Backdrop to Tragedy: The Struggle for Palestine

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

power rested still with Great Britain. Trans-Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria became independent and immediately joined the United Nations. Egypt, under virtual military occupation during a part of the war, finally formally declared war on the Axis and likewise joined the United Nations. By general agreement the Arab states were now all graduates of the League of Nations school in "how to be nations"; and in all, no matter how indifferent the governments, there was a strong feeling that they must act like other nations, which to all implied that they should take upon themselves the preservation of Arab honor and protection of the Arab "homeland." So strong was popular sentiment on these points that even those governments which wished to steer clear felt obliged to speak in pan-Arab terms.

For Egypt this meant primarily an Arab League in which Egyptian influence was paramount; Egypt aimed at the creation of an Arab Palestine under the leadership of the Mufti. Trans Jordan, however, under its ambitious Emir, put forward a project for the creation of a Greater Syria, which would have included somewhat more than the former Ottoman vilayet of Syria. The threat implied to the "big fish" of the little ponds of the other states seriously split the Arab community during the last days of the Mandate, and played not a small role in the defeat of the Arabs in the war.


7. WAR, REFUGEES, AND HUMILIATION

We have described in the first part of this book how the internal violence and anarchy in Palestine was turned into an international war as the British withdrew from the scene. In the last days of British control, all units of the British-officered Arab Legion of Trans-Jordan were ordered back into Trans-Jordan from the various garrison points they had occupied since 1939. The only Arab force in Palestine was an irregular guerrilla force, or more correctly an uncoordinated number of small bands, theoretically under the leader of the 1936 Arab rising, alQawuqchi; and although these fought a number of bitter small

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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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