THE PALESTINE SITUATION
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
[Correspondents are requested to keep their letters as brief as is reason ably possible.. The most suitable length is that of one of our "News of the Week" paragraphs. Signed letters are given a preference over those bearing a pseudonym.—Ed. THE SPECTATOR.] [To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.] Si The letter of Mr. Ghory, the Secretary of the Palestine Arab Party, which appeared in your issue of June 12th, is neither designed nor calculated to make for better under- standing in Palestine. And some of its statements are open to serious doubts. He says that Arabs and Moslems alone are supporting the general Arab strike, and no foreign funds are given. It is widely believed that the agents of one or more foreign Powers who are not sorry to foment trouble in the Middle East have contributed money to promote the strike. He states that arson, the cutting of trees, &c., are committed not only by the Arabi but also by the Jews. It is sufficient answer to that charge that the High Commissioner of Palestine has on several occasions borne witness to the restraint of the Jewish population in the face of most trying provocation. He says that the Arabs complain bitterly against the behaviour of members of the public security forces. They see destruction of property, invading homes, and similar actions." The Palestine police, mainly British and Arab, arc bearing a thankless task with a fortitude which compels general admiration. Daily British and Palestine Constables are wounded : almost daily innocent persons, Arabs as well as Jews, are murdered by bomb or revolvershot or knife. In combating this terrorism the police and soldiers are forced to invade the home and damage property.
Recrimination, however, is useless and mischievous. The serious question is how to put an end to violence and restore peace. Palestine has been throughout history, and will remain, a bi-national country, one of the bridges between continents and civilisations where the East and the West meet. Arabs and Jews must live together, neither domin- ating the other nor being dominated. The Jews know that they cannot drive the Arabs of Palestine into other lands or the desert. The Arabs must realise that they cannot drive the Jews into the sea or stop their immigration. It is not economic interests which divide the peoples, but political passions. Jewish immigration has brought a general diffusion of well-being among all the dwellers of Palestine ; and the immigration of the last years, which is the immediate cause of the outbreak, the thousands of Jews from Germany who are seeking a new home and a new life, are amongst the best elements which have 'come to Palestine. They are the fine flower of the German-Jewish youth, and they combine with their enthusiasm for a simple productive life the order and method which they learnt in Germany. The increased pro- portion of the Jewish population from one-tenth to nearly one-third, which has taken place in the last fifteen years, has not meant a diminution of the Arab population. On the contrary, the number of the Arabs rose between 1922 sad 1931 by 200,000 through natural increase ; and in the last years the numbers have risen not only in that way but by immigration of Arabs from the neighbouring territories, attracted by the prosperity of Palestine. The root of the trouble is that aggravated nationalism which today threatens the whole of civilisation. Politics dominate economics. The effort of all persons of good will must be to aid the fusion of the two peoples into one nation, sharing a common love for the fatherland, and working together in every aspect of public and economic life.
There are many examples of two nationalities originally hostile living side by side in a territory, and passing from feud and strife to the recognition of a common patriotism and to mutual helpfulness. That change has come about between peoples of different race in the Swiss Cantons, the English and French colonists in Canada, the British and Boer settlers in South Africa. The differences of language, culture and religion do not stand in the way once the will to understanding and co-operation is present.
Fifteen years ago Mr. Winston Churchill pointed out to an Arab Delegation in Palestine; which made the same demands as are being made by the Strike Conimittee • today : "-If, instead of sharing misery through quarrels, you will share blessings through co-operation, a bright and tranquil future lies before the country. The earth is a generous Mother. She will produce in plentiful abundance for all her children if they will cultivate her soil in justice and in peace."
Hollycot, Vale of health, Hampstead,- N.W. 3.