Source: Foreign Relations of the United States, 1947, Volume V, Washington, DC.
This Palestine (British government) summary of the Palestine Mandate’s workings was written especially for the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) formed in spring 1947 to look into the future political disposition of Palestine. With candor and accuracy, the summary reviews how the Mandate came into being after World War I, what Jewish and Arab communities looked like then and how they changed over a twenty-seven year period of time. Paragraph 6 of the report is an accurate synopsis of the socio-demographic characteristics of both communities in 1922. The summary noted that the Jewish community had ‘national’ characteristics when the Mandate began, while the Arab community was definitely divided internally by in many sociological categories.
The British authored document seeks to make the case that it acted impartially vis a vis both communities during its management of Palestine. Arab and Jewish political elites and their respective supporters outside of Palestine criticized this summary because it was balanced in views presented, and did not stress sufficiently either the successes or grievances of both communities.
Ken Stein, June 2021
The Occupied Enemy Territory Administration for the whole of Palestine was instituted in October, 1918; it was replaced by a civil administration on the 1st July, 1920. The Mandate for Palestine was approved by the Council of the League of Nations on the 24th of July, 1922, (although it did not officially come into force until the 29th September, 1923). In the period between the establishment of effective British control over Palestine and the adoption of the Mandate, detailed consideration had been given to the form of administration necessary to give effect to the bi-partite obligation of His Majesty’s Government under the Balfour Declaration of 1917 as to which specific provisions were to be embodied in the Mandate.
2. The policy of His Majesty’s Government to that end was outlined in the statement of “British Policy in Palestine” published by Mr. Winston Churchill (then Secretary of State for the Colonies) in June, 1922. The statement (pages 17—21 of Cmd. 1700) gives the following interpretation of the Balfour Declaration, which it explicitly re-affirmed:
“Unauthorised statements have been made to the effect that the purpose in view is to create a wholly Jewish Palestine. Phrases have been used such as that Palestine is to become “as Jewish as England is English”. His Majesty’s Government regard any such expectation as impracticable and have no such aim in view . . . . They would draw attention to the fact that the terms of the Declaration referred to do not contemplate that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home, but that such a Home should be founded in Palestine . . . . Further, it is contemplated that the status of all citizens of Palestine in the eyes of the law shall be Palestinian, and it has never been intended that they, or any section of them, should possess any other juridical status . . . .
When it is asked what is meant by the development of the Jewish National Home in Palestine, it may be answered that it is not the imposition of a Jewish nationality upon the inhabitants of Palestine as a whole, but the further development of the existing Jewish community, with the assistance of Jews in other parts of the world, in order that it may become a centre in which the Jewish people as a whole may take, on grounds of religion and race, an interest and a pride. But 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.”
The Jewish community in Palestine, as then constituted, is described as having in fact ‘national’ characteristics. For the fulfilment of His Majesty’s Government’s policy, the statement explained, it was necessary that the Jewish community in Palestine should be able to increase its numbers by immigration. This immigration could not be so great in volume as to exceed whatever might be the economic capacity of the country at the time to absorb new arrivals. It was essential to ensure that the immigrants should not be a burden upon the people of Palestine as a whole, and that they should not deprive any section of the present population of their employment. The statement further intimated that it was the intention of His Majesty’s Government to foster the establishment of a full measure of self-government in Palestine but that they were of the opinion that, in the special circumstances of the country, this should be accomplished by gradual stages and not suddenly.
3. The preamble to the Mandate, in stating that the Principal Allied Powers had agreed under Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations that His Majesty’s Government should be the Mandatory responsible for putting into effect the Balfour Declaration, recited the terms of the Declaration. The Mandate then defined explicitly certain of the measures to be undertaken by the mandatory for the fulfilment of its responsibilities. It is unnecessary here to recite these in full but certain of the Mandate’s provisions which more particularly affect the faculties of the local government should be noted. Article 2 vests in the Mandatory the responsibility for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish National Home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion. Article 3 provides for the encouragement of local autonomy in so far as circumstances permit. Article 4 provides for the recognition of an appropriate Jewish agency “as a public body for the purpose of advising and cooperating with the Administration of Palestine in such economic, social and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish national home and the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine, and, subject always to the control of the Administration, to assist and take part in the development of the country”. Article 6 provides that, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population were not prejudiced, the Administration of Palestine should facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and should encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency mentioned in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes. The Administration of Palestine is required under Article 7 to enact a nationality law which includes provisions framed so as to facilitate the acquisition of Palestinian citizenship by Jews who take up their permanent residence in Palestine. In Article 11, it is provided that the Administration of Palestine shall take all necessary measures to safeguard the community in connection with the development of the country and that, subject to any international obligations applicable, it shall be empowered to provide for public ownership or control of any of the natural resources of the country or of any of the public works, services or utilities established or to be established. This Article also provides for the introduction of a land system appropriate to the needs of the country, having regard, among other things, to the desirability of promoting the close settlement and intensive cultivation of the land. Articles 13 to 15 deal with the Mandatory’s responsibilities for safeguarding the Holy Places and freedom of conscience. Article 15 provides that the right of each community to maintain its own schools for the education of its own members in its own language, while conforming to such educational requirements of a general nature as the Administration may impose, shall not be denied or impaired. Article 18, in laying down the principle that there shall be no economic discrimination in Palestine as between the nationals of States, Members of the League of Nations, provides that there shall be no discrimination against good originating in or destined for any of the said States. Article 22 provides that English, Arabic and Hebrew shall be the official languages of Palestine; that any statement or inscription in Arabic on stamps or money shall be repeated in Hebrew and any statement or description in Hebrew shall be repeated in Arabic. Article 25 makes provision for the separate treatment of Trans-Jordan.
4. Thus, the Mandate imposed both general and specific obligations; the former in respect of the development of Palestine in the interest of its people as a whole; and the latter directed mainly towards facilitating the development of the Jewish National Home. The administration of Palestine has been based on the premise that the two sets of obligations are compatible. As the Royal Commission observed in paragraph 50 of chapter II of their report: “It is clear, then, that the policy of the Balfour Declaration was subjected to the operation of the Mandate System in 1919 in the belief that the obligations thereby undertaken towards the Arabs and the Jews respectively would not conflict. And this belief was still held when the draft Mandate was confirmed by the Council of the League in 1922”.
In discussing in 1924 the “twofold duty” imposed by the Mandate, however, the Permanent Mandates Commission pointed out that the obligation to promote the establishment of a National Home for the Jewish people in addition to that of administering the country in conformity with the interests of the population as a whole resulted in the creation of a “conflict of interests” between which the balance had to be held. It will be evident that since the responsibility for holding the balance rested on the Mandatory the necessity of doing so inevitably had its effect in shaping the administration in all its branches. In 1930, when speaking on the report of the Shaw Commission on the 1929 disturbances, the Prime Minister re-iterated “the firm resolve of His Majesty’s Government to give effect, in equal measure, to both parts of the (Balfour) Declaration, and to do equal justice to all sections of the population of Palestine”. In 1931, in addressing Dr. Weizmann on the subject of the White Paper of 1930, the Prime Minister wrote: “In carrying out the policy of the Mandate, the Mandatory cannot ignore the existence of differing interests and viewpoints. These, indeed, are not in themselves irreconcilable, but they can only be reconciled points. These, indeed are not in themselves irreconcilable, but they can only be reconciled if there is a proper realization that the full solution of the problem depends on an understanding between the Jews and the Arabs. Until that is reached, considerations of balance must inevitably enter into the definition of policy”. Again in 1939, following the decision that the partition scheme advocated by the Royal Commission was impracticable, His Majesty’s Government expressed the view that “the surest foundation for peace and progress in Palestine would be an understanding between the Arabs and the Jews” and, in a determined effort to promote such an understanding, convened the London Conferences with Arab and Jewish representatives in that year. When, on the failure of the Arab and Jewish delegations to accept the proposals of His Majesty’s Government, the White Paper of 1939 (Cmd. 6019) was promulgated with the object of providing a clear definition of policy and objectives, it pointed out that it was essential for the establishment of an independent Palestine State (which His Majesty’s Government desired to see) that relations between the Arabs and the Jews became such as would make good government possible. The purpose of His Majesty’s Government, the statement ended, “is to be just as between the two peoples in Palestine whose destinies in that country have been affected by the great events of recent years, and who, since they live side by side, must learn to practise mutual tolerance, goodwill and co-operation. In looking to the future, His Majesty’s Government are not blind to the fact that some events of the past make the task of creating these relations difficult; but they are encouraged by the knowledge that at many times and in many places in Palestine during recent years the Arab and Jewish inhabitants have lived in friendship together. Each community has much to contribute to the welfare of their common interests, and each must earnestly desire peace in which to assist in increasing the well-being of the whole people of the country”. Lastly, in his statement in the House of Commons on the 13th of November, 1945, the Foreign Secretary, after drawing attention to the dual obligation imposed by the Mandate, outlined the problem thereby created and the policy adopted, in the following words: “His Majesty’s Government have made every effort to devise some arrangements which would enable Arabs and Jews to live together in peace and to co-operate for the welfare of the country, but all such efforts have been unavailing. Any arrangement acceptable to one party has been rejected as unacceptable to the other. The whole history of Palestine since the Mandate was granted has been one of continued friction between the two races, culminating at intervals in serious disturbances. The fact has to be faced that since the introduction of the Mandate it has been impossible to find common grounds between the Arabs and the Jews. The differences in religion and in language, in cultural and social life, in ways of thought and conduct, are difficult to reconcile. On the other hand, both communities lay claim to Palestine, one on the ground of a millennium of occupation, and the other on the ground of historic association coupled with the undertaking given in the first world war to establish a Jewish home. The task that has to be accomplished now is to find means to reconcile these divergencies.”.
5. The major problem of reconciliation which confronted the Mandatory is shown in the foregoing recapitulation. Translated into terms of practical administration the task was to establish a regime in Palestine under which it would be practicable to induce a sufficient degree of co-operation between Arabs and Jews as to bring into synthesis the furtherance of the well-being and development of both peoples as a whole and the development of the National Home. It entailed the setting up of a form of government which would bring about the rapid advancement of a population general backward, by any standard, at the time of the occupation. It entailed simultaneously, a regime under which the rapid assimilation of immigrants, heterogeneous as to provenance, was practicable. The paramountcy of law had to be established and maintained in a country for long accustomed to the arbitrary exercise of sovereign authority which had marked the decline of the Ottoman Empire. Actual disorders had to be suppressed. The elements of liberalism and the rules of life without whose observance a liberal regime cannot develop had to be impressed on a population, immigrant and otherwise, which, unhappily, had little practical experience of them. The administrative system had to be such as would facilitate the realization of the National Home and at the same time the steps taken to that end much be consistent with an administrative system working for the well-being and development of the people as a whole. All these matters are predicated by Article 2 of the Mandate but in any event are basic to the assumption of the Mandate and the fitting of the people of Palestine to govern themselves. In addition the administration had to carry out the specific provisions of the Mandate. For the effective carrying out of the general task and the specific obligations co-operation between Arabs and Jews in Palestine is essential. It was presumed that in the system of administration established the co-operation of the two peoples to work towards a common end would be secured. That this expectation has not been realized is attributable to a complex of factors including, but by no means confined to, those springing from politics, with some deriving from the Mandate itself.
6. The Arabs of Palestine are predominantly Moslem in religion. Generally speaking, their outlook is Asiatic; they are traditionalist, and by Western standards are inclined to place the transcendental before the practical. Their pride in the possession of a common language affords a tie with all parts of the Arab world which is a factor which should not be underestimated. Although by tradition feudal, and hence somewhat lacking in cohesion, they were not, however, unaffected by the impulse to self-determination which made itself apparent in the provinces of the Ottoman Empire in the early days of the present century and this has left its mark on their political thought and conduct. As a people, to quoted Lord Samuel in 1925, “the majority are illiterate, placid, and, as a rule, easily led by men in whom they have confidence; they are prone to fierce personal and family quarrels, and, like other Oriental peoples, are occasionally liable to be swept by passion or panic into excitement and unreasoning violence”. The educated classes, the professional men, the wealthy and the travelled are responsive to and sensible of the qualities of western culture and have a manner of life derived from the western. The bulk of the Arab community is composed of peasants and small land-owners, hard-headed and stubborn and with a profound sense of attachment to the land.
The Jewish community in Palestine is homogeneous in tradition and in the depth of feeling in regard to Palestine thus inspired, and is steadily approaching homogeneity in language. Despite a far greater uniformity of social conditions with the community, they are more diverse in their mental background than are the Arabs, because of their very different origins. In 1922, the majority of the Jewish community had been born in Palestine. In 1931, Jews born in Palestine constituted only 42% of the whole community and were almost equaled in numbers by Jews who had mainly migrated from the ghettoes of territories formerly part of Tsarist Russia. The greatest single source of immigrants continued to be Poland until 1937, when the proportion from Germany exceeded that from Poland. The greater part of the balance in all years came from other countries of Europe. All these immigrants naturally brought with them something of the atmosphere of their countries of origin, not only culture and familiarity with the amenities of civilisation on the credit side, but on the debit side the obsessions and particularly the reactions to constituted authority engendered by persecutions and other abuses. Notwithstanding this background, the Jewish community has achieved a very substantial measure of cohesion. It speaks as the Yishuv. The Jews of Palestine are progressive in outlook, show marked ability working, they are yet impatient of the interval between the initiation and completion of enterprises. On the other hand, as heirs to previous insecurity they tend to be suspicious of authority, which is unfortunate though understandable; they are readily moved by rhetoric. The bulk of their community is town-dwelling.
As elements in a potentially self-governing Palestine, the Arabs and Jews had this much in common, that both had been subject, in vastly different circumstances, to regimes which suppressed manifestations of self-consciousness as Jewish or Arab nationalists respectively. It might have been assumed that this would lead each community to a better understanding of what would be required to establish co-operation with the other. This has not, however, been the case. Both communities wish to have self-government in Palestine; each wishes to be the governing element; and neither wishes to be governed by the other. The fear of domination by the other is dep and widespread in both communities. It is without doubt the most serious obstacle which has stood in the way of co-operation between them. It has not been, and is unlikely to be, eradicated by protestations of benevolence, however solemn, so long as these are not matched by tangible evidence of understanding for the other community’s point of view.
7. From the beginning of British administration, the Arabs of Palestine have refused to recognize the validity of the Balfour Declaration and this is the basis of what might paradoxically be described as their constitutional opposition to a regime designed to facilitate the establishment of the National Home in Palestine. As will be apparent, this rejection of the internationally sponsored pledge which provides the foundation for the up-building of Palestine according to the conceptions of the Mandate would, if maintained, preclude the Palestine Arabs from co-operating with the Jews in this work. The lack of a sense of proportion manifest in the rejection has not been overcome and has consistently closed the door to prospects of a settlement by agreement. The achievement of independence by Egypt and Iraq, Trans-Jordan and Syria and the Lebanon had its impact on the Arab community. Palestine is claimed as a wholly Arab country whose destinies are the primary concern of the Arabs; the Jews might live in the country, as they had long lived in Egypt or Iraq, as a minority community having Palestinian Arab citizenship; and so on. With such ebullience there has been mingled a sense of frustration because, in spite of the rejection of the Balfour Declaration, the National Home was established and has been growing. For behind the political formulas there is the fear of domination by the Jews: fear of their worldwide connections; fear of their extensive resources; fear of their enterprise and power of organization; fear of economic eclipse followed by political domination; fear of the submersion of the Arab characteristics, the Christian and Moslem characteristics of Palestine beneath the dominion of a people having a different religion and an alien structure of society.
8. The Jews, for their part, had accepted, through the agency of the Zionist Organization, the 1922 statement of policy to which paragraph 2 above refers. The very purpose for which the National Home was established prevented it from having a character other than Jewish and, other things apart, in particular prevented the assimilation of the culture of the Jewish community with that of the Arab population. The National Home came into being and grew on that basis. This need not in itself have precluded the finding by agreement of at least a temporary modus vivendi if the Arabs had not, during the earlier period, proved so intractable and if the Jewish economic system had been less exclusive racially. After the Jewish population had been more than doubled by immigration in the years 1932-1936 and when the cruel pressure of events in Europe was having its effect on the community in Palestine, the intransigent immoderation of the Jewish attitude was no less remarkable than that of the Arabs. The Jews unanimously and the greater part of the Arabs rejected the White Paper of 1939. By the formulation in 1942 of the Biltmore programme visualizing the establishment in Palestine of a Jewish commonwealth and unrestricted immigration and settlement in Palestine, and the acceptance of this programme by the greater part of the Yishuv, the prospect of co-operation between Arabs and Jews was in effect, if not in verbal profession, eliminated. It would oversimplify the matter to attribute this insistence on a Jewish commonwealth wholly to fear of domination by the Arabs although that fear is undoubtedly basic: it has been accentuated by the appalling destruction of Jews in Europe. Apart from that, the Jews had experienced in Palestine the reflection of anti-Jewish violence in Europe. Virulent anti-racial feeling was shown in the riots of 1920, 1921 and 1929 and Jews were murdered for being Jews during the 1936-1939 rebellion. In countries frequently held out by the Arabs as exemplary in the matter of Arab-Jewish relations outrages against the Jews as such occurred: in Iraq in 1941; in Egypt and Tripoli in 1945. Beyond even this highly tragic background there is probably a psychological dread of the extinction of the Jewish people, witness the constant concern of the Yishuv with their birthrate.
9. Despite the evident antithesis in the League of Nations’ objectives and the wide divergence between the Jewish and Arab outlook on Palestine already apparent in 1922, the Mandate did not apply itself to the principles of bridgebuilding. In fact, it did not make specific provision for covering the gap. Instead, it established and, indeed, tended to accentuate a measure of differentiation between the Jewish community and the rest of the population of Palestine. This does not of course refer to such provisions as that making the Mandatory responsible for placing the country under political, administrative and economic conditions which would secure the establishment of the Jewish National home; or that which requires the Mandatory to facilitate Jewish immigration; these flow naturally from the preamble and are implicit in it. The Mandate, while vesting in the Mandatory responsibility for the general well-being of the people of Palestine and the general development of the country and for safeguarding “the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine” and ensuring that the rights and positions of other sections of the population are not prejudiced by Jewish immigration and close settlement on the land, established a body—the “appropriate Jewish agency”—in a special position in regard to matters affecting the National Home and the interests of the Jewish community. Again, while Article 11 of the mandate requires the Administration to order the general land system in such a way as to promote close settlement and intensive cultivation of the land, Article 6 requires that the close settlement of Jews on the land shall be encouraged in co-operation with the Jewish agency and specifically mentions State lands in this context. The provisions of the Mandate regarding community schools (Article 15) and the use of three official languages (Article 22), while making no special distinction in relation to the Arab or Jewish communities, have tended to stimulate separatist tendencies. The factors mentioned above are not all of equal weight, nor would they necessarily have implied the continuance of a bifurcated form of development had the cleavage between the Arab and Jewish inhabitants of Palestine been due to them alone.
10. The establishment of an appropriate Jewish agency to advise and co-operate with the Administration in matters affecting the Jewish National Home and the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine should have been a measure of substantial assistance to the Administration. Where the Jewish Agency (as recognized in 1930) has limited itself to this role, as for example in the administration of immigration and in the establishment of the agricultural research station at Rehoboth, it has rendered substantial assistance to the Administration. If, having extended its role to take in the functions of a kind of unofficial “opposition”, it had carried out those functions in a manner consistent with its primary duties of advising and co-operating with the Administration, it would still have been of assistance in this way. There is usually room for two or more opinions in any matter arising out of the Mandatory’s dual obligation in Palestine and their discussion, if followed by co-operation after the eventual decision, could have been a strong cohesive force. In fact, however, the Jewish Agency has not observed its terms of reference and has thus increased the element of disproportion given to the affairs of Palestine by the signalizing of a Jewish agency in a special constitutional position.
11. In the first place, quite apart from any activities of the Jewish Agency, the creation of a distinctive body of this kind has intensified Arab antagonism to the policy of the Mandate. The 1922 statement of policy made it clear that the special position in Palestine given to a Jewish agency by Article 4 of the Mandate “does not entitle it to share in any degree in its government”. This was the intention but, as the Royal Commission pointed out, “allied as it is with the Va’ad Leumi, and commanding the allegiance of the great majority of the Jews in Palestine, it unquestionably exercises, both in Jerusalem and in London, a considerable influence on the conduct of the Government . . . . . In the course of time it has created a complete administrative apparatus. This powerful and efficient organization amounts, in fact, to a Government existing side by side with the Mandatory Government”. Beside the obvious administrative difficulties which must derive from any such anomaly, the existence of a body with the de jure status and de facto authority of the Jewish Agency creates a disparity between the position of Arabs and Jews. This served further to harden Arab opposition to Zionist enterprise in Palestine. The specific mention of the Jewish Agency in relation to settlement on the land, taken in conjunction with the Agency’s known intention of bringing to Palestine as many Jews as the country would hold, not only made the Arabs highly suspicious of Jewish rural development, but, by rousing this suspicion, retarded the Government’s land policy. An attempt in 1923 to form an Arab agency failed because the Arabs considered it incompatible with their claims.
12. Article 4 of the Mandate was framed on the assumption that there would be a legislative body in Palestine containing elected representatives of both local communities. The attempts to form such a body failed, in 1922 because of Arab objection and in 1936 because of Jewish objection. A representative body of the kind, constitutionally charged with a share in the responsibility of administration, would have gone far to restore due proportion to the administrative structure of Palestine. It is necessary here to use the past tense (and it might have been that even 1936 would have been too late for an adjustment) since the original conception of a Jewish agency has not been realized and the present position of the Jewish Agency has been consolidated over many years. The Jewish Agency as constituted represents not only the Jewish community in Palestine but Zionists throughout the world. Hence, its influence and resources greatly exceed those of any local body. (This was implicit in the Mandate). Where purely local factors are concerned, the position of the Jewish Agency is enhanced by the interlocking of the more important Jewish organizations. Co-ordination, in the Zionist interest, of the numerous forms of enterprise undertaken by these various bodies is a natural enough development. The concentration under the control of a dominant party of the resources in capital and organization of these bodies is, however, a factor of such weight as to strain severely the unitary form of administration designed to serve the country as a whole.
13. Disparity as between Jews and Arabs has also been produced by the requirement in Article 15 that the right of each community to maintain its own schools for the education of its own members in its own language should not be denied or impaired. This is simply a statement of fact, not to be interpreted as impugning either the moral purpose of justification of the provision, nor as implying in any way that a people should not be encouraged to teach a proper appreciation of its inherited culture. If, however, this right is applied narrowly, and it has been applied narrowly, the cultural differences between Arabs and Jews are not only perpetuated but even widened. The regions of cultural activity in which common ground might be found are definitely narrowed by the co-existence of separate systems of community education. Without doubt, the training in a common culture of children with the very variegated background of those of the Jewish community has presented a complex and difficult problem. It is permissible, however, to question whether the minds of the rising generations of Jewish children have not been encaged rather than liberated towards further creative work by an undue concentration on nationalism of an assertive and exclusive quality in the community education system. However it may be assessed in relation to the establishment of the National Home, it has not made for good neighbourliness and the development of Palestine as a whole.
14. The same may be said of the prescription of three official languages. Here again it must be stressed that this is simply a statement of fact, in no way repudiating the principle that a people should have full liberty to develop its culture in its own language. It does not follow from that principle, however, that the language of each people should be an official language. Here the example of other bilingual or trilingual countries is misleading. Where the course of development of society in a bilingual or multilingual country is in any event centripetal, the number of official languages is unlikely to interfere with it. Where, however, the tendency is centrifugal, the recognition of a number of official languages accelerates the process. Palestine is in the second category. The recognition of Arabic and Hebrew as official languages not only reduces the opportunity for providing common ground between the two communities but enhances the opportunities for community chauvinism. The importance attached by the Arabs to their language has been mentioned in paragraph 6 above; the importance attached by the Jews to Hebrew as an instrument towards their national revival must not be underemphasized. In the purely practical sphere, however, in the search for means of bringing the two peoples to co-operate towards a common end, the concurrent use of the two languages with English as official languages is a drag. Administratively the practice is cumbersome; it slows the tempo of government work and greatly increases the expense; it is a serious impediment in gatherings representative of the whole community.
15. The elements making for fissure having been pointed out, it must be made clear that, in their despite, the application of the policy to which the opening paragraphs of this memorandum refer has resulted in the establishment of a common administrative frame-work within which both Arabs and Jews can live side by side. That relations between the communities within this common framework are uneasy and liable to produce more serious disorder, and that these conditions require cure, are not in doubt. Nevertheless, the generality of the people, except for the intermittent occasions when violent political storms have charged the atmosphere, carry on their day to day business of providing for themselves and their families without ado. So long as he respects his neighbor, the ordinary man may worship freely, carry out his work freely and seek his recreation freely. Since all this is a commonplace of civilised existence, its significance in relation to Palestine is to be appreciated in relation both to the discordant factors mentioned above and to the development of the country since the occupation.
16. The population has increased by more than one million since the census of 1922. The Jewish population has increased from 84,000 in that year to some 625,000 now—about one third of the population. This has entailed the rapid development of the country’s resources and a re-orientation of the country’s economy. The radical alteration in the pattern of the population over these twenty-three years has been accompanied by the introduction of a new culture, alien and in some aspects repugnant to the Arab majority. Bit it has been introduced and rooted itself and assisted in changing the face of Palestine. These changes have not been accomplished without friction, periodic disturbances and, in the last years before the war, widespread rebellion. The Administration has consistently had to deal not only with the inherited and individual turbulence of the Arab population, but with co-ordinated violence and organized lawlessness for political ends. The measures necessarily taken to deal with turbulence, violence and lawlessness, including in 1938-1939 intensive military operations on a large scale, interfere with and slow down the development of the sense of incorporation in a common state and inflame hatreds, jealousies and discontents otherwise engendered. It is a population subject to these various influences that carries on its everyday avocations within the framework of the Administration.
17. The Government has, however, been generally unsuccessful in inducing Arabs, and Jews to co-operate in public work for a common end. The failure of the two attempts to form a legislative body have already been noticed. Similar difficulties have latterly been encountered in the endeavor to form local representative bodies to deal with economic matters. The General Agriculture Council which contained equal numbers of Arab and Jewish members had an unbroken existence of over ten years and came to an end only because its main functions passed to other hands. The most signal example of co-operation is perhaps in the Citrus Control and Marketing Boards, established by law in 1940 and 1941 respectively. Both contain equal numbers of Arabs and Jews and have continued to maintain a singleness of purpose in dealing with the affairs of the citrus industry which has been most refreshing. In contradistinction a War Economic Advisory Council, again having equal numbers of Arab and Jewish members, proved a severe disappointment. In general, it had also contrived to take a broad view of matters falling under its consideration, but in 1945 the Arab members resigned on political grounds. In the same year it proved impracticable to form a united Palestine trade delegation to discuss business matters in the United Kingdom and independent Arab and Jewish delegations eventually went. In the same year it proved impracticable to form a representative Social Welfare Board because the Jewish community refused to co-operate. A joint Transport Advisory Board was, however, successfully formed. In local government affairs the situation has not been more encouraging. The mixed Jerusalem municipal council, after a precarious existence for some years, was dissolved in 1945 because of failure to achieve agreement as between Arabs and Jews on the question of the mayoralty. The mixed Haifa municipal commission, however, has successfully remained in operation since its appointment.
The main obstacle in the way of securing Arab and Jewish co-operation on public bodies has become the principle of “parity” i.e. numerically equal representation. The Jews generally maintain that the principle should be applied; the Arabs wholly reject it and maintain that representation should be proportionate to the numbers of each community. Whatever the merits or demerits of “parity” as a temporary political expedient, it is an artificial conception which would not provide a sound base for representative institutions. Again, whatever its merits or demerits, the principle has been found unworkable even when not adopted as a political expedient, as in the case of the War Economic Advisory Council.
18. Behind this maneuvering over the proportions to be observed in representative institutions are the mutually irreconcilable aspirations of both sections of the population, as now advanced, and that basic fear of domination by the other already mentioned. Apart from any other considerations, the administration of the country as a whole in the interest of the whole has appeared to be the best means of allaying these stultifying mutual suspicions, of reconciling the legitimate aspirations of both communities. Since, in the holding of the balance as between the two parts of the mandatory obligation, it has been inevitable that the Administration should both curb and encourage both communities, it has seldom been free from contumacious imputations of partiality. Since the Jews have not acquiesced in the curbing of activities, as applied to themselves, and the Arabs in encouragement as applied to the Jews, the result has been to transfer to the Administration a large share of the suspicion deriving from fear of domination. This is particularly the case where the Jews are concerned, since the necessity imposed on the Administration from the occupation onwards of endeavouring to raise the Arab standard of living generally, to secure the improvement of the public health, to increase facilities for Arab education and to investigate Arab rights to the ownership or user of land and the rate of progress in giving effect to economic measures inescapably but regrettably lent colour to misrepresentation as a “pro-Arab” policy. On the other hand, the Arabs have not been slow to misrepresent the rate of progress in the provision of health and education services and in particular Government’s economic and fiscal measures as attributable to a design to make the Arabs subservient to the National Home. Neither recognizes the extent to which their own unwillingness to compromise, impetuosity, lawlessness or violence has influenced the tempo of development not only in necessitating costly recurrent and emergency measures on the maintenance of law and order—costly not only in terms of money, but in lives, time and energy—but also in necessitating continual adjustment of administrative arrangements to maintain progress in the fulfilment of the dual obligation to Palestine as a whole and to facilitate the establishment of the National Home.
19. The Zionist achievement in Palestine to the present time is widely known and deservedly praised. As had been indicated above, the Jewish population has increased more than seven-fold during the quarter of a century covered. Large areas of land, once unused, misused or little used, have been brought into fruitful bearing. New standards of agriculture have been introduced. Towns and villages have been established up and down the country, including Tel Aviv, wholly Jewish and the largest town in Palestine. Drainage, clearing and cultivation have made healthy what were once unhealthy tracts. Hydroelectric energy has been developed by the Jordan and Yarmuk concessionaries who have also developed fuel power plants. The resources of the Dead Sea are being exploited by a concessionaire company founded on Jewish initiative. Industries have been established, notwithstanding the paucity of raw materials, covering a wide range of manufacture and having a gross output valued at some forty million pounds. Concurrently with all this development, great and successful efforts have been made to establish and maintain a reasonably high standard of living. The medical services established first by voluntary bodies such as the Hadassah organization and later by the Kupat Cholim, a co-operative society, are extensive, providing a wide range of medical facilities and commanding a high degree of skill in their staff. The community education system, providing schooling for almost all Jewish children of school age and making provision for secondary education and technical and agricultural education, is topped by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Social welfare activities are highly organized and widespread through the community. In addition a great variety of cultural acts have been established. In short, the Jewish community in Palestine is a bustling, thrusting people with manifold accomplishments, an individual character and a record of substantial achievement.
20. The effort, intelligence and devotion on the part of Jews which went to bring about this achievement are remarkable. This is not to say that it should not be surveyed in the round and evaluated in relation to the general well-being and development of the country as a whole. Underlying the Jewish structure is the Administration’s foundation: the placing of the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as would secure the establishment of the Jewish National Home while safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants. This does not mean only the maintenance of law and order, in the sense of policing and the administration of justice, but the whole complex of activities necessary for the establishment of a new society in a strange and unwelcoming environment. There is a common tendency, particularly among the Jews themselves, to think that the National Home as it stands to-day can be surveyed as if it came into being irrespective of these foundations or, indeed, that they are some parallel and imperfectly articulated structure which sprang up largely because of the growth of the National Home. In fact, however, the creation of conditions under which the National Home could be built and can continue to flourish is an essential part of the upbuilding and can no more be dissociated from it than the foundations from the house. The creation of these conditions was the work of the Mandatory Administration and the question now for examination is the extent to which this work has been facilitated or otherwise by the manner of construction of the National Home.
21. As has been said in paragraph 4 of this memorandum, the Mandate was framed in the assumption that the obligations imposed by it towards the Arabs and the Jews respectively were compatible. It seems permissible to consider that these obligations were deemed to be complementary and inseparable. Practically, the establishment of political, administrative and economic conditions which would secure the establishment of the Jewish National Home is the more difficult the more alien to its surroundings is the character of the Home. The greater the disparity between the conditions of the Jewish community and their neighbours, the greater the chance of friction. In any event, it is inconceivable that a civilised society consisting of a privileged group and a balance of hewers of wood and drawers of water should be deliberately constructed under international agreement. Lord Samuel, as first High Commissioner, saw this clearly. “It is the clear duty of the Mandatory Power” he wrote “to promote the well-being of the Arab population, in the same way as a British Administration would regard it as its duty to promote the welfare of the local population in any part of our Empire. The measures to foster the well-being of the Arabs should be precisely those which we should adopt in Palestine if there were no Zionist question and if there had been no Balfour Declaration. There is in this policy nothing incompatible with reasonable Zionist aspirations. On the contrary, if the growth of Jewish influence were accompanied by Arab degradation, or even by a neglect to promote Arab advancement, it would fail in one of its essential purposes. The grievance of the Arab would be a discredit to the Jew, and in the result the moral influence of Zionism would be gravely impaired”. It is plain that, for the establishment of a sound policy, the advancement of the Arabs must be regarded in two aspects: by the measure of the community’s advancement from former conditions and in relation to the advancement of the Jews. In the first aspect, Arab advancement has unquestionably been materially assisted by the establishment of the National Home. In the discrepancy between the Arab and Jewish economy caused by the manner of the growth of the National Home lies on of the most serious problems affecting the well-being of Palestine as a whole and hence of the National Home itself.
22. Jewish settlement and development in Palestine has depended to a great extent, on the material side, on the importation of large sums of money from abroad. The capital has been derived partly from donations and investments of well-wishers throughout the world and has been partly also the property of immigrants. (As will be recollected from the 1922 statement of policy it was anticipated from the beginning that the Jews in Palestine would be assisted by Jews throughout the world). Command of those resources empowered the Jewish community in Palestine to carry through their work of construction, health, education, other social services, town building and agricultural settlement without regard to the rate of general development. There were factors external to Palestine which imposed a strong psychological pressure towards acceleration of the rate of development of the National Home, as must be recognized to retain perspective, but nevertheless the basic fact remains that Jewish development outstripped general development. This is not to say that the progress of general development was not materially assisted by Jewish development. The increase in the country’s prosperity which resulted from Jewish enterprise facilitated the financing of measures of general development. The improvement of sanitary conditions, the new urban amenities, the extension of communications and the establishment of new markets which resulted from Jewish effort benefited the Arab as well as the Jewish section of the population. Opportunities for employment were opened for Arabs as well as Jews. Nevertheless, the rate of Jewish development, and its character, continually imposed commitments on the authorities responsible for the advancement of the country as a whole which the resources of the country, even enhanced as they were by Jewish enterprise, have been inadequate to cover. It is not suggested that the Jewish effort should, or could, have been braked but it is stressed that the increasing disparity as between the conditions of the Arabs and Jews which it produced has very substantially added to the difficulties of the present problems of Palestine. The fact that the Jewish community has been able to command large sums of money from overseas imparts to its economy a character which the Arab economy does not possess. There is nothing in Arab society comparable with the powerful political organizations, economic corporations, labour federation and social service institutions of the Jews. Nor, since they are of a distinctly “national” structure and perform “national” functions, could a Government responsible for the well-being of the people as a whole properly reproduce them on a community basis even if it had the resources to do so. The task of the Government has been to regard the population as a whole and within this circumference to facilitate the growth of the National Home; to try to arrest and close rather than exaggerate and perpetuate the fissure between the two peoples.
23. It is not, however, to be inferred from anything that has gone before that the general development of the country by action on the part of the Administration has been more greatly to the benefit of one community than to the other, except in so far as it has facilitated the growth of the National Home. A very large programme of development has been required to bring Palestine from the material conditions in which it rested at the time of the occupation to the conditions of life to-day. The country was disease-ridden, under-developed, poverty-stricken; it had the scantiest facilities for education, virtually no industry and an indifferent agricultural regime. Internally it was given to lawlessness and it was open to the predatory attention of nomad bands from the desert. To make self-advancement possible and to open the way for private enterprise, State action in all these fields had been required. Moreover, there were the specific requirements of the Mandate, some coincident with, some supplementing these basic requirements. The scope of the action initiated to achieve both sets of objectives and the rate of progress have been conditional only on the financial resources available and at recurrent intervals by outbreaks of violence and political extremism which, apart from their direct effects on development, have also tied up an undue proportion of the financial resources.
24. The improvement in public health necessitated the institution of a Government organization which should concern itself primarily with measures of general concern, and in particular the control and eradication of endemic and epidemic diseases, and secondarily with the measures necessary to supplement the efforts of others, according to the greatest need, in the treatment of disease and the provision of general medical facilities. In the campaign against disease, especially malaria, the Government’s activities have been materially supplemented by voluntary organizations, but in this field the spade work and routine have fallen upon the central authority. In the provision of medical facilities, notably hospital accommodation and the treatment of the sick, the Arabs have benefited more extensively than the Jews but fortuitously and because Jewish medical organisations have provided an elaborate and comprehensive service for that community which resorts to it by preference. Nevertheless, the system is administered for the benefit of all and its success, as strikingly illustrated in vital and medical statistics, touches all impartially. To make development possible and to facilitate in particular the promotion and expansion of industries, the country’s communications have had to be vastly expanded and modernized. This, including the construction of the deep water port at Haifa, has been done to the general benefit of the country as a whole. Within the limitations imposed by Article 18 of the Mandate—and they have proved to be serious limitations—the customs tariff has been administered with the object of serving the best interests of the country as a whole and thus, is so far as is consistent with this general obligation, for the protection and encouragement of local industry and agriculture. In more direct relation to agriculture, the Government has undertaken the initiation, superintendence and execution of measures directed against the pests and diseases affecting crops and livestock but has principally been concerned with increasing productivity by the introduction of new types and strains and by inculcating improved methods. Here again, there has been much room for private enterprise but the foundations for the very substantial improvement in the country’s agriculture which has taken place, notably over the last decade, have been laid by Government. In the field of education much has been done and much remains to be done. The elimination of illiteracy is clearly a matter of concern to the country as a whole since there can scarcely be the expectation of real understanding between a literate and an illiterate element in the community. In exercise of their undisputed right under Article 15 of the Mandate, the Jewish community has undertaken the resolution of the problem in so far as their own people are concerned. It has fallen upon the Government to undertake the major portion of the task where the Arabs are concerned. The Government system of public education, founded on the principle of equality of opportunity irrespective of means or class or any such consideration, has been expanded as rapidly as resources have allowed but still covers only some 57% of Arab boys of school age and 23% of girls. Even if it had not been an integral part of the process of establishing and maintaining law and order, the provision of an adequate judicial system was specifically required by the Mandate. Further, the encouragement of local autonomy in accordance with Article 3 of the Mandate entailed the complete re-modelling of the system of local self-government with continuous supervision and tutelage in order that the bases for a fully representative and efficient system might be firmly laid.
25. The Zionist achievement in Palestine since the Mandate has been briefly outlined in paragraph 19 above; it is now necessary to touch on the achievement of the Arabs before passing to the two aspects of Government policy deriving from the acutely controversial problem of economic absorptive capacity. The Arab achievement cannot, any more than the Zionist, be considered out of the context of the general development of Palestine. Both are organically part of that growth, having the same metabolism, affected by and affecting the changes in the main stem and in each other. There can be no doubt that Arab advancement has been much assisted by Jewish settlement in Palestine, but as part of the process to which reference has just been made. While the Jews vigorously deny any intent to “degrade’ or “neglect” Arab advancement, the plain fact remains that their large capital and recurrent expenditure, their plans for development and their elaborate social structure are intended primarily, almost exclusively, for Jews. There is nothing unnatural in this: charity begins at home and if it ends there so much the worse; if its beneficial influence can be extended without adversely affecting the main aim, so much the better. In evaluating therefore the extent to which Jewish achievement has facilitated Arab development due weight must also be given to the part played by the vitality and individuality of the Arab will to advance. The Arab community is not organized towards co-ordinated development, as in the case of the Jews. Its efforts towards improvement are localized and even to a great extent individualistic. Economically it consists of a conglomeration of little enterprise without interdependence and often mutually competitive. The major occupation of the Arab section of the population is agriculture and here, in the quarter of a century since the occupation, there has been great advancement as is illustrated by the present diversification of Arab agricultural practice as compared with that of the former period. Beside the visual and evocative attraction of the symmetrical Jewish agricultural development it is easy to pass over the solidity of the achievement. The hundreds of thousands of olive and fruit trees and vines planted, the thousands of metres of terraces constructed, amount to substantial investment on the part of a poor people. At the time of the occupation, the Arabs had few industries of value and have as yet but a small share in industry. They have, however, shown themselves to be receptive to ideas of modernization and capable of acquiring a high standard of mechanical skill. Their banking enterprises, of which there are two, have expanded with the growth of Arab prosperity. There is no distinctively Palestine Arab culture: it derives partly from the general Arab culture and partly from the West. In every stratum of Arab society there is the impulse towards social improvements. This is shown by impatience at the present rate of progress towards general education and the efforts made throughout the country to provide the financial means of expediting achievement to this end. It is shown in the increasing interest of the Arab community in social welfare activities. It is shown in the efforts made in the villages towards ameliorating the conditions of rural life. That the advance is to be measured in penny points instead of pound points is an index to the available resources rather than to lack of will or ability. Over all, the conditions of the Arab community have been very materially improved during the past twenty-seven years, as is shown perhaps most emphatically in their rapid increase through natural cause; their standard of living has been greatly raised; and their ability to provide for themselves in a competitive world has been enhanced. This movement has inevitably brought into being new needs and new wants and the necessity of seeking means to satisfy them. Politically, it has intensified, instead of mitigating, resentment with Jewish expansion, distrust of the influence of that expansion on determining the character of the country and fear of Jewish domination.
26. In a rapidly expanding society, particularly where it consists of heterogeneous elements, there can be nothing static about the level of standards of living. What at one stage may be advancement, may at another be recession. Productivity is also a variable factor, influenced by, but not necessarily moving in sympathy with, the standard of living. The share of production as between the two communities is a third variable factor. The marketability of the commodities produced is a fourth. Consequently, the conception of economic absorptive capacity must be fluid and, let it be said at once, it is a matter on which even expert opinions may honestly differ. Be this as it may, it has fallen to the mandatory to be the arbiter at all stages in the development of Palestine since the occupation on the degree of economic absorptive capacity currently existing. While recognizing that the hostility of the Arabs towards Jewish immigration must have economic importance, the administration has generally taken no account of political, social and psychological consideration in applying the principle of economic absorptive capacity to Jewish immigration. Recognition has been given to the fact that the National Home depended for its economic development on immigration and that investment in it had to some extent been contingent on the assumption that immigration would be continuous. Nevertheless, it became necessary, in the fulfillment of the dual obligation imposed by the Mandate—let it be repeated, for the fulfilment of both parts of the obligation imposed by the Mandate—to restrict immigration and the further acquisition of land by persons other than Palestinian Arabs. Both measures have been bitterly resented and actively opposed by the Jews who have represented that they are contrary to His Majesty’s Government’s obligations under the Mandate; both have been condemned by the Arabs as too liberal to safeguard the position in Palestine of that community.
In the White Paper of 1939, the immigration policy was reviewed and it was stated that, while as a matter of policy economic absorptive capacity had been the sole criterion applied, “His Majesty’s Government do not read, either the Statement of Policy of 1922 or the letter of 1931” (from Mr. J. Ramsay MacDonald to Dr. Weizmann) “as implying that the Mandate requires them, for all time and in all circumstances, to facilitate the immigration of Jews into Palestine subject only to consideration of the country’s economic absorptive capacity. Nor do they find anything in the Mandate or in subsequent Statements of Policy to support the view that the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine cannot be effected unless immigration is allowed to continue indefinitely. If immigration has an adverse effect on the economic position in the country, it should clearly be restricted; and equally, if it has a seriously damaging effect on the political position in the country, that is a factor which should not be ignored”. The White Paper went on to show that Arab opposition to Jewish immigration had made possible serious disturbances which had “given a serious setback to economic progress, depleted the Palestine exchequer, rendered life and property insecure, and produced a bitterness between the Arab and Jewish populations which is deplorable between citizens of the same country”. It stressed the danger of perpetuation of this enmity and pointed out that “the relations between the Arabs and Jews in Palestine must be based sooner or later on mutual tolerance and goodwill; the peace, security and progress of the Jewish National Home itself require this”. Accordingly, the immigration was restricted to a figure of 75,000 during the five year period ending May, 1944; the period was subsequently extended to permit of the completion of this quota; and when this was achieved nineteen months later in December, 1945, Jewish immigration was allowed to continue until now at a rate of 1,500 monthly.
As regards the more intensive utilization of the land visualized by Article 6 of the Mandate, much groundwork had been required of the Administration. At the time of the occupation, land matters were in a chaotic condition. A new system had to be constructed before both public and private rights to the land could be investigated and settled. The same lack of precision existed as regards rights to water. The basic need of establishing security of tenure both as a means of safeguarding private rights and a foundation for State planning is generally recognized. The means to fulfil it, survey, settlement and registration, are provided by Government departments. The rate of progress has been affected by financial considerations, suspicion as to intention and disturbances. Settlement of title to land has yet, broadly speaking, to be extended to a part of Galilee, to the central and southern hill areas and the Beersheba sub-district. In turn, long range measures for increasing productivity by such soil conversation measures as afforestation and the treatment of catchment areas has been impeded by uncertainly as to title and to the sufficiency as subsistence areas of lands not brought under State management. The Shaw Commission in their examination of the underlying causes of the 1929 riots had found that “the question of land, its ownership, occupation and colonization is, perhaps, one to which more than to any other matter importance is attached both by the Jews and the Arabs”. They recommended an expert enquiry into the prospects of introducing improved methods of cultivation. Sir John hope Simpson who was appointed in 1930 to investigate on the spot questions of immigration, land settlement and development had reported that with the existing methods of Arab cultivation there was no margin of land available for agricultural settlement by new immigrants save such undeveloped land as the various Jewish agencies held in reserve: that free areas of State domain (to which title had been established) were negligible in extent; and that even if Government’s title to lands claimed were admitted it would not be feasible to make these areas available for settlement in view of the impracticability of finding other lands on which to place the Arab cultivators. In consequence of his recommendations a Development Commissioner was appointed in 1931 but the intention of producing a co-ordinated scheme for increasing agricultural productivity was not realized, to some extent because of failure to co-operate on the part of the local communities but mainly because the survey coincided with a period of financial stringency. This is not to say that there has not been improvement; the pressure of the natural expansion of the Arab population has had a share in promoting more intensive methods of cultivation in Arab areas and greater care of the land. The main impediment to large scale planning was, however, and remains, uncertainty as to the availability of land, not only for close settlement of an additional agricultural population but adequately to support the existing population. The position as regards water resources was equally characterized by imprecision. Exploration and experiment had generally given disappointing results and the better disposal of supplies from existing sources is dependent on the determination of existing rights.
On the question of land, the White Paper reiterated the requirements of Article 6 of the mandate in regard to the close settlement of Jews on the land, “while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced”. It explained that expert Commissions had indicated that, owing to the natural growth of the Arab population and the steady sale in recent years of Arab land to Jews, there was no room in certain areas for further transfers of Arab land, while in some other areas such transfers of land must be restricted if Arab cultivators were to maintain their existing standard of life and a considerable landless Arab population was not soon to be created. In consequence the High Commissioner would be given general powers to prohibit and regulate transfers of land. In fact, a review of the condition of congestion in almost the whole of the Arab area, whereas Jewish Lands supported fewer families in proportion to the acreage. The Land Transfers Regulations, giving effect to the decision to empower the High Commissioner to restrict and regulate transfers of land, were promulgated in 1940.
27. As has already been stated, the Jews and the majority of the Arabs did not accept the White Paper of 1939. The Administration of Palestine has, however, continued to conform to the basic principle of that statement, namely, that Palestine should neither be a Jewish State nor an Arab State but one in which the two peoples in Palestine should share authority in government in such a way that the essential interests of each are secured. It is unfortunately not possible to record any measure of progress in the political reconciliation of the two communities. On the contrary, the course of development of political thought in the case of both communities has been outside the Mandate, away from the conception of joint effort in the interest of all and towards the more emphatic assertion of exclusive rights. Economically, in spite of the signal opportunities presented by Palestine’s artificially created insularity during the war, there has been no movement in the direction of greater interdependence between the Jewish and the Arab economies. The disparity in social organization existing before the war as between the two communities has been increased, rather than lessened, by the accretion of financial resources resulting from the way.
28. It has been the object of this memorandum to demonstrate how the principal task of the Palestine Government through the twenty-seven years since it came into being has been the holding of the balance as between the bi-partite obligations imposed by the Mandate. The task has been no formal reconciliation of protocols but a continual struggle for the uniting of two developing organisms for their mutual benefit against all manner of disruptive elements. This attempt to set a common objective towards which the powerful forces for advancement released by the Mandate might aim underlies the whole problem of the development of Palestine. Community to interests, even more than material resources, is fundamental to any large scale planning. The creation of that community to interests has hitherto been precluded by the predominance of political influences. It may be that at any given time a few more battalions or aeroplanes or tanks would, as has sometimes been represented, have produced a different frame of mind in one or other of the local communities. It may be that it would not, but in any event what frame of mind would it have produced in the other community? It has seemed to the Palestine Government that only through free recognition by both Arabs and Jews of the position, needs and rights of the other community, through free recognition by them of their mutual responsibility and interdependence and by the willingness of each to contribute according to his means and the need of the other, not only in material things but morally, that the well being of the people of Palestine as a whole can be ensured and the National Home established. The courage, imagination and will to compromise required to achieve these ends cannot be imposed but must be sought from the two peoples primarily concerned.
Jerusalem June 1947.