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state in Palestine appears as an anachronism. These Moslems constitute a somewhat self-conscious society of about 275,000,000 who dominate a large portion of Africa and Asia. Even if the Zionist political program, supported by British and American diplomacy and bayonets, should some day become a reality, what chance of survival has such an alien state amidst a camp of a would-be hostile Arabic and unsympathetic Islamic world? There was a time in which a foreign state, a Latin one, was established in the Holy Land; but its memory lives today only in books on the crusades,
For, be it remembered, on no other issue did the Moslems in modern times seem to manifest such a unanimity. Even on the question of the restoration of the caliphate, after it was destroyed by Mustafa Kamal in 1924, there has been more friction and less solidarity, as evidenced by the proceedings of the Islamic congresses held in Cairo and Mecca. Verbal protests against the Zionist political program, which this resolution adopts, and cash to fight its provisions have poured in the last two decades from Morocco to Malay. In India a Palestine day" was celebrated in 1936 and the All India Moslem League passed a resolution at its annual session on October 18, 1939, and another in its April meeting of 1943 warning the British against converting Palestine into a Jewish state. Jerusalem in Moslem eyes is the third haram, the third holy city after Mecca and Medina. It was the first qiblah, the first direction in which the early Moslems prayed before they began to turn in prayer toward Mecca. The land was given by Allah as a result of a jihad (holy war) and therefore for the Moslems to relinquish their claim on it constitutes a betrayal of their faith. It is even more sacred to the Christians, of whom there are today some one hundred and thirty thousand in Palestine.
This uncompromising, persistent opposition to political Zionism, whose cause the resolution espoused, does not spell anti-Semitism. Of all the major peoples of the world, the Arabs perhaps come nearest to being free from race prejudice. Besides, they, like the Jews, are Semites and they know it. They also know that their two religions are closest of kin, closer than either of them is to Christianity. Nowhere throughout medieval and modern times were Jews better treated than in Moslem-Arab lands. So welcome were American Jewish ambassadors to the Sublime Porte at Constantinople that our Government appointed three of them in a row: Straus, Elkus, and Morgenthau.
These Arabs and Moslems cannot understand why the Jewish C G
problem, which is not of their making, should be solved at their expense. They deeply sympathize with the afflicted Jews but are not convinced that Palestine solves the Jewish problem; Palestine does not qualify as a country without a people ready to receive a people without a country. They fail to understand why the American legislators, so solicitous for the welfare of the European Jews, should not lift the bars of immigration and admit Jewish refugees, millions of whom could be settled on the unoccupied plains of Arizona or Texas. This certainly falls within their jurisdiction. The word “reconstitute” in the resolution would no doubt interest them and they would like to remake the map of Europe and put up their claim on Spain, which they occupied at a much later date and for a longer period of time. Some of them would raise the question how would the people of the United States react to a suggestion from, say, Russia, to reconstitute Oklahoma an Indian Territory. They realize they
have no spokesmen in America, no high-pressure groups, no machinery for influencing American public opinion or legislation, but they are willing to rest their case upon its merits and upon America's sense of justice.
Some of them may have forgotten the Anglo-French declaration of November 8, 1918, promising the peoples so long oppressed by the Turks complete and definitive liberation and "the establishment of national governments and administrations drawing their authority from the initiative and free choice of the indigenous population"; or the words of Woodrow Wilson's twelfth point that the nonTurkish nationalities which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolute opportunity of autonomous developmentor the corresponding provision in the Covenant of the League of Nations, article 22; but they certainly do remember the third article of the Atlantic Charter that Great Britain and the United Statesrespect the right of all people to choose the form of government under which they will live.
No westerner, or Ifranji as called in Arabic, is more highly respected and more implicitly trusted by the Arab and Moslem people than the American. There is a reason for it. For years American teachers, preachers, physicians, archeologists, pilgrims, and philantropists have frequented the eastern shore of the Mediterranean with the intent of giving rather than taking and with no imperialistic designs. The American press at Beirut, the first well-equipped press in that region, celebrated its hundredth anniversary 8 years ago. The American University of Beirut celebrated its seventy-fifth anniversary 3 years ago. In this institution a large number of the leaders of thought and action throughout the Arab East was trained. In the First World War and the immediate period following, no less than $100,000,000 was raised by the American public to relieve suffering among the people of the Near East and to rehabilitate their land-an unparalleled figure in the history of private philanthropy. No wonder the word "American' has become associated in the minds of Arabs and Moslems with fair play, honorable dealing, and democratic conduct. All this reservoir of goodwill accumulated through generations of unselfish and hard working Americans will be threatened with destruction by the passage of the resolution now before this committee.
The United States is now engaged in a gigantic struggle with an unscrupulous, powerful, and far-from-being-beaten enemy. No drier and more explosive powder could we provide for his propaganda weapons. The Germens, we can be sure, will fully capitalize this resolution-as they did the Balfour Declaration, hold it out before Arab eyes as a sample of the kind of Anglo-American "democracy' and “freedom” for which this war is fought, and assure the Arabs that the Zionist control of Palestine is but the prelude to the Jewish control of Trans-Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Arabia—the camel's head intruding into the tent about which they read in their Arabian Nights. This is no time to turn old friends into potential enemies.
Chairman Bloom. Do you mind an interruption there?
Chairman BLOOM. You do not mean that the Jews would control Syria.
Dr. HITTI. No; I said the Germans would make use of the resolution and say that. The radios of the Axis have already said that.
Chairman Bloom. You do not believe everything you hear over the Nazi radio?
Dr. HITTI. No.
Dr. HITTI. The United States is now engaged in a gigantic struggle with an unscrupulous, powerful, and far-from-being-beaten enemy. No drier and more explosive powder could we provide for his propaganda weapons. The Germans, we can be sure, will fully capitalize this resolution-as they did the Balfour Declaration, hold it out before Arab eyes as a sample of the kind of Anglo-American “democracy” and “freedom” for which this war is fought, and assure the Arabs that the Zionist control of Palestine is but the prelude to the Jewish control of Trans-Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Arabia—the camel's head intruding into the tent about which they read in their Arabian Nights. This is no time to turn old friends into potential enemies.
Chairman BLOOM. The Chair wishes to state the way I understood it, you secured this information over the Nazi radio. You have not mentioned that. You ought to state where you obtained that information and I would like to have the record show this is not your belief.
Dr. HITTI. The Germans would make use of that in such a way as to influence the Arabs.
Mr. JARMAN. Mr. Chairman, I understood it to be just the opposite. I understood from him that is what the Germans would do.
Chairman Bloom. Through Nazi propaganda.
The United States is now engaged in a gigantic struggle with an unscrupulous, powerful, and far-from-being-beaten enemy. No drier and more explosive powder could we provide for his propaganda weapons. The Germans, we can be sure, will fully capitalize this resolution-as they did the Balfour Declaration, hold it out before Arab eyes as a sample of the kind of Anglo-American "democracy" and "freedom” for which this war is fought, and assure the Arabs that the Zionist control of Palestine is but the prelude to the Jewish control of Trans-Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Arabia--the camel's head intruding into the tent about which they read in their Arabian Nights. This is no time to turn old friends into potential enemies.
The people of the United States are not only interested in winning the war but in contributing to the establishment of a post-war world order in which regional stability is somewhat secure and the chances of future conflicts are at least reduced. Nothing, in the judgment of the speaker, is more conducive to a state of perpetual unrest and conflict than the establishment of a Jewish commonwealth at the expense of the Arabs in Palestine. If such a commonwealth were established at the insistence of the United States, we then assume moral responsibility for its perservation. Will the people of the United States be willing to send their Navy to protect such a commonwealth if established?
The British never contemplated such an ambitious scheme as the conversion of Palestine into a Jewish commonwealth. Sandwiched in between conflicting promises to the Arabs---which made the oncepromised land multi-promised—the Balfour Declaration, which was echoed in the United States Congress resolution of 1922, viewed with favor, "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people"-quite a different thing from converting Palestine into a Jewish state. And that was viewed with a big proviso: "It being understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” The Zionist representatives proposed to the then British Government this text "The reconstitution of Palestine as the national home of the Jewish people,” which is practically the same as the resolution before us had it, but that was not the text adopted.
In its white paper of June 3, 1922, the British Government said: Unauthorized statements have been made to the effect that the purpose in view is to create a wholly Jewish Palestine. Phrases have been used such as that Palestine is to become as Jewish as England is English. His Majesty's Government regard such expectation as unpracticable and have no such aim in view
They would draw attention to the fact that the terms of the declaration referred to do not contemplate that Palestine as a whole be converted into a Jewish national home but that such a home should be founded in Palestine. When it is asked what is meant by the development of the Jewish national home in Palestine, it may be answered that it is not the imposition of a Jewish nationality upon the inhabitants of Palestine as a whole, but the further development of the existing Jewish community, with the assistance of Jews from other parts of the world, in order that it may become a center in which the Jewish people as a whole may take, on grounds of religion and race, an interest and a pride.
The author of this statement was Winston Churchill, then Colonial Secretary; and the Zoinist accepted it.
In its statement of policy of 1937 the British Government declarethat their obligations to Arabs and Jews, respectively, were not incompatible, on the assumption that in the process of time the two races would so adjust their national aspirations as to render possible the establishment of a single commonwealth under a unitary government.
In the 1939 statement it was again made clear that Palestine shall be constituted a sovereign independent state, a Palestinian state in which all Palestinians-irrespective of race or origin--will be citizens enjoying equal political, civil and religious rights. In that statement the provision was made for limiting Jewish immigration for economic as well as political reasons.
Even then the British administration of Palestine has been confronted throughout its history with a series of strikes and disturbances beginning April 1920 and culminating in the serious revolution of 1936.
As early as August 1919 and before Arab nationalism attained the intensity that it has since assumed, the King-Crane Commission sent by President Wilson reported as follows:
A national home for the Jewish people is not equivalent to making Palestine into a Jewish state; nor can the erection of such a Jewish state be accomplished without the greatest trespass upon the civil and religious rights of existing nonJewish communities in Palestine.
The report warned that the Zionist program could not be carried out except by force of arms.
The more enlightened and realistic among the Zionists themselves have begun to adopt the British Government point of view, concentrate on the cultural and spiritual aspects of their cause and cooperate with the Arabs. Dr. Judah L. Magnes, president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem-a Zionist institution--declared in September 1941:
As far as I am able to see, there is no chance whatsoever that this formula “establishment of Palestine as a Jewish commonwealth" instead of a national home in Palestine would be acceptable by any responsible Arab or Arab party or any part of Arabic public opinion.
The Union Association organized in September 1942 by Zionists in Jerusalem declared its conviction that the problem of Palestine was inseparable from that of the Near East, advocated a Jewish Arab state and held that the two people's equality was vital to the future of Palestine. Albert M. Hyamson, a British Zionist, in Palestine: A Policy (1942) interprets "national” as pertaining to nationality rather than nation. President Julian Morgenstern, of Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, in his last contribution entitled “Nation, People, Religion: What Are We?" (1943) declares:
Despite the oft-repeated, high-sounding asseverations of the beneficent role which a restored Jewish state or commonwealth may play or will play in setting a happy pattern of equitable social relations for all other nations to emulate, the most recent formulating of which is in the highly bombastic peroration of the socalled Palestine resolution of the American-Jewish Conference, the fact incontestably established by history still confronts us with brazen truth, that the true genius and destiny of Israel find expression only in its role as a religious people, the bearers of a spiritual heritage.
Chairman Bloom. Are you finished now, Doctor?
Dr. Eaton. I would like very much if the gentleman would locate himself a little more fully. I used to represent or misrepresent Princeton University.
Dr. Hitti. I was born at Mt. Lebanon. I am presently professor of Semitic literature at Princeton. I was educated in American high schools and the American University of Beirut. I went to Columbia and I have been connected with Princeton since 1926.
Dr. Eaton. If it is not too personal, are you an Arab?
Dr. Hitti. The word Arab is very misleading. The word Arab is a linguistic, not ethnic word and means one whose mother tongue is Arabic, especially if a Moslem. I am a Christian. My people have been Christians from time immemorial. I claim I am a descendant of the ancient Canaanites or Phoenicians, who also occupied Palestine. Palestine was not empty when the Moslem Arabians went there. It had the Philistines on the east coast. There were people in Palestine before the Jews ever came. There were people in Palestine after the Jews left the country, and those are the people we call Arabs. They are descendants of old stock who have maintained themselves for ages there, remained; they are the forgotten men. Nobody should deprive people who have been on the soil in their country for centuries of their soil. Their fathers and mothers are buried there. We call them Arabs only because they speak the Arabic language, but they are descendants of the ancient Semitic people.
Chairman Bloom. Thank you, Doctor.
Dr. HITTI. I wanted to take advantage of this situation because there is a great deal of confusion as to who the “Arabs” of Palestine