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Anglo-american Hearings on Palestine Concluded in London; Arab Delegates to Uno Testify

February 3, 1946
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The hearings of the Anglo-American Inquiry Committee concluded here today as representatives of five Arab states testified against Jewish immigration to Palestine and a representative of the Communist Party in Britain recommended the termination of the Palestine Mandate and the establishment of an independent Palestine, but not a Jewish State.

Speaking for all the Arab states, Faris el Khoury, president of the Syrian Senate, said that even if other countries of the world open their doors to Jewish refugees, Palestine should still refuse to admit them. “We have taken enough of them,” he said.

Asked whether he would oppose Jewish immigration to Palestine even if large scale improvements are made there, including the carrying out of the Lowdermilk plan and economic developments which would increase Arab well-being, Khoury replied: “Definitely yes. I wish to state again that we absolutely reject Jewish immigration.” Asked if the Arabs in Palestine are interested in credits, machinery and industrial advancement, he stated: “Not at Jewish hands!” He added that the Arab states are also against the partitioning of Palestine.


Testifying for Lebanon, Hamid Bey Frangie said that his country had been living in a state of anxiety in view of Jewish aspirations in Palestine. He asserted that if Palestine is made a Jewish State, his country’s security will be menaced.

The spokesman for Iraq said that “giving Palestine to the Zionists would be against all principles of the United Nations and contrary to the White Paper.” The spokesman for Egypt and for Saudi Arabia took a more moderate tone. Their Feisal, second son of the ruler of Sandi Arabia, made a brief statement through an interpreter emphasizing that never in history had there been any difficulties between Jews and Arabs “until a religion was converted into a political movement.”

William Phillips, American member of the committee, wanted to know whether the Arab states would not be prepared to agree to limited Jewish immigration to Palestine, if the idea of establishing a Jewish State were given up. Khoury, replying for the Arab group, said: “For the moment no, but an independent Palestine may make its own decision.”


The last witness to testify was Philip Piratin, Communist member of Parliament, who submitted a memorandum on behalf of his party stressing that Palestine is not a free country and, therefore, cannot be one of the countries to admit refugees.

The memorandum expressed regret at the fact that little has been done to implement the White Paper’s pledge to make Palestine independent. It declared that the Communist Party does not believe that it would be in the interests of refugees to change their citizenship from that of a free country to that of a country with a colonial status. It requested that Palestine be made an independent state where Jews and Arabs will be enabled to live together as equal citizens.

“We reject Zionism, because it denies the possibility of solving the Jewish problem on the basis of equal rights in countries where Jews live,” Piratin said, adding that displaced Jews should be told to seek rehabilitation in their countries of origin, while those who cannot return to their native lands should be admitted to all countries of the world and be made free citizens there.”

Questioned whether the Jewish members of the Communist Party hold the same views, Piratin replied he could not ascertain that, but added that some of them would like to see a Jewish National Home in Palestine. Asked how many Jews were in the British Communist Party, Piratin said that his party was not a Jewish organization and that the percentage of Jews belonging to it corresponded to their percentage of the general population. There are only two Jews among the thirty members of the party’s executive committee, he stated.

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