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Excerpts from Commission on the Palestine Disturbances of August 1929 (The Shaw Commission), Cmd. 3530 – 1930.

Shaw Commission“In Turkish times the members of all these [Arab] tribes were Ottoman subjects; today some are technically of Palestinian, some of Trans-Jordanian, some of Syrian nationality, but it is at least doubtful whether they themselves recognize distinctions of this character.” p. 6

Descriptive – History, 8-25

-Under Ottoman Empire, 8-10

-WWI, pp. 10-12

-Military and Security Forces in Palestine, pp. 12-14

-Self-Governing Institutions, pp. 15-18

-Arab reply to British proposal to create self-governing institution in Palestine June 17th 1922- “…nothing will safeguard Arab interests in Palestine but the immediate creation of a National Government which shall be responsible to a Parliament all of whose members are elected by the people of the country – Moslems, Christians, and Jews.”

-Finance, pp. 18-20

“The financial record of the Government of Palestine is one of which any administration would have good reason to be proud. In the early year of the Administration, revenue barely balanced expenditure…In more recent years the Palestine Government accumulated large surplus funds…They have repaid His Majesty’s Government…sums approaching 1,500,000 pounds, they have defrayed five-sixths of the cost of the Trans-Jordan Frontier Force…”

“For the first few years of the British Administration, Palestine was a burden on the British Exchequer in the same manner and to much the same degree as almost every country newly brought under British rule has at first been a burden. But Palestine has now repaid her debts to His Majesty’s Government on a scale which at least compares favourably with that obtained from any other debtor country and she now meets from her revenue all the current charges that can fairly be made against her by His Majesty’s Government.” p. 20

-The Jewish National Home, pp. 20-24

-Provisions of British Mandate relevant to Jewish National Home (text included)-

Articles 2, 4, 6, 7, 11, 22, 23

-Immigration

“At the end of 1918 the Jewish population of Palestine was estimated at…55,000. During the period from 1918 to 1928 inclusive 101,400 Jews entered Palestine as immigrants and 26,007 Jews emigrated, the net immigration being thus 75,393.”

-Other Events of 1920-1928, pp. 24-25

Narrative of Violence and Strife of 1928-1929, pp. 26-70

-Incidents at Western Wall

“In the absence of the Commission for which Article 14 of the Mandate provides, there has devolved on the Government of Palestine…the duty of giving rulings in regard to questions of rights and claims which have from time to time arisen in connection with the Holy Places in Palestine. Having regard to the terms of Article 13 of the Mandate, both His Majesty’s Government and the Palestine Government in the determination of such rulings have been guided by the principle that they are bound to maintain the status quo.” p. 26-27

“As we have already indicated, the Jews, through the practice of centuries have established a right of access to the [Wailing] Wall for the purposes of their devotions…The Wall is, so far as we were informed, the only Holy Place in Jerusalem in which both Moslems and Jews have a direct concern. In consequence, it is at all times a potential element of friction between, on the one hand, the Sheikhs of the Haram and the officials of the Mughrabi Waqf and, on the other, those who conduct Jewish devotional services at the Wall. Under the present regime serious incidents have fortunately been few in number; only two seem to call for special mention here.

As a result of the first one, which occurred in September 1925, a ruling was given which forbade the bringing by Jews of seats and benches to the Wall even though these were intended for the support of worshippers who were aged and infirm….”

“The second incident occurred on the 24th of September, 1928 – the Jewish Day of Atonement…In Command Paper No. 3229 His Majesty’s Government in effect endorsed the action which an officer of the Palestine Government took on the Jewish Day of Atonement when, finding that an order given overnight had not been obeyed, he effected through the police the removal of a screen, the introduction of which on to the pavement in front of the Wall had given rise to complaints by the Moslems that there had been an innovation of practice.” p. 29

-Open Letter of Va’ad Leumi to Moslem community in Response to 1928 Incident – Nov. 1928
“We herewith declare emphatically and sincerely that no Jew has ever thought of encroaching upon the rights of Moslems over their own Holy Places, but our Arab brethren should also recognize the rights of Jews in regard to the places in Palestine which are holy to them…”

“Our sincere desire to build up and restore our country in harmony with our Arab brethren impels us to proclaim the truth, that we are engaged in no fight against our neighbours, nor in designs upon Moslem Holy Places, but are pressing a natural demand that Jewish rights be respected.” p. 30

-Memorandum of Moslem Supreme Council – Mufti of Jerusalem – Oct. 8, 1928

“Having realized by bitter experience the unlimited greedy aspirations of the Jews in this respect, Moslems believe that the Jews’ aim is to take possession of the Mosque of Al-Aqsa gradually on the pretence that it is the Temple, by starting with the Western Wall of this place, which is an inseparable part of the Mosque of Al-Aqsa.” p. 31

“We call the Government’s attention to the strength of religious feelings in this country, so that it advises the Jews…to stop this hostile propaganda which will naturally engender a parallel action in the whole Moslem world, the responsibility for which will rest with the Jews, who have been the cause owing to their competition with the Moslems for the Holy Burak, the Western Wall of the Mosque Al-Aqsa. We request the Government to assert to the responsible Jewish authorities that the Moslems, who are earnestly anxious to safeguard their rights, are resolutely determined to stand like a strong wall against any person coveting their Mosque or any of its walls…and that they will not draw back even for one inch before any enemy or before the introduction of any change in this respect.” p. 32

-Resolutions of General Moslem Conference – Nov. 1, 1928

“a. To strongly protest against any action or attempt which aims at the establishment of any right to the Jews in the Holy Burak area and to deprecate any such action or attempt…

b. To ask the Government immediately and perpetually to prevent the Jews from placing under any circumstances whether temporary or permanent any objects in the area…and to prevent them also from raising their voices or making any speeches, in such a manner as would not compel the Moslems to take such measures themselves in order to defend at any cost this holy Moslem place…

c. To hold Government responsible for any consequences of any measures which the Moslems may adopt for the purpose of defending the holy Burak themselves in the event of the failure of the Government…to prevent any such intrusion on the part of the Jews.” p. 32

-Mufti of Jerusalem – President of Moslem Supreme Council, Dec. 27, 1928

“The Supreme Council hopes that the Government will actually and as early as possible apply the terms of the White Paper that the status quo in force during the Turkish rule should be observed.” p. 34

-Response of Mr. Sacher, Chairman of Palestine Zionist Executive

“As the rights of access to the Wailing Wall and of worship there are unquestioned and unquestionable, it is submitted that under Article 13 these rights in their full freedom must be secured to the Jewish community in the Mandatory.

“In our view the present conditions of access to the Holy Site are not in accordance with the freedom guaranteed in the Mandate…

“Articles 13.14. 15. and 16 of the Mandate guarantee to the Jewish community the free exercise of worship at the Wailing Wall…Nothing less than that is permitted under the Mandate…” p. 35

-Arabic Press

“Following the incidents of the Jewish Day of Atonement in 1928, some sections of the Arabic Press reproduced documents…dealing as they did with the subject of the Wailing Wall which by them had become a political issue, were of a character likely to excite any susceptible readers. In addition, there appeared in the Arabic Press …a number of articles, which, had they been published in England or in other western countries, would unquestionably have been regarded as provocative.” p. 41
Statement of Society for Defense of the Mosque of Aqsa and the Moslem Holy Places – August 12th 1929

“The Society for the Defense of the Mosque of Aqsa and of Moslem Holy Places wished to keep the public opinion of this country and of all other Moslem territories informed of all events that occur now and then in respect of the Burk question so that they may…hurry to participate in the defense of the Holy Burak and the Mosque of Aqsa as required by circumstances by submitting urgent protests to the Government asking for the application of the White Paper, that maintenance of the status quo in the proper way, the prevention of Jews from repeating their attempts and molesting the Moslem inhabitants of the neighbouring quarter.” p. 48

-Arab violence and massacres of Jews, pp. 56-65

Events of August 17th 1929

“One of a number of Jewish youths who were playing football on an open space attempted to retrieve the ball which had been kicked into a tomato garden belonging to an Arab. During quarrel which arose between him and the owner of the garden the youth was stabbed. A serious affray then occurred between Jews and Arabs in the course of which eleven Jews and fifteen Arabs were wounded. Upon the arrival of the police, who arrested the Arab…they were attacked by the Jewish crowd…The Jewish crowd also attacked Arab houses in the neighbourhood and wounded some of the inmates.

During the next few days the feeling between Jews and Arabs became dangerously intense. There were frequent assaults by Jews on Arabs and by Arabs on Jews…” p. 56-57

August 23, 1929, pp. 59-66

“…Arab crowds were leaving the Haram area in an excited condition as early as 12-30…it is clear beyond all doubt that at 12-50 large sections of these crowds were bent on mischief if not on murder and that by 1-15…it took the form of a ferocious attack by Arabs on Jews.
“We therefore consider that the outbreak in Jerusalem on the 23rd of August was from the beginning an attack by Arabs on Jews for which no excuse in the form of earlier murders by Jews has been established…” p. 63

August 24th

“About 9 o’clock on the morning of the 24th of August, Arabs in Hebron made a most ferocious attack on the Jewish ghetto and on isolated Jewish houses lying outside the crowded quarters of the town. More than 60 Jews – including many women and children – were murdered and more than 50 were wounded. This savage attack, of which no condemnation could be too severe, was accompanied by wanton destruction and looting. Jewish synagogues were desecrated, a Jewish hospital, which had provided treatment for Arabs, was attacked and ransacked, and only the exceptional personal courage displayed by Mr. Cafferata – the one British Police Officer in the town – prevented the outbreak from developing into a general massacre of the Jews in Hebron.” p. 64

August 25th , 26th

“Isolated attacks on Jewish colonies continued; many such colonies were attacked and in six cases their destruction was complete and was accompanied by looting and burning…In Haifa and Jaffa the situation deteriorated… a Police Officer who opened fire on an Arab crowd succeeded in beating off an attack on the quarter which lies between Jaffa and Tel Aviv. In this quarter there occurred the worst instance of a Jewish attack on Arabs in the course of which the Imam of a mosque and some six other people were killed. On the 26th of August there also occurred a Jewish attack on the Mosque of Akosha in Jerusalem…The mosque was badly damaged and the tombs of the prophets which it contains were desecrated.” p. 65

August 29th

“At about 5-15 pm, on the 29th of August, Arab mobs attacked the Jewish ghetto in Safed…in the course of which some 45 Jews were killed or wounded, several Jewish houses and shops were set on fire, and there was a repetition of the wanton destruction which had been so prominent a feature of the attack at Hebron.” p. 65

“During the disturbances 133 Jews were killed and 339 were wounded, of whom 198 were treated in hospital; 87 Arabs were killed and 181 who had been wounded were treated in hospital.” p. 65

-Other Events Between Aug. 23-29, pp. 66-70

-Arming of Jews – Aug. 23rd

“By 4 p.m. of the 23rd of August…some 70 special constables had been enrolled. All of these were of British nationality; they included some British Jews….Later on that day Major Saunders…issued arms to 18 Jewish ex-soldiers and staves to about 60 other Jews. It was intended that these persons should assist in the defense of Jewish quarters in Jerusalem.” p. 66

-Response of Arabs – Aug. 27th

“On the 27th of August, the Mufti of Jerusalem told Mr. Luke by telephone that there was a large crowd of excited Arabs in the Haram area who were demanding arms and that the reason which they gave for this request was that the Government had departed from its promise that the Jews would not be armed…the excited crowd in the Haram area took the view that the retention of Jews as special constables carrying arms was a breach of faith by the Government…In light of this advice, Mr. Luke decided that the Jewish special constables should be disarmed and disbanded.” p. 67

-White Paper Regarding Wailing Wall

“During September consideration was given to the question of applying the principles laid down in the White Paper (Cmd. 3229) regarding the Wailing Wall and on the 1st of October the instructions…were communicated to the Chief Rabbinate. The instructions provided that the Jews should have access to the Wailing Wall for the purpose of prayer and devotion at all times; they prescribed in definite terms those appurtenances of worship which the Jews were permitted to bring to the Wall; they prohibited the bringing of benches, chairs, and stools to the Wall; they prohibited the driving of animals along the pavement in front of the Wall at certain hours…” p. 69

Complaints Made By Palestine Zionist Executive Against the Mufti of Jerusalem and Against Palestine Arab Executive, pp. 70-82

-Complaints Against the Mufti, pp. 70-78

“These complaints, taken as a whole, resolve themselves into a charge that the disturbances which occurred in Palestine in August last were in a large measure the direct result of organization and incitement, the main responsibility for which must be attributed to the Mufti and the Palestinian Arab Executive….their case…rested on the allegation that both the Palestine Arab Executive and the Mufti of Jerusalem were influenced by the general political motive of determined opposition to the Balfour Declaration and to the policy of the Jewish national home. In the case of the Mufti, it was further contended that he was influenced by the desire to secure his own position.” p. 70

“That the first of these motives is proved there can be no question; neither the Arab Executive nor the Mufti has at any time endeavoured to conceal the fact that the policy which since 1918 successive Governments of His Majesty have followed in Palestine is regarded by them as being detrimental to the interests of those whom they represent. Their opposition to that policy has been unwavering. The Arab Executive…has opposed the policy and declined to accept the White Paper of 1922; there is no evidence that it has ever departed from the attitude which it then adopted. The Mufti, as a private person before his election to his present office, gave such expression to his feeling in the matter of policy in Palestine that he was implicated in the disturbances of 1920. When the Military Inquiry into those disturbances took place, the Mufti was in Syria. In his absence he was sentenced by the Military Court to a term of imprisonment; a few months later, while he was still out of Palestine, he was pardoned by Sir Herbert Samuel and in consequence did not serve any part of the sentence passed upon him.” p. 71

“The further contention against the Mufti is that he was influenced by the desire to secure his own position as President of the Supreme Moslem Council…It is in our judgment inconceivable that draft Regulations which guarantee his position for nine years and hold out the promise of the continuance of office thereafter could have provided the Mufti with any motive for incitement or the organization of riots.

“There is, however, the further consideration that at the time when the disturbances broke out the Palestine Government had not arrived at any decision on the recommendations of the Committee, one member of which had presented a minority report recommending that the question of the election of the President of the Supreme Moslem Council should be left for determination by the General Moslem Assembly. The dissenting report commanded the support of some Arabic newspapers and the consequent Press campaign against the Mufti was marked by such innuendoes and insinuations…as that the Mufti was appropriating and misapplying public funds and was making use of his patronage to appoint his relatives and friends to the more important religious posts under his control. But although the Government had taken no decision in this matter and thought this vigorous Press campaign was being conducted against him, it seems improbable that the Mufti could have regarded either of these facts as a serious menace to the security of his position as President of the Supreme Moslem Council.” p . 72

“The first complaint preferred against the Mufti is that he made use of the religious motive in order to incite Arab feeling against the Jews in Palestine. That religious motives played an important part in the disturbances is clear beyond all question…Starting from the Day of Atonement in 1928 up to…November last, the Society for the Protection of the Mosque of Aqsa and the Moslem Holy Places, with which the Mufti is connected and of which other prominent Moslem religious authorities are the leaders, has conducted a campaign based on the allegation that the Jews have designs on the Moslem Holy Places in Palestine.” p. 73

“Whether the Mufti and the Moslem religious leaders genuinely believed all the allegations to which they gave currency must remain a matter of conjecture in respect of which no definite proof can be forthcoming. It is our view that the Burak campaign…had two objectives. In part it was prompted by the desire to cause annoyance to the Jews; in part it was intended to mobilize Arab opinion in favour of the Moslem claims in connection to the Wailing Wall and its environs.” p. 74

“The movement which he (the Mufti) in part created became through the force of circumstances a not unimportant factor in the events which led to the outbreak of August last and to that extent he, like many others who directly or indirectly played upon pubic feeling in Palestine, must accept a share in the responsibility for the disturbances.”

“The second complaint against the Mufti is that the innovations of practice which between October 1928 and July 1929 were introduced in the neighbourhood of the Wailing Wall…and the building operations as a whole were in reality attempts to provoke the Jews…This insistence on the strict rights of property in an area in which the Jews have religious rights of long standing must have been intensely annoying to the Jews, but there is no evidence, nor do we believe, that behind any of these acts lay any deliberate intention to incite them to disturbance.” p. 75

“The third complaint…is that by the use of emissaries the Mufti had incited the people in parts of Palestine outside the capital and was having conveyed to them a message that they should come up to Jerusalem….That in many districts there was incitement and that in some cases those who incited were members of the Moslem hierarchy are facts which have been established to the satisfaction of Courts in Palestine; equally it cannot be questioned that agitators were touring the country in the third week of August last and were summoning the people of certain districts to Jerusalem. As an instance of this we will quote a letter which on the 22nd of August was delivered to the head men of Kabalan, a village near Nablus. This communication was in the following terms-
‘Fighting will take place on Friday next, the 18th Rabia (23 August, 1929), between the Jews and Moslems. All who are of the Moslem religion should come to Jerusalem to help.’

This letter purported to be signed by the Mufti but it is common ground that the signature is a forgery. Neither in this case nor in any other has any connection been established in evidence before us between the Mufti and the work of those who either are known or are thought to have been engaged in agitation and incitement….But we go further than this; there are two reasons which…make it most unlikely that there is any truth in the allegation. In the first place three of the four towns outside Jerusalem – namely Jaffa, Haifa, Hebron, and Safed – where the most violent disorders occurred are the very places in Palestine where…the influence of the Mufti is weak and that of the rival party in the Moslem religious world is strong.”

“There is one further reason which…makes it unlikely that there is any truth in the allegation…if the Mufti had inspired agitation and if he had issued any authentic request for people to come to Jerusalem, the response would have been widespread, the scope of the disturbances would have been greatly enlarged and their consequence more serious.” p. 76

“We have mentioned the inquiries which, on the Mufti’s instructions, his Secretary instituted on the 17th of August last as to the possibility of his being granted a visa for Syria. During the proceedings before us it was…implied that these inquiries were to be regarded as an indication that the Mufti intended to provide himself with facilities to ensure an easy departure from Palestine if the outbreak of which he was supposed to have prior knowledge, miscarried….we see no reason to disbelieve his story, since his passport already bore visas which would have enabled him to travel to Egypt and to other countries.” pp. 76-77

“In support of the complaints against the Mufti our attention was directed to the discrepancies between his evidence and that given by Mr. Luke and Major Saunders. The most important of these discrepancies is that, while Major Saunders testified that at 11am on the 23rd of August he questioned the Mufti as to the reasons for which fellaheen were bringing sticks and clubs in Jerusalem, the Mufti gave a different account of this interview and moreover…stated that he saw no clubs or sticks in the Haram area…one hour after his interview with Major Saunders…But even if it were established that the Mufti was aware of the presence of armed fellaheen at the midday prayer on the 23rd of August, there is no evidence either that the sticks or clubs had been brought in at his request or with his connivance…” p. 77

-Complaints Against the Palestine Arab Executive, pp. 78-82

“The principal complaint against the Palestine Arab Executive is…the members of that body have stirred up Arab feeling over such matters as Jewish immigration, Jewish land purchase, and Government taxation which, so they allege, was onerous and in a large measure was due to the presence of Jews in Palestine. Opposition to the Balfour Declaration is an important element in the policy of the Palestine Arab Executive and…it is our opinion that their feelings on this political issue might have provided a sufficient motive to have caused them to incite or to organize disturbance…By giving public expression to their views they have played a part in keeping alive the public issues connected with these Jewish activities and to that extent they have unquestionably excited public opinion.” p. 78

“The following are the principal lines of argument upon which this particular complaint against the Arab Executive is based-

1. That during a period of months preceding the disturbances the Arab Executive was extending its activities and was forming Societies, such as local branches of the Young Men’s Moslem Association, in the more important provincial towns of Palestine.

2. That as from the 15th of August there was a marked increase in the ‘movement of Arab personages’ about the country.

3. That the rumours of an impending outbreak, which were current throughout the country immediately before the disturbances, are evidence that the outbreak which occurred on the 23rd of August was premeditated and had been organized either by the Palestine Arab Executive or by agents of that body.

We unreservedly accept the first of these three line of argument but, granted the fact that the political activities of the Arab Executive showed a marked increase during 1929, it is our view that in the absence of more conclusive evidence than has been laid before us it would be unwise to deduce from that fact anything more than that…the Arab Executive were engaged in the organization of the Arab side of a political campaign.”

We also accept the evidence that there was a marked increase in Arab activity after the 15th of August and…it cannot be doubted that during the third week of August agitators were touring the country. The attempt to connect this agitation with the Palestine Arab Executive is largely based on the movements and activities of three members of that body…”

“In some parts of Palestine, from the 16th of August onwards until the disturbances began, there can be little doubt that racial feeling was deliberately stirred up by some mischief-makers with a view to conflict, but it is our opinion that no connection has been established between the Palestine Arab Executive and those who thus agitated the fellahin and the poorer classes of the townsfolk. In the absence of a definite connection, we have thought it well to take into account such probabilities as could be deduced from the situation obtaining at the time. It is a commonplace that every political organization of which the purpose is the furtherance of nationalist aims will contain among its adherents an extremist section who are not content with the official policy of the organization…and whose activities are in consequence directed towards an intensification of that policy. We have little doubt that, though not perhaps on the Arab Executive itself, but among the members of the many bodies which elected the Executive, there were many whose desire to see the adoption of amore violent measures than the Executive officially countenanced led them as individuals to prosecute among the more ignorant people a campaign of propaganda calculated to incite them.” p. 81

“We consider that it is probable…that individual members of the Arab Executive not only refrained from doing what was clearly their duty by assisting to restore peace and order but may even have further exacerbated racial feeling after the disturbances began.”

“Though it is our opinion that both the Arab Executive…and the Mufti of Jerusalem must stand acquitted on charges of complicity in or incitement to the disturbances, we consider that it is a matter for regret that, during the week which preceded these disturbances, the Moslem religious authorities and the Arab political leaders did not make a more determined attempt to control their followers by declaring publicly and emphatically that they were on the side of law and order…For their failure to make such an appeal neither the Mufti nor the Arab Executive can be acquitted of blame.” p. 82

Complaints Made by the Palestine Zionist Executive Against the Palestine Government, pp. 83-96

-Neglect to get reinforcements from neighbouring countries

“…it is our opinion that, having regard to the possibility…of inter-racial strife in Palestine, that country long before August 1929 had been denuded of military and security forces below the margin of safety…The whole of the military and security forces available were clearly insufficient to quell any disturbances of a racial character which originated simultaneously in various parts of the country or which, though localized in their origin, spread rapidly to other districts.” p. 83

-Neglect to make full and proper use of the Forces available

“…the movements of troops which were carried out after the disturbances should have been carried out some thirty six hours earlier as precautionary measures.” p. 84

-Refusal to arm Jews

“This complaint centres round the refusal of the Palestine Government to accept a proposal…that a large number of Jewish people nominated by those authorities should be armed by the Government for the purpose of assisting in the defense of the Jewish colonies and outlying suburbs around Jerusalem…two reasons…which led Mr. Luke on the 24th of August to decline this offer. He had consulted his military advisors, who had stated that, with the assistance of the troops who were expected to arrive later on the 24th of August, an adequate measure of protection could be afforded to the Jewish colonies…The second reason was that in his opinion…the arming of a large number of Jews would further excite the feelings of the Arabs and would endanger the security of a far greater number of Jews than could be protected through the arming of those whose services had been offered to him. A further consideration…is that any decision to arm the Jews might also have seriously excited the people in neighbouring Arab countries, incursions from which would have complicated the situation in view of the inadequacy of the defensive forces available.” p. 85

-Disarming of Jewish Special Constables

“The considerations governing the decision we have discussed in the preceding paragraph obtained in this case also…The second decision, unlike the first, was a concession to Arab demands and was open to objection on that ground…There can be no question that such persons either would misbehave or would take any illegal part in racial conflict. In these circumstances the decision to disarm such persons, a decision which was a great affront to Jews in Palestine and elsewhere, can be justified if…it can clearly be shown that the action of disarming them was an action taken in the best interests of all the people in Palestine.” p. 86

-Removal of the sealed armoires from Jewish colonies

“After the disturbances which occurred in May 1921…it was decided that a stock of rifles and of ammunition should be issued to outlying Jewish colonies and should be held under seal by the head man or some person of repute who would be responsible to the Government for any improper use of these weapons…In June 1924 it was decided that conditions…had so improved that the number of arms in the possession of Jewish colonies should…be reduced and that only colonies actually exposed to raids should continue to be provided with sealed armouries. The withdrawal was spread over a period of years…” p. 87

-Delay in opening of fire by Police and from Armoured Cars

“…police in the Jaffa road on the 23rd of August did not open fire, although by 2 p.m. on that date at least four Jews had been killed and others severely wounded…and that, after the armoured cars had come into Jerusalem from Ramleh, their crews did not open fire on occasions when its use might have been effective.” p. 88

-Failure to deal with Press incitement

“…contended that the failure of the Palestine Government to take action against the editors and newspapers publishing articles which were calculated to incite disorder had been a clear indication of the weakness of that Administration and that the Press campaign which has thus been allowed to proceed unchecked had in some measure conduced to the disturbances of August last.” p. 90

-Failure to issue an Official Communiqué denying that the Jews had designs on the Moslem Holy Places

“The Zionist Organization, in a petition addressed to the League of Nations in October 1928, and the Va’ad Leumi, by an open letter published in Palestine, had denied that it was the intention of the Jewish people in Palestine to menace in any way the inviolability of the Moslem Holy Places. On the 12th of November 1928, Mr. Amery…stated in the House of Commons in reply to a question arising out of the incidents of the Day of Atonement in 1928-

‘I am in a position to give an absolute assurance that the Jews have no intention of asking for anything inconsistent with the inviolability of the Moslem Holy Places, which is unreservedly acknowledged.’

In spite of these denials the story continued and indeed gained strength. During our proceedings, the complaint was made that the Palestine Government should have repeated these denials through the medium of an official communiqué.” p. 91

-Failure to stop Jewish Demonstrations on 15th August, Moslem Demonstrations on 16th August, pp. 92-94

-Failure to give proper attention to rumours, p. 94

-Criticism of the terms of a Communiqué issued by the Palestine Government on the 18th of August, pp. 94-95

“The communiqué in question contained a brief description of the events at the Wailing Wall on the 15th and 16th of August. The principal objection which the Palestine Zionist Executive took to it was that it established a comparison and a relation of cause and effect between the two demonstrations which occurred on the 15th and 16th of August. The second objection was that the communiqué minimized the occurrences at the Wailing Wall during the Moslem demonstration and did not state the full facts” p. 94

-Criticism of the terms and the general tone of Bulletins issued by the Palestine Government during the Disturbances

“During the Disturbances the publication of newspapers in Palestine was suspended. The Government issued bulletins designed in part to give information to the public in the absence of al newspaper and in part to allay apprehensions. The Zionist Organization complain that these bulletins concealed the fact that the disturbances began with an attack by Arabs on Jews and that in the main they took throughout the form of a racial attack against the Jews in Palestine. They further complained that the bulletins minimized events.” p. 95

Immigration, pp. 97-112

“With, perhaps, the exception of land, its acquisition and settlement, there is no question to which greater importance is attached both by the Zionist Organization and by the Arabs in Palestine than that of immigration.” p. 97

“On the Arab side witness after witness, many them persons of experience and of influence in the Arab community whose views they were undoubtedly expressing, told us of growing apprehension and alarm due to the conviction that the policy of the Zionists in regard to land and immigration must inevitably result in the complete subordination of the Arabs as a race and the expropriation of their people from the soil.”

“As an example of Arab evidence of this character we would quote Sheikh Freih Abu Midyen, the Sheikh of Beersheba, who stated that ‘Palestine is a small country which cannot hold the number of Jews brought into this country…there remains nothing for the Arabs in this country except to die or to leave the country.’”

“It appears to us obvious that the Arab attitude, the result of a dangerous combination of anger and fear, is a potential cause of future disturbance unless the fears which many Arabs undoubtedly entertain can be shown to be greatly exaggerated or can be proved to be groundless and unless also the Arab people are satisfied that they will be adequately protected from either subordination or expropriation.” p. 9

-Table with Statistics for Jewish Immigration and Emigration — 1919-1928, pp. 101-102

“It was strongly urged before us by Arab witnesses that the burden cast upon the tax-payer in consequence of the situation which we have described (economic depression of 1926-27) was the direct result of the admission to the country of a large number of immigrants than the country could at the time absorb. In our view there can be no doubt that Sir John Campbell was right when he reported (page 464 of the Reports of the Experts) that the crisis of 1927 and 1928 was due ‘to the fact that immigrants have come into Palestine in excess of the economic absorbing power of the country.’” p. 106

-Statements of Zionists on Immigration to Palestine

-Resolutions of 16th Zionist Congress – July, August 1928, pp. 106-107

-Statement of Mr. Sacher, p. 108

“What we are concerned with is that we shall have…immigration to which there shall be no artificial restrictions, that we shall be enabled as a Jewish people to put all our energies into making what is to be made of this country so as to enable Jews to come here and create this civilization.”
“One thing, however, is quite certain, Jews have no intention of dominating or being dominated in respect of any other people in this country….”
-“Mr. Jabotinsky (leader of Zionist Revisionists) explained the policy of his party in the following terms-

‘To revise certain conceptions of the Zionist policy. When we started our movement in 1925 the official point of view, expressed by Dr. Weizmann and his associates, was this; the business of Zionism can be completed and achieved simply by the process of the Jews pouring into Palestine money and energy and it ought not to matter at all what the attitude of the Government was, provided that the Government was a decent European Administration. We demanded the revision of this point of view, saying that a large scale of colonization cannot be conducted independently of a Government…’ p. 109

“The solution of the problem which he and his friends desire is that Jews should enter Palestine at the average rate of 30,000 per annum for the next 60 years and that the majority of the immigrants be drawn from the zone of anti-semitism in Eastern Europe. He recognizes that chronic unemployment followed the one period during which Jewish immigration to Palestine attained…the rate which, in the opinion of his party, should be the average rate of immigration for the next 60 years, but he attributes this to the fact that the Government did not play an active part in the immigration of those years by preparing and paving the way for the immigrants.
“…the objective of his party is the creation in Palestine of a Jewish State, a term he defines in the following manner-

“It does not necessarily mean being independent in the sense of having the right to declare war on anybody, but what it means is first of all a majority of Jewish people in Palestine, so that under a democratic rule the Jewish point of view should always prevail, and secondly, that measure of self-government which for instance the State of Nebraska possesses…as long as it is a local self-government, enough to conduct our own affairs and so long as there is a Jewish majority in the country.” p. 109

“When the average fellah read in his newspaper or was told by his friend that, with the enlargement of the Jewish Agency which was approved at Zurich, a more progressive policy in the matter of Jewish immigration was to be adopted by the Zionist Organization and urged upon the Palestine Government, he would no doubt anticipate a repetition of the unemployment and distress of 1927 and 1928. The further belief that the ultimate Zionist aim is that there should be a Jewish majority in Palestine would only serve to multiply his fears.” p. 111

The Land Problem, pp. 113-124

“…the fears of the Arabs that the success of the Zionist policy meant their expropriation from the land were repeatedly emphasized. As an example of evidence of this character we would cite that of the Mayor of Nablus who told us that-

‘In the early days the Jew who came worked on his land and employed Arab labour. Since immigration commenced in large numbers these Jewish employers have turned away the Arab labourer end have employed Jews in their place thereby throwing out of work a large number of Arabs…Great harm has been caused to the country by the sale to Jews of large estates…and this throws out of employment a large number of Arabs. I understand, as all Arabs understand, that the Zionist policy is to dispose of the Arabs in every possible way and to replace them with Jews.’ p. 11

Arab Constitutional Grievances, pp. 124-131

“The first argument is that His Majesty’s Government have failed to give effect to promises which they made to the Arab people of Palestine during the War…In the course of that correspondence Sir Henry McMahon, who was at the time His Majesty’s High Commissioner for Egypt, gave an undertaking that in certain areas….His Majesty’s Government were prepared to recognize and to support the independence of the Arabs…His Majesty’s Government have consistently interpreted the declaration as excluding Palestine from the area covered by their undertaking…[The Arabs] feel that the promise of independence made by Sir Henry McMahon extended to Palestine…” p. 125-126
“The second line of argument is that, at a time when the self-determination of small nations was a guiding principle in world politics, his Majesty’s Government embarked in Palestine upon a policy which had the effect of taking away from the people of that country the right, acquired under the Ottoman Constitution of 1908, of being represented in the Government which controlled their destinies.” p. 127

“The third line of argument…is based on the knowledge of recent constitutional developments in neighbouring Arab countries where representative governments elected by the people and possessed of wide powers have now been established. The Arabs point out that in pre-war times the same system of government prevailed in Palestine and in these neighbouring countries; they contend that today political consciousness in Palestine is at least as highly developed as in the other territories detached from Turkey and they further maintain that there is in consequence no good reason why the measure of self-government which has been extended to these neighbouring countries should not be extended to Palestine also.”

“The fourth and last argument is that the terms of the Palestine Mandate are so serious a limitation of the rights contemplated in the provisions of the 4th paragraph of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations as to inconsistent with the Treaty of Versailles of which that article forms a part…” p. 128

Minor Arab Grievances, pp. 132-135

Difficulties Inherent in the Mandate, pp. 136-144

Defense and Security, pp. 145-150

“…we are convinced that the policy of reduction was carried too far. No doubt the authorities were lulled into a false sense of security by the absence for some years of any overt acts of hostility. In consequence the forces were reduced, in our opinion, below the margin of safety.” p. 145

Analysis of the Causes of the Outbreak of August, 1929, pp. 150-157

“There can… be no doubt that racial animosity on the part of the Arabs, consequent upon the disappointment of their political and national aspirations and fear for their economic future, was the fundamental cause of the outbreak of August last.”

“In less than ten years three serious attacks have been made by Arabs on Jews. For eighty years before the first of these attacks there is no recorded instance of any similar incidents. It is obvious then that the relations between the two races during the past decade must have differed in some material respect from those which previously obtained.”

“In any analysis of the factors that have brought about this change of relationship between the two races some regard must be had to the meaning which from the beginning has been attached by various persons to the promises made, on the one hand, in the Balfour Declaration, on the other hand, to the Sherif Hussein during the War. Many of the leaders of either race placed the widest possible construction upon these promises. A National Home for the Jews, in the sense in which it was widely understood, was inconsistent with the demands of Arab nationals while the claims of Arab nationalism… would have rendered impossible the fulfilment of the pledge to the Jews.
When the terms of the Balfour Declaration became generally known the Arabs were greatly disappointed with the position in which they found themselves. In particular this was true of the Arab leaders, many of them members of a class that, under the Turkish rule, had been dominant in the country and whose sense of nationalism had been stimulated by the events of the Great War. Those leaders found not merely that they would not achieve their ambitions, but that their leadership in the country was likely to be threatened by the advent of a new and powerful element composed of a capable and progressive people.

Upon the announcement of policy in 1922 the Jews found that His Majesty’s Government were not prepared to accept the exaggerated interpretations which in some quarters had been placed upon the Balfour Declaration. In consequence some sections of the Jews also in their turn were disappointed.

To the political disappointment of the Arabs there came in time to be added fear of the Jews as an economic competitor. In pre-war days the Jews in Palestine, regarded collectively, had formed an unobtrusive minority…The Jewish immigrant of the post-war period, on the other hand, is a person of greater energy and initiative than were the majority of the Jewish community of pre-war days….To the Arabs in must appear improbable that such competitors will in years to come be content to share the country with them. These fears have been intensified by the more extreme statements of Zionist policy and the Arabs have come to see in the Jewish immigrant not only a menace to their livelihood but a possible overlord of the future.” p. 151

Summary of Findings and Recommendations, pp. 157-168

Conclusion, pp. 168—171

Note of Reservations of Mr. Snell, pp. 172-183

“It is my view that in regard to such matters as Jewish immigration and the land problem too much importance is attached in the report to the excited protests of Arab leaders on the one hand and to the impatient criticisms and demands of Zionist leaders on the other. What is required in Palestine is, I believe, less a change of policy in these matters than a change of mind on the part of the Arab populations, who have been encouraged to believe that they have suffered a great wrong and that the immigrant Jew constitutes a permanent menace to their livelihood and future. I am convinced that these fears are exaggerated and that on any long view of the situation the Arab people stand to gain rather than to lose from Jewish enterprise. There is no doubt in my mind that, in spite of errors of judgment which may have resulted in hardship to individual Arabs, Jewish activities have increased the prosperity of Palestine, have raised the standard of life of the Arab worker and have laid the foundations on which may be based the future progress of the two communities and their development into one state.” p. 174

“I acquit the Jewish authorities from all blame in the matter of the acquisition of land also; responsible Jewish leaders are at one in disclaiming any design to prejudice the Arab tenant of Jewish interests. Thus Dr. Ruppin told us that the Zionists ‘do not want to clear the Arabs off the land, not only because our conscience would be against it, but because we should create a lot of hatred against us and it would be difficult for us to work with them.’ Mr. Jabotinsky said, ‘There is not one Zionist who really dreams of ousting the existing rural population of Palestine.’ Later in evidence he said-

‘Suppose that practically all the available land in Palestine is occupied by fellaheen who actually work it. I would say, irrespective of whether I desire to oust them or not, it is impossible. They will remain, therefore nothing remains for me. Then I would try another avenue. Perhaps it is possible, despite all, to constitute a nation simply by urban population, waiting for such time when the intensification of cultivation will allow the Arabs to live on a smaller area so that we can buy the remainder. If I come to the conclusion that that cannot be done, I would go to the Jews and say ‘Commit suicide, or go and become, I don not know what, Bolsheviks, anything, because you have no hope.’” p. 176

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