Striking Excerpts from Commission’s Report

SHORT SUMMARY OF MAIN RECOMMENDATIONS (AS PREPARED BY THE ROYAL COMMISSION)

STRIKING QUOTATIONS FROM THE REPORT OF THE ROYAL COMMISSION ON PALESTINE:

TWELVE YEARS AGO THE (JEWISH) NATIONAL HOME WAS AN EXPERIMENT, TODAY IT IS A “GOING CONCERN.”

THE CHAMPIONS OF ZIONISM HAVE ALWAYS HELD — AND ON THE WHOLE THEY ARE NOW PROVED RIGHT — THAT A JEW RELEASED FROM AN ANTI-JEWISH ENVIRONMENT AND “RESTORED” TO PALESTINE WOULD NOT ONLY FEEL FREE AS HE HAD NEVER FELT BEFORE BUT WOULD ALSO ACQUIRE A NEW SELF-CONFIDENCE, A NEW ZEST IN LIVING FROM HIS CONSCIOUSNESS THAT HE WAS ENGAGED IN A GREAT CONSTRUCTIVE TASK.

IT SHOULD BE FRANKLY RECOGNIZED, THEN, THAT THE IDEAL OF THE NATIONAL HOME IS A PURELY JEWISH IDEAL. THE ARABS HARDLY COME INTO THE PICTURE EXCEPT WHEN THEY FORCE AN ENTRY THROUGH VIOLENCE AND BLOODSHED.

IMMIGRATION MEANS ESCAPE. IMMIGRANTS SQUEEZE INTO PALESTINE, PREPARED TO ENDURE ANY HARDSHIPS WHICH MAY RESULT FROM OVERCROWDING, BECAUSE LIFE IN PALESTINE AT ITS WORST IS BETTER THAN THE LIFE THEY HAVE ELSEWHERE.

IT IS IMPOSSIBLE, WE BELIEVE, FOR ANY UNPREJUDICED OBSERVER TO SEE THE NATIONAL HOME AND NOT TO WISH IT WELL. IT HAS MEANT SO MUCH FOR THE RELIEF OF UNMERITED SUFFERING. IT DISPLAYS SO MUCH ENERGY AND ENTERPRISE AND DEVOTION TO A COMMON CAUSE.

AN IRREPRESSIBLE CONFLICT HAS ARISEN BETWEEN TWO NATIONAL COMMUNITIES WITHIN THE NARROW BOUNDS OF ONE SMALL COUNTRY. ABOUT 1,000,000 ARABS ARE IN STRIFE, OPEN OR LATENT, WITH SOME 400,000 JEWS. THERE IS NO COMMON GROUND BETWEEN THEM.

THE LESSON IS PLAIN, AND NOBODY, WE THINK, WILL VENTURE TO ASSERT THAT THE EXISTING SYSTEM OFFERS ANY REAL PROSPECT OF RECONCILIATION BETWEEN THE ARABS AND THE JEWS.

THERE IS LITTLE MORAL VALUE IN MAINTAINING THE POLITICAL UNITY OF PALESTINE AT THE COST OF PERPETUAL HATRED, STRIFE AND BLOODSHED, AND … THERE IS LITTLE MORAL INJURY IN DRAWING A POLITICAL LINE THROUGH PALESTINE IF PEACE AND GOODWILL BETWEEN THE PEOPLE ON EITHER SIDE OF IT CAN THEREBY IN THE LONG RUN BE ATTAINED.

“HALF A LOAF IS BETTER THAN NO BREAD”….

NOR IS IT ONLY THE BRITISH PEOPLE, NOR ONLY THE NATIONS WHICH CONFERRED THE MANDATE OR APPROVED IT, WHO ARE TROUBLED BY WHAT HAS HAPPENED AND IS HAPPENING IN PALESTINE. NUMBERLESS MEN AND WOMEN ALL OVER THE WORLD WOULD FEEL A SENSE OF DEEP RELIEF IF SOME HOW AN END COULD BE PUT TO STRIFE AND BLOODSHED IN A THRICE HALLOWED LAND.

1. RECOMMENDATIONS UNDER THE MANDATE ADMINISTRATION

THERE SHOULD BE NO HESITATION IN DISPENSING WITH THE SERVICES OF PALESTINIAN OFFICERS WHOSE LOYALTY OR IMPARTIALITY IS UNCERTAIN.

THERE SHOULD BE MORE DECENTRALIZATION.

A BRITISH SENIOR GOVERNMENT ADVOCATE SHOULD BE APPOINTED.

THE JAFFA-HAIFA ROAD SHOULD BE COMPLETED AS SPEEDILY AS POSSIBLE.

PUBLIC SECURITY

SHOULD DISORDERS BREAK OUT AGAIN OF SUCH A NATURE AS TO REQUIRE THE INTERVENTION OF THE MILITARY, THERE SHOULD BE NO HESITATION IN ENFORCING MARTIAL LAW. IN SUCH AN EVENT THE DISARMAMENT FIRST OF THE ARABS AND THEN OF THE JEWS SHOULD BE ENFORCED.

IN MIXED AREAS BRITISH DISTRICT OFFICERS SHOULD BE APPOINTED.

CENTRAL AND LOCAL POLICE RESERVES ARE NECESSARY. A LARGE MOBILE MOUNTED FORCE IS ALSO ESSENTIAL.

A MORE RIGOROUS PRESS ORDINANCE SHOULD BE ADOPTED.

FINANCIAL AND FISCAL QUESTIONS

NEGOTIATIONS SHOULD BE OPENED TO AMEND THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 18 OF THE MANDATE AND PUT THE TRADE OF PALESTINE ON A FAIRER BASIS.

LAND

THE HIGH COMMISSIONER SHOULD BE EMPOWERED TO PROHIBIT THE TRANSFER OF LAND IN ANY STATED AREA TO JEWS. (THE AMENDMENT OF THE MANDATE MAY FIRST BE NECESSARY.)

UNTIL SURVEY AND SETTLEMENT ARE COMPLETE THE SALE OF ISOLATED AND COMPARATIVELY SMALL PLOTS OF LAND TO JEWS SHOULD BE PROHIBITED. THE COMMISSION FAVOUR A PROPOSAL FOR THE CREATION OF SPECIAL PUBLIC UTILITY COMPANIES TO UNDERTAKE DEVELOPMENT SCHEMES.

AN EXPERT COMMITTEE SHOULD BE APPOINTED TO DRAW UP A LAND CODE.

SETTLEMENT SHOULD BE EXPEDITED.

IN THE EVENT OF FURTHER SALES OF LAND BY ARABS TO JEWS, THE RIGHTS OF ANY ARAB TENANTS OR CULTIVATORS MUST BE PRESERVED. ALIENATION OF LAND SHOULD ONLY BE ALLOWED WHERE IT IS POSSIBLE TO REPLACE EXTENSIVE BY INTENSIVE CULTIVATION, I.E., IN THE PLAINS, AND NOT AT PRESENT IN THE HILLS.

LEGISLATION VESTING SURFACE WATER IN THE HIGH COMMISSIONER IS ESSENTIAL. POSSIBILITIES OF IRRIGATION SHOULD BE EXPLORED. THE SCHEME FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE HULEH DISTRICT IS COMMENDED.

MEASURES OF AFFORESTATION ARE RECOMMENDED.

IMMIGRATION

THE VOLUME OF JEWISH IMMIGRATION SHOULD CONTINUE TO BE RESTRICTED IN THE FIRST INSTANCE BY THE ECONOMIC ABSORPTIVE CAPACITY OF PALESTINE, BUT IT SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO A “POLITICAL HIGH LEVEL,” COVERING JEWISH IMMIGRATION OF ALL CATEGORIES. THIS HIGH LEVEL SHOULD BE FIXED FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS AT 12,000 PER ANNUM. AMENDMENTS IN THE CATEGORIES UNDER THE IMMIGRATION ORDINANCE AND IN THE DEFINITION OF “DEPENDENCY” ARE PROPOSED.

EDUCATION

THE ADMINISTRATION SHOULD REGARD THE CLAIMS ON THE REVENUE OF ARAB EDUCATION AS SECOND IN IMPORTANCE ONLY TO THOSE OF PUBLIC SECURITY. THE PRESENT PROPORTION BETWEEN THE GRANT TO JEWISH EDUCATION AND THE AMOUNT SPENT ON THE ARABS SHOULD NOT BE ALTERED: AN INCREASE IN THE GRANT TO THE JEWS SHOULD RESULT FROM AN INCREASE IN THE TOTAL EXPENDITURE ON EDUCATION.

IN ANY FURTHER DISCUSSION OF THE PROJECT OF A BRITISH UNIVERSITY IN THE NEAR EAST, THE POSSIBILITY SHOULD BE CONSIDERED OF LOCATING IT IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF JERUSALEM OR HAIFA.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

AN ATTEMPT SHOULD BE MADE TO STRENGTHEN THOSE FEW LOCAL COUNCILS WHICH STILL EXIST IN ARAB RURAL AREAS, BUT NOT TO REVIVIFY COUNCILS WHICH HAVE BROKEN DOWN, OR TO CREATE NEW ONES UNLESS THERE IS A GENUINE DEMAND FOR THEM. THE MORE IMPORTANT LOCAL COUNCILS AND ALL THE MUNICIPALITIES SHOULD BE RECLASSIFIED BY MEANS OF A NEW ORDINANCE, INTO GROUPS ACCORDING TO THEIR RESPECTIVE SIZE AND IMPORTANCE.

THE SERVICES OF AN EXPERT ON LOCAL GOVERNMENTS SHOULD BE OBTAINED TO ASSIST IN DRAFTING THE NEW ORDINANCE AND IMPROVING THE RELATIONS BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND THE MUNICIPALITIES.

THE NEED OF TEL AVIV FOR A SUBSTANTIAL LOAN SHOULD BE PROMPTLY AND SYMPATHETICALLY RECONSIDERED.

SELF-GOVERNING INSTITUTIONS

THE COMMISSION DO NOT RECOMMEND THAT ANY ATTEMPT BE MADE TO REVIVE THE PROPOSAL OF A LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, BUT THEY WOULD WELCOME AN ENLARGEMENT OF THE ADVISORY COUNCIL BY THE ADDITION OF UNOFFICIAL MEMBERS.

CONCLUSION

THE ABOVE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DEALING WITH ARAB AND JEWISH GRIEVANCES UNDER THE MANDATE WILL NOT “REMOVE” THEM OR “PREVENT THEIR RECURRENCE.” THEY ARE THE BEST PALLIATIVES THE COMMISSION CAN DEVISE, BUT THEY WILL NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

II. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TERMINATION OF PRESENT MANDATE ON BASIS OF PARTITION

HAVING REACHED THE CONCLUSION THAT THERE IS NO POSSIBILITY OF SOLVING THE PALESTINE PROBLEM UNDER THE EXISTING MANDATE (OR EVEN UNDER A SCHEME OF CANTONISATION). THE COMMISSION RECOMMEND THE TERMINATION OF THE PRESENT MANDATE ON THE BASIS OF PARTITION AND PUT FORWARD A DEFINITE SCHEME WHICH THEY CONSIDER TO BE PRACTICABLE, HONOURABLE AND JUST. THE SCHEME IS AS FOLLOWS:

THE MANDATE FOR PALESTINE SHOULD TERMINATE AND BE REPLACED BY A TREATY SYSTEM IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRECEDENT SET IN IRAQ AND SYRIA.

UNDER TREATIES TO BE NEGOTIATED BY THE MANDATORY WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF TRANSJORDAN AND REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ARABS OF PALESTINE ON THE ONE HAND AND WITH THE ZIONIST ORGANISATION ON THE OTHER IT WOULD BE DECLARED THAT TWO SOVEREIGN INDEPENDENT STATES WOULD SHORTLY BE ESTABLISHED – (1) AN ARAB STATE CONSISTING OF TRANSJORDAN UNITED WITH THAT PART OF PALESTINE ALLOTTED TO THE ARABS, (2) A JEWISH STATE CONSISTING OF THAT PART OF PALESTINE ALLOTTED TO THE JEWS. THE MANDATORY WOULD UNDERTAKE TO SUPPORT ANY REQUESTS FOR ADMISSION TO THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS MADE BY THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE ARAB AND JEWISH STATES. THE TREATIES WOULD INCLUDE STRICT GUARANTEES FOR THE PROTECTION OF MINORITIES. MILITARY CONVENTIONS WOULD BE ATTACHED TO THE TREATIES.

NEW MANDATE FOR CORRIDOR

A NEW MANDATE SHOULD BE INSTITUTED TO EXECUTE THE TRUST OF MAINTAINING THE SANCTITY OF JERUSALEM AND BETHLEHEM AND ENSURING FREE AND SAFE ACCESS TO THEM FOR ALL THE WORLD. AN ENCLAVE SHOULD BE DEMARCATED TO WHICH THIS MANDATE SHOULD APPLY, EXTENDING FROM A POINT NORTH OF JERUSALEM TO A POINT SOUTH OF BETHLEHEM, AND ACCESS TO THE SEA SHOULD BE PROVIDED BY A CORRIDOR EXTENDING FROM JERUSALEM TO JAFFA. THE POLICY OF THE BALFOUR DECLARATION WOULD NOT APPLY TO THE MANDATE AREA.

THE MANDATORY SHOULD ALSO BE ENTRUSTED WITH THE ADMINISTRATION OF NAZARETH AND WITH FULL POWERS TO SAFEGUARD THE SANCTITY OF THE WATERS AND SHORES OF LAKE TIBERIAS, AND SIMILARLY WITH THE PROTECTION OF RELIGIOUS ENDOWMENTS AND OF SUCH BUILDINGS, MONUMENTS AND PLACES IN THE ARAB AND JEWISH STATES AS ARE SACRED TO THE JEWS AND THE ARABS RESPECTIVELY.

BOUNDARIES

THE FRONTIER BETWEEN THE ARAB AND JEWISH STATES RECOMMENDED IS AS FOLLOWS. STARTING FROM RAS AN NAQURA, IT FOLLOWS THE EXISTING NORTHERN AND EASTERN FRONTIER OF PALESTINE TO LAKE TIBERIAS AND CROSSES THE LAKE TO THE OUTFLOW OF THE RIVER JORDAN,

WHENCE IT CROSSES THE CARMEL RIDGE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF THE MEGIDDO ROAD. IT THEN RUNS SOUTHWARDS DOWN THE EASTERN EDGE OF THE MARITIME PLAIN, CURVING WEST TO AVOID TULKARM, UNTIL IT REACHES THE JERUSALEM-JAFFA CORRIDOR NEAR LYDDA. SOUTH OF THE CORRIDOR IT CONTINUES DOWN THE EDGE OF THE PLAIN TO A POINT ABOUT TEN MILES SOUTH OF REHOVOT, WHENCE IT TURNS WEST TO THE SEA.

HAIFA, TIBERIAS, SAFED AND ACRE SHOULD BE KEPT FOR A PERIOD UNDER MANDATORY ADMINISTRATION. JAFFA SHOULD FORM AN OUTLYING PART OF THE ARAB STATE, NARROW BELTS OF LAND BEING ACQUIRED AND CLEARED ON THE NORTH AND SOUTH SIDES OF THE TOWN TO PROVIDE ACCESS FROM THE MANDATORY CORRIDOR TO THE SEA.

THE JEWISH TREATY SHOULD PROVIDE FOR FREE TRANSIT OF GOODS IN BOND BETWEEN THE ARAB STATE AND HAIFA.

IN VIEW OF POSSIBLE COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENTS IN THE FUTURE, AN ENCLAVE ON THE NORTH-WEST COAST OF THE GULF OF AQABA SHOULD BE RETAINED UNDER MANDATORY ADMINISTRATION, AND THE ARAB TREATY SHOULD PROVIDE FOR FREE TRANSIT OF GOODS BETWEEN THE JEWISH STATE AND THIS ENCLAVE, AS ALSO TO THE EGYPTIAN FRONTIER AT RAFAH. THE TREATY SHOULD PROVIDE FOR SIMILAR FACILITIES FOR THE TRANSIT OF GOODS BETWEEN THE MANDATED AREA AND HAIFA, RAFAH AND THE GULF OF AQABA.

SUBVENTION TO ARAB STATE

THE JEWISH STATE SHOULD PAY A SUBVENTION TO THE ARAB STATE. A FINANCE COMMISSION SHOULD BE APPOINTED TO ADVISE AS TO ITS AMOUNT AND AS TO THE DIVISION OF THE PUBLIC DEBT OF PALESTINE AND OTHER FINANCIAL QUESTIONS.

IN VIEW OF THE BACKWARDNESS OF TRANSJORDAN, PARLIAMENT SHOULD BE ASKED TO MAKE A GRANT OF £2,000,000 TO THE ARAB STATE.

AS A PART OF THE PROPOSED TREATY SYSTEM, A COMMERCIAL CONVENTION SHOULD BE CONCLUDED WITH A VIEW TO ESTABLISHING A COMMON TARIFF OVER THE WIDEST POSSIBLE RANGE OF IMPORTED ARTICLES AND TO FACILITATING THE FREEST POSSIBLE INTERCHANGE OF GOODS BETWEEN THE THREE TERRITORIES.

THE RIGHTS OF ALL EXISTING CIVIL SERVANTS, INCLUDING RIGHTS TO PENSIONS OF GRATUITIES, SHOULD BE FULLY HONOURED.

INDUSTRIAL PACTS

AGREEMENTS ENTERED INTO BY THE GOVERNMENT OF PALESTINE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND SECURITY OF INDUSTRIES, E.G., THAT WITH THE PALESTINE POTASH COMPANY, SHOULD BE TAKEN OVER AND CARRIED OUT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE ARAB AND JEWISH STATES. GUARANTEES TO THAT EFFECT SHOULD BE GIVEN IN THE TREATIES. THE SECURITY OF THE POWER STATION AT JISREL MAJAMI SHOULD BE SIMILARLY GUARANTEED.

THE TREATIES SHOULD PROVIDE THAT IF ARAB OWNERS OF LAND IN THE JEWISH STATE OR JEWISH OWNERS IN THE ARAB STATE WISH TO SELL THEIR LAND, THE GOVERNMENT OF THE STATE CONCERNED SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR PURCHASE AT A PRICE TO BE FIXED, IF REQUIRED, BY THE MANDATORY GOVERNMENT.

AN IMMEDIATE ENQUIRY SHOULD BE UNDERTAKEN INTO THE POSSIBILITIES OF IRRIGATION AND DEVELOPMENT IN TRANSJORDAN, THE BEERSHEBA DISTRICT AND THE JORDAN VALLEY. IF IT BECOMES CLEAR THAT A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT OF LAND COULD BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE RE

SETTLEMENT OF ARABS LIVING IN THE JEWISH AREA, STRENUOUS EFFORTS SHOULD BE MADE TO OBTAIN AN AGREEMENT, IN THE INTERESTS OF BOTH PARTIES CONCERNED, FOR AN EXCHANGE OF LAND AND POPULATION. TO FACILITATE SUCH AN AGREEMENT THE UNITED KINGDOM PARLIAMENT SHOULD BE ASKED TO MAKE A GRANT TO MEET THE COST OF THE NECESSARY DEVELOPMENT SCHEME.

FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD WHICH WOULD INTERVENE BEFORE THE TREATIES CAME INTO FORCE, THE COMMISSION’S RECOMMENDATIONS ARE AS FOLLOWS. LAND PURCHASE BY JEWS WITHIN THE ARAB AREA OR BY ARABS WITHIN THE JEWISH AREA SHOULD BE PROHIBITED. NO JEWISH IMMIGRATION INTO THE ARAB AREA SHOULD BE PERMITTED. THE VOLUME OF JEWISH IMMIGRATION SHOULD BE DETERMINED BY THE ECONOMIC ABSORPTIVE CAPACITY OF PALESTINE LESS THE ARAB AREA. NEGOTIATIONS SHOULD BE OPENED WITHOUT DELAY TO SECURE AMENDMENT OF ARTICLE 18 OF THE MANDATE AND PLACE THE EXTERNAL TRADE OF PALESTINE ON A FAIRER BASIS. THE ADVISORY COUNCIL SHOULD, IF POSSIBLE, BE ENLARGED BY THE NOMINATION OF ARAB AND JEWISH REPRESENTATIVES. THE MUNICIPAL SYSTEM SHOULD BE RE-FORMED ON EXPERT ADVICE, AS RECOMMENDED. A VIGOROUS EFFORT SHOULD BE MADE TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF ARAB SCHOOLS.

THE COMMISSION POINT OUT THAT, WHILE THESE PROPOSAL DO NOT OFFER EITHER THE ARABS OR THE JEWS ALL THEY WANT, THEY OFFER EACH PARTY WHAT IT WANTS MOST, NAMELY, FREEDOM AND SECURITY.

THE ADVANTAGES TO THE ARABS OF PALESTINE MAY BE SUMMARIZED AS FOLLOWS:

(1) THEY OBTAIN THEIR NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE AND CAN CO-OPERATE ON AN EQUAL FOOTING WITH THE ARABS OF THE NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES IN THE CASE OF ARAB UNITY AND PROGRESS.

(2) THEY ARE FINALLY DELIVERED FROM THE FEAR OF BEING “SWAMPED” BY THE JEWS AND FROM THE POSSIBILITY OF ULTIMATE SUBJECTION TO JEWISH RULE.

(3) IN PARTICULAR, THE FINAL LIMITATION OF THE JEWISH NATIONAL HOME WITHIN A FIXED FRONTIER AND THE ENACTMENT OF A NEW MANDATE FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE HOLY PLACES, SOLEMNLY GUARANTEED BY THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS, REMOVES ALL ANXIETY LEST THE HOLY PLACES SHOULD EVER COME UNDER JEWISH CONTROL.

(4) AS A SET-OFF TO THE LOSS OF TERRITORY THE ARABS REGARD AS THEIRS, THE ARAB STATE WILL RECEIVE A SUBVENTION FROM THE JEWISH STATE. IT WILL ALSO, IN VIEW OF THE BACKWARDNESS OF TRANSJORDAN, OBTAIN A GRANT OF £2,000,000 FROM THE BRITISH TREASURY; AND, IF AN AGREEMENT CAN BE REACHED AS TO THE EXCHANGE OF LAND AND POPULATION, A FURTHER GRANT WILL BE MADE FOR THE CONVERSION, AS FAR AS MAY PROVE POSSIBLE, OF UNCULTIVABLE LAND IN THE ARAB STATE INTO PRODUCTIVE LAND FROM WHICH THE CULTIVATORS AND THE STATE ALIKE WILL PROFIT.

THE ADVANTAGES TO THE JEWS ARE:-

(1) PARTITION SECURES THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE JEWISH NATIONAL HOME AND RELIEVES IT FROM THE POSSIBILITY OF ITS BEING SUBJECTED IN THE FUTURE TO ARAB rule.

(2) PARTITION ENABLES THE JEWS IN THE FULLEST SENSE TO CALL THEIR NATIONAL HOME THEIR OWN: FOR IT CONVERTS IT INTO A JEWISH STATE. ITS CITIZENS WILL BE ABLE TO ADMIT AS MANY JEWS INTO IT AS THEY THEMSELVES BELIEVE CAN BE ABSORBED. THEY WILL ATTAIN THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE OF ZIONISM – A JEWISH NATION, PLANTED IN PALESTINE, GIVING ITS NATIONALS THE SAME STATUS IN THE WORLD AS OTHER NATIONS GIVE THEIRS. THEY WILL CEASE AT LAST TO LIVE A “MINORITY LIFE.”

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