Mandates Commission Says British View That Riots Were Not Premeditated nor Directed Against Mandator

Regarding as unjustified the view that the Palestine outbreaks were not directed against British authority or that they were unexpected disturbances “in the midst of a political calm like those sudden explosions of popular passion so often witnessed in Eastern states,” the long delayed report of the League of Nations Mandates Commission on the 1929 Palestine outbreaks to the Council of the League of Nations, published today, blames the limited number of British troops in Palestine and the inadequacy of the police force as the principal causes for the spread of last Summer’s Arab attacks on the Jews and for the serious consequences which followed.

In differing from the view that the Palestine troubles did not arise suddenly, the Mandates Commission points out that “they were preceded during the last four months of 1928 and the early part of 1929 by a number of premonitory incidents usually connected with the Wailing Wall. That historic spot became the focus of claims of both races concerned, each of which sought to utilize the incidents, unimportant in themselves, in order to establish their respective claims de jure or de facto. The historical account of the troubles contained in the Shaw Commission’s report on pages 26 to 70 had not been seriously disputed and has, therefore, been referred by the Mandates Commission to the Council.”

SHAW COMMISSION CONCLUSIONS

Referring to the four conclusions of the Shaw Commission’s report which the British Government adopted, the Mandates Commission takes the stand that two of them call for certain reservations and draws attention to a contradiction which seems to exist between certain declarations made in the body of the report and the second of the conclusions regarding the question of premeditation on the part of those who caused the disorder.

(In a White Paper issued by the British Government on May 27th, it accepted the four conclusions of the Shaw Commission, namely that the outbreak was not premeditated, nor was it aimed at British authority, that the Zionist complaints against the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem were not justified, that the Zionist charges of premeditation and of organization of the disturbances by the Palestine Arabs were not proven and that no blame can be attached to the Palestine Administration and to the acting High Commissioner, Harry Luke, for failure to obtain reinforcements from neighboring countries before August 23).

The Mandates Commission also expresses doubts whether the kindly judgment passed by the majority of the Shaw Commission upon the attitude of the Arab leaders, both political and religious, was fully justified by the Commission’s report. The fourth conclusion of the Shaw Commission, that the outbreaks were not directed against British authority, the Mandates Commission finds, “seems to be expressed too categorically. Doubt-

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