JERUSALEM (Aug. 5)
The attitude of the Arab would toward the position of the Jews in a post-war Palestine hinges on the outcome of the Russo-German war, it became clear here today when it was established that Arab leaders in Palestine have adopted a policy of “watchful waiting” until the developments on the Russo-German front become more crystallised.
As the situation stands today, uncertainty and bewilderment exists among the Arabs in Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Transjordan, as their leaders waver between Allied promises and Axis propaganda. Despite British and De Gaullist pronouncements that Syrian leaders and the tribal shieks are rallying to the Allied cause and despite Britain’s promise to live up to her pledge of Syrian independence, Axis agents continue to exploit this political uncertainty on the part of the Arabs in the Near East.
Broadcasts in Arabic emanating from Radio Rome continue, almost daily, to reiterate the impossibility of creating a pan-Arab federation while a Jewish National Home exists in Palestine. Axis circles are also circulating stories that “Syria, Lebanon and Iraq are to be added to the Jewish National Home as a result of Weizmann’s successful intriguing in London.” Although certain Arab circles have stated that the existence of Palestine as a Jewish National Home within a pan-Arab federation is possible, many Arab leaders remain doubtful on this point.
Axis propaganda coming from Rome and from the radio stations in Nazi-held Balkan countries is on the whole not taken seriously by the Arabs, nevertheless it tends to create confusion in Arab minds, especially since various reports coming from the Allied side are also contradictory insofar as the Arabs are concerned. This is especially true with regard to the reports about a projected pan-Arab federation. How, some Arabs ask, can Britain live up to its promise of securing independence for Syria, when it talks at the same time of the establishment of a pan-Arab federation to link up Syria with Iraq, Palestine and Transjordan.