Thursday, May 14, 2015



Once again the Bureaucrats were to find to their amazement
that they had fallen into a pit of their own digging . The Labourites,
newer to Imperial sleight-of-hand, had been too incautious
- far too obvious in their tactics .
For a few days it appeared to the Jews that this was the end -
that Zionism had been terminated . Jewish idealists who had
fought all their lives for this cause, walked down the streets of
the principal metropolises of Europe, openly weeping .
Then a sudden revulsion struck the body of Jewry . A cry of
`shameful betrayal' arose, and rapidly gathered volume . Vitriolically
the late Lord Melchett challenged the White Paper as
"an act of almost unparalleled ingratitude and treachery . . .
towards a credulous and harassed people who believed they had
found a haven under the broad aegis of the British flag and the
guaranteed word of British statesmen ." The venerable Menachem
Ussishkin, stolid and unimaginative but one of the few
men with common sense in the Zionist leadership, was allowed
to speak his mind. "For thirteen years," he declared, "there
had been falsification . Lord Passfield . . . has spoken the truth .
England does not want us to build up Palestine . All other
statements are diplomacy, or simply lies ." Cut to the quick,
the usually moribund Jewish Agency lambasted Passfield's document
as a crude piece of dishonest writing whose purpose was
"to discredit the Jewish Agency, disparage Jewish achievements
in Palestine, and encourage the ill-disposed elements of the Arab
In America, in France and in Germany, leaders of public opinion
were vying with each other in condemning the unprecedented
treachery of the Labour Government . In America, Congressman
Hamilton Fish Jr . threatened a Government inquiry
into occurrences in Palestine, pointing to the treaty which had
made the United States a legal party to the Mandate . From
South Africa, General Smuts thundered that the promise to the
Jews had "become world law" which "cannot now be varied
unilaterally by the British Government ." David Lloyd George
drily challenged the good faith of the Government by declaring
in Commons : "They dare not try to kill Zionism directly, but
they try to put it in a refrigerator ." The Jews themselves were
now aroused everywhere. In Warsaw fifty thousand paraded,
shouting imprecations against Britain . There was fierce talk of
treating the British to the same retaliation they had suffered at the
hands of the Sinn Fein movement . Far and wide the hue and cry
rose from indignant throats.
In England itself the government of the day was a minority
government and definitely unpopular. All the elder statesmen,
says Sidebotham, were on the Jews' side .32 The leaders of the
Conservative and Liberal parties gleefully seized on the affair as
a mighty club to beat the Labourites over the head with . Loudly
they voiced their incensed feelings and clamored for the repeal
of this disgraceful pronouncement . Mr. Baldwin, Sir Austen
Chamberlain, with Mr. . Amery, in a joint letter complained that
the White Paper "would create in America and elsewhere a feeling
of distrust in British good faith." Such world-famous luminaries
as Lord Hailsham and Sir John Simon announced that
the Passfield document was a flagrant breach of International
Conventions, fouling the honest name of England . Gathering
strength from all quarters, the storm on the Passfield White Paper
rose to whirlwind proportions .
At this point a shrewd, courageous Jewish leadership could
have made an expeditious end to Colonial Office plotting . Fate
had laid in their laps another rare gift of chance - a situation
they could not have improved on if they had artificed it themselves,
with the Bureaucrats caught flat-footed in a position they
could neither defend at home nor abroad .
Until this time in their relations with London the Zionists had
been suppliants . They occasionally remonstrated, complained
and criticized, but never demanded. Whatever they asked, it
was always in the tone of the poor relation asking alms of his
rich kinsman. Now for the first time in London's experience
the exasperated Zionists approached the point of open rebellion .
Weitzman himself, always so submissive to blandishment or
threat, was miraculously transmuted from rabbit to lion . In
unmistakable terms he swore that the Jewish people would
never swallow this outrage, that neither he nor his colleagues
would negotiate with the British Government so long as this
infamous document continued to adorn its archives . He demanded
its unconditional removal before the Zionists would
consent to resume any relations whatsoever with the Mandatory
Power. His words were dynamite . They meant a showdown
fight with quarter neither given nor asked . To top it all he resigned
as President of the World Zionist Organization and announced
that he was calling an immediate session of the Zionist
Congress, which alone could decide what steps were to be taken .
The air fairly crackled when two days later Felix Warburg,
head of the Jewish Agency, also resigned, charging that Passfield
had deliberately tricked him in the behind-the-scenes negotiations,
making him "the innocent vehicle of misstatements to
his colleagues of the Jewish Agency." In a rousing attack in
which the roiled banker stepped completely out of character, he
smote the British hip and thigh, making it plain that no reliance
whatsoever could be placed on the word of Passfield or the
Government he represented, and that further relations with
them were therefore hopeless .
Painfully alive to the situation, the Labour Government saw in
consternation that the affair was assuming the proportions of a
cause celebre ; and that its political opponents were hoping it
would prove the pole to tumble it from power . Prominent
Englishmen, convinced that Britain's good name had been tarnished,
were mercilessly criticizing the reports of the `Commissions'
as only meant to whitewash the criminal culpability of
Palestine officials . Lloyd George, still a powerful figure, had
stentoriously warned his nation : "We shall not reconcile the
Arabs, but we shall alienate an even more powerful race, and,
what is worse, British honour will be sullied ." The influential
London Times asserted flatly that the nation could not afford to
disregard the foul odor this matter had raised in all civilized
quarters, which could end in "a disagreeable political result and
financial consequences that might be even more unpleasant ."
The London Sunday Times, recapitulating in a fiery editorial,
wrote : "First the Jews are massacred in their National Home .
The Inquiry Commission instead of fixing the immediate responsibilities,
strays outside its terms of reference and blames the
Mandate, the Jews and everyone but the murderers . Then the
Government instead of throwing the slovenly and biased report
into the waste paper basket, proceeds to act on two of its recommendations
about immigration and land and finally proceeds to
hang up the Mandate altogether until someone else has reported."
And the Manchester Guardian solemnly declared
"No sooner have we cured the cancer o f Ireland in our internaTHE
tional relations than the indecision o f MacDonald makes a worse
one of Jewry ."
Completely taken aback by the force of the storm that had
gathered, MacDonald offered to do the noble thing. As an
earnest of good intentions he held out the bait of fifteen hundred
immigration certificates .
A circumstance of grave importance now threw its shadow
over the entire proceedings . This was the emergence of the
Socialist labor organizations as a strong factor in Zionist politics.
Although definitely in the minority, they were an important
portion of the support which kept Weitzman in power .
Pressure now began quietly operating on Weitzman from the
Comrades in the Labor groups, who in turn were being highpressured
by the Second Internationale which had finally admitted
them to membership only a few months before . Leon
Blum of France and George Landsbury of England, among
others, members of the Internationale's Pro-Palestine Committee,
appealed to the Comrades in Palestine in the name of the common
solidarity . They asked them to prevent the attempt to
discredit the new Labour Government in Britain, by keeping the
White Paper from coming up for a test vote in Commons . Mac-
Donald promised, if allowed to save his face, that the situation
would be quietly righted. Completely softened up by these assurances,
the Jewish Comrades yielded . Weitzman, relieved of
the torturing conflict with his prior British patriotism, hastily
Friends of Zionism, and bitter opponents of the Labour regime,
waiting eagerly to crush the MacDonald Government by bringing
the affair to a test vote, gulped unbelievingly when they
were informed that Weitzman had given over his golden opportunity
in exchange for a few suave promises and fifteen hundred
immigration certificates. The Zionist Actions Committee
was informed that the scheduled congress, feared by Whitehall
because it was sure to be stormy and wildly anti-British, must be
postponed . Weitzman had reversed himself completely, and
now held out that it was necessary to `negotiate' with the English
Government . His major premise for this recommendation
was little less than astonishing : Zionist finances were not in
good shape-therefore it were better to eschew `politics' and
concentrate on `practical' matters.
On the Actions Committee sat the Revisionists (right-wing
Zionists) and the Mizrachi (religious Zionists) . The Revisionists
raged ; the Mizrachi resigned in protest ; but the Labourites
and Weizmann's personal followers were in the majority, and
they held fast.
In return MacDonald issued a letter to the Zionists, which
later turned out to be meaningless . Known as the MacDonald
Letter, this communication promised a redefinition of the term
'landless Arabs,' now explained to refer only to such Arabs as
could be shown to have been actually displaced from lands they
formerly occupied ; to investigate what State lands could be
made available for close settlement in accordance with Article
VI of the Mandate ; to reestablish the principle of immigration
"according to economic absorptive capacity" and to allow the
Jewish Agency the right to employ all-Jewish labor on works
or undertakings of its own. It also concedes the White Paper's
error in attempting to substitute the words "Jewish inhabitants
of Palestine" for "the Jewish People" as the beneficiaries of the
Mandate, declaring "that the undertaking of the Mandate is an
undertaking to the Jewish People, and not only to the Jewish
population of Palestine ." "In order to remove certain misconceptions
and misunderstandings" about the Passfield document,
MacDonald agrees that the Mandatory's "obligation to facilitate
Jewish immigration and to encourage close settlement by the
Jews on the land, remains a positive obligation of the Mandate."
On February 13, 1931, the MacDonald Letter, approved by
Weitzman for the Zionists, was laid before Parliament, thus becoming
a State paper . Weitzman greeted this Pyrrhic victory
in the manner of a man who was distributing largesse all around .
He said : ". . . Our work will benefit the whole of Palestine,
including the Arabs, who have suffered from the general economic
crisis, as well as the Palestine Administration which for
the first time in many years now suffers from a serious deficit in
its budget."
The Government showed its bad faith immediately . The Letter
was released on Saturday, by tradition a hint to newspapers
not to editorialize . MacDonald had ably retreated out of an
ugly situation - and had conceded little. The London politicians
breathed free again . Among others, their old rivals the
French, planning to make capital out of the incident, now had
to drop it.34
But the fire had been fanned so violently that it still smoldered.
At the following sessions of the Permanent Mandates
Commission, the Mandatory was unmercifully cross-examined .
Hastily, Dr. Drummond Shiels, the English representative, replied
that though there had been a great deal of Jewish bad
feeling before, that had all been happily settled, and a love-feast
had subsequently taken place between the Zionists and the British
Government . The now discredited Hope-Simpson Report
would be ignored and a new set of facts and figures, "ascertained
by a development authority on the spot, will be the basis
of the recommendations regarding the C2,500,000 Palestine development
scheme which the British Government is now framing."
35 Eying his interlocutors with a bland smile, Dr . Shiels
asked the Commission whether, in view of the manner in which
the Premier's Letter was received by Weitzman, he (Shiels)
needed to make any further comments on the controversy which
had proceeded.36
The Zionists were not long in finding out that official Britain
had not lost one shade of its determination to crush their movement.
Whitehall had, however, been taught its lesson and had
learned not to be too obviously precipitate . Afterwards, Officialdom
was always outwardly correct in its sympathy for
Jewish aspirations ; but it continued relentless, in a determined
pyramiding of more or less cautious artifice, seeking to break the
back of an enterprise it now cordially detested .


In July 1931, Lieutenant-General Arthur Grenfell Wauchope
became His Majesty's legate in Palestine, succeeding Chancellor .
A slight man with a delicately chiseled face, Wauchope had
been the General Officer in command of North Ireland . With
him came the Black and Tans who had wreaked so much havoc
in the Emerald Isle. He was unique in not being a product of
the inflexible system of the Colonial Office .
He proved polite, shrewd, aesthetically inclined, even something
of an artist . He was the first High Commissioner whom
the Jews could even remotely understand . Sir Arthur visited
their colonies - and even expressed some interest in what was
going on. He has been known to give substantial personal gifts
to various Jewish institutions which caught his fancy .
The Jews tended to like him . The regulations passed under
his rule, clearly ear-marked as anti-Semitic measures, were usually
excused by them as proceeding from `Mohammedan pressure,'
or from the sheer inability of a gentile administrator to
get to the bottom of Jewish problems . Even when things grew
inexcusably vexatious, they still refused to credit Wauchope
with a deliberate anti-Jewish policy, and compromised by calling
him vacillating and irresolute . Yet from a practical viewpoint,
Wauchope was hardly an improvement over his predecessors.
During his regime the baleful French Report was
released. Under Sir Arthur the disastrous rebellion of 1936 -38
took place ; followed by the inevitable epilogue, a new investigating
`Commission .' This latest body finally recommended a
plan for further partitioning the country, which if it were placed
into effect, would have produced much of the same result intended
by the abortive White Paper of Lord Passfield .
It is undoubtedly true that Wauchope would infinitely have
preferred not to be a party to this epidemic of Jew-baiting had
circumstances allowed . He is, however, a loyal servant of a
system which has come to regard Zionism as dangerous to the
most precious possession of Englishmen, the Empire .
The `expert' Dr . Shiels referred to before the Mandates Commission,
whose findings were to supersede the Hope-Simpson
Report, not only used that report for his precedent, but went it
one better in every acrimonious reference to Jews . A retired
official of the Indian Civil Service, Lewis French had been sent
ostensibly on a great Zionist development scheme, one of the
concessions agreed to by the Labour Government in its private
conversations with Dr. Weitzman .
With the astuteness of long practice, French stalled for time
until the agitation over the Passfield White Paper was well over .
After a year and a half of ostentatious preparation his report was
submitted to the Arab Executive, and to the Zionists, sitting in
camera. The Zionists hit the ceiling - they had been beautifully
jobbed once more .
The report of Mr. . French consisted in the main of a compendium
of generalities against the Jews . He recommended, in
brief, the adoption of a drastic Land Transfer Ordinance completely
prohibiting land purchase by Jews. As if to show French's
comparative reasonableness, his collaborator T . C. Kipching, more
draconian still, appended an auxiliary report asserting that it was
necessary for Jews to give up what land they had already acquired
and migrate from Palestine .
Poor Wauchope, desperately trying to remain something of a
gentleman in this whirlpool of Crown politics, found the crude
dissimulations of this `Report' even more than he could stomach .
He objected . French, fuming at this `traitorous' conduct, threatened
to resign .
In London, the Jewish leaders, realizing how completely they
had been duped, were now hysterically raising the roof . Under
instructions from Downing Street the `expert,' French, grudgingly
agreed to modify his report, and finally resigned, his place
being taken by a subordinate, L . Y. Andrews." Baffling months
of parleying took place in which the worried Zionists were placated
with the usual assurances . These were inevitably passed
on to the rank and file of the movement in Weizmann's conventional
words : "The situation is satisfactory . The Government
desires faithfully to discharge its obligations in the spirit of the
On July 16, 1933 the French Report was finally issued . It
placed land transfers completely under Government control . It
stated bluntly that the hill Arabs required special protection
against Jews. It elaborated tiresomely on the 'landless Arab'
question. It found the Jews rich and predatory, and piously
referred to the `displaced' Arab as "a son of the soil to be replaced
on the land of his country."
The huge `development scheme' now turned out to be a plan
to purchase citrus land for Arab settlement . Arabs were not
only to be given the land without charge, but the cost of buildings,
livestock, etc., was to be supplied by a paternal Government.
No recognition whatever was made of the fact that
Zionism was and remained a poor and struggling movement,
largely the product of the distress of the Jewish masses, of the
economic pressure forcing their migration and resettlement . At
that very moment there were over seven thousand agricultural
workers in the Holy Land employed on private plantations who
had waited from five to ten years for the chance to get a parcel
of land ; and abroad there were more than forty thousand young
men and women trained on the Zionist agricultural farms who
were waiting anxiously for the chance to locate on a bit of Palestine's
brown earth. Landless Jews, if the Government generously
permitted, would have to buy their acres at prohibitive
prices and depend on Jewish philanthropy for the rest .
Frankly interested in perpetuating the country in its undeveloped
state, French considers as `cultivated land,' areas "on
which a few score of half-starved Bedu families are at present
grazing goats and cutting reed-grass," to use his own description.
The returns of the latter `industry' have been estimated
at three to five pence per dunam per year . In regard to the
marshy Huleh area, a malarial swamp which the Jews were seeking
official permission to drain, French agreed that "settled as
Government tenants, a leavening of Jewish colonists in this tract
would tend to an acceleration of the desired development after
the marshes have been drained ." The brazenness of this observation
is probably unparalleled : the Jews are to buy the swamp,
pay for draining it, and will then be permitted to supply `a leavening'
of Government tenants in its precincts. The Arabs are
1 5 1
to get the balance without cost. Jewish settlement on the land no
longer appears as one of the primary purposes of the Mandate,
let alone a positive obligation of the Government . It is now
merely to serve as a device, to be applied in small doses only, for
the stimulation and enlightenment of Arab agriculturists .
The French Report proposed legislation of an advanced type
scarcely conceivable outside of Russia . It sought to create a
body of peasants permanently attached to the soil and denied
freedom of movement, a scheme which the indignant Jewish
Agency describes as "an attempt to reestablish the medieval institution
of Glebae Adscriptae." 38 The directness of this subterfuge
is shown in French's recommendation that occupancy
rights be dated as of two years back, "notwithstanding that the
holding may have been since that date let to some other persons,
or may have been left unlet ." The new owner or lessee is left
without remedy or compensation, though he may have incurred
great expense in moving on the land and in improving it . This
provision, granting prescriptive rights to people who may have
left the soil, disregarding the rights of others who may have purchased
or obtained leases meanwhile, is only understandable in
light of the fact that the new holders were invariably Jews .
Another clause of this document practically fixes maximum
rentals in perpetuity, so that more attractive tenant offers to landlords
could not be made . Incensed, the Jewish Agency screwed
up its courage to declare that the purpose "of the proposed clause
is to perpetuate uneconomic use of the land and obstruct development."
In practice, acceptance of this Report would make the establishment
of new Jewish colonies a complete impossibility . The
Jews were to be put in a straight-jacket as they were in the
Russian Pale, forever condemned to be city dwellers and petty
Thus turned out the great `Palestine Development Scheme'
with which Shiels had cajoled the League's Mandates Commission
almost two years before .



An important differentiation must be made between the Jewish
community in Palestine and the World Zionist Group which
officially has the business of repatriation in hand . The community
in Palestine is a nation in embryo, pulsating with new
life. In striking contrast, the Zionist Organization of the World
consists of a loosely knit group of autonomous federations, one
for each country . Any Jew may become a voting member
by the simple procedure of purchasing a shekel (at a cost of
about 50¢), which constitutes his token of membership . The
very circumstances which separate Zionism from the everyday
affairs of life in the various countries of the Diaspora, lend
an air of unreality and philanthropy to the movement . This
nebulousness is amply reflected in the deliberations of its various
branches, and in the vitiated case presented by its spokesmen
in Geneva and London .
Jews have a reputation for expert organizing ability and for
shrewd reasoning, but none of these qualities are evident in the
structure of the Zionist federations . Their business is handled
in the main by magnificent orators whose political conceptions
are limited to the viewpoint of platform lecturers ; and their sessions
are apt to result in mere acrimonious debates between men
who are more scholarly than practical. The fervent support of
many millions of Jews whose only hope lies in Zion has given
this organization infinite possibilities for potency and strength ;
but this latent power has been almost completely wasted by a
group of pedantic spokesmen who obstinately regard all creation
as if it could be cut to the pattern of a book . The principal concern
of the American Zionist Organization, for example, is to raise
money for the upkeep of its considerable staff of officeholders,
plus the question of whether a Rabbi Goldman is to be president
or a Rabbi Goldstein is to be president . At a four day convention
held in Providence, in July 1936, during the worst crisis
that Jewry has experienced in five hundred years, the sum total
of its labors was the announcement of a campaign to plant 100,000
trees in the Holy Land, and a resolution voicing confidence in
the Zionist President, Weitzman .
The Zionists maintain a London Executive and a Palestine
Executive who mainly specialize in sending learned memoranda
to the British Government and the League of Nations . With
these executive bodies is affiliated still another politically impotent
appendage, the Jewish Agency . Article IV of the Mandate
solemnly provides that the Jewish Agency "shall be recognized
as a public body for the purpose of advising and cooperating
with the Administration of Palestine in such economic, social
and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish
National Home." On paper it has all the prerogatives of a
chartered colonizing body, instructed to "take steps in consultation
with His Britannic Majesty's Government to secure the cooperation
of all Jews who are willing to assist in the establishment
of the National Home ." The British have, however, reduced its
powers to a collective zero. Caught in the same web of strange
infatuation which has ruled Zionism's dominant leaders, the
Agency, too, relegates politics to the background as unimportant
child's-play . The present Jewish Agency is the result of long
negotiations conducted by Weitzman with certain wealthy non-
Zionists, in the hope of inducting the moneybags of the latter into
an enlarged circuit of operations .' The inclusion of non-Zionists
in this vitally important body was the outcome of the ruinous conception
that economic and cultural interests were the sole levers
capable of raising the Jewish edifice in Palestine . The moneybags,
like moneybags the world over, proved obstinate and hardheaded.
They were willing to offer plenty of sage advice but
kept their checkbooks under lock and key . Outside of their
accustomed spheres these men proved so inept as to practically
paralyze the Jewish Agency as a political instrument .
From a non-political viewpoint the Jewish Agency has been
extremely successful. It is conscientious, thorough and efficient,
maintains fine statistical and research units, and is usually better
informed regarding economic trends and possibilities than are the
corresponding agencies of the British Administration .
The identical differences of opinion and conflicts of ideology
which are shaking the foundations of society everywhere, are
also evident throughout Zionist ranks . The differences between
Zionist factions are sharp, accentuated by the unhealthy position
the Jew occupies in relation to his environment in Europe . The
same pressures which are creating social conflicts in all countries,
are seen by this doubly harassed people through a magnifying glass .
These irreconcilable groups fall into the usual two camps .
The first, interpreting history in terms of applied Marxian economics,
considers that the course of action lies solely in a Socialist
settlement scheme . What reason, its proponents argue, to
carve out a new unit on the earth's surface if not for the realization
of Socialism . This group, necessarily dualistic, regards all
nationalism with suspicion, and wants a bi-national cooperative
State to include the Arabs . Here are to be found the Zionist
Labor parties, of various degrees of red and pink, known as the
Poale Zion and the Left Poale Zion . They have surrounded
themselves with the same Marxist slogans which proved so hopelessly
inadequate in Germany and Austria . Their literature talks
provocatively of the struggling Palestine industrialists as "an aggressive
capitalist class which strives . . . to create profits out of
the sweat and blood of the `lower classes ."'
They make a considerable effort to instruct their `Arab comrades'
in the mechanics of class-struggle . It is they who have
taught the Arabs the catch-phrases and strike technique which
has been used so successfully against the Jewish National Home ;
and invariably it was these same favored Arabs who led in the
attacks against the Jews themselves .l8 The kind of irresponsible
demagoguery frightened British imperialists were greeted
with can be seen in the deliberations of the First Workers World
Congress. Here the radical leader, Joseph Sprinzak, stated that
participation of Jewish Labor in the Zionist Organization did not
mean a coalition with the bourgeoisie, but "only with the Jewish
workers," a declaration bettered by the Left Poale Zion who asserted
that any cooperation with the Zionist bourgeoisie was
"treason." 2
All the leftist groups possess the traditional Marxist contempt
for religion in any form, and as a result suffer the ineradicable
animosity of the religious elements, who accuse them of trying
to "substitute the religion of Marx" for the fundamental principles
of Judaism .
The opposing camp of Zionist theoreticians suspects what
Herzl also suspected-that if Zionism did not early attain political
control under an assured Jewish majority, all economic
and cultural efforts would finally end in the same ruin which
overwhelmed the Jewish cultural centers in Spain and Lithuania.
They point out that the Laborites tend to be `separatists'
in everything, with their own schools, special theaters,
sports-organizations, and even their own hymn instead of the
Jewish national song, the Hatikvah, thus splitting the weak and
dispersed nation throughout the world as well as its minority in
the Holy Land.
The Nationalists insist on a monist course of action aimed
solely at recreating the Jewish State, emphasizing that in a
modern world the old distinctions between economics and politics
have largely disappeared . They fear that the system of
compromising politics followed by the Labor camp must end
in the doubtful ideal of a Jewish community in an Arab land,
satisfactory to the Marxist mind as long as that ideal is Socialistic.
They assert that during the period of national colonization,
class-struggle is a double misfortune-that it is logically
impossible to call the nation "to unite for the purpose of building
a Fatherland, and simultaneously split and crumble it into
hating and babbling classes. . ." They demand compulsory arbitration
in all labor disputes. In their ranks may be found all
shades of right-wing opinion . Their chief strength lies in
Eastern Europe where they represent the strongest and most
vital hope among the younger Jews. Giving these stifled
youngsters an outlet to their emotions and creative energies,
Jewish nationalism has unquestionably saved them from the
calamity of Communism .
Consisting mainly of Mr. . Jabotinsky's Revisionists, the rightwingers
demand an emphasis on state diplomacy which recognizes
the extent and pressure of the existing Jewish problem,
"perceiving the aim of Zionism to be a complete and final solution
of the Jewish world-problem in all its aspects ." It demands
an orderly mass migration to relieve the intense pressure
which is crushing the Jewish communities in the Diaspora.
This, it asserts vigorously, is a State function requiring the active
intervention of the State Power, as contrasted to the present
desultory efforts provided by private enterprise and charity .
Revisionism also holds uncompromisingly to a demand for
restoration of the stolen area of Trans-Jordan .
Jabotinsky's external policy is founded on the belief that
Zionism is providential for the solution of British problems in
the East, making the Jewish State London's natural ally . He
points out that all British strongholds from India to the Nile are
inhabited by a solid Mohammedan bloc, intrinsically unstable
and hostile to European penetration. Should Palestine remain
Arab the British must at some future date be thrown bodily
out of the Near East . A Jewish Palestine, on the other hand,
located as an island in this grinding Mohammedan sea, would,
notwithstanding the uncertainties of future politics, be forced
to rely on permanent alliance with Great Britain.
Suffering like the other Zionist leaders from an incurable
Anglophilia, Jabotinsky has offered Jewish Legions from Poland
and elsewhere to police Palestine, or the whole near East if required.
In return the Bureaucrats treat both him and his movement
with surly dislike . Jabotinsky himself is prohibited from
setting foot in Palestine .
The Revisionists, however, do not hesitate at times to damn
British policy with refreshing directness . Whitehall, now knowing
how to evaluate their future strength, unquestionably fears
Also moderately right-wing are the orthodox religious Zionists,
the Mizrachi . Its members may be identified by their long
black coats, curly side-locks, and general inoffensive demeanor.
Mizrachi is capable, when aroused, of common sense and unbending
courage, but it is not aroused often . Among the rightwingers
also is the Jewish State Party, a small group to all
intents and purposes identical with Jabotinsky's group in policy .
In the Center, between all these violently contending factions,
lies the General Zionist group, itself split into factions `A' and
`B,' dependent on whether they lean to the right or the left, respectively.
The General Zionists allege to be Liberals and pure
followers of Herzl . From their ranks are drawn Weitzman,
Wise, Ussishkin, Lipsky and most of the other recognized leaders
of the Zionist world movement . In actual practice they invariably
tend toward simple opportunism, leaning toward the policies
of the party holding the deciding vote at Zionist conventions .
Their political philosophy has been marked by continuous compromise,
retreat and hope .
Tied to the fortunes of these struggling factions in Palestine
are two labor organizations who manage to hate each other with
a bitter detestation not surpassed anywhere .
The required sums for running the somewhat complicated
Zionist machinery are raised by a unique method of self-taxation,
and a system of unctuous levying on the rich, called by the
Jews 'schnorring .' So dependent have the mechanics of Zionist
activity become on these necessary contributions that suspicion
may well be entertained that the major policy of the Zionist
Organization has degenerated into a promotion scheme for the
raising of these vital moneys ; that in short, the tail now wags
the dog . The most important of these organized endowments
are the Keren Kayemeth (Jewish National Fund) and the Keren
Hayesod (Palestine Foundation Fund) . The Revisionists have
their own machinery, the Keren Tel Chai .
This imperative need for money to feed a gradually gathered
army of officeholders appears to dictate much that is otherwise
inexplicable in Zionist policy . The basis of such a precarious
system of revenue is a continuous and increasing tempo of bally158
hoo. Booklets must be issued replete with stories of amazing
achievement, leading to the inference that all is going swimmingly
and that these superb successes are only limited by a
regrettable inadequacy of private contributions . The poignant
realization that their revenue is dependent largely on an unceasing
relation of `triumphs' to hard-headed Jews who want
to see value for their money, is the nightmare of Zionist existence,
turning everything they undertake into an operation distinguished
mostly by its ballyhoo. As a net result, the Zionists'
political policy is for all practical purposes bankrupt, since they
may not dare risk puncturing the beautiful bubbles which they
themselves have blown over so many years .
Up to May 1935 the two biggest Zionist funds had collected
a total of jJ 9,400,ooo between them . Despite self-adulatory
publicity, up to that date the land settlement schemes of the two
Kerens had only succeeded in placing a total of 2800 families
on the soil . Effectually prevented by British-fashioned ordinances
from carrying out their ambitious colonization plans, the
Zionist Funds have gone in heavily for such luxuries as grants
to the Hebrew University and the establishment of national libraries.
They have also allowed themselves to be euchred into
subsidizing public health and educational institutions, while the
less obliging Arabs have these identical services paid for out of
the public tax moneys . This whole collapse of healthy function
is strongly intimated in the resignation of Isadore D . Morrison
from the Board of Directors of the Keren Hayesod and The
United Palestine Appeal Board in November 1937 . Charging
"mismanagement, waste, extravagance and misinformation to the
public" in the administration of these funds, he accused the official
Zionist Organizations of having degenerated into mere propaganda
bodies which had long outlived their usefulness .
Not included in the official Zionist bodies is the Agudath
Israel, an ultra-orthodox group who consider women's suffrage
an outrage against God, and Zionism itself a heretical movement.
They believe that when the Almighty is ready he will
send down a messiah who will miraculously lead the way to the

1 59
Promised Land without political intervention . The unworldly,
wraith-like fanaticism of Agudath Israel has to be seen to be
appreciated . A typical tidbit is the cherem (bull of excommunication)
pronounced on the all-Jewish city of Tel Aviv,
forbidding the Faithful from setting foot there during the gay
merry-making which marks the annual Purim festival . Agudath
Israel is completely persona grata with the Colonial Office, who
see in its zealous messianism the kind of Jew who will give them
no political difficulty.
It was not long before the war between the Zionist factions
degenerated into a wild fracas of words, slander and bricks .
Like the French revolutionist, Carrier, who said "we will make
a graveyard of France rather than fail to regenerate her in our
own way," the leftists were determined to brook no opposition
to their scheme for a cooperative commonwealth. The worst
epithet they could give mouth to was the word `Fascist,' which
they applied to the Hebrew nationalists as if the latter were
predatory wolves . Comically enough, when the `Left' Poale
Zion seceded from the parent body in 1931 it did not hesitate to
denounce its erstwhile Socialist comrades as `Fascist' in turn .
Bad feeling between these rival groups finally ended in wild
physical attacks, in which Revisionist meetings were stormed
with rocks and tear gas bombs . According to Professor Klausner
of Hebrew University, there was not a hospital in the Holy
Land that did not house a Revisionist wounded by leftists .
When thirty Revisionists were injured in Haifa in an assault on
one of their halls, it proved too much even for the Jewish
Agency which on October 23, 1934 declared itself "outraged
by the brutal attacks which were poisoning the atmosphere of
Delighted at this opportunity to smash Jewish nationalism
with the help of Jews, the Government took a hand in the persecutions.
Revisionists, treated as common criminals, were sentenced
to penal servitude, their homes raided and their papers
suspended. Its meetings suppressed as dangerous revolutionary
activity, the besmirched and harassed party was for a time practically
driven underground .
In the inner business of Zionist politics the Revisionists had
constituted themselves the opposition to the policy of retreat
initiated by Weitzman and the Zionist Executive . This brought
the Executive down on their heads like a swarm of hornets,
throwing it directly into the laps of the Laborites. A campaign
of slander and repressions followed . Feeling against the Revisionists
rose to a fever pitch, as may be seen from the assertion
by the American Zionist boss, Louis Lipsky, that "a party
which makes disloyalty and violation of discipline a political
principle, which educates its youth to imitation of Hitler organization
methods . . . cannot expect to find place or countenance
within a movement like Zionism ." 3
Here was a unique alliance : the Jewish leftists who hated
the capitalist system and British Imperialism alike ; the Jewish
Agency capitalists who automatically detested leftists and who
could not avoid recognizing British persecution of their cause ;
and the Whitehall bureaucrats who looked on Zionists in general
with distaste and on leftists in the Near East with dread .
All of these regarded as their main enemy in the Palestine sector,
the struggling Revisionist Party .
In this atmosphere of violence and incitement a prominent
left-wing leader, Chaim Arlosoroff, was murdered while walking
with his wife on the beach near Tel Aviv .
Arlosoroff stood for everything the Revisionists were against .
He was an ardent advocate of class war . As a member of the
World Zionist Executive in charge of political affairs, he established
a policy of truckling to British pressure, denied that Palestine
officials were anti-Zionist, and praised Wauchope in unbounded
terms as a genius who really understood the needs of
Palestine. A few weeks before, he had threatened in a letter to
The New Way, Yiddish Zionist organ in Czechoslovakia, that
if the Revisionists ever came into power, Labor Palestine would
carry the fight to the streets and would make a bloody civil war
of it (June io, 1933) .
The murder took place at night in an isolated spot. An appalling
number of European women had suffered rape at Arab
hands, and at first it was assumed that this was a companion
piece to that stream of outrages . Arlosoroff, dying in Hadassah
Hospital, stated that his assailants were unknown to him and
that he was quite certain they were not Jews .
None of this deterred the Labor press from immediately setting
up the charge that here was a political murder . Wildly
they demanded blood revenge . In charge of the investigation
was Captain Harry Rice (Deputy Inspector General of Police),
who got busy at once . He promptly arrested a young Revisionist
named Stavsky .
Stavsky was a stout blond youth of handsome appearance
who had been in the country some three months. His whereabouts
during the time of the murder was amply established by
a score of creditable witnesses, but Mrs . Arlosoroff promptly
identified him as the companion of the man who had fired the
shots. Immediately after, a Revisionist boy named Mintz was
taken into custody, as were two Arabs named Mejid and Lufti.
The state's case was completed with the apprehension of Zvi
Rosenblatt, a young nationalist who was also conveniently
identified by Mrs . Arlosoroff as the man who committed the
actual murder.
Determined to make a clean sweep of the Revisionists, the
Administration ordered a mass arrest of their leaders and held
them without bail, accused of `sedition.' In the formal charges
they were alleged to be part of an organization aiming "to raise
discontent among the inhabitants of Palestine" and "to promote
hostility between different sections of the population ." One
of the supposed "terroristic acts" was the removal of the swastika
flag from the German Consulate Building in Jerusalem by
three of the defendants . Another was an obscure reference in
a confiscated letter to "a certain Jew in Jerusalem whose ideology
rings true and lives within our conscience ." Defense attorney
Cohen protested unavailingly that there was nothing in
this mention of Jesus Christ that could in good sense be construed
as operating against the public peace.
Among those arrested was a prominent editor named Yevin,
and Aba Achimeir, who was accused of being the intellectual
author of the murder . Achimeir, idol of the extreme nationalists,
was of the new type of Hebrew patriot, rigid, incorruptible,
and single-minded to the point of rhapsody . Slim and
courtly, with black ringlets hanging over a high, pale forehead,
he looked like a figure from one of El Greco's canvases .
Palestine was in a turmoil . In an atmosphere inflamed with
libel and violence, the accused were placed on trial for their
lives . As the trial opened, Achimeir was cleared of complicity
in the murder . Collusion between police and Government witnesses
was clearly proven. Evidence was shown to have been
deliberately falsified . Its case against him having collapsed so
hopelessly, the Government ordered Achimeir's release . This
was on May 16, 1934. On May 17, he was promptly rearrested,
charged with leading a "terrorist Revisionist Organization," and
held incommunicado in Acre Prison .
The boy, Yehuda Mintz, who had been identified by Mrs.
Arlosoroff, was also suddenly freed, without explanation, leaving
Rosenblatt and Stavsky in the dock . At the trial, Mrs.
Arlosoroff, caught in a mass of self-contradictions, was accused
by innumerable witnesses of lying . The Government's own
witnesses, insufficiently drilled in their role, made it manifest
that the accused could not have killed Arlosoroff. It was shown
that at the time he was supposed to have committed the murder
Rosenblatt was one of the main speakers at a mass meeting in
another city . More grimly amusing still was the peculiar position
of Captain Rice in refuting the confession of the Arab,
Mejid, who had admitted to the murder with rape as the motive .
In an action unprecedented in modern jurisprudence, Rice took
the stand to swear to Mejid's innocence, and refused pointblank
to call witnesses in regard to the Arab's confession .
On June io, 1934, in one of the most amazing decisions ever
rendered, Stavsky, whom a flood of testimony had placed elsewhere
at the time of the murder, was sentenced to hang . In
the indictment, he had been accused of holding the flashlight
while Rosenblatt did the actual killing . Rosenblatt who had
been addressing a public meeting at the time of the murder, was
acquitted - yet the co-accused Stavsky was convicted . Said the
doomed man on hearing the sentence : "This is a conspiracy by
the Jewish Labor Party and the Palestine Government against
me. I am totally innocent ."
An immediate censorship was put on the Jewish press restraining
it under peril of confiscation from calling attention to
the patent absurdity of the verdict. Three Hebrew newspapers
were stopped and their owners heavily fined for commenting
on the case as a miscarriage of justice.
Vindictively the Poale-Zion-Zeire-Zion (United Jewish Socialist
Workers Party) issued a statement applauding the verdict,
saying that "nothing could serve so well to clear the atmosphere
in our political life." It asserted that "the foundations of British
judicial institutions . . . leave no ground for doubt as to the
impartiality and legal regularity of the trial ." Despite this vote
of confidence, Joseph F . Broadhurst, Assistant Inspector General
of Police, was later to admit that "there was practically no evidence"
against the accused .4
The Laborites were making all the capital they could out of
this tragic situation, the first time a Jew had been on trial for the
murder of a Jew in the modern history of Palestine . In their
publicity they referred to the Revisionists as a party of murderers.
The Eighteenth World Jewish Congress, instead of occupying
itself with problems connected with British perfidy,
ridiculously voted to send a commission to Palestine to investigate
the alleged use of violence and terroristic methods by the
Revisionist group . The Laborites, by an adroit campaign of
slander only comparable to the scheming by which the German
Nazis used the burning of the Reichstag to corral a huge sympathy
vote, controlled the convention with almost forty-five
percent of the ballots .
Weitzman, mild-mannered to Jewish enemies, had a fierce
side when he faced Jews . He refused to return to the leadership
or even to come to the Congress, reputedly because the
Revisionists had not been expelled .
In the meanwhile the pot, which had only been simmering,
began to boil. Of the four judges who sat on the case, only
one was Jewish, and he alone had voted for acquittal. Now
this Jewish judge, venerable Moshe Valero, braved the wrath of
the gods and issued a strongly couched statement showing the
virtual impossibility of Stavsky's guilt . Chief Rabbi HaCohen
Kook, beloved Palestine leader, wrote a personal appeal to world
Jewry asking for aid in this flagrant miscarriage of justice .
With ferocious ardor the Labor groups leaped to the defense
of their kill . All over Palestine on the walls of houses and
synagogues, slogans were daubed in red paint, reading, "Pity
the nation whose priests protect murderers ." Labor groups
met and condemned in violent language the attempts to clear
The question agitated the entire Jewish world, which soon
became convinced that an innocent man had been railroaded to
the death cell for the sake of political expediency . In London
the famous Scotland Yard Inspector Charles Leach took the classic
part that Zola had held in the Dreyfus case of a generation past.
His sharp and biting report was a masterpiece of its kind . The
pressure became so great that the British Government could not
ignore it - the trial was reopened .
Shrewd and capable Horace Samuel was now the defense attorney
. He pointed out, among other things, the renewed confession
of the Arab, Mejid, and demanded that the police records
be made public . Again Captain Rice mysteriously refused .
Evidence showing that the leftists had exploited the murder for
political purposes in the 1933 election and that they had, together
with the Jewish Agency, assisted the prosecution in securing
the conviction of Stavsky as a political measure, was excluded
. Even then the proof of collusion was so patent that the
Palestine Court of Appeals had no other recourse than to free
the condemned man . He had been in prison a year and walked
out with his hair snow white .
The Marxists showed their joy over the verdict by stoning
the synagogue in which Stavsky and Rosenblatt were worshiping.
Davar, Laborite mouthpiece, followed up an official leftist
manifesto by declaring that the two men remained murderers.
Things rapidly came to the point where Stavsky and Rosenblatt
were warned by the Tel Aviv police to leave the city as
their lives were in danger and the police could not be responsible
for their safety .
Cheated out of its sacrificial victim, the Government was determined
to have its revenge . It hounded all witnesses for
Stavsky . An example is the almost immediate deportation of
the widow Becherev and her two children, who had aided in establishing
the accused's alibi . Its displeasure against Jewish nationalists
in general showed no signs of diminishing . It found
Achimeir and the other Revisionist leaders guilty of sedition and
sentenced them to twenty-one months at hard labor . On December
30, 1934 this Government which knew how to punish
Jews while Arabs murdered and revolted with impunity, announced
that it had revoked the citizenship of Yevin and Achimier,
making them men without a country. This new formidable
threat in a world where no nation wanted Jews, was held as
a terrible club over the head of all those who believed that the
Palestine Mandate envisioned the formation of a Jewish State .
Until the time of the Arlosoroff murder, the Revisionists had
been gaining ground so rapidly as to make it appear that their
ultimate control of the Zionist Organization was inevitable.
Under cover of the delirious charges and counter-charges growing
out of the Stavsky affair, the Laborites, possessing by far the
best equipped publicity machine, had succeeded in discrediting
their enemies as a band of ruffians and murderers . By a series of
admirable maneuvers and coalitions, the technique of which they
had learned in the traditional Marxian schools of Europe, they
succeeded, though still a minority in the Convention, in excluding
the Revisionists entirely from participation in Zionist affairs .
Expertly organized, and using the General Zionists as a front so
as to keep the Mizrachi from bolting harness, they took control .
Anchored in the seat of power, with the Organization's established
income at their disposal, they became almost impossible
to dislodge . Ironically, Laborite activities were now directly
subsidized by donations from the same middle class Zionists all
over the world whom leftist party platforms had sworn to destroy.
The Revisionists found themselves virtually outlawed . Jews
who had always been the persecuted now learned the business of
persecution. For the mere matter of his `ideology,' a youth belonging
to the Jabotinsky faction was to find himself completely
shut off from the possibility of obtaining a visa to Palestine . In
the Diaspora all Zionist activities, except those directly connected
with his party, were closed to him . Hatred grew to
irremediable proportions . The Laborites, nicely in the saddle,
perpetuated the idea, with Zionist funds, that Jabotinsky's men
were a degraded lot of "un-Jewish bastards" who had found
their god in Hitler. The persecuted Revisionists were not backward
in referring to their opponents with heart-felt passion as
`vermin.' Denied participation in Zionist affairs, they went
ahead on their own, issuing their own memoranda to the British
and the League of Nations and collecting their own funds. Infuriated,
the Laborites set up a virtuous wail of `sabotage' and
`secession.' Jews who were letting British bureaucrats tread on
them as if they were worms, now fought Jews with an obduracy
that neither gave quarter nor asked it .
The Zionist rulers set an ironclad dictatorship in operation for
better purposes of the battle. Like the Confessional Churches
in Nazi Germany, the Revisionists found themselves in a box .
Any utterance contrary to the ruling fiction that "unbelievable
progress was being made in Palestine" was treated as rank heresy.
The American, Dr . Stephen S. Wise, resigned from the
Administrative and Executive Committees of the Zionist Organization,
assailing the "absolutist regime in Zionist affairs ."
Shouting all the slogans of democracy, the Zionist leadership
proceeded to place in effect a rigid censorship of all news and
utterances . When the only existing Jewish news service offended
them, they entered the news business with funds of
the Jewish Agency. Leading Yiddish newspapers were handed
simple subsidies with the gentleman's understanding that they
would publish no news unfavorable to their patrons . (The important
Yiddische Tageblatt of Poland accused the Zionist Executive
in June 1936, of trying to "imitate the tone of certain
great powers" in its attempt to censor news on the Palestine disorders.)
In January of 1933 the Revisionists had been formally tried
by a Congress Court for the alleged crime of having discussed
Zionist affairs with the Polish Foreign Minister Beck, with the
result that the entire Revisionist Union was ordered suspended
from membership in the Zionist Organization . On July 26,
1933 the recognized leftist Fuehrer, Ben Gurion, laid down
the dictum that "we shall under no circumstances collaborate
with a party of strike-breakers and anti-labor agitators ." On
March 9, 1 934 the Zionist Executive issued a communique announcing
that the Revisionist Party would henceforth be regarded
as dissolved and non-existent. It declares that no Zionist
group is to be regarded as the Revisionist Sonderverbund, or
to style itself so, and asserts that the World Revisionist Party is
outlawed from the Zionist Organization and has no legal status
within that organization or any of its affiliated bodies . On February
6, 1935, not satisfied by declaring the Revisionists nonexistent,
the Executive placed a cherem (ban) on the Revisionist
Fund, the Keren Tel Chai, ludicrously ordering Jews not
to donate any money to it . In 1935 they also incorporated a
provision in reference to the purchase of the shekel which by its
very nature automatically excluded Revisionists.
In the meanwhile, sensing that all this was beginning to make
a bad impression on Jews all around, the Zionist hierarchy had
made a sudden attempt to compromise the situation . Ben Gurion,
speaking for the Executive, agreed to act with Jabotinsky
to end the inter-party strife . Conventions were arrived at and
signed outlawing all acts of violence, libel or slander . Both
parties undertook to discipline their membership on pain of
permanent expulsion . The Revisionist Union promptly ratified
the act of their leader by a plebiscite . The Laborites, however,
wanted no `peace' with the hated bourgeoisie represented by the
Revisionists. After one of the most vituperative campaigns in
Zionist history, they voted two to one to repudiate Ben Gurion's
signature .
A few months later the provoked Revisionists went through
the motions of resigning from a body which had already all but
thrown them out, and with some other dissident factions formed
the New Zionist Organization . At a great plebiscite which was
to determine the form and content of the new organization, some
750,000 votes were cast - the largest number of ballots ever
voted by Jews on a purely Jewish matter since the days of the
Dispersion . The foundation congress held in Vienna during
the Fall of 1935 was a jubilant and hysterical affair . Jabotinsky's
strategy was to isolate the left-wingers and leave them
hopelessly stranded with their catechisms on the coming Utopia .
But the leftists were no fools : they swiftly compromised with
middle-of-the-road elements who, delighted with the concessions
made to them, decided to remain with the old organization.
Revisionist tactics were also, in part at least, based on the assumption
that Whitehall's known antipathy for Socialists did
not cloak a stronger anti-Semitism underneath . They believed
that the Bureaucrats would welcome their action, as a sensible
piece of Empire strategy . This was from the start a grave misconception
. The Bureaucrats preferred Zionism in the hands
of the most radical Socialists in order to have the better excuse
to lobby against it at home . So the New Zionist Organization,
instead of being welcomed as a happy windfall for the Empire,
was quite competently ignored .
No Bill of Rights ever penned can remake overnight the mental
approach of a people whose mind has been ground down by
half a dozen centuries of abject horror . The memory of these
cruel generations left its stamp indelibly on the Jewish spokesmen
who took over the helm of the movement after Herzl's
.death . Invariably they were graduates of the Yeshiva atmosphere
of the Russian Pale .
The circumstances by which they literally fell into leadership
were simple . The great mass of Jewry was busy in the
practical affairs of day-to-day existence . The Socialists, Liberals
and Conservatives kept themselves coolly aloof . The pro-
Zionists, engrossed in their own occupations, were content to
show their sympathy by the donation of funds or by occasional
participation at rallies and meetings . It was a small group of
impassioned scholastics, who had made Zionism a profession all
their lives, who took over the actual machinery of operation.
When the collapse of humanism in post-war Europe endowed
the movement with immediate, critical importance as a political
reality, these men still further intrenched themselves . They
controlled the Zionist income and sources of propaganda . The
great bulk of stunned, ruined Jews were now little more than
fleeing outcasts, trying desperately to extricate their individual
lives from the horrible quagmire in which they found themselves
caught. Artfully the career-Zionists parried their opposition,
contending that any attempt to wash dirty linen publicly during
this precarious period was downright mischievous .
It is only in the light of these circumstances that one can
understand the retention of a group of leaders whose muddled
policies have brought the Zionist movement so close to disaster .
The procedure of these men was from first to last a tragic comedy
of errors . With few exceptions they were brilliant intellectually,
kindly and idealistic. Completely misunderstanding
human motivation, they regarded force of any kind as
barbarian . They were masters of hair-splitting disputation, unmatched
for pure decency of conception, but more useful in
legal briefs than in the serious business of repatriating a nation.
The most influential of them had adopted British nationality,
which under the circumstance of any conflict of interests
brought them up squarely against the question of their prior
patriotism to England .
More fatal still, they lacked the fierce aggressive spirit, the
shrewd realism, which the struggle for national existence demands.
In their minds was ever the idyllic vision of a unique
cultural community, taking precedence over questions of sov170
ereign political rule . This completely irrational conception,
springing from the brain of the obstinate scholastic, Achad
Ha'am, served to create an ecstatic polity in which reality could
at no time be dissevered from metaphor and rhetoric . At times
their learned dogmatism lapsed into sheer nonsense, as witness
Rabbi Freehof's declaration that Herzl's Jewish State was not a
State of armies, navies and political schemes, but the embodiment
of "a Jewish civilization in Palestine ." 5 Responsible Zionist
leaders even declared they did not care about politics - their
concern was "with a culture ." Like all intense men, infatuated
with the logic of their own pedantry, they could not understand
in what they were remiss. Co-workers who spoke realistically
were looked down upon as firebrands, radical, uninspired,
or simply reactionary .
Throughout they pursued a course of self-justification in
which their noble theories had an important part . It was they
who first enunciated the conception of duty owed the benighted
local population, later to be transformed into fundamentals of
British policy. With the complication of left wing intrusion
into the movement, shrewd efforts at national self-sufficiency
were left still further behind .
Certainly the Zionist leaders were no match for clever British
bureaucrats, trained in the business of extracting every ounce
of value from every possible situation. Time after time they
missed their chance ; when the Irish were fighting a successful
Sinn Fein, when Mussolini offered his hand in friendship, when
the French turned to them, and when the Arabs themselves
offered peace on an anti-British basis . Far from following a
strategy of resistance, they actually went to the opposite extreme.
Bulwarking their own weaknesses by an intensive propaganda
directed to their fellow Jews, they went to the point of
publicly praising the very British administrators who were conspiring
against them . The influential English Zionists especially,
denounced in grandiloquent sarcasm any attempt to question the
good faith of England, and sabotaged all efforts to bring the
Jewish case to the English public itself.
There were some among the Zionist leaders, such as JabotinJEWS
sky, Ussishkin, and Dr. Eder, who fought this policy bitterly in
the inner councils of the movement . Eder for example boldly
told the Court of Inquiry, following the Jaffa disturbances of
1921, that "there can be only one National Home in Palestine,
and that a Jewish one, and no equality in the partnership between
Jews and Arabs, but a Jewish preponderance as soon as
the numbers of the race are sufficiently increased ." But these
men were by one artifice or another squeezed out of any position
of real power .
The most influential of all the Zionist personages is the President
of the World Zionist Organization, Dr . Chaim Weitzman .
Weitzman was born in Motele, Russia, in 1874, and was reared
in an atmosphere of poverty, piety and learning . A devoted
follower of Achad Ha'am, he was one of the founders of the
`democratic faction,' a group which stressed the cultural aspects
of Zionism as contrasted to the political demands which were always
paramount with Herzl. During this early period he was
consequently ranged on the side of Herzl's bitterest critics .
Weitzman is bald, but not unhandsome . His bearing is mild
and thoughtful, but intense, brooding eyes lend fire to his personality.
He has made himself into a great chemist by his own
efforts and possesses a warm personal charm together with impeccable
manners .
He is a marvelous money-raiser, capable of button-holing a
prospect and turning on the full stream of his great charm, to
leave the interview with a check in his pocket . He has always
followed the path of least resistance, and early tied up his political
fortunes with those of the Laborites when it appeared that
their star was in the ascendant . He is a master of the technique
of demagoguery, capable of convincingly blotting out his own
failures with such statements as "we will show the world that
Jewish idealism can bring forth a civilization as noble and fructifying
as any which history has known."
Considering the unfettered criticism leveled at him by his
peers for "a leadership that has proven itself a failure and is
bankrupt in all fields of its activity," 6 he has managed to maintain
an almost mesmeric hold over the Zionist Organization .
Part of this technique of control is the assertion to uneasy Jews
that "England will deal only with Weitzman ."
He is almost pathologically amenable to British importuning .
At a World Congress in 1931, after Dr . Stephen S. Wise had
called attention to London's betrayal of Zionist interests, Weitzman
made this remarkable statement : "I disassociate myself
from and protest against both the form and contents of Wise's
speech . . . but I wish to remind the British reader of Dr .
Wise's speech that Dr . Wise is a champion of the British cause
in America, rendering great service to Great Britain." 7 After
having been rejected at that Congress in favor of a new leadership,
he declared to the Laborites who had followed him staunch
to the end, tears streaming down his beard : "The last hour before
my departure, I wish to spend with those who fought for
the pure and only Zionism, heroically opposing the dark forces
of the Congress [the nationalists] . . . I still believe that the
Balfour Declaration was only a war gain and by its gravity it
was bound to sink . . . I believe that you and I are two creative
forces in Zionism ."
At another Congress he answered Zionists who had charged
Britain with sabotaging their movement, by advising them that
"our task is to cause a minimum of embarrassment to the Mandatory
power. . . It is our delicate task to present the wishes of
the Zionist movement to the Mandatory power, not demanding
but interpreting."
In this almost bizarre description of the head of a political
movement, Weizmann's henchman Louis Lipsky says : "He
staked his leadership upon his faith in Great Britain . Often, he
took upon himself the defense of its policies, with disastrous results
to his influence in the movement . With a certain perversity
derived from his dialectical experience in the Yeshiva, he
would take up the case for Great Britain at a time when it was
entitled to no such advocacy on his part ." 8 In an almost classic
statement coming from a political leader, Weitzman extenuated
British persecution of his own people in the following words
"On the British side it soon became apparent that the very factors
which had brought about the issuance of the Balfour DecJEWS
laration, were, in certain circumstances, liable to operate against
the execution of a policy based upon it . The British devotion
to fair play and instinctive support of the weaker side, was responsible
in some quarters for a feeling that the Arabs o f Palestine
needed to be protected against the richer, better organized
Jews. . ." 9
His utterances are unpredictable . On March 28, 1931 he
flatly accused the Jews "of contributing to the Arab's fears"
and of not making the proper concessions . On April 9, 1931,
he stated bluntly that cooperation between Jews and Arabs
would have been possible if England had not prevented it . A
few days later, speaking at Manchester, England, he stated his
unequivocable satisfaction "that the Mandate was in the hands of
England." At still another time he orated : "I have no sympathy
or understanding with the demand for a Jewish majority
in Palestine . . . A majority is not required for the development
of Jewish civilization and culture ." 10 A few years later he is
found trying to sell his fellow-Jews the idea of a greatly restricted
territory because a `Jewish State' is being offered as part
of the bargain .
The policies by which he guided the Zionist movement may
be judged from his continuous flow of statements of a religiosemystic
nature, inviting acceptance of the bi-national state idea.
At the Basle Congress of 1927 he described the Zionist movement
as "spiritual and cultural - not aggressive . . . it is only
the expression of an urge ." Arabs and Jews were somehow to
"come together . . . above politics and above programs." This
was the typical kind of millennium over which Weitzman could
work himself into a religious fervor .
The English bureaucrats think much of him. Gandhi too admires
him greatly . In these two facts many critical observers
think the epitaph of Zionism has been written.
The great opponent of Weitzman is the little ex-soldier,
Vladimir Jabotinsky. Jabotinsky is one of the few Jewish leaders
with any adequate idea of the kind of policies the present
Jewish crisis demands . Among Hebrew nationalists he is idolized .
In the ghettos of Eastern Europe he is already a tradition . He
is hated without reservation by the Marxists who see him as their
ready-made enemy . Once he answered some leftist attacks by
throwing a handful of pennies contemptuously in their faces,
saying : "Here is your patriotism ."
As a spell-binder Jabotinsky is almost without rival . He can
hold an audience breathless, and often will talk for three or four
hours at a stretch . As an expert conniver in the business of inner
Zionist intrigue he is hopeless . He is handicapped by a
deficient understanding of the structural mechanics of modem
political warfare . Half a dozen times he has had thrown in his
lap the chance to seize control of shattered Zionist affairs, and
half a dozen times he has muffed it . He is impetuous and headstrong,
and a poor judge of men. Despite these inadequacies
he is the only existing leader capable of supplying the flashing
personality and keen insight into events required if anything is
to be salvaged from the impending collapse of the Zionist adventure.
Outside of Dr. Wise, whose influence is scanty, the other personalities
of the movement largely reflect all that Weitzman represents.
A fine example is the head of the all-important Political
Department of the Jewish Agency, in Palestine, Moshe
Shertok. Shertok is a commonplace fellow with wavy hair, a
left-wing product who, called into court as a witness on a case,
declined to take oath on the Torah, declaring that "to do so was
in contradition to his philosophy of life. . ." 11 Some idea of his
caliber is shown in the evidence before the Royal Commission
investigating the 1936 riots, where he announced in the name of
the Socialist Federation of Labor that a thousand of the rioting
Arabs, who had left their jobs at the Jewish settlements in order
to join the rebellion, should have their places kept in reserve for
them in case they wished to return .12
The chief political officer of the Zionist Executive, in London,
is a pudgy professor of mathematics named Selig Brodetsky .
Like most of Weizmann's cabinet, he considers wheedling to be
the measure of political sagacity . On October 24, 1934 he asserted
that "we are fighting discrimination against Jews in the
Jewish National Home." Yet less than four months later he
was heard declaiming in London : "Our partnership with Great
Britain was based on idealism on both sides, infused by the spirit
of the Bible . And if Great Britain saw something in Palestine
which might be useful to herself, we should welcome, not decry
this community of interest . Our watchword is cooperation
with Great Britain . . . The present High Commissioner, Sir Arthur
Wauchope, has shown an understanding of the meaning of
Palestine which is most gratifying ."
Among others whose influence is strong is David Ben Gurion,
a Laborite, now virtually Weizmann's Prime Minister. When
not handicapped by his associations, Ben Gurion is inclined to
show courage and general good sense . After the I929 pogroms
he split no hairs in declaring that "we must take care not to fall
into the trap prepared by hostile British officials who desire to
instigate here a bloody religious war ." Later, to save himself
from the fate which befell Jabotinsky and other irreconcilables,
he switched policy, and can be usually found hand-in-glove with
Among the other men on the inner Zionist councils with hard
common sense is Menachem Ussishkin, a stolid, bearded engineer
from Odessa . Unlike his associates he is unimaginative and no
intellectual. He never hesitates to speak his mind . He declared
in the squabble over acceptance of the MacDonald Letter
that given a choice between Weitzman and the Jewish people
he had no hesitancy in foregoing Weitzman . His associates
consider him a nuisance and a danger but don't know how to
get rid of him. He was long ago removed from the Executive
and booted upstairs to become President of the Jewish National
Fund. Ussishkin is a stranger to finesse and lacks a cultural
background. In charge of the Commission sent in i 9 i 9 to deal
with the Military in Palestine, he and his colleague Dr . Eder are
said to have served 'Eno's Fruit Salts' to General Storrs at a dinner,
under the impression that it was the English national drink .
Ussishkin's great attribute is a healthy pugnacity, sadly lacking
in Jewish leadership ; and the Zionists might have done
worse than to have had him at the helm in the stormy weather
they have been experiencing during all these years .

If one chooses to ignore the political potentials which make
it a house built on sand, Jewish colonization in Palestine is a
truly astonishing and inspiring spectacle . While most other
countries were suffering in the slough of seemingly endless depression,
little Palestine was growing like a well-watered weed .
At the twenty-seventh Session of the Mandates Commission
1935), it is described as "the most notable colonization undertaking
of modern times ." Major Cecil Quinlan, late Crown official
in the Holy Land, refers to it as an amazing record of
progress, "unparalleled in any part of the world ."
The Jewish community in the Holy Land is a dynamic, vital
organism. One feels the electric quality the Zionists have introduced
in the country almost before he sets foot on its soil .
An air of confidence, eagerness and expectancy suffuses everything.
Everyone seems to be in a rush to go somewhere or do
something. These people are at home - and irrespective of political
actuality, they consider the country theirs . They mean
to build it up at whatever cost, to be handed as a legacy to children
who will never have known ghettos . Their purpose is
passionate and indomitable. If they are balked one way, with
unshakable will they try another . This is the miracle of the
new Jew ; he has seen a vision, and with quiet fortitude he
means to follow it to the death . "Rarely in the history of the
world," says the British M .P. Mr. T. Williams, "have human beings
shown so much faith and devotion or thrown themselves
into a task so wholeheartedly as the Jews in Palestine ."
The Jew has in fact proven himself to be the best colonizing
material on earth . He has built literally out of nothing . Inexperienced,
dealing with a seemingly resourceless area, he has
raised himself practically by his own bootstraps. He has faced
a hostile soil, a hostile people, and a hostile government . It is in
this light that his small successes assume the proportions of greatness.
Visitors stop, pleasantly surprised in this region of dilapidated
mud huts, to see the modern brick or red-tiled stone houses of
the Jews. The lovely gardens around them are kept neat as a
pin. Shade trees surround the villages . Painstaking irrigation
ditches, lined with young trees, bespeak the unceasing energy of
the colonizers . In the fields hardy pioneers, men and women
alike, work from sunup to sundown . Their voices ring with
the familiar words of peasant song as they labor .
Lloyd George refers to these land settlements as "models of
intensive culture." Herbert Morrison unhesitatingly terms them
"one of the most wonderful moral demonstrations of the human
race in the whole of the civilised world," saying "it is work
typical of the finest of British colonisers in the history of our
Empire." No less explicit, the American Senator Hastings said
after his visit in 1936 that "although Jews own but one-twentieth
of all the land in Palestine, the transformation which they
wrought in its primitive agriculture . . . can be felt and seen
from one end of the country to the other ."
In all branches of farming, Jewish growers have been the
pioneers of advance and progress . The only agricultural literature
published in this entire section of the Near East is issued
under their auspices . They are the first and only ones to bother
about creating markets, advertising, grading and selecting, and
introducing new varieties . A few representative figures bring
the quality of Jewish agriculture into vivid relief . Their average
milk production per cow is 3695 quarts yearly compared
with the Arab average of 89.5 quarts . The production of
Jewish-owned hens is 150 eggs per annum; contrasted with 70 as
the Arab figure . In the most literal sense the settlers have made
two blades of grass grow where only one grew before, experimenting,
testing and adapting, until their areas bloom like one
vast garden .
The figures for Jewish industry are no less impressive. Just as
in 193o Hope-Simpson `proved' that not another rod of land
was available for new Jewish settlement, so he also declared the
industrial outlook hopeless. His report shows 2274 Jewish factories
and workshops, employing 936z workers, with an invested
capital of £1,635,462, an output of £2,ioo,ooo and a sum total
of wages of £476,452 . He solemnly warned that "it would be
very bad, and might prove a fatal policy, to attract large capital
in order to start doubtful industries in Palestine with the object
of justifying an increase in the number of immigrants ." Notwithstanding
Hope-Simpson's pessimism the figures for 1936,
just six years later, showed that the number of Jewish factories
and shops had increased to 4615, employing 32,830 hands, with
an invested capital of £ 8,654,000, a skyrocketing output of
£9, 10 9,330 and a sum total of wages of £2,925,780 ; all of this
occurring despite the worst set of laws ever devised by Authority
to harass production and trade .
The Holy Land now manufactures goods of the most varied
kind. Among the new firms established in 1935-36 alone, were
bakeries, milling companies, plate glass and paint works ; razor
blade and paraffin paper factories, iron works, kilns for producing
earthenware, pharmaceutical works, foundries and metal
manufactories ; cement works, spinning and weaving mills and
textile, shoe and furniture factories . A census by the Jewish
Agency shows the healthy nature of this industry. Preparation
of foodstuffs, stone and cement accounts for nearly thirtynine
percent of the production value ; metal and wood industries,
twenty-two percent and chemicals, nine percent . The remaining
thirty percent is divided among textiles, printing, paper
and electricity ; all forming a solid base for the country's economy.
In striking contrast to this wide ramification of Jewish
industry, Arab manufactures are few, the most important being
oil-pressing, making of laundry soap, quarrying, baking and various
home handicrafts .
The amount of Jewish capital invested in this tiny land is estimated
to total more than £ 12o,000,ooo . Prior to the recent
riots, Jews were bringing in money at the rate of two to five
million dollars a month . In 1934 alone they are estimated to
have invested approximately £ 1 o,ooo,ooo in Palestine . Today
the productive output of the Jewish community is placed at
JJ 20,000,000 annually.' Bank deposits amounted to C 16,ooo,-
ooo and currency in circulation increased in the single year of
1935, from 44,73 8,964 to £6,561,134 .
All of this is reflected throughout the country's economy,
shattering its medieval inertia in every conceivable direction .
Every figure in connection with this mushrooming process is remarkable
. Before the War the tonnage cleared at Haifa was
less than 8oo,ooo ; in 1935, it was close to 5,000,000 . The figures
for electrical consumption climbed from 2,343,764 kilowatt
hours in 1926, to the amazing total of 70,017,998 kilowatt hours
in 1936 . Almost 40,000,000 hours of this huge amount was accounted
for in the Tel Aviv area alone .
In a generation these returning exiles have erected a civilization
which the English writer Ernest Main tells us the Levantine
is not capable of duplicating "in five hundred years ." 2 Behind this
singular development with its wealth of flourishing settlements
and growing range of industries, lie the spiritual drive and moral
tone of the returning Hebrews . Money and skill alone could
not have contrived it .
The Government itself says in relation to its population estimates
that "the precision of these figures is not great ." 3 It is
almost impossible to carry out a reliable census . Looking back
with suspicious memory to the tax-collectors of Turkish times,
the enraged peasants either drive the census-takers out or give
them falsified figures, believing any head count to be an artful
prelude to new levies . The Government computation is 848,-
342 Moslems, 370,483 Jews, and 106,474 Christians . Reliable
Jewish sources, however, place the Jewish figure around 410,-
ooo. Most of these are concentrated around Tel Aviv, which
with its surrounding villages holds over a quarter of a million
people .
Tel Aviv, living symbol of Jewish hope, is like nothing that
anyone ever saw before. It is a mad, poetic crazy-quilt, fash18o
ioned out of Jewish determination to recreate life in terms of
Jewish self-sufficiency. The mayor is Jewish, the porters are
Jewish, the street-sweepers are Jewish, the police are Jewish .
Even the thieves are Jewish .
It was founded in 1910 on worthless sand dunes, some miles
out of Jaffa, by a group of queer looking European men with
firm jaws who mystically declared that they were going to erect
here the first great all-Jewish metropolis of modern times . They
gave it the idyllic name of Tel Aviv (Hill of Spring) .
Today a city of 16o,ooo rears its head to justify the extravagant
claims of these visionaries . In America that might be remarkable,
but not astounding . In the Near East, where it vies
with cities established before the memory of man, it is a miracle .
The city looks like a cross between some miniature Paris and
a mushrooming mining town. Everyone is in a hurry. Everyone
is eager. Everyone looks busy . The streets are jammed .
Some are lined with trees, a novelty in the Levant . All of them
are paved .
The architecture is the last word in modernism . To one
used to the orthodox conception of cities, it looks almost freakish.
The stores and amusement places are the most up-to-date
in the world. Along the boardwalk on the sparkling blue sea,
sit throngs of gay people, leisurely relaxing in the warm evening.
Mixed colorfully among the streaming crowds are Arabs,
decked in their finest raiment, who have come from all over the
Levant to gaze on this wonder of wonders . A profound sense
of experiment is everywhere, with a huge shopping district and
cinema palaces giving an impression of a town many times
larger .
Tel Aviv takes thirty-three percent of Palestine's total imports
and uses fifty percent of the electrical power consumed
by Palestine industry. The annual production of its 1512 industrial
plants amounts to around J 3,000,000 which is also the
approximate turnover of the town's 6ooo retail establishments .
Of the i 8,ooo industrial workers in the entire country, 11,000
are employed in the industry of Tel Aviv and its vicinity . Its
budget for 1934-35 was £ 275,000 - a staggering sum for this
section of the Orient.
The town places a high value on literacy, and is the center of
the printing industry of Palestine. Of the 500 books published
in the entire country in 1936, 382 were published in Tel Aviv .
Forty-seven of the fifty-seven Jewish newspapers and periodicals
were also printed here . Practically one hundred percent of
the children attend school . Apart from the municipal educational
system, there are 35 kindergartens, 20 private schools, io
secondary schools, 5 trade schools, 5 schools of music ; as well as
art and dancing studios, and evening classes of every description.
The cosmopolitan origin of this remarkable Hebrew community
is mirrored in the school-children . A survey in 1 935
showed 8178 to be Ashkenazic (of East-European derivation) ;
1338 Sephardic (descendants of Spanish exiles, coming mainly
from North Africa, Greece and Bulgaria) ; 1125 Yemenite (native
dark-skinned Jews from the southern end of the Arabian
Peninsula) ; 184 Caucasian, 177 Persian, 92 Bokharian, and 3 of
other communities . The 1616 children of immigrants who settled
in Tel Aviv during 1935 were of 2 2 different nationalities .
A canvass of their parents shows 39% to be ordinary laborers,
14% merchants, 13% artisans, 5 % members of liberal professions,
16% of miscellaneous callings-and the balance housewives
or of no occupation.
The high Western state of culture of this city, as contrasted
with the slough of the surrounding Near East, is not limited to
surface appearances . The per capita rate of water consumption,
always an indication of social and economic conditions, is
230 liters per day. This compares with 52 liters for Vienna,
141 liters for Berlin, and 144 liters for London .
There are over one hundred and sixty synagogues and Talmudical
houses of learning. The names of the shops and commercial
houses are derived from the Bible or the Talmud . At
the sound of the ram's horn on Friday afternoon all traffic
comes to a halt, stores close and commercial activity ceases .
The peace of the Sabbath settles like a soft blanket on the city
until the following night . But nowhere is the fundamental
Jewish character of this place better shown than on the festival
days. Tel Aviv is a city of holidays . All the ancient Jewish
festivals have been revitalized and made the occasion for public
rejoicing. Succoth, the Feast of Tabernacles, is welcomed not
only by farmers rejoicing in the abundant harvest . In Tel
Aviv, too, thanks is given for the kind bounty of Mother Earth,
with great crowds of citizens dancing the native Hora 4 in the
public squares of the city . During the feast of Chanuka great
fancy-dress balls are held and school-children by the thousands
parade in torchlight procession through the streets, carrying
candles and torches, and singing native songs until the air is
heavy with their shrill voices . There is almost an endless list
of holidays, memorial days and festival occasions, all enthusiastically
observed by this happy people who have found out
how to live. The greatest of these, for which Tel Aviv is famous,
is the Purim celebration, ushered in with street-dancing
and huge parades with gaily decorated floats . During this gay
period which lasts a whole week, the city becomes an enchanted
fairyland of colored lights and music, and masked, laughing figures.
Myriads of people from all over the country jam the
streets ; and annually thousands from neighboring Syria, Egypt
and the Arab villages of Palestine join the merrymakers, for a
moment forgetting their political animus against Jews .
Joseph F. Broadhurst, former Inspector General of Police for
the Palestine Government, remarks that "it is at Tel Aviv that
one realizes the inherent possibilities of the Jews as a nation ."
He found that during his whole term in office there was practically
no important crime despite a polyglot population newly
arrived from all quarters of the globe . "The police force," he
adds, "was entirely Jewish and I never knew a Jewish policeman
to let me down. The men were smart and conscientious and
very anxious to follow the best traditions of the British police ." s
One circumstance in particular labels the citizens of this Jewish
city as unrivaled for pure self-discipline and force of character.
When the 1936 riots were going full blast, for more
than twelve weeks the city of Tel Aviv was unpoliced . Every"
one was aware that the normal constabulary of two hundred
men had been commandeered to guard its borders against attack
. Yet amongst this population of one hundred and sixty
thousand there was not a single crime, though the town was already
harboring thousands of refugees . During all this troubled
period Tel Aviv was the only place in Palestine where anyone
could walk the streets with absolute security both day and
night . Arabs knew that they could come to Tel Aviv and pass
safely through its thoroughfares, though the life of no Jew was
secure when he crossed the border into Jaffa, one hundred yards
Jerusalem, the capital, is as different from Tel Aviv as day is
from night . It sprawls over seven hills, and its name means
`City of Peace,' derived from the Hebrew Yerushalayim. The
Arabs call it Al Kuds (the holy) . It has had a continuous recorded
habitation for more than six thousand years, and was
probably already old when that record began . Throughout the
ages it has held an almost mesmeric fascination for Jews . Its
population today is estimated at 125,000, of whom 76,000 are
Jews, 26,000 Moslems, and 23,000 Christians. Sure of their
destiny, Jerusalem's Jews are trying to make this famous city
one of the art, medical and cultural centers of the world . Some
of the greatest physicians, scholars and creative artists of Germany
and Russia, exiles from their native lands, are here .
The city is slow and sedate and wears its ancient dignity complacently
on its shoulder. Here is the seat of the British Administration,
and the sites of innumerable convents, monasteries,
and churches of all nationalities . One suddenly comes into the
Holy City out of the desolation of the surrounding granite hills .
From the winding mountain roads at night its lights twinkle like
distant fireflies, a familiar and warming sight to the commuters
taking the hour's drive to Jaffa and Tel Aviv . In the day it sits
like a queen surrounded by the blue haze of the Judean mountains,
flanked in the distance by the rugged, purple wall of the
Moab range.
There are really two Jerusalems . In the center is the older
walled city, as fantastic as a nightmare. Built about four hun184
dred years ago, it encloses an area of roughly one square kilometer.
Seven gates open at various points . The eighth, the
Gate of Mercy, facing east, is sealed up, to be opened according
to Jewish legend when Messiah ben David enters through it .
The Old City contains four principal quarters, holding settlements
of Armenians, Greeks and Latins, Moslems, and Jews .
Christian sentiment is centered around the Holy Sepulchre in
the northwest section.
The twisting, narrow streets of the Old City are forever
bathed in kaleidoscopic twilight, some of them mere tunnels,
the bordering structures forming a roof above. These lanes and
alleys, colorfully striped with alternate sunlight and shadow, are
lined with an unbelievable concentration of shops, stalls and
bazaars segregated according to occupation and wares . Above
these shops are a crazy patchwork of dwellings, courtways and
entrances, like a vision from one of the modernist French painters.
Through these coverings the sun passes in striped rays to
touch the gowns of a churning crowd of Arabs, Jews, Armenians
and races from everywhere, men who ply trades which
must have been inseparable from medieval life .
Beyond this strange and picturesque relic lies the modern
Jerusalem, crawling in irregular formation over the surrounding
hills. Its avenues are broad and sunlit, lined with solid-looking
houses of heavy white-chipped stone . Flanking the city are
beautiful garden suburbs, shining clean, where the newer Jewish
immigrants live . On the streets mixing with grimy workmen
from Poland and Greece and learned doctors from Germany,
are turbaned Arabs, Bedouins in flowing gowns, tattooed
women, black-frocked black-skinned Coptic clericals, orthodox
priests with their high, black, stove-pipe hats, dapper British
soldiers, and many others . Automobiles honk at camel and
sheep drivers to move their charges aside - altogether a medley
of singular scenes so indescribable as to seem at times merely the
vision of a sunstricken brain .
At the north of the country is Haifa, destined to become the
aerial as well as rail terminus of the great inter-continental routes
of the future . Some day it will undoubtedly be one of the great
cities of the world . Before the Zionists came it was a mere fishing
village. Today it is estimated to hold some 95,000 people,
of whom 65,000 are Jews . Cradled here is a rapidly expanding
industrial area . Railway workshops, electrical power houses,
cement works, factories and mills of all kinds are rising to swell
the growth of this hungry young metropolis .
There is little that may be termed oriental about the place .
Its model landscape seems copied, as it were, from a geography
textbook . Sea, mountains, plains and chalk cliffs meet the eye
all at once, gradually uniting with the Lebanon range in the
distance. High above the city is beautiful . Mount Carmel
where a Jewish suburb with wide streets, smart shops and modern
apartments gazes down on the calm bay and wide, green
plains of Sharon .
In the harbor are always to be seen the gray masses of British
men o' war. On the open beach, housed in an inauspicious
building, is the terminus of the oil line from Iraq . Like two
predatory monsters determined to have no other company in
their berth, they symbolize the British stake in Palestine .
The only other important town is Jaffa . Its name derives
from the Hebrew Japho, the `beautiful .' Pliny declares that even
before the deluge Jaffa was a city . On the porches of Karnak
the name of Ja-pu occurs as having been conquered by Thothmes
III about 16oo B.C. One hundred years ago it had a population
of four thousand. Today it holds seventy thousand, overwhelmingly
Arab, who are largely descendants of the Egyptians
and Ethiopians brought in by the conqueror Ibrahim Pasha .
The few thousand Jews who lived here fled during the 1936
riots, abandoning their shops and property .
Jaffa and Tel Aviv are really one town . Where the one begins
and the other ends is told only by the sudden descent from
the modernity of the Hebrew city into the stuffy squalor, ramshackle
architecture and typical dirt and hoarse cries of an Arab
town. The British were responsible for its artificial dissection
years ago, fearing Jewish domination of the port .
There is something awe-inspiring in the simple joy which
shines from the faces of the incoming Hebrews . Many of them
arrive in the ill-ventilated, reeking holds of small cargo steamers
after having survived almost incredible hardships . Some are of
the tradesman and professional type . Most are poor to the point
of desperation . Fellow-travelers are astounded to see these men
and women, grimy workmen and petty bourgeoisie hardly suspected
of sentiment or romanticism, standing silent with tears in
their eyes as the brown Judean hills take form on the distant
horizon. Eighty generations fade from their tired faces, years
of suffering, abasement and homelessness . As they survey these
shores their glance is illumined, speaking without words an almost
fanatic determination that the Land of Israel shall once
more stand glorious among the nations of the earth .
No one who has not seen these faces with his own eyes can
understand what a miracle it is for the Jew, to stand once more
on the soil that Simon Bar Giora trod, where Abraham, Isaac
and David walked, where Bar Kochba led his stem swordsmen.
Nothing can gloat over the sheer majesty of this scene like the
starved Jewish eye, now devouring its outlines with a hunger
sharpened by the nostalgia of two thousand years . As at a beautiful
vision, the newcomer stares at the rosy-cheeked children racing
in happy play . Their fresh, tumbling Hebrew speech gladdens
his ear like beautiful music as he harks back in shuddering
contrast to the sallow emaciation and frightened eyes of the only
Jewish children he has ever known . Thrilled and almost disbelieving,
he gazes at the straight-limbed boys who have left the
puny catechisms of Europe far behind, to work with pick and
shovel under the broiling sun of this new land . Their bronzed
faces are like the stark brown hills around them . Like Ernest in
Hawthorne's story, The Great Stone Face, they have subtly remade
themselves in a mold long forgotten .
It is "a wonderful youth," says M . J. Landa, one of the authorities
on modern Palestine, "brisk of mind, vigorous of sinew,
of athletic physique . . . mentally clean and keenly conscious
of its mission and its opportunity to create a new life and
spirit." 6 Nowhere else is sheer idealism so plain in every office
of life . Kindliness and the desire to create a cooperative civilization
worthy of the name of man, everywhere takes precedence
over individual ambition. The same determination for a
socially-intelligent existence which has distinguished post-war
Sweden is evident here . Consumer and industrial cooperatives
have a large hold on life. The number of these organizations
increased from 769 at the end of 1935, to 849 a year later .
These include 166 agricultural cooperatives, 58 irrigation and
water supply societies, and various building groups for the erection
of garden cities . One of the Nazi correspondents commented
that even when a car breaks down on the road, nine out
of ten passing motorists will stop in their journey and volunteer
to assist in mending it .
For the first time in modern Jewish life the distribution of
occupation approaches normality . Agriculture now absorbs
14% ; industry and crafts, 23 .4% ; transportation, 6 .1 % ; building
construction, 12 .7% ; commerce, 20% ;public and civil
service, 2 .4% ; liberal professions, 12 .4% ; persons living on income,
6% ; domestic and hotel employees, 3%.
Something in the way of flowers or greenery grows wherever
a Jew lives . The passion for growing things, for trees and blooms,
is so intense in this psychically starved people as to be insatiable .
They love to loiter in outdoor gardens, sipping their unbelievable
fruit soups or nibbling at sticky fruit compotes .
Hiking is a national pastime . They go in for athletic competition
with feverish zeal . There are innumerable small sports
clubs of every description and three major sports federations,
including the Football and Boxing Federation and the Amateur
Sports Clubs Federation . One of the great bi-annual events is
the Maccabiad (Jewish Olympics), held at the magnificent Tel
Aviv stadium. In the tournament of 1935, twenty-three countries
were represented with over five thousand participants.
Fifty thousand people paid admission as the whole city made a
delirious holiday.
The love for the theater and for music is intense and de188
monstrative ; song is often a substitute for supper . An opera
company holds a regular season in Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel
Aviv, translating the classics into Hebrew . In 1936 the Palestine
First Symphony Orchestra, amid scenes of abandon such as
one expects to see only in motion pictures, was led by the great
conductor Toscanini to a triumph of popular support sufficient
to make New York or London blush .' Simple workingmen
fought for the precious tickets at each concert . Outside the
jammed halls thousands waited in the streets to give the loved
musicians a thundering ovation as they left. As in the days of
the Prophets, song and community music are a constant feature
of the new Hebrew life. In the meanest Jewish section of the
cities, in the poorest farmer's hut, when the lights gleam yellow
through the windows at night, there is always heard music and
laughter . The irrepressible Hora is danced tirelessly .
In addition to numerous cinema houses there are a number of
fine theaters . Habimah, the national Hebrew theater, is reputed
to be one of the finest stock companies in the world . Its stage
direction and sets are spoken of with admiration wherever acting
is professionally known . The workers too have their own
theater, said to be professionally superb, called the Ohel ; and
there is a famous children's theater, the Theation Layelodem,
where children are both the actors and audience .
Innumerable art exhibitions are continually showing, a thing
unheard of in the moribund life of the Near East before the
coming of the Zionists . Literature also flourishes . In Tel Aviv
alone are ten publishing houses, some of them prosperous . Palestine
Jewry was responsible for 94% of all the books published
on both sides of the Jordan River in 1935. This is the astounding
country where grimy-handed peasants read Hegel and
Strindberg .
All told there are some three hundred organizations, societies,
and associations of a cultural and social character . In science,
too, the Hebrew genius now shines directly on its own . The
Daniel Sieff Research Institute at Rehovoth is equipped with the
most delicate modern instruments ; its experiments are watched
by chemists all over the world . And of the Hebrew University
the Palestine Royal Commission of 1936 says : "It is remarkable
to find on the fringe of Asia a university which maintains the
highest standards of Western scholarship ."
The conventional neuroticism which marks so strongly the
beleaguered Jews of Europe is not seen here . These people
are almost provincial, and certainly without complexes . A comparison
of the incidence of insanity, said to be higher generally
among Jews than in the surrounding populations, is startling .
The average insanity for all the races of the world is 300-400
per hundred thousand ; while among Palestine's Jews it is only
19o per hundred thousand.
The speech of these people is a lyrical Old-Testament Hebrew.
Here in the old land of miracles, the language of the
Lord Jehovah and of the Seminarists, dead and inert so long,
felt the fire of Jewish rebirth breathed into it and is now the
everyday tongue of the people .8 Love for the ancient language
is so fierce that even shopkeepers will pretend ignorance of
other tongues and will allow a customer to walk out rather than
answer him in Yiddish.9 The only exception to this rule in
Palestine is a section of the Marxists, who persist in hanging on
to their Yiddish, regarding Hebrew as an ugly symbol of offensive
nationalism. An amusing sidelight on this issue is given by
the Hebrew writer, Uri Zvi Greenberg, former native of Poland
and noted Yiddish poet . During a return visit to Warsaw,
where he was entertained by the local literary group, he broke
up the reception by thus referring to Yiddish : "In Palestine we
no longer defile our mouths with the filthy Nalewki jargon ."
Going Hebrew is not a fad - it is an irresistible compulsion .
In Palestine when a Jew changes his name, which is frequent, he
selects the most Jewish one he can find . Rose translates, Shoshanna
; and Jacob, Yacob. The Aryan Siegbert becomes
Semitic Shalom ; the Teutonic Siegfried lapses into the Hebrew
Shmuel ; the Persian Mutaza Zamail is remodeled into Mardekjai
Menashi Efrayimi : and the Polish Measze Szmuszkowicz is
henceforward Menashe Benzion .
The Scriptures and Prophets have also inspired the newcomers
to apply a revised and picturesque nomenclature for the
places they have occupied . The first of the new garden suburbs
in Jerusalem was named Meah Shearim (the Hundred
Gates), after Genesis 26:12 . Another was called Yegia Kapayim
(the labor of thine hands), after Psalms 128 :2 : "For
thou shalt eat the labor of thine hands - happy shalt thou be,
and it shall be well with thee." Talpioth, southeast of Jerusalem,
was called after the description by Solomon of his beloved
in the Song o f Songs . Rishon-le-Zion, was named after
the 27th verse of Chapter 42 of Isaiah ; and Petach Tikvah (door
of hope), is derived from Hosea, Chapter 2, verse 15, which
reads : "And I will give her vineyards from thence, and the
valley of Achor for a door of hope ."
As in Tel Aviv, Jewish holidays and festivals of Old Testament
times have sprung into life wherever these people live .
In the settlements they are welcomed in a riot of flowers, flags,
ceremony, music and dancing . The dead hand of religious
formalism has departed from them and they have become stirring
national holidays, declaring in sentiment and form, the rewon
self-respect of the Jew.
With every year that passes, admits the 1936 Royal Commission,
"the contrast between this intensely democratic and highly
organized modern community and the old-fashioned Arab world
around it grows sharper," conceding that nowhere in the world
is the spirit of nationalism "more intense than among the Jews
in Palestine." The proud character of this civilization was
noted by the Irish writer St . John Ervine who found, in vivid
contrast to the surrounding Near East, that there were no soreeyed
children among the Jews, nor any young men and women
who were blind because of neglect . "Not once," he notes in
astonishment, "in the course of my brief stay in Palestine did
a Jew solicit alms from me ."
All this lively reborn life is reflected in the growth of the
Hebrew press, truly astonishing for such a small community .
Davar, the largest daily, has a circulation of some twenty-five
thousand ; followed by Haaretz, with some twenty thousand ;
and a number of other dailies, together with many weekly publications,
trade journals, and miscellaneous publications .
Jewish Palestine is organized into one community called Knesseth
Israel . This community elects on an autonomous basis a
body of seventy-one members, the Jewish National Assembly
(Asefath Ha-nichharim), representing the various Jewish parties
. This body in turn selects a permanent committee of
twenty-three (Vaad Leumi), recognized as the authorized
spokesmen of Palestine Jewry in its dealings with the Government.
This body has no actual legislative or executive powers
in the Administration . Actually the Government considers its
existence merely as one of those concessions commonly made to
the amenities, not consequent in practice . Hence the Jewish
National Assembly is restricted in its external dealings to wordy
memoranda of protest over decrees and legislation considered
contrary to Jewish interests . In internal Jewish affairs, however,
it is potent and invaluable . Representing the increasing
solidarity of Palestine's Jewry, it is the nucleus for the Jewish
self-government which is one day certain to come .

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The largest and most expertly conducted business in the history
of man is the British Empire . The nerve center and business
office of that Empire is the section called Whitehall, in
London, where sit the all-powerful permanent officials . Theirs
is the first, and usually the last, word in directing the line of
policy by which every part of that gigantic enterprise is controlled.
Virtually independent of the electorate, these impregnable
bureaucracies function magnificently, undisturbed by the hot
and cold breath of political change . They are ruled by men
who have been trained from boyhood into the tradition of the
Empire. To these men the slightest material advantage to Imperial
business comes first, irrespective of humanist philosophies
and social codes . They are smug, clever and loyal. They
avoid the limelight - but their power is immense .
Among the men who really rule England is Sir Robert Vansittart,
head of the Foreign Office and perhaps the most powerful
personage in the British Empire - a man whose taste for
whiskey and intrigue has won him the nickname of "Machiavelliand-
soda." He has under his immediate control the admirable
British Secret Service, and dispenses thousands of pounds of the
Foreign Office's "secret funds" - money on whose expenditure
the law expressly forbids any detailed account to Parliament .
He is also chairman of the `Co-ordinating Committee,' the
Government's own propaganda bureau, whose function is to influence
the news in foreign countries where friendly opinion is
important. One of the functions which the `Co-ordinating
Committee' has assumed is responsibility for the Arabic broadcasts
which go forth regularly from London .'
Another of these men is Sir Maurice Hankey, an unostenta-
tious functionary who combines in his person the post of Secretary
to the Cabinet, Secretary to the Privy Council and Secretary
to the Committee of Imperial Defense . Sir Maurice
knows probably more than any other man the closely held
secrets of military and political intrigue, the careful long-range
planning, by which the future of the Empire is safeguarded .
Around these two men are grouped the political agents in direct
contact with the omnipotent Intelligence Service, "who are employed
to test or to alter public opinion" - a small group which
numbers in its ranks some of the best and shrewdest brains in
Among other powerful figures are Sir Walter Runciman,
head of the British Board of Trade, and Sir Warren Fisher,
Chief of the Treasury . Behind these Vansittarts and Hankeys
are a host of others - shadows behind shadows - men whose direct
influence often colors or dictates the actions of their chiefs .
More are continually in the course of training, eventually to
take over their masters' jobs . The mechanism is selfperpetuat-
ing-The most important of these Bureaus is the Admiralty, recognized
as the `sacred white cow' of British political life. Following
closely after the Admiralty in prestige and power are the
War and Colonial Offices . A number of lesser Bureaus, immensely
powerful in their own right, complete an impregnable
web which has rarely failed to enmesh every British Cabinet of
modern times .
In the hands of these brilliant functionaries there is no confused
muddling of action, but an artfully planned and carefully
concealed continuity of objectives . The appearance of clumsy
incapacity is part of their technique ; but when all the presumed
bungling is over, the strategic spots in question are always
found to be miraculously occupied by the British, without
loss of moral tone . The greatest part of their strategy is dictated
by the fact that the Empire has settled down to the point
where it exists mostly as a market for English-manufactured
goods as well as a source of raw material . Tranquillity is the
essence of Empire needs under the circumstances - hence these
men will make many concessions for it where vital requirements
are not at stake . This, plus the private prejudices of the
Bureaucrats, is the major basis of British ethics in the business
of Empire rule .
Their tactics, developed over centuries of training, are ably
devised. They consist in the main of sudden surprise maneuvers
covered by a barrage of pious rhetoric . If the resistance
is too great and a graceful exit available, they take it . They
regard a doughty antagonist with respect . They will treat with
him when they discover that more is to be gained in that way .
If pushed so far that they cannot return without losing face,
their history indicates that they will fight like bulldogs ; but if
allowed a convenient retreat, as one prominent European statesman
once said to the writer, "They will give you not only what
you want, but fifty percent more ."
They have an immense contempt for elected politicians .
Parliament they consider a necessary evil . Their method of
parrying pointed questions from that body is a marvel in efficiency
and insolence .
Among these servants of the Crown there are often decisive
and sometimes fundamental differences of opinion . Taken by
and large, however, the human content in their computations
does not exist. The terms in which they think are well represented
in the Chinese opium trade, forced on China by British
gunboats. At the Opium Conference held at Geneva in November
1924, these men refused pointblank to yield to the humanitarian
demands of the American delegates for termination
of this debauching traffic, "on the ground that Britain needed
the money," so the Conference came to naught .3 It was this
same cabal and its reactionary allies in `The City' who were
largely responsible for the rise of Adolph Hitler on the Continent,
financing him and preparing his way behind the scenes .4
The vast bulk of these men believe the Balfour Declaration
to have been a grave error, and that by it Britain is building a
first class Frankenstein in her own backyard . That error they
have set out to rectify.
The background for this conviction was erected when EngBUREAUCRACY
lish agents returned from Russia after Kerensky's fall, with the
bug of a world Jewish conspiracy chasing itself around in their
bonnets. The Chinese Communist Revolution which followed,
threatening to eliminate them from their entire privileged position
in Asia, almost frightened them out of their skins .
In the path of the Bolshevik eruption came wild reports, and
the consuming fear that the established world was about to go
up in flames . Riding high on the tide of success, the Communists
blatantly announced their plans for ripping the world up by
its foundations. Dynamite was in the air throughout Europe
and Asia. Radicals had made good their Red promises in Hungary.
Italy and Germany were in a nip-and-tuck struggle with
disaster. The Far East was infected . Typical of the kind of
stuff that was rattling British brains was the Manifesto of the
Soviet Congress of Eastern Nations at Baku, September 1920,
announcing that "our main blow must be aimed at British Capitalism
; though at the same time we want to arouse the working
masses of the Near East to hatred . . ."
The English had just finished their sad adventure in Russia
where the counter-Revolution was little less than an English
war. Some idea of British commitments to the White Russian
cause can be gained from Winston Churchill's Memorandum of
September 15, 1919, just before the beginning of Denikin's
great retreat, when he observed that up to that date Britain had
expended nearly one hundred million pounds.5 The hatred
this contest engendered against Jews carried over into post-war
England as a fixed quotient in all the Government bureaus .
The idea soon gained currency that the Russian Revolution was
part of the ramifications of a gigantic Jewish plot against the
world - and that the Zionists themselves were an important part
of this conspiracy . When E. H. Wilcox, a newspaper correspondent
for the London Daily Telegraph, brought out his book
in 1 g 19, Russia's Ruin, pointing out in a seemingly impartial,
repertorial manner the great part played by the Jews in the
Revolution, the identification of Jews with this dangerous movement
became complete in the Bureaucratic mind . Over-night
the Protocols o f the Elders o f Zion, a crude forgery reputing
to be the intimate documentary evidence of the Jewish plot,
achieved a terrific circulation." Men, otherwise quite sane, believed
this fantastic rubbish completely .
A vast literature soon accumulated on the subject . Members
of Parliament were flooded with anti-Semitic leaflets and pamphlets
daily, in which the term "hidden hand" and other phrases
such as "international finance" are developed into an argot used
to signify the Jewish conspirators behind the scene. Represented
as the modern genius behind this diabolical scheme for
world disruption is, remarkably enough, none other than Achad
Ha'am ; and as Ha'am's "representative," in this strange literature,
poor Weitzman is translated into one of the most dangerous
men alive.
To suspicious Bureaucrats whose entire training in life lay in
quiet conspiracy to gain hidden ends, no part of this sounded
like an impossible hypothesis . Antipathy for the Jews assumed
such proportions in whole sections of English society and Government
as to become pathological. The basis, in fact, of their
fanatic support of Hitler was the belief that he was the only man
with the genius and courage to fight the vast unseen Jewish
octopus which was draining the Empire's life blood and which
was credited with instigating every misfortune and misadventure
which befell England anywhere .
Some idea of the influence of the Protocols alone, can be
gained from the critical study made by Benjamin W . Segel, who
found that "no recent book of world literature could even in a
slight degree compare with the circulation of the Protocols ."
The tremendous influence and ready acceptance of this fantasy
is hardly understood by Jews . The Zionist leaders, especially,
are capable of having this stuff swirling all around their heads
without being aware of it . When a few years ago the writer
showed it to one of them, he airily dismissed the whole business
as sounding "like Alice in Wonderland ."
Riddling the Bureaucratic mentality also was a strong, though
not properly recognized neo-Pagan movement, borrowed from
their liaison with the Germans . To these groups many of the
important officials of the various Bureaus belong . A particuBUREAUCRACY
larly influential group meets in offices in the Temple off Fleet
Street and is said to be headed by one of the most important
peers and barristers in England. It was this group which Alfred
Rosenberg visited with Count Herbert Bismarck in 1933 on the
all-important Nazi mission which was seeking desperatelyneeded
British support. Its meetings and peculiar occult practices
are semi-secret in view of the station occupied by a great
part of its followers . Loosely organized, it is called "The
Mistery" after the German "Mysterikon" of Lans von Lebenfels.
Part of its philosophy is the theory propagated throughout
official England that the secret meaning of the Book of Job
is that the Jewish race is the result of the mating of a Semitic
tribe and apes.
Official London became a hotbed of anti-Semitism, where the
feeling was no less venomous by reason of being covert . The
`world Jewish plot' remained the implement by which Zionists
were baited in club and salon, those important centers of English
political influence, as well as within the sacred precincts of
`The City' itself. Lord Lloyd, former High Commissioner
of Egypt, expressed the inward fear agitating the English minds
when he stated that Jewish immigration was turning Palestine
into "a springboard of Bolshevism in the Near East ." 7 Innumerable
meetings, semi-official in character, were told of the
extreme danger lying in wait for the Empire and assured that
"Communism was alien to the Arab ."
The embryo of English Arabophilia reached back all the way
to the period of peace negotiations . Englishmen were speaking
for all the varied Arab races to Englishmen in London .
In the agreements for the creation of Arab States, McMahon
had included this sentence throughout : "It is understood
that the Arabs have decided to seek the advice and guidance
of Great Britain only, and that such European advisers and officials
as may be required for the formation of a sound form of
administration will be British ." Englishmen thus found themselves
regimenting their own self-interest as an Imperialist
power, acting for groups of colorful tribesmen who rained all
the blessings of Allah on their heads with unctuous correctness .
It was a nice feeling and it had its physical rewards in the immense
resources of the Arabian Peninsula, seemingly wide open
to exclusive British exploitation. When the British eventually
came up against another group, the Jews, who had social theories,
spoke English and proposed to represent themselves in negotiations,
they were thoroughly annoyed.
In London, the Palestine Administration, supporting its subversive
efforts with Jewish tax money, lent its entire force to a
campaign making the Arabs out to be an honest, picturesque
folk whose patrimony was being stolen by an invading army of
Bolshevik Jews. Arab `commissions' with the tacit backing and
open advice of Palestine officials, pilgrimaged to London regularly,
walked the streets in their dignified flowing robes and
played their roles as they had been coached .
Judeo-phobes and anti-Bolsheviks began to discover that the
Arab cause was a great and noble one . They formed themselves
into formidable committees in and out of Parliament .
Powerful figures such as Sir Henry Page-Croft, Sir Arnold Wilson,
Lord Sydenham and Lord Lamington associated themselves
actively with the stage management of the Arab campaign for
public sympathy. Other still more powerful figures operated
from the shadows, telling the Arabs what to say, formulating
their demands and maneuvering their case . Lord Eustace Percy
stated the situation in Parliament, July 4, 1922, declaring that
"certain Englishmen - who do not like the Zionist policy . . .
have inspired them [the Arabs] with certain ideas that they
never dreamt of before, and have supplied this Arab delegation
with arguments." Arabs were made to say meaningfully that
"Communism is alien to our religion, our principles and our
conscience ." Early Arab memoranda point out in staged horror
to the Government that "the prevalent conditions of the Jewish
immigrants are a very fertile medium for the propagation of
Communistic principles not only among Jews, but also among
Arabs." s
Certainly, an anti-Zionist campaign of this power and scope
is far beyond the known strength of the Palestine Arabs . Meeting
with little counteraction from the Zionists, it has affected
many divergent sections of opinion . Ironically enough, the Independent
Labour Party announces through its chairman, Archibald
Fenner Brockway, that "the Balfour Declaration was issued
in order to win the support of Jewish Capitalism ; that in itself
is sufficient reason for our opposition to it ." 9 The Communists,
as expected, are categorically opposed to Zionism in any
form or shape. Their only member of Parliament, William
Gallacher, squarely asserted during the 1936 riots that "if ever
a people were justified in making a protest and in making a
demonstration in order to get justice, it is the Arab people in
Palestine. . . I view with growing disgust the hypocrisy of the
position when I hear high moral concern and great regard for
the Jews being expressed in some quarters." 10
The most active opponents of the Zionists are in the Admiralty,
which has its eye on the strategical importance of Palestine to the
Empire. For years it is said to have employed various propagandists
and organizing experts on anti-Zionist work . The Colonial
and Foreign offices also utilize agents for a similar purpose .
According to a detailed statement supplied the writer by an
American whose intimate knowledge of English anti-Semitic activity
is unquestionable, the business of these people is to organize
the known anti-Semites in and out of the Government for a concerted
assault on the Zionist position . Supported by their allies
in the Departments, these people circulate through the drawing
rooms and clubs, cultivate the secretaries of prominent men and
weave their web wherever influence counts .
Through the mediation of these Bureaus, anti-Zionist propaganda
has become an integral part of the efficient publicity
service with which the British Government advances its views
all over the world . The greatest part of this concentration of
effort is in America . Just as English anti-Semitism stems largely
from White Russian sources, so the present propaganda in
America is heavily influenced from London with the hope of
immobilizing the Jewish demand for Palestine . British officialdom
is making a thorough job of presenting the Arab case wherever
public opinion is important . They were even able to secure
an appointment to lecture in Columbia University for the
Mufti's assistant, George Antonious, a venomous Jew-baiter
whose very name sends a shiver down the back of the Palestine
Jews. In adroitly-managed liaison with American anti-Semitic
elements, the anti-Zionist campaign is persistently and expertly
implemented. Its literature, distributed in ton lots in the large
cities, is heavy with neo-Pagan coloring . A sample is its virtuous
announcement that "the Jewish claim to Palestine rests on a
religious-Biblical dogma which is not binding on those who cannot
accept it by reason of a different belief . . . These Jewish
claims have been reinforced by many Christians who have been
influenced by the Bible - a book necessarily favorable to the
Jewish people ."
Actuated by the permanent officials, the full force of the
British Government has been thrown in back of the anti-Zionist
campaign . Its effect is seen in Turkey and even in faraway
Japan, where Zionists are suddenly singled out for persecution
and their movement all but declared illegal . How enormous
and persistent this pressure is on the surrounding countries and
governments of the Near East we shall shortly discover . The
strength of this determined animosity is spot-lighted by London's
insistence that Palestine be excluded from the sphere of
operations of the Refugee Commission presided over by Mac-
Donald in 1936 - certainly as sardonic a commentary on England's
interpretation of her word as could be imagined .
There are of course other and more respectable reasons
which activate London's attitude . One is the repugnance with
which a certain section of British opinion views Palestine's transformation
into a prosperous, modern community. This group
would prefer to keep the Holy Land under a glass case - a
perpetual survivor of the tourist East . But whatever the reason,
the factual result is tersely given by Colonel Meinertzhagen .11
Speaking February 9, 1938, he coldly asserted that "Arab opposition
to Zionism is nursed and encouraged by anti-Zionist views
not only in Palestine, but in Whitehall and Westminster . . .
Anti-Zionist officials in Palestine and London never gave the
Jewish homeland experiment a chance to succeed ."

There is no lack of evidence of the dislike held by the Palestine
Administration for Jews. The essentially pro-British
propaganda of the World Zionist Organization is read by the
Yishub with its tongue in its cheek - understood for what it is, a
sagacious part of the Zionist money-raising machinery. The
Vaad Leumi, occasionally provoked enough to forget the conditioning
restraint placed on it by its financial patron, the Jewish
Agency, has sometimes spoken its mind with great clarity as in its
1929 Memorandum to the League charging that the whole continuity
of spoliation, riots and `Commissions,' was "the inevitable
consequence of a policy of opposition to the Jewish National
Home" which the Administration had "been pursuing for
There can be little question that the prevailing sentiment of
the Government of Palestine is a vigorous offshoot of that section
of London City opinion which is pro-Nazi . There is as little
doubt that the controlling factor in this sentiment is a deep-rooted
The monist ferocity of anti-Semites is too well known to require
added description . The structure of the British bureaus
lends itself admirably to maneuvering by a small cabal of determined
political adventurers, and the anti-Semitic group has
not been remiss in utilizing every possible avenue for placing
its own `reliable' creatures in the Holy Land service . They
tried desperately at one time to secure the appointment of General
Michael O'Dwyer as High Commissioner, and came close
enough to it to make the Jews shudder. O'Dwyer, said to believe
religiously in the existence of the great `international Jewish
conspiracy,' is the man reputed to have shot six hundred
Indians in

Indians in cold blood, and made the others at Amritsar crawl
half a mile on their bellies in the dust as a symbol of their submission.
These men want to conduct legally, under the protection of
the British flag in Palestine, a systematic hatred of Jews . They
are heavily hampered by the existence in Commons of individuals
who are far from agreeable to this point of view. Hence
they wear such a mask of Christian benefaction as they can under
the circumstances, and attempt to justify their acts constantly
by principle . Wedgwood contemptuously refers to this
type of Crown servant as "the ordinary narrow-minded, halfbred
Englishman who feels about Jews just as his counterpart
Herr Hitler does ."
The pagan mentality is also much in evidence in the Holy
Land Service if one may judge from the published remarks of
C. R. Ashbee, Civic Adviser to the City of Jerusalem . In his
volume, A Palestine Notebook, he writes that "the most fanatical
people in the Holy City are the Roman Catholics . . . The Jews
run them a near second . The Moslems being tolerant in religious
matters, are hand in glove with the free-thinking English ."
This official of the New Jerusalem continues : "One still sees the
Christ type in the streets here, and it is usually the Jew who has
it. . . Jesus Christ, if he ever existed at all, was a Syrian and
he's still here in Jerusalem ; he won't enlist, he is perverse, tiresome,
and a thorn in the side of any government . . ."
One of the early reasons contributing to this feeling against
Jews was the unscrupulous propaganda of the German-Turkish
agents, enraged by the deflection of the Zionists . Originally
intended to promote anti-British incitement, these canards found
the sympathetic ear of the English authorities on the spot, who
for quite other reasons were opposed to the Jews .
Among the grudges held against the Jew was the claim that
he was clannish and had behaved with abominable inhospitality
when the British first arrived . The newcomers were lonely and
without their wives, a condition often remedied by Arab
sheikhs who, considering that women do not possess a soul, had
long made it a practice to turn over a female of the household
to a favored overnight guest . War-weary English officers appreciated
the soft inertia, slumberous music and polished deference
shown them by their Arab hosts ; while the inexplicable
Jews had vulgarly continued to toil in their fields and pore over
their interminable blueprints. "Whatever their station in life,"
says Horace Samuel, "and whatever the angle of contact, the
Arabs exhibited invariably far better manners than did the
Jews." 12 They were picturesque and exotic, in striking contrast
to the Zionists whose rolled shirt-sleeves and incessant drive
made the colorful indolence of their neighbors seem almost an
enchanting relief .
On the whole the Jew proved quite the most desperately impossible
human being to govern that ever drove an annoyed
bureaucrat to distraction . He was worse than the Afridis who
took to the mountains and shot off their rusty rifles ; even worse
than that patience-trying creature, the Hindu, who calmly sat
down on his brown haunches and refused to recognize that the
English existed .
The Jews first looked on the all-but-sacred Crown Colony
Code, the provincial's Bible, with disrespect . Feeling that the
country was theirs by solemnly ratified international agreement,
they chafed impatiently at its interminable red tape and officiousness
and often expressed their annoyance in no uncertain terms .
Britishers used to the languor of Timbuctu and Belize, who suddenly
found their snobbish hauteur deflated by even common
Jewish workingmen who did not know the word `native' as applied
to themselves, sat back in their chairs unpleasantly puzzled.
The tempo of activity these Jews set was perpetually
ruffling to officials who wanted to enjoy their jobs in peace .
They did not warm to the determined intellectuals who presented
argumentative petitions when their plans were balked .
They were aghast at the grimy-knuckled men who did not hesitate
to invade the sacred sanctums of officialdom in their shirtsleeves
; men of high energy and courage, whose manners were
often bad and who sometimes developed antagonism by their
very presence . Here was an enigma defying previous experience,
a charade of new values which the Colonial official, recruited
from the aloofness of the British manor or the worse
officiousness of London tenement, could neither understand nor
relish . "They almost forgot the difference between themselves
and their employers," said Sir Ronald Storrs . "My first chauffeur
was a Jew . . . he was an excellent driver, but it never
occurred to him to brush me down after I got out of the car .
I stood it for three months and then I engaged an Arab chauff
eur in his stead ."
Even more galling, the Jewish spokesmen, product of an
ethnos incalculably different from anything that makes an English
Colonial, left the impression that they considered themselves
a higher order of humanity . They brought means, culture and
capacity with them, and a typically Jewish point of view that
was apt to forget that an Inspector was not necessarily an ass because
he had not read Turgenieff and had no taste for classical
A certain insight into this matter was given by Mr. . Spicer,
Chief of Palestine Police, in reply to the question, "Why are
you all against the Jews ?" Spicer, decent as Colonial officials
go, but stolid and unimaginative, replied obligingly : "Look 'ere
now, there's many reasons . The bloomin' h'Arabs are h'easier
to 'andle. Now you tyke the h'Arabs when they want something.
A crowd will gather in front of my 'ouse, looking fierce
and shaking their blasted clubs, and maybe bryke a window .
Now w'ot do h'I do ! H'I tykes me military 'at, puts it on me
'ead, and walks outside . I tyke out a cigarette, fix it slowly in
the holder, flick the ashes off with a little finger - so ! And
h'I finally sye in an even voice : `See 'ere you beggars, what's the
damn meaning of all this ! Go 'ome !' And they go 'ome .
"Now w'ot do the Jews do! When they want something,
they call h'up the day before for an appointment. Then three
distinguished lawyers come in on me with their arms full of
lawbooks to prove their bloomin' case . Hell, you know h'I
don't know anything about law ."
Certainly a major factor was the bristling hostility to Communism,
which had been built in the gentile mind into something
closely approximating a Jewish phenomenon. To Officialdom
the new Jews coming to the Holy Land were nothing
but the vanguard of Bolshevism, arch-enemy of everything British.
In Palestine was a labor movement headed by hardworking,
grimy-handed men who had read Karl Marx . These
men were vague pinks, of the kind found in the English Labour
Party, whose Socialism consisted mostly of words . Actually
there were only some five hundred known Communists in the
entire country, most of whom were Arabs, and all of them lockstock-
and-barrel against the Zionist experiment . But these were
fine points past the ken of uniformed officials who, constitutionally
unable to distinguish between the various brands of Marxism,
viewed anything remotely touched by it with dark suspicion
What disturbed them principally were a few small farm settlements
called Kvutzoth, organized, like the Christian Hutterites
in the United States, on a communal basis . The Kvutzoth members
pretended to be advanced thinkers, looked on religion as a
remnant of the Dark Ages, fought against religious registration
of marriage, and ploughed on the Sabbath . Beyond this they
were hard-working people who slaved under the hot sun from
daybreak to nightfall. The total number of adults in all these collectives
at no time numbered more than three thousand, but their
activities were looked on with a tolerant eye by the Jewish
Agency, bowing to the thumb pressure of the socialist General
Federation of Labor. Moreover, they were settled on land
owned by the Jewish National Fund, and their buildings financed
from the same source. This was deadly ammunition in
the hands of Zionism's enemies, handing over the Jewish National
Movement for crucifixion on a cross of Marxism. The
Arab High Commission of 1923 does not hesitate to describe the
Kvutzoth as "typical examples of Communistic villages in Red
Russia," adding that "had these conditions been restricted to
Jewish colonies this would have been quite a Jewish affair, but
we find that the infectious bolshevik disease is penetrating day
by day into the Arab peasantry ." This kind of propaganda
had an inestimable affect on the bureaucrats in London . It
made the rounds of British officialdom, even officers friendly to
Zionism surveying it with knitted brows. Up to today it runs
like a binding thread through the entire British attitude .
There can be little question that there has finally grown up
among His Majesty's officials in Palestine an ingrained aversion
to Jews, rendered almost ferocious by the struggle to hold these
`unsavory foreigners' in their place . Even as open-minded an
official as Broadhurst refers to "the notorious Balf our Declaration."
13 It would be difficult in fact to find anywhere a group
of men as incapable of assistance or understanding to such a
project as the Jewish National Home as are quartered under the
roof of the Palestine Administration . Without question they
regard themselves as under some sort of queer duty to lead a
stealthy filibuster against the very policy they were commissioned
to carry through. No one even on speaking terms with
the facts can doubt that the British and Jews in Palestine are
lined up, like medieval Norman and Saxon, on two sides of the
political, social and economic fence . "I could not help noticing,"
says Broadhurst pointedly, "that when British officials attend
any Jewish social function they beat a retreat at the first
opportune moment." 14
The American minister, John Haynes Holmes, visiting the
Holy Land in 1929, found an invincible prejudice against Jews
among the Crown officials . These men, he relates, "talked of
the Zionist movement with impatience, frequently with contempt,
and always with the suggestion that they would be ineffably
relieved, if not actually pleased, if the whole thing would
only blow up and disappear." 15 The English writer, Beverley
Nichols, paints an identical picture, saying, "I had not been in
Jerusalem for a week before I realized very clearly in which direction
lay the sympathies of the majority of the English community.
They were pro-Arab. Some from a vague sense of
`justice,' some from very clearly defined views of Imperial policy,
and some because they were frankly anti-Semitic ." 16 This
whole pattern of dislike is aptly shown in trifling provocations,
as the alteration in 1931 when Nathan Straus Street in Jerusalem
was given the hated name of Chancellor . Ashbee epitomizes
much of this feeling. He finds "these Jews of the Holy City
even worse than their brethren of Whitechapel." 17 The policy
of the Balfour Declaration, which he was appointed to implement,
he discovers "is an unjust policy . . . dangerous to civilization."
Farago, covering the 1936 riots, describes the wives of highly
placed British officials openly carrying on propaganda for the
Arab cause among the newspaper correspondents . Even the
Chief Secretary of the Government, Hawthorn Hall, an official
ranking next to the High Commissioner, is found advising French
journalists to read the anti-Semitic Arab press if they want to get
at the true facts of the Palestine situation .19 A wave of hatred
as devastating as this has many little eddies, nor have the enlisted
men escaped its clutch . This jingle, popular with the Palestine
army under General Dill, speaks volumes :
"Arab ! Don't shoot me
Shoot the man behind the tree .
He is a treacherous Jew
I am an Englishman true .
Arab ! Don't shoot me
Shoot the man behind the tree ."
A considerable proportion of His Majesty's servants in Palestine,
end up as accomplished anti-Zionist agitators in London .
To understand the ease with which the transition is made, one has
only to read the pages of the Arab propaganda sheet, Palestine
and Transjordan, and then the letters written by Sir John Chancellor
inviting various individuals in the Government to subscribe
money for the upkeep of this "weekly paper in English to express
the British point of view ." 20
There is not the slightest doubt that the Zionists are faced in
Palestine by a cynically hostile Guardian, who in the very nature
of events must sooner or later succeed in grinding their movement
to a pulp . It is in fact hard to conceive how, in a modern
world, any colonization enterprise can be conducted successfully
when it must contend with the active hatred of an overlord
who sets immigration conditions, tariff rates, taxes, and
regulates by fiat every economic and political condition under
which the new settlers must live.
Zionist publicity has proven itself adept at concealing this
ugly situation . Colonel Wedgwood visiting the country in
1927 was utterly astonished to hear at first hand the bitter feeling
of the Jewish settlers . He had been under the impression
that they were enraptured with the English Administration.
Only old Menachem Ussishkin among the Zionists, has dared to
speak his mind . With blunt candor he declared that "from the
start it was clear that the British officials in Palestine were against
us. The entire Arab opposition to the Jewish National Home
was `made at the Government House .' " 21
Dr. John Haynes Holmes puts the matter in a nutshell when
he says : "It may well be discovered, before the tale is done,
that the English conquest of Palestine, and the English Government
of Palestine under the Mandate, constitute together the
greatest tragedy that ever befell the Zionist movement ." 22
Weitzman had tartly informed the Twelfth Zionist Congress
: "If you think we made ourselves the agents of English
politics in the Near East, you have the wrong idea . . . If you
were to ask any British Imperialist today whether Palestine is
a necessity for them toward their Imperialistic ends, you will
hear as the answer a flat `no.' "
This, however, was far from the opinion of the gentlemen in
Westminster and Whitehall . They saw with hungry eyes that
this little territory had rapidly become the "key to great oil deposits,
to regions of vital value to Great Britain. Its loss by
the British Empire might be fatal to its interests in India, in
Egypt, and in the Suez Canal Zone ." 23 They saw also that between
Jewish and British interests in Palestine there lay basic,
and from their viewpoint, unbridgeable, contradictions .
With grim realism these men understood what Jewish politicians
were too naive to grasp, that there was no struggle between
Jews and Arabs, but actually an undeclared state of war
between the Zionists and His Britannic Majesty's Government
for possession of this vital area .
It was disconcertingly plain that if the Zionists put up a smart
fight for their patrimony the English would find themselves in
parentheses. Palestine was not a British colony but an area in
the process of becoming an independent state, handed over to
the transient guardianship of a Mandatory by consent of the
Jews. It was in this none too reassuring olio of facts that British
policy in Palestine had its raison d'etre . If need be they could
occupy Palestine on the same principle of 'J' y suis, j' y reste' 24
by which they had held on to Egypt.25 But a Great Britain
faced with a world of enemies, and which was loudly demanding
international sanctions against covenant-breaking nations like
Japan and Italy, had to keep face . It must achieve its ends by a
silently progressive destruction of the legal bases on which the
Zionist framework rested. Understanding this, one understands
the dissembling, the artificially created problems and the
covering cloak of platitudes which mark the British reign in
Palestine. Then, what must be otherwise merely an inexplicably
shabby series of mean-spirited acts against a defenseless people,
begins to make some pattern of sense .
In 1875 Disraeli got the Suez Canal for England with money
advanced by the Rothschilds, literally muscling his nation in
as the major shareholder . The canal made British control of
Egypt inevitable. Since that time, the King's subjects have
been taught that the lifeline of the Empire runs through Suez .
The Admiralty has always held doggedly to the dictum that
this artery must be dominated by Britain at all costs . Suez reverts
to the Egyptian Government when the Canal Company's
concession expires in 1969. Still more disturbing, the Egyptian
Nationalists forced London to sign a new treaty in 1936, under
which Britain troops will have to evacuate Alexandria and Cairo
in eight years.

These changing conditions leave the British Army, quartered
in the Canal Zone, without any hinterland as a base . Palestine
thus becomes an essential bulwark for an otherwise precariously
situated army. Accenting this condition is the presence of the
Italians on the newly acquired Island of Doumeirah in the Red
Sea, their guns mounted menacingly right athwart the Imperial
line of communications. On the land side Italy holds an impregnable
position in Ethiopia. Under her stimulation, Egypt
grows daily more restless . Germany has once more turned her
face toward the East, and is reviving Bismarck's Drang nach
Osten policy . Though at this moment she pays court to Eng210
land in the hope of winning its neutrality while Hitler is establishing
his domination in Europe, ultimate German colonial aims
at the expense of the British Empire are unconcealed . The old
objective of the Czars, dreaded by Englishmen for a hundred
years, has been finally gained by the Soviets. At the Montreux
Conference in 1936, despite anything His Majesty's representatives
could do about it, Turkey fortified the Straits and allowed
the Northern Muscovite Bear permission to send her fleets
through to the Mediterranean . Thus the danger of being outflanked
both by land and sea looms up more vividly real with
each passing month . In the Far East, Japan openly challenges
Britain not only for dominance in China but throughout the
East. Under Japanese stimulation the tide against the white
man rises inexorably in Asia . Siam and Persia are visibly anti-
British in sentiment, and the volcano of India smolders with
ominous portent.
Thoroughly alarmed, Great Britain is feverishly rearming .
She is straining every sinew and all her resources to meet the
savage attack which she knows must sooner or later be made on
The chain of great naval bases reaching from Gibraltar to
Singapore and Hongkong bears witness to the sharp attention
paid by British statesmen to control of the trade route to India.
If this were cut, Britain would be dead of starvation within six
weeks.26 Far from being self-supporting, England produces
only about three-fifths of the food she requires and about
twenty percent of the raw materials needed in her manufactures .
Roughly, forty percent of her commerce lies in export trade .
The Mediterranean is the principal trade route to all British
Dominions except Canada, and since her supremacy there has
been challenged it assumes greater significance in British eyes
than ever before. Its importance may be judged from Admiralty
figures, showing an annual value with India of C 8o,ooo,-
ooo; Australia, C 50,ooo,ooo ; and China, C 26,000,000 . The
center of gravity in international affairs, says Sidebotham, is
"no longer Stresa or Danzig, but Haifa ." -"
Haifa harbor has become the most important stronghold in
the Mediterranean. It is incomparably better than that of Alexandria,
which has now become difficult for large water vessels
due to the shifting of the channel . The quarrel with Mussolini
over Ethiopia demonstrated the untenability of the old naval
depot at Malta, which is now to be closed up and transferred to
Haifa, slated to be the permanent station for the Mediterranean
fleet. Haifa has hence become a weighty matter of empire,
comparable only in strategic significance with the new gigantic
Singapore base.
This port is moreover the terminus of the great oil line
through which the enormous stream of Mosul oil is transported
to the sea.28 This factor becomes overwhelmingly important
in light of the fact that less than six percent of all fuel oil and
gasoline consumed in the United Kingdom originates in the Empire.
With the British fleet modernized so that it depends on
fuel oil exclusively, has risen the Admiralty's demand that Zionism
be halted altogether and Palestine fenced off into a wholly
British preserve . The English blueprint envisages a parallel
pipeline to run from Haifa to the Mosul fields ; and another conduit
to carry the Anglo-Iranian oil from the Persian Gulf to
either Haifa or Aqaba.
Palestine today holds the key position for all air routes between
Britain and the East, and in view of the uncertainties in
Egypt, is a dominant factor in the development of air routes to
Africa. It has become a vital link in the whole British chain of
strategy. Desperately, as the open question arises as to the relative
efficiency of dreadnaughts and airships, Britain is seeking
transcontinental sovereignty of the air .
London also plans to supplement the water route to India by
a system of motor roads, of which Haifa will be the western
terminus ; and by a magnificent railway system, connecting all
the important British possessions in the old world like a girdle.
The defeat of Germany and Turkey during the Great War removed
the last physical obstacles to this grandiose scheme . The
railway is to go from Haifa to Baghdad, thence to the Persian
Gulf, connecting with British-controlled Port Fuad and the
India line . At Haifa again, it connects with the Cape to Cairo
Railway by way of Kantara, making Haifa the apex of a tremendous
triangle whose other extremes are at Capetown and
Calcutta . One arm is to go from Haifa to Damascus via Iraq,
thus maintaining an a priori grip on Syria in case the French are
forced out and the Italians attempt to take their place . Another
branch is to reach from Haifa to Aqaba, providing an alternative
land route between the two great seas .
If Haifa is rapidly becoming the key to the Orient, Aqaba,
on the Red Sea is potentially of like importance . Its sheltered
waters are ideal for a seaplane base, while the high mesa which
overlooks it provides the finest natural aerodrome in the world .
Fifty airplanes could take off simultaneously on this plateau .
Plans are already actively being formulated for the digging of a
new canal to supplement Suez, to stretch from Aqaba to Gaza .
This would relieve Britain of the fear of the water route reverting
to Egypt, and would give her a virtually impregnable
line of communications, making her master of the old world .
Bearing heavily on English attitudes is still another factor of
vast importance - the presence in the Dead Sea of unlimited
amounts of potash and other chemicals, valuable in peace and absolutely
essential in war. Palestine is England's only source of
this material . Until the Dead Sea development materialized, the
Germans held a practical monopoly on potash, placing the Allied
Powers in a serious predicament during the World War .
To the official mind, it became pressingly evident that some
pretext for permanent occupation of this indispensable area had
to be found. One thing was certain : England could never permit
Palestine to come under the rule of any other country.
Even more dubious in the Bureaucratic mind was the possibility
of an independent Jewish State, which, being free to contract
alliances with foreign powers, could conceivably make common
cause with the Empire's foes in the unpredictable future .
These officials look askance at the presence here of a large, intelligent,
modern population whose reaction in any crisis might
involve an obstinate consideration of its own needs and welfare
; and which might under able leaders extend its hegemony
of interests to cut through the indolent Arabic countries like a
knife through so much cheese, perhaps even challenging British
supremacy over Egypt itself. They believe that Palestine can
be held much more comfortably for Imperial purposes, without
a Jewish Homeland, with a native population completely dependent
on Britain for financial and political support .
The pioneering energy shown by the Zionists has also alarmed
London lest she should be nursing a new Japan in Western Asia,
who, sooner than was pleasant to contemplate, would go into active
competition for the all-important markets of Africa and the
Orient . They dread the possibility that an industrialized Jewish
Palestine would form the spearhead for an economic bloc of
Near Eastern countries, ruining British position completely by
an enlargement of already conflicting interests . They uncomfortably
remember that in 1914 India was importing seventyfive
percent of its cotton textiles from Great Britain. By 1 934
Indian capital had built enough domestic mills to supply seventyfive
percent of the textiles the country needed, Japan gobbling
up more than half of the remaining business . London is determined
to forestall industrialization in Asia wherever it can, and
is much more interested in maintaining the old conditions .29
The British know that the Jew, with his resources and indomitable
energy, if encouraged instead of hampered would
eventually bring the entire Near East into his sphere of influence
; and this possibility is sufficient to keep the gentlemen of
Downing Street from sleeping at night .
A persistent minority of independent British opinion, however,
takes a contrary view . On the matter of trade it points
out that markets depend also on consuming capacity and that it
is to the mother country's advantage to develop the Near East .
It points to the increasingly large English export to Palestine following
hard on the heels of Jewish industrialization . It draws
attention to the compensating trade development following the
industrialization of Canada, Australia and the other Dominions,
and it finally rests on the contention that the hand of progress
cannot be stopped whether England wills or no .
Such leaders as Lords Snell, Lothian, Tweedsmuir and Cecil
hold that the success of Zionism is no less important to Britain
than to the Jews, and stress the need for developing a loyal
population there whose interests would be tied up with those of
the English. These men view with disquietude the political instability
of the Arab, as well as the growing antagonism to Britain
throughout the Moslem world . They believe that a powerful
Jewish National Home, holding the Judean fastnesses and the
key coastal positions, would be another Gibraltar on the eastern
end of the Mediterranean . The English pro-Zionists contend
that intelligent Imperial planning demands the driving of a stout
Jewish wedge between the Egyptian, Turkish and Arabian Moslems.
Mr. L. S. Amery, former Secretary of State for the
Colonies, in his book The Forward View states that the introduction
of a strong Western force, allied with Britain, into this
part of the world, is an absolute Imperial necessity . The great
British publicist Herbert Sidebotham writes that "so strong
is the argument for Zionism to our own security that if there
had been no Zionism readymade to our hand by thousands of
years of Jewish suffering, we should have had to invent it ." 30
And Lieutenant-Commander Kenworthy asserts that "it is the
duty of every British Imperialist to support the Zionist policy in
Palestine, which is the only insurance policy for the defense of
the Suez Canal ."
Among the plans that have been seriously advocated is the
scheme for making Palestine a Crown Colony as a prelude to recasting
it as a self-governing Dominion . The Seventh Dominion
League was formed under the lead of such men as Colonel
Josiah Wedgwood, Sir Martin Conway and Lord Hartington.
They maintain that it is absolutely essential for the interests of
the British Empire that the Jews realize their ideal of a national
home in Palestine, that the burden of military defense for this
whole sector would then be minimum "because no nation could
attack Palestine without shocking the whole world Jewry ." 31
While the 1936 riots were going on, the Bureaucrats also, with a
wary eye on possibilities in case the original scheme fell through,
conducted some inspiring propaganda among Jews towards
this end. Leading it in Palestine was Hawthorn Hall, Chief
Secretary of the Palestine Government . The Jewish Farmers
Union and certain industrialists agreed eagerly, feeling that this
plan would eliminate the heartbreaking disabilities from which the
country suffers. In sheer weariness, most of the Jewish leaders
would have welcomed this solution if any half decent guarantee
would have been given them in exchange for their voluntary relinquishment
of the Mandate .
However, a Dominion has certain privileges, as London has
found out in its dealings with Canada and South Africa .32
The bureaucrats did not want the Jews as partners in the Empire
if they could avoid it . Expressing this hostility, Joseph F .
Broadhurst, long Assistant Inspector General, C.I.D., to the
Palestine Government, remarks : "I cannot see that a heterogeneous
collection of Jews dumped into a land with no connection
with our own would make the best of compatriots . This
would never do, and few British people would tolerate such a
scheme." 33
While this difference in opinion exists, the vast preponderance
of power lies with the anti-Semitic group, which is irrevocably
opposed to the Jewish National Home. They are painfully
aware that the Mandate was given to fulfill Jewish, not English,
needs and that England has no title in Palestine except such
right as she can make . Hence they have had to base their politics
on Jewish-Arab tension, a policy splendidly successful from
their viewpoint, even when a few of the resulting details were
highly unpleasant for Britain.
One of the great difficulties they encountered was the increasing
pressure of millions of desperate Jews throughout the
world who banged on the doors of the country frantically .
Here the Bureaucrats were at once presented with the need for
much circumspect maneuvering so as to avoid bringing a storm
of condemnation down on their heads . Unwilling to drop its
pose of decent impartiality in view of the effect it might have
on other subject peoples in the Empire, the Government was
forced from one impotent artifice to another .
Officialdom is further faced with the fact that in England itself
an obvious policy of pledge-breaking would not be popular.
British public opinion must be handled with kid gloves . It
regards the moral tradition of the nation with reverence, and has
been known to buck like a wild steer when this was outraged .
Both in and out of Parliament there existed an enormous sympathy
for Zionism which could not be dispelled over night . As
late as October 1936 a poll on the Palestine situation taken by
the anti-Zionist Daily Express showed even here a more than
two-to-one majority in favor of the Jews as against the Arabs
Whitehall was espousing . In its own literature the Government
had acknowledged that outside of Jewry "an overwhelming
mass of public opinion would appear to favor Jewish
administration in Palestine ." 34 This "overwhelming mass of
outside opinion" had to be deferred to, and at the same time,
broken down .
These uncertainties are the only reasons why they do not
annex Sinai to Palestine as part of a final settlement with Egypt .
They are playing the safety factor ; not feeling sure that their
strategy in the Holy Land will be successful, and afraid that
they may yet, despite all their desperate juggling, be forced to
deal with the fact of an independent Jewish State .
The sum total of this situation is certainly rather awkward for
the men who sit at the mahogany desks in Whitehall, and calls
for smart operating . But they are capable of smart operating .
And they are determined to make Western Asia into a British
pasturage if they have to turn half of creation upside down in
the process .
Many reasons are advanced by the English to the bewildered
Zionists to explain their conduct . "We are sorry," they say
confidentially. "We would really like to do it, y' know, but
we have to be careful of the ninety million Mohammedans in
our Empire."
Under examination this hackneyed contention seems pretty
thin. The British have only to refer to their own T . E. Lawrence,
who termed Pan-Islamism in politics "a fiction." The
men of Whitehall are, after all, capable administrators who are
not apt to forget recent experience in a hurry . They can still
remember the war with Turkey when the Mohammedans refused
to heed the Ottoman Sultan's call to Holy War against
England, and instead united with the Hindus to aid the Christian
conqueror . They are also aware of the successful French experience
in throwing Feisal, descendant of the Prophet, out of Syria
bodily, with the rifles of imported Moslem levies . They know
that the Agha Khan, head of the Indian Mohammedans, belongs
to the Ishmaelite sect, who are so thoroughly orthodox that they
regard the Palestine Moslems as shameless infidels .35 They also
could hardly be unaware that the Hindus, far in the majority in
India, are more than a counterweight to any possible Moslem
reaction ; and Hindu leaders have made their cordial sympathy
for Zionism clear .
There is, on the whole, more real difference between the various
Moslem sects than there is between the beliefs of a modern
Englishman and an orthodox Jew from Bessarabia . Islam itself
is more than a creed . It is a complete social system . Originally
it was a simple and understandable faith, full of the spirit of
generosity and brotherhood . To the essential democracy it
preached it added cannily a list of simple sugary delights, including
a Paradise containing beautiful and agreeable girls whose
virginity miraculously returned to them every morning. Today
knowledge of the Faith is everywhere confused with debased
moral standards, superstitions and bigoted ignorance .
The powerful Ibn Saud preaches the unity of orthodox Moslems
and the exclusion of all other Arabs . His Wahabis adhere
literally to the Koran, do not drink or smoke, and consider
every technical innovation of our time to be a tool of Satan .
They regard all the theological and philosophical speculations
which made Arab civilization famous during the Middle Ages,
as heresies, to be relentlessly purged . They are prepared for no
compromises and consider the North Arabs as Musbieks, unbelievers,
who are to be viewed with more intense dislike than
even Christians or Jews. The Wahabis consider the wearing of
a silk garment or gold ornament to be a sin . They regard the
Prophet Mohammed as just a man and repudiate bitterly the act
of other Moslem sects in turning him into a supernatural being .
The Wahabis look on any built place of worship as being
perilously close to idolatry . Only with difficulty were they restrained
from destroying in their zeal the beautiful architectural
shrines in Mecca and Medina when they drove Hussein out of
the Hejaz .
The Wahabis often have threatened an attack on Iraq . Part
of the ever-impending Holy War against "unfaithful Moslems"
in Transjordan, Iraq, Kowiet and Palestine almost eventuated in
March 1928, and was only stopped by a convincing mobilization
of British airplanes and armored cars . In Iraq, against the
fierce opposition of the predominant Shi'a community, Feisal,
who belongs to the Sunna sect, was bombed onto the throne by
the British . There has since been continuous trouble of a sort
only comparable to the religious hatreds which divided France
and Germany after the advent of the Reformation . Numerous
and bloody physical clashes occur. The Shi'as, who outnumber
the Sunni invaders three-to-one, are suppressed with an iron
hand, exiled, imprisoned and their newspapers outlawed . How
venomous the feeling is, is shown in the Shi'a protest to the
League, praying for remedy from the terrorization they are being
subjected to by the "savages brought from the desert" by
The bogey of a militant Arab racialism is another invention of
the ever-resourceful Bureaucratic mind . Lawrence once told
Liddell Hart that he had "always been a realist and opportunist
in tactics : and Arab unity is a madman's notion ." Sir Ronald
Storrs, too, remarks : "Arabism does not exist ." 37 And another
British authority, Loder, adds : "Arabia is a geographical expression
and corresponds to no political entity ." 38 The very
use of the words 'Mohammedanism' and `nationalism' in the
same breath is a contradiction in terms . Racial pride is unknown
to Islam . Everyone who confesses Allah is accepted as
a brother and equal, whether he be a Negro, Malay or European .
There, moreover, remains a strong identity between sectarianism
and dynastic government . Religion and law are so closely
identified in Islam that the difference between two sects asBUREAUCRACY
sumes an important difference between the civil and criminal
sanctions under which they respectively live .39 The only way
nationalism can be effective in the Near East is by the secularization
of religion, from which these people are a long way off .
Arabia is a mass of blood feuds and economic rivalries . There
are long drawn-out boundary disputes between the various countries,
and the traditional jealousies between the ruling houses extends
fan-shape down the line through the whole host of minor
sheikhs, sultans and imams.
Bedouins meeting in strange territory slaughter each other
without mercy . Tribesmen are constantly being killed in frontier
raids from which not even Palestine and Transjordan are
exempt. None of the established Arab governments have been
able to put down these constantly recurring conflicts between
the tribes . Even under the strong hand of the British, raiding
Wahabis slaughtered the whole Transjordan tribe of Atie in
December 1928 ; and a typical pitched battle was fought between
the tribes at Koba near Jerusalem as late as July 1932 .
The Syrian author, Ameen Rihani, gives a graphic picture of the
general state of affairs in one Arab country, Yemen . The ruling
Imam, in order to protect his position, is eternally warring
with rebellious clans and tribes . "The twenty-seven years of
his reign," says Rihani, "have been a continuous Jihad, actual
and political - a chain of wars and truces . Little wonder that
hostages are the foundation of the state ." Here, too, the Italian
observer, Salvatore Aponte, notes that the vast majority of the
population are the unwilling subjects of the ruling Zaidis from
the hills, "whom they look upon as abominable heretics ." 40
In all the Arab countries provincialism is a persistent factor .
Syrians employed in the Iraqi Government service, as an instance,
are the constant object of agitation aimed at ousting
The result of the recent controversy between Turkey and
Syria over the Sanjak of Alexandretta (a part of Syria which
holds a considerable minority Turkish population) is also illuminating.
The Turks declared openly to London, Paris and
Geneva : "We have confidence in France but not in Syria."
Negotiations between Paris and Ankara, under the auspices of
the League, finally ended in the Spring of 1938 in a settlement
whereby this richest of all Syrian provinces (called by the
Arabs "the pearl of the Arab Empire") is to be detached from
that country and ultimately handed back to Turkey . The result
was hardly what could be expected if pan-Arabism is to be
credited with the vitality London concedes to it . The outside
Arabs maintained a prudent silence . Not one Arab paper dared
to write a single article against Turkey . No Arab State raised
its voice in favor of Damascus, and not a single Arab statesman
protested directly or indirectly . At the very moment, in fact,
when the Syrians were imploring the aid of their Arab brethren,
Baghdad organized a triumphal reception in honor of the Turkish
Minister of Foreign Affairs, who had come to Iraq at the
head of a large official delegation .41
None of this prevents the Colonial Office mouthpiece Great
Britain and the East from headlining an explosive editorial during
the recent riots : "ARABIA AWAKE," asserting that the
Arabs, from Morocco to Persia, with a single patriotic voice "are
implacably resolved to look upon Palestine as a part of Arabia ."
The whole plan for a great Federated Arab State reaches back
to the tenacious support England gave the Turks before the
War. By 1915 the idea gradually emerged of elevating the
Arab into the place in English affections that the Turks had so
rudely left vacant . It had been the pet scheme of the military
clique who came in with Allenby . It was then dropped, suddenly
to be revived ten days after General de Bono marched his
Italians into Adowa. Slowly the Federation is taking shape as
British gold pours into the Near East .
The previous tactics were to keep the Arab rulers at each
other's throats . This was handled by a system of agents provocateur,
politely known as political officers, who represented the
Crown and dispensed its largesse in each place and principality .
This method revolves around a system of always having rivals,
or powerful opponents, ready to put forward if the existing
ruler becomes difficult to handle . The big question in every
Arab land is the agreement or treaty with the British, and the
amount of gold that can be secured. The amazing elasticity
and scope of this control system is outlined by Rihani in his
book, Around the Coasts o f Arabia.42 "They all have to be
satisfied," he comments, "the big chiefs, the little chiefs and all
the chiefs between ."

The Arab countries are hardly more than camouflaged English
colonies. Iraq, for example, is theoretically independent.
But the British maintain troops there and have absolute control
over the country's foreign affairs. Under the twenty-year
`treaty' signed October io, 1922, Iraq may appoint no foreign
official or adviser without British approval . It provides for a
separate agreement covering the employment of British officials
in the Iragian Government. Another separate agreement gives
England a measure of control over Iraq's judicial affairs . The
Treaty also stipulates that the British Air Force is to protect
Iraq's frontier, putting England in de facto military control. In
December 1925, Britain maneuvered the League of Nations into
position to hand over the Turkish Vilayet of Mosul to Iraq,
"provided that the British control over that kingdom were extended
for a period of about twenty-five years ." 43 Ibn Saud,
too, gets a large subsidy, granting adequate favors in return .
Among these is a juicy concession to the British-owned Iraq
Petroleum Company "extending over the whole Western littoral
of Saudi Arabia to a depth inland of one hundred kilometres ." 44
Today the official plan involves closing the door to threatened
expansion by Italy, making a more or less closely organized
unit desirable. Mussolini had been making overtures to the
Arabs and was utilizing funds from the Italian Treasury for this
purpose. He had set up a powerful broadcasting station at
Bari, agitating the Arabs in their own language to throw off the
British yoke ; forcing the frightened British to inaugurate competing
Arabic broadcasts from London .
Ibn Saud, in exchange for an increase in his subsidy and wider
autonomy from direct British rule, agreed to enter the system
of pacts, as did Iraq . Then the clique in Whitehall summoned
Abdullah of Transjordan to London and set the background for
the events which ended in the 1936 Palestine riots . King Ghazi
of Iraq is looked on as a weakling and thoroughly undependable
; and Abdullah was inserted into the pact system as a check
on the ulterior ambitions of Saud whom London distrusts . Abdullah,
who once expressed strong anti-British sentiment before
he learned what side his bread was buttered on, is now in high
favor with Downing Street as a man of "extraordinary good
sense ." When during the Ethiopian incident the Mufti decided
to balk, it was the ever-pliable Abdullah, rising like an elfin Don
Quixote from his little principality, who issued the call to the
Jihad against Italy in the name of Islam. As ruler of Transjordan
the Emir cuts rather a ludicrous figure, but as King of
a reunited Transjordanian-Palestine he becomes a respectable
monarch and an ideal counter-balance to the Hejaz Kingdom in
the Arabic Federation of the future .
In the formulation of this plan, Abdullah was not to be trusted
altogether with Palestine . Strategical sections, including Jerusalem
and Haifa, were to be handed over to Britain outright, as
was an enclave around Aqaba . The Jews were to be restricted
to a tiny coastal area . If they refused to agree, a cantonization
plan was favored, thus accomplishing the same result without
benefit of international sanction .
The authors of this scheme allowed their imaginations to roam
over the possibility of even disengaging North Africa from
France and Italy, and already have had their puppets speak in
grandiose terms of an allied free Moorish State in North Africa
which will fall within the magnetic influence of the free Arab
All this was fraught with considerable difficulty from the
Arab side alone . There had been bad blood between Feisal and
his brother Abdullah . The Emir felt that he should have gotten
the throne of Iraq after Feisal's death instead of the boy King
Ghazi. Iraq was now ambitious to get part of northern Palestine
for an outlet to the sea . The project was also viewed with
ill-concealed suspicion by Ibn Saud who wants no strengthening
of a rival house ejected by him from Mecca .
Working against time, British agents like Philby, Cox and
Peake Pasha again criss-crossed the desert handing out money
and promises right and left . Under pressure, boundary disputes
are being speedily settled as this great effort to de-Balkanize the
Near East goes forward . In complete liaison, British agents
were at work in Teheran and Istanbul to draw these two important
powers within the British orbit by inducing them to
sign a corollary pact . In response to this fast work, Afghanistan,
Iraq, Iran and Turkey came to a treaty of friendship early
in February 1936. One leg of the journey was now over . The
bringing of Egypt into this bloc was to follow, as was the Arab
Federation into which Palestine was to be absorbed. Such was
the plan. As early as June 11, 1936, Great Britain and the East
blatantly announces that "the Arab Federation is being develveloped
. . . under British patronage, on sound lines ." At a
crucial Cabinet meeting in September of 1936 the English were
on the point of declaring the Federation in existence ; and were
only deterred at the last moment by pointed protest in the
American Congress calling attention to the international obligations
inherent in the Palestine Mandate and to America's vested
interests there .
It is somewhat sardonic to note that during the same period
that official British publicists were ballyhooing the right of selfdetermination
as applied to Arabs in Palestine, Britain had
grabbed a huge chunk of territory from the Arabs in Southern
Arabia. By an Order in Council which became effective April
1, 1937 the British Government arbitrarily annexed to the Empire
111,025 square miles of territory, including some six hundred
thousand Arabs of different tribes and complexions. This
area is called the Hadramaut, and it was taken by exactly the
same methods Italy used in Ethiopia . Completely soured on the
tactics of his own Government, Philby writes : "The attempt
of Great Britain to curtail the independence of South Arabia
necessitates the employment of terrorism which we deplore
when it is used by others . That aerial bombing is freely used
. . . is not denied by the Government ." 45 The British also
own another slice of Arabia which they annexed shortly after
the World War. This is the colony of Aden which dominates
the southern end of the peninsula and looks straight across the
Red Sea at Mussolini's legions in East Africa . Obviously the
vast areas of the Hadramaut and Aden are not to be included in
the proposed Arab Confederacy .
Part of Whitehall's strategy lies in an attempt to frighten
fellow-Englishmen with the bogey that the Arab was prepared
to be Britain's best friend until the ultimate enormity of Zionism
was thrust upon him. Actually the British seem to have little
to fear here, since the Arabs require the power of English arms
if they are to maintain their independence . "Nothing," writes
Ernest Main, "could stop Turkey or Persia walking into Iraq
tomorrow except the presence of Britain ." 46 The Arab liaison
with England is in many ways a more than doubtful value .
Turkey, for instance, obstinately regards the Mosul area of Iraq
as Turkish irredenta territory. Therefore, states Herbert Sidebotham,
English friendship with the Arabs is more than likely to
bring Britain into collision with these countries : "In any case . . .
our friendship should be courted by the Arab kings, rather than
theirs by us." 47
Pro-Arab propagandists additionally ignore the dark hatred
with which the Arab regards all Christians. The Hejaz, country
of King Hussein, number one man in this controversy,
does not allow a single Christian within its sacred borders.
Lieutenant-Colonel Stafford writes that "at an official reception
to the present King of Iraq the usual cheers were followed by
cries of `Down with Britain."' Article II of Lawrence's Confidential
Guide to Newcomers from the British Army states
frankly that "the foreigner and Christian is not a popular person
in Araby. . . Wave a Sherif in front of you like a banner
and hide your own mind and person ." 48
Shrewd English observers, unimpressed by bureaucratic fetish,
are of the absolute opinion that in the event of a general war
the first purpose of the Arabs would be to get rid of Britain, and
that London is strengthening the very forces which will ultimately
be arrayed against her . The English writer Ernest
Main mentions, as an augury for the future, that the Arab press
solidly supported Italy during the Abyssinian War, making no
bones of their intention to blast the English into the sea at the
first opportunity .49
In Palestine itself there can be no doubt of the ferocious extent
of anti-Jewish sentiment, "but it is all but swallowed up in
the sweeping tide of feeling against England." 60 Rasps the
Arab newspaper Falastin in its issue of May 19, 1930 : "The
Jews lost an opportunity to arrive at an understanding with the
Arabs owing to the Jews' obstinacy and blind loyalty to Great
Britain." The articles of indictment are numerous : the country
is overridden with English officials who draw high salaries
and live in luxury, etc. Nor do Moslem doctrines require much
outside stimulation to foment a frenzied hatred for the Englishman
and all his works. What Moslems really think was plainly
stated by Mohammed Ali, supreme Moslem leader of India, addressing
the Moslem High Council in Palestine on November 23,
1928. "Not the Jews are our enemies," he shouted, "but British
Imperialism which aims to seize all Moslem lands ."
The British were in fact thoroughly cured of "all-Moslem
Congresses" by occurrences at the Congress of December 1931,
which the Palestine Government had organized as a weapon
against the Zionists . One of the first resolutions it adopted
claimed that the highly strategic Hejaz Railway was Wakf
(Moslem religious) property which had been stolen by the English,
and demanded its return within six months under threat of
an international Mohammedan boycott of British goods .
No matter what opinions British politicians might have once
expressed as private individuals, once in office they invariably
succumb to the demands of the anti-Zionist permanent officials .
When Malcolm MacDonald became Colonial Secretary he
ceased to function as "Weizmann's best friend," just as his
father forgot most of his Socialism and all of his Zionism when
he became Prime Minister . Winston Churchill made beautiful
speeches for the Zionists, but Churchill in office made common
cause with the clique in the Departments, and issued the crushing
document which bears his name . Thomas as a Labor leader,
protested unreservedly against the theft of Trans-Jordan, but
Thomas as Colonial Secretary lapsed into all the stereotypes of
his predecessors. Ormsby-Gore's deep hearty voice had assured
the Jaffa Jews that the Balfour Declaration meant the
"building up of a Jewish nation in all its various aspects in Palestine."
Becoming Colonial Secretary in turn, he discovered that
the Declaration embodied "a dual obligation toward Arabs and
Jews." What this meant is illuminated in answer to a query
from the Permanent Mandates Commission, asking what was being
done to implement Article VI of the Mandate regarding
close settlement on the land . Ormsby-Gore replied for the
King that immigrants were very anxious f or land but that
the Government had been prevented from granting them any by
reason o f the other duty which it owed to the Arab population .
In reply to another query he declared in extenuation that "the
Arabs objected to the Jews because the latter were much more
efficient ." Thus this responsible officer of the Crown makes it
clear that his Government regards its principal "obligation of
honor" under the Mandate to be the protection of the Arabs
against Jewish encroachment, a finesse which almost approaches
the proportions of genius.

Even the MacDonald Letter, supposedly edited in a tone of
good-will toward Zionism, carries the adroit observation that
"the Mandatory cannot ignore the existence of differing interests
and viewpoints," which it infers will be readily reconciled in
a pending understanding between Arabs and Jews ; but, quite
naturally, "until that is reached, considerations of balance must
inevitably enter into the definition of policy ." Stripped of concealing
verbiage, this simply means that no essential measure in
favor of the Jewish Homeland may be effected unless there is an
`understanding,' i.e., if the Arabs agree. If the Arabs object,
the measure cannot be carried out ."
This theory goes a long way beyond any reservation even
hinted at in the Mandate . The preamble to that document protects
the `civil and religious rights' of the non-Jewish communi ..
ties but it nowhere mentions their psychological attitude as a
factor entitled to annul the purpose for which the Home was
conceived. Article VI of the Mandate reads : "The Administration
of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position
of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate
Jewish immigration . . ." In a process of hair-splitting that
would do credit to fifty Philadelphia lawyers, the British concentrated
on the word `position' with a magnifying glass . When
the Mandate was issued, the `position' of the Arabs was that of
eighty-eight percent of the population. In 1936 it had shrunk
to sixty-six percent, and had therefore been `prejudiced.' The
same logic naturally follows in reference to the professed inability
of the Arab to compete in terms of modern civilization,
an argument not essentially different from that of European
Judeo-phobcs, wherever the Nazi racial theory has not supravened.
It is no new experience for Jews to be barred as immigrants
and be ring-fenced in a percentage norm, but it seems
far-fetched to believe that the sanction of the Peace Conference
was necessary to provide the British Government with the authority
so to act.
This whole sapping operation has been accomplished by a
series of graduated depredations . Entrusted with complete supervision
of the Jewish inheritance, the Bureaucrats were in position
to smash it effectively by degrees and still maintain a surface
attitude of benevolence . Year by year, under one pretext
or another, they managed systematically to curtail Jewish rights
under the Mandate and to give that document various reinterpretations,
most of which rested on a body of precedent established
by themselves. There is scarcely an evasion that was not
tried . With great shrewdness the Palestine Government attempted
to transform the Jews, in its official reports, from a national
entity to a religious body . They questioned the meaning
of the words `Jewish National Home' and pretended a vast ignorance
of the meaning of `Zionist aspirations .' Ormsby-Gore,
then Under-Secretary for the Colonies, was even smart enough to
retreat into the queer conception formulated by the Hebrew
mystic, Achad Ha'am, that Palestine was to be a spiritual center
for the Jewish people and that "the quality and not the quantity
of settlers matters." 52
Like a master magician turning up cards that shouldn't be
there, the British went about the business of proving that black
was white. An all-important case revolved around a decision
by the Magistrate of Tulkarm, who had acquitted one Sherif
Shanti of breaking the Fast of Ramadan on the grounds that the
old Turkish law under which the defendant was charged was in
opposition to Article XV of the Mandate . In a judgment rendered
December 16, 1935, the Court of Appeals at Nablus
quashed this decision, laying down inter alia "that the Mandate
. . . has no juridical value in the courts of the country except
so far as its provisions have been expressly incorporated into the
Laws of Palestine ." This ruling laid the way wide open for the
complete destruction of the Mandate itself .
With more than an astute eye to the future, the Jaffa District
Court ruled that "a British subject who voluntarily acquired
Palestinian citizenship does not thereby lose his British nationality"
(June 5, 1934) . Until then Britain had wriggled out of
acknowledging its alien position in the country by refusing to
allow any British Jew to become a citizen of Palestine .
Some of the Mandatory's decisions border on the ludicrous .
One solemnly handed down by the Jaffa District Court on May
25, 1928 reversed an ordinance passed by the City Council of
Tel Aviv declaring Saturday a legal holiday, as being found
contradictory to Article XV of the Mandate "since the Ordinance
establishes a sort of discrimination by prohibiting trading
on the Sabbath to Jews only."
Until recently, the Government has maintained with fine
rectitude that Jewish immigration, keystone to the whole Mandate,
must be based on the `absorptive capacity' of the country,
an argument which can hardly be gainsaid, except for the fact
that the Mandatory made it dependent on an acute shortage of
labor and on a perpetuation of the status quo in industry and
agriculture . In practice, this principle, so nice on paper, put the
Jews almost in a water-tight box .
Throughout the official reports a stubborn silence is kept on
the positive significance of Jewish immigration . Reading them
one would hardly believe that the dynamic and decisive force
in Palestine life emanates from the Jewish element - but rather
that the small minority Jewish community was an unending
source of embarrassment, friction and trouble .
During the entire period of English occupation, not the slightest
step was ever taken to popularize the Mandate among the
general body of Arabs . The High Commissioner was never
known to invite Jews and Arabs to sit at his table at the same
time, a move which might have done much to ameliorate bad
feeling. And in the numerous Government schools Zionism was
treated as an alien and highly unpleasant phenomenon.
Throughout the years the Administration's reply to questions
was "the Government's policy is unchanged ." But it was evident
that when Britain asserted she would stand by the Mandate,
she did not mean Zionism, but rather her right to remain in
Palestine indefinitely .
Stripped of all disguise, the fundamental English attitude toward
the ward entrusted to their care by the Nations was defined
by then Colonial Secretary, Cunliffe-Lister, when he assured
a Quaker Committee (June 28, 1 934) : "I will not permit
Palestine to be filled with Jews ."
In all this skillfully built design of plot and stratagem the
British have had to wind their way through a maze where in one
breath it was imperative to hold that the Jews held legal title to
Palestine, and in the next, to deny it . This made for a most
difficult situation in which anyone less experienced would have
bogged down hard ; but the Bureaucrats managed to detour the
hard places and obviate the rest by simple contrivances which,
while shabby in themselves, are admirable for their sheer artfulness
and long-range insight.
The Jews were the British excuse for being in Palestine. They
were the only protection against the French who were eager to
demand an international control if they could not have it for
themselves . How this worked out is shown in London's rejection
in 1921 of a demand by the United States Government that
concessions of Palestine's natural resources be granted "with230
out distinction of nationality" between the nationals of all States
Members of the League, as in the East Africa Mandate . Suavely,
London replied that "the suggestion appears to His Majesty's
Government to overlook the peculiar conditions existing in Palestine
and especially the great difference in the natures of the
tasks assumed in that country and undertaken by them in South
Africa. . . In order that the policy of establishing in Palestine
a National Home for the Jewish people should be successfully
carried out, it is impracticable to guarantee that equal facilities
for developing the natural resources of the country should be
granted to persons or bodies who may be actuated by other motives
." This in substance was also the reason given to the
French, who were boiling over because their title to the immensely
valuable Dead Sea deposits, carried over as an old Turkish
concession, had been voided by the Palestine authorities .
The Jews were equally useful as an instrument for rejecting
the demands of the Arabs themselves for self-rule, at a time
when Britain felt that it meant their consolidation with Syria
under French influence . With impeccable probity London then
found that "it was impossible to recognize the granting of unqualified
autonomy to the present population of Palestine, since
such an autonomy would imply the right to dispose of the country
by legislative and administrative measures even against the
obligations assumed by the Mandatory," which it asserted are
not to "the present population of Palestine" but to "the much
larger population whose connection with Palestine has been internationally
recognized ."
There was also the fact that in order to get its fingers on
Palestine at all, Britain had acknowledged itself as merely a
temporary agent for the League of Nations . In the earlier days
while the League still had some untested strength, it did not
hesitate to uphold its own authority, and here England was
compelled to use the Jews again as a catspaw . The absolute
control of the Permanent Mandates Commission over mandated
territories was upheld at Geneva on September 27, 1926, after
Sir Austen Chamberlain, British Foreign Secretary, had brought
the matter to issue as to whether the Commission had actual
jurisdiction or merely the right to criticize and lay down generalities
of policy.
The Mandates Commission did not hesitate at various times to
lock horns with the British Government in no uncertain terms .
Had Zionist leaders themselves played anything but an acquiescent
role, it is quite certain that the League would have supported
them and forced the English into a most difficult position .
"If the matter were looked at impartially from the point of view
of the Mandate as it stood," observed the Commission in 1930,
"the Government's method of encouraging immigration had
been to limit it . . . [and] that the result would be as negative
if an inquiry were made as to the State lands and waste lands on
which the settlement of Jews had been encouraged . . . The
special situation," it continued drily, "granted by the Mandate to
the Jewish element in Palestine appeared to have escaped the
notice of the Administration ." In extraordinary session in June
of that year the Commission bluntly advised "all the sections of
the population [in Palestine] which are rebelling against the Mandate,
whether they object to it on principle or wish to retain
only those of its provisions which favor their particular cause,
that the Mandatory Power must obviously turn a definite and
categorical refusal. As long as the leaders of a community persist
in repudiating what is at once the fundamental charter of the
country, and, as far as the Mandatory Power is concerned, an international
obligation, which it is not free to set aside, the negotiations
would only unduly enhance their prestige and raise
dangerous hopes among their partisans . . ." 53
On the face of it the proposition was a well-nigh impossible
one, making it necessary for London to attempt the miracle of
standing simultaneously on two sides of the one fence . The
Zionists had to be smashed at the same time that Britain was
posing as their guide and benefactor . They had, moreover,
to be kept placated and quiescent . Experience with the Irish
taught England's rulers the folly of an active struggle with a
determined, world-scattered people . If the Irish were now to
be joined by the Jews in a joint last-ditch fight against the Empire,
the Sinn Fein would assume grave proportions . Here was
an intricate set of problems, most of which impinged on what
attitude the Zionist hierarchy itself would take .
Jewish spokesmen, lost in this welter of intrigue, inexperienced,
inexpert and totally unable to distinguish between sincerity
and clever dissembling, did not prove too troublesome .
They appealed to the facts, which they marshaled systematically,
to fundamental law and to justice. Their arguments were presented
in the circumspect language of a barrister drawing up
a brief on some learned obscurity of law and were presented
without fanfare . Though the whole fundamental framework of
their enterprise was plainly crumbling before their eyes, they
continued to issue reassuring statements to their following . They
claimed with reverse pugnacity that "the Government wants to
be loyal to its duties" ; and were as outraged "over the speculation
that the Government is making an effort to encourage the
antagonism between Arabs and Jews" as if they were employed
in Downing Street. Dr. Weitzman retreated gracefully to
keep pace with the wishes of Whitehall in a series of amazing
shifts . At one moment he concedes that "everything that is
going on in Palestine today is on the pattern of that which is
going on in Egypt. . . The same formulae are being applied .
In Palestine, I admit we are . . . a convenient pretext." b' At
another moment he would warn his fellow-Zionists against submitting
sharp memoranda to the Government as "England also
has to deal with the Moslem world in India and Egypt." ss In
a lecture before the Royal Central Asian Society in May 1936
he discovers that "if the land were properly developed, there is
room in Palestine for another hundred thousand Arab families
and another sixty thousand Jewish families," a clear proposal for
a perpetual Jewish minority status . Soon after he is heard in
defense of the dismemberment plan proposed by Lord Peel, inveighing
against those Jews who opposed it by calling them
"enemies of the Jewish State ." The attitude of the Zionists was
in fact, the most unexpected windfall the Bureaucrats had experienced
in a generation. Only in Palestine itself, where doughty
old Mayor Dizengoff of Tel Aviv charged the British with "playBUREAUCRACY
ing a diabolical game" did the Jews make any effort to face political
realities .
Until 1936 Whitehall had held tenaciously to the principle of
`absorptive capacity.' It now realized that even this contention,
despite every topsy-turvy interpretation of normal economics,
would see them the loser in the long run . In a complete
about-face from all previously held theses, the Bureaucrats
now admitted that "if the matter be reduced to statistical or
economic terms . . . the Zionists have the better of the argument,
and when the Arabs choose to indulge in figures, they
use their weakest argument . . . The Palestine problem is not
one of statistics : something far more fundamental is involved ." 56
Just what that `something more fundamental' might be was soon
disclosed officially by Colonial Secretary Ormsby-Gore, addressing
Commons on July 7, 1936 . Leveling his shafts directly at
Jewish nationalists, he acknowledged darkly his awareness of the
"character of Zionist propaganda," booming that the British
Government accepted the Palestine Mandate without subscribing
to any declaration that the country belongs to either Jews
or Arabs, but that it is a British Mandated territory . The Government,
he warned, did not intend countenancing any action
"inconsistent with the Mandate" and this interpretation of it .
The British had been nineteen years working up to this denouement,
but at last the cat was out of the bag . The Zionism
of Herzl and Balfour was now an "action inconsistent with the
Mandate" for Palestine. All that was left in the Bureaucratic
mind of the Balf our Declaration was now "the Jewish problem
in Palestine," and that is the way they expressed it.

Page 248 pdf book page 234

Article VI of the Mandate makes it obligatory upon the Administration
of Palestine to "facilitate Jewish immigration ." The
British made a convincing start on this by making the Immigration
Department a part of the Department of Police and Prisons.
It has been shifted around like an unwelcome cat which refuses
to stay lost . Once it was hidden in the Department for Travel .
At another time it had been shunted over to the Permit Section
of the Secretariat .
The Immigration Department is more of a Secret Service
Department than anything else . Its principal function seems to
be that of preventing Jews from entering the country in any
numbers. The attitude toward the Hebrew migrants was pegged
by Duff, who wrote that "we had to be seemingly harsh and
unfriendly towards them ; it did not pay for one's seniors to
think that one had any undue sympathy for the returning
Jews. . ." 1 A decade later another Englishman, Josiah Wedgwood,
recounted the same story of ugly animus, to Commons.
"Why," he asked bitterly, "is this done by Englishmen . . .
against all the traditions of our race ? If the Jews trying to go
to Palestine were English, the situation could not endure for a
minute . Conceive the outcry ! But they are Jews, not English
- they are not in the family ; they are not entitled to be
treated as though they were Aryans or Christians ."
Under the regulations, only capitalists may enter Palestine
freely. Originally, a `capitalist' was a man with C 5oo in cash.
After 1930 the required amount was raised to C Iooo. Skilled
artisans possessing C500 or more may also enter, theoretically ;
but in practice this provision is a dead letter . All others require
specially issued immigration certificates, which are doled
out with much quibbling in paltry numbers . The truth was
that while huge sums were being dumped into the Jewish Homeland,
Jews were being kept out of it with all the customary
rigor of anti-Semitic formula . Some idea of the situation can
be gained from Senator Austin's estimate that "measured on a
per capita basis, each of the two hundred and fifty thousand
Jewish immigrants [man, woman and child] who entered Palestine
since the establishment of the Mandate, carried into the
country $ r 800." 2
The distorting political and economic minority life which had
stratified the Jews into a class of petty capitalists and traders,
found itself dishearteningly duplicated in Palestine . With feverish
energy and determination the newcomers applied their
money and experience, hoping to create opportunities for their
poverty-stricken brothers in Europe to join them in building
the new nation . Factories and enterprises of all kinds were
started. The result was a critical scarcity of labor in which the
entire economy of the country went lunatic . Workers were
drained out of the farms to take the more lucrative positions in
the cities . In the towns the same process repeated itself in favor
of the `boom trades' which could afford to pay wages far out of
line with those of normal occupations . Employer competed
desperately with employer for the available labor supply . Industries
had to curtail their activities, factories shut down altogether.
Palestine skyrocketed along on the most insane economy
modern industry has ever seen.
The condition is partially glimpsed in a semi-official report of
August 27, 1934, admitting that the entire Palestine export trade
was at a standstill due to a shortage of labor. Two-thirds of the
workers on Jewish land, says the Report, are now Arabs, "and
those Jews remaining will soon be displaced due to labor scarcity."
The problem became so acute that populations of whole
districts, including school children, had to be mobilized to keep
crops from rotting in the fields . While anxious Jews were being
turned away at the docks of Jaffa and Haifa, the Nesher Cement
Works, engaged in a £ 150,000 expansion in Haifa, announced
November 16, 1933 that it was unable to proceed due
to "acute scarcity of labor ." In Tel Aviv £ 1,000,000 worth of
building had to be held up for the same reason . The story repeated
itself everywhere .
At the identical time that it was beguiling world Jewry with
the fiction that all was well in the National Home, the Executive
of the Jewish Agency, irritated over the small grant of labor
certificates, formally accused the Mandatory in a private memorandum
of deliberately sabotaging the Home, finding it "impossible
to reconcile this restriction of immigration with the
declared policy of the Mandatory Power that immigration will be
regulated in accordance with the economic absorptive capacity
of Palestine ."
The British had their authority in London where Sir William
Beveridge 3 had found after careful study that the irreducible
minimum of unemployment was between six and eight percent .
In Palestine the incurable nomadism of the Arab population would
further increase this figure. But the Administration, nevertheless,
religiously adhered to the almost impossible formula that physical
proof had to be given of the permanent employment of every
person in the country, plus an established job for the new immigrant,
before he could be admitted.
The demand for labor was so urgent as to overpower even this
evasion, forcing additional subterfuge on the Authorities . An
instance is the demand of the Jewish Agency for 24,000 certificates
to cover the period from October to March 1933-34. In
their petition they appended the result of a painstaking survey,
showing, in detail, jobs awaiting each of the new arrivals . As
usual, without explanation, the Government agreed to allow only
5500 certificates, of which 2000 were summarily deducted as having
"been used in advance ." With other deductions following
on one plausible excuse or another, all that was left was the usual
face-saving handful . Far from manfully refusing this beggarly
schedule, on the date this announcement was made Weitzman
was capitalizing on the German excitement to raise funds for the
"Zionist-German relief drive" of which he was head, and issuing
a program full of high-sounding generalizations including "cooperation
with the Mandatory Power . . . and the establishing
of peace and understanding with the Arabs." 4
As the `absorptive capacity' of the country increased so tremendously
under the stimulus of Jewish investment that any effort
to deny it became ludicrous, the Government produced still
other cards out of its sleeve . It announced in 1936 that seventy
percent of the thirteen hundred immigration certificates available
for the following six months were ear-marked for bachelors, ten
percent for maidens, and twenty percent for men with families ;
thus cutting down immigration without appearing to do so . Another
able device was the refusal to allow the wives and families
of employed residents to enter without the precious labor visas,
though in many cases they were an actual charge on these same
residents, who sent money abroad to maintain them .5 Such an
obvious attempt was made to restrict the entry of women that the
Jewish Agency flatly accused the Government in November
1934 of a mischievous and willful attempt "directed against any
considerable development of the immigration of women into
Palestine ."
Many of the Administration's reasons for refusing entry permits
would do credit to Herr Hitler, as witness the refusal to
grant a visa to a refugee Russian rabbi on the excuse that "there
were enough rabbis already in Palestine." Some of the regulations
designed to restrict Jewish immigration are classic . One of
these edicts, promulgated November 14, 1933, allowed only 250
immigrants "to enter Palestine from any one vessel ." Its effectiveness
rested on the fact that few of the ships touching Palestine
ports could make a payload out of such a small number of travelers,
forcing the cancellation of sailings .
Perhaps the outstanding example of official artifice was the
schedule announced for the period between October 1, 1935
and March 31, 193 6 - 435 0 visas were granted, over which the
Jewish world press made the usual congratulatory ballyhoo .
What was not mentioned were the following deductions made
from this schedule in advance : loon certificates `advanced' during
the previous six-month period ; 250 reserved by the Government
(for non-Jews) ; 1200 taken off to cover `illegal' immigrants
who could not be apprehended ; s and 19oo for dependents
of employed residents (who in any other country would have
entered as a matter of course) . If these deductions are added
up they are found to equal exactly the number of certificates
granted ; so that the Administration was only perpetrating a
crude joke on the Zionists and in effect issuing no certificates at
In the face of this ruinous procedure the Zionist spokesmen
periodically issued reassuring statements to their followers, gloating
over the increasing numbers of Jews entering the Homeland .
They listed impressive figures to bolster their publicity.
Actually, something like 12,000 certificates was the greatest
number ever allowed for workingmen in one year ; and from this
pitiful number the most unconscionable deductions were made
on one excuse or another. An example of how the Zionist publicity
bureau treated the matter is given in its handling of the
entry figures for 1933, which according to official statements,
came to 64,110. Stimulated from this source the world Jewish
press headlined : "64,11 o Jews Entered Zion During 1933," giving
the impression that there had been that many immigrants.
An analysis shows that the balance of recorded arrivals over departures
during this period was 38,656 Jews, including 10,236
residents returning to the country after visits abroad and 27,862
actual immigrants . Of these, `persons living on income,' minors,
dependents, etc ., totaled 15,653 ; and working people constituted
a mere 2434 men and 568 women. Juggled around in the official
figures somewhere, were 26,002 tourists who came to enjoy the
sights, and non-permanents of other kinds. Of the 61,743 Jews
who came to remain in the peak year of 1935, only 14,653 belonged
to the working class group.
It is perfectly obvious that capitalist immigration will not
serve the purposes for which Zionism was originated. It cannot
relieve the centers of pressure in the pogrom areas of Europe
where Jews are now in a state of starvation and panic . It can
only serve to build Palestine ultimately into an Arab country .
What Zionist leaders avoided mentioning, Adolph Hitler sarcastically
called attention to, saying, "It is very kind of England
to declare that she is ready to receive the Jews with open arms -
but why should she make the admission of the Jews dependent
upon C iooo?" 7 Even neighboring Syria, seeing a fruitful
source of capital, announced that it too would welcome capitalist
Jews, without the necessity of any Balfour Declaration imprinted
by the Powers .,'
Everything in this business is made subject to cash . Even the
boasted Hadassah aliyahs, by which a few hundred Jewish children
were brought in from Germany, were made conditional on
a substantial money deposit, much as would be charged if the
children had entered a boarding school. The Department of
Immigration is a paying business, showing in a typical year a net
income of 1 3 3 3,200 against an expenditure of _f 209,100 .
Not nearly so docile as the Zionist hierarchy, Palestine Jews
have often made their resentment as plain as men living under a
knout are able to . Irked to fury, they went out on general strike
in May 1930, a matter which the Administration handled expeditiously,
as it invariably does when it has only Jews to deal
In 1937 the Palestine press reported that an amendment to the
immigration laws was in contemplation, jacking up capital requirements
of prospective immigrants to C 2000. This would
eliminate 56% of those who had previously entered under this
category. The time given a capitalist immigrant to liquidate
his affairs in the home country had previously been one year .
It is planned to reduce this to three months, obviously placing
him under such duress as to considerably reduce his enthusiasm
for emigrating .
The new stand taken by the Administration was indicated by
Immigration Director Eric Mills, who informed the Peel Commission
on November 18, 1936 that "immigration into the Holy
Land involves political as well as economic issues ." Just what
these `political issues' are may be learned from the astonished
comments of Farago. Ignoring his statement that he was a
Hungarian, port officials had demanded to know whether he
was a Mohammedan, Christian or Jew. Long before, Colonel
Wedgwood had also noted that "the first question an immigrant
is asked by the immigration inspectors in Palestine is, `Are you a
Jew ?' " This is much as if one were asked anywhere else, "Were
you ever convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude?"
The Holy Land is perhaps the most magnetic spot on earth
for sightseers, a circumstance which is probably its greatest
single asset . It seems natural to suppose that tourists would be
encouraged in every possible fashion and that every inducement
would be offered to cause them to remain as long as possible.
A large share of the national income of many states depends
on just this source ; and countries such as France and
Italy embark on extensive advertising campaigns in the foreign
press to attract this desirable army of visitors.
The tourist is at once bewildered to find that exactly the contrary
view is held in Palestine, where every possible obstacle
is placed in his path. He is required to make a large cash deposit
and it must be certified on his visa that he has purchased
in advance a first-class return ticket to his point of embarkation.
He is forced to pay $Io for the little consular stamp, as
compared with 350 in Egypt and 330 in France . Before he is
allowed to land he is subjected to a cross-examination almost
vicious in its import, and must file his living addresses with the
authorities as if he were a paroled convict .
On paper, every tourist visiting Palestine must put up an advance
deposit of C 6o, which is apparently his guarantee that
he will not try to outwear his welcome . Actually, these strictures
apply only to Jews . A consular officer who has just refused
a visa to John Doe because he took him for a Jew, will
grant the same request with profuse apologies as soon as Mr. .
Doe qualifies as a gentile . This was ineptly admitted by young
Malcolm MacDonald, then new Colonial Secretary, under questioning
in Commons on July 9, 1935.
Its actual workings are illustrated in the violent protest of
Warsaw Jewry on March 20, 1934 because the English Consul
issued visas to all Polish Christians bound for the Holy Land,
and at the same time refused permits to Jewish tourists even
though the required C 6o was deposited. Going beyond its
own written measures, the Government often refuses admission
to whole parties of tourists, even though their papers are strictly
in order and they have made the required deposit . Instances
are plentiful . On March 5, 1933, sixty such visitors were refused
admission without explanation and were not permitted to
leave their steamer . A few days earlier, a group of twentythree
sight-seers from Poland, all holding proper visas obtained
from the British Consulate in Istanbul, were unceremoniously
dumped into the Haifa lockup where they were badly treated .
The Government had invented a new theory in this particular
instance, alleging that they should have obtained their Palestine
visas in Warsaw and not in Istanbul . In another case an Egyptian
sea captain had his ship impounded and was sentenced together
with each member of his crew to five months at hard
labor for the crime of carrying a shipload of visitors to Palestine.
The Authorities with remarkable clairvoyance insisted that the
latter intended to overstay their leave, and unbelievable as it
may appear, rested their case entirely on this psychic assertion.
Not altogether satisfied with results, the Administration attempted
to put through a prohibitive tax on tourists in 1 933,
only frustrated by the indignant threat of Palestine Jewry to
carry the whole business to the attention of Christian churches
in every country . The Government now plans a drastic increase
in the required tourist deposit ; and has, since the middle
of October 1936, enforced a complete ban on the general run
of Jewish tourists, making exceptions only for those whose outraged
squawk might draw attention to what is going on .
Even visitors of unimpeachable standing are refused permission
to overstay their leave . A useful example is provided by
the case of Weitzman who, though President of the Jewish
Agency, was according to reports, picked up in Haifa for this
reason in 1936.
The natural result of this determined persecution is that even
Egyptian Jews who have always, since Turkish times, spent their
annual vacations in Palestine, now flock to the Syrian Lebanon
It is worth noting that before the arrival of the British `liberators,'
Turkish law allowed Jews to come as pilgrims without
restriction . When in 1887 Turkey, alarmed by the boasts of
the Russian Consul that he "had more `subjects' in Jerusalem
than those of all the other consuls combined," attempted to
limit the stay of foreign Jews in Palestine to a short period, the
British Government led the procession of States whose vigorous
denunciation of these regulations caused them to be abrogated
in short order.
A highly placed official once informed Horace Samuel, with
evident relish, that "Jew-baiting was the sport of kings ." To
more or less degree, this remark is representative of the tone of
His Majesty's Service in Palestine . Any hope that the pitiful
plight of the fleeing, friendless Jews of Europe would excite
compassion in the hearts of these men, evaporated rapidly . To
officialdom these unfortunates instead assumed a nuisance value,
and the old calloused attitude toward them hardened to icy hate .
It is true that these homeless creatures, hounded from border
to border and rigidly kept out of their National Home, did
attempt to enter in any way possible. Lacking the £ I ooo required
to buy their way in, they often sneaked their way through
without benefit of British sanction . Desperate men attempted
to swim ashore from far outlying ships under cover of night .
Some came nailed up in boxes of merchandise on the backs of
camels, enduring indescribable suffering. Delicately raised girls
braved the trip through the desert wastes, placing themselves at
the mercy of savage Bedouins in an effort to cross unnoticed
at some wild place . They came from everywhere, a horde of
stranded, terrified Jews who arrived by steamer, by canoe and
on foot. Most of them were young people in their teens or
early twenties, desperate, hopeless creatures who were taking
their last gamble in life . Many were drowned, died of starvation,
or were murdered on the way by the very Bedouins they
hired to transport them.
The most heart-rending events took place daily . One such
story is of five hundred Russian Jews who escaped from the
Soviets to go to Palestine on foot via Baghdad and Persia . Many
were arrested on the various borders . One hundred and fifty
died enroute of incalculable hardships . Altogether five finally
arrived in Palestine, where they were promptly thrown into jail
at Acre. Another typical case held the fate of 318 young German
and East European refugees, all under 25, who were
marooned on the British steamer Velos in x934. The Palestine
authorities refused to admit them ; as did every port at which
the vessel touched . Their meager funds exhausted, they were
locked below hatches like so much contraband, which could
neither be unloaded nor destroyed . Finally, after ceaseless
wandering from port to port, these luckless outcasts were given
temporary asylum by Poland .
Just how a Jew under the Mandate could be in Palestine `illegally'
has never been explained . If the beneficiaries of that
document are not the entire Jewish people, whose immigration
to the Holy Land is to be facilitated by every means possible,
then the Mandate has no reason for existence . Ormsby-Gore
admitted as much in 1925 when he informed the Permanent
Mandates Commission that they "should remember that it is
after all the Balfour Declaration which was the reason why the
British Government is now administering Palestine ." However,
the memory of the King's spokesmen was conveniently suited
to what their appetites seemed to demand . So the British gradually
developed the peculiar thesis that Jews, under a Mandate
directly formulated to facilitate their return to Palestine, could
be there illegally .
Coincident with the advent of Hitler the business assumed
the proportions of an out and out Jew-hunt. In a nice piece of
collusion between the Colonial Secretary, Sir Phillip Cunliffe-
Lister, and an M . P. named MacDonald, the Government `admitted'
that `illegal' Jewish immigration existed but stated in
assurance that "practical steps would be taken to deal with the
matter." The very next day Cunliffe-Lister announced stringent
measures to prevent `illegal' Jewish immigration into Palestine.
The system of tourist deposits was instituted . Holders
of Nansen passports, that pitiful army of staatenlos men, were
not in future to be granted even tourist visas . An air-tight
frontier control in collaboration with the agreeable French authorities
in Syria was to be put in effect. On the subject of
illegal Arab immigration the announcement was expressively
Showing the extent of its preorganization, the campaign at
once assumed the proportions of a large-scale pursuit of Jews
over the length and breadth of Palestine. Ironically paid for
out of Jewish tax moneys, a dragnet of airplane and motor boat
patrols were detailed along the borders ; while British and Arab
constables, assisted by organized groups of fellaheen, enjoyed
themselves in scouring the coast-wise territory . At Beirut and
other Syrian cities British and Arab police questioned motorbus
drivers, asking if Jews were among the passengers ; carefully examining
the passports of all suspected of being Jews, while others
were as scrupulously ignored .
The pursuit of `illegal' Jews was on in earnest, one of the
great witch-hunts of modern times. Jews were picked up like
dangerous animals everywhere and hauled to police stations .
Weeping Jewish women were thrown into cells together with
prostitutes, subjected to the obscene taunts of Arab jailers .
The situation is made pitifully clear in the case of thirty-two
young girls, arrested while out on a hike near Tiberias because
an Arab boy denounced them. Thrown into the overcrowded
jail at Bethlehem, they were kept on bread and water and refused
bail . The Police candidly explained to indignant inquirers
that "if they were released on bail, they may marry Palestine
citizens and obtain the right to stay ." 9 On the same
date three other girls were arrested on the streets of Haifa,
jailed, and finally deported on an Italian steamer . Italian authorities
would not let them land so they were shipped back and
forth between Palestine and Italy until finally Jerusalem agreed.
as an act of international courtesy, to take them off the ship .
captain's hands . Says the announcement : "They are now imprisoned
in the Bethlehem jail ."
Jews were expelled for any trivial reason the anti-Semitic
mentality could improvise . Men were torn from their jobs and
businesses and thrown like common offenders into the prison
at Acre, a dank, forbidding structure ranking in terror with the
famous French Bastille, where they were regularly beaten by
Arab overseers . The attitude is shown in the case of one
Isschak Kupetz, a respectable working man who was sentenced
to the Central Prison in Jerusalem and escaped . Immediately
an intensive police search was begun, and rewards prominently
posted for "the escaped convict ." Since no nation wanted
them, a great number of these tragic sufferers were held long
after their sentences had expired ; the Government not hesitating
to vent its exasperation on their heads.
Hunting `illegal' Jews became a major game, with illegal
Arab newcomers enlisting gleefully in the chase . Savage Bedouins
joined in under promise of a reward for any Jewish man,
woman or child they could catch. Palestine was under a virtual
reign of terror. Anyone who could not immediately prove his
citizenship, or produce his or her certificate of entry, was
tracked down, jailed and brutally beaten . The lives of these
people became a daily horror. They became gravely endangered
by falling ill . They did not dare travel. For years they
have had to live without their wives and children and under
constant fear of being discovered . The utterly savage attitude
toward these people can hardly be grasped by a civilized mind.
A characteristic case is that of the family Israel Ezra, tourists
who overstayed their three months' leave. Ezra and his wife
were sentenced to prison and fine, and in addition it was ordered
that their twelve-year-old son be publicly flogged .10
Bad as existing regulations were, the inhuman meticulousness
with which they were interpreted made them infinitely worse .
A fair example is the case of a woman and six small children,
who had arrived legally with the proper passport and visa, from
Turkestan . On the way her husband had been killed at a rail246
way station. The whole family was arrested on the ground
that the passport provided not for a woman and six children,
but for a man, a woman and six children . On this pretext the
woman and her children were ordered to prison .
The heat had grown so scorching that it was beginning to
drive even the patient Jews mad . Nationalist groups rioted in
protest. Serious clashes took place when Arab gangs invaded
the Jewish colonies themselves in search of victims . After some
of these invaders had been beaten within an inch of their lives,
the use of civilian Arab bloodhounds was discontinued .
While all this was going on, the Jewish Agency, which had
been to such pains to create a world-wide impression that "new
Jewish arrivals were being eagerly welcomed," put out a timid
protest. It verbosely pointed out that all this was a clear departure
from the MacDonald Letter, which expressly guaranteed
that no immigrants "with prospects of employment" would be
excluded. The High Commissioner "took the matter under advisement"
and immediately buried the `protest' along with some
ash-barrels of others, in the Jerusalem files . At almost the identical
moment, he announced the appointment of a Commission
under Sir William Murison to investigate the police for alleged
severity in maintaining order during some Arab riots of a few
weeks previous.

Lured by stark evidence of labor scarcity and big pay, peoples
from all surrounding states began to drift into Palestine .
Though a huge corps of coast and frontier guards kept vigilant
watch to prevent the entry of `illegal' Jews, Arabs from anywhere
entered without even the gesture of passport investigation.
The Report of the Peel Commission admits frankly that
the inhabitants of Syria and Transjordan "are free to enter the
corresponding districts in Palestine without special formality ."
It is, in fact, by disguising themselves as Arabs that most `illegal'
Jewish immigration is accomplished . If they are lucky they
will succeed in walking in boldly without challenge . A news
item of July 4, 1934 gives the circumstance more lucidly than
pages of reference . It reads : "Five Jewish women coming
overland from Damascus, attired in the traditional costumes of
Moslem women, including the black veils, were apprehended
at the border when police saw through their disguises . They
could not answer questions put to them in Arabic ."
Not only is immigration from Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Yemen and
other surrounding places unrestricted, but Jews from these same
countries are as determinedly barred as their brothers from
Poland or the Baltic. Casual examples of this condition are the
deportation of Jews who fled from the Mosul district of Iraq
because of religious persecution ; and the demand of the Palestine
Government on May 16, 1935 that Syrian Jews be given
a special distinguishing passport when proceeding to countries
on the Palestine border, a sort of Near Eastern `yellow ticket,'
reminiscent of Czarist Russia.
Though the Government solemnly estimates in 1937 a total
Moslem increase by immigration of only 22,535 since the time
of the British occupation, 11 evidence of a vast influx of desert
tribesmen is obvious everywhere . As early as 1926, Colonial
Secretary Amery cautiously conceded that despite the growth of
the Jewish element "the increase of the Arabs is actually greater
than that of the Jews." 12 Figures presented before the Peel
Commission in 1937 showed the Arab population to have more
than doubled itself in fourteen years . This admitted gain in half
a generation must either be attributed to outside immigration or
to the most astonishing philo-progenitiveness in medical history.
Forgotten in its archives, the Government itself acknowledged
in 1922 the immigration of whole tribes "from the Hejaz and
southern Transjordan into the Beersheba area," a fact which
in itself must make its estimates of Arab immigration farfetched.
13 Other approximate figures are available from scattered
but credible sources. One of these is the statement of the
French Governor of the Hauran in Syria, that from his district
alone, in the summer of 1933, thirty-five thousand people had
left for Palestine as a consequence of bad crops .14
Whole villages in the Hauran have been emptied of their
people, who are drifting into Palestine . Count De Martel,
French High Commissioner for Syria, asserted in the summer of
1934 that even Arab merchants were moving from Damascus
to Palestine because of the prosperity there ; and in 1936 the
head of the Moslem Youth Association at Beirut, Jamil Bek
Basham, wrote that "there is a penetration into Palestine of an
army of Syrian laborers." 15
It is of course difficult to attain any adequate idea of the extent
of this flood of non-Jewish immigration since officially it
does not exist. In the absence of accurate canvass its size must
be pieced together and surmised. Such calculations as are available
show an Arab immigration for the single year 1933 of at
least sixty-four thousand souls . Added to the acknowledged
Hauranese infiltration are some two thousand who arrived from
Damascus alone. Mokattam, leading Cairo daily, announced
that ten thousand Druses had gone to the Holy Land ; and according
to Al Jamia Al Islamia, Arab newspaper of Jaffa,
seventeen thousand Egyptians had come from Sinai Peninsula
alone .
To these must be added considerable groups of Numidians
and even Abyssinians, and a vast uncounted army from Transjordan
about whose movement into Palestine not the slightest
pretense of legality is maintained . The figures on this latter
group must be very high, since economic conditions west of
Jordan have been literally frightful, with scanty harvests over
several successive years . In view of the fact that many thousands
of these Transjordanian nomads may be met any place in
Palestine, the Government reports themselves are amusing . In
his statement to the League of Nations for 1936 the High Commissioner
estimates that the total of persons arriving as immigrants
from Transjordan during the entire year was three, of
whom only one was an Arab (the two others presumably being
Englishmen) . 16 Not eight months later we find the same Government
openly repatriating thousands of Transjordanians because
the slump which followed after the riots left them without
Farago, puzzled by these contradictions, calls attention to the
fact that "one always finds in Palestine, Arabs who have been in
the country only a few years or a few months . . . Since they
are themselves strangers in a strange land, they are the loudest
in the cry : `Out with the Jews.' " 17
Exasperated by the Government's lack of good faith, which
was illicitly converting the Holy Land into an Arab country,
groups of courageous Jewish youths volunteered in 1934 to point
out what apparently the Authorities were unable to see . Fourteen
hundred of these illegals were quickly shown to be working
at Petach Tikvah ; and 1 zoo in Haifa on road and house construction
alone. Their probable numbers could be gathered from
a test count of 357 Arab laborers in the buildings material industry,
which showed 273 to be Hauranis illegally in the country.
A check of Arabs employed in Palestine ports on December
23, 1936 showed that only 50 of the 750 workers were
Palestinians. The remainder included Zoo Egyptians and 500
Hauranis.'S Whole hordes of these people were demonstrated
to be in the employ of the Government itself.
Without deigning to make a reply, the Administration pointedly
told the Jews to mind their own business . When Jews
picketed Jewish employers of this alien labor, the Government
bared its teeth and sentenced the demonstrators to six months
at hard labor for their pains . Undeterred, Jews again picketed
a Haifa theater being erected by a contractor named Borovsky
where illegal Hauranis were employed- 19 Immediately the Authorities
arrested fifty-three Jews and sentenced them to prison
terms. That pretty well discouraged any further attempt to
point out illegal Arab immigration .
Once in a while, for purposes of the High Commissioner's
report to the League, a few Arabs are apprehended for being
in the country without permission. Though bail, even in large
amounts, is refused Jews held for the identical offense, Arabs
are let go for C 1o. Considering this trifling sum a sort of premium
for high wages earned, they invariably skip bail.
On one excuse or another every effort has been made to
legalize non-Jewish immigration . The Administration had sent
up a number of trial balloons in this direction. Their first feeler
was made on December 18, 1934, when unexpectedly they
granted 150 labor immigration certificates to Arabs from Syria
and Egypt . Another was the admission in 1936 of 214 German
`Aryans' who wanted to settle permanently in Palestine in
order to "take advantage of the boom in that country ." Highlighting
this picture with all the potency of a floodlight was the
Administration's attempt to grant a huge tract of land under
homesteading rights to distressed Armenians, then in Syria .
This was at the same time that Hope-Simpson was showing
`conclusively' that Palestine was suffering from `overcrowding .'
London's animosity for Jews can be discerned in every part
of the Near East . Wherever Britain is influential she has drawn
a fibrous cordon of anti-Zionist arrangements, edicts and influences
. Where power lies in English hands the operation is direct,
as in Cyprus. Elsewhere, a discreet hint to friendly States
accomplishes the same result .
In Syria, one has only to gaze at the startling regulation issued
in Beirut, refusing Jews proceeding to Oriental countries the
right to make a stopover, a concession to the English allegation
that many tourists stopped over in Syria with a view to slipping
across the Palestine border at a subsequent date . On this
ground, in the first week of February 1933, fifty-one men and
nineteen women tourists were not even permitted to land in
Beirut and were tartly told to disembark at countries not adjacent
to Palestine . In the Spring of 1934, Syria, then in a desperate
financial and economic condition, was anxious for an influx
of Jews . This plan, backed by the Syrians themselves, was
frustrated by direct British protest to Paris . Following these
representations Syria obliged by announcing on May 3, 1 934
that Jews might be allowed to buy land anywhere except along
the Palestine border.
Pressure of the British legation at Athens, arguing that illegal
immigrants were being smuggled into the Holy Land by way
of Greece, produced the edict of November 30, 1934, forbidding
all foreign Jews henceforth to enter Greece except by special
permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Greek
Consulates were instructed to inquire by cable of the Foreign
Office in Athens Whenever a Jew applied for a Greek visa .
Foreign Jews passing through Greece, suspected of wishing to
visit Palestine, would not be permitted to pass the Greek frontier
except with the stamped permission of the Palestine Government.
The order established a virtual espionage system on Jewish
visitors, affecting Jews of all nations regardless of citizenship.
Iraq, British dependency and protege among the nations, was
also quick to respond . Zionist activity of any kind was made
a crime punishable by imprisonment, as in Soviet Russia . A
wholesale ban on all Jewish newspapers and books entering the
country was instituted . Following the lead of Palestine officials,
Iraq postal authorities ordered the exclusion of the pamphlet
Hitler Terror issued by the Board of Deputies of British Jews,
as well as other anti-Nazi material ; while such `literature' as
Hitler's Mein Kamp f was allowed a free sale.
Afghanistan, under British Foreign Office influence, moved
against the Jews viciously . The present ruler, Nadir Khan, was
financed and armed by Great Britain to overthrow the former
pro-Russian king. Like Egypt and Iraq, the country is now
ruled by British `advisers,' as a practical appendage to the Indian
Government. One of the first acts of the new Administration
was to move against the Jews, who had all passports withdrawn .
On a few moments' notice, in January of 1934, two thousand
Jews were expelled from the border towns of Mazar, Ankhoi
and Maimane, and thrown homeless in the desert . In May 1 935
these persecutions were heightened by regulations compelling
Jews to wear special clothes with red flags across their breasts
and a rope around their hips . They were forbidden to shave or
to ride in the streets . Jewish women must not appear in public
markets and, like common harlots, must not wear stockings . In
1938 Jews were forbidden to engage in any business activities,
the only occupation left open to them being that of bootblacks .
Persia, too, becoming practically a British protectorate, inexplicably
put its nose into extra-territorial affairs by prohibiting
the emigration of Jews to Palestine .20 Jews were forced to
wear a distinguishing badge . No Jew was allowed to walk in
the open street in front of a Moslem, or to talk aloud to him,
build a fine house or whitewash its rooms . He could not leave
town, grow a beard or ride on horseback. The law stipulated
that "Jews shall not be permitted to consume good fruit." It is
certainly at least coincidental that when the present ruler, Riza
Khan, denounced the treaty under which Persia was run by British
advisers and army officers under English tariff control and
financing, he abolished most of the more ridiculous anti-Semitic
Yemen, too, at the south end of the Arabian peninsula, prohibited
the emigration of Jews to Palestine at a time when London
could have broken its back by withdrawing its financial
support. Jews attempting to leave for Palestine are brought
back and executed . After an economic rapprochement with
Britain, the Turks also made Zionist organizations illegal, in
October 1934, going to the point of raiding Jewish homes all
over the country in their efforts to stamp the movement out .
The attitude may again be seen in Egypt where an Arab daily
paper appears called the Mokattam, known as the voice of the
British Embassy. No other publication in Egypt attacks Zionism
with such unrestrained violence . Though the country is completely
dependent upon Britain for both defense and finance, it
has lately become a center of anti-Zionist conspiracy and agitation,
and during 1938 played host to an international Arabic conference,
convened at Cairo, to fight Zionism . No one doubts that
had these activities been directed against any friendly nation, or
against such British dependencies as Iraq or Transjordan, they
would have been swiftly outlawed .
A confirming view is given in Aden, owned by England outright,
without bother of pretense. In June 1932, after mob attacks,
the British slapped a blanket censorship on the news, even
withholding cables of news services . Following the disturbances,
the Aden Jews sought to emigrate to Palestine en masse.
Many were arrested, and many more deported to Hodeida, an
Arab pogrom center then raging in a bath of Jewish blood.
When the fanatical Wahibis swept into Yemen in 1934, Jews
fled to Aden begging permission to be allowed to proceed to
the Jewish Homeland . The Authorities instead issued an order
prohibiting Jews from entering Aden altogether. Even those
lucky Israelites with visas to Palestine, compelled by the only
existing travel routes to pass through the Colony, are refused
transitory entrance and returned to the waiting Jew-baiters at
Lying off the coast of Palestine, so that its outline is faintly
visible on a clear day, is another English piece of property, the
Island of Cyprus . Cyprus had been taken by Disraeli for the
Empire because of its "propinquity to Palestine," a rare evidence
of the great statesman's sentimentality . A number of Jews,
unable to get into Palestine, settled here . The natives were delighted
at the prospect of having someone to whom they could
sell their almost valueless land at a good price. The average
amount paid was £ 8 per acre -about a thirtieth of the price
demanded in Palestine for similar land . Noting this, enterprising
Cypriots filled the Palestine press with advertisements offering
every kind of attractive acreage for sale cheap . Soon
Jews held almost seven thousand acres in Cyprus, planting it
mostly in citrus. The Island started to boom, and the stream
of Jewish immigration began to swell.
Soon after, the Colonial Office sent down General Storrs
(who had had some experience with similar problems in Palestine)
to rule the Island . Acting expeditiously, Storrs issued an
edict on December 13, 1934 announcing that in future no more
foreigners could buy land in Cyprus ; nor could they enter without
the express permission of the Governor himself . It hardly
needs mention that the only `foreigners' attempting to come in
or buy land were Jews, and that this ordinance put a summary
end to all such `attempts .'
The early Zionist thinkers instinctively grasped the direct relationship
between a sound peasant class rooted in the soil, and
the project of a national renaissance . The British, too, understood
that a National Home without ownership of the soil was
a misnomer. Their Peace Handbook on Syria and Palestine
reads : "The essence of the Zionist ideal is the desire to found
upon the soil of Palestine a revived Hebrew nation based upon
an agricultural life and the use o f the Hebrew language . . .
There is so much unoccupied land in Palestine that there is plenty
of room for Zionist development without ousting the existing
Moslem population."
The early colonists found the park-like country their ancestors
had left, a treeless desert . Epidemics made even the raising of
cattle impossible. The mountain slopes, once covered with a
never-ending succession of vineyards and orchards, were now
bare rock, washed clean by the torrential rains . The rest of
the country alternated between swamp and desert . Crawling
like dull maggots over these dried bones was a scanty population,
scarcely less haggard, wild and unkempt than the land itself.
Land hunger rode on the shoulders of the returning Jews,
driving them like a man with a lash . They came from the
ghettos of the Russian Pale, men with soft hands, intellectuals,
lawyers, writers, doctors and shopkeepers, inspired by the passionate
dream of turning this pestilential desert into a blossoming
countryside . . They themselves, the dreamers of Zion, would
erect its first peasantry with their own lives and bodies .
Their hardships were almost insupportable . Epidemic pestilences
killed off so many that it became a byword that the
graveyards of these settlements were more populous than the
villages themselves . Undeterred, the new settlers pressed on
doggedly. They were living an epic ; and their eyes danced
with it long after their bodies grew worn from a ceaseless struggle
with a sick earth. This blazing emotion is beautifully described
by the Hebrew poet, Uri Zvi Greenberg
"In a sunburst of love we went up,
Boys and girls to Zion ;
Passionate faith from the roots of our hair
To the tips of the nails of our feet
A boundless love for the mother earth of the Jews
That agonies could not quench,
Nor the teeth of the foxes destroy . . ."
Unlike the advent of European capitalism throughout the
East, the only privilege these colonists asked was to be allowed
to work the soil with their own hands . They consciously understood
that the body of the Jewish nation had been maimed
by a cruel destiny which had driven the Jews from the soil, had
closed manual labor to them, and had crowded them into one
thin stratum of the social pyramid . The renaissance of Jewry
lay in this astonishing attempt to reverse a process consciously
taking place in social adjustment, abjuring personal ambitions,
to erect again by the national will what history had destroyed .
These Jews from the vitiated air of ghettos, men and women
whose psychology and muscles alike were better adjusted to
the counting room and Yeshiva than to heavy labor, made themselves
over by the sheer force of their own idealism into the finest
scientific farmers in the world . Their neat, well-painted
houses went up surrounded by thriving green vineyards, healthy
young orchards, flowers and shadetrees . In the eyes of believing
observers it was a miracle, only to be explained in the light
of Biblical Prophecy .
There has been no braver colonizing group in history, nor
any who operated under more disheartening conditions . With
a song on their lips these determined young people laid the
groundwork for an agricultural prosperity which was to be the
backbone of the coming Jewish nation . Their magnificent accomplishments
were unhesitatingly acknowledged by the English
after the War. "Every traveler in Palestine who visits
them," relates an official report, "is impressed by the contrast
between these pleasant villages, with the beautiful stretches of
prosperous cultivation about them, and the primitive conditions
of life and work with which they are surrounded ." 1 Beverley
Nichols remarks : "As I walked around, I became more and more
astonished that any race of men, let alone intellectual Jews, could
possibly tackle such an unfriendly soil . . . Yet over this wilderness
the ex-clerks, ex-doctors, ex-shopkeepers swarmed like ants,
staggering under the weight of the stones they were removing,
panting as they wielded their spades ." 2 Father Alfred Sachetti
exclaims in admiration : "What had been up to six years ago a
wild unproductive waste land has been transformed into a fertile
and productive country ." 3 And the Rev. Dr. W. M. Christie
reports : "When you see a green spot in Palestine today you
may be sure it is a Jewish colony." 4
When with premature gratitude the enthusiastic Jews welcomed
the British overlords who were taking the place of the
Turks, they had no reason to suppose that in the near future the
further acquisition of land by them was to be considered in the
nature of a crime against humanity . The British were pledged
to their cause. London had wholeheartedly acknowledged that
"the immigration of Jews and their close settlement on the land,
including State lands and waste lands not required for public
purposes, are integral and indispensable factors in the execution
of the charge laid upon the Mandatory of establishing in Palestine
a National Home for the Jewish People ." s
How far the Jewish position has actually retrogressed since
the English came, may be estimated from the simple fact that the
per capita land possession of Jews in Palestine has shrunk from
approximately 8 dunams in 1921 to only 3 dunams in 1936 . Of
the total land area of 26,319,000 dunams, only 1,300,000 dunams
are in Jewish hands, of which more than half was acquired before
the War . In 1935, the peak year of investment, only
18,250 acres were acquired ; but the price paid was the enormous
sum of J, 1,700,000 . Even at this uneconomic cost, less than
3 % of the huge sums flooding into the country went into the
establishment of new farms .
These figures mean that Jews numbering 3 3 % of the population
are sequestered on 5% of the land, forcing into existence a
queer economy by which the Jewish farm population must
mathematically decrease with the growth of the Jewish national
structure. Even in the short period between 1931 and 1 935,
we find the proportion of Jewish farmers decreasing from 18%
to 13 .9%, making the Palestine Jews the most highly urbanized
national group on earth.
Here you have the most unhealthy of all possible conditions
a land-hungry people attempting to build a sound national
economy and owning, after decades of struggle, less than three
hundred thousand acres altogether .6 On this fact is shipwrecked
the basic principles on which Zionist planning was constructed.
For all reasonable purposes, it forebodes the creation
not of a free economy but of a new ghetto, this time in an Arab
instead of an Aryan land .
The causative factors behind this condition are not hard to
find. In the early period of Jewish settlement, around 1885,
prices averaged ten francs, or eight shillings, per dunam for good
agricultural land . By 19oo the price had risen to around sixteen
shillings . By 1935 it was anything that anyone cared to
ask. Taking 1932 as an illustration, we find 18,293 land transactions
concluded by Jews ; whereas in 1926, when more than
twice the area of new land had been acquired, there were only
11,821 such transactions? This meant that land-hungry Jews,
caught in a trap, were reduced to buying land from each other,
the price skyrocketing in accordance with the inevitable law
of supply and demand . During the fiscal year 1933-34 when
practically no new land was acquired by Jews, the Palestine
Government received from them close to J 200,000 in registration
fees for land transfers. In many instances a parcel of land
passes through eight or ten hands a year and its price is pyramided
to the most unbelievable heights . "Nowhere in the
world," comments the Royal Commission of 1937, "were such
uneconomic land prices paid as by the Jews in Palestine."
The parent of this distorted condition was none other than
the Government itself . A series of bold expedients flowed from
Jerusalem, directly formulated to prevent Jews from acquiring
the soil of the country. As fast as one artifice proved inadequate,
newer and more offensive ones were invented . The
English set themselves up as the protectors and patrons of the
Arabs, much as though Palestine were an endowed institution
for the improvident and the inept for whose benefit all competitive
factors must be excluded .
The keystone to the British arch was the alleged landless
Arab situation . In his report, French had listed some thirty
seven hundred claimants. The extent of this fabrication was
later conceded when, despite the prodding of the Administration,
only five hundred Arabs could be discovered who even had
a provisional claim. Just how there could be any 'landless'
people in an underpopulated country suffering for years from
an acute labor shortage, the Administration never attempted to
explain. Major Cecil Quinlan answered the best part of the
question with the laconic remark that "the so-called 'landless'
Arab does not exist, except in disordered imaginations ." 8
The Mandate provided that Jews be given State lands for the
purpose of "close settlement." Nowhere in that document is
there anything mentioned about an opposed obligation to Arabs ;
but the Government, making its own interpretation, decided that
this must have been a typographical error . It early handed the
Arabs 140,000 acres of its most fertile holdings . Later to appease
the Jews it gave them a consolation prize of some i 8,ooo acres, of
which only 962 were actually cultivable.
The Administration's Annual Report for 1920-21 gives figures
of 942,000 dunams of State land and two or three million dunams
of waste lands. When the Zionists, grown restive finally, put a
fierce demand on the Government to fulfill its obligations, it was
dismally discovered that the two or three million dunams of waste
land referred to had now vanished in thin air.
The technique under which this piece of legerdemain was accomplished
was not involved. It consisted of simple nostrums
and a characteristic method of dealing off the bottom of the deck .
In reply to a pointed question by the Mandates Commission in
1926, His Majesty's spokesman, Ormsby-Gore, represented that
2 59
"the delay of the grant of Government land to Jews is connected
with the question of survey which has not yet been effected ."'
A Vaad Leumi Memorandum notes in disgust that despite this excuse,
"hundreds of thousands of Government lands . . . have
been distributed among Arab fellaheen, in lots of such size that
they could not work them properly ." All Jewish demands for
land were rejected- "even the claims of the discharged Jewish
soldiers who had participated in the British military conquest of
the country being disregarded ." At the very moment Ormsby-
Gore was offering his explanation to the League, a special Land
Commission was carrying out a liquidation of the Government
estates, "apparently instructed to hand them over to Bedouins ."
Again in 1931, a Vaad Leumi protest to the League notes that
the Government was distributing State lands to Arabs "in parcels
of thousands of dunams per family," while Jewish demands were
studiously ignored .
Pleased with these outright gifts, the Bedu had little intention
of demeaning themselves by manual labor . They at once offered
their new-found acreage to Jews at prices only limited by Bedouin
ability to count . The indignant Administration put an end
to this practice by attaching a string to further gifts, prohibiting
sale of the land for thirty to fifty years . In other cases the Arabs
were beneficiaries of paternal loans, never intended to be repaid,
placing the Jews in the unenviable position of financing activities
aimed directly at themselves . All a Bedouin had to do, to blackmail
this singular Government, was to threaten to sell to Jews and
a subsidy would be forthcoming .
The Administration's sympathy for 'landless' Arabs went an
amazing distance. Four days before the 1936 riots broke out it
gave the Dajani family 10,000 dunams in the rich Jordan Valley .
The 'landless' Dajani family, as it happens, is fabulously wealthy,
owning among other things, the site of `The Last Supper,' for
which they are said to have recently refused C 1,000,000. The
Government even handed out its land to foreigners who made no
pretense of Palestine residence. To mention only a few cases, six
Syrian families located in Damascus and Beirut received over
7000 dunams of the Ashrafiye lands. Of the 3 579 dunams dis260
tributed in Tel-Es-Shock, 3469 dunams went to a family group
of four brothers and sisters living in Egypt .1o
Even when Jews bought areas on which the Government felt
it had a lien, it exacted its pound of flesh . A case in point is the
Huleh basin, consisting of 12,000 acres of miasmatic swamp .
This suppurating area had polluted the country, for generations
back, with malaria and dysentery . The job of draining it would
ordinarily be regarded by any other government as a task incumbent
on itself . Instead, the Palestine Administration granted
concession rights for reclamation of the area to two Syrian merchants,
renewing the concession in 1924 and again in 1927, though
the Syrians made no attempt to proceed with the work and were
evidently not in a position to undertake a development project
of this magnitude . It was only after years of procrastination on
the part of the Government that the Jewish Palestine Land Development
Company was able to secure official approval to take
over the concession rights . As the price of its consent the Government
stipulated that when the work was finished, one-third of
the new land would have to be handed over for Bedouin settlement.
It was necessary to pay the original foreign concessionaires
C 200,000, a sum which could only be considered in the
light of a gift . This was in 1935 . In 1935 the Government was
still quibbling over the text of the concession . It also has mysteriously
withheld decision on a number of minor points arising
from an engineering report made several years previously . These
dilatory tactics have effectually prevented any progress being
made in the work of reclamation, which is thus shunted into the
indefinite future .
The huge task of draining this quagmire will take at least a
decade. It will involve an outlay of over £ 1,000,000 . To this
must be added interest on investment, and amortization of principal,
plus such baksheesh as must be paid to petty officials who
would otherwise find a way to throw a sabot into the machinery,
even after the work has been started . When the 16,ooo dunams
which must be given free to the Arabs are deducted, some rough
idea is secured of what this much-touted enterprise will cost the


Having devised the 'landless Arab' thesis, it was only a short
step to the principle that the Arab must be protected against
himself and saved from exploitation by the Jew who would take
his land away from him. For this purpose there was introduced
a series of ordinances so plainly meant to prevent Jews from acquiring
land in their National Home that were ten percent of
them introduced into England, and directed at Englishmen, an
armed revolution would follow .
But Zionist spokesmen had been used to the rope's end too long
to be able to react with anything resembling normal indignation.
They recognized helplessly that they were being victimized, but
saw nothing else to it but to smirk ingratiatingly on their tormentors.
Once more it is grizzled old Menachem Ussishkin who
growls like a lone wolf to the British Government : "Since you
have given your consent to the establishment of a Jewish National
Home, you must have realized that it is impossible to build on
anything but on the land . We have paved every field and marsh
with gold, but you, instead of helping us, have piled stones in our
way and have made the country into a hell ." 12
As early as 1920 a Land Transfer Ordinance already read that
"any person wishing to make a disposition of immovable property
must first obtain consent of the Government," a statute which the
Shaw Report frankly admits was introduced to prevent the easy
sale of land. This was followed in 1929 by the Cultivator's Protective
Ordinance, which demanded that buyers make an additional
payment to tenants who might be occupying the land as
well as to the owners . 1931 saw a new edict which provided
that irrespective of any provision in the contract, land could not
be transferred if there were "any tenants" cultivating it . A tenant
was described as anyone who has access to the land by "right
or custom, usage or on sufferance," 13 a person hired for agricultural
work who is paid in kind, squatters of any and all types ;
anyone who cultivated the land by either express or implied permission,
or who had been cultivating the land on the assumption
that he had the right to do so for a period of two years ; or any262
one who comes and grazes on the land or cuts reeds for basketmaking,
or one who is a descendant o f a would-be tenant under
the ordinance.
This startling piece of legislation derived its full force from the
primitive nature of Bedouin life . While the Bedouin grazed his
flocks wherever he pitched camp, he always made the same general
circle of travel, returning year after year to the identical
spots . Thus he automatically became a `tenant' under the regulation.
Most of the land purchased by Jews came from the tremendous
estates of absentee landlords, a handful of land-barons
who owned, for example, eighty percent of the soil of Galilee and
at least half of southern Palestine .14 These vacant acres were
trespassed on by all comers, and, by the very nature of things,
were bound to harbor itinerant tenants, squatters and migratory
The other claw of the pincers lay in the fact that all the
archaic Turkish land and tax laws were still operative .15 This
meant that the verification of title went back to the old Ottoman
religious law . The British had made no attempt to determine
title, and the footnote to every Kuhan (title deed) contained the
phrase : "The title is not deemed to be guaranteed." Under the
new Cultivator's Ordinance all titles were placed in jeopardy as
having been gained illegally, since they were subject to tenant's
It now transpired that `tenants' could be evicted only by the
High Commissioner himself. This transfer of discretion to a political
appointee, rather than to the courts, prevented any appeal
and gave the frankly anti-Jewish officials of the Administration
arbitrary powers of decision . These powers were further increased
by the Land Disputes Ordinance enacted in March 1932 .
This remarkable edict empowered the District Commissioner,
should he find that a trespasser was forcibly evicted by the rightful
owner, to regard the dispossessed party as the possessor .
Granted magisterial status, no appeals against the findings of this
petty functionary were possible. The enactment additionally
forbade interference with the `rights' of invaders coming to graze,
cut wood or reeds, or for any other purpose (even if the owner's
fences had been cut down and his crops destroyed), until in each
case "a competent court ruled on the matter ."
On July 2 5, 1 933 the Administration released the Statutory
Tenant Law, effectually freezing the ownership of large vacant
areas in their present hands . Anyone who occupied or grazed
the land for a year, with or without permission, became a "statutory
tenant ." He could not be evicted without being given a
new piece of land in a nearby area approved by the High Commissioner
These restrictions made it next to impossible to purchase lands
on which claim could not be made by `tenants .' The inevitable
result was that Jews buying land had to pay for it twice : one
payment to the owner and the other to his `tenants,' in order to
obtain their voluntary consent to leave the property . In many
cases the sums given the `tenants' were larger than the already inflated
prices paid to the sellers . The whole intent behind this
singular legislation is shown in the law affecting tenants where
the land is not sold . Here the tenant is not protected in any
fashion whatsoever, and may be evicted at the landlord's pleasure .
Even on land long owned by Jews, here is how this `advanced'
legislation operates. `A' owns a piece of land ; `B' squats on that
land, claiming the right to cultivate it . In the ensuing conflict,
B' is not ejected from the parcel and allowed recourse to the
courts, but instead the cultivation o f the land is stayed by both
parties until the determination of the courts . Since land cases
are known to sleep through the judicial chambers for five or six
years, and appeals are seldom, if ever, heard under one year, the
result is apparent. Nor does the final settlement of one trespassing
case protect the owner against new ones. As fast as new
trespassers may appear, new court orders must be obtained against
them through the same lengthy litigation .
Here was an obvious invitation to blackmail which the Arabs
were not slow to take advantage of . False claims were regularly
manufactured against Jewish land with the object of extorting
money from the owners . Arab tribes, often as not under the
fatherly advice of the District Commissioners, turned this situation
into a profitable business . They squat in the Jewish colonies,
taking over a piece of land by main force if necessary, claiming
it on the basis of prior possession ; and then compromise on some
compensation from the owner, who usually prefers a limited loss
of money to prolonged litigation. The Bedu then drive their
herds further on, looking for another opportunity to repeat this
agreeable adventure . There are Arab attorneys in Jerusalem
who specialize in causing squatters to do this sort of thing and
who make a very good business out of it . As may be expected,
Jews are the sole sufferers . "In not a single instance," declares
the land expert Ussishkin, "has an Arab owner been pestered in
such a way. Bedouins who would so intrude on an Arab parcel
of land would be ejected by the police without further ado ."
A few actual cases will show how these measures operate in
practical application . A large parcel of land, in Jewish hands
for forty years, was disputed by Arabs on the basis of an alleged
document signed five hundred years ago granting the land to the
Moslem Church . District Commissioner S . H. Perowne immediately
declared the land under dispute and prohibited work
there. Jewish farmers who tried to plough their fields were
arrested.16 At the settlement of Tel Hai in Galilee, Bedouins
brought their cattle to pasture in the colony's fields, destroying
the crops. They claimed to be in possession of a document entitling
them "to pasture anywhere ." A fight ensued, the police
were called, and the usual order issued to both parties to cease
work in the colony "until the title to the land was established ."
At Hedera, where the land had been in Jewish possession for
forty-five years, Bedouins came in, uprooted the crops, injured
workers and killed a watchman. The police ordered all cultivation
to cease "until the Court decides the dispute between the Jews
and the Bedouins ."
A typical case is that of the Wadi Hawareth land . After paying
liberal baksheesh to the tenants and after reams of red tape
had been unwound to secure title, the Jews were unable to take
possession : the land had already been ploughed by Arab squatters
. Similarly, at Haifa Bay, thirty-five hundred dunams legally
bought and paid for by the Jewish National Fund were
given to Arabs, by decision of the District Commissioner, after
they had driven off the Jewish watchman and taken the land by
armed force. At Tulkarm, in a regular pestilence of squatter
suits, the courts decided that thirty-six hundred dunams of land
had been "purchased illegally" and directed that they be given,
without compensation, to the squatters. While ignorant Bedouins
were more than willing participants in this hilarious game of plaguing
Jews, what lay behind their actions can be judged from the
Kuskustabun case, where three Jewish farmers were badly injured
by armed Arab invaders . Here it was conclusively proven that
the Arabs "undertook to trespass and plough the land upon the
advice of District Officer Lees." 17
Not satisfied with its previous measures in which Jewish ingenuity
discovered more leaks than the Government considered
supportable, it announced in 1936 a brand new principle in pro-
Arab paternalism, this time swinging back to the Middle Ages for
its inspiration . The present purpose is to anchor the peasant in
the land irrespective of his will to change his status . In future
"no land-owner shall be permitted to sell any of his land unless
he retains a minimum subsistence area . As a safeguard against
collusive sales this minimum area shall be inalienable and shall
revert to the Government if it ceases to be cultivated by the
owner-occupier." 18
Many other, pettier schemes were originated by the Government
of Palestine in its campaign of harassment . The Jews,
urgently needing a source of cheap fertilizer for their groves,
had been buying it from Arabs whose every village was literally
built on an accumulation of century-old dung . Arabs are rarely
known to even remove this filth from the vicinity of their dwellings,
much less use it . In September 1937 the Administration
published a Draft Animal Manure Ordinance vesting the ownership
of manure in the proprietor of the land on which it is
dropped. Any attempt to remove or sell it without official permission
henceforth becomes an offense punishable by fine of f25
or six months' imprisonment, or both.
Another edict stipulates that the amount of damages which
may be demanded from a seller who breaks his contract, cannot
be included in the contract itself, but must be fixed by the court .
This `Order in Council' was intended as a staggering blow to
Jewish land purchases, since the only effective way of preventing
Arab owners from changing their minds under pressure was to
include in the contract a provision for damages to be paid together
with the return of the buyer's deposit . Another decree
released early in 1936 was "designed to protect water supplies
from interference by private individuals." Special permission
had now to be obtained from the District Commissioner before a
well could be constructed or enlarged . Jews might own the
land, but the water underneath it belonged to the Administration
in Jerusalem. All water supplies, reads the Ordinance, "river,
spring, or underground," may anywhere be declared public property
at the discretion of the High Commissioner. Beyond serving
to frustrate the irrigation plans of the Jews, this revolutionary
measure has no plausible purpose nor has one ever been offered.
When other artifices proved inadequate, the Government has
followed a system of `loans' to Arab owners, in themselves often
greater than the market value of the land . Sometimes its money
is passed over outright on the score of `relief,' whether owing to
poor crops, damage caused by the elements, or the characteristic
laziness of Arab tillers. It frankly finances and operates Arab
agricultural cooperatives in competition with those of the Jew ;
and it maintains nurseries and other agricultural services of which
Arabs are the sole beneficiaries.
The unremitting campaign of Arab leaders, clearly abetted
from Government House, thundering against the `crime' of selling
property to Jews will be discussed again in Chapter I Book
III. It may be remarked, however, that without the Zionist the
market for Palestine land does not exist . Acreage in this corner
of creation is worth next to nothing. In neighboring Syria it
can hardly be given away. In Transjordan it is worth only a
dollar or two a dunam. Holding a monopoly on the soil, the
Levantines are having a royal holiday. "No one can doubt,"
says Broadhurst, "that the Arabs have exploited the Jews for all
they are worth, fattening their pockets in the process ." 19 Despite
the current campaign against land sales, Arab owners have
been keeping a canny eye fixed on the price barometer . As we
shall see, the very leaders of this agitation have proven themselves
as anxious, privately, to circumvent the Government's restrictions
as the Jews. There is ample evidence, also, that Government
officials themselves have not been above surreptitious speculation,
while at the same time being a party to driving the prices up out
of sight by radical legislation .
That official restrictions were designed to force Jews to pay
through the nose for such land as they were able to acquire is
conclusively shown by official figures . Buying in the open market
for the purpose of "resettling landless Arabs," the Government
paid 072,240 for 17,240 dunams, or an average of C4 per
dunam. In the same period the Jews purchased in the same market,
62,114 dunams for which they paid C 1,647,837, an average
of C25 per dunam.
In vivid contrast to this flood of radical legislation is Palestine's
system of land taxation, beyond question the most reactionary in
existence. Until recently the obsolete Turkish system, based on
the economy of Mohammed's time, was retained intact by the
Government as being perfectly satisfactory in all respects .
There were two basic taxes . One was the Werko, based on
land valuations . The joker lay in the fact that the last appraisement,
by which the tax was set, had been made in the nineties of
the last century. New valuations were only made in cases of
change of ownership . This meant that the old owners were paying
a tax based on pre-War values, while the new owners were assessed
on the basis of crazily inflated post-War prices. Thus the
new proprietor paid twenty to thirty times more for each dunam
in tax than the previous owner used to pay for the same land before
it was sold, and continued to pay for the adjoining acres still remaining
in his possession. "This unjust and abnormal position,"
complains the Jewish Agency, on March 10, 1935, "expressed itself
in the creation of two classes of taxpayers paying different
rates for similar property," of whom "the only sufferers were
Jews." The relative difference in this levy was often literally
enormous . An illustration of the whole taxing scheme is provided
by the village of Shattah, which paid less than £4 in tax,
while the neighboring Jewish colony of Kfar Yehezkiel, owning
half the area of land, paid £55 .
The other main grouping was the Osher or tithe, amounting to
1o% on all agricultural income. This was usually canceled in the
case of Arabs, sometimes by personal decision of the High Commissioner
himself, though District Commissioners were also authorized
to grant remission at their discretion. The extent of
this practice can be seen in the announced remission of seventy
percent of the tithe due the Government in 1932, amounting
to £ 173,000. In 1933 the total remission of tithes to Arabs was
,093,500 out of an assessment of £ 1,245,000 ; and in 1 934,
£ 130,000 out of a total tax of £ 245,000. In 1935 the High
Commissioner reported that of a tithe of £ 17 1,021, only £ 19,-
750 had been collected. The fellah's contribution to Government
revenues (tithe, land tax and all other agricultural taxes)
diminished annually, falling from 25% of the total in 1921-22 to
4.8% in 1934-35-
Though after eighteen years of effort the Government was
seemingly unable to complete the survey for land registration
purposes (which would have put an abrupt end to the plague of
squatter suits), it had not the slightest difficulty in finishing the
survey for taxation purposes within a year after deciding that a
remodeled system was in order. The new Rural Property Tax
Ordinance was placed into effect in 1935, substituting a single
basis of levy for the multiple Turkish tithe, house and land taxes .
Says the Royal Commission of 1937, pointedly : "This effected
a large reduction, in some cases up to seventy percent, in the
taxes payable by the [Arab] peasantry ." 20
Though hailed as a simplified system it was, on the face of it,
an intricate maze . It involved some sixteen brackets of taxation,
varying from the highest to the lowest by several thousand percent,
the brackets themselves divided into innumerable blocks in
the various districts . Providentially, the highest tax brackets coincided
exactly with Jewish enterprises and holdings and the
lowest with those of the Arabs . As the lower grades of ground
crop land pay only a nominal tax, or no tax at all, the holdings
of the fellaheen are practically exempted from impost of any
kind. This type of acreage, coinciding with Arab agricultural
undertakings, is divided into eight grades, the highest of which
pays twenty-five mils per dunam, while the sixth grade drops to
eight mils per dunam. The seventh and eighth grades pay no tax.
Irrigated land was divided into nine grades, seemingly in accordance
with the districts where Jews may or may not be
found, and was assessed accordingly. Fallow land, owned entirely
by great Arab landlords, pays no tax whatsoever, putting
an actual premium on land speculation and completely reversing
every known process by which land policy in other nations is
guided. In any other country infant industry is nursed along
and protected . It is the pioneers who are relieved of taxes ; and
in places like Italy and Spain, the Holy Land's chief competitors
in citrus, growers are directly subsidized . Under this latest arrangement
it was the citrus industry, on which the entire export
trade of the country depended, which was placed in the highest
tax division, not even non-bearing groves being excepted . The
tax here vaulted to 825 mils per dunam, the highest rate of taxation
on this type of plantation in the world .21 Excluded specifically
from this category, the all-Arab citrus district of Acre
`pays' 41o mils per dunam .22
Under the same law, taxation on urban property is similarly
gerrymandered . House property, including valuation of the
site, pays a tax of r z V2 % of the net annual value . Premises with
an annual value up to ,f 2o, invariably Arab, are exempted from
levy . In industrial buildings the Ordinance says that "the tax
shall be at such a rate, not exceeding fifteen percent of the net
annual value, as shall be prescribed by the High Commissioner.
The High Commissioner is empowered to apply the Ordinance
by order to specific areas ." One may easily presume that it is
the Jewish sections alone which pay the fifteen percent, a circumstance
glaringly evident in the exemptions granted in a list
of mixed cities, which on examination turn out to affect only
Arab blocks. Not even schools, clinics or village councils are
excepted from these crushing levies .
The theory behind this entire performance is made unmistakably
clear in the assessments charged to the German colony of
Sarona, thoroughly Nazi in sentiment since the coming of Hitler .
Almost surrounded by the continuously growing city of Tel
Aviv, the fields of Sarona are now located in one of the most
highly priced urban developments in the world, with individual
holdings worth an average of 4400,000 in cash. Yet the farmers
of this colony continue to pay a tax as negligible as if their
lands were located in the wilderness on the other side of Jordan.
There are still other tax schemes directed without too much
disguise at the Jewish pocketbook, such as the Land Transfer
Tax, Government Inspection Tax, and Animal Tax, all of them
cut from the same cloth as the land taxes and all brilliantly successful
in mulcting this stricken people who by international consent
are returning to their homeland .

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Practically all countries today take an eager if not anxious interest
in the development of their own prosperity . It is invariably
the government which points the way to methods for developing
business, which seeks to attract capital and enterprise
and to enlarge its commerce in every way possible . As backward
as the Turks were made out to be in matters of government,
they were happy enough to assist new industry in their domains .
Under the Industrial Act of December 1917, newly established
factories in Palestine received five dunams of State land free on
application, were granted exception from import duties until
they were well established, and were relieved of taxation for
fifteen years.
The present mandatory for Palestine, however, appears to do
everything possible to halt the development of business and to
omit doing anything designed to help it . In view of its peculiar
obligations under the Mandate, it would appear that the Administration
should have favored the new settlers in every way,
that it would nurse their industries sympathetically during the
early and critical period, and in general lend its support by the
usual means, favored taxation, protective tariffs, loans and subsidies.
That the Palestine Government is well able to understand
this matter of elementary economy is shown plainly enough in
the concessions granted to the Iraq Petroleum Company in an
agreement signed January 14, 193 1, to run for a period of seventy
years. This convention between a private corporation and the
Government of Palestine is one of the most remarkable ever
penned, and is worth quoting in extenso. It provides that neither
Palestine nor Transjordan shall derive any revenue from the pipeline
passing through their territory . The Government agrees
that "no import tax, transit tax, export tax, or other tax or fiscal
charge of any sort shall be levied on petroleum, naphtha, ozokerite
or natural gases, whether in crude state or any form or derivatives
thereof, whether intended for consignment in transit or
utilized for the industrial operations of the undertaking ." The
Company is given the far-reaching right to bring in, free of duty,
all stores, equipment, materials, etc., required for its undertakings,
"including all equipment for offices, houses or other buildings,"
directly or indirectly required for the development of its
business in Palestine .
Article VII of this compact gives the concessionaire the privilege
of constructing one or more private ports in the region and
of levying port, harbor or other taxes, as well as authority to determine
who shall have the right to entry at such a port ; and the
Palestine railroads are placed at the Company's disposal at a special
schedule of rates . Article XVII entitles the Company to
lease State lands at a nominal rental. Lands privately owned are
to be expropriated by the High Commissioner for this purpose
if the Company cannot come to agreement with the owners .
The Company may bring in cheap labor at its own discretion to
compete with the higher-priced local labor. Finally, this document
frees the Company from any kind of land tax, income tax,
or any other toll or liability . Thus this foreign corporation is
presented with all the benefits of a tax-supported community, and
is at the same time released from any possible levy or demand, in
what is altogether the most amazing concession ever granted by a
modern State . On February", 1933 the Palestine Government
handed this concessionaire, free of charge, 2250 dunams of valuable
land in the industrial Haifa Bay area to build a terminus for
its oil line.
In return for all this, the Company did not even allow casual
favors to the local market, so that a four-gallon tin of gasoline,
which might sell for 4o¢ in Iraq, retails for $1 .9o in Palestine.
Neither does Palestinian trade derive any benefit from the large
oil tankers which sail from Haifa. Everything connected with
the petroleum trade, from the time of its boring, through its transBRICKS
portation down to the tanker and retail marketing, is in the hands
of foreign trusts .2
When it comes to the Jews, for whose benefit the Mandate
was supposed to have been framed, another view is taken entirely
. Their industries, instead of being welcomed, are discouraged.
Practically nothing is done to assist them . The Government's
attitude can hardly be described as being other than
antagonistic. Tariffs and duties are levied in topsy-turvy fashion,
as they would be in a lunatic asylum ; and whatever caters
to the needs of industry, such as mail service, telegraphic system,
railways, ports and roads, is maneuvered so as to place it at a
The Government has a tariff on old shoes imported into the
country ; but bases its customs policy on the theory that tariffs
lead to a high cost of living . It considers it immoral to deprive
its citizens of the benefits of low-cost merchandise dumped in
from everywhere by subsidized foreign trusts ; yet it does not
hesitate to levy prohibitive import duties on all raw materials required
by its own industry.
The only authority the Administration regards as competent
to dictate the needs of business is the Customs Department,
headed by a pompous official who starts with the idea that the local
manufacturer must prove that he is producing a superior article
at a lower price than those dumped in the Palestine market
by outside competitors, before he can be regarded as anything
but a public enemy. Such foreign trade statistics as exist are not
only badly jumbled but published long after they can do anyone
any good . Drily, the President of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Chamber
of Commerce advised the Administration that "the movement of
trade is a matter of some importance to those who are responsible
for the conduct of the country's economic affairs, and it should
not be treated as a departmental secret reluctantly disclosed to
the public." 3
By what is at least the strangest of coincidences, whenever a
Palestine factory competes with English goods, even for the home
market, it is sure to find all protective tariffs taken away from
it and impossibly high duties leveled against the bulk materials
and machinery necessary to turn its finished products out . These
cramping tactics may even go the lengths of a carte blanche refusal
to allow the contemplated enterprise to operate on any
An example of this condition is contained in the several attempts
to establish brewery enterprises in the Holy Land . The
first project was started by a man named Delfiner, who intended
to produce, besides beer, certain chemical products out of the
waste materials of alcohol production . A capital investment of
,L8o,ooo was made, a location bought near Mikweh Israel, and
machinery ordered. Innocently, the founder of the factory applied
for exemption from duty on the ferments and malt required
in beer-making until these materials could be produced
locally. The Government did not even bother about a response ;
and after eight months of patient waiting, Mr. . Delfiner, beginning
to see the light, gave up his project and took his loss .
In the meanwhile a group of French capitalists, headed by a
Mr. Dreyfuss, leased a portion of the wine cellars in Rishon
L'Zion and started reconstruction for brewery purposes . Turned
wise by Delfiner's experience, before going into production they
applied to the Government, asking that the existing excise tax on
spirits of five mils per liter and the customs duty of twenty mils
per liter be not changed after the setting up of their business .
On receipt of this request the Administration immediately did
the opposite . It decided to raise the excise tax on spirits (which
had not yet been begun to be manufactured) to fifteen mils per
liter and committed itself to an arrangement admitting Syrian
beer, on which not even an excise tax was levied, free of duty .
Reconstruction work was stopped and negotiations entered into
with the Government, which stated off the record that it considered
this enterprise an unwarranted attempt to compete with
the import of English beer. So in March 1934 the Dreyfuss
group, having had an object lesson in Near Eastern politics, gave
up the ghost.4
In every branch of trade the same tactics are to be seen . A
fair illustration of what takes place is given in the iron wire in
dustry, a business calling for a great outlay of capital . Here a
heavy tariff is slapped on raw material, which Palestine does not
produce, and no duty whatsoever placed on the finished article .
Another example is that of the aluminum industry. Imported
raw aluminum was taxed at the rate of three cents per pound ;
while the levy on finished aluminum goods was six cents . When
a factory was set up in Haifa, it was quickly discovered that the
tariff was insufficient to allow for competition even in the home
market. The owner asked for an increase to ten cents per pound .
The Government took this request under the usual advisement
and promptly reduced the duty on finished aluminum ware to
three cents a pound .
An even more graphic illustration is provided in the tax on
automobiles. A newly industrialized land is bound to develop
a voracious appetite for cars and trucks of all kinds . But the
Jews made the mistake of showing a preference for American
cars, which they considered more suitable to the terrain than the
lighter English makes .5 The Government then placed a per
pound tax on incoming motor vehicles of forty mils per kilogram.
6 This enormous impost would add to the normal cost of
a small American car the fantastic sum of $2700 for duty alone,
with the same toll on old cars as on new. In a desperate effort
to circumvent this assessment, the Jews opened up a car-assembling
plant in Tel Aviv . Jerusalem at once retaliated by placing
a duty on bodies and parts, twenty-five to fifty percent higher
than that on complete vehicles.
The attitude of the official Zionists to all this is incredible . It
is reflected in Weizmann's declaration that "one hears complaints
of alleged injustices with regard to protective tariffs . People do
not want to realize that if a Jew from Schnepeshok [a touch of
humor] comes to Palestine and manufactures inferior buttons,
the British Government is not obliged to secure this button by
a protective tariff." 7 The manufacturers of Palestine, caught in
a very real web of economic peonage, were far from impressed
with the philosophical ruminations of the Zionist orators in Europe.
There were not wanting individuals who declared themselves
boldly. One of them was the silk manufacturer, Sachs,
who found himself paying a prohibitive duty on raw silk, with
no protection whatever against the dumping of Japan and other
countries .$ Shortly before he was compelled to shut down his
factory, Weitzman and the High Commissioner Wauchope
strolled through.
"How do you like it here ?" asked Sir Arthur politely .
Sachs : "Very much indeed - but I would like it better if we
had a decent Government ."
Weitzman, hurriedly : "Excuse him, Excellency -Mr. . Sachs
cannot ably express himself in English ."
"Pardon me," replied Sachs, looking straight at Weitzman,
"but I speak English very well!"
Part of the situation this manufacturer referred to showed glaringly
on the cost sheets . A meter of Japanese cloth sells for 12 %2
mils, while the labor alone costs 15 mils in Palestine and the raw
material 2o-z5 mils. The factory production cost of a simple
article like cotton sports shirts came to a total of 150 mils in
Palestine, while the corresponding Japanese article was laid down
in Haifa for 8o mils. In 1936 it cost a Palestine manufacturer
43o mils to make a pullover, while the identical article brought
in from Germany or Austria retailed for 320-350 mils.
Agricultural products found their competition fully as severe .
Syrian shipments are able to consistently undersell locally grown
vegetables in all Palestine cities. Practically the whole of Syria's
exports in this line are concentrated on the Holy Land . Syrian
eggs retail in the Palestine market for eighteen cents a dozen,
while Palestine eggs cannot be sold profitably for less than thirtysix
cents a dozen. In 1935 the local production of table fowl was
1,860,000. Imports for the same year came to 2,000,000, all free
of duty. A heavy impost, levied on practically all feed, made it
a physical impossibility to produce commercial poultry as cheaply
as it could be shipped in from abroad .
Adding to the miseries of business, the Government's immigration
policy caused all industrial plans to become a matter of
hazard due to labor uncertainty . In all Jerusalem there are only
a handful of qualified electricians and carpenters. One has to
wait interminable periods for even the simplest installations - yet
the Authorities refuse to grant visas to skilled workmen now
refugees from Germany or starving in Rumania and Poland .
The transplanting of a higher standard of life into the medieval
setting of the Near East has invited still other troubles. In
Egypt, woman and child labor is obtainable in large quantities at
two or three piasters a day, and in the Syrian factories children
are employed at almost no pay at all. It is obvious that either of
two simple factors can cut the heart out of an unprotected Palestine
industry in a realistic world : the mass production of States
with strong industries and vast local markets, and the extremely
low wage scales in the surrounding agricultural countries of the
Near East.

In such a thoroughly destructive situation, industry can only
hope to secure and hold isolated and unique markets, and even
these, as we shall see, are not safe from attack . Though Palestine's
industry has shown a striking development resulting from
the headlong rush of Jewish investment and enterprise, it has
been able to penetrate only a fraction of its home market and is
in extreme jeopardy everywhere else . What this condition adds
up to in figures is seen in the problem of Japanese dumping . In
1929 the Holy Land imported 67000 of Japanese goods . By
1935 this figure had skyrocketed to £646,ooo, while during this
same period Japanese purchases from Palestine held at the ludicrous
amount of £ S .
Certain favored groups are saved from a portion of this disabling
condition by Governmental exception . All of the various
missionary institutions and enterprises are exempted from tax or
toll of any kind . Under this immunity the churchmen run hotels,
farms, manufacture wine on which no excise duty is levied, and
engage in other flourishing businesses under favorable conditions .
Also relieved of tax and imposts are "all members of His Majesty's
forces" and all officers of the Palestine Government. So
is the great Iragian-owned trans-desert transport service between
the Holy Land and Iraq, which thus escapes the exorbitant levies
placed on motor vehicles, tires and gasoline .9
Specific Arab industries are also shown generous consideration .
An eloquent token is the exemption of the Arab soap industry of
Nablus from the high tax on olive oil for industrial purposes ; and
the grotesquely contrasting customs protection given olives themselves
. Study of the agricultural products protected by Government
impost discloses them to be almost exclusively Arab .
Such fellaheen crops as wheat, barley and seminola are safeguarded
by high duties and a rigid regulation of imports under a
system of licenses.
On scattered occasions Jewish industry participates unavoidably
in these advantages . One such instance concerns the shoe industry.
After dumping practices almost succeeded in wiping
this business out of existence, the Arabs made such a howl that
the Government was moved to remedy the situation in 1932 by
protective duty . The net result shows in sharp relief the viciousness
of the open door system : there was an immediate decrease
in imports, dropping in two years from £ 8o,ooo to £40,000,
and an equalizing increase in the sale of local manufactures .
The Jews have also been the beneficiaries of other favors not
meant for them . The result of glutting the Palestine market
with foreign goods inadvertently gave Japan and Germany a toehold
from which they were invading the entire Near and Middle
East, ousting Britain from her favored position . In printed cotton
goods, one of Britain's pet specialties, Japan took first place as
leading exporter to Palestine, more than doubling English sales
in the same market. In 1936 London was shocked to discover
that Germany had jumped to first place as seller to the Palestine
market, with English goods losing position steadily .'°
This dangerous piece of backfire shocked the Bureaucrats into
action. As a result, quickly imposed tariffs have bettered the
situation considerably and a number of closed Jewish factories
have been able to reopen.
It is an error, however, to assume that Whitehall has suddenly
suffered from an attack of conscience . This was poignantly
demonstrated during the recent Tozareth Haaretz (favoring
home products) campaign. In this `Buy Palestine' movement,
the Jews literally put on a volunteer tariff of their own, deliberately
buying home-manufactured goods though they had to
pay a large premium for the privilege . This enthusiastically supBRICKS
ported crusade was a considerable factor in enabling Jewish industry
to survive, and bespeaks the almost unique patriotism of
Palestine Jewry. Its effectiveness was evidenced during the
three months' campaign early in 1937, when Jewish leaders estimated
it was worth C4,000,000 in increased sales of local products.
Out of this campaign grew a typical frenzy of official
harassment . Jewish stores advertising the sale of `Palestine Goods
Only' were visited by Government agents seeking an excuse to
make arrests. At the same time, street peddlers selling `Only
Palestine Products' were hustled off to police stations to explain
why they preferred to limit their wares to those made in their
own land .
Due to all the disabling uncertainties, the credit situation in
Palestine is a severe one . It is further complicated by an archaic
credit system which the Authorities refuse to alter . So the financing
of industry lapses into an impossible stalemate ; with the
banks on one side, so full of money that they are loath to take on
new accounts, and on the other, an aggregation of puzzled industrialists
who are wondering from day to day what the Government
is going to do next. Finance in Palestine has consequently
developed into something like a roulette game, with all bets called
when the wheel stops.
Apart from trivial quotas, the banks grant no real long-term
credits. No security market is in existence, a particular blow to
moderate-sized new undertakings. These are, in general, precariously
financed, the limited capital of the owner being eaten
up early by bloated land prices and building costs . The Near
Eastern expert, Dr . Alfred Michaelis, states that consequently
"numerous moderate and small-sized factories are in danger of
closing down for financial reasons ." 11
The legal interest rate is 9%, but this is vastly exceeded in practice
; while the banks pay I %2 % interest on deposits . Despite
the favorable circumstances provided in Palestine's swift growth,
the hostile attitude of the Government makes industrial and agri2.80
cultural mortgages most difficult to obtain, even at the gouging
interest rates prevailing . The establishment of adequate mortgage
banks is hampered by the Administration's land legislation
and attitude generally, frightening off interested financial institutions
in London and New York . The Arabs fare a little better.
Looking out for its self-selected wards, the Administration
has established an agricultural bank out of the public funds with
a capital of (400,000. It grants Arab farmers long-term credits
at nominal interest rates . The Jews, however, must contend
with the existing credit situation as best they can .
The Palestine pound is based on the British pound sterling . The
setting of its money values at this artificially high level automatically
exposes Palestine to the paralyzing competition of surrounding
nations whose devaluated and blocked currencies give
them an immeasurable advantage in all markets .
Due again to the Administration's own strictures, the banks of
Palestine are mainly branches of foreign institutions, with no particular
interest in the welfare of the country . Barclay's Bank,
an offshoot of the institution in London, has offices in Jerusalem
and six other towns and is banker to the Palestine Government .
The Ottoman Bank (Anglo-French) has five branches, and the
Italian Banco di Roma, four . In Tel Aviv is found the Polska
Kasa Oszczednosci (Polish) . There are a few local Jewish institutions
but, with little exception, they are of trivial importance.
This circumstance is all the more remarkable since the great bulk
of the money on deposit everywhere belongs to Jews . The savings
of the Arab fellaheen are usually kept in jars and similar hiding
places .
It is apparent here, too, that the British are determined to hang
a millstone around the neck of Palestine industry, and that if
equivocation and quibbling will not accomplish this purpose
they are prepared to strike directly at the heart of the country's
financial structure . This is conveyed in the draft ordinance of
April 1936, deleting from the law the provision requiring banks
to publish annual balance sheets . Thus not only was industry
deprived of any adequate insight into the country's financial situation,
but it was placed hopelessly at the mercy of foreign wireBRICKS
pulling. This was made uncomfortably clear during the unsettled
condition which followed after Italy's invasion of Ethiopia,
when apprehensive withdrawals threatened the collapse of Palestine's
whole economic structure .
In February 1936 the Government published notice of impending
legislation which speaks volumes. This regulation proposes
that "no company or cooperative society shall carry on a
banking business without obtaining from the High Commissioner
a license to do so, and the High Commissioner may grant, refuse,
or revoke such license without explanation."
Pride of the Yishub is the Jaffa orange, reputedly the finest in
the world . An incident occurring in Paris a few years ago spoke
more for the quality of this fruit than a mountain of figures . A
fruit vendor had made a charge of two francs for a single orange,
which the writer considered outrageous . After having been so
informed, the vendor shrugged his shoulders and said testily
"Mais, M'sieu - c'est un Ja f a !"
Before the advent of the Zionists, oranges were scarcely a factor
in the Palestine economy and grapefruit were unknown . By
1931 the Holy Land was producing five percent of the oranges
for sale on world markets, jumping in 1938 to the unbelievable
proportion of eighteen percent. Nowhere else in the world is
scientific farming brought to such a high point in perfection . In
some of the larger groves complete filing systems are used in
which the case history of every tree is charted with all the thoroughness
of a medical clinic .
Citrus is the heart of Jewish agricultural enterprise and the
keystone to the National Home's prosperity. In 1934 it represented
eighty-three percent of all Palestinian exports . Unlike
competitor countries, where a healthy home consumption provides
a secure back-log for this industry, Palestine with its small
population has only a negligible internal market. A falling off
in foreign sales would necessarily place its citrus growers in the
most precarious of situations, serious enough to snap the back282
bone of the country's commerce . Here is an imperative which
would automatically dictate the commercial policy of any other
government . But in Palestine, declares S . Tolkowsky, General
Manager of the Jaffa Citrus Exchange, this key industry "remains
like a fatherless child, whom everybody is free to kick and exploit
and whom nobody will protect ." 12
In the Old World, oranges come within the luxury category .
The arc of production is, moreover, rapidly climbing everywhere,
making competition for existing markets very difficult . The
acuteness of this phase is amply demonstrated in Palestine production
alone. In 1936 it was some eight million cases, whereas
in 1940, when the young groves- come into full bearing, it is estimated
that total shipments will reach twenty-two million cases .
What this situation will result in can be discovered from the overwhelming
hardships already crucifying the industry . Impassable
trade restrictions are robbing it of existing foreign markets .
Exorbitant taxes make the planters' lives a nightmare . In general,
the obstructive tactics of the Mandatory are shooting them
head-first into catastrophe .
At Jaffa, where the industry is situated, there is neither a port
nor sufficient storage space . At Haifa, the transit sheds, under
the control of the Government, are pathetically inadequate and
become more congested each season as the new orchards begin to
bear. The single railroad between the orange section and Haifa
is a Government monopoly. It is short of cars and locomotives,
and during the turbulent rains which fall at the height of the picking
season it often does not run at all . Following nerve-wracking
delays, shippers are compelled to load their fruit in open
wagons ordinarily used for the transport of manure . Since the
orange is highly perishable, many thousands of boxes are lost annually
at the railway stations . Fruit is inspected outside rather
than within the dock warehouses, adding to the spoilage, in a
scene of indescribable congestion and confusion . Galling delays
frustrate every step in the attempt to export . The net result
is that full shiploads often reach their markets with as much as
fifty percent of waste fruit .
The alternative possibility of truck hauling did not exist until
recently . Over the sixty miles of sand dune between Haifa and
Tel Aviv-Jaffa, the most important commercial centers in the
country, the Administration had obstinately refused to construct
a road. It was only when the present war-beclouded horizon
made the building of this artery an inevitable military necessity,
that it was undertaken.
In practically all European countries, quotas, currency restrictions,
or prohibitive duties make the situation more precarious
with every passing year . The principal competitor nations,
Spain and Italy, overcome this hazard by favorable commercial
treaties and clearing agreements negotiated with the countries in
which they market their fruit. Such intercession as the Palestine
Government attempts is almost inevitably in the nature of cavalier
interference . One single rule costing the growers over a million
boxes of fruit was the order excluding oranges from export which
count more than one hundred to the box . The Administration
refuses to introduce any uniform inspection system and calmly
ignores the demands of distracted Jewish growers for compulsory
spraying and smoking of disease-ridden groves - practically all
of them Arab . The desperate Jewish growers have had to establish
their own inspection service on roads leading to the Colonies
to keep their trees from being ravaged by the black scale and
other destructive pests .
Over the objection of the Arabs, also, Jews are making a strenuous
effort to create a voluntary, all-inclusive citrus exchange for
the maintenance of high standards of sizing, packing and shipping.
They hope to win the better prices fetched by wellselected,
well-advertised and well-marketed fruit. The Government,
however, seems to regard this effort as an extravagant
irritation of Arabs who wish to keep to their old ways .
In the matter of trade agreements the Administration lays exaggerated
stress on formal difficulties, which it pretends cannot be
overcome . Yet Great Britain itself levies so heavily on Palestine
citrus that the tariff represents as much as half of the actual cost
of production. The only value this high duty could have is to
protect a British island in the West Indies, whose sole export
amounts to twenty thousand cases . The desperate Palestine grow284
ers offered to buy this whole crop at attractive prices in exchange
for relief - but their offer met with no response .
A reasonable reading of this mystery is offered in the deliberate
British effort to develop Cyprus, where Jews are now practically
excluded, into a direct competitor to Palestine . The Jaffa orange
has made such a great European reputation that the market it has
established becomes a most desirable plum for anyone who can
steal it. The bureaucrats have set themselves to take over this
lucrative industry if they can. Cyprus oranges have been exempted
from customs duty in the Empire. Land is cheap, labor
is cheap, and the Palestine competitor is being frozen in his tracks
by tariff walls . The Island is now being systematically advanced
as "a place of settlement for retired Colonial officials of all ranks"
and other Britons looking for a good thing . In the official British
press it is provocatively described as "practically undeveloped ." 13
That the tragic troubles besetting the citrus growers cannot
be credited to merely lackadaisical administration is shown by a
host of other circumstances . An illuminating example concerns
the boxes in which the fruit is packed, which the growers had
been buying in Poland and Rumania. When these countries
placed severe import tolls on Palestine fruit, to favor Italian and
Spanish oranges, the Palestinian growers retaliated by setting up
machinery to make their own boxes . This was the signal for the
Government of Palestine to act . It promptly plastered a high
tariff on box-wood, so that they could not be produced locally
except at prohibitive cost.
The result of this official persecution is not slow in showing itself.
Jewish groves, established at extravagant prices, bearing
the entire cost of advertising and marketing Palestine fruit, and
harassed from every source, are losing their hard-won position,
even in Palestine . Isaac Rokeach, President of the Jaffa Citrus
Exchange, estimates that at least one-third of the Jewish citrus
growers have been unable to meet the interest on their debts for
the last two years .l4
In his 1935 Report, the High Commissioner candidly calls attention
to this end result of his policies, saying : "A decrease of
investment in citrus plantations was also observed owing to deBRICKS
cline in profits and fear of over-production. Arab farmers, however,
with little or nothing to pay for their land and their larger
margin between receipts and costs, have placed large additional
areas under citrus." 15 The simple figures tell the rest . Citrus,
once a Jewish monopoly in Palestine, is gradually passing into
Arab hands. The Arab area increased during 1935 by 20,000
dunams - the Jewish area, by Io,ooo.
Practically all countries today maintain a strict control over
their exchange transactions, and also supervise the search for new
markets. Their rulers are prepared to bargain for each minute
advantage at the drop of a hat . This is accomplished by a direct
manipulation of currency, noteworthy in the case of Germany,
and special agreements of various kinds, most common of which
is the `favored nation' type . Under this arrangement a mutual
exchange of purchase value is arrived at, cemented by tariff discriminations
in favor of the preferred party .
Without exception, industrial nations follow the rule of buying
only where they can sell, and view with serious misgivings even
the slightest upset of their trade balance . The United States,
after studying the bewildering list of marks introduced by Dr.
Schacht, each with a different value and all manipulated to Germany's
trade advantage, came to the conclusion in July of 1936
that they constituted discriminatory trade practice and promptly
placed a retaliatory duty on German goods .
On June 10, 1937, Commons listened to Lieutenant-Colonel
Amery, former First Lord of the Admiralty, threaten a sharp increase
in duty against American products . "It is impossible," he
said, "to get back to the gold standard as long as that great
creditor nation still is forcing us to take an excess of imports ."
Echoed by the whole British Cabinet, Foreign Minister Eden
stated that an agreement with the United States "for the reduction
of customs duties on a most-favored-nation basis," was one of the
main objects of His Majesty's Government.16 The Colonial Office,
too, is not oblivious to these rudiments of economic good
sense . In a recent report it expresses glowing gratification because
Cyprus was able to show a small favorable balance for the
three months ending June 30, 1936, with imports of £305,o87
against exports of 4305 ,35 1 -
Alone in the world, Palestine's trade policy is characterized by
an entirely negative attitude . There the Government considers
that the Mandate rules out the possibility of trade agreements,
quotas and compensations, though these are regarded by other
countries as the sole means of establishing satisfactory trade relations
. Though it seems to levy tariffs and imposts as it pleases
under the less imposing name of `taxes,' the Government officially
takes refuge in the position that its "obligations under the Mandate"
prevent it from `discriminating' against countries belonging
to the League, from whom the Administration of Palestine theoretically
derives its authority.
It is obvious that Germany and Japan, two of the worst offenders
in the dumping process, are hardly entitled, even under this interpretation,
to continued privileges . Officially they have retired
from the League and all its obligations . In Syria, under similar
mandate, the French slapped a prompt surtax on German goods,
and forced both Germany and Japan to conclude favorable trade
agreements which included adequate guarantees of payment in
Syrian currency .
Palestine is one of the few countries restrained from taking
counter measures when a foreign government leaves the gold
standard and spills its depreciated wares on the market, or even
directly subsidizes some of its exports . Latvian butter shippers,
for example, receive such generous grants-in-aid from their Government
that they are able to sell their product cheaper in Jaffa
than it can be produced on neighboring farms . The Holy Land
is literally flooded with goods from a large number of countries,
sold at a price with which no industry depending entirely on its
own resources can hope to compete . Much of this dumping is
accomplished through organized cartels which are able to maintain
their home prices at such a high level that they can accept
payments on export goods barely sufficient to cover the cost of
materials and transport . Recent years have witnessed a vast inBRICKS
crease in the dumping of goods by highly organized countries,
effected through export premiums, subsidies to industry, etc ., by
which the State endeavors to balance its payments without reference
to the home cost. In the case of Egyptian sugar, prices in
Cairo and Alexandria are exactly double those prevailing in Palestine
where competition has to be met from Czechoslovakia and
other beet-sugar producers.
All nations, without exception, enjoy preferential treatment in
regard to Palestine, turning it out, a little ewe lamb, to pasture
among the wolves.17 The Holy Land has consequently fallen
heir to a dangerous condition where it buys infinitely more abroad
than it sells . The result of this policy showed in 1935 when Palestine
had the staggering trade deficit of JJ 13,800,000, representing
the difference between imports of C r 8,ooo,ooo and exports of
only £4,200,000, a fatal disproportion which has risen yearly .
In 1936 the situation became still more serious. Imports for the
first quarter show a reduction of 14.2 % over the corresponding
period for 1935, while exports for the same period declined by
18.5%. Not only is the present deficit the largest in the world,
reckoned per head of population, but it was created at the very
time when every country was making the most strenuous efforts
to balance up its trade accounts either by diminishing imports or
increasing exports.
Under some circumstances these huge arrears might not be
cause for overwhelming anxiety. It could be argued that in the
development of a young and progressive country the import
of large quantities of production equipment is a vital necessity,
which must be considered as a capital investment rather than an
expenditure. It is undoubtedly significant that the largest single
import in 1935 was industrial machinery, valued at £992,ooo as
compared with 0967,000 in 1934 and 0467,000 in 1933 . Other
items of producers' materials showed similar pleasant increases .
Despite this optimistic circumstance, the facts as we have seen
them are not conducive to so liberal an interpretation . State
policies which allow for a constriction of foreign markets, and
make possible a condition where a locally manufactured blouse
costing 270 mils to make, has to compete with an identical blouse
imported from Austria which retails for 250 mils, hardly make
an assumption of this sort acceptable .
A picture of what is occurring can be gained from the increase
in egg imports from i 1,ooo,ooo eggs in 1929, to 76,000,000 eggs
in 1935, a frightening clue into real condition, when it is considered
that Palestine is still in the main an agricultural country.
The import value of food, drink and tobacco alone in 1935 was
43,646,877, while manufactured articles were 00,789,934.
These are certainly forbidding enough figures, fully justifying
Jabotinsky's dour warning that "the Jews are not settlers in Palestine-
they are just tourists!"
Certainly nothing but ruin can come to the infant industry of
this small land by turning it into a stronghold of free trade while
all the countries, including Great Britain itself, operate on the
principle of commercial treaties, mutual preferences and protective
tariffs . It seems obvious that the boasted `prosperity' of the
National Home is a delusion, since it depends upon the continued
import of funds, and not on the sound mechanics which trial and
error have proven to be the only operative media anywhere . To
become economically independent, the National Home must find
a way to produce within its borders, goods and services with
which to pay for the supplies it is compelled to buy from the outside
world. Otherwise the difference between imports and exports
must be charged off out of capital ; which meant that the
country had to pay out more than twice as much in 1935 alone
than was brought in by all the immigrants of 1936 put together.
The actual fact is that the four hundred thousand Jews in Palestine
find themselves in a grim economic battle with the world,
unprotected and prevented from protecting themselves . Since
the Zionist enterprise in Palestine represents a plunging investment
on the part of scattered Israel, desperately attempting to
salvage its remaining resources, Zionist Jewry, despite mutual
self-delusions, must be living largely on its dwindling capital.
Such, indeed, must inevitably prove to be the case . If no other
factor than the customs system operated, Jewish industrial position
would still remain dangerous and unhealthy, its catastrophic
ferments sure to expose themselves the instant the river of money
pouring into this tiny area abated. That Jewish ingenuity has
succeeded in partly circumventing these determined disabilities is
of little real importance, as it can be assumed that new restrictions
will constantly be invented to take the place of those which have
proven ineffective .
In the matter of currency alone, imports from such countries
as Germany, Rumania and Poland have to be paid for in full,
whereas when these States purchase from Palestine, the sums
owing are placed in blocked accounts, or goods which have to
be taken in lieu of money ; and it is a long time, if ever, before
the exporter collects on his debt . Such a condition would be
laughable in any other country, which would insist at once on
being paid in local currency under pain of excluding the off ending
States from its markets .
All these signs of economic insanity are the more remarkable
since the mere existence of a great excess of imports over exports
should place the National Home in an ideal bargaining position .
The very weakness of her trade position would provide a club
with which to secure important concessions from foreign nations
the instant a quota system was set up. Under an interested Government,
Palestine's trade would become a fat prize for which all
commercial nations would angle . It is almost four times that
of Egypt, six times that of Syria and five and a half times that of
Turkey, one of the prime offenders, sold Palestine in 1935 a
total of £ 3 38,807 and bought in return, £ 6646. Governed under
a system of strict State control over foreign trade, the Turks
put a virtual embargo on Palestine products. They ended by
banning all Palestine citrus in 1936. 111
Rumania, another typical illustration, sold Palestine £ 1,208,-
204 in 1935 and bought from her during that time a total of
£ 30,000. Despite this enormous advantage, Bucharest insisted
that sixty percent of the oranges it buys from the Holy Land had
to be shipped in Rumanian boats . To obtain the present import
licenses for two hundred thousand cases of fruit, Palestine
exporters had to purchase from Rumania fifteen orange cases for
every box of fruit sold . The same method of box-wood against
citrus fruit was forced on Palestine by Russia, whose balance of
trade with the Jewish National Home is twenty-three to one in
Russia's favor. In this policy these countries aped a similar one
announced in Poland. Taking full advantage of the defenseless
position of Palestine, Warsaw uses it as a dumping grounds for
cheap Polish goods, selling the Holy Land £400,000 annually,
and buying £ 40,000 in return.
Another of this unending list of examples is Hungary which
sells the Holy Land in the neighborhood of £ 120,000 every year,
and buys about £ i o0o worth of its goods in return . Like many
of her neighbors, Hungary has a complete embargo on Palestinian
fruit, out of deference to trade agreements with other orangegrowing
nations. Even in such countries as France and Belgium,
the sale of Palestine fruit is dropping consistently due to the presence
of new trade agreements by these countries with other
orange producers . Palestine is mulcted from every direction.
In order to sell Germany, last season, 216,ooo cases of fruit worth
less than £ ioo,ooo, she had to buy German goods of specified
classes to an equal value, notwithstanding an adverse trade balance
of £ 2,000,000.
Whatever specious legality the Administration might take
refuge in to justify its present course, Article XVIII of the Mandate
specifically empowers it to conclude special agreements
"with any State the territory of which in 1914 was wholly included
in Asiatic Turkey or Arabia." One of these States is
Iraq, which in 1935 exported to Palestine £237,000, and managed
by discriminatory duties to hold imports from that country
to £ 10,000 . The ratio of Iraq's sales to, and purchases from, Palestine
is now about thirty-one to one . Another is Syria whose
cheap labor and abundant irrigation facilities offers a destructive
competition to the fruit and vegetable growers of the Holy
Land. Syria sold Palestine during 1 935, £ 1,310,363 and bought
only £ 302,988 in exchange . The exports of Palestine to all the
countries of the Near East amount to only seventeen percent of
its imports from these same States, showing a deficit of £ 2,29o,-
00o in 1935 . This may be compared with the Iraqian balance
of trade for the same Near Eastern countries including Palestine,
coming to 890,000 dinars in imports against exports of 1,113,000
dinars. In the identical sphere of Near Eastern trade, Syria
shows imports of 5,763,493 Syrian pounds against exports of
7,121,693 Syrian pounds .
Under the stimulus of an interested Government, Syria has
started an impressive industrial development of her own . Industrial
exports, which a few years ago were far smaller than
those of Palestine, now exceed Palestine's by sixty percent . Even
more astounding is the fact that most of these are being concentrated
on the Holy Land . Syrian industrial export to Palestine
for 1935 added to £520,000, as against an industrial export by
Palestine to Syria of £ 110,000. In the trade relations between
Egypt and Syria we find a wholly different condition . After a
brief tariff war in 1934, a mutual trade agreement was reached
between the two countries leveling off the disproportion under
which Syria had suffered, to the point where Syrian and Egyptian
exports practically balanced each other .
As if playing a practical joke, the sole trade arrangement approved
by the Administration was made with Germany in 1933
during the world Jewish boycott of that country . Here Palestine
agreed to take double the amount of German goods for the
value of all oranges shipped to the Reich . Zionist politicians with
their hands out, had set the example in August 1933, by an arrangement
for the transfer of German-Jewish capital in the form
of German merchandise, thus flooding the whole Near East with
German goods . This scheme, which seemingly had the full blessing
of the Palestine authorities, resulted in a tremendous fillip to
German trade. German exports leaped from £780,000 in 1932
to £2,035,000 in 1936. How the trade wind blew as a result of
this policy is illustrated in the drop of Palestine's sales to Germany
from £6oo,669 in 1934 to £ 131,000 in 1936.
The whole sum and substance of the Government's attitude can
be seen in its failure to provide for a Palestine trade secretary in
any of the British Consulate-General's offices - even those in
neighboring countries. Such arrangements as are made in the
name of Palestine are literally fantastic . One is the treaty granting
free zones to Iraq and Iran in Haifa port . Iraq, despite its
anti-Jewish attitude, is given complete facilities for landing, warehousing
and transshipment of goods and the Zone is placed under
the absolute control of Iraq customs officials . Under this curious
`commercial agreement' Iraq also receives concessions "in respect
of local taxation," and is allowed duty reductions in favor
of her produce averaging from fifty percent to eighty percent .
In return for all this, Palestine receives privileges which add up to
a collective zero .19 The result of this `agreement' has merely
been to aggravate Haifa's already serious problem of congestion .
The effect of this stultifying process was recently described by
Dr. F. Rottenstreich, Palestine member of the Zionist Executive .20
In 1937, he disclosed, Jewish workers in Palestine industry had
decreased by twenty-eight percent from the previous year .
He flatly accused the Government of boycotting Palestinian
products, asserting that it even went abroad for goods not manufactured
in Great Britain rather than patronize local manufacture.
Something of the same condition was described by the Palestine
Arab Congress back in 1925, which sarcastically mentions a
special Stores Department existing only to buy from Europe such
articles as "a thermometer, for instance, at PTio, when similar
thermometers of the same sort, manufacture and patent, are sold
in Jerusalem pharmacies at PT3 ." 21
While everything connected with Jewish interests is being
booted around like a football, the usual solicitousness for Arabs
continues. This is shown handsomely in the case of the Arab
specialty of wheat growing . When a high tariff proved ineffectual,
the flour trade was placed under a system of rigid licenses,
with Jews allowed an annual import of only ten thousand tons
though the Tel Aviv demand alone was estimated at seventeen
thousand tons . Finally the High Commissioner stopped the imports
of wheat altogether during May, June and July of 1935.
This policy was continued to the actual point of an acute flour
shortage, notwithstanding the fact that it represented a `discrimination'
against members of the League of Nations anxious to
dump their excess produce into the Holy Land .22


Though Palestine is under the direct control of the British
Colonial Office, London takes the stand that to grant it Imperial
preference would be in some obscure fashion immoral . Palestinian
exports to Britain are hence taxed for all the tariff will bear .
It is significant that Imperial preference has been accorded all
other mandated territories assigned to Great Britain, without too
much fuss being made about it . In the cases of Togo, Cameroon
and Tanganyika, it was decreed by Order in Council, October
13, 1928, that these areas should be considered part of the British
Empire for tariff purposes under Article VIII of the Finance
Act of I9I9. International precedent is also offered in the preferential
tariff granted by France to the protectorate of Tunis .
The United States did the same for the benefit of Hawaii before
its annexation ; and in 1903 allowed Cuba a customs reduction of
twenty percent on the basis of "moral obligations existing ."
All authorities on international law agree that the Covenant
and the Mandate were devised for the protection of the mandated
areas, and not for the benefit of foreign powers . Even the open
door, in principle, is primarily intended to prevent the exploitation
of these territories . That economic isolation was certainly
not meant by the Powers is proven in the Mandates Commission's
demand that Mandatory rulers and all other States "which have
concluded special treaties or conventions with the Mandatory
Powers . . . extend the benefits of such treaties or conventions
to the Mandated territories ." 23
Britain does just the reverse . In no case where she has commercial
treaties embodying the most-favored-nation clause has
she bothered to arrange that the benefits be extended to Palestine .
At the same time, the National Home is bound by all the obligations
of existing trade agreements between England and other
countries. When a speaker in Commons demanded that duties
be imposed on German and Japanese imports into Palestine, the
Colonial Secretary replied that "this was impossible as long as
Palestine remained a party to the Empire commercial treaties with
Germany and Japan ." 24 Despite this contention, the British Gov294
ernment has not applied the Anglo-German payments agreement,
in which Palestine is legally included, to the balance of payments
between Germany and Palestine .
The shrewd hypocrisy of London's position is emphasized by
the voluntary action of Stockholm, which removed all import
duties on Holy Land grapefruit to "promote trade relations between
Palestine and Sweden." 26 In the same friendly gesture,
the Dominion of Canada allows free entry to Palestine citrus during
the principal season of export from December to May of each
year. Yet Britain itself doggedly maintains prohibitive tolls on
everything that comes from the Holy Land .
At the same time London insists on being credited with the
amount of Palestine imports in its trade deals with the various
countries, as in the Commercial Agreement signed with Poland
on February 27, 1930. In the Anglo-Lithuanian Treaty, signed
to maintain a balance of trade between the two countries, the
same business was repeated. Here, too, the British claimed credit
for all Lithuanian goods sold in the Holy Land.26
The irresistible force which drew the city-bound Jew to the
hard, challenging soil, also beckons him to the sea . Zionist thinkers
saw in advance what the Asiatic hinterland is rapidly discovering
- that the sea borders of Palestine form the gateway to international
traffic . Strategically located at the sea cross-roads of
three continents, the land of Israel must inevitably become a prosperous
maritime country .
The Nationalist leader Jabotinsky was among the first to grasp
the full significance of this situation . There has long been a
Revisionist marine school at Civitavecchia, Italy, where shipbuilding,
fishery and navigation are taught to eager students from
the recesses of European ghettos . The Palestine Histadruth has
its own society called Nachshon, Ltd ., and in Haifa there is a
non-partisan group, the rapidly developing Zebulun Society,27
where enthusiastic youths acquire nautical training and a love for
the sea.
In 1934, goods to the value of C 17,000,000 were transported
to and from Palestine by water, and nearly three hundred thousand
travelers came or left. Jews alone spend for shipping an
estimated C 3,500,000 each year. Yet for all the revenue Palestine
derives from its own fishing and shipping industries, it might
just as well be tucked away in the middle of Africa .
Several Jewish companies have made determined efforts to
capture a part of this sea traffic for the Jewish people. When the
first Hebrew steamer, the Atid, made its maiden voyage in 193 3,
manned by a Hebrew-speaking crew, observers commented wonderingly
that "there was an air of unreality about this venture ."
Today there are three Jewish shipping corporations in Palestine,
with half a score of vessels plying between the ports of the Mediterranean.
For the most part these craft are of low tonnage but
the new Jew looks at them with pride.
The difficulties faced by Jewish shipping are far greater than
those usually connected with an attempt to establish a new merchant
marine . It must compete unaided against the subsidized
shipping industries of other nations . More, it suffers from the
actual animus of its own home government . It does not even
get preference in port clearance and wharf facilities . It is handicapped
by its inability to get itself included in the pacts between
shipping companies, so that a balanced payload of merchandise
could be arranged for its vessels between their various ports of
call . Since the amount of shipping originating in Palestine is
considerable, a simple expression of interest by the Palestine Government
to foreign lines which touch at its ports would easily
bring about this desirable result . Far from betraying such an
interest in the country's merchant marine, the Authorities actually
prompted Egypt to forbid entry into her waters of Palestine
steam vessels (specified so as not to interfere with Arab
sailing skiffs) of less than one thousand tons . This, of course, hit
the Jews alone. Similar difficulties were encountered in Britishowned
Cyprus ; and Syria, too, was prevailed on to take discriminatory
action against the struggling Hebrew companies.
The Administration has declared Sundays and Christian holidays
the only days of rest in Palestine ports . On those days cus296
toms is closed and the work carried on at port extremely limited .
Employees engaged in it must be paid `overtime .' The Jewish
Sabbath and holidays are not recognized . This obviously places
Jewish shipping under costly duress, causing it to lose patronage
and cargoes.
In 1936 the largest of the Jewish steamers, the S .S. Tel Aviv,
finally had to throw up the sponge due to State-subsidized competition
of foreign companies, and the ship was sold to a corporation
in Japan.
A growing number of Jewish vessels are engaged in deep-sea
fishing, though local fisheries are discouraged by special legislation
prohibiting trawling, and by the granting of "exclusive licenses
to fish." The High Commissioner dictates the industry
personally, with powers to issue licenses as he sees fit . It is noteworthy
that foreign fishermen are subject to none of these disabilities
when operating in Palestine waters .
No appropriation exists for the fisheries service, even though
Palestine imports a great amount of seafood every year . Iraq
finds it profitable to transport large quantities of fish all the way
across the scorching desert route . This export of fish from the
Tigris to the markets of Palestine's coastal towns is as ironical as
bringing the proverbial coal to Newcastle . Practically the only
experimentation has been that done by private Jewish enterprise .
Dr. Sklover, former official in the Fisheries Department of the
German Government has proven, for instance, that the yearly
cycle of sardines takes them all the way from South Palestine to
the Syrian coast. Were the Government's attitude not a factor,
a great export of sardines, packed in native olive oil, could easily
materialize .
This uncompromising indifference to the fate of its entire
maritime industry on the part of a Government, is, to say the
least, unique . Not even in the section of the coast around Jaffa
Harbor is there an official sea-chart . Apathy extends in every
possible direction . The ports themselves are pathetically inadequate
to care for the enormous growth of shipping. Facilities
are so badly jammed that shippers who can possibly avoid Palestine,
do so. For years the Jaffa customs area has been so badly
overcrowded that arriving steamers often have to stand by for
a week or more before they can unload . Sometimes in the height
of the orange season the situation becomes so impossible that the
whole import and tourist traffic has to be rerouted through Haifa .
Storage facilities are so poor that port authorities have had repeatedly
to proclaim a respite week, during which no merchandise
is accepted from incoming ships and no products loaded on
outgoing steamers . What all this jockeying means to anxious
growers whose perishable product is decaying in the sheds and
rail-terminals need hardly be explained .
Haifa Harbor has been modernized to make it suitable as a
military-naval base . From time to time it is substantially rumored
that all civil shipping is to be discontinued, and beautiful
Haifa Bay turned into a purely military preserve. Here oil,
which pays no taxes, is the fair-haired boy of the Administration,
and its transportation takes precedence over all else except the
cardinal business of His Britannic Majesty's great gray sea dogs.
With superb unconcern, the Authorities watch everything connected
with private shipping pile into a hopeless jumble at these
two ports, a mess which grows crazier with each passing year .
The ideal spot for a harbor which would relieve this congestion
is Jaffa-Tel Aviv, with a combined population of well over
two hundred thousand and the great bulk of Palestine's citrus
groves within easy reach. For twenty years the irritated Jews
have remonstrated with the Administration over the neglect of
Jaffa Harbor. Not even a breakwater exists. Jagged rocks line
the shore, making it necessary for ships to load and unload from
lighters manned by ruffian Arab crews whose mood is always unpredictable.
Steamers must anchor at least a mile out, and in
bad weather have to stand by and pray for calm .
Unable to enlist Government support, the city of Tel Aviv had
a brilliant idea : it would build a harbor itself, at its own expense.
The juncture of the River Yarkon and the sea lent itself admirably
to such an enterprise .28 Its success seemed guaranteed by
its location at the very nerve center of the country's commerce.
The Government's answer was a flat `no.' It is doubtful whether
in the history of responsible government, the right of a city
situated on the seashore to build its own harbor at its own expense
has ever been contested ; but Palestine officialdom was willing to
set this amazing precedent . Its views were that such an improvement
on the coast of the all-Jewish city would constitute an encroachment
on the vested rights o f Ja ffa Arabs.
For years the Jews tried to secure at least unloading rights, and
for years their petitions were ignored . In 1936, after four weeks
of violence and isolation had sealed up Jaffa Port, the Authorities
finally granted the city of Tel Aviv a limited right to unload.
What the Government agreed to, in view of the emergency,
was that the Jews be allowed to build a temporary jetty
one hundred yards long with money raised by private subscription.
29 It not only refused to participate in the financing of
the `port' but also expressly forbade the Municipality of Tel
Aviv to do so . With fine meticulousness it limited the cargo
which could be discharged to eleven categories of merchandise .
Vessels with anything else to unload, be it only as big as a dime,
had to steam up the coast to Haifa or to one of the Syrian ports .
With usual exuberance, the Zionist press over the world hailed
the moment as historic and the `port' as a great concession .
However, what exists at the present day is a board pier with a
couple of wooden shacks serving as customs houses, and a big
sign, "No Admittance to Port Area ." 30 Certainly present omens
are at least dubious. One appeared on the jubilant `Sea Day'
which Tel Aviv arranged to celebrate the triumphant opening
of its `port' in June of 1936 . The great event of the day centered
on three Jewish steamers which were to sail proudly into
harbor as living evidence of Jewish might on the sea . Jerusalem,
however, ordered these vessels out of the vicinity, announcing
that anchoring in Tel Aviv waters was "permitted only to ships
unloading cargoes, not for display purposes ."
Actually there is no deep-water harbor in Tel Aviv, nor has
the Government granted any permission to construct one . The
`port' has none of the rights which are granted even such minor
places as Acre and Gaza .31 Officially it has no independent existence.
Ships calling at Tel Aviv must receive their quarantine
certificate from Jaffa . More ironic still, though the Jews of
Tel Aviv put up all the money to construct its wharves and
quays, the Government takes all the income from wharfage and
storage fees in addition to the revenue derived from customs
duties . The Mandatory's attitude is well covered in the Report
of the Royal Commission of /937 . It comments in regard to
the projected harbor that "this would undoubtedly be disastrous
to the prosperity of Jaffa, and, in justice to the Arabs, the Administration
has been unable to consent to such a proposal ." 32
In that more modern type of navigation, over the air lanes, the
story is much the same . Private flying is practically forbidden .
When a young Jewish aviator who had been a former executive
in the Fokker Airplane Works attempted to lay out a field he
was all but ordered out of the country.
There are three important air bases, at Haifa, Gaza and Lydda .
The Sea of Galilee is also being used as a permanent landing base
for Imperial Airways flying to and from India and Australia .
Palestine is on the schedule of the Royal Dutch Airlines' East
and West service as well as the Italian Ala Littoria and the Polish
`Lot,' connecting it up with the most important airports of
Europe, Asia and Africa .
A number of years ago, Tel Aviv with usual enterprise suggested
that a piece of ground could be acquired at the northern
end of the city for a commercial airport. It brought forward
the fact that the existing civil airport, located at the extreme
southern tip of the country in the Arab town of Gaza, was far
from all business centers and thoroughly unsuited to serve commercial
interests. Leading officers of the Royal Air Force were
induced to survey the site and they agreed that it was the best
in the country for the purpose. As expected, the Government
made no response . Tel Aviv then made another proposition,
offering to share the expense of purchasing and maintaining the
port. The Government now replied immediately with an icy
refusal, stating categorically that it would neither participate in
the construction of this air field nor allow the City of Tel Aviv
to build it at its own expense .
It must be noted, however, that recently a company in which
Jewish as well as prominent English figures are interested has
been allowed to use the airport at Lydda for civil aviation purposes.
The question of roads, touched on briefly before, is well
worth additional examination .
The major part of Jewish investment is made in the coastal
plain and in the valleys around Haifa and Tel Aviv . Scores of
Jewish settlements are located here . This district is the backbone
of Hebrew colonization.
Despite the frequent pleading, practically no roadways have
been built to relieve these colonies of their isolation . Colonel
Wedgwood called the turn in Commons . Replying to his
"honourable friend Mr. . Isaac Foot" who thought "the roads were
beautiful," he observed that "if he goes there and looks again
he will see that the roads which he mentions are all roads leading
to Arab villages and that it is very difficult to get to the Jewish
villages." In January 1930, S . Ettingen, lecturer on road and
railway engineering at Jewish Technical College in Haifa, directly
accused Jerusalem of mapping the roads deliberately so
that they would not pass through Jewish settlements. This
charge is substantiated in the single experience of the colony of
Hedera, largest and wealthiest in the country and center of the
orange-growing section . Not only did the Administration refuse
to construct a road but the colonists themselves were denied
permission to build one at their own expense . Only after interminable,
heart-breaking delays, and determined pressure from
the Jewish Agency in London, was this permission reluctantly
granted. Considering even this miserable concession a great
stroke of luck, the sturdy men and women of the settlement
turned out under the broiling sun to do the road construction
themselves, stopping all other work .
In striking contrast are the beautiful highways existing in all
parts of Palestine, leading to obscure Arab villages or isolated
military stations . An example of official competence, which
speaks for itself, is the beautiful automobile highway built in
1936 at breakneck speed from Gaza to the Red Sea over a
sparsely settled region where any kind of wheeled vehicle is a
rarity . Another is the really brilliant engineering feat involved
in the great broad artery constructed in 1937 to serve British
military needs along the thinly settled northern border .
At the same time that Jewish towns were wallowing in surrounding
mud, Imperial self-benefaction announces that two
main roads are to be extended from Palestine through Transjordan
and on to Baghdad, at an estimated cost to the Palestine
tax-payers of r3,000,000 . The principal function of these
highways is political, guaranteeing the communications of England
with her Indian Empire and protecting that all-but-sacred
instrument, the pipe line to the oil fields of Mosul. Their sole
commercial value will be to give Iraq a convenient artery for the
export and import of its merchandise through Haifa.
Military necessities have also given the Jews a left-handed
benefit, through the construction during 1937-38 of the coastal
road between Tel Aviv-Jaffa and Haifa . For two decades
Jewish colonists pleaded to deaf ears, issuing volumes of protest
memoranda that would fill a library. In 1936 Mussolini inadvertently
became the Jew's good angel . The Government realized
that the need for facilitating speedy movement of troops
was more pressing than its strictures against Jews . Without
further ado, the highway was completed with such dispatch as
to come under the head of an engineering miracle . Jewish
growers will now be able to transport their fruit and vegetables
overnight to Haifa port. They will be relieved of making their
meandering way in heavy mud to the railroad which hauls their
produce by a circuitous route to the docks . Hardly less important,
since it passes mostly through Jewish territory, the new
road will be safe for travelers.
The Palestine railways are reminiscent of nothing so much
as Fontaine Fox's old comic, the Toonerville Trolley . Today
they remain in almost the same disreputable condition as they
were when Palestine was nothing but a decrepit Turkish province.
The main line is largely a war-time product, and exhibits all
the short-comings of its improvised military origin . Instead of
continuing on a straight course down the coast, the line loops
suddenly inland at the very point where the barren stretches of
the south give way to the economically important citrus belt
with its great urban centers of Tel Aviv and Jaffa .84 Just how
many miles of line the Palestine Government operates is an open
question . The Royal Commission of 1937 estimates a little over
iooo kilometers, of which 203 kilometers are in Sinai Peninsula,
323 kilometers in Transjordan, and 477 kilometers in Palestine
itself. A part of this system is the Hejaz Railway, a Moslem
religious property used largely to transport pilgrims to the
desert shrines. Most of it lies outside of Palestine territory, and
the only section which pays for itself is that which serves the
Jewish colonies of the Emek . Its annual deficit comes to about
,C45,000, which Palestine shoulders as one of the shackles hung
around its neck by the Administration . The Young Turks of
Kemal Pasha would have sold it as scrap iron long ago .
One of the characteristics of these railways is their varying
gauges, requiring a multiplicity of reloading operations to reach
different parts of the same lilliputian country . The personnel
consists of inept political appointees of the Government, who
treat this business with all the sporadic glee that a spoiled child
does a mechanical toy. The management does not bother to
coordinate and adapt its services, so that shipment by rail is
liable at any point to turn into a comedy of errors .
An analysis of revenue demonstrates that Jewish freight and
passengers supply at least two-thirds of the income of these
Since these lines were constructed they have always been in
bad shape . The Mandatory's 1920 report to the League of Nations
describes them as "entirely unballasted, scantily bridged,
needing repairs to earthworks, drains, fences and ditches . . .
and liable to be closed to traffic by washouts." For their length
the Palestine Railways are the most expensive in the world .
From year to year the losses of these hungry white elephants increase,
aggravated by the growing preference for highway transportation
where Jews are relieved of Governmental incomBRICKS
petence and obstructiveness . The railway deficit charged to,
Government expenditure in the fiscal year 1935-36 was £ 124,-
159, as compared with £33,805 in 1934-35.
When the roads were taken over, more than £500,000 was
paid to the Jerusalem-Jaffa Line concessionaires alone. The
Palestine tax-payer was asked to refund an additional £ z,ooo,-
ooo to the British Treasury for railway expenditures of the
Military Administration . This makes the initial cost £ 2,500,-
ooo, apart from subsequent capital expenditure of C785,000
and an increasing list of deficits . The charge on the Palestine
tax-payer per kilometer of line is conservatively estimated at
£ 10,000 .35 The cost of constructing a modern railway system
with full equipment, in other countries with similar traffic, does
not average over £4500-
To reduce effective competition, the Government puts every
possible obstacle in the way of motor traffic . Some of these
have already been mentioned. Others are a drastic restriction
on driving licenses, and such curious devices as an ordinance
which allows only one person to ride in the front seat of a touring
To cap the strange state of affairs, Tel Aviv, the most important
metropolis in the country, does not have a railway
terminal . It has only a little way-station, a small, ramshackle
wooden shack suited to some obscure Arab village . To catch
a train its people must go by motor to the little Arab town of
Ludd. Nowhere in the whole British Empire is there a town
half of Tel Aviv's size which has to contend with such a condition.
And nowhere in known creation is there another public
utility which could deliberately avoid the chief commercial city
of the country without having its management made the subject
of a lunacy commission .
Before the Zionists threw themselves into the picture, Palestine
was a millstone around the neck of every nation that governed
it. It was always in the red, produced nothing of any
value, and was considered an all-around liability . On a cost
accounting basis the new British acquisition seemed a pretty dismal
proposition . A great economic collapse had settled like a
bleak fog over exhausted Europe . The British Exchequer itself
was being bled white by incessant demands from every
possible quarter.
Soon Jewish money began to gravitate toward the National
Home. This was one part of the Zionist adventure the London
politicians could approve wholeheartedly . The prospect of having
someone to tax in Palestine was a pleasing one . We find
Colonial Secretary Amery begging the Zionists, in January 1928,
not to withdraw their financial support since "it would be very
unfortunate if that support were not forthcoming just because
there is a temporary depression ." Great Britain and the East
speaks of the Zionist Organization as a "hen that lays golden
eggs." It was evident that in the Mandate for Palestine the
British had fallen into one of the best paying businesses they had
ever encountered .
Despite generous squandering, the public moneys flowed in
like a golden river . Nothing like it has ever been seen in the
modern world. A deficit of £41,000 in 1931, converted itself
into a surplus of £6,267,81o in 1935 . By the beginning of 1936
this accumulated hoard was already equal to more than two years'
normal expenditure and was piling up rapidly .
This was far and away the most respectable surplus that any
Government in existence could show ; but nothing daunted, the
Palestine Administration went about the business of both expend-

Page 304 Book

iture and taxation as if it were skating on the thin ice of bankruptcy.
In 1934, though the Treasury was already groaning
under the weight of a huge accumulated reserve, with income
gaining over expenditures with every passing month, the Administration
attempted to put through an income tax, and was only deterred
from this measure when it was discovered that the Arabs
refused to keep books . ,
Now began a performance which Lord Strabolgi sarcastically
described as "the policy and economics of bedlam ." The Palestine
Government, its pockets already bursting with unused
money, commenced to borrow huge sums in London at high
interest rates, using its own money surplus as security for the
loans ! Completely rounding out this strange condition, the
Administration placed all but £ 10,000 of its surplus into lowinterest
English stocks and bonds, for funding British Colonial
development in such places as Ceylon, Natal, Uganda and
Guiana, an investment whose collectibility is more than doubtful,
if only in view of the defaulted amounts Great Britain owes the
United States .
It is interesting to examine one of these loans to discover just
what purposes the Palestine Administration had in mind . A
typical borrowing was made in 1934 for £ 2,000,000. Included
among its items were £ 133,000 for Arab schools (no provision
at all for Jewish schools), £ 250,000 for the resettlement of `displaced'
Arabs ; and £200,000 for agricultural credits (Arab) .
£210,000 is asked for a berth and reclamation scheme at Haifa
(for the benefit of the Iraq Petroleum Company) . £933,000 is
sequestered for water and drainage development schemes. Of
this amount, the provision made for Water Resources Survey (a
life and death matter in view of the claim that Jewish immigration
must be restricted for lack of water) was only £6o,ooo . (Two
years later only £7ooo had been used, wasted in bureaucratic
functions, the balance spent almost entirely for Arab villages and
British administrative necessities .) The only benefit the Jews
received from the entire water and drainage project came inadvertently
from improvements made in the mixed towns of
Jerusalem and Haifa .
The final item in this loan was 0407,000 for public buildings
and post offices. In the application of this provision the Jews
were again ignored . Tel Aviv, bearing by far the heaviest part
of the country's tax burden, was not given a farthing out of the
total loan and went along as best it could with its antiquated telephone,
postal, sewage and drainage facilities.
Analysis of the Government's expenditures for any period
shows a good deal of marauding in the interests of the Mandatory
itself. The League's Council had ruled that "while a mandated
territory may be expected to pay its own way, it may not be
burdened with obligations not directly connected with its own
administration ." We have already seen surreptitious violations
of this principle in the amazing deals made with Iraq and the
British petroleum companies. But the English were prepared to
go much further : they dipped their fingers directly into the till
without bothering too much about ceremony . They compelled
Palestine to pay over to the British treasury JJ 1,ooo,ooo as a refund
for a military railroad built during the War through Sinai
Peninsula . At a time when London itself defaulted on war debts,
it collected in full from Palestine, treating it as conquered Turkish
territory. In addition to these reparations paid direct to the
British treasury, the share of the old Ottoman public debt fastened
on Palestine by the Treaty of Lausanne is regularly paid, though
all other countries affected by this provision ignore it, regarding it
as a dead letter .2
The great bulk of all expenditures made by the Palestine Government
are conditioned directly on the military needs of the
Empire. Says Broadhurst without mincing words, "Troops
have to be kept somewhere, and although it costs more to keep
them in Palestine than in Egypt, India, or other British possessions,
the Palestine Government pays the extra money, and the expense
does not fall on the British taxpayer ." 3 According to the Shaw
Report thirty percent of all public expenditures were made on
the military and armed forces of Great Britain .
In addition to sums handed directly to London, are other expenditures,
designed for the same purpose but buried in the jumbled
double-ledger bookkeeping followed by the Administration.
One has only to compare the disproportionate figure of 042,-
487 for military and police during 1935, with £313,597 allowed
the combined Departments of Health and Agriculture, the latter
amount itself hiding such expenditures as those for military roads .
Just as Jewish money was used to build the best military harbor
in the Mediterranean at Haifa to protect Britain's way to India,
under the pretext of `riots' Jews are now expected to pay Britain's
huge military costs in safeguarding that same highway from the
menace of the Italians . It was decided by the Palestine Government
in July 1936 that "in principle" it shall be liable for the
whole cost of army troops stationed in Palestine, plus the capital
cost of works services there .3a According to a statement published
in March 1936 in the official Palestine Gazette, the expenditures
on the military garrison alone during the year came to
10,333,000 .
An inkling of where this sweet flood of golden rain comes from
was given by the Colonial Secretary in Commons on March 24,
1936. The fat Palestine surplus, he acknowledged, "in itself is
a magnificent tribute to Jewish enterprise - in the main it is
Jewish money." Official figures of the Palestine Administration
show the Jewish share in Government revenue to exceed seventy
percent of all collections of direct and indirect taxes . On the
basis of these estimates the per capita burden of taxation amounts
to about £ 13 a year for Jews, and £ 2 a year for non-Jews. As
far back as 1930, the economist, Hoofien, proved by careful
computation that Jews contributed per head directly to the Government,
£q per annum, against a revenue from non-Jews of
£ 1 .75 per annum .
The figures from Jerusalem give a fair comparative index into
the situation throughout the country . In 1936 the municipality
had a budget of £ 1 oo,ooo. Of this, £ 8o,ooo was received in
rates and fees, of which £70,000 came from Jews . A great
share of the balance arose from the wealthy Greek and Armenian
Patriarchates, and such foreign-owned enterprises as the giant
King David Hotel .
"I think," said Colonel Wedgwood, his stern blue eyes snapping,
"the feeling is that the Jews ought to look after the Jews
and the Government ought to look after the Arabs . . . Under
this bill we are providing for a post office in Jerusalem . We have
already put up with national money, not municipal money, a
magnificent post office in Jaffa . . . We were told the other day
that if the people of Tel Aviv wished they could raise a loan and
build a post office . Of course they could, but it is not just that
the Government should provide post offices for Arab towns and
leave the Jews to provide the public buildings in their own
In thus referring to the postal situation as a symbolic example,
Wedgwood did not overstate the case . Jews contribute seventyfour
percent of all postal revenues, most of it from Tel Aviv .
When the palatial new post office was erected in Jaffa, Tel Aviv
was already posting eight letters to Jaffa's one . With this disproportion
vastly enlarged in recent years, the Tel Aviv Post
Office is still housed in a rented, ramshackle building, staffed with
only two officials compared to Jaffa's ten . Broadhurst informs
us that "a visit to the post office at Tel Aviv will show a queue as
long as that at a Labor Exchange, waiting for stamps ." 4
It takes three days for a letter to travel the thirty-five miles
from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv . Parcels are not delivered at all but
must be called for . In the villages this applies even to letters .
And should a business man attempt to be smart and send his letter
by bus-driver, a warrant is promptly issued for his arrest for
contravening the Postal Regulations .
All public services can be measured by the same yardstick.
The work of drainage and reforestation, so vital to the needs of
an enlightened European community, has been dumped into the
lap of the Jews themselves . Expenditures on health, education
and agriculture are limited mainly to administration costs with the
exception of small subsidies to the Arabs to keep them quiet . If
the Jews themselves had not drained the malarial swamps, the
land would still be subject to pestilence and disease. One of the
learned reproaches of the Jewish Agency informs the Government
that "in most countries the protection of public health, the
promotion of education, the construction of highways and drainage
of large areas, are regarded as governmental functions." s
Considering the fact that in Palestine the Jews had to undertake
all these functions on their own, with funds begged from scattered
Israel the world over, this quaint remonstrance is no less
bizarre than the circumstances which gave rise to it.
There is little in Palestine, as we shall discover, which is not
controlled by the Authorities with an iron hand. They have
their fingers in many of the country's most important business activities
and have taken over even such minor functions as are
generally conceded to the Municipalities by the most highly socialized
States. Despite this, they maintain no offices in the chief
commercial city of the country. Citizens of Tel Aviv in need
of Government services are compelled to go to Jaffa. During
the riots, when it meant death for any Jew to venture into the
Arab town, the Government opened up a few temporary services
in Tel Aviv; but transactions not involving a contribution to the
Exchequer had still to be carried out in Jaffa! Fretful at being
compelled to go to Tel Aviv to collect its taxes, the Administration
plastered an increased assessment on the Jews for this `convenience.' 
In the temporary Customs Clearing Office, for example,
an additional sur-charge of two hundred and fifty mils was
levied, apparently, as one observer remarked, "for the privilege of
not having to penetrate into the closed port area of Jaffa at the
cost of a broken head."

Since the educational system is generally considered to be the
foundation of the State, it is important to see just how this public
institution operates in Palestine .
Official reports for 1935 show the number of Jewish school pupils
as 52,030 ; Moslem, 45,894 ; and Christian, 18,175 . This unexpected
proportion is due to the peculiar age brackets of the
Jewish immigration, as well as the aversion of Moslems to educa310
tion, which they consider destructive to the true faith . If it were
left up to the British alone, the Jewish National Home would be
the most illiterate spot on the globe . Only 6.2 % of the Government's
budget goes into education, and of this small sum, the
great bulk is deflected into Arab channels . The attitude toward
Jewish schooling is something like that found in some of our
Southern States toward Negroes . Roughly, the State allots
$5 .45 for the education of every Jewish child, and $26.68 for
every non-Jewish child .? Of the £9oo,ooo spent from 1921 to
1929, less than £ 6o,ooo went to the Jewish school system . For
the school year 1935-36 the expenditures of the DepaiUiient of
Education ran to f237,000, of which £ 37,916 was allocated
to Jewish schools . These comparative figures are even more
striking than they appear, since they do not contain other amounts
which must be credited to the Arab side such as expenditures of
the Public Works Department in building of schools, and general
administrative overhead .
With no exception, the Government School System is purely
Arab in character. The language of instruction is Arabic . Hebrew
is not even taught as a foreign tongue . When in 1937 a
rumor circulated that the study of Hebrew was to be introduced,
it only evoked incredulity and rendered the Government's hasty
denial superfluous. "Apart from scientific subjects," the Peel
Commission acknowledges, "the curriculum is almost wholly devoted
to the literature, history and tradition of the Arabs ; and
all the school masters from the humblest village teacher to the
head of the Government Arab college, are Arabs ." e Arab
school masters in Palestine appear to have been recruited from
the ranks of the most exaggerated pan-Arab agitators. The result,
as Lord Peel candidly admits, is to turn the children out as
violent "Arab patriots ." "The schools," he tells us, "have become
seminaries of Arab nationalism ." s
During the whole period of British occupation there has never
been a single Jewish school built in Palestine out o f the public
funds. The only consideration shown Jewish children is in the
form of the usual face-saving maintenance grants . As early as
1926 the Vaad Leumi was complaining that though Jews pay
taxes for the maintenance of national institutions, "the entire
burden of the education of the Jewish children is laid on the
shoulders of the Jews themselves ." 10 In the year 1933, which
may be taken as an example, the Jewish educational budget was
£250,000 . The Government's grant was the ludicrous sum of
£23,626. The balance of the money had to be provided by
opulent Americans, and by the many poor European Jews who
were cajoled into donating their meager possessions to the various
Zionist funds. The Administration nevertheless does not
hesitate to impose its will on the Jewish-supported system even
in small matters . An instance, more than amusing under the
circumstances, occurred in February 1933, when it informed the
Vaad Leumi that it considered the salaries paid to Jewish teachers
excessive and demanded an immediate reduction .
These marauding operations show even more cruelly in the
handling of the Kadoorie legacy . Kadoorie was a Baghdad Jew
who died in China, leaving a million dollars to the Government
of Palestine for the establishment of an agricultural school . He
died in the serene belief that a Jewish State was in the process of
erection. Says Wedgwood, describing what ensued : "The bequest
was, of course, made for Jewish education ; but it was divided,
and half was spent on building an Arab school and the
other half has not yet been spent at all . And when the Arab
school was opened they avoided even mentioning the Baghdadi
Jew's bequest." The Jewish school was built some years later,
after the Government had been prompted into action by the
glare of publicity this remarkable arrangement elicited . In accommodation
and size it was, as may be imagined, vastly inferior
to the Arab institution .
The attitude toward public health is substantially that man
must not presume to interfere with the inscrutable will of Allah .
Only inadequate attention has been given to the needs of the
Arabs, and none at all to those of the Jews . Determined to build
their land so that civilized human beings could live in it, the
Zionists have diverted tremendous sums, desperately needed for
other purposes, to sanitation work, meeting as they went along
not the gratitude of officialdom but its undisguised resentment .
Though it bars the municipal corporations from acting on their
own, the Government has not made the slightest effort to develop
adequate sewage systems in the cities . There is no serious
milk and dairy inspection ; and nothing but the sketchiest
provisions for controlling epidemics or isolating contagious disease.
No provision is made for tubercular patients and little
more for the insane. The single small Government hospital for
mental diseases is reserved for Arabs . Broadhurst mentions that
lunatics "wandered loose about the streets, ignored by the passers-
by . If they frightened people, or attacked them, the nearest
policeman was called" 11 and the lunatic was jailed in great cells
containing thirty or more, together with illegal immigrants, and
criminals of all descriptions . Even lepers are not segregated .
Says Duff, "I can show you a half dozen any day in the Suq"
(the general market place) .12
We find the Jewish Agency remonstrating with the Government
in 193o because it was "steadily reducing its expenditures
for health" despite the great growth in population and revenue.
13 Again, in 1936 the Hadassah Report bitterly informed
the Peel Commission that appropriations for public health,
meager as they were, had declined materially since 1922.
Taking the initiative, the Jews have done a magnificent job .
"Next to the great sanitation work carried out in Panama by
American genius," wrote Senator Copeland, "there has been no
greater achievement in the field of public health anywhere in
the world than the sanitation program put into effect in Palestine
by American Jews ." 14 In 1927 the Zionist medical budget
was already double that of the Government for the entire country.
For years expenditures of the Hadassah institutions alone
exceeded those of the Health Department . 15 Hadassah keeps a
whole system of hospitals, clinics and infant-welfare stations,
open to Arabs as well as Jews. Unpublicized, still other voluntary
bodies play a brave part in this terrible struggle to redeem
the National Home from the morbid infirmities of the Near East .
As a result of their effort, infant mortality in Tel Aviv fell to
74.75 per thousand, compared with 209 per thousand in neighboring
Jaffa and 242 per thousand in Gaza. For all this, officialdom
has artfully usurped credit, though in his 1935 report the
High Commissioner is not ashamed to list the munificent sum of
£ 1038 as the Government's grant for infant welfare work .
Out of the anemic amounts which constitute the country's
health budget, a scarce ten percent has been spent on Jews .
The Government's preventive medical services are carried on
exclusively for Arabs . All hospitals it has built or supports are
in Arab centers. In Jerusalem itself, where Arabs are far in the
minority, less than five percent of the in-patients treated in Central
Government Hospital were Jews . These are generally refused
admittance and told to go to the Jewish hospitals . The
grimmest efforts of the Vaad Leumi finally succeeded during
1935-36 in securing grants for Jewish medical services totaling
the ridiculous sum of C 17,703 . At the same time the Government
contributes lavishly to hospitalization in Transjordan, as in
February 1938 when it announced a gift of C56,ooo to the projected
hospital at Amman.
The matter of national health is one of the innumerable crises
with which the Yishub is faced. Despite the great achievements
of voluntary health work, unsettling world conditions have diminished
the funds once so willingly donated by Diaspora Jewry.
As these shrink, the old perils revive in proportion . Such enterprises
as the draining of Esdraelon's great swamps rid Palestine
of the major part of its dysentery and malaria ; but similar work
cannot be continued for want of money . Malaria has consequently
assumed epidemic proportions in parts of the country,
and dysentery is considered such an acute danger that housewives
use permanganate of potash on all uncooked fruits and
vegetables as a precaution .
Even in sickness and death the malice of officialdom pursues
the belabored Jews . Jerusalem Hadassah Hospital, largest health
institution in the city, is charged for water at the same exorbitant
rate as if it were an ordinary industrial undertaking, the Administration
admittedly taking a hundred percent profit ; while Arab
hospitals, built and subsidized by the Government itself, do not
pay for water at all . A sorrier state of affairs was recited in
Commons on July 11, 1935 by Captain Strickland, referring to
the condition of Municipal Hospital in Tel Aviv. The only institution
serving the two hundred and fifty thousand Jewish inhabitants
of this district, it had barely one-fifth of the accommodations
normally demanded in civilized communities . With
a long list of patients on the waiting list, it was so overcrowded
that beds had to be put in the corridors . Facing the Colonial
Secretary, Captain Strickland asked the astonishing question,
"Has the Government yet decided to allow the Municipal Authorities
o f Tel Aviv to provide necessary additional hospital accommodations?"
The reply of the King's Officer was the usual skillful evasion -
"It would be very unwise for me to forward ex parte statements
to the High Commissioner, who as the House knows, gives most
careful consideration to these matters ." Here we have something
approaching the ultimate in human enormity : though the
Government's Department of Health contributed almost nothing
to the support of Jewish hospitals, the Municipality of Tel Aviv
is forbidden to provide improved hospitalization even at its own
In matters of health, too, the British relentlessly squeeze this
little country for profits. When the Municipality of Haifa
came to an arrangement to buy its sewage pipes from a reliable
Tel Aviv factory in July 1931, the Government stepped in and
squashed the agreement, demanding that it purchase them in
England instead . As a result of this kind of exploitation it was
shown in 1935 that over seventy percent of the pipes in Jerusalem's
newly laid water system were so defective that they all
had to be torn up again. After a decade of mysterious engineering,
Jerusalem is still so strictly rationed on water that a bath is a
rare luxury and its people are often reduced to cleaning their
teeth with soda water.'° It has been reliably estimated that the
entire reserve supply would not last three weeks in emergency
and that most of it is totally unfit for drinking purposes .17
A perverse pleasure seems to be taken in keeping all abominaDUAL
tions intact. One of these is an open sewer which runs from
North Jerusalem down the whole valley, poisoning the air with
a nauseating stink . This plague-spot has been in existence for
at least fourteen years . Despite protests, not the faintest attempt
has ever been made to cover it. However, on occasion the Administration
can take an aggressive interest in `sanitary' measures .
One of these, announced in July 1930, was a drainage project for
Jerusalem - unaccountably routed so that it cut directly through
the Sephardic cemetery, crossing the last resting place of Shimon
Ha'Zadid, whom orthodox Jews regard as a saint .18
There are more useless officials quartered on the back of this
unfortunate country than can be found in any other administrated
area on earth . Officials crawl over the land like flies.
In 1925, when they were not nearly so numerous, an Arab Congress
did not hesitate to declare that "the Turkish regime administered
Palestine with no more than one-eighth of the present
Administration and, from several points, more effectively
and satisfactorily ." 19 Some of these men are capable and efficient
. Most are thoroughly unfitted by both experience and
psychology for their posts. With few exceptions all of them
avoid work as much as is decently possible .20 In their train is
an assisting horde of native politicos who need no introduction
to the somnambulant venality of the East .
It is a normal experience to go to one of the Government
offices day after day seeking some small service, such as having
the water turned on in a newly leased apartment, only to be told
that the only person who can attend to your matter, is `out .'
To get anything done at all, it is the common practice to hand
one of the native politicos an inducing sum on the side, which
invariably helps. Duff's admirable book Galilee Galloper, barred
in Palestine, gives a relentless description of the greed and corruption
of these men . Their hand is everlastingly out, and
nothing can be moved without the passing of a proper bribe .
Despite its hostility to Marxism, the Government of Palestine
has put into effect a practical socialism of its own . It owns railroads,
telephones and other public utilities, and keeps a close
control over every kind of major enterprise . The attitude was
explained in a sentence by Mr. Johnson, the Palestine Treasurer,
when he was asked directly why it was so difficult for Jews to
obtain any concessions . Johnson replied tersely : "What do
you s'pose we're 'ere for !" Meaning that if any of the proposed
concessions were any good, `they' would operate them for
themselves with the public moneys, creating more jobs for
worthy Englishmen out of work . This procedure is, however,
held in check by lack of experience and the enervating climate .
Ordinarily things touched by officialdom wither - or proceed
at a snail's pace .
Very little that is lucrative escapes their attention . Jewish
firms rendering a public service sooner or later find Englishmen
in control of their businesses ; or their charters are canceled outright.
The Jewish Hasolel Company, first to generate electricity
in Jerusalem, may be given as a case in point . Its rights
to operate were challenged and the concession was finally taken
away from this firm by a simple maneuver. An obscure Greek
named Mavromatis with an ancient `charter' from the Sultan,
was dug up and his claims were shrewdly advanced at the Hague
Tribunal. Mavromatis, whose support hinged on an undercover
agreement to sell to British interests, got the concession ;
and in September 1928 the powerful London Power Security
Company 21 owned the business so bravely started by the little
Hasolel Corporation . Scarcely half a year later, a boycott was
being threatened against the new owner for its policy in refusing
to employ Jews .
All public utilities seem to operate on the theory that in one
way or another life must be made miserable for the Jews . The
phone service is a case in point . Jews are the great majority of
all subscribers . According to Hoofien's estimate, they are more
than seventy percent of the subscribers even in Arab Jaffa . In
a rapidly industrializing country, telephone communications are
an urgent necessity . Nevertheless, applicants for new phones
were informed that these could not be installed under three
years' notice . The expressed reason for this delay was that the
Government did not like the existing telephone building and,
apparently, had been spending all these years trying to decide
on an acceptable location for a new one . The ownership of a
phone in Palestine is now worth a substantial sum of money,
often changing hands like a seat on the stock exchange .
Though Tel Aviv is the commercial center of the country,
trunk calls to and from that city have to pass through the Jaffa
Exchange. If a subscriber wants to put in a call during business
hours from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem or Haifa, it will take him
from two to three hours to get through .22 Even this is sometimes
an improvement over the local service . Jerusalem's main
post office has two call-boxes, one for local and one for trunk
purposes . "If the local box is occupied," says an English political
writer, "the wise man calls a friend in Haifa, delivers a
message, which he asks to be put through to the required number
in Jerusalem, and steps out of the trunk-box elated over the
comparative perfection of the long distance service, while his
neighbor in the local box is still trying to extricate himself from
wrong numbers." 23
All communications of any kind are in the hands of the Government.
Wires must be brought to the Central Post Office in
person and must be called for in the same way . The Government
fixes the charge, no matter which cable or wireless company
is to handle the message . The press rate for sending a
cable from Jerusalem to London is 21 mils a word, and it takes
an average of two hours in transit . From Cairo, Egypt, where
the distance to London is almost the same, the rate is i x mils
per word, and the time in transit is a half-hour .
All but a negligible proportion of telegrams are forwarded by
Jews. The revenue of this Department in an ordinary year
amounts to around C 300,000, against an average expenditure of
£ 198,000 .
Until very recently, messages were accepted only in English
and Arabic . A stream of violent protests from Jewish telegraph
users bombarded Geneva in protest . Replying to the League's
question the Government asserted that its lawyers had made a
careful search of the Mandate and were unable to find any specific
provision for the sending o f telegraphic messages in Hebrew.
24 After a protracted struggle, this farce was ended when
the Permanent Mandates Commission ordered that the discrimination
cease . The Government then installed Hebrew telegraphy
in only a few cities, so that its use became, in effect, impossible.
The Mandate for Palestine guarantees the rights of the Hebrew
language, though these are constantly infringed in State
institutions and in public life . Throughout the Government
Service an accurate knowledge of Arabic is demanded, but no
understanding of Hebrew is expected from either Arab or Englishman.
Commander Oliver Locker-Lampson brought out on
December 3, 1937 that only two percent of the Senior Officers
in Palestine had even a passing knowledge of Hebrew . Even
in Jerusalem itself, regulations were issued by the Commandant
of Police requiring a working knowledge of English and Arabic
of all officers and constables in order to be eligible for promotion.
No mention of Hebrew was made at all . This discrimination
against Jews in a Jewish city received such worldwide
publicity that a knowledge of Hebrew was hastily included
; but in practice the original force and purpose of the
regulation remained intact.
Identical strictures operate against the showing of the Jewish
flag . Its public use is treated as a virtual encroachment on public
morals. This was demonstrated convincingly during the
celebration of the Maimonides Octocentenary in April 1935.25
Spain, the great philosopher's birthplace, declared the occasion
a public holiday . Other powers, including the Vatican, joined
in honoring his memory. In Palestine the thousands of Jewish
pilgrims to his tomb were greeted by police with batons, who
busied themselves, among other activities, in tearing down all
Jewish flags they could find .
The present flag of the National Home is the Union Jack
with the word `Palestine' inscribed in a small circle in the lower
right hand corner. Its adoption was precipitated late in 1 934,
when a Japanese sea captain gave the Zionists their cue (which
with customary ineptness they ignored) by refusing to fly British
colors when in Palestine port, maintaining that the National
Home was an independent country under League Mandate .
Quite in keeping is the Government Broadcasting Service,
launched with much fanfare at the beginning of 1936. After
operating but a few days, officials forced the Hebrew speakers
to eliminate the name 5K-w4 Y-18 (Eretz Yisroel) when referring
to Palestine, and to substitute the phrase's initials, ,-t; (Aleph
Yud), a childish piece of malice which is even carried over to the
country's postage stamps .
Several typical incidents will show the uses this public service
is being put to . During the last week of September 1936, a
famous Arabic legend was being retold . The story revolves
around the classic loyalty of the Jewish poet-hero, Ishmuel (Samuel)
Adaya HaCohen, who had protected a valuable shield entrusted
to him by the Arab hero Alkis, even when his little son
was being tortured to death to force him to yield . To this day
HaCohen remains so traditional a symbol of absolute honesty that
an Arab when speaking of outstanding loyalty and trust will
say, "faithful as Ishmuel." As told over the Government broadcasting
station by the announcer, a public official, the explanation
was added that "Samuel behaved as he did from love of wealth,
as the shield that Alkis had left was a pledge for money Samuel
had loaned him." Thus the speaker demonstrated that so great
is the avarice of the crafty Jew that he would even sacrifice his own
child to it . On another occasion, in February 1937, a visiting
English M .P. named McGovern had his scheduled talk over the
Palestine Broadcasting Service cavalierly canceled at the last moment.
The acknowledged reason was that McGovern had made
the mistake of lauding Jewish accomplishments in a newspaper
interview the day before .
Radios practically come within the contraband class . The
tourist is astounded to discover that he must make a special journey
to Jerusalem and cut his way through a swathing of red
tape to get his radio out of quarantine, where it is impounded on
sight. Though Jews require a special permit even to possess one,
hundreds of sets have been supplied without cost by the Gov320
ernment to Arab villages so that they might listen to the propaganda
sent out from London and Jerusalem . (The English have
been lately horrified to find that the Arabs have been tuning in
instead on the anti-English incitement broadcast from Italian
Even the priceless antiquities of the Holy Land are not sacred
to the ruling caste and may be exported unhindered ; though
such `backward' nations as Honduras prohibit similar ravishment
as an offense against the nation . Much connivance goes on to
enrich individual pocketbooks . In one representative instance,
certain of these priceless objects were disposed of to a `speculator'
for £Soo, who promptly `resold' them to a Chicago museum
for C2ooo, a price in itself far below their real value .26
In other respects the regulation of life is minute and drastic .
The most revolutionary enactments decorate the statute books,
often promulgated without notice or publicity . One of these
empowers a police officer to stop a touring car and order the
driver to do such a thing as transport a live cow to the municipal
slaughter house .27 Another entitles the Authorities to shut off
the water supply at any Jerusalem address where a resident has
contravened any municipal law . Still another of these edicts
empowers the Government to revoke the citizenship of anyone
whose utterances might be displeasing to it, without explanation
and without recourse. Here one is reminded of the story of
the Berlin Jew, Horowitz, who wrote to a friend in America
saying that everything was fine with him under the Hitler Government,
putting at the end of his letter the following P.S. :
"Abe Cohen, who complained in a letter to his brother that
things were not so well here, was shot yesterday ." No one
needs to explain to the Government of Palestine what it means
for a Jew to be without a country and without a passport in the
present world .
Had the Government seriously wished to pursue the policy
of the Mandate, it would have engaged itself in training Jews
for its administrative and executive departments against the day
when the manifest purposes of that document had been fulfilled .
Simple logic would have recommended the appointment to high
position of only those Arabs who could be relied on to carry
out the policy to which the Mandatory was pledged . But the
official cabal had quite other ideas . Hence we discover, among
the other `benefits' conferred on Jews in Palestine, their derogation
to a sub-human species who at all costs must be kept out of
the Government itself.
As in Nazi Germany, virtually the only Jews who can get
Government positions are the old soldiers - and their lives are
made so miserable that they prefer anything else if they can get
it. Though European Zionists proclaimed their happy relationship
with Britain, local Jewry suffered from no such illusion .
The Vaad Leuini Memorandum to the League of June 15, 1931,
referring to the exclusion of Jewish workers on all governmental
projects, declared pointblank that "this exclusion, which is in
effect a boycott, provides additional evidence of a Government
policy calculated to ignore the interests of the Jewish community
in all its needs . . ."
When Samuel came after the 1920 pogrom which almost lost
the Mandate for England, a number of high-ranking Jewish officials
had been appointed with him as evidence of London's good
faith . The most important of these was Norman Bentwich, the
Attorney-General. As was true of Samuel, Bentwich leaned
over backward so far that he favored the Arabs like the other
officials . But this did not save him and he was retired by `comrade'
Passfield because he was a Jew, eight years before his
pensionable age.28
The resignation in 1932 of A. M. Hyamson, Director of the
Department of Immigration, eliminated the last Jew who served
as a department head in Palestine. Hyamson had managed
to hold on to his job by outdoing even the English in severity
to Jews. This did not save him either. The Administration
simply did not want anyone remotely suspected of being a Jew
in a position of authority . The Jews, who had come to detest
this man, were also glad to see him leave . Said the Hebrew press
politely at the time : "Mr. Hyamson's departure from Palestine
will not be viewed with regret ." 29
British policy has turned Palestine into a paradise for petty
Arab officials, who have been encouraged into bold disloyalty to
the very Mandate which feeds them . To understand all the
implications contained in this shoddy situation, the character and
training of the average Arab must be borne in mind . Like the
Igorrote of Luzon, he is still in the tribal stage of development .
He still lives in the atmosphere of the Ghazzu, the night raid .
Lawrence, and everyone else who has had any experience with
him, was quick to grasp his hopeless inadequacy for any kind of
modern organization. In all of Palestine but 73,000 Moslems
are able to read and write . To these may be added 43,000
Christians, making z i 6,ooo non-Jews who can sign their own
Against this miserable showing, almost one hundred percent
of the Jews in Palestine are literate . They not only possess a
heavy majority of the trained and educated population but have
in their midst some of the greatest minds in the world . Included
in their ranks is a vast amount of ability that has fled from
oppression, a concentration of so many scholars, engineers, economists,
thinkers and distinguished figures generally, that they
probably represent the highest group level of culture and ability
in existence. Here was apparently the perfect source to draw
on, in this land inexperienced in self-rule, for the purposes of
efficient government .
Actually, we find bias against these people so great that they
are allowed to serve only where their appointment could hardly
be prevented - as in the case of translators, or in the municipal
Jewish institutions . The Government's Works and Plans Department
provides an excellent illustration . Some of the ablest
engineers in the world now live permanently in Palestine but are
studiously ignored. Whenever competent engineers or architects
are needed, advertisements for the purpose are inserted
solely in the London papers . That `Aryans only' need apply,
goes without saying .
In the whole Government service, Jews, who constitute one
third of the population and contribute the bulk of the State's
revenues, hold less than 5% of the public jobs. Even this fraction
is in the nature of a sop, thrown irritably to keep them
quiet as one does a bone to a yelping dog . A bird's-eye view of
these complaints tells a vivid story . A wild cry from the Jewish
Agency reveals that the percentage of Jewish labor employed
on public enterprises was i %2 % in 1925, as compared with 6%
in 1922 .30 In the five-year period ending March 31, 1927, the
average was less than 3% . The Agency avers that in Haifa
where Jews were half the population, and at Jaffa where their
numbers were considerable, extensive public works programs
were undertaken without employing a single Jewish workman
or clerk . It declares that less than q.% of those employed on
public works in Jerusalem are Jews.
As early as 1926, various departments of the Government had
already been made Judenrein (free of Jews) . A list of official appointments
published October 11 of that year, shows the railroads,
post office and police departments to be practically without
Jews, though a few were appointed in ensuing years to keep
a decent face . No Jews at all were named to the strategic Land
Courts or to the Frontier Force . In 1930 a Customs Department
investigation disclosed that in the head Government office,
of thirty-five officials, one was Jewish . In the Haifa office, of
thirty-two officials, there were two Jews . Since these offices
were all in strong Jewish areas, it does not require saying that
in the Arab sectors there were no Jews at all .
By 1935 the condition was hardly improved . In April of
that year the Hebrew press was complaining that Jewish officials
in Government offices averaged less than one-half of one percent.
Not a single Jew was employed in the vast Haifa Harbor
extension and improvement works . There were only ten
in the Government works in Jerusalem, including the Printing
Press, Post Office and Police School, and only five on Jerusalem
municipality enterprises. Thousands of illegal Arab newcomers
were being used on these projects, but no Jews were wanted .
Evidence presented to the Peel Commission in 1937, proved
that though they contribute directly sixty-five percent of the
railway revenue, out of the 4300 employees in the Government
railway system only 365 were Jews. The annual budget of
£ 130,000 for road maintenance and public works was spent almost
in its entirety with Arabs .
Though Jews are responsible for seventy percent of customs
receipts, they are virtually excluded from labor in the ports . At
Jaffa the porters are all in direct Government employ . Lighter
men and stevedores must be licensed by the Authorities, who
flatly refused to issue licenses to Jews. At Haifa a considerable
proportion of the porters work for private firms, which hire Jews .
Of the three thousand laborers regularly working in the two
ports, at the beginning of 1936 only three hundred were Jews,
all of whom were in the employ of Jewish importers .31
Where a proportion of Jews is used the difference in treatment
is impressive. Even the Peel Commission was compelled
to remark that Jewish scavengers in Jerusalem were not supplied
with winter clothes as Arab scavengers had been .32
Partisanship of the most indefensible kind is always in evidence.
Tel Aviv, with one hundred and fifty thousand people,
is allowed only twenty-six postmen, who work twelve hours a
day for £5 a month . Side by side with these Jewish mailcarriers
are imported Englishmen who are paid four or five times
this amount. The Executive Committee of the Palestine Arab
Congress comments that "salaries of Government servants are a
matter of wonder and ridicule . . . A customs cashier in Jerusalem
station, for instance, gets £E25 per mensem.33 He is
transferred and his successor is given only £E1 z, though he is
held equally responsible . A clerk in a department gets more
sometimes than his chief who is even responsible for his own
work; as for example is the case in the Werko Department of
Jerusalem where the director of that section gets £E16 and one
of his clerks gets £E22, though the former is his senior in age
and service, and though other clerks who carry on the same
work get between £ E 1 o and 15." 34
Sometimes official bias goes to such lengths that it backs up
against itself. An amusing instance concerned a contract for a
£6o,ooo British military camp near the Jewish settlement of
Nathania, assigned to a firm in Egypt. Unable to handle it, they
promptly sublet the job at a profit to Jewish contractors in
Still others took their cue from the Government and refused
to employ Jews. One of them was the already mentioned Jerusalem
Electric Company. Another was the important Shell Oil
group, beneficiary of the tax-free Iraq Oil Company agreement.
A particularly flagrant case concerned the famous King David
Hotel, one of the largest enterprises in the country and a favorite
rendezvous of Government officials. On September 23,
1934 it became entirely Judenrein, the last remnant of a oncelarge
Jewish staff having been dismissed to be replaced by imported
foreign labor. Bellowed the manager: "We want no
Jews in this hotel. We shall keep it clean." 35

The average Englishman believes religiously in the incorruptible
quality of "British Justice." He will tell you that the Englishman
takes his whole system of equity with him wherever he
goes, and that it is a great, moral, cleansing influence in the lives
of the backward peoples who inhabit the far reaches of the Empire.
But whatever it may be elsewhere, the British system of
jurisprudence in the Holy Land has little to recommend it .
The men sent down from London to rule this martyred country
proceeded at once to put into effect a number of kinds of
justice for a number of kinds of people . Lowest in the categories
of caste by which equity was meted out were the Jews .
The Arabs followed, a few notches ahead in favoritism . Perched
on top of the heap were the English, who were practically a law
unto themselves .
Widespread corruption degrades every department of the
Judiciary . Graft, baksheesh and rake-off are constantly in the
background as in the worst days of the Roman yoke . Everything
connected with either the police or the courts is for sale .
Even the black-list of persons to be kept under particular police
surveillance at the time of the 1929 outbreak (a document so
confidential that it was even kept secret from the Parliamentary
Commissions sent down later to investigate), appeared in Photostat,
with admitted accuracy, in the columns of the New York
Vorwdrts and in other papers throughout the world . Thoroughly
disgusted, Detective Chief Broadhurst came to the conclusion
"that to put anything on paper at all was simply `to blow
the whole gaff .' 11 36 He candidly concedes that it would be
impossible to operate a jury system in Palestine . Bribery and
corruption infest all processes of law to such a degree that to introduce
it would mean a complete end to even the bare pretense
of legal justice .37
The great bulk of appointments to the Magistracy has been
drawn from clerks and interpreters, some of them semi-literates .
The Government benevolently allows these incompetents ten
years to pass an examination, meanwhile authorizing them to
serve in a judicial capacity . "There was only one man on the
High Court Bench who had any real conception of criminal
law," states Broadhurst laconically, "and he was in a district
where his knowledge was only of use locally ." 38
To the outsider it is incredible that Tel Aviv has no Court .
All matters involving more than J 15o have to be heard in Jaffa .
A court sits in such Arab villages as Jenin, Tulkarm and Acre,
but the largest city in the country has no court . And if you
speak anything but Arabic to the notary of clerks in the Jaffa
District Court, you will be stared at as if you were some strange
animal . The record of proceedings in almost all courts is kept
in Arabic. Basic law is still the old reactionary Ottoman code,
long ago discarded as obsolete in Turkey itself .
The prosecution of crime is almost wholly in Arab hands .
The Government Advocate is an Arab . His assistant at headquarters
is an Arab . With the exception of one Jew, who does
only office work, all the junior Government Advocates are
The Criminal Investigation Department is so desultory in its
service that it can hardly be said to exist in practice. Here, too,
official perjury is an expected occurrence and influence and
baksheesh are part of the formula of justice. It is notorious
that the police `investigators' who compose the original `report'
before cases come to the examining magistrate, will prepare these
documents in any way that is wanted if a proper payment is
made. As for the courts, "it was possible," says Broadhurst, "to
obtain a habeas corpus for a few piastres in order to shortcircuit
proceedings ." 40 The style of British officialdom itself
can be convincingly grasped in the trial of a Georgian Jew
named Turshoili, for arson, in November 1932 . Declared States
Attorney Elliot for the Government, before the highest tribunal
in Palestine : "Jews are necessarily arsonists ."
The police are merciless to prisoners who meet their displeasure.
Their tone may be judged from the reappointment to high
position in the Police Force of Kheir El Din Effendi Besesso after
he had been found guilty by the High Court, on August 9, 1928,
of kidnaping a witness for the defense on the eve of a criminal
trial. Says Duff who should know : "Torquemada, or the Court
of Star Chamber can have had little fresh to impart to your
Palestine policeman determined to extract a confession ." The
arrest of two Jewish children, Simon Mizrachi, aged 9, and
Haham Jacob, aged 10, on March 7, 1931, provides a ghastly example.
Without their parents having been informed of the
offense, the `criminals,' charged with throwing stones at an
Arab's house, were flogged so unmercifully that one was reported
near death .41 The brutal medieval custom of whipping
is actively followed in the jails, a matter which received some
airing in Commons in June 1928, where the Colonial Secretary
learnedly backed this cruel usage with the opinion that "flogging
was a proper punishment ."
Not even the concentration camps of Germany can surpass
in pure horror prison life in Palestine . The jail at Acre is a
good example. It is the principal prison of Palestine, a massive,
forbidding structure inherited from the Turks . Its foul dungeons,
in which light and air rarely enter, are a relic of ages past .
The prison food is supplied by a concessionaire, the lowest
bidder receiving the concession . It is of the poorest kind and
consists of a small amount of rice, rough bread and a handful of
green olives . A great many of the prisoners are growing boys
in their teens (especially those held as illegal immigrants), and
very often remain crippled for life after a year or two of this
diet. "General weakness, stoppage of growth, ulcerated stomach,
anemia and chronic dysentery are prevalent among the
younger Acre prisoners," writes Malkah Raymist .42 There is
no distinction made between petty offenders, illegal immigrants,
tourists who overstay their leave, murderers, prostitutes or the
insane ; all of whom are crowded into the same filthy cells, where
at times it is almost impossible to breathe . The prisoners have
no beds and must sleep directly on the earth floor . Until early
in 1938 they were not even entitled to blankets .
There is no adequate medical service and no dental service at
all. All of the prisoners (including those awaiting trial) are put
on hard labor and regularly kicked and beaten if they are unable
to do the heavy work demanded of them . At the slightest
sign of disobedience they are severely thrashed or thrown into
a tiny windowless cell called the 'sensane,' a foul cubicle where
a man can neither lie nor stand, but only crouch . Sanitary
conditions are nil and the stench is described as unimaginable.
Clothes are seldom issued and often prisoners have to go about
in rags. Cigarettes are not allowed . Inmates may write or receive
letters only once a month, so that they are virtually cut off
from the world .
Under these terrible conditions unfortunates of all kinds may
be kept for years awaiting trial, and must then serve their sentences
in addition.
Suicide and attempted suicide are a common occurrence, particularly
among the illegal immigrants held here . Often the
prisoners collapse in fainting spells or develop fits of wild hysteria,
screaming, tearing their hair and knocking their heads
against the stone walls. Those who have been kept here for
any considerable period invariably emerge physical wrecks.
Palestine is the only country where the old law of imprisonment
for debt still holds . Another novelty of Palestine court
procedure permits witnesses to give testimony behind a screen
so that the accused cannot see them .43 An even more startling
introduction is contained in the Laws of Evidence (AmendDUAL
ments) Ordinance, introduced in 1936, which "abolishes the
necessity for corroboration in criminal cases generally." 44
Fully as abhorrent to any civilized mind is the practice of
levying collective fines on whole villages for the misdeeds of
a single culprit ; or still more horrible, of blowing up entire
blocks of houses with dynamite on suspicion that a yet-untried
law-breaker made his home in one o f them .
What was taking place under good British Government may
be aptly judged from the fact that in an ordinary year there
were three hundred and sixty reported murders in Palestine, with
only eight offenders hanged . Hundreds of additional homicides
were not reported at all, "while highway robberies and cattle
thefts were higher even than they had been in the laxest years
of the Ottoman regime." 45
Duff gives a graphic account of the officially condoned reign
of terror against the Jews in the sector where he was ruling
police officer. "It was a most trying situation for me," he writes .
"I dare not do much against the Arabs, even though I knew they
were guilty, as Jerusalem frowned on anything that would annoy
the `Nationalists,' as these self-seeking, cynical effendis
called themselves ." In his district a hurricane of outrages battered
the Jewish settlers, ranging from wanton destruction of
trees and animals, to murder and assault - yet, he writes, "in no
single instance was I able, through the restrictions placed upon
me, to bring the offenders to trial, though I knew who the guilty
persons were, and they knew I did ." 46 It was a contemplation
of this sort of thing which caused Wedgwood to cry out in
Commons that "the Government at the present time is and-
Semitic and is a disgrace to England ."
It appears to be a principle of common equity here that thieves
and vandals may not be injured when they are caught redhanded
at their work. Hundreds of Jewish watchmen have
been imprisoned for doing bodily harm to Arabs who came to
steal or commit other depredations . A simple example is the
case of an 18-year-old watchman named Solomon Jacobson who
was badly injured during a raid by a gang of Arab thugs organized
for purposes of theft . In an effort to discharge his duty
and defend his life he mortally wounded one of the invaders .
For this `crime' he was sentenced on May 2, 1935 to seven and
one half years at hard labor . Another typical case occurred February
24, 1 933, when a group of thirty Bedouins attacked a
small Jewish colony, killing an ex-Legionnaire and wounding
several others . Police who stood watching a short distance
away did not attempt to interfere ; but four of the raiders were
captured by members of the colony. At the Nablus Court, a
few months later, the Bedouins were acquitted for `lack of evidence,'
an item which appears with tiresome repetition on Palestine
court records .
The amazing legal principle making these decisions possible
is indicated in the case of Naftali Rubenstein, a watchman of the
Bath Galim settlement, who was sentenced to prison at Haifa
for "attempted murder" (the wounding of an Arab) . The judge,
in pronouncing his verdict, stated that it was intentionally light
because "there were extenuating circumstances" in that the Jews
of Bath Galim were being assaulted by Arabs at the time ! 47
An even more revolutionary precedent is written in the case
of Achmed Said, an Arab burglar who had killed a watchman
of the Jewish colony at Petach Tikvah . The Jerusalem Court
sentenced the man to six months, justifying this nominal punishment
on the score that "the crime had been unpremeditated," in
that the thief had killed the watchman only to escape being
caught .4S However, when an Englishman is killed, also "without
premeditation," the death penalty is unhesitatingly invoked .
This double application of the law is nowhere better shown than
in the trial of one Sadik Altamini, indicted for inciting a Hebron
crowd with the cry : "Kill Police Inspector Cafferatta and the
Jews !" For inciting to kill Cafferatta, the man was sentenced
to four years at hard labor . At the same time, the second charge,
that of inciting to kill Jews, was dropped "for lack of evidence
!" 4s
Offenses against womanhood are regarded almost casually .
"Young girls no longer may venture forth safely alone on the
streets," writes the correspondent for the National Catholic WelDUAL
fare Council.80 The Government's attitude speaks for itself in
the dismissal of a Jewish sub-inspector of police named Ben-
Yehuda for "communicating to the press and some friends"
the fact that an American girl had been violated on the streets
of Jerusalem.51 Cases of unpunished criminal assault reached
such proportions that the American Consul General in Jerusalem
was forced to make strong representations on behalf of the
United States Government.52 As if by magic, three assailants
of an American girl were promptly apprehended and sentenced
to fifteen years at hard labor - the heaviest and practically the
only punishment imposed for such crimes up to that time .
In addition to the deluge of rape cases against women were
many degenerate attacks on boys and men . The Palestine penal
law does not prohibit homosexuality and its practice involves
little social stigma among Moslems.
The official attitude is brought home in revolting detail in the
case of a Jewish boy and girl named Stahl and Zohar who disappeared
in the Winter of 1931 while out for a stroll . A series
of earlier outrages had excited the Jewish community to a fever
pitch of feeling ; and since the Authorities would do nothing,
private investigators were hired and a big reward posted. This
initiative brought accusing witnesses from Bedouin villages near
Herzlia, who led investigators to a shallow grave where the
bodies of the unlucky youngsters were found . The boy had
been stabbed to death defending his companion . The girl, according
to witnesses, had been violated by five Bedouins .
Though the culprits were thus openly named, the police made
no effort to arrest them . Here a new factor entered. The
murdered pair were nationals of Germany and Poland and their
consulates insisted on at least a show of justice . Under these
representations, the Government took the five accused into custody,
where three were promptly discharged and the other two
held on the familiar charge of "unpremeditated murder" - the
fact that the killing had been incidental to an attempt at rape
apparently being considered a mitigating circumstance. To
make the police less eager for private rewards in future, an officer
named Kabra was given three years for having lodged "false
information" against the Arabs who had been released, though
they had been identified by a score of people of their own tribe .
Now followed galling, interminable delay . Finally, after
angry representations from the Polish and German Consuls, the
Bedouins were committed to trial . Though the case against each
of them was identical, only one was found guilty and he was
sentenced to fifteen years. The same Court which made this
decision sentenced an Arab named Mustafa Jeebawi to death for
the murder of Mrs . Thomas Miller, wife of an English engineer,
while bent on rape .53 Apparently 'unpremeditation' did not apply
when it came down to typical Arab crimes against the families
of British officials.
It has been shown time and again that culprits arrested for
physical attacks on Jews were rescued by the public prosecutors
themselves. Apparently this corrosion reaches into the highest
places, as was clearly demonstrated in the case of an Arab (a suspected
murderer) caught in flagrante delicto with four rifles and
some bombs, early in 1937 . The prosecuting attorney immediately
asked that the case be thrown out of court . Guilelessly,
the presiding magistrate asked why it should not at least be
pressed according to normal regulations on illegal possession of
arms. "I am acting on instructions," snapped back the Government
In addition to the civil and criminal courts are an unending
multiplicity of ecclesiastical tribunals whose jurisdiction is legally
recognized . These perform civil functions ordinarily considered
to be the prerogative of the State alone . The judges who
sit in the Moslem Shavia Courts are considered servants of the
Administration, which pays their salaries - yet the courts themselves
are completely removed from any supervision by the Government's
Legal Department . In the usual contrast, Jewish
courts must pay all their own expenses by a voluntary tax on the
Jewish community. The privileges of the various non-British
Christian communities are intermediate between those of Jews
and Moslems. However, Christians are allowed certain unique,
overall privileges in compensation . One is the right of monks,
European or native, to serve sentences of imprisonment in the
spiritual seclusion of their own monasteries instead of in the
squalid promiscuity of a Palestine lockup .55
One may well pity a people who are placed at the mercy of
an alien police . The Irish, with centuries of wretchedness behind
them, could tell you something about that . Jews who remember
the Kishineff massacres in Russia, when uniformed gendarmes
led the howling hooligans over the barricades, could tell
you more. From their experience in Palestine they could add
terrible pages to that record.
Shocked by the course events have taken in the National
Home, Colonel Patterson grimly referred to it as a "National
Death Trap ." Echoing the same disgust and revulsion, former
Colonial Secretary Amery sarcastically informed his Government
that the Home could not be regarded as a Home "unless
those living there were allowed to play a part in its defense ." 56
Since the disbanding of the Jewish Legion it has been known
that Jews were not wanted in the Palestine military or police
force. Part of the strategy in this high game of dissimulation
was to make it impossible for the Jews to protect themselves, and
then, by encouraging attacks upon them, pose as the faithful,
disquieted custodian who was being badgered from all corners
for his good offices . Thus the Jew is placed in the traditional
role of a craven interloper foisted on an innocent people, who
too cowardly to defend himself, calls on the harassed Briton to
do this for him while he slinks out of harm's way. It is this
interpretation that London has so painstakingly palmed off on
puzzled world opinion.
The modern Jew has proven himself to be a good soldier . In
the World War he won his full share of citations in all countries .
The present French Foreign Legion, so famous for its exploits
in North Africa, has so many Jews in its ranks that whole sec334
tions of it can almost be designated as a Hebrew force. The
same is true of the plucky International Brigade of Spain which
held up Franco's advance for so long .
In Palestine the Jews were at all times prepared to defend
themselves and were perfectly capable of doing so, had they
not been rendered impotent by the Government . The Hebrew
in his National Home is far from a milksop . The military of
Palestine would be literally swamped with Jewish recruits, were
they accepted . Before the British came, the Jewish colonies
were considered the safest places in the Near East. Their gendarmerie,
a force of hard-riding, reckless horsemen known as the
Shomrim, had long since won a reputation for everything that
was fearless and gallant . The Turks freely acknowledged it to
be the most skilled police force in the Near East. In those days
Arabs did not attack Jewish colonies, preferring to pay their nightriding
respects to other Arab tribes and villages where they would
get off with a whole skin.
One of the first British acts was to quietly disband this efficient
constabulary, and to organize one of their own from which Jews
were excluded . They were disarmed as if they had been a conquered
enemy, and were not even allowed to possess the small
arms and dirks habitually carried by all Bedouins . A lurid light
is thrown on this circumstance in an anecdote concerning an irreproachable
physician who had been attacked by an Arab assassin.
When the police called to inquire, the doctor informed
them in a sad voice : "I was afraid you had come to arrest me ."
"Arrest you ?" said the officer . "Why ?"
"Well, because it is known that I carry a weapon ."
"A weapon? Where do you have it?"
"Here," answered the doctor, turning around, "it is a knife,
stuck in my back ." 57
The expenditure for military and police in the Holy Land
amounts to more than a third of the total revenues. The immense
constabulary this infers is hardly required for the policing
of Jews, who foot its bills . The trial of Jews for crimes of
violence is practically unknown . Even on such minor charges
as drunkenness, only 52 Jews were among the 724 convicted
during 1 935 ; and out of 415 sentenced in 1936 for the same
offense, 27 were Jews. Commenting in Commons, Wedgwood
cried : "You say that the money spent on the police force is
spent to protect the Jews . . . If you go to any police station,
you will find that the crimes of violence, and the crimes against
which the police are provided . . . are committed by Arabs and
not by Jews . . . So far as the police and the defense of Palestine
are concerned, if you gave the Jews arms and allowed them
to defend themselves, it would not need so much defense, even
from the excellent British police ." 68
The present percentage of Jews on the police force is just
large enough to be reasonably circumspect . One is surprised to
discover that Tel Aviv itself has few Jewish policemen . The
surface excuse is that Jews do not care for this type of work .
The hidden stratagem which makes this condition possible lies
in the amazing scale of salaries . There are few Jewish men who
are able to live on the £ 7 a month the Administration is willing
to pay a Jewish policeman . At the same time, imported Englishmen
are given £3S a month for precisely the same police
work. Even common labor averages £ 24 a month .
The Frontier Force is no better . When it was formed in
1926 the Authorities decided to exclude Jews from it on principle,
as well as from the Border Patrol Force . All sections of
Palestine Jewry rose in furious protest . The Zionist Executive
itself was passive, Weitzman going so far as to declare that
"from the political standpoint it is unimportant whether in Palestine
a bigger or smaller number of Jewish gendarmes would
be employed ." This pedantic outlook did not deter local Jewish
opinion, which finally forced the Colonial Office to voice the
empty assurance that "Jews would not be excluded by principle."
69 In 1930 the Jewish Agency was again remonstrating
that the Frontier Force "was to all intents and purposes an Arab
Force." 80 In 1937, out of a total of 1039 men there were only
35 Jews.
While Jews were thus practically forbidden to join this national
legion which their tax money keeps, Arabs, who are both
poor and unwilling soldiers, have not responded in sufficient
numbers. The Arab likes fighting but he detests drilling and
routine. So it became necessary to draw on outlanders from
everywhere. The London Daily Telegraph describes the result,
calling the Force "a veritable Foreign Legion of the Near
East," containing among others, Britons, Austrians, Germans, .
Armenians, Circassians, Chechans, Druses, Hejazis, Kurds, Russians,
Serbians, Sudanese and Syrians.81 According to the Peel
Commission's Report in 1937, the Force contained more Sudanese
than Jews and almost six times as many Circassians alone .
It is thus apparent that almost anyone is welcome in this defense
force except the Jews whose National Home it ostensibly exists.
to protect.
It must be perfectly plain that this hot-blooded gendarmerie
is a poor guarantee of security . The police themselves are described
by Broadhurst as a queer, unruly lot . "Annual meetings
of officers," he writes, "generally resolved themselves into
discussions on the best methods of entering police horses for the
local races . . ." 82
In each of the previous pogroms it was the police themselves
who were found to be the leaders of the mob . What may be
expected of them in the future can easily be guessed from a few
passing incidents. One was the storm raised in Parliament in
June 1934 over the report that police detailed to cover the
Levant Fair in Tel Aviv wore swastikas on their arms . It is no
secret that the recent rebellion itself was started with arms and
ammunition stolen by the Palestine gendarmerie from the Central
Government Arsenal in Jerusalem. Whatever clarity the
position lacked was provided in June 1936, when the police
stood in ceremonial silence, on public parade, in honor of the
desperadoes whose rifles had touched off the revolt .63
In Jerusalem where there are not more than one thousand Germans,
there is an avowedly Nazi daily newspaper. It seems
fair to ask under whose auspices this pogrom-inciting literature
is published . And how can it be issued in a Jewish city, and in
a country ruled by an all-powerful autocrat with complete powers
of censorship which he does not hesitate to use whenever it
pleases him ?
In Jerusalem also, Nazi handbills of the most scurrilous type
are openly distributed without interference by the police .114
How can this be done in the capital city of the Jewish National
Home ? At a moment when England itself is expressing violent
indignation over Nazi excesses, a Jewish youth is arrested and
sentenced to the degradation o f a public whipping for picketing
a Jewish shop which was selling German goods. Why
should this be a commendable expression of spirit in England,
but a crime in the National Home?
The Jerusalem Y.M.C.A. is a favorite retreat of the High
Commissioner himself and its Board is certainly dominated by
Government officials. Yet its General Secretary, an American
named Waldo Heinrichs, was summarily discharged when he
attempted to exclude Hitler's Jew-baiting Voelkischer Beobachter
from the general reading room . Why is this so ?
There is a book published in England called The Brown Book
o f the Hitler Terror. It is a factual history of the first months
of the Nazi inquisition in Germany . No one has ever challenged
its accuracy . Yet when it comes to Palestine it is banned,
together with other anti-Hitler literature . But Hitler's Mein
Kampf, a venomous collection of canards against the Jew, is not
Everyone who has ever been in the Near East knows what British
censorship in Palestine is . Newspapers may be forbidden to
mention the very name of a notorious murderer on trial for his
life. The control is so strict that a story which doesn't sit well
with the Administration, just isn't cabled . Nor is the reporter
informed about it. His first hint that anything is wrong is generally
in the form of a communication from his home office, inquiring
into his silence. When the Government wants to clamp
down, relates a foreign correspondent, "it just shuts off telephone,
telegraph and cable service completely ." B 6
Sometimes foreign Jewish newspapers are proscribed, as they
are in Germany and Iraq . In 1934,, for example, the Moment
of Kaunas, Lithuania, was barred for a year and Unzerzeit of
Kishineff (now part of Rumania) was outlawed permanently .
Even such publications as the New York Times are occasionally
confiscated when they contain articles favorable to the Jews .
Local Hebrew papers are consistently harassed and closed,
though they exercise admirable restraint, foment no civil war
and circulate no inflammatory manifestoes urging civil disobedience.
Where they are not ordered stopped entirely, they often
go to press with huge white spaces in their columns, representing
material ordered deleted by the Government censor . Perfectly
representative of the Government's style is the suspension of the
Hebrew papers Doar Hayom and Haboker in July 1936 for the
remarkable reason that they urged the Authorities to put a halt
to the rioting and murder . Yet at the same time the censors
permitted the radical Arab Journal A-Di ff a to publish a poem by
Ali Mansour which read : "We Arabs are all Abu Jildas [a notorious
cutthroat and terrorist] ; we shall drive Cohen [a name
for the Jew, Mansour acquired from the Nazis] out of the country."
Confident of its immunity, the Arab press kept the sledges
of hate pounding in a clamor of extravagant invective only limited
by the imaginations of its authors . In few other countries,
concedes the Peel Report, would such a campaign of vilification
and incitement have been tolerated for a moment .
It is no exaggeration to state that everything pro-Jewish is
either directly forbidden or discreetly frowned upon . Duff's
books debunking the Arab terrorists are permanently banned
in the Palestine he loved and served so long . Even Colonel Patterson,
commander of the very legions which conquered this
area, is made to suffer for his pro-Zionist views . During a visit
in 1937 .he was filmed in Tel Aviv inspecting some Jewish institutions
. This bit of news-film, titled Colonel Patterson in
Palestine, was banned by the Film Censorship Board on the
single score that the film could not be shown with that title !
This singular custodian of Jewish aspirations, the Palestine
Government, has introduced still other innovations, modeled
after the notorious European numerus clausus . Feeling his way
in December 1933, Government Officer Harkness announced
that the Administration was viewing with concern the preponderance
of Jews, especially in the medical and dental callings ;
and that it was considering the introduction of numerus clausus
in the professions . This was followed by the Medical Practitioners
Ordinance. Thinly disguising its anti-Jewish bias, it
placed a severe limit on the number of physicians who could be
licensed in future. 67 Thus is laid the groundwork for a whole
new plague of repressions against the Jews returning to their

Page 340 Book

We now return to another of those strange enigmas of British
administration - the territory of the Jewish National Home east
of Jordan. The shrewd manipulation by which it was filched
from the Zionist pocketbook has already been referred to. Just
what its status is today remains a dark mystery . The territory
is called an independent Emirate, yet remains part and parcel of
the Mandate for Palestine . The same High Commissioner rules
both. The Emir Abdullah, its nominal ruler, is granted an ample
personal subsidy straight out of the Palestine treasury . The
deficits of his stagnating State are taken care of from the same
generous source.
When in 1922 London secured the League's consent to set up
a separate Administration east of Jordan, it was granted only
with the stipulation that "the general regime of the Mandate for
Palestine" would be maintained there . To this London agreed,
assuring the League "that no measure inconsistent with the provisions
of the Mandate for Palestine would be passed in that territory."
All of this, in words, was carried out in the `treaty'
with the Emir, and incorporated in the `Constitution' of Transjordan
as well.
In 1924, officialdom still acknowledged that Trans-Jordan was
an integral part of the Jewish National Home . On May z7 of
that year, during a Palestine debate, Lord Arnold, then Under-
Secretary for the Colonies, declared : "During the war we recognized
Arab independence within certain border limits, and supported
it. . . There were discussions as to what territories these
borders should take in. But there was no dispute as to Trans-
Jordan . There is no doubt about the fact that Trans-Jordan is
within the boundaries to which the Declaration [Balfour] during
the War refers . This is the Government's point o f view relative
to the political status o f Trans-Jordan and the character o f our
relations to the land ."
Under the Turks there were no restrictions against the settlement
of Jews in Trans-Jordan . A number of colonization schemes
were attempted . The largest was undertaken by Baron Edmund
de Rothschild in 1894, who bought seventy thousand dunams
in Golan for a large-scale resettlement project . This, however,
was sidetracked in favor of the coastal development where
Zionist effort was then concentrated .
Whitehall early banned Jewish penetration into this territory .
Its expressed reason was a deep solicitation for the returning settlers,
who allegedly would not be safe in this lawless, turbulent
sector. The migratory tribes of Transjordan could enter Western
Palestine freely, however, since the question of their safety
did not arise .
Soon these strictures became iron-clad . The eastern twothirds
of the National Home was not only hermetically sealed to
Jewish settlement but Jews could not possess property there or
practice a profession. Transjordan became the first and remains
the only completely Judenrein area on the earth's surface
. Apparently they are the only immigrants prohibited . Examination
of the official British Report to the League for 1936
shows a large group of foreigners ranging from Syrians and
Egyptians to Germans, Italians and Turks who have taken residence
there . Says the Report succinctly : "The classified and
unclassified officials of the Transjordan Government other than
British, including the officers of the Arab Legion but excluding
other ranks, numbered 683" of whom only 422 are Arabs born
in Transjordan .1
When the Mandates Commission sharply commented on this
condition, London assured it that "there was no legal prohibition
to prevent Jews from entering" Transjordan . In other
words, on paper everything was in order . When the Commission
bluntly demanded that these restrictions be abrogated,
the British spokesman Dr. Drummond Shiels replied with unctuous
regret "that that was impracticable because the existing
Legislative Assembly in Transjordan would frustrate such inten342
tions ." 2 Scarcely more than six months later we find the same
Drummond Shiels declaring to an impatient Commons that
"when Transjordan is freed from the irritation of raids and
counter-raids by warring tribesmen, an opportunity will be given
for its settlement and development ." 3 Here we have two diametrically
opposite lines of reasoning. One, that the normal
processes of orderly government forbade an immigration disturbing
to the country's economy . The other, that since no orderly
government existed, it was unthinkable to allow civilized
immigrants to enter .
Faced with a fait accompli, the League in some meretricious
hair-splitting came to a curious decision : Jews who were natives
of Palestine and hence not nationals of a State member of the
League, could not claim the equality stipulated in Article XVIII
of the Mandate . These could be excluded. However, any
Jews in Palestine who were -not Palestinians, must, according to
the terms of the Mandate, be allowed the right of free access to
In actual practice the British went whole hog down the line,
barring English Jews as rigidly as their brethren from Poland .
Gentile Englishmen, however, retained indisputable rights of
settlement. Even if one chooses to ignore the maneuvers by
which this section of the National Home was handed outright
to some ambitious nomads from the Hejaz, how may this circumstance
be explained ? It was not so long ago that the world applauded
when the United States broke off its commercial treaty
with Czarist Russia because of a discrimination much the same
as this and less inexcusable . Recounting an identical incident
when Turkey attempted the exclusion of Jews in 1888, official
British Peace Handbook No . 6o thunders that "the Powers refused
to accept discriminatory legislation against their nationals,
Hebrew or others," and the Turks had to drop the offending
statutes like a hot potato.
Dexterous as their performance was, the Bureaucrats ran up
against the hard fact that legerdemain has its absolute limits .
They could swindle the eyes by appearing to separate the body
of the National Home into living fragments, but no amount of
black magic could endow the operation with reality . Transjordan
was inalienably a part of Palestine, and must immediately
expire, if cut off from it in fact . M. Rappard of the Permanent
Mandates Commission contemptuously called it "a parasite
State" with a budget fed by grants from the Mandatory Government.
Its total income is forty-five percent less than that of
Tel Aviv alone .
Transjordan has practically no industries of any kind, and
only a few of the most primitive homecrafts . According to the
British Report to the League for 1936, the total assessment for
land tax was only r88,ooo of which 1.53,507 had to be subsequently
remitted because the bankrupt villagers could not pay
it.5 The Emir Abdullah's attenuated income includes "Transjordan's
share in the imports duties of Palestine ." 6 Palestine is
also Transjordan's principal market, selling goods there valued
at C208,993 as against 06,o88 which she buys in return .
Examining the High Commissioner's Report for 1935 we discover,
weighted beneath a load of words, that Transjordan's income
was 0276,258, while its expenditure was £369,395 . Its
budget for 1937-38, reduced to skin-and-bones, still showed a
thirty percent deficit . In other words, Transjordan has been
perpetually bankrupt - kept alive only by the munificence of its
rich uncle Israel . If it were divorced from Israel's household it
would simply die of malnutrition . Out of the lush Palestine
treasury, the Emir has had an endless flow of `loans,' subsidies
and outright grants. He has been provided with free Army
and Air Force assistance in quelling the recurrent rebellions of
his own tribesmen and in preserving his boundaries against Wahabi
aggression . As early as 1927 it was pointed out that the
National Home would show a deficit of C 90,000 for the yearly
period "due to the fact that the Palestine Government is covering
the deficits in Transjordan - otherwise the budget would
show a surplus of C 80,000." 7
Transjordan comprises an area of about 35,000 square miles
- more than three times as large as the country west of Jordan .
It is an area of great resources but no effort has been made to
develop them. A census has never been taken, but the popula344
tion is reliably estimated to be around 275,000. The majority
are nomad tribesmen to whom even boundaries are incomprehensible.
Some of these, like the Aneezeh and Sherarat, have
their main camping grounds in Arabia proper . The only towns
of any consequence are Amman, the capital, with 38,000 people,
and Es Salt with i 8,ooo .
The limitations of this country lie in the nature of the human
material composing its population . Turbulent, destructive, inefficient,
seemingly incapable of any but the most elementary
creative activities, their stamp is imprinted wherever one turns
in this favored land . Bizarrely enough, one factor that has contributed
to the permanent poverty of the Bedu is the ruthless
suppression of predatory excursions, drying up their chief source
of revenue.
There are only fifteen doctors in all Transjordan . The rate
of infant mortality is the highest on earth. Its poverty is terrible
and crushing . The correspondent of Al Jamia Al Islamia s
describes hordes of people "who snatch hungrily at any refuse
which by a stretch of the imagination may be edible . . . At
night these creatures, men, women and children, with no roof
to shelter them, huddle for warmth and sleep in the streets."
Reliable English sources describe the country, after fifteen years
of Arab rule, as infinitely worse off than it was under the Turks .
Says the Crown Colonist of June 1934 : "The farmers are
plunged in the starkest conditions of poverty, and the nomads
are frequently on the verge of starvation." Cattle die off by thousands,
and epidemics, droughts, grasshopper and mice plagues,
which the fellaheen are incapable of coping with, reduce them
to a state of abject deprivation . The result is seen in the total
lack o f any natural increase in population since the British occupation
; while directly across the Jordan, their brother Arabs
are showing the most remarkable gain of births over deaths on
medical records.
No part of this discourages Whitehall from broadcasting the
usual paean in 1936 to the beauties of existence in this "peaceful
and contented country, blessed with an Arab Emir and Government,
and being without a Jewish problem ." 9 Calmly shiftTRANSJORDAN
ing gears a few short months later, it acknowledges that "the
Emirate of Abdullah is poor, miserably poor, but it does not
want the wealth of the Zionists ." 10 This in itself was flatly
contradicted by the British statesman, Herbert Morrison, who
on returning from a visit to Palestine and Transjordan in 1936,
told the House that Jews were being kept out of Transjordan
"by the wish of the British Government ." 11
The fact is that Transjordan is a colony which Great Britain
got on the excuse that it was to be part of the Jewish Homeland.
The Commander of the Arab Legion is a blue-eyed Englishman
named Peake Pasha . The most prominent agent o f the
all-important British Intelligence Service, Major J. B. Glubb, is
stationed there permanently in charge of the desert patrol which
keeps the turbulent tribesmen under control . Here in itself is
proof of the importance London attaches to ownership of this
area. British officials rule as in any other colony, and the word
of the High Commissioner is final. Says the Encyclopaedia Britannica
: "A considerable increase in the number of British officials
and the transfer of the Palestine gendarmerie en bloc to
Transjordan resulted in fact in the carrying on of the Administration
on Crown Colony lines ; and the local Government existing
as a facade, exercised little or no independent authority ." 12
The `treaty' between Great Britain and Abdullah covers all
of this nicely. "His Highness the Emir agrees to be guided by
the advice of His Britannic Majesty in all matters concerning
the granting of concessions, the exploitation of natural resources,
the construction and operation of railways, and the operation of
loans." The Emir may not "raise or maintain in Transjordan
or allow to be raised or maintained, any military forces without
the consent of His Britannic Majesty." The `independent
Emirate' agrees "to the employment of British officials ." England
may keep a foreign army on its soil, and has its power of
attorney in all matters of international relationship . Laws affecting
the State budget, currency, land grants, succession to the
throne and changes in the `Constitution' are to be referred to the
advice of Great Britain. Signed March 20, 1928, this `treaty'
completed the strategical moves by which Transjordan was to be
purloined from the Jewish National Home and stuffed in the
pocket of Great Britain. Today the Emir Abdullah is a dummy
who sits on the knee of a ventriloquist known as the British Resident.
It is Abdullah's lips which move, but it is the voice of
Downing Street which comes forth.
Calling a spade a spade, the London Times, in its issue of
March 29, 1928, declares: "Transjordan therefore has the status
equivalent to a protectorate, the only difference being the status
of Great Britain, because whereas a Mandate is provisional, the
present relationship is permanent."
The latest plan is to separate the Aqaba region from Transjordan
and declare it a separate English colony. This move is
forestalled only by the vigorous claim of Ibn Saud to that port
as part of the legitimate spoils grabbed from old King Hussein.
Saud now demands it as the price of his consent to the Palestine
partition scheme. To settle this annoying question, negotiations
have been going forward for some time. They will undoubtedly
end in the classic manner, with Aqaba created a Crown
Colony, and Ibn Saud handed part of someone else's territory to
compensate him.

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