with a view to forming
a vastly enlarged Jewish Agency. Such financial giants as Felix
Warburg of New York, and a galaxy of non-Zionist Jews, experienced,
shrewd and capable, were now lined up . In high exultation
Weitzman announced the forthcoming creation of an
enlarged Jewish Agency in fact, to include an equal proportion
of non-Zionists along with the Zionists .
Alarmed, the Palestine Administration watched developments
like a cat at a rat-hole . Article IV of the Mandate, long ignored,
gave the Jewish Agency considerable power . The Bureaucrats
in Jerusalem, over-estimating the financial assistance,
the fierce energy and political shrewdness which they feared
would now be supplemented for the easy-going incompetence of
conventional Zionist spellbinders, had been setting the stage for
a discouraging blow. With an unctuous play at unknowing innocence,
they built an imposing heap of the most inflammable
tinder to be found in the country, and waited patiently for just
the right moment before setting a match to it.
Carefully the story was built and circulated that the Jews
planned to tear down the Mosque of Omar, which Moslems believe
marks the exact center of the earth, and to rebuild the
Temple on its site.
Immediately adjoining the Mosque is located the most sacred
of all Jewish devotional objects, the Wailing Wall, last remnant
of Solomon's Temple. To the practical-minded Zionists
these few ancient stones did not assume any absolute significance
. But it was the sanctuary of the religious Jews ; and a
symbol of Jewish right in the land of their fathers. Thus any
attack on it became identified with an attack on the rights of all
Jewry. Four centuries of Turkish rule had protected Jewish
title to this holy place without disturbance . Neither the Wall
itself nor the immediate patch of Temple area at the top had any
particular interest to Islam. For as long as the memory of man,
no Moslem had been known to concern himself with the spectacle
of these few bearded Jews weeping over the ancient stones .
Now suddenly they discovered a deep interest in the vicinity of
the Wall and ended by claiming ownership for themselves. A
whole series of petty persecutions, abetted by the authorities in
Jerusalem, followed . Stones were thrown at the worshipers,
who were jeered at and insulted . The pavement in front was
systematically covered with offal from donkeys on the day of
the Sabbath services. A rest room was erected abutting the
Wall itself, and a hospice was established adjacent to it, with a
Home for the Aged in another adjoining house . Dervishes were
put in a nearby garden, who synchronized their dancing, drumming
and noisemaking with the Jewish worship . Finally a
Muezzin popped up on the roof of an abutting house, coming
out five times daily to scream out his incitement to the Faithful .
The Wall had been a cul de sac, and when the Government
allowed, or instigated, the Moslems to erect a mosque on the
right side of it, and to break through the Wall proper to open
a new avenue to the Mosque of Omar, all Jewish Palestine rose
in indignant protest. Donkeys and their Moslem masters now
passed in droves through the sacred precincts which had been
undisturbed for centuries except for the soft prayers of the
On the Day of Atonement, holiest day of the Jewish calendar,
Keith-Roach, Governor of Jerusalem, learned that the worshipers
had placed a portable screen at the Wall to protect themselves
from Arab abuse . The Neilab, or closing services, were
being recited when an English officer, under the Governor's instruction,
violently broke into the midst of the worship, with
no more regard than if he were invading a den of thieves, and
removed the screen .
Incident now followed incident, with the Arabs growing daily
more pugnacious and the Administration openly abetting them .
Matters had been allowed to develop to such a point of high
tension that it seemed as if taut nerves must burst if even a firecracker
popped . In the Arab press an intensive anti-Zionist and
anti-Jewish campaign was going full blast . The Protocols o f
the Elders o f Zion were being widely circulated . The Communists,
too, like great carrion birds sensing disaster from afar,
had joined in the campaign of incitement, urging "an Arab fight
to the finish against Zionism ."' Just before the actual bloodshed
started, they took advantage of the growing excitement to
issue a manifesto urging a general strike against the policy of the
Jewish National Home .
The Zionist hierarchy had treated this pernicious propaganda
with aloof disdain as small-time matters of a passing character,
and airily dismissed as `alarmists' those friends who warned them
that blue fury was about to blaze in the Land of Israel . Like
happy children they went traipsing off to their Congress in
Switzerland. The only Zionist official left in Palestine was an
accountant, who when warned that the outbreaks were impending,
"merely shrugged his shoulders indifferently ." 2 The
High Commissioner had arranged to be absent from his post for
the first time, and was on visit to London. In charge as Acting
High Commissioner was Harry Luke, polished, suave, and
known to be unfriendly to Jews.3 Ruling Jerusalem was Ronald
Storrs, a somewhat bald man with fine patrician features and a
definite flair for the arts.4 Storrs was a cousin of Archer Cust,
secretary to Chancellor and an outspoken anti-Zionist, and was
said to be a political protege of Brigadier General Blakeney, a
violent anti-Semite who suffered from the delusion that the Zionists
"were trying to poison him ."
On August 16 a fanatical Moslem demonstration was held in
Jerusalem . The mob yelling, "For Mohammed with the sword!"
roared on to the Wailing Wall where they tore up Jewish
prayerbooks and burned liturgical documents . This violence had
been permitted by the Government and no arrests were made.
Arab agitators began touring the country, bringing word from
the Mufti that Friday the twenty-third was to be der Tag, instructing
the villagers to await orders on that day .
In this atmosphere of threat and uncertainty the Government
once more deliberately disarmed the Jews, leaving the colonies
The riots were precipitated by the police themselves, who
with extraordinary savagery attacked a procession of mourners
who were carrying the casket of a seventeen-year-old Sephardic 6
boy who had been stabbed to death by Arabs. Old men, women
and children were beaten up indiscriminately .? The city was
swarming with fellaheen and Bedouins armed with clubs, knives
and guns and they needed no further invitation . Like a flood
of death they broke loose over the city with the old cry : "Al
daula Maana !" (The Government is with us.)
In Jerusalem the police watched the riots start with several
hundred screaming cutthroats brandishing their weapons and
shouting for Jewish blood, without making the slightest effort to
stop them. One mob proceeded from the Mosque to the Nablus
Gate for an attack on the Jewish Quarter of Meah Shearim .
Six mounted policemen went with them, watching the proceedings
with interest . In the Georgian Quarter of Jerusalem whole
families were slaughtered by these howling `patriots .' Violation,
murder and pillage took place while British officials stood on the
balcony of the nearby Government House - heard the screaming
and the shots - and did nothing.
For eight days the country was given over to an orgy of violence.
Far from declaring martial law the moment these outbreaks
occurred, no attempt was made to disarm the invaders .
Even after the massacres began the police did not use their firearms,
under "orders from headquarters ." 8 The Acting High
Commissioner, Luke, cynically informed an anxious Jewish delegation
begging for help, that he had "given orders not to
Jewish youths responded with hidden arms and clubs in the
desperate work of self-defense. A group of visiting Oxford
students did what they could to redeem the good name of England
by ranging themselves on the side of the defenders and
fighting with chivalric courage . On August 24, Luke decided
to disarm all Jewish special constables in response to a request of
the Mufti." The possession of arms by the Jews was everywhere
and at all times illegal . Jews were sentenced to long
prison terms for even owning a dagger, standard Bedouin equipment.
Those defending themselves were arrested and charged
with murder .
A typical incident took place in the village of Jabniel where
troops were finally dispatched in response to the frantic appeals
of the villagers for help . Their first act on arrival was to arrest
ten men in the village found in possession of arms . To what
lengths the Administration was willing to go in immobilizing the
Jewish self-defense is shown in the case of the Jewish police constable,
Hinkis, sentenced to death for `murdering' one of the
attacking hoodlums . No wonder the Hebrew newspaper Davar
asked in despair : "Is there a law which compels our men to deliver
their lives and the lives of their children to massacre, their
daughters to rape, their property to plunder ? What theory
and what kind of regime is it that demands such things from
men ?"
Horrible days of nightmare followed for the Jewish colonies,
who found themselves beleaguered by veritable armies of
screaming savages . The colony at Ekron sent a delegation to
the British officer stationed at Naaneh . He received them brutally
and refused to offer any advice as to how the Jews were to
defend their lives and property . Asked what was to be done
with the cattle, he said, "put them in the synagogue ." And
when the Jewish physician of Ekron pressed him for a sensible
answer, he boxed his ears. Shaken by this ruffian attitude the
colonists decided to evacuate their homes, and went down to the
railroad station . At four in the afternoon, the same officer appeared
with a guard and demanded all the weapons in the
place .1 "
It was at Hebron and Safed that the worst slaughters took
place . At the former town the British officer in charge was a
man named Cafferata. To understand the type of men the
Mandatory placed in charge of the Jewish National Home, it is
merely necessary to know that Cafferata was an intimate of the
Princess Kerachi, one of the moving spirits in the anti-Semitic
Internationale then taking form in Europe . Openly warned,
the Jews at Hebron had appealed day by day to the Government
for protection, and had been `eased' away. During the
horrible massacre that finally took place, Cafferata stood calmly
by, eying the awful scene as if it were some kind of theatrical
tableau. Witnesses were unanimous in reporting that even a
warning, or a few shots in the air, would have dispersed the mob.
The attackers stormed the houses, and sliced their occupants to
ribbons. Everything worth stealing was carried off . The rest
was soaked in stolen gasoline and set on fire. If it had not been
for some friendly Arab families, not a single Jewish soul in
Hebron would have remained alive . After this bestial orgy had
gone on for some hours, the mob was commanded to scatter .
The police, says an eye-witness, then "shot into the air, and at
once the street was empty ." 11
Hebron was only a carbon copy of terrible events taking
place all over this stricken land . At Safed, after the same looting
and slaughter, the Jewish quarter was set on fire . A sickened
onlooker described its appearance as ghastly - as if guns
had shot it to pieces .12 It was not until the burning petroleum
was turning it into a crackling furnace, that the Chief of Police
finally gave orders to his men to shoot with blank cartridges .
This "stopped the massacre immediately, but not the pillage ." 13
Refugees from Hebron and other places filled the schools and
hospitals . The Government did not even deem it necessary to
furnish mattresses and foodstuffs, and the Jewish relief organizations
were not adequate to the misery ." At Hebron the
wounded were herded under horrible conditions at the police
stations, without medical aid or water . According to a survivor,
Zwi Greenberg, "the Governor only wanted us to wire
'Hebron all right ."'
Whatever interpretation one might place on the role of the
Government in this crazy melange of revenge, its actions following
the riots can hardly be described as anything less than
contemptible. Its press releases set a new high in official men128
dacity and ill-concealed dislike for the stricken victims themselves.
In its reports the attacker is classed with the attacked,
the criminal with the innocent, even though not a single case existed
of Jewish assault on an Arab quarter or of Jewish looting .
Following its usual technique, all Jewish newspapers were suppressed
; while Arab publications with open brazenness proclaimed
Arab guilt and aggression, as if victors in some medieval
holy war. Some picture of the utter depths this bias reached
can be gained from the notice issued by the Administration that
it "deprecated any mention of the Arabs having mutilated their
victims." To this Duff exclaims : "They had not mutilated
them - they had merely hacked them to pieces ." 15
Since the days of the Crusaders no such massacre of Jews in
Palestine had occurred . Six colonies had been totally destroyed .
The property loss was incalculable . In the blackened rooms of
what were once their homes lay the mangled bodies of hundreds
of innocent creatures who had come, eager-eyed, to this country
to build a new life for themselves . The wounded and maimed
were everywhere . Were it not for the miracle that the Arabs attacked
in broad daylight instead of night, giving the Jewish selfdefense
an opportunity to organize, the Jewish Yishub * would
have been wiped off the map of the Near East.

All witnesses agree that the uprising was neither spontaneous
nor unforeseen . As in the previous pogroms, evidence of careful
preparation was plainly written . Setting the general tone of
comment, the correspondent for Alif Beh, great Arab newspaper
of Damascus, wrote "that the uprising was the result of
British intrigue . . . The English were looking for an excuse to
reject the demands of the Jewish Agency to participate in the
administration of the country, and encouraged the Arabs to
teach the Jews a lesson ." Lawrence, supposed to know the
Arab better than any living Englishman, stated that "if you had
four hundred decent British policemen in Palestine there would
Hebrew name for the Jewish Community .
have been no trouble for the Jews there ." 16 The venerable
Hindu poet, Rabindranath Tagore, urging a united fight on England
by all the oppressed races, charged her with "seeking to
perpetuate a state of war between the Arabs and the Jews ." 17
The Frankfurter Zeitung accused London of seeking to "prove
through recurrent struggles between Jews and Arabs that England
must stay forever in Palestine ." 18 Adding its voice to the
uproar, the League's Mandates Commission lashed out at the
British Government, virtually accusing it of sabotaging the Jewish
National Home.19
Everywhere it was admitted that the mob, justified or not,
had acquired the belief that the Administration was on their
side. Among other incidents, when some Arabs were placed in
custody for their part in the Hebron massacre, they exclaimed
in righteous indignation : "How is this ? Weren't we told that
the English are with us against the Jews ; and now the soldiers
take us prisoners !" 20
In a paroxysm of revulsion Palestine Jewry spit out the gag
that had smothered its voice and directly fastened responsibility
on the Administration for the riots. In a grim Protest Memorandum
to the High Commissioner signed by the whole Jewish
community, no words were minced in calling blunt attention
to "officers of the Government whose responsibility for these
events is beyond doubt. . ." 21 The Memorial o f the Jews of
Hebron submitted to the High Commissioner "in the name of
sixty-five slaughtered, eighty-five wounded, and many orphans
and widows, and in the name of the remnants of the plundered
and the tortured," pathetically "accuses the Government, which
did not fulfill its duty . . . the Commander Cafferata, who deprived
us o f the means o f appealing for help and defense, betrayed
us with empty promises, and gave the murderers and robbers
their opportunity ; the Police, which . . . behaved with
contemptible baseness ; and the Emissaries of the Mufti and the
Moslem Council . . . who proclaimed the massacre ."
The drums of horrified protest now rolled with increasing
tempo all over the world . The Administration had overplayed
its hand again. Realizing its error it was doing its best to cover
up, and once again the Zionists were presented with a brilliant
opportunity for reversing the tables .
Chancellor himself, noting which way the wind blew, repudiated
the entire affair in these blasting words : "I have just learned
with horror of the atrocious acts committed by bodies of ruthless
and bloodthirsty evil-doers, savage murders perpetrated on
defenseless members of the Jewish population regardless of sex,
accompanied . . . by acts of unspeakable savagery, of the burning
of farms and houses in town and country and of the looting
and destruction of property . These crimes have brought upon
their authors the execration of all civilized people throughout
the world ." The Government was in full retreat all along the
line, casting anxious glances at the effect on America where vital
economic interests were involved, and at Egypt, Ireland and
India, where local patriots were utilizing the occasion to justify
their own hatred for the foreign usurper .
The Zionists, however, were hardly political-minded enough
to understand their opportunity . They considered that the Jews
had no strength and that their strategy must continue to be one
of wheedling for slight gains . Catching its breath, the Government
placated them with soft words, condemned its minions in
Palestine and promised redress . The Zionists sat down to wait
while various `Commissions' were sent down from London to investigate.
Having held the business-end of a live wire so long the Zionists
should have been prepared for shocks . But when the `Commissions'
after long delays brought in pro-Arab reports, they
stared in bewildered amazement. They looked on still more unbelievingly
when practically everyone accused of having a hand
in the riots was promoted . Cafferata, the evil genius of Hebron,
was decorated for `heroism.' Luke was rewarded for his efforts
by being made Governor of Malta, a caustic commentator remarking
that his appointment could do no harm since trouble
had already started there.
Chancellor's "bloodthirsty evil-doers" all got off with nominal
sentences. The highest term any of the Hebron murderers
received was eighteen months . At no time were more than the
1 3 1
most farcical efforts made at conviction . Characteristic of the
style in which this business was handled was the case of a fellah
who had killed the two young sons of a woman named Fruma
Charkel by dashing their brains out . He had known the family
for years, and had only laughed at the mother's plea for mercy
while the little boys were being battered to death . With her
surviving son she appeared against him, as did the invalid father
and several other eye-witnesses to the attack, including the revered
Rabbi Epstein . Despite this weight of testimony the
court finally freed the Arab, finding "insufficient evidence ." 22
Even more ribald were the `awards and amends' which the
Government had contritely promised the riot victims, and
which were finally doled out after an interminable wait. Here
are some of the `compensation awards,' selected at random
Rabbi Hassoun, whose house at Hebron had been destroyed and
plundered, with a claimed damage of £ 3000, received £ i i . i os.
The Jewish Community of Hebron, with a loss of £ 2000 including
the destruction of its synagogue, asylum and other communal
institutions, was paid k54. Asher Karlinsky, whose
house at Hebron was completely gutted, received i 4s . M.
Klenger of Safed, with a loss estimated at £ i i,ooo, came off
somewhat better with an award of 040 ; while a sister of
Rabbi Dvoretz of Hebron, who had her hand cut off and her
home reduced to a shambles, was given the sum of f2. I OS' . In
nice contrast, Hassan Albudeiri, an Arab lawyer of Jerusalem,
who had some "personal belongings" burned, was awarded
£ 348.
Beyond muttering at length on "the shameful attitude of the
Government," the Jews took it like a dose of castor oil, which
having once been poured down their throats, admitted of no
further argument . But a still more fantastic occurrence, which
even this patient people could not stomach, arose when the
Arabs at Hebron, claiming `prescription rights,' commenced to
plough and plant the land abandoned by the Hebron Jews in
their flight. They, moreover, declined to pay debts owing to
Jewish creditors, asserting them to be non-existent under the
Palestine law which provides that the lender must appear in per132
son to swear that the borrower received the money . The lenders
had, however, all been massacred by the borrowers . There
seemed to be nothing in the law which provided for such a situation,
leading the newspaper Doar Hayom to ask in outraged
fury whether it was the policy of the Government "to have the
Hebron murderers inherit the money of their victims ." 23
However, like all abominations, these things began to lose
their edge as time went on and were soon half-buried in the
past. In many of the villages eternal peace was declared between
Arab and Jew, to the accompaniment of colorful oriental
festivities and the usual slaughter of a sheep to wipe out the
blood feud.

But it was only a matter of a few months before the British-
Moslem combination was up to its old tricks of provocation . A
fair illustration is the case of technical school student Zilbaski,
who was arrested in April 1930 for chasing Arab hoodlums who
had been stoning worshipers at the Wailing Wall . Fined seven
shillings he was warned, in essence, not to interfere with the
pleasures of Arabs .
Headed by men whose `broad Socialist principles' had more
than once declared themselves flatly in favor of the Jewish
Homeland, the Labour Party sat firmly entrenched in power in
England. Lord Passfield, ne Sidney Webb, Marxist radical, was
Colonial Secretary. Arthur Henderson, who had drawn up a
handsome resolution in 1917 approving the Zionists' right "to
form a Free State under International Agreement, where the
Jewish people may return and work out their own salvation
without interference by those of alien race or religion," was the
power behind the throne . Perched directly in the saddle was
J. Ramsay MacDonald, Prime Minister and a self-announced
Zionist who had asserted after visiting the Near East in 1922
"The Arab population do not and cannot use or develop the resources
of Palestine . . . The country is undeveloped and underpopulated."
During pre-war days the Socialist Internationale had been
openly hostile to Zionism of any brand, recognizing in fine that
a Zionist proletariat was a contradiction in terms, a force devoted
incongruously both to separatist and merging principles .
Shifting its position after the War, Labor Zionism was adopted
as part of the international politics of the Socialist world . A Socialist
Pro-Palestine Committee was created to place the mighty
strength of the movement behind Zionism . Among the most
wordy in their enthusiasm for this fabulous commission were
the English members, MacDonald, Landsbury, and others, who
were later to disembowel their little Jewish brother with their
left hand while they embraced him with their right.24
These were the men, self-announced exponents of the coming
brotherhood, who held the destinies of the Jewish experiment in
their fingers . Confident of the outcome the Zionists settled
back complacently to await the result of London's 'investigations.'
First to report was the Shaw Commission, releasing its
findings in the Spring of 1930 . The Zionists were stunned . It
was evident that the `Comrades' in Downing Street had let them
down pretty sadly . The Shaw report was outspokenly anti-
Jewish . Charged only with investigating responsibility for the
riots, it had gone far afield, conducting a probe altogether outside
its sphere of reference ; creating a most clever confusion of
issues, and engagingly shunting off the main purpose of the investigation
to the background .
It included among the immediate causes of the outbreak,
the enlargement of the Jewish Agency, though it is doubtful
whether any of the murderers at Hebron and Safed, where half
of the Jewish victims were killed, ever heard of the Jewish
Agency or its enlargement . It touched deftly on the cupidity of
the Jews, and blamed the Zionists for bringing in too many
potential Bolsheviks into the country . It held the primary cause
of the riots to be, in essence, the crafty way in which the Zionists
had taken advantage of the innocent Arabs, who were being
deprived of soil and sustenance . Thus was created the 'landless
Arab' fiction which was to serve the Government of Palestine
as a convenient symbol for many years . In a statement, bizarre
even in this land of extravaganza, it found an extenuating circumstance
for the outbreak in that it was "not premeditated ."
The Grand Mufti, a self-convicted perjurer whose guiltlessness
was best proven when he referred the Commission to The Protocols
o f the Elders o f Zion,* was given an adept whitewashing .
The Commission made no mention of the source or prevalence
of arms in Palestine, and failed to investigate the extent of the
looting by Arabs with which the riots were accompanied and
the importance of this looting as an incentive for the disturbances.
It endorsed Luke's action in disarming the Jews and refusing to
fire on the mobs. It omitted to report that all the special Jew
ish constables had been publicly paraded and disarmed at the demand
of the Arabs. While stating that all the special constables
were of British nationality, it is nowhere mentioned that a large
proportion of those disarmed because they were Jews were exservicemen
o f the British Army, many o f whom had held the
King's Commission .
Only two short years before, the Government of Palestine
had published the fact that "the country suffers from a lack of
population - it is under-cultivated and needs capital ." 25 But
the Commission now found that Palestine was overcrowded ;
there were too many people and not enough land to go around .
Recommended in solution was the curtailment of Jewish immigration
and land purchase, and a Government subsidy to buy
up acreage which was to be handed scot-free to the 'landless
Arabs' wherever these worthies could be found . Completely
challenging Jewish position in Palestine, the Arabs were to be
given `proportionate equality,' a phrase which Hopkin Morris,
one of the Commissioners, defined to mean that "not another
Jewish immigrant can be admitted to Palestine ." Just how uncorrupted
these recommendations might be can be easily estimated
from Hopkin Morris' acknowledgment in Commons, not
more than six months later, that "the Jews are perfectly right -
what was promised to them meant a Jewish State ." (November
1 7, 1 930.)
Another member of the Commission, Lord Snell, turned in a
* See note 6, page 542 .
1 35
minority report fairly bristling with contempt for the findings
of his colleagues. He accuses the Administration of encouraging
the Arabs "to believe that they have suffered a great wrong
and that the immigrant Jew constitutes a permanent menace to
their livelihood and future," despite the plain fact that "Jewish
activities have increased the prosperity of Palestine and raised
the standard of life of the Arab worker." Far from finding the
country overcrowded, he notes that "wide tracts are lying
waste" which should be made available to the Jews .
Time has shown conclusively that the findings of the Shaw
Commission, as well as those of the bodies which followed in
its train, were so wrong as to seem wilfully ridiculous. Each
one of these Commissions proved itself more hostile than its
predecessor, making recommendations so opposed to the selfevident
facts as to lead one to believe that the substance of their
findings must have been dictated in advance . This presumption
is at least indicated, since each of these bodies appeared to
operate on a preconceived plan aimed at erecting a structure of
precedent which was to serve as authority for future commissions,
thus creating a new body of apparent facts to substitute
for the actual facts .
The Zionists had been mercilessly jobbed . They choked and
spluttered in amazed exasperation. The incredible posing of
'landless Arabs' in a country suffering from a drastic shortage of
workers, was past understanding . So, too, was the Commission's
demand that Jewish capitalists be forced to put all Arab unemployed
to work before another Jew could come in, which meant
literally the employment of all the natives of Northeast Africa
and Arabia (since these outsiders were already flowing into the
country in a steady stream) .
Lloyd George, coming to the point where the Shaw Report
declared that there was "no more room" in Palestine, termed
the learned labors of Britain's Commissioners "mischievous nonsense."
He roared : "The report made for the Government,
of which I was the head in 1q i q, by competent and experienced
engineers, stated that by well-planned schemes of irrigation one
million acres could be added to the cultivable area of Palestine,
and that by this plan sixteen persons could be maintained for
every one there now." 26
Whitehall had made provision for the howl that went up
from distracted Jewry . They had another rabbit ready to be
pulled out of the hat, in the shape of a new Commission which
was to investigate the investigations of the previous Commission .
The trick was something like that of the catch-penny auctioneer,
who glibly makes good to his spluttering victim by selling him
another object more worthless than the first, accepting the parcel
complained of in part payment . This is the kind of business
that experienced British dealers in international legerdemain
were now practicing on the naive, frightened Zionists.
The new Commission, headed by Sir John Hope-Simpson '27
was replete with a staff of `experts.' Sir John had had a good
deal of experience in the mass movement of emigre populations .
He had gained his knowledge of the refugee problem as Vicepresident
of the Refugee Settlements Commission (which had
conducted the mass transplantation of 1,300,000 Asiatic Greeks)
in Athens from 1926 to 1930. He therefore seemed to be
an ideal man by both understanding and experience for this
On November zo, 193o, Hope-Simpson's report was published
by the Government simultaneously with a Cabinet decision
acting upon it . 28 With the lightning stroke of an expert
matador the Zionist development in Palestine had now been
handed the coup de grace . The great Jewish experiment was
now all but officially dead .
In releasing both the Cabinet's White Paper and Hope-
Simpson's report so precipitously, both precedent and practice
were coolly ignored. Under time-sanctioned Colonial usage,
the Zionists would normally, as party to the matter, have been
allowed to study the Report and make the usual observations
and criticisms before it was actually put into effect .
Hope-Simpson's Report consisted of a symposium of oblique
1 37
attacks against the Jews . It embodied all the anti-Semitic conceptions
of its day : the professed inability of native races to
compete with superior Jewish ability and cunning, the omnivorous
greed of the `rich' Jew for further gain . It carried a
de facto recommendation for numerus clausus in all directions,
as the only method of keeping these objectionable Jewish attributes
within reasonable bounds. As Sir John puts it, "it is the
Government's duty under the Mandate to see to it that the Arab
position is not prejudiced by Jewish immigration ." The Commissioner
decries the purchase of land by Jews and suggests that
they be prohibited by law from buying more . The unfortunate
Arab had to be protected against the Hebrew who was crawling
over his land like a plague . This, clothed in the niceties of diplomatic
language, was the substance of Hope-Simpson's findings .
To support them he brought up an array of figures and facts,
which had they been accurate, would have been imposing.
Hope-Simpson went so far as to compute (with a figure inferring
mathematical precision) that 29 .4% of the Arab rural
population was landless, leaving in the reader's mind a vague impression
that it was owing to Jewish settlement activities that
landlessness had reached such alarming proportions . With nice
precision, leading to the patent inference that it is the result of
an exact survey, he gives the area of cultivable land as 6,544,00c?
dunams. He makes no effort to explain the astounding difference
between this estimate and the figure of 11 ,ooo,ooo dunams
supplied by the Director of Lands of the Palestine Government
to the Shaw Commission ; or the figure of i z, z 3 3,000 dunams
given by the Johnson-Crosbie Report on the position of agriculturists
in Palestine, which had appeared shortly before . Later
it was discovered that the method investigator Hope-Simpson
used to arrive at this precise computation was to send up a man
in an airplane, who decided what land was or was not cultivable.
This original system, wholly unique in the history of
agronomy, was able to establish in a few weeks that the official
Government figures, accepted as correct for years, were ioo%
Operating on figures which events were also to show unsup138
ported by factual evidence, Hope-Simpson discovered that a
fellah family needs 130 dunams of land, 28a whereas the 61,4o8 fellah
families actually had only go dunams per family ; leading
ipso facto to the only possible conclusion, that the land was already
overcrowded and immediately faced with a pressing problem
of Arab landlessness .29 Everywhere he uses the words
'landless' and `tenant' indiscriminately and interchangeably, leading
one to wonder whether the great tenant-farmer class of
England itself should not, on the same score, also be considered
Bespeaking the common distaste and distrust for Jews, Hope-
Simpson states with ominous reserve : "The Federation of Jewish
Labour continues to carry out, at the expense of World
Jewry, a social and economic experiment of great interest but
of questionable value . The Jewish Agency either approves of
this experiment or is impotent to suppress it." (Even more explicit
in its left-handed charge that the Jews were introducing
Bolshevism into Palestine, was the White Paper based on Hope-
Simpson's Report, issued at the same time .) With a queer, newfound
type of ethics, Sir John proclaims in regard to the settlements
which were being subsidized by the Jewish National
Fund, that "it is undesirable from the point of view of ordinary
morality that colonists should be allowed to benefit by the large
expenditure which has been made for their settlement, and yet to
escape payment of the amount spent upon them . . ."
In addition to these generalities, several practical measures
are included in the Hope-Simpson Report . One was the demand
that irrigation work of any kind be virtually prohibited 30
(which would put an absolute stop to Jewish irrigation development)
; and another that the Government buy land out of the
public funds, i.e., with Jewish money, to hand over to all Arabs
who could prove they were landless . Jews were to be virtually
restricted to the cities. Not even in Czarist Russia had anyone
ever suggested a scheme as cruel and unfair as this .
Hope-Simpson, who had been sent to the Holy Land under
instructions to investigate the slaughter, looting and rapine perpetrated
on Jewish colonists, like his predecessors and successors,
had left his field of reference far behind and nowhere now to be
seen. In the meanwhile, to leave a convenient retreat in case
anything went wrong, still another `Commission,' headed by
Lewis French, retired officer of the Indian Service, was puttering
away in Jerusalem .
Lord Passfield, smug dean of English social reform theoreticians,
was not long in assimilating the technique of the Colonial
Office when he took over the portfolio of Colonial Minister in
the Labour Cabinet. A radical whose expressed admiration of
Soviet method and theory remained constant, he also observed
the Bolshevik inconsistency toward the Jew : he did not concede
that they had the right to be Zionists . He frankly admitted
that he was opposed to the Histadruth (The Jewish
Federation of Labor) . He did not approve of the type the
Histadruth was bringing into the country, stating openly that
he preferred the old type of Palestinian immigrant of before the
War, the `pious' Jew who went there to die . He emphasized
that since he was a Socialist, he was not opposed to the new immigrants
because they were Socialists and trade unionists, "but
because they were Zionists ." 31
He was nasty to Jews wherever a convenient opportunity
arose, and pursued the Zionists with all the hatred a zealot holds
for infidels . Asked in I93o by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency
for a New Year's message to Jewry, he curtly refused . Before
he took the bull by the horns to issue his `White Paper,' he had
attempted to push through an ordinance ghettoizing Palestine
Jewry in the cities, frustrated only by an energetic fight on the
part of the Jewish Agency .
Despite all this, the Jewish Socialists continued to vocalize
their undying `solidarity' with Comrade Webb, the fellow-
Marxist. Commenting on a perfectly venal statement Passfield
had just issued, the influential Socialist New York Jewish Forward
stated editorially on July 9, I93o that "the whole document
breathes a warm desire to convince the Jewish world of
the full friendship toward Jews and toward the Jewish work in
Palestine felt by the Labor-Government . . . Comrade Webb
seeks to throw a new light upon certain happenings and show
that these have been misinterpreted by the Jews ." The wiser
conservative daily Ha'aretz points out that the Labour Government
of England has lent itself whole hog "to the Colonial office's
conspiracy to liquidate Zionism." The `conspiracy' to
which Ha'aretz alludes had been in preparation so long that
nothing short of a miracle could head it off . On November
20, 1930, Officialdom deemed that the sapping operation had
been completed . Comrade Webb himself, with pious words of
explanation,_ touched off the fuse.
The Zionists abruptly awoke to the realization that they had
built on sand ; that it was the end of them and their dreams of
salvation, their fund collecting, their stereotyped statement that
"our relations with the Mandatory are satisfactory ."
All the distortions, the veiled anti-Jewish hostility of the
Hope-Simpson Report, were in the White Paper . Benignly it
asserts that since there are only 6,5oo,ooo dunams available, there
is not enough for the Arabs, who require 8,ooo,ooo ; therefore
land purchases in future would be permitted "only if they do not
interfere with the Government's plans for development," an
artful method of saying that Jews could no longer settle on the
soil. To make the matter air-tight it sets up the principle that
land with tenants on it cannot in future be sold - in effect freezing
the vast stretches held by great Levantine landlords, mostly
emigres living with their retinues in Cairo and Paris .
The, outcome of this reasoning was the recommendation for
complete stoppage of immigration "in view of the responsibility
under the Mandate" and of the "close relationship of immigration
and the land development policy ." In keeping with the
same argument it holds that the older type of Jewish immigration
benefited the Arabs, whereas "The Zionists' contentions regarding
the benefits which their colonization work has bestowed
upon the Arabs has been proven . . . fallacious ."
Massing a frontal attack on the stupefied Jewish Agency, Socialist
Passfield cries that a "modus vivendi" must "be established
between the Government and the Jewish Agency regarding
their respective functions, and full account must be taken of the
influence in policy exerted by the General Federation of Jewish
Labor over the Jewish Agency. . . It is necessary to take
into account the part played by the General Federation o f
Jewish Labor . . . [which has] adopted a policy implying the
introduction o f a new social order ." Here we have an astonishing
though not unusual spectacle : the pot calls the kettle black ;
the British Labour Party, speaking as the Government of Great
Britain, sanctimoniously expresses dissatisfaction with its Jewish
comrades for following a line of policy in Palestine identical to
that which the Labour Party itself is committed to in England .
Loading its guns for bear, the Government released at the
same time a statement of policy announcing the realization of
Samuel's pet scheme, the Legislative Council. This maneuver,
which would have handed the country over irrevocably to Arab
politicos, was issued with the remarkable explanation that it
"should be of special benefit to the Arab section of the population."
As a sop to the Jews the White Paper included the usual
verbiage in reference to the Government's good intentions, and
the droll "hope that the White Paper will restore the confidence
of the Jews in the British Government ." This gratuitous bit of
buffoonery was too much for even the compliant Zionist leadership.
With cries of stung anguish it bolted the traces and
started to run amuck .

No comments:

Post a Comment