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Peel Commission Report, Excerpt from: O’Brien, Conor Cruise. The Siege: The Saga of Israel and Zionism. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986.

Lord William Peel

Lord Peel in the entrance of the King David Hotel, 1936.

The commission’s report, a lucid and impressive document, was published in July 1937. In it’s main findings it declared-

The disease is so deep-rooted that, in our firm conviction, the only hope of a cure lies in a surgical operation… An irrepressible conflict has arisen between two national communities within the narrow bounds of one small country… About 1,000,000 Arabs are in strife, open or latent, with some 400,000 Jews 67… But while neither race can justly rule all Palestine, we see no reason why, if it were practicable, each race should not rule part of it… Partition seems to offer at least a chance of ultimate peace. We can see none in any other plan. 68

Specifically, the commission recommended that the Mandate for Palestine should be terminated and replaced by a Treaty System; a new Mandate for the Holy Places should be instituted- a Treaty of Alliance to be negotiated between the Government of Transjordan and the Arabs of Palestine on the one hand and the Zionist Organization on the other, setting up two sovereign independent states, an expanded Transjordan and a Jewish State. 69 “If it offers neither party what it wants,” concluded the commission, “it offers each what it wants most, namely freedom and security.”

The British Government, in a White Paper issued simultaneously with the published report, expressed general agreement with the findings, and stated specifically “that a scheme of partition on the … [suggested] lines … represents the best and most hopeful solution of the deadlock.” 70

67. Peel Commission Report, Chapter XX, p. 370.

68. Ibid., p. 375.

69. Ibid., Chapter XXII, p. 381.

70. Parliamentary Papers, 1936-1937- Cmd. 5513.

Posted in: The Arab Revolt

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