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Haj Amin to the Peel Commission in Palestine, Nov.-Dec. 1936.

mufti of jerusalemClick here for more on The Mufti of Jerusalem and Yasser Arafat.

Lord Peel- Since you demand the establishment of a national government in Palestine, what will you do with the 400,000 Jews already living there?

Mufti- It will not be the first time that Jews have lived under the aegis of an Arab state. In the past it has been the Arab states which were the more compassionate to them. History shows that, during all periods, the Jews only found rest under the protection of Arab rulers. The East was always a shelter for Jews escaping from European pressure.

Lord Peel- You stated that the number of Jews has increased steeply, so that the number of Arabs, which during the time of the conquest was approximately 90% of the total population, has now dropped to 70%.

Mufti- That is correct.

Lord Peel- Notwithstanding this, if you reach agreement with the English, will you be prepared to allow the Jews to remain in the country?

Mufti- That is a matter for the government that will be formed to deal with at the appropriate time. Its principle will be justice, and above all else it will concern itself with the interests and benefit of the country.

Lord Peel- Do you think that the Jews will accept this declaration without receiving something more substantial? Such an oral declaration will not convince them.

Mufti- Jews living in the other Arab states currently enjoy freedoms and rights.

Lord Peel- I feel that I can safely assume what the Jews will have to say on this matter.

A different extract from his evidence gives a clearer picture of Haj Amin’s approach to the Jewish problem under Arab rule in Palestine-

Question- Does His Eminence think that this country can assimilate and digest the 400,000 Jews now in the country?

Answer- No.

Question- Some of them would have to be removed by a process kindly or painful as the case may be?

Answer- We must leave all this to the future.

Following the Mufti’s evidence, the committee noted ironically-

We are not questioning the sincerity or the humanity of the Muft’s intentions and those of his colleagues, but we cannot forget what recently happened, despite the treaty provisions and explicit assurances, to the Assyrian minority in Iraq; nor can we forget that the hatred of the Arab politician for the National Home has never been concealed and that it has now premeated the Arab population as a whole.

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