Backdrop to Tragedy: The Struggle for Palestine

By William R. Polk; David M. Stamler et al. | Go to book overview

mission questioned the validity of the policy, and in Palestine Jewish attacks on the government increased in intensity and violence. On August 26 two British police inspectors were killed in Jerusalem.

Five days later the German army and Death Head units invaded Poland in "Operation White." The Second World War had begun.


12. FROM WAR TO WAR

The outbreak of world war came as a shock to everyone in Palestine. War, under whatever legal definition, had been endemic there since 1936, but suddenly the local conflict seemed petty. This reaction was unfortunately short-lived. Among both the Arab and the Jewish communities, there were some who either refused to let the world struggle hinder their own struggle or who used it as a lever against the British. The "Stern Gang," as the most extreme members of the Zionists came to be called, under the leadership of Abraham Stern, never let the war hinder their activities and even murdered a British Minister of State in the midst of the war. Some of the Arab leaders, notably the Mufti Hajj Amin al-Husseini, threw in their lot publicly with the Axis. However, the initial reaction of both communities was to pause in their own struggles and to volunteer to fight for Britain. The Jewish Agency issued an appeal to all Jews to assist in the war effort against Nazi Germany and obviously the Jewish response to fight against Hitler's dark forces ran flood tide. Over 134,000 Jews volunteered for service provided they were allowed to serve as a separate, national unit. The British felt that as badly as they needed men, they could not accept this condition and in the end 21,000 Jews and 8,000 Arabs agreed to serve and were accepted by the British in all branches of the British armed forces.

Within Palestine itself most of the Arab community also joined in support of the Allies. The Arab rebellion did not

(NOTE: See below, Part II, for more details on this period.)

-106-

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Backdrop to Tragedy: The Struggle for Palestine
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vi
  • Maps viii
  • Tables ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Important Dates in the History of Palestine xiii
  • Part 1 - THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND 1
  • 1 - Out of the Past 3
  • 2 - The Coming of Islam 8
  • 3 - The Crusades 22
  • 4 - The Ottoman Empire 29
  • 5 - The Great Powers in the Middle East 34
  • 6 - The Sick Man of Europe 47
  • 7 - The First World War and Its Spore 55
  • 8 - Emir Feisal and Dr. Weizmann 64
  • 9 - Establishment of the Mandate 70
  • 11 - The Wisdom of Solomon 94
  • 12 - From War to War 106
  • 13 - Inquiries, Reports, and Plans 110
  • 14 - The Mandate's Last Bitter Days 126
  • Part II - JEWISH INTERESTS IN PALESTINE 131
  • 1 - The Age-Old Longing 133
  • 2 - The European Background 139
  • 3 - The Birth of Political Zionism 148
  • 4 - The Land of Promises 159
  • 5 - Internal Conflicts 170
  • 6 - The Seeds of Conflict 175
  • 7 - The War and the Biltmore Program 179
  • 8 - Anglo-American Reactions 185
  • 9 - Postwar and Economic 187
  • 10 - A United Nations Solution: the State is Born 194
  • 11 - East and West 197
  • 12 - Politics in Israel 205
  • 13 - Religion and the State 219
  • Part III - THE ARABS AND PALESTINE 223
  • 1 - "The Existing Non-Jewish Communities" 225
  • 2 - The Arab Gentry 241
  • 3 - The Arab Element in Arabism 246
  • 4 - Modern Arab Nationalism 254
  • 5 - The Reaction to Zionism 265
  • 6 - Pan-Arabism 273
  • 7 - War, Refugees, and Humiliation 286
  • Part IV - THE ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK OF THE PALESTINE PROBLEM 305
  • 1 - Introduction 307
  • 2 - The Mandate Period 309
  • 3 - The Land and Its People 312
  • 4 - Immigration and Land 324
  • 5 - Land and Capital 329
  • 6 - Economics of the Refugee Problem 336
  • 7 - The Economy of Israel 342
  • 8 - Economic Relations Between Israel and the Arabs 352
  • Part V - CONCLUSION 365
  • Conclusion 367
  • SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY 375
  • Index 387
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