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the Mandate for Palestine . .  . is little more than a statement of Zionist policy

composed by Zionists. It is utterly biased, and the rights of the Arabs to the

country they have inhabited for 20 centuries and more are entirely omitted

The

Weekly

Review

-----

May

2nd 1946

 

 

The Palestine Mandate

 

It has been reported that the Palestine Commission, whose decisions are to be published this week, has been critically examining the text of the mandate by which Great Britain became Mandatory for Palestine.

It is to be hoped that this report may prove to be true, for upon a full understanding of the origins and value of this document depends to a large extent the possibility of a just estimate of what has been called the Palestinian problem.

Let us summarize briefly the events that preceded the acceptance of the Mandate provisions by the Council of the League of Nations in September, 1923.

It will be remembered that in 1915, when Great Britain was at war with Turkey, an agreement was made, through a series of letters between King Hussein and Sir Henry McMahon, High Commissioner of Egypt, that in return for the military assistance of King Hussein the Arab territories contained in an area extending from Turkey to the Indian Ocean, and from Persia to the Mediterranean should, when victory was over, acquire independence. A minor exception was agreed upon as regards those parts of Syria "lying to the west of the districts of Damascus, Hama, Homs and Aleppo" on the grounds that they were not purely Arab. But there was no question until two years later but that Palestine was included in the area of Arab Independence.

In 1917, however, the Balfour Declaration drove a wedge into this agreement by promising the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people. This declaration was drafted by the Zionist Federation, a political Jewish body of vast ambitions but possessing little backing from Jewry as a whole, and received only minor emendations by the English Cabinet.

The vagueness of the term "national home" was progressively interpreted by the Zionists to mean a greater and greater control of Palestine by the Jewish immigrants who began later to pour into the country as the result of the declaration. It was made to supercede the pledge given to King Hussein in 1915, and for this purpose the wording of the pledge was construed as expecting the whole of Palestine from the area of Arab independence. The years between the end of the war and the final acceptance from the end of the war and the final acceptance by the League Council of the text of Great Britain's Mandate for Palestine were filled with industrious intriguing on the part of the Zionists so to arrange the wording of the Mandate as to ensure that the Arabs should be cheated of the fruits of the promise made to them, and that the new Jewish settlers should obtain complete ascendancy in Palestine.

The British Government during these years played into the hands of the intriguers.

The origin of the Mandate text is to be found in the formal Zionist pronouncement made to the Peace Conference in February, 1919, presenting the Zionist view of how the Balfour Declaration should be put into force in Palestine. That this is so may be gathered from the naive remark in the Peel Report on Palestine, which says: "From these and other documents and records it is clear that the Zionist project had already in those early days assumed something like the shape of the mandate as we know it."

But this was only a beginning. in June, 1919, a Commission, representing the principal Allied and Associated powers, was appointed with Lord Milner, a strong supporter of Zionism, as chairman. this Commission soon became whittled down to exchanges of views between the British Delegation and representatives of the Zionist Organisation, and for some time the work of drafting the Mandate was carried on by a political committee, the names of whose first members--Sir Herbert Samuel, Dr. Jacobson, Dr. Feiwel, Mr. Sacher, Mr. Landman and Mr. Ben Cohen--sufficiently designate who were the real authors of the first drafts.

At about this time it was decided that the Council of the League (which meant representatives of a few Great Powers) and not the Assembly, comprising representatives of all member States, should be responsible for drawing up Mandates. This meant in the case of Palestine that the Government of Great Britain--materially assisted, as we have seen, by the Zionists--should both present the case and approve it.

In spite of sporadic and ineffectual criticism of this procedure by the United States, and in spite of the fact that the representatives of Australia and Canada in the League Assembly took strong exception to the high-handed action of the Council in refusing the Assembly time even to examine properly the Mandate document, the final draft was accepted by a resolution of the Council and thus became the guiding principle of the relations with Palestine.

In these circumstances it is not surprising to find that the preamble and articles of the mandate are wholly in favor of Zionist aspirations and that the pledge to the Arabs finds no place in the Mandate document. In the second paragraph of the preamble, for example, the Balfour Declaration is repeated, and in the third the Zionist-coined phrase "historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine" is invented to give a specious justification for the emphasis laid upon the "national home."

But in the articles of the Mandate lies the most striking proof that these were the work, not of any international body, but of the Zionist themselves. Nine of these articles are either an exact reproduction or a slightly varied setting of texts taken from the voluminous outpourings of Zionist propaganda to the peace Conference. Here, for example, is Article 6: "The administration of Palestine . . . shall facilitate Jewish immigration . . . and shall encourage close settlement by Jews on the land." And here is the Zionist statement of views to the Peace conference: "The Mandatory Power shall, inter alia, promote Jewish immigration and close settlement on the land."

From what has been said--and we have only touched the fringe of Zionist intrigue--it is clear that the Mandate for Palestine, which is taken as authoritative in all matters connected with that country, is little more than a statement of Zionist policy composed by Zionists. It is utterly biased, and the rights of the Arabs to the country they have inhabited for 20 centuries and more are entirely omitted. Nor, of course, is Great Britain's pledge of 1915 ever referred to.

For those who would understand the whole problem of Palestine since 1919 we would strongly recommend study of Mr. J.M.N. Jeffries authoritative work, "Palestine the Reality" (Longmans), to which we are indebted for many of the facts we have noted above.

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.” We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.

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Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power

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My Thirty Years Backstairs at the White House

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The title of Mrs. Parks's 1961 memoirs, written with Frances Spatz Leighton, was somewhat misleading. For although Mrs. Parks worked as an observant White House seamstress and maid only from the beginning of the Hoover Administration in 1929 to the end of the Eisenhower years in 1961, she had been a familiar figure at the White House since she was a little girl. That is because her mother, Maggie Rogers, who joined the White House staff on the fourth day of the Taft Administration, would often take her daughter to work with her. And when she did not, she would come home to regale her family with stories of what she had seen or heard at the White House that day.—NYTimes

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The White Masters of the World

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By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

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