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 solution.
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 broken.
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 regulations.
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 Palestine
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 to live.
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 lives.
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 cared for.
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 Palestine illegally.
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 faiths.
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 aside.
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 group.
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 Trusteeship
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 quality.
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 by us.
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 and control.
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 Arab League.
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 Palestine
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 problem.
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 Palestine.
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 from Europe.
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 country.
"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 against erosion.
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 business.
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 protective measures.
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 the Arab.
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 effort.
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 Britain.
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 Immigration
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 sources.
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 Zionism.
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 Europe."
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 League.
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 the same.
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 to Jews.
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 disaster."
*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 Land.
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 areas.
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 values.
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 of terrorism.
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 Arabs
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 industry.
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 to self-isolation.
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 of self-government.
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 initiative.
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 population.
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 military authorities.
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 of 6,000.
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 in Palestine.
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 17-18.
"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 and others.
"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 them.
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 solution.
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 months.
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 visited nine.
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 the centers.
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 taken over.
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 and help.
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 influence introduced.
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 SILESIA
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 Jews.
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 killed.
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 and Yugoslavia
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 borders. 3
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 Distribution Committee.
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 community.
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 certificates.
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 population.
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 their expenditure.
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 Salonika.
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 315,000.
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 Home.
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 failed.
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 it.
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 development.
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 of Inquiry.
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 27,028.
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 individual.
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 a crime.
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 were confirmed.
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 wounded.
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 military activities.
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 action.
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 continued.
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 communications.
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 nature.
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 fight.
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; and
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; and
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 Of Nations;
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 mandate.
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 local autonomy.
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 country.
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 in Palestine.
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 Powers concerned.
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 limits.
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 or nationality.
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 animals.
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 said Department.
(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 League.
Done at London the twenty-fourth day of July, one thousand nine hundred and twenty-two.