chapter  8
21 Pages

A Moment of Hope

BySusan Silsby Boyle

Sir John Hope-Simpson was a member of the League of Nations commission for the resettlement of Greek refugees, and a former civil servant in India. After Hope-Simpson arrived in Palestine in late May, Antonius appreciated the comprehensive course of his investigation, and felt it was "increasingly clear that his findings will have a determining effect on the future policy to be pursued in Palestine with regard to the establishment of the Jewish national home." In his report, Hope-Simpson emphasized the limited availability of cultivable land and the problem of Arab landlessness. Zionists immediately tried to discredit Hope-Simpson's findings and reverse the unprecedented pro-Palestinian policy. Despite their campaign, Hope-Simpson's findings were sound, and leading Zionists knew that there was virtually no unowned or unoccupied land in Palestine. Hope-Simpsori believed that the problem of Zionist land acquisitions was compounded by the Zionist Agency's new constitution of August 14, 1929, which designated all Jewish-Zionist holdings as inalienable Jewish property.