chapter  12
39 Pages

Wrestling with the Palestinians

ByIsaiah Friedman

England had concluded a "contract" with King Hussein promising the independence of Arab lands; this had invalidated any subsequent arrangement with the Jews. This chapter examines how the idea of Hussein's "contract" with the British originated and examines how it penetrated into the minds of the Palestinians. It then discusses the riots in Palestine. Winston Churchill's reference to the "fanatical attack by the Arab population" was made in response to the riots that broke out in Jaffa on 1 May 1921. On the following day, rumors spread that Jews were killing the Arabs, and riots spread to some other colonies; however, the Executive of the Arab Congress, as well as the Muslim-Christian Association, unequivocally dissociated themselves and even condemned the rioters. The riots bore a spontaneous character, and it is doubtful that they were motivated by nationalist sentiments, although, undeniably, they reflected a deep-seated antagonism toward the Jews.