Backdrop to Tragedy: The Struggle for Palestine

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

Congress met to consider the situation. Weizmann, whose faith in Britain throughout the interwar years had brought him into constant conflict with his fellow Zionists,4 was shattered and humiliated by what was considered as the betrayal of the terms of the Mandate. The Mandates Commission of the League condemned the White Paper as being contrary to the original terms under which the Mandate had been granted.

Before the Council of the League could meet to debate the question, the war, during which millions of Jews of Europe were to be murdered, broke out.

With little immediate prospect of having to honor them, promises could now be made freely. The Jews, whose allegiance to the Allied cause was unquestioned,5 could be kept quiet with vague promises for the future. The question of oil supplies and communications made Arab good will essential. While the Zionists looked to the end of the war for the building of "a State of three to four million Jews in Palestine,"6 the Arabs assumed, as they were entitled to do after the 1939 White Paper, that all further major Zionist expansion would be prevented. For the present, however, the gates of Palestine were closed.


7. THE WAR AND THE BILTMORE PROGRAM

The war, however, brought no halt to Zionist aims and planning. It served only to spread the conviction that complete independence in a Jewish state was essential to Jewish survival.

____________________
4
It was Weizmann's so-called "pro-British" policy which was to lose him the presidency of the Zionist movement at its first postwar Congress in 1946.
5
Ben-Gurion had stated: "We shall fight the War as if there were no White Paper, and the White Paper as if there were no War"; quoted in Litvinoff, Ben-Gurion of Israel ( London: 1954), p. 132. The Yishuv did, in fact, devote its manpower and resources whole-heartedly to the Allied cause.
6
Chaim Weizmann, Trial and Error ( New York: 1949), p. 419, in a conversation with Churchill, who replied, "Yes, indeed, I quite agree with that."

-179-

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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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