We were appointed by the Governments of the United
States and of the United Kingdom, as a joint body of American and British
membership, with the following Terms of Reference:
1. To examine political, economic and social conditions in Palestine
as they bear upon the problem of Jewish immigration and settlement therein
and the well-being of the peoples now living therein.
2. To examine the position of the Jews in those countries in Europe
where they have been the victims of Nazi and Fascist persecution, and
the practical measures taken or contemplated to be taken in those countries
to enable them to live free from discrimination and oppression and to
make estimates of those who wish or will be impelled by their conditions
to migrate to Palestine or other countries outside Europe.
3. To hear the views of competent witnesses and to consult representative
Arabs and Jews on the problems of Palestine as such problems are affected
by conditions subject to examination under paragraphs 1 and 2 above
and by other relevant facts and circumstances, and to make recommendations
to His Majesty's Government and the Government of the United States
for ad interim handling of these problems as well as for their permanent
4. To make such other recommendations to His Majesty's Government and
the Government of the United States as may be necessary to meet the
immediate needs arising from conditions subject to examination under
paragraph 2 above, by remedial action in the European countries in question
or by the provision of facilities for emigration to and settlement in
countries outside Europe.
The Governments urged upon us the need for the utmost expedition in
dealing with the subjects committed to us for investigation, and requested
to be furnished with our Report within one hundred and twenty days of
the inception of our Inquiry.
We assembled in Washington on Friday, 4th January, 1946, and began
our public sessions on the following Monday. We sailed from the United
States on 18th January and resumed our public sessions in London on
25th January. We left for Europe on 4th and 5th February, and, working
in subcommittees, proceeded to our investigations in Germany, Poland,
Czechoslovakia, Austria, Italy and Greece. On 28th February we flew
to Cairo and, after sessions there, reached Jerusalem on 6th March.
In Palestine, our sessions were interspersed with personal visits to
different parts of the country, during which we sought to acquaint ourselves
at first hand with its various characteristics and the ways of life
of its inhabitants. Subcommittees visited the capitals of Syria, Lebanon,
Iraq, Saudi-Arabia and Trans-Jordan to hear the views of the Arab Governments
and representatives of bodies concerned with the subjects before us.
We left Palestine on 28th March and have concluded our deliberations
in Switzerland. The detailed itinerary is shown in Appendix I.
Recommendation No. 1. We have to
report that such information as we received about countries
other than Palestine gave no hope of substantial assistance
in finding homes for Jews wishing or impelled to leave Europe.
But Palestine alone cannot meet the emigration needs of the Jewish
victims of Nazi and Fascist persecution; the whole world shares responsibility
for them and indeed for the resettlement of all "displaced persons".
We therefore recommend that our Governments together, and in association
with other countries, should endeavor immediately to find new homes
for all such "displaced persons", irrespective of creed or
nationality, whose ties with their former communities have been irreparably
Though emigration will solve the problems of some victims of persecution,
the overwhelming majority, including a considerable number of Jews,
will continue to live in Europe. We recommend therefore that our Governments
endeavor to secure that immediate effect is given to the provision of
the United Nations Charter calling for "universal respect for,
and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without
distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion".
In recommending that our Governments, in association with other countries,
should endeavor to find new homes for "displaced persons",
we do not suggest that any country should be asked to make a permanent
change in its immigration policy. The conditions, which we have seen
in Europe, are unprecedented, and so unlikely to arise again that eve
are convinced that special provision could and should be made in existing
immigration laws to meet this unique and peculiarly distressing situation.
Furthermore, we believe that much could be accomplished-particularly
in regard to those "displaced persons", including Jews, who
have relatives in countries outside Europe-by a relaxation of administrative
Our investigations have led us to believe that a considerable number
of Jews will continue to live in most European countries. In our view
the mass emigration of all European Jews would be of service
neither to the Jews themselves nor to Europe. Every effort should be
made to enable the Jews to rebuild their shattered communities, while
permitting those Jews, who wish to do so, to emigrate. In order to achieve
this, restitution of Jewish property should be effected as soon as possible.
Our investigations showed us that the Governments chiefly concerned
had for the most part already passed legislation to this end. A real
obstacle, however, to individual restitution is that the attempt to
give effect to this legislation is frequently a cause of active anti-Semitism.
We suggest that, for the reconstruction of the Jewish communities, restitution
of their corporate property, either through reparations payments or
through other means, is of the first importance.
Nazi occupation has left behind it a legacy of anti-Semitism. This
cannot be combated by legislation alone. The only really effective antidotes
are the enforcement by each Government of guaranteed civil liberties
and equal rights, a program of education in the positive principles
of democracy, the sanction of a strong world public opinion- combined
with economic recovery and stability.
Refugee Immigration Into
Recommendation No. 2. We recommend
(a) that 100,000 certificates be authorized immediately for
the admission into Palestine of Jews who have been the victims
of Nazi and Fascist persecution; (b) that these certificates
be awarded as far as possible in 1946 and that actual immigration
be pushed forward as rapidly as conditions will permit.
The number of Jewish survivors of Nazi and Fascist persecution with
whom we have to deal far exceeds 100,000; indeed there are more than
that number in Germany, Austria and Italy alone. Although nearly a year
has passed since their liberation, the majority of those in Germany
and Austria are still living in assembly centers, the so" called
"camps," island communities in the midst of those at whose
hands they suffered so much.
In their interests and in the interests of Europe, the centers should
be closed and their camp life ended. Most of them have cogent reasons
for wishing to leave Europe. Many are the sole survivors of their families
and few have any ties binding them to the- countries in which they used
Since the end of hostilities, little has been done to provide for their
resettlement elsewhere. Immigration laws and restrictions bar their
entry to most countries and much time must pass before such laws and
restrictions can be altered and effect given to the alterations. Some
can go to countries where they have relatives; others may secure inclusion
in certain quotas. Their number is comparatively small.
We-know of no country to which the great majority can go in the immediate
future other than Palestine. Furthermore that is where almost all of
them want to go. There they are sure that they will receive a welcome
denied them elsewhere. There they hope to enjoy peace and rebuild their
We believe it is essential that they should be given an opportunity
to do so at the earliest possible time. Furthermore we have the assurances
of the leaders of; the Jewish Agency that they will be supported and
We recommend the authorization and issue of 100,000 certificates for
these reasons and because we feel that their immediate issue will have
a most salutary effect upon the whole situation.
In the awarding of these certificates priority should as far as possible
be given to those in the centers, and to those liberated in Germany
and Austria who are no longer in the centers but remain in those countries.
We do not desire that other Jewish victims who wish or will be impelled
by their circumstances to leave the countries where they now are, or
that those who fled from persecution before the outbreak of war, should
be excluded. We appreciate that there will be difficulty in deciding
questions of priority, but none the less we urge that so far as possible
such a system should be adhered to, and that, in applying it, primary
consideration should be given to the aged and infirm, to the very young
and also to skilled workmen whose services will be needed for many months
on work rendered necessary by the large influx.
It should be made clear that no advantage in the obtaining of a certificate
is to be gained by migrating from one country to another, or by entering
Receiving so large a number will be a heavy burden on Palestine. We
feel sure that the authorities will shoulder it and that they will have
the full cooperation of the Jewish Agency.
Difficult problems will confront those responsible for organizing and
carrying out the movement. The many organizations-public and private-working
in Europe will certainly render all the aid they can; we mention UNRRA
especially. (cooperation by all throughout is necessary.
We are sure that the Government of the United States, which has shown
such keen interest in this matter, will participate vigorously and generously
with the Government of Great Britain in its fulfillment. There are many
ways in which help can be given.
Those who have opposed the admission of these unfortunate people into
Palestine should know that we have fully considered all that they have
put before us. We hope that they will look upon the situation again,
that they will appreciate the considerations which have led us to our
conclusion, and that above all, if they cannot see their way to help,
at least they will not make the position of these sufferers more difficult.
Principles of Government:
No Arab, No Jewish State
Recommendation No. 3. In order to
dispose, once and for all, of the exclusive claims of Jews
and Arabs to Palestine, we regard it as essential that a
clear statement of the following principles should be made:
I. That Jew shall not dominate Arab and Arab shall not dominate Jew
in Palestine. II. That Palestine shall be neither a Jewish state nor
an Arab state. III. That the form of government ultimately to be established,
shall, under international guarantees, fully protect and preserve the
interests in the Holy Land of Christendom and of the Moslem and Jewish
Thus Palestine must ultimately become a state which guards the rights
and interests of Moslems, Jews and Christians alike; and accords to
the inhabitants, as a whole, the fullest measure of self-government,
consistent with the three paramount principles set forth above.
Throughout the long and bloody struggle of Jew and Arab for dominance
in Palestine, each crying fiercely: "This land is mine"- except
for the brief reference in the Report of the Royal Commission (hereinafter
referred to as the Peel Report) and the little evidence, written and
oral, that we received on this point-the great interest of the Christian
World in Palestine has been completely overlooked, glossed over or brushed
We, therefore, emphatically declare that Palestine is a Holy Land,
sacred-to Christian, to Jew and to Moslem alike; and because it is a
Holy Land, Palestine is not, and can never become, a land which any
race or religion can justly claim as its very own.
We further, in the same emphatic way, affirm that the fact that it
is the Holy Land, sets Palestine completely apart from other lands,
and dedicates it to the precepts and practices of the Brotherhood of
Man, not those of narrow nationalism.
For another reason, in the light of its long history, and particularly
its history of the last thirty years, Palestine cannot be regarded as
either a purely Arab or a purely Jewish land.
The Jews have a historic connection with the country. The Jewish National
Home, though embodying a minority of the population, is today a reality
established under international guarantee. It has a right to continued
existence, protection and development.
Yet Palestine is not, and never can be, a purely Jewish land. It lies
at the crossroads of the Arab world. Its Arab population, descended
from long-time inhabitants of the area, rightly look upon Palestine
as their homeland.
It is therefore neither just nor practicable that Palestine should
become either an Arab State, in which an Arab majority would control
the destiny of a Jewish minority, or a Jewish State, in which a Jewish
majority would control that of an Arab minority. In neither case would
minority guarantees afford adequate protection for the subordinated
A Palestinian put the matter thus: "In the hearts of us Jews there
has always been a fear that some day this country would be turned into
an Arab State and the Arabs would rule over us. This fear has at times
reached the proportions of terror . . . Now this same feeling of fear
has started up in the hearts of Arabs . . . fear lest the Jews acquire
the ascendancy and rule over them."
Palestine, then, must be established as a country in which the legitimate
national aspirations of both Jews and Arabs can be reconciled, without
either side fearing the ascendancy of the other. In our view this cannot
be done under any form of constitution in which a mere numerical majority
is decisive, since it is precisely the struggle for a numerical majority
which bedevils Arab-Jewish relations. To ensure genuine self-government
for both the Arab and the Jewish communities, this struggle must be
made purposeless by the constitution itself.
Mandate and United Nations
Recommendation No. 4. We have reached
the conclusion that the hostility between Jews and Arabs
and, in particular, the determination of each to achieve
domination, if necessary by violence. make it almost certain
that, now and for some time to come, any attempt to establish
either an independent Palestinian State or independent Palestinian
States would result in civil strife such as might threaten
the peace of the world.
We therefore recommend that, until this hostility disappears, the Government
of Palestine be continued as at present under mandate pending the execution
of a trusteeship agreement under the United Nations.
We recognize that in view of the powerful forces both Arab and Jewish,
operating from outside Palestine, the task of Great Britain, as Mandatory,
has not been easy. The Peel Commission declared in 1937 that the Mandate
was unworkable, and the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League
of Nations thereupon pointed out that it became almost unworkable once
it was publicly declared to be so by such a body. Two years later the
British Government, having come to the conclusion that the alternative
of partition proposed by the Peel Commission was also unworkable, announced
their intention of taking steps to terminate the Mandate by the establishment
of an independent Palestine State. Our recommendations are based on
what we believe at this stage to be as fair a measure of justice to
all as we can find in view of what has gone before and of all that has
been done. We recognize that they are not in accord with the claims
of either party, and furthermore that they involve a departure from
the recent policy of the Mandatory. We recognize that, if they are adopted,
they will involve a long period of trusteeship, which will mean a very
heavy burden for any single Government to undertake, a burden which
would be lightened if the difficulties were appreciated and the Trustee
had the support of other members of the United Nations.
Equality of Standards
Recommendation No. 5. Looking towards
a form of ultimate self-government, consistent with the three
principles laid down in Recommendation No. 3, we recommend
that the mandatory or trustee should proclaim the principle
that Arab economic, educational and political advancement
in Palestine is of equal importance with that of the Jews;
and should at once prepare measures designed to bridge the
gap which now exists and raise the Arab standard of living
to that of the Jews; and so bring the two peoples to a full
appreciation of their common interest and common destiny
in the land where both belong.
Our examination of conditions in Palestine led us to the conclusion
that one of the chief causes of friction is the great disparity between
the Jewish and Arab standards of living. Even under conditions of war,
which brought considerable financial benefits to the Arabs, this disparity
has not been appreciably reduced. Only by a deliberate and carefully
planned policy on the part of the Mandatory can the Arab standard of
living be raised to that of the Jews. In stressing the need for such
a policy we would particularly call attention to the discrepancies between
the social services, including hospitals, available in Palestine for
Jews and Arabs.
We fully recognize that the Jewish social services are financed to
a very great extent by the Jewish community in Palestine, with the assistance
of outside Jewish organizations; and we would stress that nothing should
be done which would bring these social services down to the level of
those provided for the Arabs, or halt the constant improvements now
being made in them.
We suggest that consideration be given to the advisability of encouraging
the formation by the Arabs of an Arab community on the lines of the
Jewish community which now largely controls and finances Jewish social
services. The Arabs will have to rely, to far greater extent than the
Jews, on financial aid from the Government. But the Jews of Palestine
should accept the necessity that taxation, raised from both Jews and
Arabs, will have to be spent very largely on the Arabs on order to bridge
the gap which now exists between the standard of living of the two peoples.
Future Immigration Policy
Recommendation No. 6. We recommend
that, pending the early reference to the United Nations and
the execution of a trusteeship agreement, the mandatory should
administer Palestine according to the mandate which declares
with regard to immigration that "The administration
of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position
of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall
facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions".
We have recommended the admission of 100,000 immigrants, victims of
Nazi persecution, as soon as possible. We now deal with the position
after the admission of that number. We cannot look far into the future.
We cannot construct a yardstick for annual immigration. Until a Trusteeship
Agreement is executed it is our clear opinion that Palestine should
be administered in accordance with the terms of the Mandate quoted above.
Further than that we cannot go in the form of a recommendation. In
this disordered world speculation as to the economic position of any
country a few years ahead would be a hazardous proceeding. It is particularly
difficult to predict what, after a few years have passed, will be the
economic and political condition of Palestine. We hope that the present
friction and turbulence will soon die away and be replaced by an era
of peace, absent so long from the Holy Land; that the Jew and Arab will
soon realize that collaboration is to their mutual advantage-but no
one can say how long this will take.
The possibility of the country sustaining a largely increased population
at a decent standard of living depends on its economic future, which
in turn depends largely on whether or not plans referred to in Recommendation
No. 8 can be brought to fruition.
The Peel Commission stated that political as well as economic considerations
have to be taken into account in regard to immigration, and recommended
a "political high level" of 12,000 a year. We cannot recommend
the fixing of a minimum or of a maximum for annual immigration in the
future. There are too many uncertain factors.
We desire, however, to state certain considerations which we agree
should be taken into account in determining what number of immigrants
there should be in any period. It is the right of every independent
nation to determine in the interests of its people the number of immigrants
to be admitted to its lands. Similarly it must, we think, be conceded
that it should be the right of the Government of Palestine to decide,
having regard to the well-being of all the people of Palestine, the
number of immigrants to be admitted within any given period.
In Palestine there is the Jewish National Home, created in consequence
of the Balfour Declaration. Some may think that Declaration was wrong
and should not have been made; some that it was a conception on a grand
scale and that effect can be given to one of the most daring and significant
colonization plans in history. Controversy as to which view is right
is fruitless. The National Home is there. Its roots are deep in the
soil of Palestine. It cannot be argued out of existence; neither can
the achievements of the Jewish pioneers.
The Government of Palestine in having regard to the well-being of all
the people of Palestine cannot ignore the interests of so large a section
of the population. It cannot ignore the achievements of the last quarter
of a century. No Government of Palestine doing its duty to the people
of that land can fail to do its best not only to maintain a National
Home, but also to foster its proper development, and such development
must in our view involve immigration.
The well-being of all the people of Palestine, be they Jews, Arabs,
or neither, must be the governing consideration. We reject the view
that there shall be no further Jewish immigration into Palestine with-:
out Arab acquiescence, a view which would result in the Arab dominating
the Jew. We also reject the insistent Jewish demand that forced Jewish
immigration must proceed apace in order to produce as quickly as possible
a Jewish majority and a Jewish State. The well-being of the Jews must
not be subordinated to that of the Arabs; nor that of the Arabs to the
Jews. The well-being of both, the economic situation of Palestine as
a whole, the degree of execution of plans for further development, all
have to be carefully considered in deciding the number of immigrants
for any particular period.
Palestine is a land sacred to three faiths and must not become the
land of any one of them to the exclusion of the others, and Jewish immigration
for the development of the National Home must not become a policy of
discrimination against other immigrants. Any person, therefore, who
desires and is qualified under applicable laws to enter Palestine must
not be refused admission or subjected to discrimination on the ground
that he is not a Jew. All provisions respecting immigration must be
drawn, executed and applied with that principle always firmly in mind.
Further, while we recognize that any Jew who enters Palestine in accordance
with its laws is there of right, we expressly disapprove of the position
taken in some Jewish quarters that Palestine has in some way been ceded
or granted as their State to the Jews of the world, that every Jew everywhere
is, merely because he is a Jew, a citizen of Palestine and therefore
can enter Palestine as of right without regard to conditions imposed
by the Government upon entry, and that therefore there can be no illegal
immigration of Jews into Palestine. We declare and affirm that any immigrant
Jew who enters Palestine contrary to its laws is an illegal immigrant.
Recommendation No. 7. (a) We recommend
that the Land Transfers Regulations of 1940 be rescinded
and replaced by regulations based on a policy of freedom
in the sale, lease or use of land, irrespective of race,
community or creed, and providing adequate protection for
the interests of small owners and tenant cultivators; (b)
We further recommend that steps be taken to render nugatory
and to prohibit provisions in conveyances, leases and agreements
relating to land which stipulate that only members of one
races community or creed may be employed on or about or in
connection therewith; (c) We recommend that the Government
should exercise such close supervision over the Holy Places
and localities such as the Sea of Galilee and its vicinity
as will protect them from desecration and from uses which
offend the conscience of religious people, and that such
laws as are required for this purpose be enacted forthwith.
The Land Transfers Regulations of 1940 sought to protect the Arab tenant
and small owner by prohibiting the sale of land save to a Palestinian
Arab in one zone, by restricting such sales in another, and allowing
unrestricted sale of land only in the third zone. Their effect has been
such as to amount to discrimination against the Jews; their tendency
is to segregate and keep separate Arabs and Jews. In the zones where
sales are prohibited or restricted, they have protected the Arab from
the temptation to dispose of his land, on which his livelihood and that
of his family so often depend, for a sum out of all proportion to its
real value. Though made with the object of maintaining the existing
standard of living of Arab cultivators, and of preventing the creation
of a considerable landless Arab population, they afford no protection
to the Arab living in the free zone. He may sell his land for a fantastic
price and add to the congestion in the other zones by moving there.
An Arab living a short distance away, just across the zone boundary,
cannot obtain anything approximating the same sum for land of equal
We are opposed to any legislation or restrictions discriminating against
Jew or Arab. We recognize the need for protecting the Arab small owner
and tenant, for providing against a large landless Arab population,
for maintaining, indeed for raising, the Arab standard of living. This
necessity was also recognized in the Peel Report (Chapter IX, paragraph
10) which endorsed the following principles of earlier reports: that
(i) unless there is a marked change in the methods of cultivation the
land in Palestine is unable to support a large increase in population,
and (it) there is already congestion on the land in the hill districts.
Those principles are as true, if not truer, today.
We do not believe that the necessary protection for the Arab can be
provided only by confining the Jew to particular portions of Palestine.
Such a policy, suggested by the Peel Commission, is consistent with
their proposed solution, partition, but scarcely with that put forward
The leases granted by the Jewish National Fund contain a provision
that no labor other than Jewish shall be employed by the lessee on or
about or in connection with the land subject to the lease, and a further
provision that a sub-lease shall contain similar terms.
As we have said we are opposed to such discrimination. We appreciate
that one of the reasons for such provisions was to secure employment
for Jewish immigrants on the land. We do not think that object justifies
the retention of such stipulations which are harmful to cooperation
and understanding between Arab and Jew.
Land acquired by the Jewish National Fund or for a Waqf by the Supreme
Moslem Council becomes inalienable. The Peel Commission expressed the
view in its Report (Chapter IX, paragraph 80) that caution on the part
of the Government in disposing of - State domain to these bodies was
desirable. The situation requires watching.
It would not be to the interests of the inhabitants of Palestine if
too large a proportion of the land should become inalienable whether
held by one organization or another.
In the small, thickly populated country of Palestine, with its rapidly
increasing population, it is in the interest of Jews and Arabs alike
that all- land should be developed and put to the fullest possible use.
The settlement of title to land should proceed as quickly as possible
and the development of State lands, not required for public purposes
and capable of use, should be facilitated.
The Holy Land of Palestine contains within its borders and throughout
its territories places sacred to the followers of three great religions.
The "Lido" with its dancing and swing music on the shore of
the Sea of (Galilee offends the sensibilities of many Christian people.
Reports came to our notice of other projects the completion of which
would be equally objectionable. We therefore feel it right by our recommendation
to emphasize the necessity for close supervision and to recommend the
strengthening of the law should that be required.
Recommendation No. 8. Various plans
for large-scale agricultural and industrial development in
Palestine have been presented for our consideration; these
projects, if successfully carried into effect, could not
only greatly enlarge the capacity of the country to support
an increasing population but also raise the living standards
of Jew and Arab alike.
We are not in a position to assess the soundness of these specific
plans; but we cannot state too strongly that, however technically feasible
they may be, they will fail unless there is peace in Palestine. Moreover
their full success requires the willing cooperation of adjacent Arab
states, since they are not merely Palestinian projects. We recommend
therefore that the examination, discussion and execution of these plans
be conducted, from the start and throughout, in full consultation and
cooperation not only with the Jewish Agency but also with the governments
of the neighboring Arab States directly affected.
The building of the Jewish economy has enjoyed the advantage of abundant
capital, provided on such terms as to make economic return a secondary
consideration. The Arabs have had no such advantage. In principle, we
do not think it wise or appropriate that plans, such as the project
for a Jordan Valley Authority, should, if judged technically sound,
be undertaken by any private organization, even though that organization,
as suggested by the Jewish Agency, should give an assurance of Arab
benefits and Arab participation in the management.
Such proposals, by reason of their magnitude and far-reaching effects,
should be conceived as public projects, suitable for Government enterprise
and accepted only provided that they are calculated to benefit all parts
of the population. But the undertaking of a worthwhile project should
not be held up merely from financial considerations which could be overcome
with the aid of semi-philanthropic sources. Some-compromise should not
be impossible which would combine Jewish finance with Government responsibility
We welcome the knowledge that the Government of Palestine has itself
prepared programs of postwar development; we could wish that means might
be found for projects of larger range and on a more ambitious scale;
but we recognize that until political peace is restored there is great
difficulty in raising the necessary funds whether from revenue or borrowing.
Meanwhile it is suggested that the Government should acquire powers,
at present lacking, to investigate fully the extent of the country's
water resources, to control the use of underground water and to determine
rights to surface water.
We doubt whether Palestine can expand its economy to the full, having
regard to its limited natural resources, without a full and free interchange
of goods and services with neighboring countries. In some respects,
indeed, as in certain projects involving water supply, their active
collaboration is indispensable to full development on an economic basis.
The removal of Article 18 of the Mandate would clear the way to those
comprehensive tariff and trade agreements, not conflicting with any
international obligations that might be accepted by the Mandatory or
Trustee, which could ultimately lead to something like a customs union-an
objective already in mind as between the surrounding countries of the
Recommendation No. 9. We recommend
that, in the interests of the conciliation of the two peoples
and of general improvement of the Arab standard of living,
the educational system of both Jews and Arabs be reformed,
including the introduction of compulsory education within
a reasonable time.
In Chapter XVI of the Peel Report, the bad features of the educational
system of Palestine and the great disparity between the money spent
on Arab and Jewish education were pointed out. The Report also emphasized
that both Jewish and Arab education in Palestine were nationalistic
in character. Particular attention was called to nationalist propaganda
in Arab schools.
Our investigations disclosed that today the Jewish schools also- controlled
and largely financed by the Jewish community-are imbued with a fiery
spirit of nationalism. They have become most effective agencies for
inculcating a spirit of aggressive Hebrew nationalism. We would urge
most strongly that adequate control must be exercised by the Government
over the education of both Jews and Arabs, in order to do away with
the present excited emphasis on racialism and the perversion of education
for propaganda purposes. The Government should ensure, by a careful
supervision of text books and curricula, and by inspection of schools
that education contributes to the conciliation of the two peoples.
We believe further that a large share of responsibility for Arab education
might well be assumed by an Arab community, similar to the Jewish community
already established in Palestine. But if the Arab and Jewish communities
are to set themselves the goal of compulsory education, a much higher
proportion of the annual Palestinian budget must be devoted to education
than heretofore, most of which will be spent on Arab education. This
will only be possible if the proportion of the budget now devoted to
security can be substantially reduced.
We would also stress the urgent necessity of increasing the facilities
for secondary, technical and university education available to Arabs.
The disparity between the standard of living of the two peoples, to
which we have already drawn attention, is very largely due to the fact
that the Jewish professional and middle class so largely outnumbers
that of the Arabs. This difference can only be removed by a very substantial
increase in the facilities for higher education available to Arabs.
The Need for Peace in
Recommendation No. 10. We recommend
that, if this Report is adopted, it should be made clear
beyond all doubt to both Jews and Arabs that any attempt
from either side, by threats of violence, by terrorism, or
by the organization or use of illegal armies to prevent its
execution, will be resolutely suppressed.
Furthermore, we express the view that the
Jewish Agency should at once resume active cooperation with
the Mandatory in the suppression of terrorism and of illegal
immigration, and in the maintenance of that law and order
throughout Palestine which is essential for the good of all,
including the new immigrants.
1. We are required in paragraph 2 of our terms of reference
"to examine the position of the Jews in those countries in Europe
where they have been the victims of Nazi and Fascist persecution, and
the practical measures taken or contemplated to be taken in those countries
to enable them to live free from discrimination and oppression, and
to make estimates of those who wish or will be impelled by their conditions
to migrate to Palestine or other countries outside Europe".
2. In order to fulfil our task within the allotted period of 120 days
and on account of the urgency of the problem, we divided into subcommittees,
which between the 8th and 28th February, 1946, visited the American,
British and French zones of Germany and Austria. Subcommittees also
visited France, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Greece and Switzerland.
Circumstances did not permit us to go to Hungary, Rumania, Yugoslavia,
Bulgaria or the Russian zone of Austria, and we did not visit the Russian
zone of Germany after we were informed by the Deputy Commander of the
Soviet occupation forces that in that area there was no special Jewish
3. There are about 98,000 Jews from other countries-displaced persons-now
living in Germany, Austria and Italy, and a small additional number
scattered throughout the countries of Europe. We found that the majority
of these Jews in the American and British zones of Germany and Austria
were living in assembly centers, once known as "camps", where
accommodation and maintenance were provided by the military authorities.
The Jewish occupants of these centers are not all "displaced persons,"
that is to say, persons outside their national boundaries by reason
of the war. Since the end of the war there has been a very considerable
movement of Jews into the American and British zones of Germany and
Austria. It is estimated that, so far, some 30,000 have come from Poland.
There has also been some migration, though on a smaller scale, from
Rumania and Hungary; this shows signs of increasing. Since we left Europe
there has been a slight restriction in the movement of migrants generally,
but the possibility that there may be a considerable increase in the
months to come must be borne in mind.
The officer commanding the American forces suggested the following
as the reasons for the movement into the American zone of Germany: the
expectation of generous treatment, the probability of finding relations
there, the special activity in America on behalf of Jewish relief, and
the feeling that the American zone was on the shortest route to Palestine.
Detailed information covering the position of Jews in European countries
is given in Appendixes II and III.
4. The nature of the accommodation of displaced Jews differed widely
in character. In some centers barracks were used; in others, huts, hotels,
apartment houses and cottages. For example, in Hohne, commonly referred
to as Belsen, in the British zone of Germany where 9,000 Jews were accommodated,
the buildings were barracks formerly occupied by a unit of the German
Army. At Bindermickel, in the American zone of Austria, flats built
to house workers in the neighboring Gloering factory had been taken
over, and in the south of Italy entire seaside villages had been made
available for that purpose.
5. In the American and British zones, where the bulk of these persons
were found, they were accommodated in separate centers from other displaced
persons, or segregated voluntarily within a center. The maximum of self-administration
is encouraged and there is usually a center committee which is responsible
for directing group activities and for dealing with complaints. In many
centers the occupants have their own courts for dealing with offenses
and their own police.
6. UNRRA has taken an increasing part in the relief and rehabilitation
of these Jews. In the autumn of 1944, it began to operate in Italy,
and in February, 1945, took over administrative responsibility for the
larger centers in the south of Italy. In the summer and latter part
of 1945, it was assisting the Army in the American zones of Germany
and Austria. At the end of February last, UNRRA assumed responsibility
for the internal administration of Hohne and it now administers other
centers in the British and French zones of Germany and of Austria.
Most centers in the United States zones are now operated by UNRRA teams
as agents for the Army, which provides the accommodation' food, clothing
and medical supplies. Voluntary agencies specially concerned with Jewish
persons have been invited by military authorities and UNRRA to give
assistance and the American Jewish Joint Distribution (committee, the
Jewish Agency, and the Jewish Committee for Relief Abroad now have representatives
in the centers. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee provides
specialists to assist with health, welfare and other services such as
the supply of Kosher food, clothes, and material for spiritual and educational
life. The Jewish Agency furnishes rehabilitation and resettlement services,
particularly in regard to problems concerning projected emigration to
7. We saw many conditions in the centers that might be criticized,
owing to circumstances which were not always within the power of the
military authorities to improve. There were lack of furniture, unsatisfactory
cooking arrangements, overcrowding and a shortage of beds and bedding.
We have no doubt that many of these conditions have been remedied and
we saw evidence of the wholehearted effort of our authorities to do
everything possible toward the well-being of these unfortunate people.
Nevertheless, at the best, most of the centers could not be more than
the place in which the occupants were given shelter, food and clothing.
While everything possible was being done for their physical needs, there
was little that could be done to improve their morale and relieve their
mental anguish. Coming from the horrors of Nazi persecution, it was
evident that they still felt themselves outcasts and unwanted.
It is perhaps unfortunate in some respects that nearly all of these
settlements were in enemy territory. The displaced Jews see around them
Germans living a family life in their own homes and outwardly little
affected by the war, while they, usually the last surviving members
of their families, are living still, as it seemed to them, under restrictions.
8. On the whole, having regard to the many problems with which they
have had to contend, we feel that military authorities, UNRRA, and the
various relief organizations concerned have every reason to be proud
of what they have done to succor these remnants of Nazi persecution.
In particular, we would like to pay our tribute to the men and women
who are working so often in such depressing circumstances to alleviate
the sufferings of these unfortunate people.
9. In the cold print of a report it is not possible accurately to portray
our feelings with regard to the suffering deliberately inflicted by
the Germans on those Jews who fell into their hands. The visit of our
subcommittee to the ghetto in Warsaw has left on their minds an impression
which will forever remain. Areas of that city on which for" merry
stood large buildings are now a mass of brick rubble, covering the bodies
of numberless unknown Jews. Adjoining the ghetto there still stands
an old barracks used as a place for killing Jews. Viewing this in the
cold grey light of a February day one could imagine the depths of human
suffering there endured. In the courtyards of the barracks were pits
containing human ash and human bones. The effect of that place on Jews
who came searching, so often in vain, for any trace of their dear ones,
can be left to the imagination.
When we remember that at Maidanek and Oswiecim and many other centers
a deliberate policy of extermination, coupled with indescribable suffering,
was inflicted upon the Jews, of whom it is estimated that certainly
not less than five millions perished, we can well understand and sympathize
with the intense desire of the surviving Jews to depart from localities
so full of such poignant memories. It must also be understood that this
happened in what were regarded as civilized communities.
10. There can scarcely be a Jew in Europe who has not suffered in greater
or less degree either himself or herself or by the loss of relatives.
Many non-Jews of all nationalities also suffered in the concentration
camps and many of them died. This must not be forgotten. We are concerned
in this report with the living survivors of European Jewry. We could
harrow the feelings of those who read this Report by repetition of accounts
we received of German frightfulness. We do not propose to do so. We
wish to present a picture of the general situation as we saw it. Few
of the older people survived; not many children, for special efforts
seem to have been made to destroy them. The majority of the children
who survived are orphans. The majority of the remaining survivors are
young and middle-aged people. The latter escaped death only by their
strong physique enabling them to sustain either the ordeals of forced
labor in concentration camps, or the privations accompanying hiding.
The young people have had little or no education save that of cruelty.
It is not too much to say that they all owe their lives to liberation
by the United Nations.
11. These Jewish survivors have not emerged from their ordeals unscathed
either physically or mentally. It is rare indeed to find a complete
Jewish family. Those who return to their old homes find them destroyed
or occupied by others, their businesses gone or else in other hands.
They search for relatives, frequently undertaking long journeys on hearing
a rumor that one has been seen in another part of the country or in
another center. Such was the system of the Germans that it is difficult
for them ever to establish the death of their dear ones. They are faced
also with very great difficulties in securing the restitution of their
property. In Germany and in Poland, which were often described to us
as "the cemetery of European Jewry," a Jew may see in the
face of any man he looks upon the murderer of his family. It is understandable
that few find themselves able to face such conditions
12. In Poland, Hungary and Rumania, the chief desire is to get out,
to get away somewhere where there is a chance of building up a flew
life, of finding some happiness, of living in peace and in security.
In Germany also, where the number of Jews has been reduced from about
500,000 in 1933 to about 20,000 now, and most traces of Jewish life
have been destroyed, there is a similar desire on the part of a large
proportion of the survivors to make a home elsewhere, preferably in
Palestine. In Czechoslovakia, particularly in Bohemia and Moravia, and
in Austria, the position in regard to the reestablishment of the Jewish
populations is more hopeful. The vast majority of the Jewish displaced
persons and migrants, however, believe that the only place which offers
a prospect is Palestine.
13. Whatever the previous position in life of those in the centers,
from a judge in Memel to a young man who by reason of years of persecution
has never been able to earn his livelihood, there is the widespread
feeling that they have been brought to the same level of mere existence
and homelessness. The first sense of happiness, following release from
concentration camps and slave labor, has passed. Now they are conscious
only of the constraint of their camp life, even though it is under new
and more favorable conditions.
14. Work to them is associated with concentration camps and slave labor.
Their aim then had been to do as little as they could to assist their
persecutors, and now they are unwilling to engage in any activity which
is not designed to fit them for a new life in Palestine. Even though
they have spent a considerable time in a center, they still regard themselves
as merely in transit to that country and, generally speaking, show little
willingness even to assist in improving the conditions in which they
are living. Often their days are spent in aimless wandering around.
On the other hand, wherever facilities are provided for practical training
for life in Palestine they eagerly take advantage of them.
15. We were deeply impressed by the tragedy of the situation of these
Jewish survivors in the centers and by the tragedy of their purposeless
existence. Many months have passed since they were freed from Nazi oppression
and brutality, but they themselves feel that they are as far as ever
from restoration to normal life. We consider that these men, women and
children have a moral claim on the civilized world. Their pitiable condition
has evoked a world-wide sympathy, but sympathy has so far taken the
form only of providing them with the bare essentials of food, clothing
and shelter. It seems to them that the only real chance of rebuilding
their shattered lives and of becoming normal men and women again is
that offered by the Jewish people in Palestine. Even though many might
be glad to join relatives and friends in other countries, the doors
of those countries at present appear to be closed to them. They are
resentful because they are prevented from going to Palestine. In the
meantime, as time passes, the new ties between those who are sharing
this common frustration become stronger and, obsessed by their apparent
rejection by other peoples of the world, their firm desire is to remain
together in the future. It is this sense of cohesion, born of common
suffering, which doubtless accounts for, if it does not wholly excuse,
the firm resistance offered to proposals by competent bodies to remove
young children to happier surroundings in other countries for careful
rehabilitation. Men and women are marrying in the centers in increasing
number, and, together with other members of the center communities,
they wait with growing impatience for the time when they can go to the
only friendly place they know.
16. If, as we hope, our recommendation for the authorization of immigration
certificates is accepted, the great majority of the Jewish displaced
persons whose situation requires urgent action will be provided for
and it will be possible to achieve the desirable end of closing the
Jewish displaced persons centers and thereby discourage the further
migration of Jews in Europe. Jews have wandered through Europe almost
as they wish, from center to center, zone to zone, and country to country.
Such movements have added to the difficulty of tracing relatives, as
has the practice, acquired by some during the war, of using various
names. They have also imposed a heavy burden on the authorities who
have constantly had to improvise reception arrangements. Stabilization
will give sympathetic governments a better opportunity of implementing
national schemes of resettlement and will encourage the Jews themselves
to give more careful consideration to such opportunities. Moreover,
the resources of the Allied military authorities are limited and it
is necessary that their commitments in connection with refugees be reduced.
17. We have also been asked to examine "the practical measures
taken or contemplated to be taken in those countries to enable them
to live free from discrimination and oppression". The governments
of the countries we visited expressed their opposition to anti-Semitism,
but this is a poison which after years of infection takes time to eradicate.
We hope that their efforts will be successful. We would urge also that
the United Nations should exert all possible pressure in Germany and
Austria to eliminate all trace of discrimination against Jews or resistance
to their rehabilitation.
18. Further, a most important practical step that can be taken to assist
the Jews in Europe who wish to remain is to secure the speedy restitution
of their property. We realize that there are difficulties, but nonetheless
we do not think that all that is possible is being done. Some governments
have passed the necessary legislation; others are about to do so or
have just done so. Many months have passed since the war has ended and
from our inquiries it appears that only a few Jews have yet recovered
what is properly theirs.
Further, we think that the governments of the countries where the Jews
were persecuted should themselves provide assistance in the reestablishment
of those Jews who seek to remain. This assistance might take the form
of providing property in lieu of restitution.
19. Taking into account the possibility that an improvement in the
economic and political conditions in Europe may affect the attitudes
of those who now see no hope of reestablishing themselves in their countries,
we estimate that as many as 500,000 may wish or be impelled to emigrate
As described by many witnesses, a factor which has greatly increased
the urgent, indeed frantic, desire of the Jews of Europe to emigrate
is the feeling that all doors have been shut to them and that there
is no exit.
We feel that our recommendations both in
regard to the authorization of certificates for admission
to Palestine, and in regard to the relaxation of immigration
laws generally as an emergency and humanitarian measure,
will not only bring succor to those to whom certificates
are granted but also in great measure relieve the feelings
of urgency with which the Jews look beyond Europe. They will
be encouraged either to resettle themselves in Europe, if
that is possible, or wait patiently in their respective countries
until their time has come to leave.
1. The Peel Commission declared in one of the final
chapters of its Report: "Neither Arab nor Jew has any sense of
service to a single State . . . The conflict is primarily political,
though the fear of economic subjection to the Jews is also in Arab minds
. . . The conflict, indeed, is as much about the future as about the
present. Every intelligent Arab and Jew is forced to ask the question,
'Who in the end will govern Palestine ?' . . . for internal and external
reasons it seems probable that the situation, bad as it now is, will
grow worse. The conflict will go on, the gulf between Arabs and Jews
will widen." The Report concluded with a reference to "strife
and bloodshed in a thrice hallowed land."
2. It is nine years since the Peel Commission made its report. The
recommendations were unfulfilled, but the analysis of political conditions
remains valid and impressive. The gulf between the Arabs of Palestine
and the Arab world on the one side, and the Jews of Palestine and elsewhere
on the other has widened still further. Neither side seems at all disposed
at the present to make any sincere effort to reconcile either their
superficial or their fundamental differences. The Arabs view the Mandatory
Government with misgivings and anger. It is not only condemned verbally,
but attacked with bombs and firearms by organized bands of Jewish terrorists.
The Palestine Administration appears to be powerless to keep the situation
under control except by the display use of very large forces. Even if-the
total manpower in police and defense services were only half what it
is reputed to be, the political implications would still be deeply disturbing.
It reflects the honest fear of experienced officials that tomorrow may
produce circumstances in which military operations will be necessary.
3. Official data imply the gravity of the menacing problem. They show
that, apart from those convicted of terrorist activity, the number of
Jews held on suspicion averaged 450 during most of the year 1945 and
was 554 at the end of the year. The aggregate of persons in the whole-time
police and prisons service of Palestine in 1945 was about 15,000.
4. The financial tables provide additional evidence of the extent to
which the energies and money of the Government are devoted to the protection
of life and property. About L.P. 4,600,000* ($18,400,000) was spent
on "law and order" during the financial year 1944-45 as against
L.P. 550,000 ($2,200,000) in health and L.P. 700,000 ($2,800,000) on
education. Thus even from a budgetary point of view Palestine has developed
into a semi-military or police state. But, pending a substantial change
in the relations between the Government and the Jews and the Arabs,
the prospect of the kind of budget which characterizes a settled, civilized,
nongarrisoned and prosperous community is dark.
5. Arab political leadership is still in the hands of the small number
of families which were prominent in Ottoman times, of which the most
notable are the Husseinis. This family controls the most important of
the Arab political parties, the Palestine Arab Party, which was formally
organized in 1935. The objectives of this and of all Arab parties in
Palestine are the immediate stoppage of Jewish immigration, the immediate
prohibition of the sale of land to Jews, and the concession of independence
to a State in which the Arab majority would be dominant.
6. There has been no evidence that the Arab notables who appeared before
the Committee, and whom the Committee visited in several countries,
did not reflect accurately the views of their followers. The Arabic
press, for example, protests as vehemently as Arab spokesmen against
a Jewish influx of any kind, even if the certificates for admission
were confined to old men and women and to children rescued from German
death camps. In short, absolute, unqualified refusal of the Arabs to
acquiesce in the admission of a single Jew to Palestine is the outstanding
feature of Arab politics today; and the newly formed parties of the
Left, based on the embryonic trade-union movement, display as intransigent
a nationalism as the old leaders.
7. An additional reason for the insistence of the Palestinian Arabs
on immediate independence is their desire for full membership in the
newly formed Arab League. The Arabs of Palestine believe themselves
to be as fitted for self-government as are their neighbors in Syria
and Lebanon who obtained their independence during the Second World
War, and in Trans-Jordan which has since become an independent State.
The formation of the Arab League has given Arab leaders in Palestine
a greater confidence. They feel that the support of the whole Arab world
for their cause has now. been mobilized. Furthermore, the presence in
the United Nations of five Arab States, one of which is a member of
the Security Council, insures that the Arab case will not go by default
when the issue of Palestine is brought before the United Nations.
8. Just as the Arab political parties are unalterably opposed to Jewish
immigration, the various Jewish parties, even though some criticize
the idea of a Jewish State, are all united in their advocacy of unlimited
immigration, of the abolition of restrictions on the sale of land and
of the abrogation of the 1939 White Paper.
9. These parties accept the authority of the Jewish Agency which is
recognized by Great Britain, according to the terms of the Mandate;
as the instrument of Jews throughout the world. Article 4 authorizes
the Agency as follows:
"An appropriate Jewish agency shall be recognised 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 and the interests of the
Jewish population in Palestine, and, subject always to the control of
the Administration, to assist and take part in the development of the
"The Zionist Organisation, so long as its organization and constitution
are in the opinion of the Mandatory appropriate, shall be recognised
as such agency. It shall 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 Jewish national home." *
10. At first the Agency gave the Palestine Government effective cooperation.
With its large revenue, its able administrators, advisers and stay,
and its manifold activities, the Agency became finally and still remains
the most potent nongovernmental authority in Palestine and indeed in
the Middle East. The Peel Commission described it as "a Government
existing side by side with the Mandatory Government". The description
is even more accurate today. The Agency is now generally believed to
have unofficial, but nonetheless powerful, influence over Haganah-the
so-called Jewish Army-the strength of which is estimated as over 60,000.
The Jews credit the Agency with most of the improvements in Palestine
since the First World War. Unquestionably it has been a tremendous power
for good and has been indispensable to their protection and progress.
11. But the Agency has become so powerful and its prestige has been
so far enhanced by its accomplishments, that its firm refusal to cooperate
in carrying out the White Paper has caused the Government now to regard
it as a distinctly dangerous influence. Viewed from the standpoint of
the Palestine Government, it appears as a force for disunity, partly
for reasons outside the Agency's control, partly by reason of its own
activities. It has been a party to activities calculated to lead to
estrangement between the Yishuv on the one hand and the Palestine Government
and the Mandatory on the other, and to the consolidation of active resistance
by the Yishuv to the Government's authority. These activities have undermined
the authority of the Administration.
12. Many criticisms of the Jewish Agency have been made before the
Committee in open and closed sessions, by Arabs and officials of the
Palestine Government as well as by Agudath Israel and some individual
Jews. The Agency's customary functions, which are centered on the establishment,
maintenance and growth of a National Home for the Jews, were not condemned.
That is easily explainable, for it has been one of the most successful
colonizing instruments in history. But the present relations between
the Government and the Jewish Agency must be corrected if the general
welfare is to be promoted and the cause of peace in that crucial area
of the world is to be protected. Unless this is achieved, Palestine
might well be plunged into a civil war, involving the whole Middle East.
13. Neither Jews nor Arabs have been included in the highest ranks
of the Administration. British officials hold all the important positions.
They exercise as much authority as in a country where the mass of the
inhabitants are in a primitive stage of civilization. District and local
officials, Arab and Jew alike, bear only limited discretion and responsibility,
even in their own communities. The Palestine Administration is blamed
by Arabs and Jews alike for this situation.
14. In consequence of these conditions, the Holy Land is scarred by
shocking incongruities. Army tents, tanks, a grim fort and barracks
overlook the waters of the Sea of Galilee. Blockhouses, road barriers
manned by soldiers, barbed wire entanglements, tanks in the streets,
peremptory searches, seizures and arrests on suspicion, bombings by
gangsters and shots in the night are now characteristic. A curfew is
enforced, and the press of Palestine is subject to censorship. Palestine
has become a garrisoned but restive land, and there is little probability
that the tranquility dear to people of good will, Jews, Moslems, and
(Christians alike, will be restored until vastly better relations are
established among the principal elements of the community, including
the Administration. With that assured, the various groups could be united
on the basis of those fundamentals which are common to civilized people
who wish to live their own lives, undeterred and unterrified by the
possibility that first one faction and then another will rise in open
or covert rebellion against one another, or against the Government itself.
* During our visit to Palestine and in the preparation of this Report,
we were greatly assisted by the two volumes of the Survey of Palestine
which the Government compiled at short notice for our use, and which
contain a great deal of new statistical and other information. Back
*A Palestine pound is equivalent to a pound sterling. Back
* The Jewish Agency for Palestine was recognized
in 1930 in lieu of the Zionist Organization as the appropriate
Jewish agency under the terms of the Mandate. Back
1. Palestine, about the size of Wales or
the State of Vermont, is geographically an integral part
of Syria, having no natural frontier on the north. A marked
natural division within the country separates the rich soil
of the coastal strip and the plain of Esdraelon from the
rocky mountain areas, parched for a large part of the year,
and from the southern deserts. In the wide coastal plain
there are thriving towns-Acre, Haifa, Tel-Aviv, Jaffa and
Gaza-with ports and a variety of industries. Here, moreover,
is to be found intensive cultivation, by Arab and Jew alike,
with attention concentrated on the old and profitable pursuit
of citrus growing. The mountains contain not only desolate
areas of barren rock and deforested hillside, but also fertile
valleys and basins where cereals are grown; in addition remarkable
results have been achieved in the cultivation of olives,
vines and fruit trees on tiny terraced strips constructed
and maintained with great patience and skill. In summer the
hills are dry. In winter heavy rains tear away soil from
every hillside that is not adequately protected by terracing
or forest cover, and constant warfare has to be carried on
2. Nearly all the Jews of Palestine and almost half the Arabs live
in the plains, though these contain less than one-seventh of the total
area of Palestine, while the mountains and the southern deserts are
populated, apart from scattered Jewish colonies, exclusively by Arabs.
Both Arab and Jew put forward historical and cultural claims to the
whole of Palestine, and even the great deserts to the south, almost
rainless and with more rock than soil, are not uncontested. With a small,
semi-nomadic or nomadic Arab population, their emptiness appears to
the Jews as a challenge to their powers of colonization; and, despite
the unpromising outlook on any economic test, the Arabs regard proposals
for Jewish settlement as yet further evidence of the well-planned "creeping
conquest". Geography, indeed, partly explains the intransigent
claims of both sides to the whole country. The plains are too small
and the mountains too poor to subsist as independent economies.
3. The significance of Palestine in international affairs, apart from
its possible strategic importance, derives largely from the fact that
it lies across natural lines of communication. Major railway and road
communications pass through the country. It is on the route between
two great centers of Arab culture, Cairo and Damascus; between Egypt,
the administrative centre of the Arab League, and other member States;
and between Iraq and the newly independent State of Trans-Jordan and
their outlets to the Mediterranean; and it has great potential importance
in the air traffic of the future. Palestine is also deeply involved
in the business and politics of the international trade in oil; for,
although there are no wells in the country, a pipe-line delivers a stream
of crude oil to the great refineries at Haifa;and from there tankers
deliver it to countries around and beyond the Mediterranean. The American
concession in Saudi Arabia may produce another stream converging on
much the same point of distribution.
4. According to official estimates, the
population of Palestine grew from 750,000 at the census of
1922 to 1,765,000 at the end of 1944. In this period the
Jewish part of the population rose from 84,000 to 554,000,
and from 13 to 31 percent of the whole. Three-fourths of
this expansion of the Jewish community was accounted for
by immigration. Meanwhile the Arabs, though their proportion
of the total population was falling, had increased by an
even greater number-the Moslems alone from 589,000 to 1,061,000.*
Of this Moslem growth by 472,000, only 19,000 was accounted
for by immigration. The expansion of the Arab community by
natural increase has been in fact one of the most striking
features of Palestine's social history under the Mandate.
5. The present density of population in Palestine is officially estimated
at 179 per square mile. If the largely desert sub-district of Beersheba
is excluded from the calculation, the figure is 336.
6. The Committee obtained estimates of the probable future growth of
Palestine's population from Professor Notestein, Director of the Office
of Population Research at Princeton University, from Dr. D. V. Glass,
Research Secretary of the Population Investigation Committee in London,
and in Palestine from the Commissioner for Migration and Statistics
and the Government Statistician. The estimates for the non-Jewish population
made by the last-named, on various hypotheses but with the constant
assumption that there would be no non-Jewish immigration or emigration,
ranged from 1,652,000 to 1,767,000 at the end of 1959. Professor Notestein,
also assuming the absence of non-Jewish migration, extended his calculations
to 1970 and arrived at a figure of 1,876,000.
The Commissioner for Migration predicted an Arab population of 1,565,000
in 1960 and 1,820,000 in 1970. The highest estimates were those of Dr.
Glass, who anticipated a settled Moslem population (i. e. excluding
the Christian Arabs) of 1,636,000 in 1961 and 2,204,000 in 1971. For
the probable Jewish population at the end of 1959, on the supposition
that no immigration occurred in the interval, the Government Statistician
put forward the figure of 664,000.
7. The Jewish community, in the absence of immigration, would form
a steadily diminishing proportion of the total population. This is clear
from the comparative rates of natural increase, shown in the table below:
AVERAGE ANNUAL RATE OF NATURAL INCREASE PER 1,000
The high Arab rate of natural increase is accounted for by a fertility
which is among the highest recorded in the world, and by the disappearance
under the Mandate of such counter-balancing factors as conscription
for the Ottoman army and a high incidence of malaria. The fact that
the rate is still rising seems to be due principally to declining mortality,
particularly infant mortality.
8. On the economic side Palestine is a
country of marked contrasts. While the Arabs have remained
preponderantly rural, in the Jewish sector, along with the
"close settlement on the land" which had been laid
down as a guiding principle of Jewish colonization, there
has been, particularly in later years, a remarkable industrial
development. Moreover, the new Jewish colonization has assumed
more and more the character of a socialist experiment. For
though at many points it retains, particularly in urban industry
and trade, the form of private enterprise, it is everywhere
guided and supported-in finance, technical advice and other
matters-by the great complex of Jewish undertakings which
co-operate in the building of the National Home.
9. The passage of years has only sharpened the contrast in structure
between the two economies. On the Arab side, notwithstanding some development
in co-operation and trade unionism, individualism is still characteristic.
In agriculture small-scale peasant farming, still largely on the subsistence
principle, remains predominant; and the many signs now visible of enterprise
and expansion in Arab industry conform to the same pattern of strong
individualism. In the Jewish economy, on the other hand, is to be found
a nexus of centralized control. Thus the Jewish Agency, besides being
a landowner on a large scale, is a promoter and financier of agricultural
settlement, and has large and varied participations in industrial and
other enterprises. Histadruth, which is closely associated with the
Agency, is by no means simply a federation of workers' unions. It is,
in addition, a vast consumers' co-operative organization; it operates
large contributory social services, including unemployment insurance,
and it has latterly become a capitalist employer, being the sole or
controlling owner of a wide and ever increasing range of industrial,
nonstructural, financial and service undertakings. There have occurred
lately several instances of members of Histadruth, as a trade union,
striking in a wage dispute against Histadruth as owner of the employing
10. Not to over-emphasize the cleavage, it should be noted that there
are points of contact between the Arab and Jewish economies, as in the
Palestine Potash Works. There is indeed some limited interdependence,
where for example the Jewish housewife buys vegetables from an Arab
grower. But there can be few instances of so small a country being so
sharply divided in its economic, let alone social and political, basis.
Only in citriculture which before the war provided the staple export
of Palestine, do we find association between the two sectors. It is
shared about equally between the two communities, and many Jewish citrus
groves employ some irregular Arab labor. Individualism is the characteristic
form of enterprise in both sectors of the industry, though war-time
difficulties have called for special measures of Government assistance,
which in turn have tended to bring the two together in co-operative
11. Everywhere is to be seen a marked disparity between the standards
of living, however measured, of the Arab and Jewish communities. Jewish
wage rates are consistently higher than Arab, those for unskilled labor
being more than twice as high. There is only a limited range of competition
between them; and therefore a minimum of natural pressure towards equalization.
Habits of consumption, the degree of reliance on the market, whether
for supplies or income, housing standards and so forth, differ widely,
and in general the social services available to the Arab are extremely
limited. The war has done little, if anything, to weaken the division.
Wartime Economic Developments
12. In recent years, the war and changes
due to the war have been the main influences governing the
standard of living and economic prosperity of both sectors.
Though the margin between Jewish and Arab wage rates underwent
in general little change, the incidence of taxation and rationing,
together with subsidies in aid of the cost of living, tended
to depress the higher Jewish standard of living more than
Another result of the war was that the Jewish sector of the economy
became increasingly urban and industrial, while the Arab sector, notwithstanding
the fuller utilization of its limited industrial capacity, remained
overwhelmingly agricultural. In both sectors, the Government took an
increasingly active part in determining the shape and direction of economic
13. The closing of the Mediterranean to Allied shipping cut Palestine
off from the chief market for her citrus fruits and the chief source
of her imported supplies. The spread of the war zone to the Middle East
converted Palestine into a base as well as an arsenal. Large numbers
of troops had to be quartered there. Supplies of food and other necessities
of life and of war materials had to be provided locally or imported
where possible from neighboring Middle East countries, themselves subjected
by the same combination of causes to severe economic pressure. Existing
industries were, as far and as fast as possible, redirected into war
production. Established undertakings were enlarged and new ones were
set up, with Government support, in order to contribute to the needs
of the military campaign and build up a higher degree of self-sufficiency.
In this development the variety of manufactures was broadened to include
a number of more complicated mechanical and chemical processes.
14. Thus Palestine became an important source of supply of manufactured
goods not only for military purposes throughout the area but for civilian
needs in surrounding countries. The skill and inventiveness of the Jewish
immigrants of prewar years proved an invaluable asset, and the directed
effort was supported by the Jewish Agency and the other established
organs of Jewish settlement. Notwithstanding the necessity of maximum
food supply, the Jewish economy became still more concentrated upon
industrial activity, and "close settlement upon the land"
was forced further into the background as the ruling principle of expansion.
15. The war had yet another distorting effect, which sprang from financial
transactions. Vast military expenditure in Palestine for both goods
and civilian services, along with shortage of shipping and potential
inward cargoes, brought about a stringency in supplies and in labor.
This resulted in rising prices, rising wage rates and still more rapidly
rising earnings, large profits and a rapid growth of money-wealth (including
bank deposits and hoarded currency), shared by both the Jews and Arabs.
Taxation was increased; but taxation and voluntary saving went only
a small part of the way in draining of the flow of unspendable incomes.
Rationing, so far as it was applied, failed to check with sufficient
promptitude the effects of competitive buying. Subsidies in aid of the
cost of living were only successful in keeping a few bare essentials
within the range of the poorest peoples' resources. By allocating raw
materials and by close costing of industrial processes, the Government
kept a brake on the rise in prices of a wide range of military stores
and essential civilian goods. But in general the inflationary trend
was restrained only to an extent that made Palestine's experience less
alarming than that of surrounding countries.
16. As to external finances, whereas Palestine had been hitherto nominally
a debtor country-"nominally" in the sense that her debtorship
on capital account did not entail the normal current remittances on
account of interest and amortization-the war changed her status to that
of a creditor. The bulk of her overseas assets, however, being confined
within the sterling area, cannot be converted into goods until Great
Britain is once more able to resume a full flow of exports or to release
sterling for transmutation at will into "hard currencies".
17. At the time of the Committee's investigations
in Palestine, it could by no means be said that even the
more transitory resets of war pressures upon the economy
had passed away. The pattern of the post-war economy is still
undetermined, and this without allowing for the omnipresent
uncertainty concerning the political future of the country.
Even before the war ended, war orders had fallen off somewhat;
but the continued shortage of imported supplies has afforded
a natural protection to industry in shifting the flow of
its products into the civilian market. The Arab boycott of
Palestine Jewish products had had, when the Committee was
in the country, little effect thus far on the general economic
situation. No obvious unemployment had appeared, but some
concealed unemployment was said to exist, and earnings of
factory labor had probably diminished. The cost of living
and wage rates remain obstinately high.
18. House-building is slowly getting under way after the long interval-resulting
in shocking congestion-which began with the disturbances of 1936-9 and
continued throughout the war, when all constructional activity was concentrated
upon military works. There is, however, some natural hesitation in undertaking
a large building programme while costs remain so high. Quite apart from
the value of land, which has risen inordinately in recent years, building
materials are extremely expensive, while timber, nearly all of which
has to be imported, is scarce. As a result of the shortage of skilled
artisans, some building operatives are earning up to L. P. 8 a day,
and, within recent times, have secured additional benefits such as three
weeks' paid holiday and a pension scheme. Building costs, therefore,
are found to be roughly L. P. 20 a cubic metre-far higher than in Great
19. The situation is, indeed, replete with elements of uncertainty.
There is for one thing the question, debatable on pre-war experience,
how far the consolidation and further growth of Jewish industry and
trade are dependent upon maintenance of the momentum provided by continuing
immigration. It is a matter of conjecture whether the market as a whole
is likely to shrink if more peaceful conditions in the Middle East,
or a change in political status, result in a large withdrawal of British
forces, including police and civilian residents, and a consequent reduction
of incomes provided from abroad, though more peaceful conditions would
on the other hand induce a fuller flow of tourists. Arising again from
wartime growth of industry is the question whether the high costs of
production, and inferior quality of some products' in Jewish industry
will permit the establishment of a firm position in the home market
without inordinate protection. There is the related question - how far
external markets can be retained-even allowing for special advantages
in the new diamond cutting industry and the fashion and women's specialty
trades which together are thought to have outstanding prospects for
yielding revenue from abroad-in the face of competition- from advanced
industrial countries and possible continuation of the boycott of Jewish
products in neighboring Arab States. Again, even though internal conditions
might become fully adjusted to the inflated structure of prices and
costs, the gross overvaluation of the Palestinian pound in relation
to the pound sterling presents a further impediment to successful competition
in export markets and an added inducement to competitive imports.
20. It is sometimes claimed that the wage structure in Palestine is
far more elastic than elsewhere, so that reductions in wage-costs and
prices might proceed smoothly and concurrently once the process had
begun; but the wartime wage increases have been by no means wholly in
the form of cost-of-living bonuses-basic rises have been widespread
and substantial. The Committee could not but observe that at the time
of its visit the cost-of-living index number still stood above 250 as
compared with a pre-war figure of 100; that limited supplies of sometimes
inferior butter were selling at the equivalent of 1 1/2 a pound, and
that, in one of the factories visited, workers already receiving L.P.
12 a week were putting in 60 instead of the standard 48 hours in order
to make ends meet. It remains to be seen whether the claim of elasticity
will be falsified by widespread resistance to downward adjustment of
wage rates. Some take the view that increased immigration and a free
flow of imported supplies will "automatically" precipitate
such a fall in wages and prices as will substantially reduce costs of
production and bring the cost of living down to something like the British
level. Others complain that the Government does nothing to reduce the
cost of living, without being quite sure what the Government ought to
do about it. Meanwhile political and other causes hinder the transformation
of liquid savings into long-term investment, and the pressure of large
unused or unusable money resources, poured out in the process of financing
the war, is substantially unrelieved.
Economic Expansion and
21. Leaving aside these uncertainties of
the moment, there can be little doubt that, given some central
direction, more co-operative effort, and a peaceful political
atmosphere, Palestine could be made to provide further opportunities
for prosperous settlement, concurrently with an improvement
in the living standards of its present population. Some progress
towards central direction was made under stress of war, and
arrangements are in hand to provide for its continuance.
The War Supply Board, under which the capacity of local industry
was enlarged and directed to war production, is shortly to
be transformed into a full-fledged Department of Commerce
and Industry. The War Economic Advisory Council, notwithstanding
the withdrawal of the Arab members, is to carry on its consultative
work in the shaping and application of official policy. The
Government of Palestine itself has brought to an advanced
stage a programme of post-war development covering land reclamation,
forestation and other soil conservation measures and irrigation.
22. In addition, the expansion of Palestine's economy has engaged a
great deal of attention on the part of non-ollloial bodies. Some witnesses
have been severely critical of the Administration for lack of vision
and unreadiness to give positive support to proposals for expansion.
Others have expressed the view that monetary independence would clear
the way to more vigorous public and private enterprise. Opinion has
been almost unanimous as to the cramping effects of Article 18 of the
Mandate, which restricts the exercise of tariff-making and bargaining
powers in the interests of the mandated territory Conflicting views
are held on the question whether the citrus industry will be able to
regain, or even possibly to expand, its pre-war markets. Some see Palestine's
future in the establishment of the coastal fringe as the industrial
workshop of the Middle East; some stress the need of an expansion nicely
balanced between agriculture and industry.
23. Any forecast of Palestine's long-term prospects must necessarily
be viewed against the background of the country's natural resources.
These are extremely limited, making Palestine peculiarly dependent on
foreign trade for raw materials and supplies of many finished goods.
Even the exploitation of the natural asset comprised in a good soil
irradiated by long hours of bright sunshine is limited by the availability
of water. Despite an abundant winter rainfall in many parts, Palestine
is an arid country. In the words of the Palestine Government, "there
are few countries nowadays which can say that 'their water resources
are of such little concern to their people that legislation to control
their use is unnecessary"'; yet the Government of this arid country
has no statutory authority to control the exploitation of its water
resources, and no authority even to ascertain the extent of such water
resources as exist.
24. The Commission on Palestine Surveys, an American financed organization,
submitted proposals, conceived on bold and imaginative lines, and worked
out in considerable detail by American engineers of the highest standing,
for a "Jordan Valley Authority". The general design is to
bring water from the sources of the Jordan to the fertile Esdraelon
and coastal plaint to irrigate the lower Jordan Valley, and to utilize
the waters both of the Jordan River and of the Mediterranean Sea for
the generation of electric power. It is claimed for the scheme that,
whether carried to full completion or adopted in part-it is subdivided
into stages each standing on its own merits- it would bring a bountiful
supply of water at an economic cost to large areas of fertile land now
yielding only one crop a year. Very large sums of money would be required,
but these, the Committee were informed, would be available from external
25. Such bold long-term planning presupposes willing co-operation,
or at least interested neutrality, between all sections of the population
and the Government. Moreover, it can have little or no bearing on the
capacity of Palestine to provide an immediate haven of refuge for homeless
Jews from Europe.
26. We have in this immediate context another example of the manner
in which Jewish zeal and energy are ready to outrun economic caution
of the ordinary Western pattern. Full recognition of the weak points
in the Jewish economy and its immediate prospects does not in the least
deter the insistence upon providing a home for the homeless If this
should entail an all-round cut in standards of living the present Jewish
population, so be it. There is much to admire in this demonstration
of brotherhood carried, if need be, to the point of sacrifice. But it
is conceivable that the passionate expansion of an economic structure,
upon a dubious basis of natural resources, might lead to over-development
on such a scale as to render it top-heavy to the point of collapse.
The argument thus returns to the need for Systematic improvement of
the country's basic resources, for which, as already indicated, orderly
progress in an atmosphere of peaceful collaboration is a sine qua non.
*It is difficult to estimate the Arab population
precisely, as the official statistics are compiled on a religious
basis and a small proportion of the Christian population
is not Arab. At the end of 1944 the Christians numbered 136.000.
1. The Committee heard the Jewish case, presented at
full length and with voluminous written evidence, in three series of
public hearings-in Washington by the American Zionists, in London by
the British Zionists, and finally and most massively by the Jewish Agency
in Jerusalem. The basic policy advocated was always the same, the socalled
Biltmore Program of 1942, with the additional demand that 100,000 certificates
for immigration into Palestine should be issued immediately to relieve
the distress in Europe. This policy can be summed up in three points:
(1) that the Mandatory should hand over control of immigration to the
Jewish Agency; (I) that it should abolish restrictions on the sale of
land; and (3) that it should proclaim as its ultimate aim the establishment
of a Jewish State as soon as a Jewish majority has been achieved. It
should be noted that the demand for a Jewish State goes beyond the obligations
of either the Balfour Declaration or the Mandate, and was expressly
disowned by the Chairman of the Jewish Agency as late 1932.
2. In all the hearings, although evidence was given by those sections
of the Zionist movement which are critical of the Biltmore Program,
most of the witnesses took the official Zionist line. The Committee
also heard the Jewish opponents of Zionism: first, the small groups
in America and Britain who advocate assimilation as an alternative to
Jewish nationalism; second, Agudath Israel, an organization of orthodox
Jews which supports unrestricted Jewish immigration into Palestine while
objecting to the secular tendencies of Zionism; and third, representatives
of important sections of Middle Eastern Jewry, many of whom fear that
their friendly relations with the Arabs are being endangered by political
3. As the result of the public hearings and of many private conversations,
we came to the conclusion that the Biltmore Program has the support
of the overwhelming majority of Zionists. Though many Jews have doubts
about the wisdom of formulating these ultimate demands, the program
has undoubtedly won the support of the Zionist movement as a whole,
chiefly because it expresses the policy of Palestinian Jewry which now
plays a leading role in the Jewish-Agency.
Whether this almost universal support for the demand for a Jewish State
is based on full knowledge of the implications of the policy and of
the risks involved in carrying it out is, of course, quite another matter.
4. The position in Palestine itself is somewhat different. Here, where
the issue is not the achievement of a remote idea, but is regarded as
a matter of life and death for the Jewish nation, the position is naturally
more complex. Palestinian Jewry is riddled with party differences. The
number of political newspapers and periodicals bears witness to the
variety and vitality of this political life, and, apart from pressure
exerted on Jews considered to be disloyal to the National Home, we found
little evidence to support the rumors that it was dangerous to advocate
minority views. Of the major political parties, Mapai (the Labor Party)
is far the biggest and largely determines the official line. Opposed
to the Agency's policy are two main groups. On the one side stand two
small but important parties: the Conservative Aliyah Hadashah (New Settlers),
drawn chiefly from colonists of German and western European extraction,
and Hashomer Hatzair, a socialist party which, while demanding the right
of unrestricted immigration and land settlement, challenges the concept
of the Jewish State and particularly emphasizes the need for cooperation
with the Arabs. Hashomer Hatzair, though it did not appear before us,
published shortly before we left Jerusalem a striking pamphlet in support
of bi-nationalism. Very close to Hashomer Hatzair, but without its socialist
ideology, stands Dr. Magnes and his small Thud group, whose importance
is far greater than its numbers. - Taken altogether, these Palestinian
critics of the Biltmore Program certainly do not exceed at the moment
one quarter of the Jewish population in Palestine. But they represent
a constructive minority.
5. On the other side stands the Revisionist Party, numbering some one
percent of the Jewish community, and beyond it the various more extreme
groups, which call for active resistance to the White Paper and participate
in and openly support the present terrorist campaign. This wing of Palestinian
Jewry derives its inspiration and its methods from the revolutionary
traditions of Poland and eastern Europe. Many of these extremists are
boys and girls under twenty, of good education, filled with a political
fanaticism as self-sacrificing as it is pernicious.
6. The Biltmore Program can only be fully understood if it is studied
against this background of Palestinian life. Like all political platforms,
it is a result of conflicting political pressures, an attempt by the
leadership to maintain unity without sacrificing principle. The Jew
who lives and works in the National Home is deeply aware both . of his
achievements and of how much more could have been achieved with whole-hearted
support by the Mandatory Power. His political outlook is thus a mixture
of self-confident pride and bitter frustration: pride that he has turned
the desert and the swamp into a land flowing with milk and honey frustration
because he is denied opportunity of settlement in nine-tenths of that
Eretz Israel which he considers his own by right; pride that he has
disproved the theory that the Jews cannot build a healthy community
based on the tilling of the soil; frustration that the Jew is barred
entry to the National Home, where that community is now in being; pride
that he is taking part in a bold collective experiment; frustration
because he feels himself hampered by British officials whom he often
regards as less able than himself; pride because in Palestine he feels
himself at last a free member of a free community; frustration because
he lives, not under a freely elected government, but under an autocratic
if humane regime.
7. The main complaint of the Jews of Palestine is that, since the White
Paper of 1930, the Mandatory Power has slowed up the development of
the National Home in order to placate Arab opposition. The sudden rise
of immigration after the Nazi seizure of power had as its direct result
the three and a half years of Arab revolt, during which the Jew had
to train himself for self-defence, and to accustom himself to the life
of a pioneer in an armed stockade. The high barbed wire and the watchtowers,
manned by the settlement police day and night, strike the eye of the
visitor as he approaches every collective colony. They are an outward
symbol of the new attitude to life and politics which developed among
the Palestinian Jews between 1936 and 1938. As a Jewish settler said
to a member of the Committee: "We are the vanguard of a great army,
defending the advanced positions until the reinforcements arrive from
8. The Jews in Palestine are convinced that Arab violence paid. Throughout
the Arab rising, the Jews in the National Home, despite every provocation,
obeyed the orders of their leaders and exercised a remarkable self-discipline.
They shot, but only in self-defence; they rarely took reprisals on the
Arab population. They state bitterly that the reward for this restraint
was the Conference and the White Paper of 1939. The Mandatory Power,
they argue, yielded to force, cut down immigration, and thus caused
the death of thousands of Jews in Hitler's gas chambers. The Arabs,
who had recourse to violence, received substantial concessions, while
the Jews, who had put their faith in the Mandatory, were compelled to
accept what they regard as a violation of the spirit and the letter
of the Mandate.
9. An immediate result of the success of Arab terrorism was the beginning
of Jewish terrorism and, even more significant, a closing of the ranks,
a tightening of the discipline, and a general militarization of Jewish
life in Palestine. The Agency became the political headquarters of a
citizen army which felt that at any moment it might have to fight for
its very existence. Deprived, as he believed, both of his natural and
of his legal rights, the Palestinian Jew began to lose faith in the
Mandatory Power. The dangerous belief was spread that not patience but
violence was needed to achieve justice. The position of the moderates
who urged sell-restraint and a reliance on Britain's pledged word was
progressively undermined; the position of the extremists, eager to borrow
a leaf from the Arab copy book, was progressively strengthened.
10. Then came the war. Apart from a small group of terrorists the Jewish
community gave more solid support than the Palestinian Arabs to the
British war effort. But when the immediate Middle Eastern danger was
removed, the old struggle between the moderates and the extremists began
again, heightened to an almost unendurable tension by the news from
Europe and by such tragedies as the Struma incident. During the war,
tens of thousands of Jews learned to fight, either in the British Army
or in the Palestine Home Guard. They were with Britain in the fight
against Fascism: they were against Britain in the struggle against the
White Paper, which they now felt was not only unjust but totally inhuman
as preventing the escape to Palestine of men, women and children in
imminent danger of death in Nazi Germany and Nazi-controlled Europe.
When the war ended and the Labor Government came to power, the White
Paper still remained in force. The Jews, who had expected an immediate
fulfillment by a Labor Government of the Labor Party program with regard
to Zionism, felt a sense of outrage when no change of policy occurred.
The bitterness reached a new peak of intensity, and the position of
the moderates became almost impossible. The Jewish Agency frankly stated
in public hearing that, after V-E day, it was quite futile for it to
attempt to cooperate with the Mandatory in suppressing illegal activity.
11. Any decision on the future of Palestine
will be futile and unrealistic unless it is made in full
cognizance of the political tension among the Jews in Palestine
and the reasons for it. Both in evidence given in public
hearings, and in numerous private conversations with leading
politicians and with ordinary citizens, we were repeatedly
advised that the maintenance by the Mandatory of its present
policy could only lead to a state of war, in which the extremists
would have the passive support of almost the whole Jewish
population and the moderates would be swept from the key
positions which they still hold. To use the words of one
Jewish leader: "Our present crisis in Europe and Palestine
is felt by all of us to be our Dunkirk."
1. The Committee heard a brief presentation of the
Arab case in Washington, statements made in London by delegates from
the Arab States to the United Nations, a fuller statement from the Secretary
General and other representatives of the Arab League in Cairo, and evidence
given on behalf of the Arab Higher (committee and the Arab Office in
Jerusalem. In addition, subcommittees visited Baghdad Riyadh, Damascus,
Beirut and Amman, where they were informed oil the views of Government
and of unofficial spokesmen.
2. Stopped to the bare essentials, the Arab case is based upon the
fact that Palestine is a country which the Arabs have occupied for more
than a thousand years, and a denial of the Jewish historical claims
to Palestine. In issuing the Balfour Declaration, the Arabs maintain,
the British Government were giving away something that did not belong
to Britain, and they have consistently argued that the Mandate conflicted
with the Covenant of the League of Nations from which it derived its
authority. The Arabs deny that the part played by the British in freeing
them from the Turks gave Great Britain a right to dispose of their country.*
Indeed, they assert that Turkish was preferable to British rule, if
the latter involves their eventual subjection to the Jews. They consider
the Mandate a violation of their right of self-determination since it
is forcing upon them an immigration which they do not desire and will
not tolerate-an invasion of Palestine by the Jews.
3. The Arabs of Palestine point out that all the surrounding Arab States
have now been granted independence. They argue that they are just as
advanced as are the citizens of the nearby States, and they demand independence
for Palestine now. The promises which have been made to them in the
name of Great Britain, and the assurances concerning Palestine given
to Arab leaders by Presidents Roosevelt and Truman, have been understood
by the Arabs of Palestine as a recognition of the principle that they
should enjoy the same rights as those enjoyed by the neighboring countries.
Christian Arabs unite with Moslems in all of these contentions. They
demand that their independence should be recognized at once, and they
would like Palestine, as a self-governing country, to join the Arab
4. The Arabs attach the highest importance to the fulfillment of the
promises made by the British Government in the White Paper of 1939.
King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, when he spoke with three members of the Committee
at Riyadh, made frequent reference both to these promises and to the
assurances given him by the late President Roosevelt at their meeting
in February, 1945. His Majesty made clear the strain which would be
placed upon Arab friendship with Great Britain and the United States
by any policy which Arabs regarded as a betrayal of these pledges. The
same warning was repeated by an Arab witness in Jerusalem, who said
that "Zionism for the Arabs has become a test of Western intentions."
5. The suggestion that self-government should be withheld from Palestine
until the Jews have acquired a majority seems outrageous to the Arabs.
They wish to be masters in their own house. The Arabs were opposed to
the idea of a Jewish National Home even before the Biltmore Program
and the demand for a Jewish State. Needless to say, however, their opposition
has become more intense and more bitter since that program was adopted.
6. The Arabs maintain that they have never been anti-Semitic; indeed,
they are Semites themselves. Arab spokesmen profess the greatest sympathy
for the persecuted Jews of Europe, but they point out that they have
not been responsible for this persecution and that it is not just that
they should be compelled to atone for the sins of Western peoples by
accepting into their country hundreds of thousands of victims of European
anti-Semitism. Some Arabs even declare that they might be willing to
do their share in providing for refugees on a quota basis if the United
States, the British Commonwealth and other Western countries would do
7. The Peel Commission took the view that the enterprise of the Jews
in agriculture and industry had brought large, if indirect, benefits
to the Arabs in raising their standard of living. Though a very large
part of the Jewish purchases of land has been made from absentee landlords,
many of them living outside Palestine, it is probable that many Arab
farmers who have sold part of their land to the Jews have been able
to make use of the money to improve the cultivation of their remaining
holdings. The improvement of health conditions in many parts of the
country, while due in part to the activities of Government and in part
to the efforts of the Arabs themselves, has undoubtedly been assisted
by the work of the Jewish settlers. It is also argued that the Jewish
population has conferred substantial indirect benefits on the Arabs
through its contribution to the public revenue. On the other hand, the
Arabs contend that such improvement as there may have been in their
standard of living is attributable solely to their own efforts, perhaps
with a measure of aid at some points from the Administration. They assert
that at least equal improvements have occurred in other Arab countries,
and that the action taken by the Government to assist Jewish industry
and agriculture has reacted unfavorably on the Arabs. Import duties
for the protection of Jewish industries, for example, are said to have
confronted Arab consumers with the necessity of buying high priced local
products in place of cheaper imported goods. In any event the Arabs
declare that, if they must choose between freedom and material improvement,
they prefer freedom.
8. In exasperation at the disregard of their objection to Jewish immigration,
the Arabs of Palestine have repeatedly risen in revolt. A substantial
number of them still declare their allegiance to the exiled Mufti of
Jerusalem and are satisfied with his policies. In the second World War,
Palestinian Arabs were on the whole spiritually neutral. As Jamal Effendi
el-Husseini stated in his evidence before the Committee: "The Grand
Mufti in Germany was working for the interests not of the English who
were warring with the Germans, but for the interests of his people who
had no direct interest, at least, in the controversy." They felt
that it was not their war and that the Mufti was right in taking such
steps as he could to do the best for Palestine whoever might be victorious.
9. The White Paper of 1939, and the drastic limitation of Jewish immigration
and of land sales to Jews which followed, met the Arab view only in
part. The Arabs would have gone much further. The demands voiced by
their leaders are for immediate independence, for the final cessation
of Jewish immigration and for the prohibition of all land sales by Arabs
10. So bare an outline gives only an inadequate picture of the passion
with which Arabs in Palestine and in neighboring countries resent the
invasion of Palestine by a people which, though originally Semitic,
now represents an alien civilization. liven the Moslems of India have
made representations to the (committee in opposition to Zionism.
One witnesses in Palestine not merely the impact of European culture
upon the East, but also the impact of Western science and Western technology
upon a semi-feudal civilization. It is not surprising that the Arabs
have bitterly resented this invasion and have resisted it by force of
arms. The Arab civilization of Palestine is based on the clan; leadership
resides in a small group of influential families, and it is almost impossible
for the son of an Arab fellah to rise to a position of wealth and political
influence. Arab agriculture in Palestine is traditional, and improvement
is hampered by an antiquated system of land tenure. The Arab adheres
to a strict social code far removed from the customs of the modern world,
and he is shocked by innovations of dress and manners which seem completely
natural to the Jewish immigrant. Thus, the sight of a Jewish woman in
shorts offends the Arab concept of propriety. The freedom of relations
between the sexes and the neglect of good form as he conceives it violate
the entire code of life in which the Arab is brought up.
11. The Arabs of Palestine are overwhelmed by a vague sense of the
power of Western capital represented by the Jewish population. The influx
of Western capital and the purchase of modern equipment for agriculture
and industry excite in the minds of the Arabs a sense of inferiority
and the feeling that they are contending against an imponderable force
which is difficult to resist. This feeling is accentuated by the fact
that they realize that the Jewish case is well understood and well portrayed
in Washington and London, and that they have no means comparable in
effectiveness of stating their side of the controversy to the Western
World. They have particularly resented the resolutions in favor of Zionist
aspirations, adopted respectively by the United States Congress and
by the British Labor Party. Although the Arab States have diplomatic
representation and five of them are members of the United Nations, the
Arabs of Palestine feel nevertheless that they have not succeeded in
making their case heard. The Western countries have many Jewish lent
few Arab citizens, and Arabs are less familiar with modern methods of
propaganda. They feel that their case is being judged and their fate
is being decided by mysterious forces in the Western World, which they
do not understand and which do not understand them.
12. The period since the first World War has been marked by a rising
wave of nationalism in all Arab countries. Palestinian Arabs share this
sentiment, and they are strongly supported in their demand for independence
and self-government by all the States of the Arab League. No other subject
has occupied so much of the attention of the Arab League or has done
so much to unite its membership as has the question of Palestine.
13. Those members of the Committee who traveled in the neighboring
Arab countries found that hostility to Zionism was as strong and widespread
there as in Palestine itself. They received from H. R. H. the Regent
of Iraq a copy of a letter in which he had told President Roosevelt
that "all the Arab countries . . . will unite against any danger
that the Arabs of Palestine may have to meet." Moreover the Governments
alla peoples of the neighboring States believe that a Zionist State
in Palestine would be a direct threat to them and would impede their
efforts towards a closer Arab union. The chief delegate of Syria at
the General Assembly of the United Nations told the Committee in London
that "Palestine in alien hands would be a wedge splitting the Arab
world at a most vital and sensitive point." The same witness expressed
the further fear of the Arabs that a Zionist State would inevitably
become expansionist and aggressive, and would tend to enter into alliance
with any Power which might, in the future, pursue an anti-Arab policy.
"The Middle East," he wrote, "is a vital region in which
all the Great Powers are interested. A Zionist State in Palestine could
only exist with the support of foreign Powers. This would not only mean
a state of tension between those foreign Powers and the Arab States,
but also the grave possibility of dangerous alignments and maneuvers
which might end in international friction at the highest level and possibly
*We have not felt it necessary to enter
into the historical arguments based upon undertakings given
by the British Government to the Sharif Hussein of Mecca
and others during the last war and interpreted by the Arabs
as promising among other things that Palestine would become
an independent Arab country. These undertakings, the most
important of which preceded the Balfour Declaration, form
an essential part of the Arab case and were examined by an
AngloArab Committee in London in February, 1939. The report
of this Committee, containing statements of both the Arab
and the British point of view, is to be found in British
Command Paper No. 5974. The documents under examination were
printed at the same time in Command Papers Nos. 6967 and
69" (all of 1939). Back
1. In addition to the witnesses concerned exclusively
with political issues, the Committee also heard representatives of Christian
churches. The Arab Christians, divided among many denominations, and
numbering some 125,000, form the overwhelming majority of Christians
actually living in Palestine. Their delegation, led by the Greek Catholic
Archbishop of Galilee, declared their complete solidarity with the Moslem
Arabs in the demand for an independent Arab State. The non-Palestinian
Christian groups were unable to speak with a common voice. Indeed, Christians
have so completely failed to ???? or even harmony, in the practical
tasks of administering the Christian Holy Places and caring for the
pilgrims who visit them that the keys of the Holy Sepulcher are still
entrusted to Moslems. The lamentable fact that there is no single spokesman
in Palestine for Christendom tends to obscure the legitimate Christian
interest in the Holy Land, which must be safeguarded in any solution
of the national problem. This interest demands not only freedom of access
to the Holy Places, but also that tranquillity should be achieved in
a country all of which, from the Christian point of view, is a Holy
2. The significance of Palestine since prehistoric times in the development
of civilization cannot be overestimated. Nor should the interests of
archaeology and history be forgotten. The maintenance of conditions
under which such studies can be pursued is a genuine concern of civilization.
Moreover, an increased pilgrim and tourist traffic would constitute
an invisible export of substantial value to a country with so large
an adverse balance of trade; and the contact in Palestine between these
travelers from the Western world and the representatives of the Jewish
and Moslem faiths would be of great importance to international understanding.
3. The extent to which the Holy Places, sacred to Christians, Moslems
and Jews, are interspersed is often not fully appreciated. It is impossible
to segregate the Holy Places sacred to the three great religions into
separate geographical units. They are scattered over the whole of Palestine,
and not, as is often imagined, confined to the Jerusalem and Nazareth
4. The responsibility of the Christian world toward Palestine was well
expressed by General Allenby in the Proclamation which he made on the
occasion of the occupation of Jerusalem on the 11th December, 1917:
"Furthermore, since your City is regarded with affection by the
adherents of three of the great religions of mankind, and its soil has
been consecrated by the prayers and pilgrimages of multitudes of devout
people of these three religions for many centuries, therefore do I make
known to you that every sacred building, monument, holy spot, shrine,
traditional site, endowment, pious bequest, or customary place of prayer,
of whatsoever form of the three religions, will be maintained and protected
according to the existing customs and beliefs of those to whose faiths
they are sacred."
5. The religious importance of Palestine
to Moslems, Jews and Christians alike makes it improper to
treat it either as an Arab State or as exclusively designated
to the fulfillment of Jewish national aspirations. A solution
of the Palestine problem must not only heal political rivalries
of Jew and Arab, but must also safeguard its unique religious
1. The Jews have developed, under the aegis of the
Jewish Agency and the Vaad Leumi, a strong and tightly-woven community.
There thus exists a virtual Jewish nonterritorial State with its own
executive and legislative organs, parallel in many respects to the Mandatory
Administration, and- serving as the concrete symbol of the Jewish National
Home. This Jewish shadow Government has ceased to cooperate with the
Administration in the maintenance of law and order, and in the suppression
2. Quite apart from the increasing strength of the terrorist gangs,
which enjoy widespread popular support, there are many signs that fanaticism
and nationalist propaganda are beginning to affect detrimentally the
Jewish educational system. It appears to us wholly harmful that the
obligatory period of one year's "national service," instituted
by the Jewish Agency and the Vaad Leumi, is now partly used for military
training. The "closing of the ranks," moreover, which we noted
above, has increased that totalitarian tendencies to which a nationalist
society is always liable. To speak of a Jewish terror would be a gross
exaggeration. But there are disquieting indications that illegal organization
and the atmosphere of conspiracy, which inevitably accompanies it, are
having their corroding effects on that free democracy which has always
been the pride of the Palestinian Jews. Every thoughtful Jew with whom
we talked was profoundly disturbed by these symptoms. But none was bold
enough to prophesy that they would disappear so long as the Palestine
Administration carried out a policy which seems to every Jew to be in
direct contravention of his natural rights.
Jewish Relations With
3. Not only is the Jewish community largely
independent of and at odds with the Palestine Government,
but it is also quite distinct from and in conflict with the
Arab community with which, in many areas, it is territorially
intertwined. In part this is a natural result of Zionist
concentration upon the development of the Jewish community.
If the Arabs have benefited, they have done so only in comparison
with the non-Palestinian Arabs; whereas they have remained
far beneath the Palestinian Jews in terms of national income,
social services, education and general standard of living.
This has made it easier for the Arab political leaders to
keep alive anti-Jewish feeling in the minds of the Arab masses.
The economic gulf separating Jew and Arab in Palestine has
been widened, in part at least, by Jewish policies concerning
the nonemployment of Arab labor on land purchased by the
Jewish National Fund and the refusal to devote Jewish funds
and energies directly to the improvement of Arab standards
of living. Efforts by the Jews in this direction might be
quite as important for the growth and security of the National
Home as the draining of swamp lands or the creation of Jewish
4. But unfortunately there are signs of a hardening of the Jewish attitude
towards the Arabs. Too often the Jew is content to refer to the indirect
benefits accruing to the Arabs from his comings and to leave the matter
there. Passionately loving every foot of Eretz Israel, he finds it almost
impossible to look at the issue from the Arab point of view, and to
realize the depth of feeling aroused by his "invasion" of
Palestine. He compares his own achievements with the slow improvements
made by the Arab village, always to the disadvantage of the latter;
and forgets the enormous financial, educational and technical advantages
bestowed upon him by world Zionism. When challenged on his relations
with the Arabs, he is too often content to point out the superficial
friendliness of everyday life in town and village- a friendliness which
indubitably exists. In so doing, he sometimes ignores the deep political
antagonism which inspires the whole Arab community; or thinks that he
has explained it away by stating that it is the "result of self-seeking
propaganda by the rich effendi class."
5. It is not unfair to say that the Jewish community in Palestine has
never, as a community, faced the problem of cooperation with the Arabs.
It is, for instance, significant that, in the Jewish Agency's proposal
for a Jewish State, the problem of handling a million and a quarter
Arabs is dealt with in the vaguest of generalities.
6. We noted, however, a few hopeful signs. Reference was made above
to the proposals for cooperation with the Arabs made by Hashomer Hatzair
and by the Ihud group. The Committee observed with pleasure the Arab-Jewish
cooperation achieved on the Municipal Commission which governs Haffa,
and in the Citrus Control and Marketing Boards, as well as the joint
trade union activity between Jew and Arab in the Palestine Potash Company
and on the railways. But such examples of cooperation are rare in Palestine;
and they are far outweighed in Arab eyes by the exclusiveness of the
General Federation of Jewish Labor in its trade union policy and of
the Jewish Agency in its labor policy on land purchased for Jewish settlement.
The Jews and the Administration
7. We were profoundly impressed by the
very varied experiments in land settlement which we inspected,
ranging from individualist cooperatives to pure collectivist
communities. Here, indeed, is a miracle both of physical
achievement and of spiritual endeavor, which justifies the
dreams of those Jews and Gentiles who first conceived the
idea of the National Home. Of Jewish industry in Palestine
it is too early yet to speak with confidence. There is boundless
optimism and energy, great administrative capacity, but a
shortage of skilled labor and, as a result, more quantity
than quality of output.
8. As pioneers in Palestine the Jews have a record of which they can
be proud. In Palestine there has been no expulsion of the indigenous
population, and exploitation of cheap Arab labor has been vigorously
opposed as inconsistent with Zionism. The failing of Palestinian Jewry
is a different one. The Jews have always been in the biblical phrase
a "peculiar people" which turned in on itself and suffered
the consequences of its peculiarity. In Palestine, under the special
conditions of the Mandate, they have regained their national self-confidence,
but they have not been able to throw off their exclusiveness and tendency
9. We believe that this failure is, in part at least, attributable
to the relations between the Palestine Administration and the Jewish
community since 1939, which have undoubtedly exaggerated the natural
Jewish tendency to exclusiveness. Moreover, the Jews feel that they
have enough to do defending their own position, without taking on the
Arab problem as well.
10. A second factor of great importance is the failure to develop self-governing
institutions. The Jews, like the Arabs, are completely deprived of all
responsible participation in central government. Their democracy can
only work within the Jewish community, and to a limited degree in local
affairs. Thus, they have not had the opportunity which self-government
brings, to learn the lesson of responsibility for the good of the whole
State. They have been driven back on themselves. This may in part explain
the fact that at least one-third of the Jews who have settled in Palestine
during the last ten years have failed to apply for Palestinian citizenship.
But nothing which we saw in Palestine gave us any reason to believe
that, charged with the democratic responsibilities for which they are
undoubtedly fit, the Jews of Palestine would not master the lessons
11. The Arabs are divided politically by
the personal bickerings of the leaders, which still center
round the differences of the Husseinis and their rivals;
and socially by the gap which separates the small upper class
from the mass of the peasants-a gap which the new intelligentsia
is not yet strong enough to bridge. Consequently they have
developed no such internal democracy as have the Jews. That
their divisions have not been overcome and a formally organized
community developed is in part the result of a less acutely
self-conscious nationalism than is found today among the
Jews. It is, however, also the outcome of a failure of political
responsibility. The Arab leaders, rejecting what they regard
as a subordinate status in the Palestinian State, and viewing
themselves as the proper heirs of the Mandatory Administration,
have refused to develop a self-governing Arab community parallel
to that of the Jews. Nor, so far, have they been prepared
to see their position called in question by such democratic
forms as elections for the Arab Higher Committee, or the
formation of popularly based political parties. This failure
is recognized by the new intelligentsia which, however, is
unlikely to exercise much power until it has the backing
of a larger middle class.
Need for Arab Education
12. Many Arabs are graduates of the American
University at Beirut; a few have studied in universities
in Cairo, England, Europe and the United States; others have
received higher education at the Arab College for men and
the Women's Training College in Jerusalem, both of which
are efficient but inadequately financed Government institutions.
The Arabs are aware of Western civilization and increasingly
eager to share its benefits. But the numbers receiving such
education are still miserably small, since the only university
in Palestine, the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus, teaches
only in Hebrew. So, too, with secondary education. There
are only some fifteen Arab secondary schools in the whole
of Palestine, and one fully developed agricultural school-the
Kadoorie School at Tulkarm which specializes in the training
of teachers of agriculture for Arab schools. With only 65
places, however, it too is totally inadequate. The problem
of teaching modern methods of agriculture to a population
80 per cent of which gains its living by farming has not
yet been solved by the Government, or faced by the Arab politicians.
Facilities for technical education are no better-a single
school with some 60 places.
13. On the primary level the position is slightly better. The schools
are under the control of the Administration and financed by public funds.
As far as it goes, the primary education is well planned and administered.
It is not merely a bookish education, but includes also manual training
and instruction in agriculture, where the equipment is available. Some
of the school wardens which surround the schools in the Arab villages
are models of neatness and skill. But the fact remains that something
less than half the Arab children who would like to attend school can
do so today. Even in a wealthy town like Haifa, we were told by the
Municipal Commission that half the Arab boys and the majority of the
Arab girls receive no education at all. In most of the country districts
the situation is still worse, particularly with regard to the girls.
Only one Arab girl in eight receives any education.
14. This is all the more tragic since the desire for education is now
strong throughout the poorer classes, not merely in the cities, but
in almost every Arab village. Indeed, some villages visited by the Committee
had either built their own schools completely from voluntary subscriptions
by the villagers or had contributed largely to their cost on their own
15. The lamentable condition of Arab education is a real cause for
discontent. This discontent is increased by the contrast with the opportunities
offered to the Jewish child. Jewish education in Palestine is financed
by the Jewish community and by the fees which Jewish parents can afford
to pay. Practically every Jewish Child has the opportunity for primary
education, and those who can afford the fees have ample opportunity
for technical, secondary and university education in Palestine. The
Government contributes only a small per capita grant in aid and exercises
little control of the curriculum.
16. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the time has come
for the Arab community to assume the same responsibility with regard
to education as the Jewish. With advice and financial aid from the Government,
and with a new sense of responsibility on the part of the Arab leadership,
compulsory education could, we were informed, be introduced within the
next ten years. This is not only essential from an educational point
of view; there can be no real unity between a literate and an illiterate
17. Palestine is administered by officials
of the British Colonial Service. Subject to the provisions
of the Mandate, all major decisions of policy are taken in
London as they would be for a Colonial territory. As Mr.
Churchill has said: "the suggestion that the High Commissioner
either has a policy of his own in contradistinction to that
of His Majesty's Government, or that, if this were so, His
Majesty's Government would permit him to carry it out, would
be foreign to all the traditions of British Administration."
Indeed, the Administration of Palestine has probably less
freedom of action than the Administration of some less developed
territories, simply because the affairs of Palestine arouse
more public interest, are the subject of more questions in
the House of Commons, and must therefore be supervised more
closely by the responsible Minister.
18. While admitting this difficulty, we must express the view that
this system militates most gravely against the chances of reconciliation
between Jew and Arab. A delicate situation-and the situation in Palestine
is always delicate-cannot be met successfully by remote control. Within
a general directive, the man on the spot, like the general conducting
the battle, must be given the responsibility. If this is not done, the
chance of reconciling the interests of the National Home with those
of the Arabs of Palestine is small indeed.
19. In Palestine itself, we also found a tendency to centralization
which was criticized by the Peel Commission but which is in part at
least another inevitable consequence of the dominant role of politics
in the life of the country. Since every administrative question, however
insignificant in itself, is liable to be transformed into a political
issue by one community or the other, there is a natural tendency for
every action to be carefully scrutinized at the center. The slowness
of the Administration in dealing with matters not at first sight political,
against which complaint is often made, is partly a result of this and
partly of the fact that the Chief Secretary, through whose hands all
important business must pass, is himself obliged to give much of his
time to conducting relations of a quasi-diplomatic character with the
leaders of the Arab and Jewish communities.
20. Palestine is a unique country, bearing no resemblance to most of
the countries administered by the British Colonial Service. It may be
questioned therefore whether an Administration of the Colonial type
is the ideal instrument for governing two peoples each of which, in
the absence of the other, would probably by now be enjoying complete
independence. On the other hand, it seems difficult to foresee radical
changes in the system so long as the division between Arabs and Jews
compels British officials to assume so extensively a responsibility,
and in view of the fact that their actions must be accounted for both
to Parliament and to an international organization, each responsive
to a keenly interested public opinion.
21. What is not open to question is the
patience and loyalty to their task of the officials on whose
shoulders rests the main burden of this heavy responsibility.
We were impressed also by the generally high standard of
the district administration. It is difficult for those who
have not visited Palestine to imagine the tension under which
these officials-Arab and Jewish, as well as British-are compelled
to live and work. We were especially impressed by the anxiety,
loneliness and nervous strain to which many police officials
are unavoidably exposed. It also seemed to us that the Civil
Servants in Palestine were subjected to an additional anxiety
which we could not regard as unavoidable or in the best interests
of the country, as a result of the generally and sometimes
pitifully inadequate salaries which they at present receive.
1. Palestine is an armed camp. We saw signs of this
almost as soon as we crossed the frontier, and we became more and more
aware of the tense atmosphere each day. Many buildings have barbed wire
and other defences. We ourselves were closely guarded by armed police,
and often escorted by armored cars. It is obvious that very considerable
military forces and large numbers of police are kept in Palestine. The
police are armed; they are conspicuous everywhere; and throughout the
country there are substantially built police barracks.
2. We do not think that the conditions in Palestine since the Mandate
have been fully appreciated throughout the world, and accordingly we
have thought it right to set out in Appendix V a list of the main incidents
of disorder. It will be seen that up to the year 1939 the Jews exercised
very great restraint. It is in recent years that the threat to law and
order has come from them.
3. A revival of the illegal immigration traffic has occurred since
the end of the war in Europe. During the summer of 1945 there was an
influx on a substantial scale by land over the Northern Frontier. More
recently there have been successive cases of entry by sea. The Jewish
organizations are actively engaged in these operations, carried out
latterly by the purchase or charter of ships for voyages from Southern
Europe in the absence of effective control of embarkation. Armed clashes
are liable to arise from the efforts to prevent interference; a number
have arisen from the search for illegal immigrants and arms. Moreover,
as recent incidents directly concerned with illegal immigration, may
be cited the sabotage of patrol launches and attacks on coastguard stations.
The present scale and method of illegal immigration by sea can be seen
from three recent cases. Two ships arrived towards the end of our stay
in Palestine, and one a few weeks previously. All three were intercepted
and, in accordance with the usual procedure, the illegal immigrants
taken to a clearance camp where, subject to check, they were released,
their numbers being deducted from the immigration quota. The first of
these ships sailed from Northern Italy. It was her maiden voyage. She
carried 911 immigrants, bb4 men and 357 women. Practically all were
young people. The second carried 247 immigrants, of whom 89 were women.
With one exception, all were young people. The third, which arrived
on the day of our departure from Palestine, was reported in the press
as coming from a French Mediterranean port and carrying 733 immigrants.
The second ship, according to press reports, was expected to land the
immigrants at Tel-Aviv, and the plans for screening the immigrants were
evident in the sporadic incidents which occurred in that area. Apart
from firing on the police, there were incidents of mining and blocking
of access by road and rail which could only be designed to isolate the
approach to the beach.
4. A sinister aspect of recent years is the development of large illegal
armed forces. The following is the structure as stated to us by the
The general organization is the "Haganah." It is an illegal
development of the former organization, in the days of Turkish rule,
of armed watchmen who protected Jewish settlements. Today it is completely
organized, under a central control and with subsidiary territorial commands,
in three branches, each of which includes women, viz:
A static force composed of settlers and townsfolk, with an estimated
strength of 40,000;
A field army, based on the Jewish Settlement Police and trained in
more mobile operations, with an estimated strength of 16,000;
A full time force (Palmach), permanently mobilized and provided with
transport, with an estimated peace establishment of 2,000 and war establishment
It is known that the Haganah has been procuring arms over a period
of years. Vast quantities have been obtained from the residue of the
campaigns in the Middle East. Arms and ammunition are kept and concealed
in specially constructed caches in settlements and towns. The following
are particulars, furnished to us by the military authorities, of a search
which was conducted at Biriya Settlement about the time of our arrival
During the night of 27th-28th February, 1946, shots were fired at a
sentry of the Arab Legion at his post distant some mile or mile and
a half from Biriya. Although wounded in the thigh, he returned the fire.
Next manning blood stains and bandages were found and police dogs carried
a line direct from there to Biriya.
Biriya is situated in a commanding position on the hills of Northern
Galilee. It can only be described as a fort.
The population of Biriya were detained. They consisted of 25 men. Their
identity cards showed that they came from other parts of Palestine.
It was apparent that they were a platoon undergoing training.
A search in the neighborhood revealed two arms caches. They contained,
among other equipment, one Sten gun, one Bren, four modern rifles, one
wireless set, and grenades.
Numerous documents were also discovered in the caches. Their substance
connected the caches with Biriya, and a police dog taking scent from
the documents identified one of the men in the building at Biriya. The
documents included standing orders for the camp, notes on the structure
and duties of the Haganah, training manuals, notes on neighboring military
and police camps.
5. Something in the nature of conscription is in force, as is shown
by two press notices of the 6th November, 1945:
"A year's national service in communal settlements will now be
required from all Jewish senior school children aged 17-18; till now
it was obligatory only to those who had already left school."
Haboker (in this case a translation from Hebrew).
"The national institutions have decided to widen the scope of
the year's service duty, which up to now has been imposed on graduates
of the secondary schools, and to impose it on all girls and boys aged
"The Council of Youth Organizations decided, at its session on
31.10.45 immediately to begin fulfillment of the order given to the
Youth. The Council assumed the responsibility of enlisting immediately
all members of the Movements who were born in 1928. The enlistment of
the pupils of the secondary and trade schools will be carried out at
a time which is to be specially fixed. Before 11.11.45 every Movement
must submit to the Jewish Agency's Recruiting Department in Tel-Aviv
a roster of its members, male and female, who must enlist."
A useful adjunct for training purposes is provided from the Jewish
Settlement Police, a supplementary police force originally formed in
1936 for the close protection of Jewish settlements. The minimum term
of service is six months during which period they are paid by the (government.
We were informed that it often happens that they leave the police forge
after a short period of service and thereafter serve in the Haganah.
6. Apart from the Haganah, two further illegal armed organizations
exist, both having cut away from the parent body. One is the "Irgun
Zvai Leumi", which was formed in 1935 by dissident members of the
Haganah. The other is the "Stern Group" which broke away from
the Irgun early In the war when the latter announced an "armistice".
The Irgun operates under its own secret command mainly in sabotage and
terrorism against the Mandatory; its strength is estimated at from 3,000
to 5,000. The Stern Group engages in terrorism; its strength is said
to be between 200 and 300.
7. It seems clear that the activities of all these bodies could be
greatly reduced if there was any cooperation with the authorities by
the Jewish Agency and its officers, and by the rest of the population.
Unfortunately the Jewish Agency ceased to cooperate with the Government,
or at least reduced the measure of their cooperation as from the end
of the war.
We set out in the form of an extract from the Palestine Post; of the
30th December, 1945, the attitude of the Chairman of the Executive of
the Jewish Agency after the murders of the 27th December, 1945. In the
course of his evidence before us Mr. Ben Gurion said that he took responsibility
for giving this statement to the press:
"Following upon the outrages which occurred on Thursday night,
His Excellency the High (commissioner summoned Mr. D. Ben Gurion and
Mr. M. Shertok to see him at Government House on Friday morning, it
was officially stated yesterday.
"It is learned that during the interview, Mr. Ben Gurion and Mr.
Shertok declared that the Jewish Agency completely dissociated themselves
from the murderous attacks on Government and army establishments perpetrated
on Thursday night. They expressed their profound sorrow at the loss
of life caused by the attacks.
"But, they stated, any efforts by the Jewish Agency to assist
in preventing such acts would be rendered futile by the policy pursued
in Palestine by His Majesty's Government on which the primary responsibility
rests for the tragic situation created in the country, and which had
led in recent weeks to bloodshed and innocent victims among Jews, Britons
"The Jewish Agency representatives added that it was difficult
to appeal to the Yishuv to observe the law at a time when the Mandatory
Government itself was consistently violating the fundamental law of
the country embodied in the Palestine Mandate."
So long as this kind of view is put forward by the leaders of the Jewish
Agency it is impossible to look for settled conditions.
All three organizations to which reference has been made are illegal.
We recognize that until comparatively recently, efforts were made by
the Jewish Agency to curb attacks; we regret that these efforts appear
to have ceased. We believe that those responsible for the working of
the Jewish Agency-a body of great power and influence over the Jews
in Palestine-could do a great deal towards putting an end to outrages
such as we have described, which place the people of Palestine as well
as British soldiers and police in constant danger.
Private armies ought not to exist if they constitute a danger to the
peace of the world.
8. The position of Great Britain as Mandatory
is not a happy one. The Chairman of the Executive of the
Jewish Agency said that, in the event of the withdrawal of
the British troops, the Jews would take care of themselves.
Jamal Effendi Husseini, replying to a question, said that
it was the wish of the Arabs of Palestine that British forces
and police should be withdrawn forthwith. Auni Bey Abdul
Hadi, also representing the Arab Higher Committee, expressed
his agreement. Jamal Effendi Husseini stated that he did
not expect bloodshed but that, on the withdrawal of British
forces, there would be a return to the condition which preceded
the first World War (i. e. pre-Balfour Declaration). We are
clear in our minds that if British forces were withdrawn
there would be immediate and prolonged bloodshed the end
of which it is impossible to predict.
1. In view of the dissolution of the League of Nations
and of the statement of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in
the House of Commons on the 13th November, 1945, we assume that the
British Government will in the near future prepare a draft Trusteeship
Agreement for eventual submission to the United Nations, and that this
Agreement will include the terms under which Palestine will be administered.
We do not propose to refer to the existing Mandate in detail; it is
set out in Appendix VI.
2. Our views on future immigration policy are contained in Recommendation
No. 6 and in the Comments thereunder, and we have nothing to add to
3. With regard to the future government of Palestine, we have reviewed
the question of a solution by partition.
The Peel Commission stated (Chapter XX, paragraph 19): "Manifestly
the problem cannot be solved by giving either the Arabs or the Jews
all they want. The answer to the question 'which of them in the end
will govern Palestine ?' must surely be 'Neither."' That is the
view which we also have formed. They recommended the termination of
the Mandate, the partition of the country between the Arabs and the
Jews (excepting the Holy Places) and the setting up of two independent
States in treaty relations with Great Britain. These recommendations
were rejected by the Arabs and they did not meet with the complete approval
of the Jews. They were adopted in the first instance by the Government
of Great Britain, but subsequently a technical Commission was sent to
Palestine to ascertain facts and to consider in detail the practical
possibilities of a scheme of partition. As a result of the Partition
Commission's Report, His Majesty's Government announced their conclusion
that the examination by the Commission had shown that the political,
administrative and financial difficulties involved in the proposal to
create independent Arab and Jewish States inside Palestine were so great
that the solution of the problem was impracticable. The proposal accordingly
fell to the ground, and His Majesty's Government continued their responsibility
for the government of the whole of Palestine.
We have considered the matter anew and we have heard the views of various
witnesses of great experience. Partition has an appeal at first sight
as giving a prospect of early independence and self-government to Jews
and Arabs, but in our view no partition would have any chance unless
it was basically acceptable to Jews and Arabs, and there is no sign
of that today. We are accordingly unable to recommend partition as the
4. Palestine is a country unlike any other. It is not merely a place
in which Arabs and Jews live. Millions of people throughout the world
take a fervent interest in Palestine and in its Holy Places and are
deeply grieved by the thought that it has been the seat of trouble for
so long and by the fear that it may well become the cockpit of another
war. Lord Milner in 1923, having declared himself a strong supporter
of pro-Arab policy, said:
"Palestine can never be regarded as a country on the same footing
as the other Arab countries. You cannot ignore all history and tradition
in the matter. You cannot ignore the fact that this is the cradle of
two of the great religions of the world. It is a sacred land to the
Arabs, but it is also a sacred land to the Jews and the Christian; and
the future of Palestine cannot possibly be left to be determined by
the temporary impressions and feelings of the Arab majority in the country
of the present day."
The Peel Commission having cited those words wrote (Chapter II, paragraph
51): "The case stated by Lord Milner against an Arab control of
Palestine applies equally to a Jewish control." That expresses
our view absolutely.
Efforts have been made from time to time to encourage both Arabs and
Jews to take part in the Government of the country but these efforts
have failed through mutual antagonism; perhaps they might have been
pursued further. It is not the case of a backward people going through
a period of tutelage; the issue lies between Jews and Arabs.
We believe this can only be met by acceptance of the principle that
there shall be no domination of the one by the other, that Palestine
shall be neither an Arab nor a Jewish State. The setting up of self-governing
institutions is dependent on the will to work together on the part of
Jews and Arabs. There has been little sign of that in recent years and
yet we hope a change may take place if; and when the fear of dominance
is removed. We do not think that any Rood purpose would be served by
our going into further detail, once the will to work together appears,
representatives of both-sides will be of help in framing a constitution;
until that happens no step can be taken.
Meantime Palestine must remain under some form of Mandate or Trusteeship.
We have suggested elsewhere in our Report that much can be done to encourage
general advancement by the improvement of educational facilities and
measures directed to narrowing the social and economic disparities.
We feel, too, that it should be possible to draw the communities closer
together, and foster a popular interest in self-government at the local
level. Especially in the country districts, a spirit of good neighborliness
exists among the common people, Arabs and Jews, despite the general
state of political tension in the country. Practical cooperation is
evident in day-to-day affairs. We suggest that local administrative
areas might be formed, some purely Arab or Jewish in composition, but
some of mixed population where a corporate sense of civic responsibility
can be encouraged and a new beginning made in the development of self-government.
5. Land questions have been the cause of much friction and dispute
between Jews and Arabs. V7e are opposed to legislation and practices
which discriminate against either, and for the reasons already given
we recommend the rescission and replacement of the Land Transfers Regulations
of 1940 and the prohibition of restrictions limiting employment on certain
lands to members of one race, community or creed.
We are aware of the criticisms of the existing Land Ordinances and
we do not wish it to be thought that we consider that they afford adequate
protection to the Arab small-owners and tenants. In our opinion it should
be possible to devise Ordinances furnishing proper protection to such
Arabs no matter in what part of Palestine they may reside.
6. We have already stated that the 100,000 certificates for Palestine,
the immediate authorization of which we recommend, will provide for
only a comparatively small proportion of the total number of Jewish
refugees in Europe. The general problem of refugees must, we feel, be
dealt with by the United Nations. In our considered opinion it is a
matter for regret that this distressing problem has not been dealt with
before this time. True the great Powers have had many problems facing
them and they have dealt with many displaced persons, but the fact remains
that Jews and others have remained in camps or centers for very many
We observe that at a recent meeting of the General Assembly of the
United Nations the problem of displaced persons and refugees of all
categories was recognized to be one of immediate urgency, and it was
referred to the Economic and Social Council which has since established
a special Committee for its consideration. Without presuming to advise
that Committee, and with no desire to go beyond our Terms of Reference,
we cannot but observe that international bodies already established
for dealing with refugee problems have been unable, through insufficiency
of financial resources or other reasons, to fulfill the hopes placed
in them at the time of their formation. The world looks forward, we
believe, to the birth of a truly effective agency of international collaboration
in the humanitarian task of migration and resettlement.
We make Grateful acknowledgement of our deep indebtedness to the civil
and military officers of our two Governments. They have given us willing
and able assistance throughout our long journeyings and made it possible
for us to complete the report within the period allotted.
Our staff listed in the Appendix has worked admirably and efficiently
under pressure and often in difficult circumstances.
Finally, we desire to tender our sincere thanks to our efficient Secretaries,
H. G. Vincent, L. L. Rood, H. Beeley, and E. M. Wilson.
Signed at Lausanne, Switzerland, on April 20, 1946.
JOSEPH C. HUTCHESON, American Chairman
JOHN E. SINGLETON, British Chairman.
FRANK AYDELOTTE (US)
FRANK W. BUXTON (US)
W. F. CRICK (UK)
R. H. S. CROSSMAN (UK)
BARTLEY C. CRUM (US)
FREDERICK LEGGETT (UK)
R. E. MANNINGHAM-BULLER (UK)
JAMES G. McDonald (US)
WILLIAM PHILIPS (US)
LESLIE L. ROOD,
H. G. VINCENT,
EVAN M. WILSON,
1. In 1933, according to the Census, there
were in Germany 499,682 persons of the Jewish faith of whom
400,935 were of German nationality. Between 1933 and 1941
around 300,000 persons were able to emigrate to other countries,
though many must later have been overtaken as a result of
the successive Nazi conquests.
2. There are now, according to our information, about 74,000 Jewish
displaced persons, including migrants, in Berlin and the American, British
and French zones of Germany.* Of these, about 52,500 are accommodated
in the centers, the remainder living outside. In the British zone, out
of approximately 11,700 in centers, 9,000 are at Hohne. In the American
zone, they are distributed in a number of centers, of which our Sub-committee
3. Of the non-German Jewish population, 85 per cent are Poles; the
remainder are mainly from the Baltic States, Hungary and Rumania.
4. In addition to displaced Jews, there are about 20,000 native Jews
surviving in Germany. Evidence was presented to us to show that German
Jews, freed from concentration camps or slave labor, are faced with
great difficulty in finding a place again in the life of the country.
Few of their communities still survive. For example, of a community
of 4,500 in Stuttgart, only 178 remain, among whom are only two children.
While it is the firm policy of the military governments to eradicate
all forms of Nazism, and priority is given to Jews and to other persecuted
persons in respect of housing, food, clothing, etc., the German Jews
are still naturally apprehensive of the future when those Governments
will no longer be there. Anti-Semitism is traditional in Germany. In
some German circles there is much shame and a desire to make recompense,
but in-others there is a feeling that, now that the synagogues and all
traces of Jewish life have been destroyed (only one rabbi survives in
all of Germany), no attempt should be made to recreate Jewish life and
so give rise to the possibility of a repetition of past events.
5. The Jews themselves feel that, most of their children having perished,
their future in any case is dark. The more highly educated, particularly
some of the professional Jews with whom we talked, appeared to have
an interest in the building up of the communities, and are willing to
stay and help. We suspect that this movement is developing, but we recognize
that a few unfortunate incidents might well produce something of a panic
and induce a change of attitude. The great need appears to be the restoration
of property and financial help so that they may make a livelihood. Their
lack of means adds greatly to their unwillingness to attempt to stay
in Germany even when they are among friends. In Bavaria the German State
Administrator for Jewish Affairs has a keen realization of the important
part played by the Jews in German commerce and industry. He made it
clear that there was a real intention to give all possible encouragement
to Jews to reestablish themselves. Unless, however, greater opportunities
for employment can soon be found, it seems probable that few of the
German Jews will wish to remain in the country.
6. It is estimated that when Hitler invaded
Austria in 1938, there were about 190,000 Jews residing in
the country. Excluding displaced persons and migrants, there
are now some 4,500 in Vienna and an additional 2,500 in the
American, British and French zones.
We were informed by members of the Government that it was the Government's
desire to rehabilitate all Austrians on a basis of full equality and
without discrimination; and that the Government welcomed Austrian Jews,
like other persons, irrespective of religion, who wished to take part
in the rebuilding of the country. We were shown a letter addressed to
the Government by a group numbering 1,000 Austrian Jews in Palestine
and Egypt who wished to return.
7. Many of the Jews in Vienna are in receipt of assistance. The economy
of the country was disrupted by the war and its recovery is not facilitated
by the division of such a small land into four zones and Vienna into
five sectors. It seems probable that this division of control is partly
responsible for the delay in the promulgation of laws for the restitution
of the property, without which it is most difficult for Jews to reestablish
themselves. Some anti-Semitism still exists among the general population.
The fact that Jewish displaced persons are in receipt of higher rations
than the surrounding population, and that, for instance, at Bad Glastein
they are housed in some of the best hotels, tends towards a local feeling
of hostility to them. This is reflected upon Jews who are living outside
8. There are centers for Jewish displaced persons in both the American
and the British zones of Austria. In the American zone there were in
February approximately 5,600 occupants and on the first of April, 7,000.
In the British zone in February there were 819, and on the first of
April, 1,019. About 73 per cent of the 8,000 were Polish Jews. The number
in the British zone last November was in the neighborhood of 5,000.
Partly owing to the activities of the Jewish Brigade of the British
Army, a considerable number succeeded in crossing the Italian frontier,
though the total number who have crossed since last summer is not assessed
at more than 8,000. Later the Jewish Brigade were withdrawn and the
frontier controls tightened.
9. In Vienna converge two streams of migrants, one from Poland and
another from Hungary and Rumania. From Vienna the migrants usually continue
westwards through Enns and Salzburg to the American zone of Germany.
On arrival in Vienna, the Jews are taken to transient centers. When
some members of the Committee visited one of them-the Rothschild Hospital-an
American officer told them that 150 Hungarian Jewish children and 90
Rumanian Jewish adults had arrived by train from Budapest the day before,
and explained that the American Army authorities allowed the American
Jewish Joint Distribution Committee to collect Jews in Hungary and to
organize their arrival in groups.
10. The Vienna Area Command operates transient centers for Jews at
the Rothschild Hospital and the Strudelhofgass, through which 3,085
Jews passed in December last, 3,229 in January, 2,443 in February and
1,150 in March. Transient centers were also opened at Enns and Salzburg
in the American zone.
While at first endeavoring to check the flow of migrants, the American
authorities felt impelled by humanitarian considerations to accept all
who had arrived, after much hardship, at the border of the zone
11. We found that the Jews were sent by train from Vienna through the
Russian zone to Enns and left a day or so later by lorries for Salzhurg.
They arrived in groups of 200. In the Salzburg transient camp which
we visited, there was accommodation for 250, and we were told that the
officer responsible had given instructions that the number was to be
kept at that figure. The period of residence at this camp was limited.
The camp was run under military supervision by a number of Jews and
they called out the names of those who were to move on The flow through
this camp was at the rate of 2,000 a month. The officer in Vienna got
reports from the transient camp as to the extent of the accommodation
available from day to day and, having regard to those reports and the
way in which Jews were accumulating in Vienna, he authorized the dispatch
of a certain number to the American zone and provided the group with
a pass which would take them through to Salzburg.
This showed quite a different practice from that adopted in the British
zone, where efforts were made to prevent unauthorized migration. We
pointed this out, and we have now been advised that the practice in
the American zone has been changed and that it now accords with that
followed in the British zone. This, we believe, is all to the good.
Though on occasions Jews still arrive in Vienna in substantial numbers
by train, their onward movement is no longer being facilitated. These
migrants now receive the same ration as the ordinary Austrian civilian,
1,200 calories a day instead of the former ration of 2,300 to 2,400
a day when they were treated as "persecuted persons" In addition,
however, they continue to receive parcels of food from the American
Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which amounts at present to about
400 calories a day.
12. When there was constant movement, it was obviously easier for the
military authorities to transport the migrants in groups on trains and
trucks from Vienna, since failure to supply transport would not have
stopped their progress to the American zone of Germany The new policy,
however, seems to be right in reducing the pressure upon certain areas
and in deterring Jews, unless there is compelling reason to the contrary,
from complicating the solution of the problem by irregular movement.
13. With a pre-war Jewish population of
just under 10 per cent of the total,* the Jews constituted
27.3 per cent of the inhabitants of the cities and towns
and only 3.2 per cent of the rural population. When Poland
was partitioned in 1939, it is estimated that the territory
occupied by the Germans was inhabited by 2,042,600 Jews,
while that which came under Soviet rule contained 1,309,000.
14. We received conflicting information as to the extent of active
anti-Semitism in Poland before the war. There is no doubt that it existed
and was accompanied by economic discrimination against the Jews. A document
supplied to us by a Jewish organization, however, states that before
the war "Polish workers and most of the peasants generally refused
to play the anti-Semitic game and the workers in particular often defended
the Jews against their assailants." The development of nationalization,
state enterprise and cooperative societies in Poland before the war
not only led to the narrowing of what had been the normal field for
Jewish activity, but, owing to racial feeling and competition for a
living, led also to the gradual elimination of Jews from the industries
This in pre-war Poland resulted in an overcrowding of the professions
and other occupations still open to private enterprise in which the
majority of Jews had been employed.
15. We received a number of accounts of Polish participation in the
German campaign of extermination of the Jews. Intense German propaganda
was directed to inflaming the Poles against them and it would indeed
be remarkable if it had been entirely without effect on some individuals.
In view, however, of the strong opposition of the Poles to anything
emanating from the Germans, we doubt whether the propaganda did much
more than keep existing anti-Semitism alive.
Except for the closing sentence, we think the position during the war
is stated with fair accuracy in the following quotation from the document
referred to above: "In the defense of Warsaw and other cities the-Jews
participated and fought side by side with the Poles and a better understanding
between the two peoples seems to have been evolved during the Polish
campaign. However, it was reported that when the Germans first occupied
the country some Polish anti-Semitic groups collaborated with the Nazis
in their. anti-Jewish policies. This was limited to relatively small
groups of young people . . .The majority of the Polish people refused
to collaborate with the Nazis on any score including that of anti-Semitism
. . .
When the Jews, facing a desperate situation, decided to resist the
complete destruction of the ghettos with arms, the Polish Underground
Movement provided them with weapons. Thousands of Jews according to
reliable reports have-succeeded in escaping the ghettos and have fled
to the small towns and villages. The peasants are reported to have hidden
them from the German executioners and a general feeling of solidarity
with the Jews is prevailing throughout the country". The penalty
for harboring a Jew was that all the inmates in the house in which he
was found were shot.
16. It is impossible to secure accurate statistics in Poland today
but it is estimated that only 80,000 of the former Jewish population
of 3,351,000 are now there. In our view, based on information obtained
from a number of widely different sources, the vast majority of this
number now want to leave Poland, and will, if they can.
17. Their reasons for leaving are many and cogent. In our view it is
not correct to say that at the present time "a general feeling
of solidarity with the Jews prevails throughout the country." The
contrary appears to be the case. Indeed, there seems to be a very considerable
measure of hostility: among the population towards the Jews. In a country
ravaged by war, perhaps more so than any other, with its economy disrupted,
the Jews and Poles are competitors for a meager livelihood. The laws
-give Jews the right to claim property that once belonged to them or
deceased relatives, but the exercise of that right against the Polish
possessor is in itself a cause of hostility. Indeed, stories were told
of Jews being deterred from claiming what was lawfully theirs by threats
to their personal safety.
18. Throughout the country there is a high degree of lawlessness. We
are satisfied that the Government is doing what it can by the passage
of legislation to destroy anti-Semitism but, until the rule of law is
restored, the enforcement of its mandates must be both spasmodic and
ineffective. We have referred to the-narrowing effect in pre-war Poland
of nationalization and state enterprise on Jewish economy and there
is a danger that the present regime, while preventing anti-Semitism
so far as it can, may by its policy in other fields restrict the area
of Jewish activity. There are many Signs of inflation, few of expanding
private business. Jews occupy prominent positions in the Government
and a number are employed in the civil service and police. This of itself
appears to be a cause of hostility towards the Jews, since responsibility
for unpopular actions of the Government is attributed to them.
19. In addition there was the elimination by the Germans of the whole
foundation of Jewish life and culture, confiscation of their funds and
property, the destruction of their synagogues and the obliteration of
their cemeteries. For Polish Jews there are so many reminders of their
suffering and of the death of their relatives, that to start again in
Poland must indeed be a most formidable task. In the small village of
Lowicz there were formerly about 3,000 Jews. Now there are only 20.
This village is no doubt typical of countless other villages and cities
throughout Europe. Such a Situation cannot fail to be disheartening
and distressing to a returning Jew, often the sole survivor of his family.
The desire must be intensely strong to pick up the threads of lye again
elsewhere-where opportunities appear more favorable, where he will not
be surrounded by a population inclined to resent his presence, and where
he will not be perpetually reminded of past events.
20. Before the war Zionism in Poland was strong and a large number
of Polish Jews migrated to Palestine.* Political Zionism with its demand
for the creation of a Jewish State is strong among the Jewish survivors.
Accounts of life in Palestine given before the war are remembered and
rendered doubly attractive by contrast with the ordeals they have endured.
These accounts are repeated now and play their part in inducing the
Jews to set out on the road to Germany which is believed to lead to
Palestine. Many Jewish organizations are now operating in Poland and
a Jew who is homeless will normally make contact with them. If he wishes
to leave Poland he will in all likelihood be advised to express his
preference for Palestine. In association with others it becomes a fervent
wish fervently expressed. But without propaganda or personal influence,
there are, as we have indicated, sufficient reasons for Jews to wish
to leave Poland and go to a country where they can be assured of sympathy
21. In addition to the Polish Jews now in Poland, those Poles and Polish
Jews now in the U. S. S. R. can, under an agreement entered into between
the two Governments "withdraw from Soviet citizenship" and
return to Poland. Some have already arrived and responsible officials
declare that a further 800,000, including about 150,000 Jews, are expected
to come. It appears to be the general view that the majority of the
Jews returning will not wish to remain in Poland. Some however, may
settle in the lands taken over from Germany, and we gathered that this
would be welcomed by the Polish Government, although it is stated that
no obstacle is placed in the path of Jews who wish to leave.
22. In view of this information and the possible departure of the majority
of the 80,000 referred to in paragraph 16, up to 200,000 Jews may wish
to leave the country and Poland consequently must be regarded as one
of the chief possible sources of mass migration. Movement across the
"green border", that is to say, through the woods and forests
on the frontier in the southwest, is facilitated by the terrain and
by the inadequacy of frontier controls in territory only lately brought
under Polish administration.
23. UNRRA is operating in Poland and we believe that if it were allowed
to provide reception centers, especially to assist those returning from
the U. S. S. R., mood suffering would be prevented and perhaps a stabilizing
24. In what was inevitably a fleeting visit, some of us saw part of
the work which the International Red Cross in Warsaw is doing to trace
the fate or whereabouts of Poles and to supply information to inquirers
at home or abroad, meager as it may often be. There is no special section
for Jews but the work is largely concerned with them. We feel that this
merciful work it greatly handicapped by the inadequacy of premises,
equipment and stair. The Central Jewish Committee has a similar office.
25. The existence of an organization deliberately facilitating emigration
was not established, but it seems probable that a kind of "grape
vine" or underground system has come into existence whereby the
emigrating Jew is passed on from hand to hand on the way out. We felt
great concern lest this migration increase into an uncontrollable flood,
leading to much suffering and chaos in the countries of passage, but
information obtained since our visit indicates that there has been at
least a temporary reduction in the flow. The two main routes that were
followed at the time of our visit, both ending in the American zone
of Germany, were through Berlin and through Vienna, Linz and Salzburg.
26 Before the war France had a Jewish population
of about 320,000. It is estimated that there are now about
180,000. Although about 80,000 of these are not French nationals,
the overwhelming majority are permanent residents now coming
within the refugee or displaced persons categories. In February,
some 40,000 Jews were in need of varying forms of relief
largely supplied by the American Jewish Joint Distribution
Committee. The French Government provides some assistance
for the 5,000 who have returned out of the 120,000 deported.
Another problem is presented by the substantial number of
orphaned Jewish children who are now being cared for in most
instances by private agencies. It is understood that there
are some 20,000 recent refugees to whom France may be unable
to extend the right of permanent residence. At present, this
group is handicapped by difficulty in securing permits to
work or travel.
27. Through Czechoslovakia must pass the
other main stream of Jewish migrants on their way to Vienna.
Before Munich, the Jewish population of Czechoslovakia totalled
some 360,000. By September 1939, mainly as a result of emigration,
the Jews within pre-Munich boundaries numbered but 315,000;
about 80,000 in Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia; approximately
135,000 in Slovakia, and around 100,000 in the Carpatho-Ukraine.
BOHEMIA, MORAVIA AND
28. From the Czech provinces perhaps an
additional 10,000 succeeded in emigrating after the outbreak
of the war, thus escaping the fate of many thousands of their
relatives, friends and neighbors left behind. About 68,000
entered concentration camps; only about 3,000 survived.
About 10,000 Czech Jews have returned; 2,500 or so from the countries
in which they found temporary refuge, many of them as soldiers in the
Czechoslovak armies. There are also 6,000-8,000 Jews from the Sub-Carpathian
Ukraine who regard themselves as Czechoslovak citizens, so that there
are roughly 16,000 registered Jews in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia.
It is estimated that in addition there are probably 3,000-4,000 unregistered
Following the liberation of the country, all anti-Jewish laws and decrees
were voided. All compulsory transfers of Jewish property were declared
null and void under a Presidential Decree of May 1945, but the process:
of restitution is still in its initial stages Economic rehabilitation
is thus not yet accomplished.
Nevertheless, the Council of Jewish Communities were confident that
in due course Jews would take their place in the life of the Republic,
and that as intelligent and diligent people they would be a useful and
valuable element in the community.
29. Of the 135,000 Slovakian Jews, some
40,000 had already been lost to Hungary under the Vienna
Arbitration in 1938. The usual rigid anti-Jewish measures
were introduced during the war. Five thousand more Jews managed
to leave the country and of the remaining 90,000, 72,000
were deported; a further 10,000 escaped to Hungary and 8,000
went into hiding or fought as partisans, of whom 3,000 were
Eight thousand returned from deportation, 10,000 from territories restored
by Hungary and 7,000 from countries where they had served as soldiers
or in other capacities so that with the 5,000 survivors of partisan
activity and those emerging from their hiding places, there are now
only 30,000 left of the original 135,000. Of this 30,000, only 24,000
now profess the Jewish faith. The balance, in the belief that it might
save their lives, accepted conversion. It is thought that most of them
will revert to Judaism.
30. As a result of six years of Nazi education and propaganda and partly
on account of fear of having to restore to Jews property on which their
livelihood may now depend, anti-Semitism and hostility to Jews is evident.
The policy of the State in facilitating cooperative enterprises renders
it difficult for Jews, no less than others, who were in retail business
to gain a footing. The granting of business licenses is often subject
to conditions as to knowledge of languages and possession of capital
which the Jews cannot meet.
31. There are many, particularly in Slovakia, who wish to emigrate.
Zionism was always strong there and it is estimated that at the present
time 60 per cent of the Jews wish to leave. This number is likely to
diminish if and when the restitution of property enables them to become
established. In the Czech provinces several hundred young Jews organized
in the "Hechalutz", which is a Zionist organization for training
young persons for life in Palestine, are determined to go there. There
are 230-300 orphans whose relatives abroad desire to take care of them.
In Czechoslovakia, the majority of the survivors have during the Nazi
persecution lost all their near relatives.
32. The Government and leaders of intellectual movements are repudiating
fiercely the ideology of anti-Semitism as incompatible with the principles
of a civilized nation. In consequence, anti-Semitism is likely to diminish,
and if this is accompanied by restitution of property, we think that
a considerable number, including many who now profess a desire to migrate,
will decide to remain in the country in which they were so deeply rooted.
Rumania, Hungary, Bulgaria
33. We have been obliged to base our report
with regard to these countries solely on documents and on
such evidence as we were able to obtain from outside their
34. In 1939, Rumania had a Jewish population
of around 850,000. We were told that today, within the country's
present borders, there are 335,000 the largest Jewish community
in any European country. During the war all the German racial
laws were put into effect. Many thousand of Jews were killed
and most of those who survived were forced to do slave labor.
Few retained any of their possessions. Their re-establishment
in the economic life of the country presents great difficulties.
For example, throughout the war Jewish youth received no
technical instruction, and the attitude of the non-Jewish
population is unfriendly.
In November, 1945, 50 per cent of Rumanian Jews were unable to make
a living and were receiving assistance from the American Jewish Joint
The Government, we understand, sympathizes with the Jews and has passed
laws providing for the restitution of their properties and rights, but
their enforcement meets with similar difficulties to those met elsewhere.
The dispossession of the present occupants from what they have begun
to regard as their own homes and from the businesses on which they now
depend for their livelihood encounters inevitable resistance. Enforcement
of the laws which has commenced is in itself a cause of hostility towards
Jews and, as in Poland, the presence of Jews in the Government and in
the police creates a certain amount of hostile feeling against the Jewish
35. It is impossible for us to form any reliable estimate from the
information we have received of the number of Jews who wish or will
be impelled to leave Rumania but there are indications that many wish
to do so. In the Regat, less affected by deportations, a larger proportion
will doubtless wish to stay. Indeed, we have heard that from the country
as a whole, some 150,000 have already made formal application for Palestine
36. In the territory that is Hungary today
there were in 1939 about 400,000 Jews. This was a country
whose people suffered severely from deportations. It is estimated
that there are now about 200,000 Jews of whom 90 per cent
live in Budapest.
While some Jews occupy Government positions and some we are told are
profiting on inflation and the black market, the lot of the vast majority
is shown by the following figures: in 194S, 77 per cent of all the Jews
in Budapest were in receipt of clothing relief from Jewish organizations;
46 per cent received food; 66 per cent money; and 14 per cent help towards
payment of rent. There is no legal discrimination against them, but
owing to the failure to implement Government decrees, many Jews who
lost everything have received little by-way of restitution.
Our information is that there has been a sharp rise in anti-Semitism.
Propaganda in this direction has been carried on for 25 years and is
still continuing. Efforts to recover property have the usual repercussions.
Participation by Jews in the Government and their membership in the
secret police cause the same reaction as in Poland.
37. All these factors and the deterioration of the country's economy
have led to the conclusion that only the thoroughly assimilated, the
older people and the Jewish Communists and Socialists will wish to remain,
that is to say, 30,000-40,000 or less than 25 per cent of the Jewish
38. As in Poland, the chief desire seems to be to get out. The United
States appears to be the first choice for immigration, but as it is
appreciated that under the existing laws large-scale immigration there
is impossible, between 50,000 and 60,000 Jews have expressed a wish
to go to Palestine. They feel that better opportunities exist for immigration
from military zones and consequently many hundreds of Hungarian Jews
are still outside of Hungary and many are making their way into the
American occupied zones of Germany and Austria.
39. We received evidence that both in Rumania and Hungary Zionist organizations
are active, and that the movement westwards is well directed by those
who received first rate training in illegal activities during the war.
Their organizations have been kept intact and now form part of the Hungarian
and Rumanian Central Jewish Committees. On these Committees the Zionists
appear to have the controlling influence and non-Zionist bodies now
seem to accept the necessity of large scale emigration while doing what
they can to improve conditions for those Jews who wish to remain. Funds
for relief are supplied by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.
They are paid to the Jewish Central Committees in each country, and
as the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee cannot place any
representatives east of Vienna, there is little, if any, control over
40. In Bulgaria, compared with other countries,
the number of Jews who died as a result of Nazi persecution
was small. There are now some 45,000 Jews in the country
as compared with 50,000 in 1939. They were subjected to the
whole range of discriminatory legislation, confiscation and
forced sales of property and compulsory labor service. Again,
though such legislation has been repealed, the position of
Jews compares badly with that of other citizens and the machinery
for securing restitution of property is cumbersome and slow.
There is, it appears, no anti-Semitism in Bulgaria, but in common with
those who do not like the present regime, all non-Communist Jews desire
to leave the country. The majority, apart from those benefiting from
support of the Government, are impoverished and embittered. They desire
to emigrate to any country where there is a possibility of a fresh start.
Twelve thousand of them have registered for emigration to Palestine,
but on our present information it appears doubtful whether they will
be afforded facilities for leaving.
41. Of approximately 75,000 Jews in Yugoslavia
before the war, it is estimated that about 11,000 remain.
Their economic condition does not, it is believed, differ
from that of the other inhabitants of the country and their
attitude towards emigration appears to depend on their political
outlook and not on fears of anti-Semitism of which no evidence
exists. It is thought that about 2,750 Jews wish to emigrate
to Palestine and 550 or so to other countries, chiefly to
the United States.
42. The present Jewish population appears
to be in the region of 46,000, of whom 30,000 are native
Jews with regard to whom no special problem arises. There
are some 6,500 non-Italian Jews in the four principal centers
in the south of Italy under the administration of UNRRA,
and in other parts there are further centers containing about;
5,500. An additional 4,000 non-Italian Jews are said to be
existing precariously in various cities.
The center at Santa Maria di Bagni consists of the whole village set
aside for the purpose by the Italian authorities. Once a summer seaside
resort, the villas occupied by 2,000 non-Italian Jews are not unattractive,
though badly lacking in furniture.
The reception given to our Sub-committee there was similar to that
at many other centers in Germany and elsewhere visited by our members.
Six hundred to seven hundred of the community marched in military fashion
carrying banners. A cohort of small children marching in pairs carried
a banner with the slogan "Down with the White Paper." Clearly
the demonstration was not spontaneous, but carefully organized.
One group of young men, who it was said represented the more turbulent
section of the community, carried a banner to the effect that the Committee
WAS "an insult to the Jewish nation". Usually at other centers
the banners demanded free immigration into Palestine, a Jewish State.
"The end of the White Book". (sic)
The Sub-committee also visited another settlement on the coast in pleasant
surroundings, Santa Maria di Leuca, containing nearly 2,000 non-Italian
Jews, the majority of whom, as at the other camp to which reference
has been made, were young people. The night was spent there and the
next morning it was found that seven tires of the Committee's cars had
been cut. Such unfortunate incidents are mentioned merely as evidence
of the intense feeling against remaining in centers even in attractive
surroundings and of the almost fanatical love for Palestine.
43. The Italian Government and people are friendly to these non-Italian
Jews. But Italy in her present economic condition cannot assimilate
them even if they wished to remain within her borders. There is no desire
on the part of Italian Jews to emigrate.
44. We have referred to these people as non-Italian Jews for it is
impossible to classify them as displaced persons and migrants. The majority
of them have made their way over the frontier into Italy and regard
the country only as a point of departure for Palestine.
45. In Greece there are some 10,000 Jews-survivors
of a prewar population of 75,000. Of the largest community
of 56,000 at Salonika, only some 2,000 survive. During the
Nazi occupation, the great majority of Jews were deported,
a few remained in hiding. The survivors are now scattered
over the country. The largest communities are in Athens and
Fundamentally, there is no anti-Semitism. Practically all Jewish property
was confiscated, however, and though legislation directed to restitution
has been enacted, the process will inevitably be difficult and may complicate
relations between Jews and the surrounding population.
There are acute economic difficulties. About half of the Jewish population
is in receipt of assistance. A lack of balance in the small communities,
where the majority of the survivors are men, adversely affects the prospects
of family life. The estimated number of potential emigrants ranges up
to 50 per cent, depending upon the estimator. Much will depend on the
progress of economic recovery.
46. The pre-war Jewish population was 90,000.
It is now 33,000, of whom 6,000 are German and Austrian refugees
and 2,000 are recent immigrants. The authorities are helpful
to the Jews and the status of the German and Austrian refugees
has been legalized. There is no tendency to large-scale emigration.
47. The pre-war Jewish population, including
refugees, was approximately 150,000. There are now some 30,000,
including 6,000 refugees of German, Austrian and other nationalities.
Although granted temporary asylum, these refugees have not
yet been given rights of permanent residence. The attitude
of the Dutch Government is helpful to the Jews and there
is no evidence of any strong desire to emigrate.
48. In Switzerland, a country which provided
asylum for some 35,000 Jews, mostly from France and Italy,
there are now about 10,500 Jewish refugees, 24,500 or so
having returned to their country of origin or residence.
The policy of Switzerland has bean to afford temporary refuge and to
allow transit. In addition, it is indicated that some 4,000 of these
refugees may remain if funds are provided for their support, but that
it cannot absorb the others.
* British 15,600; French i,600; American 54,000; Berlin 3,000. Back
* 1931 census total population 31,915,000- Jews by religion 3,113,000
(9.8 per cent). 1939 official estimate total population 35,339,000;
Jews by religion, 3,351,000 (9.7 per cent). Back
* From 1922 to 1929. some 46 per cent of
Jewish immigrants to Palestine were from Poland. After 1933,
this percentage declined due to the increased Immigration
from Germany caused by Nazi persecution. During the four
years 1936 through 1939 German and Austrian immigrants, representing
only a negligible percentage for the earlier period, increased
from 30 to 57 per cent of the total, The proportion of Polish
to total Jeremiah immigrants declined from 41 to 11 per cent.
*The figures in this column include refugee as well as native Jews.
a In 1937, the Jewish population of Austria was approximately 192,000.
By the outbreak of the war, the emigration of over 100,000, together
with persecution and deportations had reduced the number to some 60,000.
b The figure refers to the Jewish population within pre-Munich boundaries,
when the Jews of Czechoslovakia numbered about 360,000. By September
1939, due mainly to emigration, the number had fallen to approximately
c Does not include such Jewish survivors as have remained in the Carpatho-Ukraine,
the territory now in the Soviet Union.
d According to the census of June 1933 the Jewish population of Germany
totaled 499,682. By September 1939 the emigration of something over
200,000, Persecution and natural population decline had reduced the
number to around 215,000.
e The figure refers to the Jewish population within pre-Munich boundaries.
f These figures do not include an estimated 15,000 prisoners of war
now in the Soviet Union who are expected ultimately to be repatriated.
g These figures do not include an estimated 150,000 Polish Jews in
the Soviet Union, to whom the option of repatriation has been made available.
h Inclusive of the Jewish population of Bessarabia and Bukovina, which
are now in the Soviet Union.
i Does not Include an estimated 40-45,000 survivors of Bessarabia and
Bukovina. The pre-war Jewish population within present Rumanian boundaries
was approximately 520,000. Included in the 1916 figure of 335,000 are
40,000 formerly residing in the two ceded provinces.
j Includes the 1939 Jewish population of
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, estimated at about 250,000.
Before the First World War the area today
identified as Palestine had no separate existence as a single
administrative unit within the Turkish Empire. Its population
consisted of some 689,000 persons, of whom about 85,000 were
Jews. The remainder were an Arabic speaking people, racially
mixed but linguistically and culturally akin to the peoples
of Syria, Mesopotamia, the Arabian peninsula and Egypt. The
great majority of the Palestinian Arabs were Moslems, somewhat
less than ten per cent being Christian. The economy of the
land was overwhelmingly agricultural and the standard of
living was low.
During the course of the First World War, which brought a British military
occupation of Palestine, various commitments relating directly or indirectly
to that area were made by the British and the other Allied and Associated
Governments. The Hussein-McMahon letters of 1915-1916 promised British
assistance to the Arab peoples in freeing themselves from the Turks
and in establishing their independence. The limitations and restrictions
placed upon this promise have always been held by the British Government
to have excluded the area of Palestine. The Arab leaders, however, have
insisted that Arab independence was promised there as elsewhere.
In 1917 the British Government issued the Balfour Declaration, stating
that it viewed with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national
home for the Jewish people and would endeavor to facilitate the achievement
of this object, although nothing should be done which might prejudice
the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in
Palestine. The French and Italian Governments endorsed the Declaration
in 1918, and a Joint Resolution of Congress in 1922 gave formal United
States sanction to the ideal of the Jewish national home. This "National
Home" was new to international law and subject to varied interpretations.
It appears certain that no one in 1917 contemplated the immediate creation
of a Jewish State to rule over the large Arab majority in Palestine.
But many responsible persons in the British and United States Governments
and among the Jewish people believed that a considerable Jewish majority
might develop in Palestine in the course of time, and that a Jewish
State might thus be the ultimate outcome of the Balfour Declaration.
These wartime commitments complicated the future of Palestine. Arab
leaders could insist that they possessed a promise of an independent
Arab Palestine as an additional support to their claims on the land
based upon prescription and national self-determination. The Jews could
claim an international pledge to assist in the creation of a Jewish
National Home in Palestine.
The Palestine Mandate
As a part of the peace settlement at the
end of the First World War, Palestine was placed under a
League of Nations Mandate with Great Britain as the administering
Power. The mandatory instrument approved by the Council of
the League of Nations in July, 1922, and becoming effective
in September, 1923, recited the Balfour Declaration and gave
recognition to the historical connection of the Jews with
Palestine and to their right to reconstitute their National
Home in that country.
Legislative and administrative authority was given to the Mandatory
which was enjoined to place the country under such political, administrative,
and economic conditions as would secure the establishment of a Jewish
National Home and the development of self-governing institutions, and
was also enjoined to safeguard the civil and religious rights of all
the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race or religion. A Jewish
agency was to be recognized as a public body to advise and cooperate
with the Palestine Administration in matters affecting the National
The Mandate, moreover, required Great Britain to facilitate Jewish
immigration and to encourage close settlement on the land. Though extensive
safeguards were provided for the non-Jewish peoples, the Mandate was
framed primarily in the Jewish interest.
Even before the Palestine Mandate went into effect it had become evident
that the Arab leaders in Palestine were not prepared readily to acquiesce
in the creation of a Jewish National Home. Arab independence was their
demand. Riots occurred in 1920 and 1921, and Arab unrest spread. An
effort to define the term "National Home" in the hope of calming
Arab fears and conciliating Arab opinion appeared to the British Government
to be essential.
The Churchill White Paper of 1922655555, therefore, disclaimed the
intention of creating a Jewish State in Palestine, defined the National
Home in terms of a culturally autonomous Jewish community, and looked
forward to the ultimate creation of a bi-national but unitary Palestinian
State in which Jews and Arabs might cooperate. It agreed that Jewish
immigration must continue, but established the concept of the economic
absorptive capacity of the country as a limiting factor. This statement
of policy was accepted. though without enthusiasm, by the Jews but was
rejected by the Arabs. Arab refusal to cooperate resulted in the abandonment
of a plan to introduce an elective element into the central government.
The first of the major attempts to settle the Palestine problem thus
failed. Arab-Jewish cooperation was not obtained.
The Disturbances of 1929
and the 1930 White Paper
The years between 1923 and 1926 were ones
of relative peace in Palestine. The Government was organized
largely on the Crown Colony model, with the responsible posts
in the hands of British officials. Under the terms of the
Religious Communities Ordinance, the Jewish community established
an organization with many of the attributes of a semi-autonomous
government, but the Arabs, intent on independence, rejected
such a status for themselves.
The population, which in 1922 stood at 757,000 persons, of whom slightly
more than 11 per cent were Jews, increased by 1929 to 960,000, of whom
more than 16 per cent were Jews. This increase in the Jewish percentage
appeared highly alarming to the Arab leaders.
In 1929 Arab dissatisfaction with the Mandate and the modified Jewish
National Home of the White Paper showed itself in serious riots. A new
statement of policy appeared necessary to the Shaw Commission which
investigated the disturbances, and in October, 1930, the Passfield White
Paper was issued. It reiterated the cultural nature of the National
Home as defined in the Churchill Paper of 1922, and proposed further
restrictions upon immigration and more stringent limitations upon the
right of land purchase. It specifically espoused the theory of a bi-partite
and equal obligation under the Mandate to the Jews and the Arabs and
denied that the clauses designed to safeguard the rights of the non-Jewish
communities were merely secondary conditions qualifying the provisions
which called for the establishment of the National Home. It proposed
the creation of a legislative council, modeled on the lines of that
suggested in 1922. This statement was particularly unpalatable to the
Jews, and the MacDonald letter of 1931, issued as an official interpretation
of the policy, virtually explained away the intent to limit immigration
and land sales. It also announced that the mandatory clauses protecting
Arab rights were not to be construed as freezing existing conditions.
Though the Jews were somewhat placated, the Arabs were correspondingly
indignant, and the second major attempt to settle the Palestine issue
The Arab Revolt and Partition
In the years from 1931 to 1936 the material
progress of Palestine in agriculture and industry tended
to reduce political unrest and tension. New proposals for
a partially elected legislative council were presented by
the Administration but were again rejected, this time by
the Jews. Meanwhile, the population had grown to 1,366,000
persons, of whom almost 28 per cent were Jews.
Arab displeasure showed itself again in 1936 in a general strike in
support of demands for self-government, the prohibition of land transfers
to Jews, and the immediate cessation of Jewish immigration. The strike
was marked by violence which again brought the Palestine problem sharply
to the attention of the British Government. The Royal Commission which
was established to investigate the situation denied the theory of equal
obligations to Arabs and Jews, arguing that the Mandate had been predicated
upon the supposition that the Palestine Arabs would accept the Jewish
National Home. Since they had not done so, the Commission reached the
conclusion that the Mandate had become unworkable and must be abrogated.
It suggested Partition. A Jewish State would include Galilee, the Plain
of Esdraelon and the coastal plain; an Arab State, most of the rest
of Palestine and Trans-Jordan. Permanent mandates were proposed for
the Jerusalem area and certain Christian Holy Places.
The Peel Report was published on 7th July, 1937. At the same time,
the British Government released a statement of policy, agreeing with
its conclusions and proposing to seek from the League of Nations authority
to proceed with a plan of partition. The reception accorded the Peel
proposals was, however, generally unfavorable. The Jewish Agency at
once attacked partition as a breach of the Balfour Declaration which
had promised a National Home in the whole of Palestine.
Later, however, both the Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency
adopted resolutions which authorized negotiations with the British Government
to ascertain the precise terms to be advanced for the creation of a
Jewish State, though they rejected the details of the Peel plan. The
Arab leaders, both in the Husseini-controlled Arab Higher Committee
and in the Nashashibi National Defense Party denounced partition and
reiterated their demands for independence.
In Great Britain the House of Commons adopted a non-committal resolution,
whereby the Cabinet was authorized to seek League of Nations approval
of partition as a preliminary to the drafting of a definite plan for
submission to Parliament. In its turn the Permanent Mandates Commission
conceded that it would be desirable to examine a plan of partition but
opposed the immediate grant of independence to the new States which,
it held, would need a period of tutelage under mandate. Finally, the
League of Nations Council, acting on 16th September, 1937, requested
Great Britain to carry out a study of the status of Palestine, concentrating
on a solution involving partition. In Palestine the brief period of
peace which followed the publication of the Peel Report was succeeded
by renewed Arab disturbances, culminating in the assassination of the
Acting District Commissioner for Galilee. This new campaign of violence
resulted in a more vigorous government policy.
On 30th September, 1937, regulations were issued allowing the Government
to detain political deportees in any part of the British Empire, and
authorizing the High Commissioner to outlaw associations whose objectives
he regarded as contrary to public policy. Haj Amin el-Husseini was removed
from the leadership of the Supreme Moslem Council and the General Waqf
Committee, the local National Committees and the Arab Higher Committee
were disbanded; five Arab leaders were deported to the Seychelles; and
in fear of arrest Jamal el-Husseini fled to Syria and Haj Amin el-Husseini
to Lebanon. In November, 1937, military courts were established for
the trial of offenses connected with the carrying and discharge of firearms,
sabotage and intimidation. Despite this, however, the Arab campaign
of murder and sabotage continued and Arab gangs in the hills took on
the appearance of organized guerrilla fighters.
In July, 1938, when the Palestine Government seemed to have largely
lost control of the situation, the garrison was strengthened from Egypt,
and in September it was further reinforced from England. The police
were placed under the operational control of the army commander, and
military officials superseded the civil authorities in the enforcement
of order. In October the Old City of Jerusalem, which had become a rebel
stronghold, was reoccupied by the troops. By the end of the year a semblance
of order had been restored in the towns, but terrorism continued in
rural areas until the outbreak of the Second World War.
The Woodhead Commission
Preparations for the appointment of the
technical commission to examine the details of a partition
scheme moved slowly. On 4th January, 1938, the terms of reference
were published. They required the commission to recommend
for the proposed Arab and Jewish areas boundaries that would
afford a prospect of the eventual establishment of independent
states and necessitate the inclusion of the smallest number
of Arabs in the Jewish area and of Jews in the Arab area.
The British Government stated that, if a scheme of partition
which it regarded as equitable and practicable emerged from
the work of the commission, it would be referred to the Council
of the League of Nations for consideration.
The Woodhead Commission arrived in Palestine late in April and remained
until early August. In November its report was published and revealed
that no plan of partition could be evolved within the terms of reference
which would, in the view of the members of the Commission, offer much
hope of success. The Peel plan was rejected and two possible alternatives
were considered. Plan B would have reduced the size of the Jewish State
by the addition of Galilee to the permanently mandated area and of the
southern part of the region south of Jaffa to the Arab State. Plan C
would have limited the Jewish State to the coastal region between Zikhron
Yaaqov and Rehovoth while northern Palestine, including the Plains of
Esdraelon and Jezreel, and all the semi-arid region of southern Palestine
would have been placed under separate mandate. Two members of the Commission
favored Plan C, one favored Plan B. and one declared that no practicable
scheme of partition could be devised.
The 1939 White Paper
The British Government accompanied the
publication of the Woodhead Report by a statement of policy
rejecting partition as impracticable in the light of the
Commission's investigations, but suggesting that Arab-Jewish
agreement might still be possible. An invitation was therefore
extended to representatives of the Palestine Arabs, the neighboring
Arab states and the Jewish Agency to confer with the British
Government in London regarding future policy in Palestine.
It was stated, however, that if agreement could not be reached the
Government would announce a policy of its own. The Arab delegates refused
to meet with the representatives of the Jews. Conferences between the
Government and the Jews on the one hand and the Government and the Arabs
on the other were, however, conducted between 7th February and 17th
March. The Government submitted to both sides proposals substantially
the same as those contained in the White Paper issued after the failure
of the conference, but did not succeed in getting agreement from either.
On 17th May, 1939, the British Government published a new statement
of policy. The 1939 White Paper announced that the obligation to foster
the creation of the National Home had been fulfilled, and that Palestine
with its existing population was to be prepared for selfgovernment.
The Government, stated the White Paper, regarded it as contrary to their
obligations to the Arabs that the Arab population should be made subjects
of a Jewish State against their will, and had as their objective to
foster the creation of an independent state in which Jews and Arabs
could share authority.
In development of these ideas, the White Paper announced a plan for
constitutional progress which, it was hoped would permit the creation
of such a state within ten years. During the first five years, Palestinians
would replace British officials at the head of all Departments of Government;
if public opinion was favorable, a legislative body would be created.
At the end of this period an elected assembly would be convened to make
recommendations concerning the constitution of the new state. If at
the end of ten years, circumstances required a postponement of independence,
the-British Government would consult with the people of Palestine, the
Council of the League of Nations and the neighboring Arab states. The
White Paper also announced that Jewish immigration could no longer be
fostered in the face of continued Arab opposition, but declared that,
in view of the fact that the economic life of Palestine was adjusted
to the reception of large numbers of immigrants, and out of consideration
for the plight of Jewish refugees from areas of persecution, the Government
planned to admit to Palestine 75,000 persons during the succeeding five
years, subject to the criterion of economic absorptive capacity. Finally,
the Paper authorized the Government to place restrictions upon the purchase
of land by Jews.
The Jews unanimously condemned the 1939 White Paper as a violation
of the Mandate, which would place the Jews in a permanent minority status
in a hostile Arab state. Jewish violence broke out in Palestine, and
Jewish organizations throughout the world issued the most vigorous protests.
The Arab leaders, too, rejected the White Paper at first on the ground
that it denied them immediate independence. Soon, however, the Nashashibi
faction agreed to cooperate with the Government in giving effect to
its terms, and as time passed the majority of Arabs came to accept it
as fulfilling, if properly implemented, their main demands.
Despite the hostile reception given the White Paper, and in face of
vigorous attacks upon it in Parliament, the British Government succeeded
in securing Parliamentary approval of their policy and presented it
for consideration by the Permanent Mandates Commission. The Commission
unanimously held that the White Paper was in conflict with the interpretation
which the Mandatory Government, with the concurrence of the organs of
the League, had put upon the mandate in the past. Four of the members
felt that the policy was not in harmony with the terms of the Mandate,
while the other three held that existing circumstances would justify
the policy provided the Council of the League of Nations did not oppose
The Government thereupon prepared to lay its plans before the council
in September, 1939, but the outbreak of the Second World War resulted
in the suspension of League of Nations activities, and no final decision
on Palestine policy was reached.
In Palestine, wartime conditions and Jewish and Arab rejection of its
terms made it impossible fully to implement the White Paper. The constitutional
changes suggested were never put into effect; instead, the Palestine
Government continued to operate upon the Crown Colony pattern. Palestinians
were not promoted to head Departments of the Administration, in which
the responsible officials dike the members of the Executive and Advisory
Councils remained wholly British, a-s did those on the district level.
Even in the local affairs, the advance of self-government has been
extremely slow. There are provided for in Palestine today 24 elected
municipal councils, 38 elected local councils and 24 more or less popularly
chosen village councils, but the powers entrusted to these bodies are
in most cases slight, and the most recent municipal elections tool:
place in 1934. Demands for a greater voice in government come from both
the Arab and the Jewish communities.
Unlike the constitutional provisions, the land transfer policy of the
White Paper was speedily implemented. Land Transfers Regulations, published
on 28th February, 1940, divided Palestine into three zones.
In Zone A, consisting of about 63 percent of the country including
the stony hills, land transfers save to a Palestinian Arab were in general
forbidden. In Zone B. consisting of about 32 percent of the country,
transfers from a Palestinian Arab save to another Palestinian Arab were
severely restricted at the discretion of the High Commissioner. In the
remainder of Palestine, consisting of about five percent of the country-which,
however, includes the most fertile areas- land sales remained unrestricted.
This legislation has been bitterly denounced by the Jews on the ground
that it violates the Mandate both by ignoring the provisions for fostering
close settlement on the land, and by establishing a form of "racial"
discrimination. The Arabs have, on political grounds, generally favored
the regulations, and indeed have demanded a more rigid enforcement despite
the fact that they have the economic effect of preventing the flow of
Jewish capital into Arab lands for use in agricultural or industrial
The immigration provisions of the White Paper were also in general
put into effect. Powers were given the High Commissioner to set a limit
upon the total immigration into Palestine and quotas were established
on fl basis which it was expected would permit the entry by 1944 of
the 75,000 persons eligible as immigrants under the White Paper. Further
immigration beyond 1944 was to be dependent upon Arab agreement.
Many Jews, fleeing from anti-Semitism in
Central and Eastern Europe, and finding the gates of Palestine
closed, sought entry into the Holy Land by surreptitious
means. Illegal immigration grew to unprecedented proportions.
To meet this threat the Palestine Government continued its
standing procedure of reducing the immigration quotas by
the number of illegal entrants either apprehended or estimated
to have entered the country. This, however, appeared a scarcely
adequate method of coping with the problem, and in 1940 drastic
efforts were made to halt further unlawful entry. The policy
of reducing the immigration quotas was augmented by a threat
to deport to some British colony and to intern there for
the duration of the war any persons entering Palestine without
proper qualifications. The attempt to implement this policy
resulted in the Patrza disaster. In November, 1940, a vessel
loaded with deportees was scuttled in Haifa Harbor by Jewish
sympathizers, with loss of life to 252 persons. Some 1,350
illegal immigrants were, nevertheless, sent to Mauritius
in December, 1940.
As the war engulfed Europe, the opportunities for movements of people,
whether legal immigrants or not, became less, and in the autumn of 1943
it was found that only some 44,000 of the 75,000 persons provided for
in the White Paper had reached Palestine. The British Government, therefore,
announced on 10th November that the time limit of the White Paper would
not be enforced but that, subject to economic absorptive capacity, an
additional 31,000 Jews would be permitted to enter Palestine. Restricted
legal immigration, therefore, continued on this basis until the end
of 1945. Since then immigration has been maintained at the rate of 1,500
persons a month, pending the report of the Anglo-American Committee
With the end of the war in Europe a revival of illegal immigration
occurred as the displaced Jews of Europe sought refuge in the National
Home. Even as the Committee was preparing to leave the Middle East,
two boatloads of illegal immigrants were apprehended off the coast of
Palestine. Attempts of the authorities to apprehend illegal immigrants
have met the most determined resistance both from individual Jews and
from secret Jewish organizations.
Jewish War Effort
With the outbreak of the Second World War,
the Jewish Agency and the Jewish community in Palestine offered
their support to the war effort, and agreed to lay aside
their differences with the Mandatory. Even the Zionist extremists,
the Revisionists, gave up for a time the campaign of violence
with which they had greeted the 1939 White Paper. The Jewish
Agency offered its services in the recruitment of men for
recognized Jewish units to serve in Palestine, and, when
this offer was rejected, the Agency proceeded to organize
the recruiting of Jews in response to the calls of the Army,
Air Force and Navy, while at the same time maintaining its
campaign to secure approval for the creation of a specifically
Jewish military force, a campaign which was finally crowned
with success in September, 1944, when a Jewish Brigade Group
was established. According to official figures, Jewish recruitment
in Palestine for all types of military service, both combatant
and noncombatant, between 1939 and 1940 reached a total of
The Arabs and the War
The Arab community in Palestine, though
showing few signs of actual disaffection and offering slight
response to Axis propaganda, showed itself largely indifferent
to the outcome of the war. Out of a population twice as large
as the Jewish, only 12,445 persons were recruited for military
service, a figure less than half the Jewish total. The flight
of the Mufti, Haj Amin el-Husseini, to Italy and Germany,
and his active support of the Axis, did not lose for him
his following, and he is probably the most popular Arab leader
in Palestine today.
Conflict Between the
Administration and the Jews - the Illegal Army
As the war proceeded, and the partial implementation
of the White Paper policy progressed, Jewish resistance became
more active. The diametric opposition between the objectives
of the Zionists as expressed in the Biltmore Program and
the policy of the Mandatory Administration under the White
Paper, led to constantly increasing friction between the
Jewish organizations in Palestine and the Government, and
encouraged on the part of Jewish youth and extremists an
ever more frequent resort to violence as a means both of
protest and of sabotage.
Military preparedness for a possible recourse to arms in defense of
the Jewish National Home became the concern of an increasing number
of persons within the Jewish community.
Haganah, a development from the earlier Jewish defense organizations
against Arab terrorism, has grown into a military organization of over
60,000 persons, fairly well-armed and disciplined, and controlling its
own secret radio transmitter. Though it has in general exercised a policy
of restraint and refrained from acts of terrorism, it was implicated
in the Jewish violence at the end of 1945 directed against the Government's
efforts to prevent illegal immigration. The Irgun Zvai Leumi, the secret
military organization of the Revisionists, is a smaller, less well-armed,
but more radical body which, since 1943, has engaged in an intermittent
series of robberies and extortions to produce funds and of bombing attacks
upon Government buildings, transport and police installations. The so-called
Stern Group, a dissident faction, once part of the Irgun, is the smallest
but the most extreme of the Jewish secret bodies. Refusing cooperation
of any sort with the Mandatory' its members engaged throughout the war
in a series of outrages culminating in the attempted assassination of
the High Commissioner in August, 1944, and in the murder of Lord Moyne
in Cairo on 6th November of that year.
Arab Political Developments
In 1945 the Arabs also began to consider
the political future. Demands were made for the release of
Jamal el-Husseini, who had been interned in Southern Rhodesia
following his capture in 1941 while seeking to escape southwards
from Teheran in the aftermath of the Rashid All revolt in
Iraq. Abortive attempts were made to organize a center for
united Arab political expression in Palestine. In the following
year, the Arab leader selected a politically neutral representative,
Musa Effendi el-Alami, to attend the conferences in Egypt
which led to the formation of the Arab League.
Since the Arab League was composed of independent States, Palestine's
position in relation to it was not easy to define. It was settled by
means of an annex to the Arab League Covenant, declaring that "owing
to the peculiar circumstances of Palestine and until that country enjoys
effective independence, the Council of the League should undertake the
selection of an Arab delegate from Palestine to participate in its work".
In December, 1945, the states members of the League undertook to boycott
the products of Jewish industry in Palestine. Another result of the
formation of the League was the establishment of Arab Offices in Washington,
London and Jerusalem to serve as centers for the dissemination of information
concerning Arab interests and objectives.
Finally, in November, 1945, a new Arab Higher Committee, representing
all the Arab parties of Palestine, was formed, in which after his release
from Rhodesia and return to Palestine early in 1946, Jamal el-Husseini
became the leader. A reorganization of this body under Jamal el-Husseini's
guidance gave rise in late March, 1946, to charges of high-handed and
dictatorial methods from some of the non-Hussein) factions. Despite
internal friction, however, the Arab leaders in Palestine are united
behind a program demanding the fullfillment of the White Paper policy
and the speedy granting of independence to an Arab-dominated Palestine.
Arabs as well as Jews possess arms, and signs have not been entirely
lacking of a revival of Arab secret activities, similar to those which
preceded the disturbances of 1936-39.
In the face of actual violence and threats
of much more serious violence, possibly approaching the status
of civil war, the Palestine Government resorted to drastic
emergency legislation which permitted it to modify or suspend
normal civil liberties. There can be no gainsaying that Palestine
today is governed without the consent of Jews or Arabs by
an Administration depending almost solely upon force for
the maintenance of a precarious authority.
In Palestine there is a police and prisons
establishment of over 15,000 persons, exclusive of supernumerary
police. These police are habitually armed and are conspicuous
everywhere. Throughout the country there are over 60 substantially
built police barracks, capable of being defended as forts
in an emergency. There is a military force stationed in Palestine
which is the equivalent of two and a half divisions, and
in addition there are a number of Air Force units and also
certain naval forces engaged in coastal patrol and other
duties. In 1944-1945 over L.P. 4,600,000 was spent by the
Palestine Government on law and order, as opposed to less
than L.P. 5,600,000 on all other governmental services not
directly attributable to Palestine's part in the waging of
the Second World War.
The Government, in an effort to preserve order, has assumed extensive
emergency powers under authority of the Palestine Defense Order-in-Council
of 1937. Emergency regulations, going back under this and previous authorizations
to 1936, have granted extraordinary powers to the Government and the
military authorities and have severely restricted the liberty of the
In 1936, when the Arab revolt was assuming serious proportions, the
Government enacted regulations authorizing the seizure and use of buildings
and road transport, the imposition of curfews, the censorship of the
press, the deportation of undesirables, and unusual privileges of arrest
and search. Detention camps were established for the effective supervision
of political suspects. Drastic regulations were issued imposing collective
fines as punishments upon areas where unidentified inhabitants had committed
In 1937, regulations were enacted allowing the Government to detain
political deportees in any part of the British Empire and authorizing
the High Commissioner to outlaw associations whose objectives he regarded
as contrary to public policy. Military courts were established for the
trial of offenses connected with sabotage and intimidation, and with
the discharge of firearms at persons and the carrying of arms and explosives,
both of which offenses were made punishable by death. In 1938 and 1939,
908 cases were tried by these military courts and 109 death sentences
Recently, in the face of Jewish threats to public security, the Government
has again had extensive resort to emergency regulations, some of them
already existent and some of them newly issued and revised in 1945 and
1946. Orders of detention may be issued against any citizen on the authority
of an Area Commander, and these orders are not reviewable by any court
of law. Late in December 1945, the number of Jews held in detention
stood at 554.
The High Commissioner's power to deport detained persons was exercised
in October 1944, to deport 251 Jews to Eritrea, and in December 1945,
to send 55 additional Jews to the same destination. The regulations
confer on the authorities wide powers of arrest and search without warrant.
Searches may be made in the absence of the owner or occupier, provided
the mukhtar of the area or two responsible citizens are present. Military
courts possess considerable jurisdiction and can impose the death sentence.
The principle of group responsibility has been extended, and the authorities
are empowered to impose collective fines as punitive measures. The regulations
provide also for forfeiture of property by any person who, in the considered
opinion of the High Commissioner, has committed or abetted the commission
of certain specified offenses.
The Background of Violence
During the early years of the Mandatory
regime in Palestine threats to public order came largely
from the Arabs, protesting against Jewish immigration and
the withholding of independence. More recently, Jewish opposition
to the policies expressed in the White Paper of 1939 has
been responsible for unrest and violence.
As early as 1920, Palestine Arab opposition to Zionism and desire for
self-government led to a threat to public security. Propaganda for union
with an independent Syria led in April of that year to three days of
rioting in Jerusalem, in which Arab mobs fell upon Jews with sticks,
stones and knives. The Arab Police either adopted a passive attitude
or joined in the riots. British troops were called out, the police were
disarmed and order was finally reestablished. As a result of these disturbances,
five Jews and four Arabs were killed and 211 Jews and 21 Arabs were
The opening of Palestine to Jewish immigration late in 1930 contributed
to a new outbreak of violence. On May Day, 1921, Arab mobs attacked
Jewish residents of Jaffa and stormed the Zionist Immigration Center,
killing 13 persons. Again the military forces had to be summoned to
replace the unreliable Arab police. The disorders, however, spread.
On the 3d May Hebrew colonies at Kafr Saba and Ain Hal were looted.
On the 5th May the village of Petah Tiqvah was attacked by several thousand
armed Arabs in semi-military formation, and was saved from destruction
only by the arrival of several squadrons of cavalry. On the 6th May
Arabs besieged Haderah and attempted an attack on Rehovoth. In these
disorders 47 Jews were killed and 146 wounded, mostly by Arabs, and
48 Arabs were killed and 73 wounded, mostly by police and military action.
The period from 1921 to 1928 was in general one of peace in Palestine.
Jewish immigration was relatively slight and the Arab nationalist movement
was ill-organized and divided within itself. In 1928, however, a quarrel
developed between Jews and Arabs over the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem,
ground holy alike to Moslems and Jews, and inter-community tension increased
as the months passed. Jewish immigration seemed likely to increase and
the Zionist movement was being strengthened in Europe and America. Arab
political activity revived. On the 15th August, 1929, a Jewish demonstration
was held at the Wailing Wall, and on the following day the Arabs held
a counter-demonstration. On the 17th August a young Jew was stabbed
to death by an Arab into whose garden he had followed a lost football,
and his funeral became the occasion for a serious anti-Arab demonstration.
On the 23d August Arabs armed with knives and clubs invaded the new
city of Jerusalem and began a massacre of the Jews. On the following
day more than 60 Jews were killed at Hebron, and in the succeeding days
a number of Jewish colonies were attacked. The police had to open fire
to prevent outrages in Nablus and Jaffa, and Arabs attacked the Jewish
quarter in Safad, killing or wounding 45 persons. In all, 133 Jews were
killed and 339 wounded, and six Jewish colonies were destroyed. There
were 116 reported Arab deaths, many of them as a result of police and
The period between 1929 and 1936 was marked by periodic violence. In
August 1930, there was a minor Arab outbreak at Nablus. The years 1930
and 1931 saw a series of terrorist murders of Jews. Agrarian crime was
endemic and the Arabs attempted to take into their own hands the prevention
of illegal Jewish immigration. In October 1931, Arab demonstrations
and riots directed against the Government, as well as against the Jews,
took place in Jerusalem, Jaffa, Haifa and Babes. In the course of these
and related incidents, 24 civilians were killed and 204 wounded. In
November 1935, an Arab armed gang was discovered and liquidated by police
The extended Arab disturbances of 1936-1939 in support of demands for
the stoppage of Jewish immigration, the prohibition of land sales to
the Jews, and the grant of independence were ushered in on the 15th
April 1936, when a band of Arab highwaymen held up ten automobiles on
the Tulkarm-Nablus road and robbed their passengers, killing two persons,
who apparently were selected for death because they were Jews. On the
following night two Arabs were murdered near Petah Tiqvah. On the 17th
April the funeral of one of the Jews led to an anti-Arab demonstration
in Tel-Aviv, and two days later Arabs in Jaffa fell upon the Jewish
population and killed three persons before the police, reinforced by
troops, managed to disperse them. On the 21st April a general strike
was called by the Arab leaders to protest against Jewish immigration
and land transfers. Soon the Arabs refused to pay taxes and violence
increased. The Arab Higher Committee intimated to the Government that
its members could not use their influence to check what they regarded
as a spontaneous expression of national feeling.
During May and June the Arab strike was made effective through persuasion
and intimidation. Jaffa port was closed. There was destruction of Jewish
property and sniping at Jewish settlements. Sporadic attacks were made
on the railway lines; roads were barricaded and telephone wires were
cut. Armed bands, reinforced from Syria and Iraq, appeared in the hills.
In the following months these bands increased in strength and were organized
under the leadership of Fawzi cd-Din el-Kauwakji. Sabotage and murder
of Jews increased. The oil pipeline running to Haifa was repeatedly
punctured. Roads were systematically mined and railway tracks were frequently
damaged. Towards the middle of August a few acts of retaliation, committed
by Jews against the advice of their responsible leaders, began to occur.
In the following month extensive operations against the Arab gangs by
an augmented military force were commenced, but when on the 11th October
the strike was called off by the Arab Higher Committee, the British
armed forces were not used to their full capacity. The rebels in the
hills were in many cases permitted to disperse. No effective effort
to disarm the Arab population was made. Sniping, sabotage and assaults
After a lull, while the Royal Commission was in Palestine and during
which the military garrison was reduced, public security again deteriorated.
During the first five months of 1937 lawlessness was generally confined
to the north and to the Jerusalem area, but on the 13th June of that
year an unsuccessful attempt was made on the life of the Inspector General
of Police and from that time a campaign of murder, intimidation and
sabotage conducted by Arab lawbreakers became widespread and occasionally
provoked retaliatory acts by Jews. On the 26th September, 1937, the
Acting District Commissioner of the Galilee District and his police
escort were murdered at Nazareth by Arabs. Despite a stronger Government
policy, which involved the disbanding of the Arab Higher Committee,
the arrest of some of its leaders and the institution of military courts,
Arab gangs in the hills increased in size, and assassinations, especially
of police personnel, Government officials and moderate Arabs in prominent
positions increased, as did sabotage of the oil pipeline and telegraph
During 1938 the Arab campaign of murder and sabotage gathered strength.
Gang warfare in the hills was developed on organized lines and was accompanied
by increased terrorism in the towns. The roads became unsafe and the
economic life of the country was seriously disrupted. Arms and money
were smuggled into Palestine from the neighboring Arab countries, and
gangsters and assassins were recruited and equipped in Beirut and Damascus
for use in Palestine. Any Arabs who refused assistance to the rebels
were subjected to intimidation, abduction and murder. Throughout the
first five months of the year the Jews engaged in few acts of retaliation
against Arab outrages, but in late June conditions changed somewhat,
following the conviction by a military court and execution of a Revisionist
youth who had fired on an Arab bus and was apprehended in possession
of bombs and revolvers. Angry demonstrations against the Government
took place in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv. On the 6th and 25th of July bomb
explosions in the Arab fruit market at Haifa caused the death of 74
Arabs and the wounding of 129 others. There were other bomb outrages
in Jerusalem and Jaffa, committed by Jewish extremists.
By July, 1938, the Arab gangs had become thoroughly organized. Rebel
courts were set up, rebel stamps were issued, and the Old City of Jerusalem
became a rallying point of bandits from which acts of violence, murder
and intimidation were organized and perpetrated freely and with impunity.
On the 24th August the Assistant District Commisoner at Jenin was murdered.
In September, when the rebel power reached its climax, there was a large
increase in abductions and a studied concentration on the destruction
of Government buildings and property and on the seizure of armories
in outlying police posts. On the 9th September, Beersheba was raided
by a large gang, and later in the month police and Government buildings
there were set on fire and destroyed. The Palestine garrison was reinforced
in July and again in late September, and by the end of the year large-scale
military operations had reduced the gangs to comparative impotence in
the field. But terrorism and sabotage continued almost unabated.
During the first eight months of 1939 the Arab rebellion continued,
but with gradually diminishing vigor. The large gangs broke up and dissension
grew among the leaders. In March Abdul Rahim el-Haj Mohammed was killed
in action, and the other principal leaders soon left Palestine. There
remained, however, smaller groups- of outlaws who proceeded to rob and
destroy life and property in the hill villages, while assassins remained
active in the urban areas. Though inter-Arab terrorism and brigandage
continued on-a considerable scale until the end of the year, the outbreak
of the Second World War was marked by a decrease in crimes of a political
During the Arab revolt, from the middle of 1936 to the end of 1939,
there were 1,791 verified deaths and 3,288 cases of injury as a result
of the disorders. In addition, it is conservatively estimated that some
2,000 Arab rebels were killed by police and military action.
There has not since 1939 been a recrudescence of Arab disorders. The
military authorities stated to the Committee that through recent years
the Arabs have been quiescent. Armed to some extent though not organized,
they constitute, however, a potential threat to internal security. Recent
political and other developments emphasize this danger. In November,
1945, a new Arab Higher Committee was formed, announcing that its purpose
was "to assure responsibility for political and national affairs
in the name of the Arab population of Palestine." In a wider field
the Arab League came into being in March 1945. The Palestine Arabs now
rely upon the League to represent their interest politically, and it
may be assumed that, in the event of conflict, they would look to the
neighboring Arab States for armed assistance. On the 24th March 1945,
a large party of Jews hiking in the area west of the Dead Sea was attacked
by armed Arabs, one Jew being killed and three wounded. During August
and September 1945, there was a revival of Arab clubs and societies
such as had played a prominent part in 1936-1938 in the furtherance
of the Arab rebellion.
Since 1939, however, the immediate threats to public security have
come from the Jews protesting against the policy which the Mandatory
laid down in the White Paper of that year. In February, 1939, when rumors
were current that the British Government intended to grant independence
to an Arab-dominated Palestine, there were bomb outrages throughout
the country in which 38 Arabs were killed and 44 wounded. The long-present
problem of illegal Jewish immigration was also intensified. On the 17th
May, simultaneously with the issue of the White Paper, transmission
lines were cut, the headquarters of the Department of Migration was
set on fire, and Government offices at Tel-Aviv were sacked. On the
next day in Jerusalem shops were looted, the police were stoned and
a British constable was killed. In the following week a campaign of
attacks by Jews on Arabs and the Government was begun, and with a short
lull during the second half of July this continued until the outbreak
of the war. Time bombs, isolated murders, and sabotage of telephone
services, the Palestine broadcasting station and police launches were
the main features of this campaign. With the outbreak of the war, however,
the Jews unanimously agreed to put aside their differences with the
British policy. Jewish terrorist action ceased completely for a time
and an illegal broadcasting station which had been operating for some
months was closed down.
The publication of the Land Transfers Regulations late in February,
1940, evoked a general Jewish strike followed by a week of processions
and disorderly demonstrations. In December, 1940, the Government immigration
offices in Haifa were sabotaged by bombs in protest over the Patrza
disaster and against the deportation to Mauritius of illegal immigrants.
In July, 1942, the Stern group, an extremist band of Jews which had
been engaged in terrorist activity since 1940, came into prominence
with a series of robberies and murders in the Tel-Aviv area.
Following the Allied successes in North Africa in 1942, political considerations
began to overshadow the war issue. In November of that year the Biltmore
Programme was enunciated by the Zionists, and opposition to the immigration,
land transfers, and constitutional policies of the Mandatory Power became
more vocal. In a speech at Tel Hal on the 20th March, 1943, Mr. Ben
Gurion, chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency, stated that
the end of the war would not necessarily mean the end of fighting for
the Jews, but might, on the contrary, be only the beginning of their
During Larch, 1943, there was a notable increase in the number and
magnitude of thefts of arms and explosives from military establishments,
and shortly afterwards there was revealed the existence of a large-scale
stealing racket with ramifications throughout the Middle East. Jewish
feeling against action by the Government and the military authorities
to stop this traffic was aroused by the trial in a military court of
two Jews who had taken part in the traffic. The "arms trial,"
as it came to be called, was preceded by the trial of two British military
deserters who were sentenced each to fifteen years imprisonment for
complicity in the thefts.
The two accused Jews were convicted at the end of September and sentenced
to ten and seven years imprisonment respectively. In passing sentence
the President of the court stated that the trial had shown "that
there is in existence in Palestine a dangerous and widespread conspiracy
for obtaining arms and ammunition from His Majesty's Forces" and
that the organization behind the activities of the two accused "seems
to have had considerable funds at its disposal and to possess wide knowledge
of military matters, including military organization." The trial
caused considerable bitterness on the part of the Jewish community against
the Government which, they thought, should recognize that the Jews had
a moral right to own. Feeling was aggravated by the facts that the trial
was held in public and that Jewish official bodies were mentioned in
the course-of the proceedings. Allegations were made in the Jewish press
that the trial was an anti-Semitic "frame-up" aimed at discrediting
the Jewish authorities and the Jewish war-effort.
The year 1944 saw an increase of terrorism by the Jewish extremists
of the Irgun Zvai Leumi and the Stern group. On the 3d February, 1944,
two Jews were surprised tampering with the wall of St. George's Cathedral.
From articles left behind, it appeared that they had been engaged in
the installation of an infernal machine at the gate of the Cathedral
through which the High Commissioner usually passed on his way to Sunday
service. On the 12th February there were explosions in the offices of
the Department of Migration in Jerusalem, Tell-Aviv and Haifa, and considerable
damage was done to the buildings. On the 14th February a British police
officer and a British constable were shot dead in the streets of Haifa.
On the 24th February bomb explosions occurred in police headquarters
in Haifa causing police casualties, and on the 26th February the income
tax offices at Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel-Aviv were seriously damaged
by bombs. During March there were isolated murders of policemen, and
on the 23d eight British policemen were murdered by shooting and bombs,
and serious damage was done to police buildings in the four major towns.
Following these last attacks curfews were imposed and the death penalty
was reintroduced for the carrying of arms and other crimes. On the 17th
May, the Ramallah broadcasting station was attacked and an abortive
attempt was made to broadcast therefrom. On the 14th July, the District
police headquarters and District land registry offices at Jerusalem
were attacked and severely damaged by explosives and fire; police casualties
were inflicted, and the land registry records were destroyed. On the
8th August, an attempt was made by Jewish terrorists to assassinate
the High Commissioner while he and Lady McMichael were proceeding by
car to a municipal farewell function at Jaffa. A fine of L.P. 500 was
subsequently placed on the Jewish settlement of Givat Shaul for failing
to assist the police who investigated the crime. On the 22d August,
three police buildings in Jaffa and Tel-Aviv were attacked with loss
of police lives.
On the 27th September, four police stations were attacked with some
casualties to the Palestine police personnel, and on the 29th September,
a senior police officer was assassinated on the way to his office. On
the 5th October, the Tel-Aviv offices and stores of the Department of
Light Industries were raided, and textiles valued at L.P. 100,000 were
removed. On the 6th November, this wave of terrorism culminated in the
murder in Cairo by two members of the Stern group of Lord Moyne, the
British Minister Resident in the Middle East.
On the 10th October, before the assassination of Lord Moyne, the Officer
Administering the Government of Palestine and the Commander in Chief,
Middle East, had issued a joint official communique in which it was
clearly stated that the terrorists and "their active and passive
sympathizers are directly impeding the war effort of Great Britain"
and "assisting the enemy." The communique called upon "the
Jewish community as a whole to do their utmost to assist the forces
of law and order in eradicating this evil thing within their midst"
and added that "verbal condemnation of outrages on the platform
and in the press may have its effect but is not in itself enough; what
is required is actual collaboration with the forces of law and order,
especially the giving of information leading to the apprehension of
the assassins and their accomplices." The communique then demanded
"of the Jewish community in Palestine, their leaders and representative
bodies to recognize and discharge their responsibilities and not to
allow the good name of the Yishuv to be prejudiced by acts which can
only bring shame and dishonor on the Jewish people as a whole."
After the assassination the Jewish Agency which had heartily deplored
the outrages of the extremists, made arrangements to provide cooperation
with the Government in a campaign against terrorism, and the measure
of assistance thus afforded was forthcoming until comparatively recently.
During the early part of 1945 there was a lull in Jewish terrorist
activity, but in May, following threats by the Irgun Zvai Leumi that
V-Day for the world would be D-Day for them, there occurred a renewed
outbreak. On the 13th May, telegraph poles were damaged by explosives
and an attempt was made to attack the Police Mobile Force Camp at Sarona
by locally made mortars. There was a recurrence of this attack by mortar
fire on the 15th May. On the 22d May, the oil pipeline Eras punctured
in two places and on the 25th a police patrol was fired on. On the 12th
June, mortars aimed at the King's Birthday parade in Jerusalem were
discovered, and on the following day a similar battery of mortars was
found aiming at the saluting box from which Lord Gort, then High Commissioner,
would take the salute at the parade. On the 17th June, substantial quantities
of gelignite were stolen by armed Jews from quarries, and on the 13th
July, a lorry load of explosives eras ambushed and the British constable
escort was killed. On the same day a bridge on the Haifa-Kantara railway
line was blown up. On the 7th August, L.P. 3,500 were stolen from a
Tel-Aviv bank in an armed holdup. On the 13th a large body of armed
Jews stole 450 pounds of gelignite and other explosives from the store
at Petah Tiqvah of Solel Boneh Ltd., a Jewish cooperative. On the 16th
August, the personnel of a training unit of the Irgun Zvai Leumi was
arrested near Banvamina in possession of arms and explosives. On the
20th a Jewish settler who had been of assistance to the police was murdered.
On the 2d September, armed Jews dressed as British police attempted
to rob the safe of a Tel-Aviv bank, and shortly afterwards L.P. 5,000
worth of textiles were stolen in Tel-Aviv. On the 28th September, a
British constable was fatally wounded in Tel-Aviv while escorting money
for the payment of British officials' salaries. On the 11th October,
218 rifles, 15 machine guns and a store of ammunition were stolen from
the training depot for Palestinian soldiers at Rehovoth. On the 16th
October, a military truck containing L.P. 14,000 was ambushed by armed
men who were beaten off by the Jewish military escort. On the 31st October,
sabotage occurred in railway communications. On the 15th and 16th November
there were demonstrations of protest in Tel-Aviv against the policy
of the British Government as stated by the Secretary of State for Foreign
Affairs when he announced in the House of Commons the decision- to set
up the Anglo-American Committee. These demonstrations culminated in
looting and mob violence during which, in addition to loss of life,
Government offices were severely damaged and the District Office rendered
unusable. Curfews were imposed and the mobs dispersed by troops and
police. On the 24th November, two coastguard stations were extensively
damaged. On the 27th December, police headquarters in Jerusalem, police
stations in Jaffa and Tel-Aviv and a military depot in Tel-Aviv were
attacked by large gangs of armed men. Severe damage was caused to the
police buildings by explosives and two British constables, one Arab
telephone operator, one British soldier and four Basuto soldiers were
killed and others wounded by fire from automatic weapons or explosives.
On the 12th January, 1946, a train was derailed near Haderah and attacked
by some 70 armed Jews, and L.P. 36,000 in cash intended for payment
of the railway staff was stolen. On the 19th January, attacks were made
on the Central Prison and on an electric substation in Jerusalem, the
latter resulting in casualties. On the 20th January, an attack, resulting
in casualties and damage, was made on a coastguard station. On the 3d
February, a raid was made for arms on a military depot in Tel-Aviv.
On the 6th a raid resulting in casualties was made for arms on a military
camp near Jaffa. On the 20th damage was done to a radar station at Haifa.
On the 22d attacks were made on police camps, and on the 26th military
airfields were attacked. On the 6th March, a military camp was attacked.
The total casualties suffered from these incidents in Palestine from
the end of the war in Europe to the day of our arrival in Palestine
were 45 killed and 278 wounded.
It seems clear that the threats to public
order in Palestine during the Mandatory period have arisen
very largely out of the conflict between Arabs and Jews with
regard to Jewish immigration viewed in the light of its effect
upon the political future of the country. Until 1939, violence
came from the Arabs, protesting against continued Jewish
immigration. Since 1939, it has come from the Jews, protesting
against restrictions upon such immigration. In 1936 the Arab
leaders indicated their inability to halt violence. In 1946
the Jewish leaders did likewise.
Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have agreed, for the purpose of
giving effect to the provisions of Article 22 of the Covenant of the
League of Nations, to entrust to a Mandatory selected by the said Powers
the administration of the territory of Palestine, which formerly belonged
to the Turkish Empire, within such boundaries as may be fixed by them;
Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory
should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally
made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty,
and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine
of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood
that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious
rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights
and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country; and
Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection
of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting
their national home in that country; and
Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have selected His Britannic Majesty
as the Mandatory for Palestine; and
Whereas the mandate in respect of Palestine has been formulated in
the following terms and submitted to the Council of the League for approval;
Whereas His Britannic Majesty has accepted the mandate in respect of
Palestine and undertaken to exercise it on behalf of the League of Nations
in conformity with the following provisions; and
Whereas by the afore-mentioned Article 22 (paragraph 8), it is provided
that the degree of authority, control or administration to be exercised
by the Mandatory, not having been previously agreed upon by the Members
of the League, shall be explicitly defined by the Council of the League
confirming the said Mandate, defines its terms as follows:
ARTIC1E 1. The Mandatory shall have full powers of legislation and
of administration, save as they may be limited by the terms of this
ART. 2. The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country
under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will
secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in
the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and
also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants
of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.
ART. 3. The Mandatory shall, so far as circumstances permit, encourage
ART. 4. An appropriate Jewish agency shall be recognised as a public
body for the purpose of advising and co-operating with the Administration
of Palestine in such economic, social and other matters as may affect
the establishment of the Jewish national home and the interests of the
Jewish population in Palestine, and, subject always to the control of
the Administration to assist and take part in the development of the
The Zionist organization, so long as its organization and constitution
are in the opinion of the Mandatory appropriate, shall be recognised
as such agency. It shall take steps in consultation with His Britannic
Majesty's Government to secure the co-operation of all Jews who are
willing to assist in the establishment of the Jewish national home.
ART. 5. The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine
territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the
control of the Government of any foreign Power.
ART. 6. The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights
and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced,
shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall
encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article
4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste
lands not required for public purposes.
ART. 7. The Administration of Palestine shall be responsible for enacting
a nationality law. There shall be included in this law provisions framed
so as to facilitate the acquisition of Palestinian citizenship by Jews
who take up their permanent residence in Palestine.
ART. 8. The privileges and immunities of foreigners, including the
benefits of consular jurisdiction and protection as formerly enjoyed
by Capitulation or usage in the Ottoman Empire, shall not be applicable
Unless the Powers whose nationals enjoyed the afore-mentioned privileges
and immunities on August 1st, 1914, shall have previously renounced
the right to their re-establishment, or shall have agreed to their non-application
for a specified period, these privileges and immunities shall, at the
expiration of the mandate, be immediately reestablished in their entirety
or with such modifications as may have been agreed upon between the
ART. 9. The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that the judicial
system established in Palestine shall assure to foreigners, as well
as to natives, a complete guarantee of their rights.
Respect for the personal status of the various peoples and communities
and for their religious interests shall be fully guaranteed. In particular,
the control and administration of Wakfs shall be exercised in accordance
with religious law and the dispositions of the founders.
ART. 10. Pending the making of special extradition agreements relating
to Palestine, the extradition treaties in force between the Mandatory
and other foreign Powers shall apply to Palestine.
ART. 11. The Administration of Palestine shall take all necessary measures
to safeguard the interests of the community in connection with the development
of the country, and, subject to any international obligations accepted
by the Mandatory, shall have full power to provide for public ownership
or control of any of the natural resources of the country or of the
public works, services and utilities established or to be established
therein. It shall introduce a land system appropriate to the needs of
the country, having regard, among other things, to the desirability
of promoting the close settlement and intensive cultivation of the land.
The Administration may arrange with the Jewish agency mentioned in
Article 4 to construct or operate, upon fair and equitable terms, any
public works, services and utilities, and to develop any of the natural
resources of the country, in so far as these matters are not directly
undertaken by the Administration. Any such arrangements shall provide
that no profits distributed by such agency, directly or indirectly,
shall exceed a reasonable rate of interest on the capital, and any further
profits shall be utilised by it for the benefit of the country in a
manner approved by the Administration.
ART. 12. The Mandatory shall be entrusted with the control of the foreign
relations of Palestine and the right to issue exequaturs to consuls
appointed by foreign Powers. He shall also be entitled to afford diplomatic
and consular protection to citizens of Palestine when outside its territorial
ART. 13. All responsibility in connection with the Holy Places and
religious buildings or sites in Palestine, including that of preserving
existing rights and of securing free access to the Holy Places, religious
buildings and sites and the free exercise of worship, while ensuring
the requirements of public order and decorum, is assumed by the Mandatory,
who shall be responsible solely to the League of Nations in all matters
connected herewith, provided that nothing in this article shall prevent
the Mandatory from entering into such arrangements as he may deem reasonable
with the Administration for the purpose of carrying the provisions of
this article into effect; and provided also that nothing in this mandate
shall be construed as conferring upon the Mandatory authority to interfere
with the fabric or the management of purely Moslem sacred shrines, the
immunities of which are guaranteed.
ART. 14. A special commission shall be appointed by the Mandatory to
study, define and determine the rights and claims in connection with
the Holy Places and the rights and claims relating to the different
religious communities in Palestine. The method of nomination, the composition
and the functions of this Commission shall be submitted to the Council
of the League for its approval, and the Commission shall not be appointed
or enter upon its functions without the approval of the Council.
ART. 15. The Mandatory shall see that complete freedom of conscience
and the free exercise of all forms of worship, subject only to the maintenance
of public order and morals, are ensured to all. No discrimination of
any kind shall be made between the inhabitants of Palestine on the ground
of race, religion or language. No person shall be excluded from Palestine
on the sole ground of his religious belief.
The right of each community to maintain its own schools for the education
of its own members in its own language, while conforming to such educational
requirements of a general nature as the Administration may impose, shall
not be denied or impaired.
ART. 16. The Mandatory shall be responsible for exercising such supervision
over religious or eleemosynary bodies of all faiths in Palestine as
may be required for the maintenance of public order and good government.
Subject to such supervision, no measures shall be taken in Palestine
to obstruct or interfere with the enterprise of such bodies or to discriminate
against any representative or member of them on the ground of his religion
ART. 17. The Administration of Palestine may organist on a voluntary
basis the forces necessary for the preservation of peace and order,
and also for the defence of the country, subject, however, to the supervision
of the Mandatory, but shall not use them for purposes other than those
above specified save with the consent of the Mandatory. Except for such
purposes, no military, naval or air forces shall be raised or maintained
by the Administration of Palestine.
Nothing in this article shall preclude the Administration of Palestine
from contributing to the cost of the maintenance of the forces of the
Mandatory in Palestine.
The Mandatory shall be entitled at all times to use the roads, railways
and ports of Palestine for the movement of armed forces and the carriage
of fuel and supplies.
ART. 18. The Mandatory shall see that there is no discrimination in
Palestine against the nationals of any State Member of the League of
Nations (including companies incorporated under its laws) as compared
with those of the Mandatory or of any foreign State in matters concerning
taxation, commerce or navigation, the exercise of industries or professions,
or in the treatment of merchant vessels or civil aircraft. Similarly,
there shall be no discrimination in Palestine against goods originating
in or destined for any of the said States, and there shall be freedom
of transit under equitable conditions across the mandated area.
Subject as aforesaid and to the other provisions of this mandate, the
Administration of Palestine may, on the advice of the Mandatory, impose
such taxes and customs duties as it may consider necessary, and take
such steps as it may think best to promote the development of the natural
resources of the country and to safeguard the interests of the population.
It may also, on the advice of the Mandatory, conclude a special customs
agreement with any State the territory of which in 1914 was wholly included
in Asiatic Turkey or Arabia.
ART. 19. The Mandatory shall adhere on behalf of the Administration
of Palestine to any general international conventions already existing,
or which may be concluded hereafter with the approval of the League
of Nations, respecting the slave traffic, the traffic in arms and ammunition,
or the traffic in drugs, or relating to commercial equality, freedom
of transit and navigation, aerial navigation and postal, telegraphic
and wireless communication or literary, artistic or industrial property.
ART. 20. The Mandatory shall co-operate on behalf of the Administration
of Palestine, so far as religious, social and other conditions may permit,
in the execution of any common policy adopted by the League of Nations
for preventing and combating disease, including diseases of plants and
ART. 21. The Mandatory shall secure the enactment within twelve months
from this date, and shall ensure the execution of a Law of Antiquities
based on the following rules. This law shall ensure equality of treatment
in the matter of excavations and archaeological research to the nationals
of all States Members of the League of Nations.
(1) "Antiquity" means any construction or any product of
human activity earlier than the year 1700 A. D.
(2) The law for the protection of antiquities shall proceed by encouragement
rather than by threat.
Any person who, having discovered an antiquity without being furnished
with the authorization referred to in paragraph 5, reports the same
to an official of the competent Department, shall be rewarded according
to the value of the discovery.
(3) No antiquity may be disposed of except to the competent Department,
unless this Department renounces the acquisition of any such antiquity.
No antiquity may leave the country without an export license from the
(4) Any person who maliciously or negligently destroys or damages an
antiquity shall be liable to a penalty to be fixed.
(5) No clearing of ground or digging with the object of finding antiquities
shall be permitted, under penalty of fine, except to persons authorised
by the competent Department.
(6) Equitable terms shall be fixed for expropriation, temporary or
permanent, of lands which might be of historical or archaeological interest.
(7) Authorization to excavate shall only be granted to persons who
show sufficient guarantees of archaeological experience. The Administration
of Palestine shall not, in granting these authorizations, act in such
a way as to exclude scholars of any nation without good grounds.
(8) The proceeds of excavations may be divided between the excavator
and the competent Department in a proportion fixed by that Department.
If division seems impossible for scientific reasons, the excavator shall
receive a fair indemnity in lieu of a part of the find.
ART. 22. English, Arabic and Hebrew shall be the official languages
of Palestine. Any statement or inscription in Arabic on stamps or money
in Palestine shall be repeated in Hebrew and any statement or inscription
in Hebrew shall be repeated in Arabic.
ART. 23. The Administration of Palestine shall recognise the holy days
of the respective communities in Palestine as legal days of rest for
the members of such communities.
ART. 24. The Mandatory shall make to the Council of the League of Nations
an annual report to the satisfaction of the Council as to the measures
taken during the year to carry out the provisions of the mandate. Copies
of all laws and regulations promulgated or issued during the year shall
be communicated with the report.
ART. 25. In the territories lying between the Jordan and the eastern
boundary of Palestine as ultimately determined, the Mandatory shall
be entitled, with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations,
to postpone or withhold application of such provisions of this mandate
as he may consider inapplicable to the existing local conditions, and
to make such provision for the administration of the territories as
he may consider suitable to those conditions, provided that no action
shall be taken which is inconsistent with the provisions of Articles
15, 16 and 18.
ART. 26. The Mandatory agrees that, if any dispute whatever should
arise between the Mandatory and another member of the League of Nations
relating to the interpretation or the application of the provisions
of the mandate, such dispute, if it cannot be settled by negotiation,
shall be submitted to the Permanent Court of International Justice provided
for by Article 14 of the Covenant of the League of Nations.
ART. 27. The consent of the Council of the League of Nations is required
for any modification of the terms of this mandate.
ART. 28. In the event of the termination of the mandate hereby conferred
upon the Mandatory, the Council of the League of Nations shall make
such arrangements as may be deemed necessary for safeguarding in perpetuity,
under guarantee of the League, the rights secured by Articles 13 and
14, and shall use its influence for securing, under the guarantee of
the League, that the Government of Palestine will fully honour the financial
obligations legitimately incurred by the Administration of Palestine
during the period of the mandate, including the rights of public servants
to pensions or gratuities.
The present instrument shall be deposited in original in the archives
of the League of Nations and certified copies shall be forwarded by
the Secretary-General of the League of Nations to all members of the
Done at London the twenty-fourth day of
July, one thousand nine hundred and twenty-two.