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{Originally posted to the author’s blog}

The Arabs who resided in the area to become the Mandate of Palestine, intended originally to become, through the historic connection of the Jewish people to that country, the Jewish national home, adopted from the very beginning a diplomatic pose and policy of rejectionism. In essence, the later 1967 Khartoum Resolution adopted by the Arab League, of “no recognition”, no peace” and “no negotiations”, was the consistent framework of Arabs in their response to Zionism for the past century.


Already in late 1919, April 1920, May 1921 and November 1921, they were agitating, demonstrating, rioting and, of course, employing murderous terrorism, to further their political goals.

In those early years, these were the most prominent examples of that rejectionism.


When the League of Nations awarded Great Britain the Mandate to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in Palestine, Article 25 separated from the territory the Zionist presumed they would be permitted to settle in in accordance with previous discussions. All the area east of the Jordan River would become an apartheid state for Jews.

Despite a loss of 75% of the land, the Arabs, instead of accepting that first partition, which had excluded much of the area of historic Palestine, denying Jews the right to purchase land there and creating a fake monarchy, instead, they insisted they wanted all the remaining territory west of the Jordan River also to be transformed solely into an Arab state.

The Arabs of Palestine, who preferred to be termed Southern Syrians and demanded that “Palestine” be joined to the French Mandate over Syria, rejected any “territorial compromise” and were unsatisfied with a possible “two-state solution”. They wanted the Jews to completely “withdraw”.


Herbert Samuel, the first High Commissioner, following the Mandate decision to  foster the “development of self-governing institutions”, proposed in August 1922 the establishment of a legislative council. It was to be made up of 23 members: 11 British, all appointed, and twelve elected members — eight Muslims, two Christians and two Jews. Despite the fact that this make-up would have doomed Jews to a permanent minority status in any future government, Arabs declared participation in the council as acceptance of the British mandate and Balfour policy as well as considering they should be granted further limitations on Jewish immigration.

A boycott campaign of the council elections, scheduled for February 1923, was launched. The Jews, by the way, had accepted the proposal. The very low turnout dashed the proposal.

The Arabs rejected a possible political resolution of the conflict, based on democratic values.


A dampening of the religious element of the focus was possible, one that could have avoided the later 1929 riots, when serious attempts were made to purchase or lease the Western Wall courtyard area. In fact, already in 1919, an offer was made.

As sourced here:

In 1919 Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann approached the British Military Governor of Jerusalem, Colonel Sir Ronald Storrs, and offered…approx. £5m in modern terms to purchase the area at the foot of the Wall and rehouse the occupants. Storrs was enthusiastic about the idea because he hoped some of the money would be used to improve Muslim education. Although they appeared promising at first, negotiations broke down after strong Muslim opposition. Storrs wrote two decades later:

“The acceptance of the proposals, had it been practicable, would have obviated years of wretched humiliations, including the befouling of the Wall and pavement and the unmannerly braying of the tragi-comic Arab band during Jewish prayer, and culminating in the horrible outrages of 1929”

In early 1920, the first Jewish-Arab dispute over the Wall occurred when the Muslim authorities were carrying out minor repair works to the Wall’s upper courses…In 1926 an effort was made to lease the Maghrebi waqf, which included the wall, with the plan of eventually buying it. Negotiations were begun in secret by the Jewish judge Gad Frumkin, with financial backing from American millionaire Nathan Straus…However, Straus withdrew when the price became excessive and the plan came to nothing. The Va’ad Leumi, against the advice of the Palestine Zionist Executive, demanded that the British expropriate the wall and give it to the Jews, but the British refused

The Arabs leaders and their followers preferred to run a zero-sum game.  All rejection. No compromise.

They lost.


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Yisrael Medad resides in Shiloh and is a foreign media spokesperson for the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities.