Backdrop to Tragedy: The Struggle for Palestine

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

lems outside of Palestine, although the Royal Commission of 1936 had noted the European background of Zionism and the Partition Commission of 1938 had indicated that the problem it found was accentuated by the plight of the European Jewish communities. However, the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry was to pay equal attention to European Jewry and to the Palestine problem. Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, in explaining the Commission to the House of Commons, pointed out that Palestine itself would be unable to cope with the general problem of Jewry at the end of the war, that Britain must continue to honor her obligations to Arabs, and that she must not lose sight of the interest of others in her empire, notably the 90 million Muslims of India, in the Palestine problem.

President Truman had suggested in August 1945 that Palestine should immediately admit 100,000 European Jews, and this the British government refused to do, but the figure was a convenient one and stuck.


13. INQUIRIES, REPORTS, AND PLANS

The Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry began its short life by a soul-rending tour of the assembly points for the survivors of Nazi bestiality. The emotional impact of this tour-- a sort of gauntlet of nightmare horror--is eloquently described in the report:

In the cold print of a report it is not possible accurately to portray our feelings with regard to the suffering deliberately inflicted by the Germans on those Jews who fell into their hands. The visit of our Sub-Committee to the Ghetto in Warsaw has left on their minds an impression which will forever remain. Areas of that city on which formerly stood large buildings are now a mass of brick rubble, covering the bodies of numberless unknown Jews. Adjoining the Ghetto there still stands an old barracks used as a place for killing Jews. Viewing this in the cold grey light of a February day one could imagine the depths of human suffering there endured. In the courtyards of the barracks were pits containing human ash and human

-110-

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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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