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are not demarcated. Nor is the enlargement of the Trans-Jordan territory by a section of the Syrian Desert in the East indicated. The Sanjak of Alexandretta was recently severed from the rest of Syria by the Franco-Turkish Agreement.

It is almost impossible to give exact figures of area and population of some of the principal Arab countries, as no reliable land survey or census has ever been taken. The following data appear nearest the truth:

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His Majesty's Government have now published the McMahon letters. Had any promises been contained in these letters such as the Arabs now allege, and had claims been raised on that basis at the Peace Conference, even then an international Treaty and an international Mandate would cancel the legal validity of previous declarations and agreements. But from the documents published below, emerges the fact that during the crucial years 1917–1921 no claims to Palestine were raised by the Arab representatives on the basis of the McMahon correspondence. Indeed, they did in various ways explicitly agree to Palestine being treated differently from Arab territories.

The McMahon correspondence is historical material, and the claims built up upon it are political afterthoughts.



November 2nd, 1917. DEAR LORD ROTHSCHILD: I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.

“His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours 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 nonJewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation. Yours sincerely,




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BRITISH GOVERNMENT'S MESSAGE TO KING HUSSEIN “Through Sir Mark Sykes and Colonel Lawrence we informed the Arab leaders, King Hussein and his son, Feisal, of our proposals. We could not get in touch with the Palestinian Arabs as they were fighting against us

In January 1916 the British Government's policy in regard to Palestinian Holy Places and Zionist colonisation was officially communicated in the following message to Hussein:

"That so far as Palestine is concerned, we are determined that no people shall be subjected to another, but in view of the fact:

(a) That there are in Palestine, Shrines, Wakfs, and Holy Places, sacred in some cases to Moslems alone, to Jews alone, to Christians alone, and in others to two or all three, and inasmuch as these places are of interest to vast masses of people outside Palestine and Arabia, there must be a special regime to deal with these places approved of by the world.

"(b) That as regards the Mosque of Omar, it shall be considered as a Moslem concern alone, and shall not be subjected directly or indirectly to any nonMoslem authority.

"That since the Jewish opinion of the world is in favour of a return of Jews to Palestine, and inasmuch as this opinion must remain a constant factor, and further, as His Majesty's Government view with favour the realisation of this aspiration, His Majesty's Government are determined that in so far as is compatible with the freedom of the existing population, both economic and political, no obstacle should be put in the way of the realisation of this ideal.”

"The Arab leaders did not offer any objections to the declaration so long as the rights of the Arabs in Palestine were respected. Pledges were given to the non-Jewish population of Palestine who constituted the great majority of its inhabitants, as well as to the Jews. These were the results of conversations which we had with such Arab leaders as we could get in touch with. There was a twufold undertaking given to them, that the establishment of a Jewish National Home would not in any way, firstly, affect the civil or religious rights of the general population of Palestine; secondly, would not diminish the general pros. perity of that population. Those were the only pledges we gave to the Arabs.” (The Truth About the Peace Treaties by David Lloyd George (Gollancz, 1938, Vol. II, pp. 1140–1142.))

KING HUSSEIN ON ARAB-JEWISH COOPERATION Mr. George Antonius in The Arab Awakening (p. 269) refers to an article from "Al Qibla" (Mecca) No. 183, of March 23, 1918, wbich he says appears to have been written by Hussein himself, "calling upon the Arab population in Palestine to bear in mind that their sacred books and their traditions enjoined upon them the duties of hospitality and tolerance, and exhorting them to welcome the Jews as brethren and co-operate with them for the common welfare."

It should be added that this article also refers to the remarkable achievements of the Jewish people in Palestine as worthy of imitation by the Arabs and states that "the resources of the country are still virgin soil," and will be developed by the labour and capital of the Jewish immigrants. “One of the most amazing things till recent times,” the article goes on, "was that the Palestinian used to leave his country, wandering over the high seas in every direction. His native soil could not retain him, though his ancestors had lived on it for over a thousand years. And, at the same time, we saw the Jews from foreign countries streaming to Palestine from Russia, Germany, Austria, Spain, America.

The cause of causes could not escape those who had the gift of a deeper insight; they knew that that country was for its original sons (abna’ihi-l-asliyin), for all their differences, a sacred and beloved homeland. Experience has proved their capacity to succeed in their energies and their labours.

The return of these exiles Galiya) to their homeland will prove materially and spiritually an experimental school for their brethren (i. e., the Arabs) who are with them in the fields, factories, trades, and in all things connected with toil and labour.







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the Emir Feisal came to London and Paris [December 1918] he was persuaded not merely to accept but to welcome the policy of the Balfour Declaration. At his camp east of the Jordan in the previous summer he had met Dr. Chaim Weizmann, who had done great service by his chemical discoveries to the Allied cause in the War and had taken a leading part in the Zionist movement and the discussion of the Balfour Declaration. He had been able to convince the Emir of the benefits which the Jewish National Home would bring to Palestine as a whole. (From the Report of the Palestine Royal Commission, P. 26.)

THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT's "DECLARATION TO THE SEVEN ARABS” Mr. George Antonius in The Arab Awakening, Appendix D., reproduces his "own rendering of the Arabic text which is in the possession of one of the seven memorialists.' He quotes their names-Rafiq al-'Azm, Shaikh Kamel al-Qassab, Mukhtar al-Sulh, Abdul-Rahman Shahbandar, Khaled al-Hakim, Fauzi al-Bakri, Hasan Himadeh, but does not indicate which of them is the owner of the document. It is not clear whether this is an original or a copy.

There is no

reproduction of the document, and no way, of checking the accuracy of the translation. For the sake of completeness the passage relating to Palestine is nevertheless reproduced below:

"With regard to the territories occupied by the Allied armies, His Majesty's Government invite the attention of the memorialists to the proclamations issued by the commander in chief on the occasions of the capture of Baghdad (March 19, 1917), and of the capture of Jerusalem (December 9, 1917). These proclamations define the policy of His Majesty's Government towards the inhabitants of those regions, which is that the future government of those territories should be based upon the principle of the consent of the governed. This policy will always be that of His Majesty's Government.

“With regard to the territories in the fourth category, it is the desire of His Majesty's Government that the oppressed peoples in those territories should obtain their freedom and independence.

EMIR FEISAL'S INTERVIEW WITH REUTER The Emir Feisal, in a statement made to a representative of Reuter's Agency, published in The Times of December 12, 1918, said, on the subject of Zionist aspirations in regard to Palestine:

"The two main branches of the Semitic family, Arabs and Jews, understand one another, and I hope that as a result of interchange of ideas at the Peace Conference, which will be guided by ideals of self-determination and nationality, each nation will make definite progress towards the realisation of its aspirations. Arabs are not jealous of Zionist Jews, and intend to give them fair play, and the Zionist Jews have assured the Nationalist Arabs of their intention to see that they too have fair play in their respective areas. Turkish intrigue in Palestine has raised jealousy between the Jewish colonists and the local peasants, but the mutual understanding of the aims of Arabs and Jews will at once clear away the last trace of this former bitterness, which indeed had already practically disappeared even before the war by the work of the Arab Secret Revolutionary Committee, which in Syria and elsewhere laid the foundation of the Arab military successes of the past two years."


In a memorandum circulated to the delegates of the Peace Conference under date January 1st, 1919, the Emir Feisal set forth the Arab claims. After describing the national aspirations of the Arabs and claiming independence for the Arabic-speaking countries generally, the memorandum proceeds as follows:

"In Palestine the enormous majority of the people are Arabs. The Jews are very close to the Arabs in blood, and there is no conflict of character between the two races. Nevertheless, the Arabs cannot assume the responsibility of holding level the scales in the clash of races and religions that have, in this one province, so often involved the world in difficulties. They would wish for the effective super-position of a great trustee, so long as a representative local administration commended itself by actively promoting the material propserity of the country. (David Hunter Miller: My Diary of the Peace Conference, Vol. IV, pp. 297–299 (Document 250).)

AGREEMENT BETWEEN EMIR FEISAL AND DR. WEIZMANN His Royal Highness the Emir Feisal, representing and acting on behalf of the Arab Kingdom of Hedjaz, and Dr. Chaim Weizmann, representing and acting on behalf of the Zionist Organisation, mindful of the racial kinship and ancient bonds existing between the Arabs and the Jewish people, and realising that the surest means of working out the consummation of their national aspirations is through the closest possible collaboration in the development of the Arab State and Palestine, and being desirous further of confirming the good understanding which exists between them, have agreed upon the following Articles:


The Arab State and Palestine in all their relations and undertakings shall be controlled by the most cordial goodwill and understanding, and to this end Arab and Jewish duly accredited agents shall be established and maintained in the respective territories.


Immediately following the completion of the deliberations of the Peace Conference, the definite boundaries between the Arab State and Palestine shall be determined by a Commission to be agreed upon by the parties hereto.


In the establishment of the Constitution and Administration of Palestine all such measures shall be adopted as will afford the fullest guarantees for carrying into effect the British Government's Declaration of the 2d of November 1917.


All necessary measures shall be taken to encourage and stimulate immigration of Jews into Palestine on a large scale, and as quickly as possible to settle Jewish immigrants upon the land through closer settlement and intensive cultivation of the soil. In taking such measures the Arab peasant and tenant farmers shall be protected in their rights, and shall be assisted in forwarding their economic development.


No regulation nor law shall be made prohibiting or interfering in any way with the free exercise of religion; and further the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship without discrimination or preference shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall ever be required for the exercise of civl or political rights.


The Mohammedan Holy Places shall be under Mohammedan control.


The Zionist Organisation proposes to send to Palestine a Commission of experts to make a survey of the economic possibilities of the country, and to report upon the best means for its development. The Zionist Organisation will place the aforementioned Commission at the disposal of the Arab State for the purpose of a survey of the economic possibilities of the Arab State and to report upon the best means for its development. The Zionist Organisation will use its best efforts to assist the Arab State in providing the means for developing the natural resources and economic possibilities thereof.


The parties hereto agree to act in complete accord and harmony on all matters embraced herein before the Peace Congress. /


Any matters of dispute which may arise between the contracting parties shall be referred to the British Government for arbitration.

Given under our hand at London, England, the third day of January, one thousand nine hundred and nineteen.



If the Arabs are established as I have asked in my manifesto of January 4th addressed to the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, I will carry out what is written in this agreement. If changes are made, I cannot be answerable for failing to carry out this agreement.

FEISAL IBN-HUSSEIN. (Copy of note in Colonel Lawrence's handwriting-translation of Arabic note at end of Treaty.)

EMIR FEISAL'S STATEMENT BEFORE THE COUNCIL OF FIVE On February 6th, 1919, the Arab case was laid before the Council of Five by the Emir Feisal as the head of a Hedjaz Delegation comprising, in addition to himself, Colonel Lawrence, Rustum Haidar, Nuri Said, and Auni Bey Abdul Hadi.' In the official note of the meeting the Emir is reported to have referred to Palestine as follows:

“Palestine, for its universal character he left on one side for the mutual consideration of all parties interested. With this exception, he asked for the independence of the Arabic areas enumerated in his memorandum." (David Hunter Miller: My Diary of the Peace Conference, Vol. IV., p. 226 (Document 250).)

(Quoted in The Truth about the Peace Treaties by David Lloyd George. (Gollancz 1938, Vol. II, p. 1042).]

(Note: Mr. Antonius' reproduction of Emir Feisal's Statement breaks off before reaching this passage while leaving the reader under the impression that the complete statement has been given (Compare The Arab Awakening, page 286 to 287, with D. H. Miller, from which Mr. Antonius claims to quote it).]


STATEMENT OF THE SYRIAN DELEGATION TO THE PEACE CONFERENCE On Thursday, February 13th, 1919, at 3 p. m. there was a meeting of the Supreme Council, at which Mr. A. J. Balfour and Viscount Milner represented the British Empire; President Wilson and Mr. R. Lansing the United States of America; Monsieur Clemenceau and Monsieur Pichon, France; Signor Orlando and Baron Sonnino, Italy; and M. Matsui, Japan. There were also present Major the Hon. W. Ormsby Gore and Mr. A. J. Toynbee.

This meeting received the members of the Syrian Commission, consisting of the following: M. Chekri Ganem.

The Chief Representative of the Central

Syrian Committee. M. Anis Schehade.

Orthodox Greek. Jamil Mardam Bey

Moslem. Dr. Georges Samne.

Greek Melchite. Nejil Bey Maikarzel.

Maronite. Dr. Tewfik Farhi..

Hebrew. 2 Jamil Mardam Bey was until recently Prime Minister of Syria.

M. Chekri Ganem read a long statement occupying 16 pages of the Diary in which he pleaded for the constitution of Syria, within its natural frontiers, into a democratic State distinct from the other Arabic-speaking countries. He argued against the annexation of Syria to Arabia on political, geographical, and moral grounds (describing the Syrians as an educated people and the population of the Hejaz as a "race less advanced"), and repudiated the right of Emir Feisal to exercise any authority in Syria.

In the concluding part of his statement M. Chekri Ganem said: “May we say one word as regards Palestine although the subject is said to be a thorny one?

“Palestine is incontestably the Southern portion of our country. The Zionists claim it. We have suffered too much from sufferings resembling theirs, not to throw open wide to them the doors of Palestine. All those among them who are oppressed in certain retrograde countries are welcome. Let them settle in Palestine, but in an autonomous Palestine, connected with Syria by the sole bond of federation. Will not a Palestine enjoying wide internal autonomy be for them a sufficient guarantee?

"If they form the majority there, they will be the rulers. If they are in the minority, they will be represented in the Government in proportion to their numbers.

Is it necessary, in order to establish them, to dismember Syria, to take from it its means of access and its historic safeguard against any invasion (which always took that route), and to constitute a State in the midst of a country which, as & consequence, would be hostile to them.” (David Hunter Miller: My Diary of the Peace Conference, Vol. XIV, Minutes of the Supreme Council. pp. 389–415.)

(Quoted in part by David Lloyd George: Truth about the Peace Treaties, Vol. II, p. 1057.)

1 General Nuri Said, at present Prime Minister of Iraq, and Auni Bey Abdul Hadi, a Palestine Arab leader, are both members of the Arab Delegations to the London Conferences.

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