Weizmann is quoting as stating that the effort of zionism must be "... to make the Jewish question an international one. It means going to the nations and saying, 'we need your help to achieve our aim'". 41/
The Zionist Commission
"... object of Commission is to carry out ... any steps required to give effect to government declaration in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people ...
"I cannot agree that, as Dr. Weizmann would seem to suggest, it is the business of the military authorities to 'bring home to the Arabs and Syrians the fact that His Majesty's Government has expressed a definite policy with regard to the future of the Jews in Palestine'. This has already been done by Mr. Balfour in London, and by the press throughout the world. What is wanted is that the Zionists themselves should bring home to the Arabs and Syrians an exposition at once as accurate and conciliatory as possible of their real aims and policy in the country;...
"... As for Weizmann and Palestine, I entertain no doubt that he is out for a Jewish Government, if not at the moment then in the near future ...
The Paris Peace Conference
"... the pressure to which he was being subjected in London was telling on him. He felt keenly the insufficiency of his equipment, his ignorance of English, his unfamiliarity with the methods of European diplomacy ... It added to his sense of weakness and isolation that he knew the French to be hostile to his person and to his mission: apart from the scant courtesy with which he had been treated on his passage through France, he had had a multitude of signs to show him that his own distrust of the French was unfeignedly reciprocated. He allowed himself to be persuaded that his chances of neutralizing the hostility of the French would be greater if he could see his way to meeting Great Britain's wishes to the fullest possible extent." 45/
Feisal apparently did not fully appreciate the implications of Zionist aims. He could play no significant role in the Conference and, influenced by British officials, he presented a brief memorandum dated 1 January 1919 to the Paris Peace Conference, outlining the case for the independence of Arab countries. The paragraph relating to Palestine reads, in stilted and peculiar language:
"In Palestine, the enormous majority of the people are Arabs. The Jews are very close to the Arabs in blood, and there is no conflict of character between the two races. In principles we are absolutely at one. Nevertheless, the Arabs cannot risk assuming the responsibility of holding level the scales in the clash of races and religions that have, in this one province, so often involved the world in difficulties. They would wish for the effective super-position of a great trustee, so long as a representative local administration commended itself by actively promoting the material prosperity of the country." 46/
"The Zionist Organization respectfully submits the following draft resolutions for the consideration of the Peace Conference:
The King-Crane Commission
"We oppose the pretensions of the Zionists to create a Jewish Commonwealth in the southern part of Syria, known as Palestine, and oppose Zionist migration to any part of our country, for we do not acknowledge their title but consider them a grave peril to our people from the national, economical, and political points of view. Our Jewish compatriots shall enjoy our common rights and assume the common responsibilities." 50/
The Commission's report recommended that, in view of the opposition to French influence, consideration be given to an American mandate over Syria. The portions dealing with Palestine recommended:
"... serious modification of the extreme Zionist programme for Palestine of unlimited immigration of Jews, looking finally to making Palestine distinctly a Jewish State ..."
Referring to President Wilson's preparation of the principle of self-determination, the Commission stated:
"If that principle is to rule, and so the wishes of Palestine's population are to be decisive as to what is to be done with Palestine, then it is to be remembered that the non-Jewish population of Palestine - nearly nine-tenths of the whole - are emphatically against the entire Zionist programme. The tables show that there was no one thing upon which the population of Palestine were more agreed than upon this. To subject a people so minded to unlimited Jewish immigration, and to steady financial and social pressure to surrender the land, would be a gross violation of the principle just quoted, and of the peoples' rights though it kept within the forms of law;..."The Peace Conference should not shut its eyes to the fact that the anti-Zionist feeling in Palestine and Syria is intense and not lightly to be flouted. No British Officer consulted by the Commissioners believed that the Zionist programme could be carried out except by force of arms. The officers generally thought that a force of not less than 50,000 soldiers would be required even to initiate the programme. That of itself is evidence of a strong sense of the injustice of the Zionist programme, on the part of the non-Jewish populations of Palestine and Syria. Decisions, requiring armies to carry out, are sometimes necessary, but they are surely not gratuitously to be taken in the interests of a serious injustice. For the initial claim, often submitted by Zionist representatives, that they have a "right" to Palestine, based on an occupation of two thousand years ago, can hardly be seriously considered." 51/
"The situation is further complicated by an agreement made early in November (1918) by the British and French, and brought to the President's attention, telling the people of the East that their wishes would be consulted in the disposition of their future;... Palestine should be excluded from the terms of reference because the Powers had committed themselves to the Zionist programme which inevitably excluded numerical self-determination. Palestine presented a unique situation. We are dealing not with the wishes of an existing community but are consciously seeking to reconstitute a new community and definitely building for a numerical majority in the future ..." 52/
"The contradiction between the letters of the Covenant and the policy of the Allies is even more flagrant in the case of the 'independent nation' of Palestine than in that of the 'independent nation' of Syria. For in Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country, though the American Commission has been going through the form of asking what they are.
"The allocation of the Mandate was for several reasons a slow process. In the first place, it hung upon the Anglo-French agreement as to the validity of the Sykes-Picot arrangements for the whole of the ex-Turkish territories, and this was held up by discord over Syria and Mosul, involving discussions très vives de ton between Clemenceau and Mr. Lloyd George. As a result of the compromise, Palestine, which had under the Sykes-Picot plan been destined for international administration, in the end passed by mutual consent into British tutelage." 54/
The decision was taken without any heed to the requirement of article 22 of the Covenant that "the wishes of these communities must be a principal consideration in the selection of a Mandatory".
"In view of the declaration of the decision of the Peace Conference regarding the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine, we hereby beg to declare that we are the owners of this country and the land is our national home ..." 55/
The drafting of the Palestine Mandate
"... fought the battle of the Mandate for many months. Draft after draft was proposed, discussed and rejected, and I sometimes wondered if we should ever reach a final text. The most serious difficulty arose in connection with a paragraph in the Preamble - the phrase which now reads: 'Recognizing the historic rights of the Jews to Palestine'. But Curzon would have none of it, remarking dryly: 'If you word it like that, I can see Weizmann coming to me every other day and saying he has a right to do this, that, or the other in Palestine! I won't have it!' As a compromise, Balfour suggested 'historial connection', and 'historical connection' it was." 56/
"responsible for placing Palestine under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of a Jewish national home and the development of a self-governing Commonwealth ..."
"... development of a self-governing Commonwealth'. Surely most dangerous. It is an euphemism for a Jewish State, the very thing they accepted and that we disallow;...
"I told Dr. Weizmann that I could not admit the phrase (historical connection) in the preamble ... It is certain to be made the basis of all sorts of claims in the future. I do not myself recognize that the connection of the Jews with Palestine, which terminated 1,200 years ago, gives them any claim whatsoever ... I would omit the phrase. I greatly dislike giving the draft to the Zionists, but in view of the indiscretions already committed, I suppose that this is inevitable ..." 58/
"... this Mandate ... has passed through several revisions. When it was first shown to the French Government it at once excited their vehement criticism on the ground of its almost exclusively Zionist complexion and of the manner in which the interests and rights of the Arab majority ... were ignored. The Italian Government expressed similar apprehensions ... The Mandate, therefore, was largely rewritten, and finally received their assent;...
When the question of the British Mandate over Palestine was discussed in Parliament, it became clear that opinion in the House of Lords was strongly opposed to the Balfour policy, as illustrated by the words of Lord Sydenham in reply to Lord Balfour:
"... the harm done by dumping down an alien population upon an Arab country - Arab all around in the hinterland - may never be remedied ... what we have done is, by concessions, not to the Jewish people but to a Zionist extreme section, to start a running sore in the East, and no one can tell how far that sore will extend." 60/
The House of Lords voted to repeal the Balfour Declaration, but a similar motion was defeated in the House of Commons and the British Government formally accepted the Mandate.
"Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on 2 November, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country; and
The borders of Palestine
"... In the north, the northern and southern banks of the Litany River, as far north as latitude 33° 45'. Thence in a south-easterly direction to a point just south of the Damascus territory and close and west of the Hedjaz Railway.
The map covered by these proposed frontiers is shown in the map at annex VI.
"... though the Mandate was ostensibly based on Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, its positive injunctions were not directed to the 'well-being and development' of the existing Arab population but to the promotion of Jewish interests. Complete power over the legislation as well as administration was delegated to the Mandatory, who undertook to place the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as would secure the establishment of the Jewish national home ...
"The Palestine Mandate was invalid on three grounds set out hereinafter.
At the time that the Mandate was established, however, the people of Palestine were unable to question or to challenge it, and the process of establishing the "Jewish national home" commenced.
V. MANDATED PALESTINE: THE "JEWISH NATIONAL HOME"
The course of the Mandate
The start of the Mandate
The "Churchill Memorandum"
"... The Balfour Declaration, reaffirmed by the Conference of the Principal Allied Powers at San Remo and again in the Treaty of Sèvres, is not susceptible of change ... in order that this community should have the best prospect of free development and provide a full opportunity for the Jewish people to display its capacities, it is essential that it should know that it is in Palestine as of right and not on sufferance. That is the reason why it is necessary that the existence of a Jewish national home in Palestine should be internationally guaranteed, and that it should be formally recognized to rest upon ancient historic connection ...
That indeed this was the intention was reiterated by Churchill several years afterwards, when he said that the intention of the 1922 White Paper was "to make it clear that the establishment of self-governing institutions in Palestine was to be subordinated to the paramount pledge and obligation of establishing a Jewish national home in Palestine". 65/ Faced with this determined effort concerted between a Great Power and a Jewish organization that had demonstrated its strength and influence, the Palestinian people refused to acquiesce in the scheme. They refused to join in the Churchill plan of setting up a legislative council to further these schemes, and they protested against the policy that strengthened the drive towards a Jewish "national home" in Palestine despite the strong opposition of the Palestinians, who declared:
"... We wish to point out here that the Jewish population of Palestine who lived there before the War never had any trouble with their Arab neighbours. They enjoyed the same rights and privileges as their fellow Ottoman citizens, and never agitated for the Declaration of November 1917. It is the Zionists outside Palestine who worked for the Balfour Declaration ...
Large scale immigration had started under the aegis of the Balfour Declaration soon after the war ended, and had already led to violent opposition by Palestinians in 1920 and 1921. With the endorsement of the Churchill policy, immigration accelerated, reaching a peak in 1924-1926, but soon sharply declined. At this point, Weizmann records:
The table below shows immigration figures during the 1920s.
Immigration into Palestine, 1920-1929 68/
YEAR JEWS NON-JEWS
1920 (September-October) 5,514 202
1924 12,858 697
1925 33,801 840
1926 13,081 829
1927 2,713 882
1928 2,178 908
1929 5,429 1,317
The following provisions are included:
"... The Passfield White Paper may be regarded as the most concerted effort - until the White Paper of 1939 - on the part of a British Government to retract the promise made to the Jewish people in the Balfour Declaration. That attack, too, was successfully repulsed.