Britain's role in bringing in illegal Arabs
and keeping out Jews, trying to create an artificial Arab majority in Palestine
For many who aren't familiar with the background
of the "Palestinian Right to Return" claim here are some facts.
In the end, during WWII, six million Jews
are killed. At the end of the war instead of
The League of Nations set up the Palestinian
Mandate to provide a home for the Jewish people, approximately 12 million
people in 1900s.1
In "recognition to the historical connection
of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting
their national home in that country", land was chosen to accommodate a
"Jewish National Homeland". This land included what is now Israel and Jordan.
The entire area of both Israel [West Palestine]
and Jordan [East Palestine] had a relatively stable population at around
600,000 people for the entire duration of the Ottoman empire.3
It was thought that 12,000,000 Jews would
fill up this area (East and West Palestine) while being sensitive to the
rights of the 550,000 non-Jews and 50,000 Jews already living there.4,5
In the late 1880s, tremendous amounts of money
were invested in purchasing land for new settlements along the coast of
Israel. These settlements were in addition to the long time existing
Jewish communities of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jericho, Tiberias, Safed, and
Massive numbers of Syrian, Egyptians, Trans-Jordanian
and Iraqi migrant Arabs workers set up camps around the Jewish settlements
to work in the new orchards to seek a better standard of living.
In some places (Rishon LeTzion for example) there were as many as 10 Arab
settlers to 1 Jewish settler.7,8
The British published the Balfour Declaration
in 1917, and after the fall of the Ottoman Empire was given responsibility
"facilitating Jewish Immigration for the establishment of a Jewish National
Home" under the supervision of the Palestinian Mandate Council.9
In 1920 the British set Jewish Immigration
quotas, restricting Jewish immigration. The British requested the
French to STOP monitoring illegal Arab immigration along the border of
Lebanon and Syria with West Palestine (Israel) allowing free immigration
of Arabs into Western Palestine [Israel].10
Britain's first High Commissioner to Palestine,
Herbert Samuel reports "There are now [in 1921]
in the whole of Palestine [Israel+Jordan] hardly 700,000 people".
He also questions the propriety of a "Jewish Majority" in Palestine.
In 1921, T. E. Lawrence informed Churchill
that Emir Feisal (Abdullah's brother, and Lawrence "of Arabia's" choice
to lead the Arab revolt) had "agreed to abandon all claim of his father
to [Western] Palestine [=Israel]," if Feisal got in return Iraq and Eastern
Palestine [=Jordan] as Arab territories.11
In 1922 Churchill White Paper limits Jewish
immigration to "capacity to absorb new arrivals" - absorptive capacity.12
In 1928 Eastern Palestine [Jordan] was closed
to Jewish settlement, and the Arab Legion was placed in charge for monitoring
illegal Arab immigration from Eastern Palestine [Jordan] into Western Palestine
From the years from 1890 to 1945 about 500,000
Egyptian, Syrian, Iraqi and Eastern Palestine [Jordan] Arabs settled into
West Palestine, later in 1939 Winston Churchill said "So far from being
persecuted, the Arabs have crowded into the country and multiplied till
their population has increased more than even all world Jewry could lift
up the Jewish population." 14
In 1929 British Shaw Commission finds Jewish
immigration of 1925-26 was "excessive" and recommends restriction of Jewish
immigration and land sales.
1930 Passfield White Paper restricts Jewish
immigration and land acquisition, based on "absorptive capacity."
Cultivators' Ordinance of 1933 replaces earlier
laws, institutes giving free land from Western Palestine to Arab "statutory
tenants" that is Arab settlers or nomadic Bedouin who had not "grossly
neglecting" areas of grazing or occasional presence 15
In 1934 Government institutes practice of
deducting their estimated numbers of illegal Jewish immigrants from Jewish
immigration quotas 16
In 1936, The Conference of Protestant and
Catholics in America published "It is the profound conviction of Christian
America that [the British Government] rescind its illegal, unjust, and
indefensible partition of Palestine, to restore Trans-Jordania [Jordan]
to its proper place as part of Palestine territory, and throw it open to
Jewish Settlement" 17
Also in 1936 the Arabs riot with funds supplied
by the Nazi's 18
In 1937 Palestine Royal commission, recognizing
that Arab majority was building, they recommends partition Western Palestine
a second time into two states one Jewish, one Arab, state. After
the violent rejection by Arab leaders of the Palestine Royal Commission
Report's recommendation, British Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Anthony
Eden, then aimed for another plan, "which would not give Jews any territory
exclusively for their own use." 19 There
was little attention to inherent "justice" in Government's in an artificially
created Arab majority as Eden later wrote to his private secretary, "If
we must have preferences, let me murmur in your ear that I prefer Arabs
to Jews." 20
"I can only hope and expect that the other
world, which has such deep sympathy for these criminals [the Jews],
will at least be generous enough to convert this sympathy into practical
aid. We, on our part, are ready to put all these criminals at the disposal
of these countries, for all I care, even on luxury ships" 21
Adolf Hitler offered to allow the Jews to emigrate from Europe in 1938,
if anyone would take them. 22
1939 British Government White Paper enforces
new, rigidly pro-Arab, anti-Mandate policy: restricting Jewish immigration
to a token number for five years, and afterwards at the discretion of "Arabs
In 1939 The Permanent Mandates Commission
of the League of Nations protested the Britain's "White Paper" in August.
Four out of the seven members intended to strike down the restrictive White
Paper as a violation of the Mandate of Palestine. But WWII intervened in
the few days before the League was to review the matter. The meeting was
to have taken place on September 8; Germany marched on Poland September
1, and Britain declared war on Germany September 3.23
1940 Britain Prohibits transfers of most land
in Western Palestine "except to a Palestinian Arab".24
Neville Chamberlain, Britain's Prime Minister in that most pivotal period
of the shaping of British policy, 1937-1940. Chamberlain told his cabinet
that "If we must offend one side, let us offend the Jews rather than the
In 1941 the Mufti of Jerusalem (Arafat's 'Uncle'26)
relocated his headquarters to Berlin to maintain closer connection with
the Nazi government. 27
In 1944, Henry Morgenthau, United States Secretary
of the Treasury to President Roosevelt said "The British were apparently
prepared to accept the probable death of thousands of Jews in enemy territory
because of "the difficulties of disposing of any considerable number of
Jews should they be rescued." 28
As the war progressed, Jewish "restraint"
was strained thin. While the doomed Jews were frantically fighting to get
into substandard ships surreptitiously headed for the Jewish National Home,
Palestine officials were devising additional measures to keep Jewish refugees
out. Jews were "only racial refugees," one British officer decided. The
White Paper was stringently enforced with no modification despite the news
of wholesale persecution and slaughter of the Jews. 29
The British Army brings in 30,000 foreign
Arab workers to help in the war effort, to work and eventually settle in
In 1949 Ernest Bevin, then Britsh Secretary
of State for Foreign Affairs, says "It would be too high a price to pay
for the friendship of Israel to jeopardize, by estranging the Arabs, either
the base in Egypt or the Middle Eastern oil." 30s
|A Jewish National Home
12,000,000 Jews settling in "Palestine" (what
is now Israel+Jordan),
together with 600,000 Arabs --
6,000,000 Jews dead
5,000,000 Jews living outside of Israel
1,200,000 Jews living in 1/3 of the original
"Jewish National Home"
1,500,000 Arabs living in Jordan, the West
Bank and Gaza (Jordan today is over 60% Palestinian) 32
600,000 Arabs fled the fledgling state
Of the 600,000 Arabs fled the fledgling
state, 70% left without seeing an Israeli soldier 34,35
because they had not lived there very long, they were migrant families,
and many had fled back to Eastern Palestine [Jordan] where they had come
The Arab League forbid any Arab country
from accepting these "refugees" and the U.N. declared that any Arab who
had lived for TWO YEARS 36 in Western Palestine
before 1948 "He and his descendants could claim the right of return".
Now 3,000,000 Arabs, without proof or document are claiming to be descendants
of these original refugees and are claiming the "right of return".
1. The Standard
Jewish Encyclopedia, (Doubleday & Company, 1959), p. 1754
League of Nations, Mandate for Palestine, Preamble, 1922
3. Carl Hermann
Voss, Answers on the Palestine Question (Boston: 1949), p. 17.
4. E.C. Blech
to Sir Nicholas O'Conor, Jerusalem, 16 November 1907, FO 371/356 No 40321
(No. 62), cited by Farhi, "Documents," in Ma'oz, Studies, p. 190.
The Origins of Zionism, p. 196.
6. Y. Ben-Zvi,
The Land of Israel and Its Settlements During the Turkish Regime, pp. 205-206,
cited by David Ben-Gurion, Israel, A Personal History (Tel Aviv, 1971),
Ketavim, vol. 111, December 18, 1889, p. 66. From letter written by Y.
to Y. Eisenstadt.
8 Simon Schama,
Two Rothschilds, p. 156, quoting Emile Meyerson report, La Colonisation
Juivre en Palestine, December 13, 1914, p. 4.
of Nations, Mandate for Palestine, Command #1785, Article 6, 1922.
Record Office, Kew Gardens, Foreign Office, Great Britain 371/20819;
see also interview between the officer administering the Government (OAG)
and Shertok, October 16, 1937.
from Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill from T. E. Lawrence, January
Committee, Survey, 1945-1956, vol. I, p. 20
report on the Administration for 1936, p. 324.
Gilbert, Churchill, vol. 5, p. 1072.
Ordinance of 1933, Drayton, vol. 1, p. 506, cited in Survey, pp. 290-291
for the year 1934, p. 28; Report for the Year 1.935, p. 13; Report, Department
of Migration, 1935, p. 19
of Protestant and Catholic Leaders, New York, December 1936, reported in
Palestine, January 13, 1937, vol. XII, no. 2.
Higher Committee - Its Origins, Personnel and Purposes: The Documentary
Record submitted to the United Nations, May 1947 by Nation Associates of
New York p. 5; a documentary record of the Mufti's and other Arab notables'
Record Office, Kew Gardens, Foreign Office, Great Britain 371/20821; Nov.
26, 1937, Eden to Lindsay, British Ambassador to the United States. Cited
in Gilbert, Exile, pp. 193-194.
to Harvey, 7 September 195 1, BL 56402. Cited in Wasserstein, Britain,
at Konigsberg, April 1938. Cited in Avriel, Open, p. 21.
of State, Sumner Welles, had devised the idea of an international conference,"
believing that the calling of the conference and its related commotion
"would in themselves act as an indicator of the American Government's stand
and perhaps influence the Nazis." Ehud Avriel, Open, pp. 20-2 1; also see
Arthur Morse, While Six Million Died (New York: Hart Publishing Co.; 1967),
p. 60; also see Joint Hearings before a Subcommittee of the Committee on
Immigration, United States Senate, and a Subcommittee of the Committee
on Immigration and Naturalization' House of Representatives, 16th Congress,
Ist Session, April 20, 21, and 24, 1939, p. 160ff.
Palestine Triangle, pp. 69-71.
Britain, Palestine Land Transfer Regulations, Command Paper 6180, 1940;
see Esco-Yale, p. 933 ff.
Committee Minutes: Cabinet Papers 24/285, April 20, 1939. Cited in Gilbert,
Exile, p. 226; also see correspondence to Winston Churchill reporting of
British officials who were "strongly anti-Semite" in Bucharest and Prague,
despite the "persecution" of Jews there. Cited in Gilbert, Exile, p. 226.
Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini was later the notorious Nazi who
mixed Nazi propaganda and Islam. He was wanted for war crimes and
the slaughter of Jews in Bosnia by Yugoslavia. His mix of militant
propagandizing Islam was an inspriation for both Yasser Arafat and Saddam
Husein: He was also a close relative of Yasser Arafat and grandfather of
the current Temple Mount Mufti. "Arafat's actual name was Abd al-Rahman
abd al-Bauf Arafat al-Qud al-Husseini. He shortened it to obscure his kinship
with the notorious Nazi and ex-Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Muhammed Amin al-Husseini."
Howard M. Sachar, A HISTORY OF ISRAEL (New York: Knopf, 1976). The
Bet Agron International Center in Jerusalem interviewed Arafat's brother
and sister, who described the Mufti as a cousin (family member) with tremendous
influence on young Yassir after the Mufti returned from Berlin to Cairo.
Yasser Arafat himself keeps his exact lineage and birthplace secret.
Saddam Hussein was raised in the house of his uncle Khayrallah Tulfah,
who was a leader in the Mufti's pro-Nazi coup in Iraq in May 1941.
Higher Committee, p. 7; Diary of Major General Erwin LaHousen, of German
Abwehr, September 3, 1941: ". . . Mufti ... is currently in connection
with Abwehr II [Sabotage division of Nazi intelligence]"; June 2, 1942:
". . . utilization of the connections with the Grand Mufti for the purpose
of Abwehr "... to demonstrate the solidarity of the Axis powers"; July
13, 1942: "I took part in discussion" with the Mufti and Hitler's representative-"chief
of the Abwehr" Canaris concerning "Arabian Freedom Movement ... .. The
Mufti made an offer ... that followers of the ... movement led by him,
as well as the followers of former Iraq Prime Minister, Kailani [leader
of Iraqi revolt against Britain] were to be used for purposes of sabotage
and sedition in the Near East in accordance with purposes of the Abwehr
Il." Secret Diary, cited in The Arab Higher Committee. Among many documents
included are photocopies of originals and translations of Hitler's "secret
pledges to the Mufti for Revolt against British"; of Italy's "promise"
to the Mufti to "aid in revolt against British"; "of Mufti's handwritten
diary entries recording Hitler's "words of the Fuehrer on Nov. 21, 1941,
Berlin, Friday from 4:30 P.m. till a few minutes after 6." The following
is an extract of the November 1941 meeting between Hitler and the Mufti,
with the Mufti quoting Hitler: ". . . It is clear that the Jews have accomplished
nothing in Palestine and their claims are lies. All the accomplishments
in Palestine are due to the Arabs and not to the Jews. I am resolved to
find a solution for the Jewish problem, progressing step by step without
cessation." In reply to the Mufti's demand for an "Axis declaration to
the Arabs," Hitler assured that, "Only if we win the war will the hour
of deliverance also be the hour of fulfillment of Arab aspirations....
If the declaration is issued now, difficulties will arise .... Now I am
going to tell you something I would like you to keep secret. First, I will
... fight until the complete destruction of the Judeo-Bolshevik rule has
been accomplished. Second ... we will reach the Southern Caucasus. Third,
then I would like to issue a declaration; for then the hour of liberation
of the Arabs will have arrived. Germany has no ambitions in this area but
cares only to annihilate the power which produces the Jews. Fourth, I am
happy that you have escaped and that you are now with the Axis powers ...
You will be the man to direct the Arab force. ... I understand the Arab
desire for this (declaration-Ed.) but his Excellency the Mufti must understand
that only five years after I became President of the German Government
and Fuehrer of the German people, was I able to get such a declaration
(the Austrian Union-Ed.) ... you can rely on my word. "We were troubled
about you. I know your life history ... I am happy that you are with us
now ... to add your strength to the common cause." The full text of Mufti's
diary entries paraphrasing Hitler are found in Arab Higher Committee
to Roosevelt, January 16, 1944, in Michael Mashberg, "Documents," cited
in Wasserstein, Britain, p. 248.
Statement of Policy, Command #6019, The White Paper of May 1939,
Committee, Survey, vol. 1, p. 212.
Middle East Policy Note by Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Ernest
Bevin, on Israel: Bevin's report reviewing meetings with England's representatives
in the Middle East, to Cabinet, August 25, 1949, PRO CAB 129/2 (CP/49 183).
Central Bureau of Statistics for Palestinians in WB/Gaza. The Jordanian
Governenment has never allowed publication of the number of Palestinians
to various estimates, the accurate number of Arab refugees who left Israel
in 1948 was somewhere between 430,000 and 650,000. An oft-cited study that
used official records of the League of Nations' mandate and Arab census
figures determined that there were 539,000 Arab refugees in May 1948.
Dodd and Halim Barakat, River Without Bridges.- A Study of the Exodus of
the 1967Arab Palestinian Refugees (Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies,
1969), p. 43; on April 27, 1950, the Arab National Committee of Haifa stated
in a memorandum to the Arab States: "The removal of the Arab inhabitants
... was voluntary and was carried out at our request ... The Arab delegation
proudly asked for the evacuation of the Arabs and their removal to the
neighboring Arab countries.... We are very glad to state that the Arabs
guarded their honour and traditions with pride and greatness." Cited by
J.B. Schechtman, The Arab Refugee Problem (New York: Philosophical Library,
1952), pp. 8-9; also see Al-Zaman, Baghdad journal, April 27, 1950.
East Arabic Radio, April 3, 1948: "It must not be forgotten that the Arab
Higher Committee encouraged the refugees to flee from their homes in Jaffa,
Haifa and Jerusalem, and that certain leaders . . . make political capital
out of their miserable situation . . ." Cited by Anderson et al., "The
Arab Refugee Problem and How It Can Be Solved," p. 22; for more regarding
Arab responsibility, see Sir Alexander Cadogan, Ambassador of Great Britain
to the United Nations, speech to the Security Council, S.C., O.R., 287th
meeting, April 23, 1948; also see Harry Stebbens, British Port Officer
stationed in Haifa, letter in Evening Standard (London), January 10, 1969.
Report of the Director, UNRWA, 1954-55, UN Document A/2717.
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