Foreword to a Memorandum Submitted to the Royal Commission by the Arab Higher Committee, Feb. 8, 1937.
A foreword to a Memorandum submitted to the Royal Commission by the Arab Higher Committee, printed in Arabic and in English, was sent all over the world as well as throughout Palestine. The document shows what difficulties face an umpire, predisposed to conciliation rather than to sanctions, in pursuit of peace and justice. The pamphlet reads as follows-
To The Arab People and The Moslem and Christian Worlds.
The Arab higher Committee makes public through this pamphlet the text of the Memorandum submitted by the Arabs of Palestine to the British Royal Commission, which came here to investigate the fundamental causes of the 1936 disturbances and the Palestine problem in general.
In making this statement, the Arab Higher Committee calls the attention of the whole world, and particularly the Moslem and Arab peoples, to the dangers of the tragedy that is being inflicted on the Arabs of Palestine to-day. The country is subjected to every aspect of imperialistic rule. Jews from the four corners of the earth are being crowded into it, and arriving, are given complete mastery over its original inhabitants. The Legislative, Administrative, and Political departments of our country’s rule, contrary to all laws of logic and principles of justice and sane economy, are being exploited in the interests of the Zionist policy. All this is being forced upon us in utter disregard of the Arab right to a national existence, and carried out with terrorization and threats to our very means of life.
The Arabs have for the past eighteen years denounced this policy of despotism, and protested there against by every peaceful method at their command. They demanded no more than justice. But the British Government has consistently and resolutely turned a deaf ear to their petitions, wholly ignoring their grievances and their rightful demands. It has unbrokenly pursued a policy in which ignorance and despotism are enshrined. This inevitably has led to the series of riots and disturbances which culminated in the widespread outbreak in the summer of 1936. Then it was that the Arabs of all ranks, in city and village alike, declared their remonstrance in a strike which lasted for half a year. Every sphere of activity was affected thereby, and the country was subjected to bloodshed, death, and imprisonment. The Arabs faced these tragedies bravely, with hearts full of faith and minds serene with patience. Nothing could better prove how deeply they felt the wounds of imperialism, how grievously they were aware of a danger which threatened not only their national life, but their bodily existence, even in the shadow of a ruthless despotism.
The Arabs of Palestine were made to face the mobilized forces of Imperial Britain and the insatiable ambitions of World Jewry. Nevertheless, though a mere handful, they have courageously stood their ground, and with unflinching hearts they have neither weakened nor let themselves be crushed. In spite of all this, however, being few in number and ill-equipped in the modern means of self-defense, they can never keep up their resistance if left to face these gigantic powers alone.
Therefore they send out anew their call for aid to the Arab people, and to the whole world of Moslems and Christians. They must defend their integrity against eh imperialistic net set out for them, and save themselves from the harms and dangers that hang above their heads. They call upon their brethren to see that Great Britain desist from pursuing this inhuman encroachment and oppression which denies them all things; that Great Britain grant to the Arabs their natural and political rights; that World Jewry shall learn that Palestine is not friendless and alone in this world struggle, but is still the centre of hope and aspiration of Arabs, Moslems, and Christians from all the corners of the earth; that the Arab people and the Moslem world shall take no rest until they are assured that Palestine shall maintain for ever its Arab character and blood.