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Split Between Hussein and Palestinian Arabs

July 2, 1923
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A split, between Hussein, King of the Hejjaz, and the recognized Spokesman of the Arab Confederation and the Palestine Arab Congress, which represents the Arab nationalist movement in Palestine, has been created as a result of the recent negotiations of the Hussein-British treaty respecting the Arab Confederation.

In a statement issued by the Arab Congress of Palestine, Hussein was charged with “having acted not to safeguard the interests of his people, but rather that of himself and his sons”, the Emir Feisul of Mesopotamia and the Emir Abdullah of Transjordania.

The breach developed following the publication by the Palestine government of the British text of the Hussein treaty, under which Palestine was excluded from the scope of the Arab confederation. The Palestine Arab Congress immediately, on the publication of this version, wired Hussein that the published draft “contradicts your message, especially regarding Palestine”.

“It had been decided”, the message continued “to bring complaint to Your Majesty believing it impossible that you would agree to such a project which would never be found acceptable by any Palestinians.”

Hussein’s reply to the message of the Arab Congress failed to deny the British version of the treaty but merely confined itself to an expression of hope that the Arabs “would continue to have good faith in me.”

Upon receipt of this reply, the Palestine Arab Congress issued a statement declaring that “there is no longer room for any faith” in King Hussein. The statement also challenged “Hussein’s competence” to act for the Palestinian Arabs, declaring that he sought to protect his own family rather than the interests of the people who commissioned him.

The Congress turned down the proposal that a delegation be sent to Mecca, but instead decided to send a strengthened delegation to London to represent the Palestine Arab Congress there.

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