By Eric Vandenbroeck

A critical history of Palestine Part 1.

Having recently introduced the new book by Penny Sinanoglou "Partitioning Palestine: British Policymaking at the End of Empire"(published 22 November 2019) I should not fail to mention another important work that soon will be available titled Unexpected State: British Politics and the Creation of Israel by Carly Beckerman which expands on how and why the British wanted the creation of a new British Palestine.

As is known, the land that is now the State of Israel corresponds roughly to the lands known in ancient times as Judea, Samaria, Idumea, and Galilee, and was inhabited by Jews. In A.D. 134, the Romans expelled the Jews from the area in retal­iation for a revolt against their rule led by the self­appointed messiah Simon Bar Kokhba; as an insult to the Jews and to efface any traces of their connection to the land, they renamed Jerusalem Aelia Capitolina and the region Palestine, a name they plucked from the Bible, as it was the name of the Israelites' ancient enemies, the Philistines. When the British re-named the part of the Ottoman Empire they wanted to occupy "Palestine" they, as the Romans had previously done, borrowed the name from the Philistines which as recent archeological and DNA evidence showed were invaders from Greece that came to occupy a sliver of land where today's Gaza is located.

Of the two new books under discussion Carly Beckerman's book is the one that brakes the newest ground. Drawing on foreign policy analysis and previously unused archival sources, Unexpected State considers the strategic interests, the high-stakes international diplomacy, and the tangle of political maneuvering in Westminster that determined the future of Palestine. Contrary to established literature, Beckerman argues that British policy toward the territory was dominated by seemingly unrelated domestic and international political battles that left little room for considerations of Zionist or Palestinian interests and arguments. She further clarifies this by concluding that many studies often contradict each other and that her survey is intended to demonstrate a combination of the factors that drove British decision-making under the curious and distinct political atmosphere created by a world war.

To do this, Beckerman includes various previously not published documents where she shows that the development of policy in Palestine was based primarily on the need to satisfy British domestic political concerns. This was not because what came to be Palestine was unimportant, but rather because Palestine policy frequently overlapped with issues more crucial to individual governments’ political survival.

As Beckerman accurately points out is that the initial British interests in Palestine evolved from two considerations: securing military lines of communication, and, after the Sykes-Picot Agreement, preventing a French Palestine.  Prime Minister David Lloyd George intended to use British forces advancing on Gaza to present the French with a fait accompli, the British occupation of Palestine would constitute a strong claim to ownership. They did not need Zionism to do so. This strategy, however, risked a direct political confrontation with a much-needed ally. To avoid this eventuality, the ubiquitous Sir Mark Sykes pursued Zionism – a “just cause” with interests in Palestine, to legitimate what were fundamentally strategic claims. As a result, Sykes began to introduce Zionist interests in his negotiations with Picot which resulted in the famous Sykes-Picot agreement.

However, both Penny Sinanoglou and Carly Beckerman, as well as other recent books about this subject usually start with the Balfour declaration and thus by default leave out the actual origin of what now is called Palestine and why also Mark Sykes (prime expert  also known from the Sykes-Picot map) who visited the what became a re-invented British Palestine as early as 1886 when he reported the area was quite empty (on this see more below).


Palestine as the land of the Philistines

When the British re-named the part of the Ottoman Empire they wanted to occupy "Palestine" they, as the Romans had previously done, borrowed the name from the Philistines which as recent archeological and DNA evidence showed were invaders from Greece that came to occupy a sliver of land where today's  Gaza is located. The League of Nations then granted a mandate to the British of a tract of land that also included what earlier was Judea, Samaria, Idumea, and Galilee, with the condition that this newly created mandate would include a homeland for Jewish settlers in accordance with the agreement between the various allies at the end of the First World War.

Ein Bild, das Text, Karte enthält.

Automatisch generierte Beschreibung

Looking at it from this perspective and given the fact that research by the German Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History established that the so-called Philistines where Greek immigrants and also as was confirmed by DNA evidence skeletons from Crete and Iberia, this dismisses the earlier myth (which interested parties still promulgate today) that these the later arriving southern European people [are] descended from the Canaanite tribe of the Jebusites that inhabited the ancient site of Jerusalem as early as 3200 BCE. Apart from the conclusive DNA research also elsewhere no archeological evidence, or evidence of any other kind, has ever been found to substantiate the claim by present-day Palestinian nationalists who claim there is a direct link between the ancient Canaanites or Jebusites and the modern-day Palestinians.

The first records of the Philistines are inscriptions and reliefs in the mortuary temple of Ramses III at Madinat Habu, where they appear under the name prst, as one of the Sea Peoples that invaded Egypt about 1190 BCE after ravaging Anatolia, Cyprus, and Syria. After being repulsed by the Egyptians they settled on the coastal plain of Palestine.

As indicated, the land that is now the State of Israel corresponds roughly to the areas known in ancient times as Judea, Samaria, Idumea, and Galilee, and was inhabited by Jews. In A.D.134, the Romans expelled the Jews from the area in retaliation for a revolt against their rule led by the self-appointed messiah Simon Bar Kokhba; as an insult to the Jews and to efface any traces of their connection to the land, they renamed Jerusalem Aelia Capitolina and the region Palestine, a name they plucked from the Bible, as it was the name of the Israelites’ ancient enemies, the Philistines.

In the following letter by Bar Kochba, written during (a next) revolt against Rome in 132-135 CE, he seeks to recruit "Galileans," which some scholars interpreted as Christians. Emperor Hadrian however, feared the revolt could spark the hopes of enslaved peoples across the Roman Empire.

Subsequently, Palestine was the name of a region but never of a people or a political entity. The area that was Palestine was part of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire until the Arabs conquered it. Later it came under the control of the Turks, who ruled it until the Ottoman Empire collapsed at the end of World War I.


Jews in alleged Palestine

Throughout all this time, even as invaders overwhelmed the land, a Jewish presence remained, particularly in Galilee. In the year 438, the Byzantine Empress Eudocia removed the prohibition on Jews praying at the site of their ancient Temple in Jerusalem, a prohibition that had been in place for three hundred years. Jewish leaders in Galilee sent out a message to “the great and mighty people of the Jews,” relaying the happy news and declaring: “Know then that the end of the exile of our people has come.”1

It hadn’t, but some Jews still persevered and continued to live in the region. In the tenth century, Jewish leaders in Palestine issued another call to the Jews to return to their homeland.2 But the various invaders and occupiers of the land of Israel never made aliyah (“going up,” or returning to the land of Israel) an easy or attractive option. On July 15, 1099, after some of their numbers had terrorized and murdered Jews all across Europe as they made their way to the 'Holy Land', the Crusaders finally entered Jerusalem, after a five-week siege. Once inside the city, they encountered a significant number of Jews and were no kinder to them than they had been to their brethren in Europe. According to the twelfth-century Syrian Muslim chronicler al-Azimi, “they burned the Church of the Jews.”3

A contemporary of al-Azimi and a fellow chronicler, Ibn al-Qalanisi, added: “The Franks stormed the town and gained possession of it. A number of the townsfolk fled to the sanctuary, and a great host was killed. The Jews assembled in the synagogue, and the Franks burned it over their heads. The sanctuary was surrendered to them on the guarantee of safety on 22 Sha’ban [14 July] of this year, and they destroyed the shrines and the tomb of Abraham.”4

The Crusaders, expanding on the prohibition that the Romans had set centuries before, forbade Jews to enter Palestine, but some came anyway. In 1140, with the Crusaders still ruling Jerusalem, the Spanish philosopher and poet Yehudah Halevi wrote in his Kuzari, or Book of Refutation and Proof in Support of the Despised Religion, that Jews could be closest to the God of Israel within Israel itself. He then set out for the land, only to be killed in Jerusalem the following year, run down by an enraged Arab Muslim’s horse as he sang his famous elegy, “Zion ha-lo Tish’ali.”5

Yet still, some Jews remained in the Holy Land, and Jews continued to emigrate to it, including another renowned philosopher, Maimonides, in the thirteenth century. But the Jews in the Holy Land always faced hardship. At the end of the fifteenth century, the Czech traveler Martin Kabátnik encountered Jews during a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and reported that they still thought of the area as their land: “The heathens [that is, the Muslim rulers] oppress them at their pleasure. They know that the Jews think and say that this is the Holy Land that was promised to them. Those of them who live here are regarded as holy by the other Jews, for in spite of all the tribulations and the agonies that they suffer at the hands of the heathen, they refuse to leave the place.”6 Shortly after that, nearly thirty Jewish communities were counted in Palestine.7

These communities faced continual oppression. In 1576, the Ottoman Sultan Murad III ordered the deportation of one thousand Jews from the city of Safed to Cyprus, not as punishment for anything they had done but arbitrarily because he wanted to bolster the Cypriot economy.8 It is not known whether the order was carried out. Still, if it was, the deportees may have been better off, at least in material terms: two travelers who visited Safed in the early seventeenth century said that for the Jews of that city, “life here is the poorest and most miserable that one can imagine…. They pay for the very air they breathe.”9 But they were still there, and they remained.

The Turks taxed the Jews based on the Qur’anic command that the “People of the Book” (primarily Jews and Christians) must be made to “pay the jizya [tax] with willing submission and feel themselves subdued” (9:29). In 1674, a Jesuit priest, Father Michael Naud, wrote that the Jews of Jerusalem were resigned to “paying heavily to the Turk for their right to stay here…. They prefer being prisoners in Jerusalem to enjoying the freedom they could acquire elsewhere. The love of the Jews for the Holy Land, which they lost through their betrayal [of Christ], is unbelievable.”10 And Jews were coming from elsewhere to live there: “Many of them come from Europe to find a little comfort, though the yoke is heavy.”11

It was indeed. Even aside from the political oppression, the land itself was increasingly inhospitable. By the end of the eighteenth century, only two hundred fifty thousand to three hundred thousand people, including ten thousand to fifteen thousand Jews, lived in what had become a backwater with harsh and forbidding terrain and climate.12 Yet still, Jews came. In 1810, the disciples of the great Talmudic scholar known as the Vilna Gaon arrived in the land of Israel from the Russian Empire and rejoiced even though they were well aware of the hardness of the land to which they had come: Truly, how marvelous it is to live in the good country. Truly, how wonderful it is to love our country. Even in her ruin, there is none to compare with her, even in her desolation she is unequaled, in her silence, there is none like her. Good is her ashes and her stones.13

In 1847, the U.S. Navy commander William F. Lynch made an expedition to the Jordan River, the Dead Sea, and the surrounding areas, and encountered Jews all over the region. In Tiberias, wrote Lynch, “we had letters to the chief rabbi of the Jews, who came to meet us, and escorted us through a labyrinth of streets to the house of Heim Weisman, a brother Israelite.”14 He found that the Jews of the city “have two  synagogues, the Sephardim and Askeniazim, but lived harmoniously together.” He found evidence of continued Jewish immigration: “There are many Polish Jews, with light complexions, among them. They describe themselves as very poor, and maintained by the charitable contributions of Jews abroad, mostly in Europe.”15

In Tiberias, the Jews outnumbered others: “There are about three hundred families, or one thousand Jews, in this town. The Sanhedrin consists of seventy rabbis, of whom thirty are natives and forty Franks, mostly from Poland, with a few from Spain. The rabbis stated that controversial matters of discipline among Jews all over the world are referred to as this Sanhedrin. Besides the Jews, there are in Tiberias from three to four hundred Muslims and two or three Latins, from Nazareth.”16

Lynch saw Ottoman oppression up close and held a dim view of the sultanate, of which he wrote presciently: “It needs but the destruction of that power which, for so many centuries, has rested like an incubus upon the eastern world, to ensure the  restoration of the Jews to Palestine.”17


Palestine largely depopulated in 1869

So the Jews were always in the land they supposedly returned to only after two thousand years of absence as a result of the Zionist project. But the Palestinian Arabs were still there also, no?

No. Instead, travelers to the area over many centuries agree: the land was desolate and largely depopulated.

Writing some seventy years after the Romans expelled the Jews from their land in the year 134, the Roman historian Dio Cassius states: “The whole of Judea became desert, as indeed had been foretold in their sacred rites, fell of its own accord into fragments, and wolves and hyenas, many in number, roamed howling through their cities.”18

An English visitor to Jerusalem wrote in 1590 (spelling as in the original):“Nothing there is to be seen but a little of the old walls, which is yet Remaining and all the rest is grasse, mosse and Weedes much like to a piece of Rank or moist Grounde.”19 In 1697, the English traveler Henry Maundrell found Nazareth to be “an inconsiderable village,” while Acre was “a few poor cottages” and Jericho a “poor nasty village.” All in all, there was “nothing here but a vast and spacious ruin.”20

Some fifty years later, another English traveler, Thomas Shaw, noted that Palestine was “lacking in people to till its fertile soil.”21 The French count Constantine François Volney, an eighteenth-century historian, called Palestine “ruined” and “desolate,” observing that “many parts” had “lost almost all their peasantry.”22

Volney complained that this desolation was unexpected, for the Ottoman imperial records listed larger populations, which led to tax collection efforts’ being frustrated. Of one area, Volney wrote: “Upwards of three thousand two hundred villages were reckoned, but, at present, the collector can scarcely find four hundred. Such of our merchants as having resided there twenty years have themselves seen the greater part of the environs…become depopulated. The traveler meets with nothing but houses in ruins, cisterns rendered useless, and fields abandoned. Those who cultivated them have fled.”23

Another English traveler, James Silk Buckingham, visited Jaffa in 1816 and wrote that it had “all the appearances of a poor village, and every part of it that we saw was of corresponding meanness.”24 In Ramle, said Buckingham, “as throughout the greater part of Palestine, the ruined portion seemed more extensive than that which was inhabited.”25 Twenty-two years later, the British nobleman Alexander William Crawford Lindsay, Lord Lindsay, declared that “all Judea, except the hills of Hebron and the vales immediately about Jerusalem, is desolate and barren.”26

 In 1840, another traveler to Palestine praised the Syrians as a “fine spirited race of men,” but whose “population is on the decline.” He noted that the land between Hebron and Bethlehem was “now abandoned and desolate,” marked by “dilapidated towns.”27 Jerusalem was nothing more than “a large number of houses…in a dilapidated and ruinous state,” with “the masses…without any regular employment.”28 In 1847, the U.S. Navy’s Lynch noted: “The population of Jaffa is now about 13,000, viz: Turks, 8000; Greeks, 2000; Armenians, 2000; Maronites, 700; and Jews, about 300.”29 Significantly, he counted no Arabs there at all.

Still another traveling English clergyman, Henry Burgess Whitaker Churton, saw the desolation of Judea as the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. In 1852, he published Thoughts on the Land of the Morning: A Record of Two Visits to Palestine. “Soon after leaving the Mount of Olives,” Churton recounted, “the country becomes an entire desolation for eighteen miles of mountain, until we reached the plain of the Jordan. It is foretold (Ezekiel, vi. 14), and is remarkably fulfilled, that Judea should be more desolate than the desert itself. That plain itself is now, in great measure, bare as a desert…”30 The following year, one of Churton’s fellow clergymen, the Reverend Arthur G. H. Hollingsworth, published his treatise, Remarks Upon the Present Condition and Future Prospects of the Jews in Palestine. Hollingsworth’s observations are jarring to those who had uncritically accepted the idea that Palestine was always considered Arab land before the Jews arrived. According to Hollingsworth, the Arabs had no particular affection for the area, and it was the Turks who claimed it:

The population of Palestine is composed of Arabs, who roam about the plains or lurk in the mountain fastnesses as robbers and strangers, having no settled home, and without any fixed attachment to the land.

Hollingsworth found the Christians of the area to be little better off:  In many of the ruined cities and villages, there also exists a limited number of Christian families, uncivilized, and not knowing from what race they derive their origin. Weak, and without influence, they tremblingly hold their miserable possessions from year to year, without security, and without wealth, in a land which they confess is not their own. The Turks monopolize for themselves the spoils and power of conquerors. They claim the land; they levy the uncertain and oppressive taxes.31

Even the Ottoman government, however, was not at home there:  No Christian is secure against insult, robbery, and ruin. The Ottoman government is weak and violent, rapacious, and uncertain in its justice, tyrannical and capricious; their soldiery and merchants amount to a few thousand, in a country where millions were formerly happy and prosperous. The influence of such a government never extends beyond the shadow of their standards. They are always in the attitude of a hostile army, encamped in a land which is only held by forcible possession; like a garrison underarms, they retain the country by the law of the sword and not by inheritance. It is a sullen conquest and not a peaceable settlement.32

Hollingsworth, like so many others, bore witness to the land’s steady depopulation: The Arab and Christian populations diminish every year. Poverty, distress, insecurity, robbery, and disease continue to weaken the inhabitants of this fine country.33

He did notice, however, one group that was increasing in number: Amongst the scattered and feeble population of this once happy country, is found, however, an increasing number of poor Jews; some of their most learned men reside in the holy cities of Jerusalem, Hebron, and Tiberias. Their synagogues are still in existence. Jews frequently arrive in Palestine from every nation in Europe, and remain there for many years; and others die with the satisfaction of mingling their remains with their forefathers’ dust, which fills every valley, and is found in every cave.34

The Jews weren’t exactly thriving in Palestine. They eked out an existence there against enormous odds. Hollingsworth explains that the Turks made life extremely difficult for the Jews: He creeps along that soil, where his forefathers proudly strode in the fulness of incredible prosperity, as an alien, an outcast, a creature less than a dog, and below the oppressed Christian beggar in his ancestral plains and cities. No harvest ripens for his hand, for he cannot tell whether he will be permitted to gather it. The land occupied by a Jew is exposed to robbery and waste. Most peevish jealousy exists against the landed prosperity, or financial wealth, or trading advancement of the Jew. Hindrances exist to the settlement of a British Christian in that country. Still, a thousand petty obstructions are created to prevent the establishment of a Jew on wasteland, or to the purchase and rental of land by a Jew.

What security exists, that a Jewish immigrant settling in Palestine, could receive fair remuneration for his capital and labor? None whatever. He might toil, but his harvests would be reaped by others; the Arab robber can rush in and carry off his flocks and herds. If he appeals for redress to the nearest Pasha, the taint of his

and darkens the brows of his oppressors; if he turns to his neighbor Christian, he encounters prejudice and spite; if he claims a Turkish guard, he is insolently repulsed and scorned. How can he bring his capital into such a country, when that fugitive possession flies from places where the sword is drawn to snatch it from the owner’s hands and not protect it?35

By 1857, according to the British consul in Palestine, “the country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is that of a body of population.”36 Henry Baker Tristram, yet another in the seemingly endless stream of English travelers, reported in the 1860s that “the north and south [of the Sharon plain] land is going out of cultivation and whole villages are rapidly disappearing from the face of the earth. Since the year 1838, no less than 20 villages there have been thus erased from the map, and the stationary population extirpated.”37

The most celebrated chronicler of Palestine’s pre-Zionist desolation was Mark Twain, who wrote about his travels in the Holy Land in The Innocents Abroad in 1869. That is three years after Mark Sykes was there the first time. It is Twain’s literary genius that gives us the most indelible images of the wasteland that was Palestine:  Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes. Over it broods the spell of a curse that has withered its fields and fettered its energies. Where Sodom and Gomorrah reared their domes and towers, that solemn sea now floods the plain, in whose bitter waters no living thing exists—over whose waveless surface the blistering air hangs motionless and dead—about whose borders nothing grows but weeds, and scattering tufts of cane, and that treacherous fruit that promises refreshment to parching lips, but turns to ashes at the touch. Nazareth is forlorn; about that ford of Jordan where the hosts of Israel entered a solitude that is inhabited only by birds of prey and skulking foxes. Palestine is desolate and unlovely. And why should it be otherwise? Can the curse of the Deity beautify a land? Palestine is no more of this work-day world. It is sacred to poetry and tradition—it is dream-land.38

In Jezreel, Twain recounted the Bible’s Song of Deborah and Barak, and then added: “Stirring scenes like these occur in this valley no more. There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent—not for thirty miles in either direction. There are two or three small clusters of Bedouin tents, but not a single permanent habitation. One may ride ten miles, hereabouts, and not see ten human beings.”39 Twain found the Sea of Galilee and its surrounding areas no less desolate:

It is solitude, for birds and squirrels on the shore and fishes in the water are all the creatures that are near to make it otherwise. Still, it is not the sort of solitude to make one dreary. Come to Galilee for that. If these unpeopled deserts, these rusty mounds of barrenness, that never, never, never do shake the glare from their harsh outlines, and fade and faint into vague perspective; that melancholy ruin of Capernaum; this stupid village of Tiberias, slumbering under its six funereal plumes of palms; yonder desolate declivity where the swine of the miracle ran down into the sea, and doubtless thought it was better to swallow a devil or two and get drowned into the bargain than have to live longer in such a place; this cloudless, blistering sky; this solemn, sailless, tintless lake, reposing within its rim of yellow hills and low, steep banks, and looking just as expressionless and unpoetical (when we leave its sublime history out of the question,) as any metropolitan reservoir in Christendom—if these things are not food for rock me to sleep, mother, none exist, I think.40 [That is, the area was exceedingly tranquil.]

Sir John William Dawson stated the obvious in 1888 when he said: “No nation has been able to establish itself as a nation in Palestine up to this day. No national union and no national spirit has prevailed there. The various impoverished tribes which have occupied it have held it as mere tenants at will, temporary landowners, evidently waiting for those entitled to the permanent possession of the soil.”41

The wait would not be much longer. An English clergyman, Reverend Samuel Manning, described the Plain of Sharon as “a land without inhabitants” that “might support an immense population.”42


British Christian Zionists

The desolate land was catching the attention of Christian politicians in nineteenth-century Britain. They began expressing the idea that it would be in the best interests of the Jews and the world if the Jews returned to Palestine and reclaimed it as their homeland. In 1838, Lord Lindsay published the first edition of his Letters on Egypt, Edom, and the Holy Land after traveling through Palestine. He opined that “it is possible that, in the changes of the Turkish empire, Palestine may again become a civilized country, under Greek or Latin influences; that the Jewish race, so wonderfully preserved, may yet have another stage of national existence opened to them; that they may once more obtain possession of their native land, and invest it with interest greater than it could have under any other circumstances.”43

Lindsay characterized the absence of the land’s actual indigenous people to be its chief drawback: Many, I believe, entertain the idea that a real curse rests on the soil of Palestine and maybe startled, therefore, at the testimony I have borne to its actual richness. No other curse, I conceive, rests upon it, then that induced by the removal of the ancient inhabitants, and the will of the Almighty that the modern occupants should never be so numerous as to invalidate the prophecy that the land should enjoy her Sabbaths so long as the rightful heirs remain in the area of their enemies…. [T]he land still enjoys her Sabbaths, and only waits the return of her banished children. The application of industry commensurate with her agricultural capabilities, to burst once more into universal luxuriance, and be all that she ever was in the days of Solomon.44

Anthony Ashley Cooper, seventh earl of Shaftesbury, a member of Parliament and a devout Christian, was of much the same mind. On July 24, 1838, he wrote that he was “anxious about the hopes and destinies of the Jewish people:”

Everything seems ripe for their return to Palestine; ‘the way of the kings of the East is prepared.’ Could the five Powers of the West be induced to guarantee the security of life and possessions to the Hebrew race, they would now flow back in rapidly augmenting numbers. The inherent vitality of the Hebrew race reasserts itself with incredible persistence; its genius, to tell the truth, adapts itself more or less all over the world, nevertheless always emerging with distinctive features and a gallant recovery of vigor. There is an unbroken identity of Jewish ideas down to our times: but the great revival can take place only in the Holy Land.45

Shaftesbury was determined not just to talk about this but to act upon it: “By the blessing of God I will prepare a document, fortify it by all the evidence I can accumulate, and, confiding to the wisdom and mercy of the Almighty, lay it before the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.”46

Shaftesbury went to Lord Palmerston, who was the secretary of state for foreign affairs at the time and laid the proposal before him. He recorded Palmerston’s measured reaction in his diary:

August 1st, 1838.—Dined with Palmerston. After dinner left alone with him. Propounded my scheme, which seemed to strike his fancy, he asked some questions and readily promised to consider it. How singular is the order of Providence! Unique, that is if estimated by man’s ways! Palmerston had already been chosen by God to be an instrument of good to His ancient people, to do homage, as it were, to their inheritance, and to recognize their rights without believing their destiny. And it seems he will yet do more. But though the motive is kind, it is not sound. I am forced to argue politically, financially, commercially; these considerations strike him home; he weeps not like his Master over Jerusalem, nor prays that now, at last, she may put on her beautiful garments. 47

Meanwhile, Shaftesbury continued to spread the idea that Jews should return to Palestine. He read Lindsay’s work and was impressed. In a January 1839 magazine article, he gave Letters on Egypt, Edom, and the Holy Land an enthusiastic review and proposed making Lindsay’s hope a reality by resettling the Jews in Palestine under British rule or at least military protection. This would, he argued, be in the best interests of Britain itself: The soil and climate of Palestine are singularly adapted to the growth of produce required for the exigencies of Great Britain; the finest cotton may be obtained in almost unlimited abundance; silk and madder are the staples of the country, and olive oil is now, as it ever was, the very fatness of the land. Capital and skill are alone required: the presence of a British officer, and the increased security of property which his presence will confer, may invite them from these islands to the cultivation of Palestine; and the Jews, who will betake themselves to agriculture in no other land, having found, in the English consul, a mediator between their people and the Pacha, will probably return in yet more significant numbers, and become once more the husbandmen of Judaea and Galilee.48

It was Lord Shaftesbury who coined the apposite phrase “A land without people, for a people without a land.”49

In 1840, his meeting with the foreign secretary bore fruit: Palmerston offered the British government’s protection to Jews in Palestine and even communicated to the Ottoman sultan his opinion that it would benefit the Ottoman Empire if “the Jews who are scattered throughout other countries in Europe and Africa should be induced to go and settle in Palestine.” The sultan did not respond favorably, and Zionism remained a concern primarily of the British. Lieutenant-Colonel George Gawler, who had served as the British governor of Australia, issued this call in 1845: “Replenish the farms and fields of Palestine with the energetic people whose warmest affection are rooted in the soil.” In 1852, Gawler founded the Association for Promoting Jewish Settlement in Palestine.50

The Zionist idea was not forgotten in nineteenth-century Britain. It would continue to be considered at the highest levels of the British government, along with, paradoxically, schemes that would challenge Zionism at its core.

The Ottomans attempted to stop the Zionist movement altogether by banning Jewish immigration to its domains. The British were concerned. On November 19, 1891, the interim British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Sir William Arthur White, wrote to British Prime Minister Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, third marquess of Salisbury, confirming that the prime minister had instructed him to ask the Sublime Porte for “further explanations concerning the recent prohibition against Jewish immigrants entering the Ottoman Empire.”51

Nonetheless, those immigrants kept coming. After the outbreak of World War I, taking into account all the support for Zionism among highly placed Britons and reasoning that they would fare better if Palestine were under British rule rather than that of the Ottomans, many Jews in Palestine aided the British in numerous ways. The Ottomans responded with a campaign of mass deportations of Jews. In 1917, Ottoman officials rounded up the seven thousand Jews who were living in Jaffa and sent them north on a brutal forced march out of Palestine.52 This was not an isolated incident. By the end of the war, the Jewish population of Palestine had been reduced from its prewar total of ninety thousand to fewer than sixty thousand.53

Nevertheless, as they had throughout history, Jews continued to come to the land. The British Royal Commission stated accurately in 1937 that “always…since the fall of the Jewish state, some Jews have been living in Palestine. Fresh immigrants arrived from time and time…[and] settled mainly in Galilee, in numerous villages spreading northwards to the Lebanon and in the towns of Safad and Tiberias.”54


The Muslim Arab Influx

Arabs began to come as well, although their presence in the land remained generally sparse. In 1830, Muhammad Ali of Egypt conquered Jaffa, Nablus, and Beisan and settled Egyptian and Sudanese Muslim Arab soldiers there. Around the same time, the French conquest of Algeria led to an exodus of North African Muslims who refused to live under infidel rule. They came in large numbers to Palestine. Once there, they followed the pattern of the Turks and other Arab Muslims in making life as difficult as they possibly could for the Jews. “They constitute,” noted another English clergyman, the Reverend W. M. Christie, who lived in Haifa in the early twentieth century, “the most fanatical section of the Palestine population.”55

In a glimpse of what was to come, Christie added: “To a great extent without education, they are ready to accept any statement concerning things done to the detriment of Islam, and to act without a sense of responsibility. In 1889, we often heard it remarked that the 10,000 Moslems living in a state of barbarism in the Moghrabiyeh quarter were a real danger to the city. In the recent massacres [of Jews] in Safed, it was this party that carried through the nefarious work.”56

These North African Muslims were not singular. Many, if not most, of the Arabs in Palestine were not the descendants of those who had conquered the land in the seventh century. Most of them had arrived from elsewhere. In 1930, Christie published a study entitled “Arabs and Jews in Palestine.” He noted “the settlement of sections of Yemenite and Kaisite Arabs in Nazareth and Cana of Galilee,” as well as “representatives of the Muslim rulers settled in the larger towns—Jerusalem, Hebron, Nablus, Jenin, Nazareth, and Acre. These are probably represented today by the Effendi class, who claim, without genealogical proof, however, to be the descendants of the conquerors.”57

Apparently most present-day Palestinians arrived from elsewhere.

Muslims came from far-off lands. According to Christie, when the great twelfth-century jihad warrior Saladin “was hard-pressed by the Crusaders, he begged help from Persia, and in response, there came 150,000 Persian Moslems, who ultimately received for services rendered lands in Upper Galilee and the Sidon district.”58

Christie added: “Other Arabic-speaking settlers have come from various places outside of Palestine proper.”59 He explained that these included Christians, Christians, who were brought into the area in the latter half of the nineteenth century from Lebanon and many other places, “and the only soldering element is their common Arabic speech.”60 In Galilee, he said, “we meet with Maronites and Druses, both clearly immigrants,” adding that the Shi’ite Muslims of that region had a “non-Galilean origin.”61 Christie concluded: “There remains the ‘Arab’ peasantry or villagers. Every evidence points to their being Arabs only in the matter of language. They have much less Arabic blood than any of the sections of the people already named…”62

In 1938, the historian William B. Ziff wrote: At the turn of the [twentieth] century, there were 40,000 Jews in Palestine and about 140,000 others of all complexions. The inhabitants had no other feeling for this pauperized, disease-ridden country than a fervent desire to get away from it. Emigration proceeded steadily. Immigration was virtually non-existent. Not until the Zionists had arrived in numbers did the Arab population begin to augment itself. The introduction of European standards of wage and life acted like a magnet on the entire Near East. Abruptly Palestine became an Arab center of attraction. By 1922, after a quarter-century of Jewish colonization, their numbers mushroomed to 488,000. Today they are over a million.

It is precisely in the vicinity of these Jewish villages that Arab development is most marked. Arab Haifa, profiting by the Zionist boom, grew from 1922 to 1936 by 130%, Jaffa by 80%, and Jerusalem by 55%. The rural Arab settlement in the Tel Aviv district increased by over 135%. The all-Arab city of Nablus, which held 33,000 before the war, has fallen to less than 12,000. Safed, which had 20,000, dropped to less than 9,000.63

Ein Bild, das Text, Karte enthält.

Automatisch generierte Beschreibung

Winston Churchill observed drily in 1939 when Arab Muslims were ever more frequently presenting the British with claims of having been victimized by the Jews, that “far from being persecuted, the Arabs have crowded into the country.”64

Thus the recent myth of a stable and settled Palestinian-Arab-Muslim population that had lived in villages and worked the land for centuries, only to be displaced by the Zionist invaders, appears to be inconsistent with the recorded demographic data gathered not by the Jews or Zionists but rather by the local authorities themselves. J. L. Burkhardt reported that as early as in the second decade of the nineteenth century, “Few individuals . . . die in the same village in which they were born. Families are continually moving from one place to another . . . in a few years . . . they fly to some other place, where they have heard that their brethren are better treated.”65

Some Muslims apparently had been attracted to the new areas of Jewish settlement by the jobs made available by Jewish immigration and cultivation of land. A study of the Jewish settlement of Rishon L’Tzion, first established in 1882, showed that the 40 Jewish families that settled there had attracted “more than 400 Arab families,” many of which were Bedouin and Egyptian. These families moved into areas around the Jewish settlement and formed a new Arab village on the site of “a forsaken ruin.”66 The report observed a similar pattern about other settlements and villages.   

Although it is impossible to reconstruct with any confidence the precise number of Arabs-Muslims-Palestinians who had lived for generations in what eventually became the Jewish area under the partition, the number is far below that claimed by Palestinian polemicists. According to one historian, “at least 25% of [the Muslims  who lived in all of Palestine in 1882] were newcomers or descendants of those who   arrived after [the Egyptian conquest of 1831].”67 In addition to the Egyptian influx,  there was considerable immigration of Turks, Greeks, and Algerians.

Moreover, many of the Palestinian Muslims who were attracted to western Palestine between 1882 and 1893 came from eastern Palestine (the West and East Banks of the Jordan). Combining these figures leads to the inescapable conclusion that the number of Palestinians with deep roots in the areas of Jewish settlement, although impossible to estimate with confidence—constitutes a tiny fraction of the more than a million Palestinian Arabs who now live in Israel.  

The number of Muslims who lived in the Jewish areas grew dramatically after the  Jewish settlements blossomed not only because many Arabs were attracted to the newly settled areas and newly cultivated land but also because the Jewish presence improved health care, cut infant mortality, and expanded adult life expectancy. A  British official reported in 1937 that “the growth in [the numbers of Arab fellahin]  had been largely due to the health services combating malaria, reducing infant  death rates, improving water supply, and sanitation.”68 These improvements began with modern hospitals and water and sanitary systems introduced into Palestine by the Jewish refugees from Europe. 


Stolen land?

Another familiar theme of pro-Palestinian literature today is that the State of Israel exists on “stolen land”; stolen, from the indigenous people of Palestine. Yet one can argue that the land is no more stolen than the Palestinian Arabs are its indigenous inhabitants. As the Ottoman Empire was in its death throes, the British government began to look ahead. On November 2, 1917, British foreign secretary Arthur Balfour issued a momentous statement in a letter to Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild, the leader of the British Jewish community: His Majesty’s government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country. 69

This was a significant boost for the Zionist project, as it was the first time that a substantial power has expressed support for it, and Jewish immigration into Palestine increased. The British, however, we're playing both sides. At the same time that they committed themselves to the establishment of “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, they were also encouraging the most vociferous opponents of the Zionist project, the Arabs. Indeed, no less an authority than Colonel T. E. Lawrence, the celebrated “Lawrence of Arabia,” admitted that the very concept of Arab nationalism was a British invention. To be sure, the Arab Muslims of Palestine had always hated the Jews, but the Arabs, in general, had hated one another as well. According to Lawrence, however, “the phrase Arab Movement was invented in Cairo as a common denominator for all the vague discontents against Turkey which before 1916 existed in the Arab provinces.

In a non-constitutional country, these naturally took on a revolutionary character, and it was convenient to pretend to find common ground for all of them.”70  The British colonel Richard Meinertzhagen, who served as head of Britain’s military intelligence in Cairo and later as His Majesty’s chief political officer for Palestine and Syria, was blunter: “Arab national feeling is based on our gold and nothing else.”71  Even worse, Colonel Lawrence, in the course of building the “Lawrence of Arabia” myth about himself, propagated, primarily in his massive 1926 book Seven Pillars of Wisdom, the idea that the Arabs, with a bit of help from Lawrence himself, had played a decisive role in the defeat of the Turks in World War I, driving them out of Arabia and ultimately even capturing Damascus, setting the stage for the fall of the empire itself. Hollywood chimed in on this myth-making with the 1962 blockbuster film Lawrence of Arabia. This myth proved to be extraordinarily destructive, for, after the Balfour Declaration, it became a staple of Arab Muslim propaganda that the Arabs had heroically and nobly come to the aid of the British against the Turks in World War I, and instead of being rewarded, were cruelly betrayed by the perfidious Albionites, who gave the land that had been promised to them to the Zionists instead. The reality was far from this. Even Lawrence, after building his myth, admitted in a rare moment of candor that the help the Arabs offered to bring down the Ottoman Empire was not at all decisive, but “a sideshow of a sideshow.”72  Richard Aldington, whose 1955 book Lawrence of Arabia: A Biographical Enquiry does much to dispel the myths that Lawrence had woven, discounts the claim that the Arabs contributed much of anything at all to the British war effort, saying of its wartime activities: “To claim that these spasmodic and comparatively trifling efforts had any serious bearing on the war with Turkey, let alone on the greater war beyond is…absurd.”73

Lawrence of Arabia. This myth proved to be extraordinarily destructive, for, after the Balfour Declaration, it became a staple of Arab Muslim propaganda that the Arabs had heroically and nobly come to the aid of the British against the Turks in World War I, and instead of being rewarded, were cruelly betrayed by the perfidious Albionites, who gave the land that had been promised to them to the Zionists instead. The reality was far from this. Even Lawrence, after building his myth, admitted in a rare moment of candor that the help the Arabs offered to bring down the Ottoman Empire was not at all decisive, but “a sideshow of a sideshow.”74  Richard Aldington, whose 1955 book Lawrence of Arabia: A Biographical Enquiry does much to dispel the myths that Lawrence had woven, discounts the claim that the Arabs contributed much of anything at all to the British war effort, saying of its wartime activities: “To claim that these spasmodic and comparatively trifling efforts had any serious bearing on the war with Turkey, let alone on the greater war beyond is…absurd.”75

Indeed, says Aldington, “much of the effort of the Arab forces…was diverted to hanging around on the outskirts of Medina and to attacks on that part of the Damascus-Medina railway which was of the least importance strategically.”76  Even worse (detailed on this website) was the Arab role in the British victory over the Turks in the Battle of Megiddo, which broke Ottoman power toward the end of the war. Aldington says that General Edmund “Allenby’s great breakthrough in September 1918 provided [the Arabs] with sitting targets which nobody could miss, and the chance to race hysterically into towns which they claimed to have captured after the British had done  the real fighting.”77  The British encouraged the Arabs in this. The Muslim historian Muhammad Kurd Ali recounts that “whenever the British Army captured a town or reduced a fortress which was to be given to the Arabs it would halt until the Arabs would enter, and the capture would be credited to them.”78

This was calculated to win Arab hearts and minds, but it did more than that. It gave impetus to the Arab claims after the war that the British owed them something while owing the Jews nothing, and that they had been betrayed and were therefore justified in attacking Jews and resisting their settlement in Palestine. The British did nothing to counter this impression; quite the contrary. They continued to play both ends against the middle. One of the final acts of the dying Ottoman Empire in the early 1920s was to concede control of the lands that came to be known under British authority as Palestine and Transjordan to the League of Nations. On July 24, 1922, the league granted administrative control over these territories to Britain. The League of Nations Mandate for Palestine paved the way for the Balfour Declaration’s “national home for the Jewish people” to become a reality. However, it did so with a significant caveat. The Mandate for Palestine stated that “the Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.”79  However, the same document took away 77 percent of the land that had been initially intended for this purpose: all of the land east of the Jordan River. The British government added this significant clause into the “Mandate for Palestine” document: In the territories lying between the Jordan and the eastern boundary of Palestine as ultimately determined, the Mandatory shall be entitled, with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations, to postpone or withhold application of such provision of this Mandate as he may consider inapplicable to the existing local conditions.80

The “provision of this Mandate” that the British would “postpone or withhold application of” was a Jewish settlement in the lands east of the Jordan. That the Jews were expecting these lands to be included in the mandate is clear from  Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s poem “There are two sides of the Jordan River—this is ours, and that is also.”81  Jabotinsky didn’t originate this idea; he got it from the original extent of the British Mandate, and its stated purpose. So from whom was the land stolen? Not from the Ottomans, who had ceded it to the League of Nations. Not from the league, which had granted administrative powers over it to the British. Not from the British, who supported the creation of Israel, at least at this point. The only land that was stolen was from the Jews themselves when the British arbitrarily reduced the size of the area that was to be opened for the Jewish national home.

But surely the Israeli immigrants displaced the native Arabs from their land, no? No. The Jews who made aliyah in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries didn’t come as armed marauders, seizing land from its owners by force. They obtained the land in a far more conventional and prosaic way: they bought it. This is acknowledged even by Al Jazeera in an article claiming that Israel occupied stolen land: “The [Zionist] movement, citing the biblical belief that God promised Palestine to the Jews, began to buy land there and build settlements to strengthen their claim to the area. At the time, these settlements, built largely on the coastal plain and in the north of the country, were called ‘Kibbutzim’ and ‘Moshavim.’”82 A 1930 British government report (which was, incidentally, generally favorable to restrictions on Jewish settlement in Palestine) noted that the Jews not infrequently overpaid: “The Jewish authorities have nothing with which to reproach themselves…. They paid high prices for the land, and in addition, they paid to certain of the occupants of those lands a considerable amount of money which they were not legally bound to pay.”83

Because of the absence of precise census or land records, no one will ever be able to reconstruct, with absolute certainty, the very precise demographics of the area eventually assigned to the Jewish state by the U.N. partition of 1947 at the time the Jewish refugees from Europe began to arrive there. But it is beyond reasonable dispute, based on census figures, authoritative reports, eyewitness accounts, and simple arithmetic, that the myth of displacement by the European Jewish refugees of a large, stable, long-term Muslim population that had lived in that part of Palestine for centuries is demonstrably false. Even many Arab intellectuals acknowledge the mythical nature of this claim. As the Palestinian leader Musa Alami said in 1948, “The people are in great need of a ‘myth’ to fill their consciousness and imagination.”84 King Abdullah of Jordan also recognized that the story of Jewish displacement of local Palestinians was a fictional one, acknowledging that “the Arabs are as prodigal in selling their land as they are in . . . weeping [about it].”85

In 1947, the UN voted for Palestine to be split into separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem becoming an international city.

That plan was accepted by Jewish leaders but rejected by the Arab side and never implemented.

Ein Bild, das Text, Karte enthält.

Automatisch generierte Beschreibung

It is also clear that had there been a referendum on the issue of self-determination and separation, the residents of the area partitioned by the United Nations for a Jewish state would have voted overwhelmingly in favor of what the United Nations decreed. In terms of the division of land, the Jewish state received somewhat more than the Arabs, but only if one counts fully the Negev Desert, which was deemed uninhabitable and uncultivatable. If the Negev is excluded or substantially discounted, the usable land allocated to the Arabs was larger than that allocated to the Jews. Moreover, much of the land allocated to the Jewish state was originally swamp and desert land that had been irrigated and made fertile by Jewish labor and investment. The land allocated to the Arabs was also contiguous with and proximate to Transjordan, whose population has always been predominantly Palestinian, although a Hashemite monarchy was imposed on the population by Great Britain. 

The land allocated to the Jews did not include western Jerusalem, which had a Jewish majority, or Hebron, two of Judaism’s holiest and most historic cities.

Jerusalem, with a Jewish population of 100,000, was to be internationalized but cut off from the Jewish areas. Hebron was to be part of the Arab sector, with no Jewish presence, despite the fact that Jews had lived there for thousands of years until Palestinian massacres of Jewish women, children, and old men drove out the Jewish population in 1929 and again in 1936. 

Because the land in which the Jews were to live was divided into noncontiguous areas and separated by Arab land, it would be difficult to defend in the face of the threatened Arab attack. In addition to Jerusalem, Safad was isolated. Even Tel Aviv could easily be cut off by enemy forces at the narrow waistline of the Jewish area, which measured approximately 9 miles between the Arab area and the Mediterranean. 

Nevertheless, Israel quickly accepted the U.N. partition and soon declared statehood. The Arabs rejected the partition and attacked the new Jewish state from the air and the ground. What remained of the proposed Palestinian state after Israel repelled these attacks was quickly gobbled up by Jordan and Egypt.

Had the Arabs accepted the U.N. partition, there would have been a large, contiguous Palestinian state alongside a Jewish state. The two-state solution that is now the international consensus would have been achieved without bloodshed. 

Surely anyone who now accepts the two-state solution must place the blame for it not being implemented in 1947 (or even earlier in 1937) on the Arab and Palestinian leaders who rejected a Palestinian state when it was offered to them. A Palestinian state, with its capital in Jerusalem, was again offered at Camp David and Taba in 2000 and again rejected by the Palestinians, who responded to the offer not by making any counterproposal but by increasing suicide bombings against Israeli civilians.

Map with status as of early of 2019

Ein Bild, das Text, Karte enthält.

Automatisch generierte Beschreibung


1 Samuel Katz, Battleground: Facts and Fantasy in Palestine, Taylor Productions, revised edition 2002, p. 89.

2 Ibid., p. 97.

3 Carole Hillenbrand, The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives, Routledge, 2000, pp. 64-65.

4 Ibid.

5 Richard Gottheil, Max Schloessinger, and Isaac Broydé, “Judah Ha-Levi (Arabic, Abu al-Hasan al-Lawi),” Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906.

6 Katz, p. 92.

7 Ibid.

8 Ibid., p. 94.

9 Ibid., pp. 94–5.

10 Ibid., p. 95.

11 Ibid.

12 Eli E. Hertz, “Palestinians ‘Peoplehood’ Based on a Big Lie,” Myths and Facts, December 4, 2018; Katz, p. 96.

13 Katz, pp. 100–101.

14 William F. Lynch, Narrative of the United States’ Expedition to the River Jordan and the Dead Sea, Lea and Blanchard, 1850, p. 89.

15 Ibid., p. 92.

16 Ibid., p. 93.

17 Ibid., p. 280.

18 Joan Peters, From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict Over Palestine, JKAP Publications, 1984, p. 157.

19 Ibid., p. 158.

20 Ibid.

21 Ibid.

22 Ibid.

23 Ibid.

24 Ibid.

25 Ibid.

26 Alexander William Crawford Lindsay, Lord Lindsay, Letters on Egypt, Edom, and the Holy Land, Henry G. Bohn, fifth edition, 1858, p. 251.

27 Peters, p. 159.

28 Ibid.

29 Lynch, p. 298.

30 Henry Burgess Whitaker Churton, Thoughts on the Land of the Morning: A Record of Two Visits to Palestine, T. Hatchard, 1852, pp. 186–187.

31 Arthur G. H. Hollingsworth, Remarks on the present condition and future prospects of the Jews in Palestine, Seeleys, second edition 1853, p. 4.

32 Ibid.

33 Ibid.

34 Ibid., p. 5.

35 Ibid., pp. 6–7.

36 Peters, p. 159.

37 Ibid., p. 159.

38 Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad, American Publishing Company, 1869, ch. LVI.

39 Ibid., ch. XLVI.

40 Ibid., ch. XLVIII.

41 Katz, p. 107.

42 Alan Dershowitz, The Case for Israel, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2003, p. 27.

43 Alexander William Crawford Lindsay, Lord Lindsay, Letters on Egypt, Edom, and the Holy Land, Henry G. Bohn, fifth edition, 1858, p. xi.

44 Lindsay, p. 251.

45 Nahum Sokolow, History of Zionism 1600-1918, vol. I. Longmans, Green, and Co., 1919, p. 123.

46 Ibid.

47 Ibid.

48 Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, “ART. VII.-Letters on Egypt, Edom, and the Holy Land. By Lord Lindsay.—London, 2 vols. 8vo., 1838.” The London Quarterly Review, Vol. LXIII. January-April 1839. P. 105.

49 Nur Masalha, The Zionist Bible Biblical Precedent, Colonialism and the Erasure of Memory, Routledge, 2013, p. 83.

50 Paul Richard Wilkinson, For Zion’s Sake: Christian Zionism and the Role of John Nelson Darby, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2008, p. 208.

51 Sir William Arthur White, letter to Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Marquess of Salisbury, November 19, 1891.

52 Jonathan Adelman, The Rise of Israel: A History of a Revolutionary State, Taylor & Francis, 2008, p. 58.

53 Katz, pp. 122–124.

54 Peters, p. 147.

55 W. M. Christie, “Arabs and Jews in Palestine,” Journal of the Transactions of The Victoria Institute, vol. LXII, Victoria Institute, 1930, p. 98.

56 Ibid.

57 Ibid., p. 97.

58 Ibid.

59 Ibid.

60 Ibid.

61 Ibid.

62 Ibid., p. 98.

63 William B. Ziff, The Rape of Palestine, Longmans, Green, and Co., 1938, p. 385.

64 Daniel Grynglas, “Debunking the claim that ‘Palestinians’ are the indigenous people of Israel,” Jerusalem Post, May 12, 2015.

65 John Lewis Burckhardt, Travels in Syria and the Holy Land (New York: AMS Press, 1983), p. 299.

66 A. Druyanow, Ketavim Letoldot Hibbat Ziyyon Ve-Yishshuv Erez Yisra’el (Writingson the history of Hibbat Ziyyon and the settlement of the land of Israel) (Odessa,Tel Aviv, 1919, 1925, 1932), vol. 3, pp. 66-67

67 Ernst Frankenstein, Justice for my People (London: Nicholson & Watson, 1943), p. 127.

68 Report by His Britannic Majesty’s Government to the Council of the League of Nations on the Administration of Palestine and Trans-Jordan for the Year 1937, Colonial No. 146, pp. 223-224

69 Lord Balfour to Lord Rothschild, 2 November, 1917.

70 The above mentioned Samuel (Shmuel) Katz, a historian who possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of the circumstances of Israel’s founding, the Palestine situation before the advent of Zionism, and related issues writing in Battleground: Facts and Fantasy in Palestine, Taylor Productions, revised edition 2002, pp. 65–66.

71 Ibid., p. 66.

72 Ibid., pp. 65–66.

73 Ibid., p. 49.

74 Ibid.

75 Ibid., p. 50.

76 Ibid., p. 51.

77 “The ‘Mandate’ Defined Where Jews Are and Are Not Permitted to Settle,” League of Nations Mandate for Palestine,

78 Ibid.

79 Ronn Torossian, “If the West Bank is ‘Occupied,’ Who Are the Occupiers?,” Algemeiner, July 16, 2012.

80 Zena Tahhan, “Israel’s settlements: 50 years of land theft, explained,” Al Jazeera, November 21, 2017.

81 John Hope Simpson, Palestine: Report on Immigration, Land Settlement and Development, His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1930.

82 “Immigration to Israel: The First Aliyah (1882-1903),” Jewish Virtual Library, 100 “Immigration to Israel: The Second Aliyah (1904-

83 “Immigration to Israel: The Fourth Aliyah (1924-1929),” Jewish Virtual Library,; “Immigration to Israel: The Fifth Aliyah (1929-1939),” Jewish Virtual Library,

84 Quoted in Peters, p. 11.

85 King Abdullah of Jordan, My Memoirs Completed, Harold W. Glidden, trans. (London: Longman, 1978), pp. 88-89.



For updates click homepage here