chapter  7
19 Pages

The 1929 Disturbances

BySusan Silsby Boyle

In 1929, Antonius was thirty-eight years old. He was a mature, thoughtful, and eloquent man. He was also physically attractive: Although not tall, he had natural grace and impressive stamina. Despite Zionist threats of force and violence, Antonius sustained his faith in civil society and moral democracy. Antonius was committed to the peaceful assumption of Palestinian self-government and independence through negotiation rather than armed violence. As Palestinians had not yet had the opportunity to officially defend their rights and discuss the British wartime pledges, he believed the British could be influenced by reason to see the justice of the Palestinian case. Having witnessed and understood the apprehension and violence, Antonius felt an ever greater need to help communicate the history of the Palestinian struggle for self-governance. After the 1929 violence in Palestine and the death of his good friend Clayton in Iraq—whom he might have worked for, had the opportunity arisen—Antonius was ready to leave government.