Resolution of the 1921 World Zionist Congress

The Churchill White Paper of 1922 described how Britain was going to establish a Jewish National Home in Palestine. This policy was implemented in the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. The White Paper and the Mandate make clear that Palestine would still be the national home of the existing Arab population. Churchill also quoted a resolution of the World Zionist Congress supporting this concept, mentioning a “common home” for Arabs and Jews and the “undisturbed national development of each of its peoples”. In other words, a ‘bi-national state’.

Until now, the full text of the resolution and accompanying notes has not been available on the internet. This is undoubtedly because it is an embarrassment to the modern Zionist propagandists who want us to believe that Palestine west of the river Jordan was given to the Zionists for a Jewish State, leaving Transjordon for the Arabs. Accordingly, it has been suppressed.

All that the Jewish Virtual Library has to say on the resolution is that Zionists expressed a wish “to live in relations of harmony and mutual respect with the Arab people”. The Wikipedia page “History of Zionism” says only that an “Arab-Jewish Entente was agreed”.

The following text is copied from the publication “Documents on Palestine Volume I, 1900-1947″, edited by Dr. Mahdi Abdul Hadi, and published by PASSIA in 2007.


We do thereby reaffirm our desire to attain a durable understanding which shall enable the Arab and Jewish peoples to live together in Palestine on terms of mutual respect and co-operate in making the common home into a flourishing community, the upbuilding of which will assure to each of these peoples an undisturbed national development.

In the spirit of this resolution the following notes have been drafted:

Taking note of the Balfour Declaration of November 2nd, 1917, and of its subsequent reaffirmation by His Britannic Majesty’s Government and the Principle Allied Powers: Deploring the misconceptions which still exists as to the manner in which the Balfour Declaration is to be construed: 

1. The promise of a national home in Palestine made to the Jewish people by His Brittanic Majesty’s Government (and concurred in by the Princicple Allied Powers) is to be interpreted as a promise to secure the international recognition, under the guarantee of the League of Nations, of the right of the Jews to constitute themselves in Palestine as a national unit.

2. (a) The Jews on the one hand and the Arabs on the other are to be regarded as living side side on a footing of perfect equality in all matters, including the official use and recognition of their respective languages.
    (b) In areas in which there is a mixed population, the rights of th minority are to be fully guaranteed, including the right of representation on the local administrative bodies.
    (c) The existence in Palestine of the Jewish National Home is not to be a bar to the recognition of Palestine, when the time is ripe, as a self-governing commonwealth.

3. The Zionist leaders and the Jews of Palestine will support the demand for the development of self-governing institutions on a representative basis, it being clearly understood that the terms of this agreement will remain binding and inviolable, as will also the provisions of the Mandate, so long as the Mandate is in force.

4. The Zionist leaders and the Jews of Palestine will support the demand that non-Palestinian officials, with the exception of the High Commissioner, the Civil, Financial and Legal Secretaries, and the heads of the Principal Departments, shall be gradually replaced by Palestinians, due regard being had, in the case of District officials, to the Arab or Jewish character, as the case may be, of the population concerned.

5. Jewish immigration is to be limited by the capacity of Palestine, from time to time, to absorb it, but not otherwise. It is declared that there is not nor has there ever been any intention to disturb the existing Arab population or any part of it. The right of the Arab inhabitants and their descendants to the secure enjoyment of their homes and prosperity is unequivocally recognised and guaranteed.

6. (a) It is agreed that the Law of Nationality should recognize as citizens of Palestine all persons who being presently resident in the country at a date to be subsequently fixed, do not decline such citizenship, provided that no person owing allegiance to another state shall become a citizen until he has renounced such allegiance.
(b) It is further agreed that facilities should be provided for the acquisition of citizenship by persons who take up their permanent residence in Palestine, the qualifying period to be settled by common agreement with the Mandatory Power.

7. The Zionist Leaders and the Jews of Palestine will give all the moral and material support in their power to the various Arab States which have been constituted or are in the process of constitution and will, in general, co-operate whole-heartedly with the Arab people in its efforts to realise its national aspirations. The Arabs, on their side, will loyally work with the Jews in all matters appertaining to the establishment of the Jewish National Home.

It is the intent of both parties to lay the foundations of a generally Arab-Jewish understanding to the advantage of the Jewish people and to the Arab world as a whole and in the interest of the fruitful development of the Near and Middle East.

8. The Zionist Leaders categorically re-affirm their repeated assurances that they do not contemplate and have never contemplated the smallest interference with the religious rights and customs of the non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine, for which they undertake to show the most rigorous and scrupulous regard. In particular, do they recognise the Moslem and Christian Holy Places as inviolable and formally repudiate the injurious and wholly unfounded suggestion that it is desired, directly or indirectly to trespass upon them.
The Arabs, on their part, undertake to show an equal regard for the Holy Places and the religious rights and customs of the Jews.

9. All the various Jewish Organisations, which have in view the economic reconstruction of Palestine on an extensive scale, will welcome the co-operation of the Arab inhabitants and undertake to afford them a full opportunity of participating in such economic endeavours as they may initiate.


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The following explanation of the term ‘Jihad’ is taken from the website of the blogger ‘Penjihad’.

“Jihad” springs from the Arabic “Jhd” which means “struggle”; “Jihad”  means the act of struggle, “Mujahid” (Plural, Mujahideen) is someone who is doing “Jihad”.

At the core (the highest level), it is the duty of every Muslim to struggle against the basic negative predispositions we all have as humans…greed, envy, jealousy, rage, deceit, theft, murder etc.

At the next level, it is the duty of every Muslim to fight against the ills that beset Mankind…hunger, disease, homelessness, illiteracy, injustice, lack of water, pollution etc.,

At the least important level, Muslims are required to fight those who attack us AFTER we have exhausted all other efforts towards peaceful resolution. Even then, if peace is at hand, even at mid-battle, one has to stop and accept terms that are just and preserve the dignity of all parties.

I would imagine these are things that every person needs to subscribe to, not just Muslims.

Short link:

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UN Security Council, 15 May 1948: Documents

The UN Security Council met on May 15, 1948 and had before it the following documents:

1. Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel;

2. Cablegram from the Arab League announcing a military  intervention in Palestine;

3. Communication from Israel protesting Jordanian aggression;

4. Communication from Jordan protesting Zionist atrocities;

5. Communication from Israel protesting Egyptian aggression;

6. Communication from Egypt protesting Zionist atrocities.

The representative of the Jewish Agency (for Israel) demanded an enforceable Chapter VII resolution condemning Arab aggression.

The representative of the Arab Higher Committee (for the Palestinians), supported by Syria and Egypt, questioned the right of the Jewish Agency to term as aggression the entry of Arab forces which had been invited by the Arab Higher Committee to maintain law and order. With the termination of the Mandate, he asserted, Palestine had become an independent nation and the Jews constituted a rebellious minority.

The Security Council did not assign blame to either side. After several days of discussions it passed Resolution 49, calling for a cease-fire.

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The Borders of Israel and Palestine

This post is under development. Continue reading

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Initial statements of parties concerned

This is an extract from the Year Book of the United Nations, 1947-48. It describes the meeting of the UN General Assembly Adhoc Committeee on Palestine in September-October 1948. Continue reading

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General debate on the future government of Palestine

This is an extract from the Year Book of the United Nations, 1947-48. It describes the General Debate on April 20, 1948 during the special session of the General Assembly called to discuss the future government of Palestine. Continue reading

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Intervention of the Arab States in Palestine

This is an extract from the Year Book of the United Nations, 1947-48. It describes the Meeting of the United Nations Security Council on 15 May 1948 which discussed the situation in Palestine after the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, and the military intervention of the Arab states that commenced on that day. Continue reading

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Epstein’s Telegram to Shertok

On 14 May, 1948 Eliahu Epstein, Agent of the Jewish Agency in Washington, sent this telegram to Moshe Shertok, Foreign Minister of the Provisional Government of Israel in Tel Aviv. The telegram tells the dramatic story of how, against a deadline and in secrecy, the new State of Israel was recognized by President Truman. Continue reading

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The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination

The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination, by Jeremy R. Hammond

Publication Date: 8 November 2009 | ISBN: 978-0557095698 | Kindle available


The Rejection of Palestinian Self-DeterminationThe Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination is an overview of the crucial period from the rise of the Zionist movement until the creation of the state of Israel, examining how the seeds of the continuing conflict in the Middle East between Jews and Arabs were sown during this time. It sets out to show, by examining principle historical documents and placing key events in proper context, that the root of today’s conflict is the rejection of the right to self-determination for the Arab Palestinians.


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Holy Places in the Holy Land

I have never been much interested in the idea of holy places. I do not yearn to visit Jerusalem or Bethlehem, and I do not think such a visit would improve my understanding of Jesus. Nevertheless, I must confess there is one place I do love to go to and pray at: the tomb of St. Bede the Venerable in Durham Cathedral, England. I feel I know Bede, because he wrote (in Latin) a beautiful book called Ecclesiastical History of England (sometimes translated as The Ecclesiastical History of the English People, or History of the English Church and People). He was a monk in Jarrow, northern England, in the 8th century. He was a good historian, careful to check his facts, and a good Christian: his work is suffused with humility and love for his brethren. So I do have some empathy with those who regard the holy places of their religion to be of great importance. And chief among such places are those sites in the Holy Land of Palestine, which are sacred to the three monotheistic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In Victorian times, two gentlemen visited Temple Mount in Jerusalem, but interpreted what they saw in different ways.

From The Journals of Herman Melville(January, 1857)

Mosque of Omar– Solomon’s Temple. Here the wall of Omar rises upon the foundation stones of Solomon, triumphing over that which sustains it, an emblem of the Moslem religion, which at once spurns that deeper faith which fathered it & preceded it. &c.

from Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad(1869)

Every where about the Mosque of Omar are portions of pillars, curiously wrought altars, and fragments of elegantly carved marble–precious remains of Solomon’s Temple. These have been dug from all depths in the soil and rubbish of Mount Moriah, and the Moslems have always shown a disposition to preserve them with the utmost care….. The designs wrought upon these fragments are all quaint and peculiar, and so the charm of novelty is added to the deep interest they naturally inspire. One meets with these venerable scraps at every turn, especially in the neighboring Mosque el Aksa, into whose inner walls a very large number of them are carefully built for preservation.

(Note: both writers have made the same mistake: what they call the Mosque of Omar is actually the Dome of the Rock. The Mosque of Omar is near the Church of the Sepulchre.) To Melville, Muslims spurn Judaism, and the presence of ancient Jewish stones in the building is meant to demonstrate the triumph of Islam over Judaism. To Twain, the careful discovery and preservation of the stones by Muslims shows respect for the ancient site. Twain is more likely to be right. Mohamed recognized the Jewish prophets, including Jesus, as his predecessors, and gave the honorific title ‘People of the Book’ to Jews and Christians, acknowledging that they had received a revelation from God. The Rock under the dome is said to be the one on which Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac; it is the site of the Holy of Holies of the Jewish Temple; and also the place from which Mohamed ascended to heaven. It is a holy place to all three religions. By the way, there is an nice story about the actual Mosque of Omar, which illustrates mutual respect between Christian and Muslim leaders.

After the Siege of Jerusalem in 637 by the Rashidun army under the command of Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, Patriarch Sophronius refused to surrender except to the Caliph Omar (579-644) himself. Omar traveled to Jerusalem and accepted the surrender. He then visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Sophronius invited him to pray inside the Church, but Omar declined so as not to set a precedent and thereby endanger the Church’s status as a Christian site. Instead he prayed outside in the courtyard, in a place where David was believed to have prayed.

I was recently reading the King-Crane report (full text) of the commission sent to Palestine  in 1919 by President Wilson of the USA to investigate the opinions of its inhabitants about the British policy of establishing there a Jewish National Home. (Very negative, but that is another story.) It includes the following rather surprising paragraph (my emphasis):

With the best possible intentions, it may be doubted whether the Jews could possibly seem to either Christians or Moslems proper guardians of the holy places, or custodians of the Holy Land as a whole. The reason is this: the places which are most sacred to Christians-those having to do with Jesus-and which are also sacred to Moslems, are not only not sacred to Jews, but abhorrent to them. It is simply impossible, under those circumstances, for Moslems and Christians to feel satisfied to have these places in Jewish hands, or under the custody of Jews. There are still other places about which Moslems must have the same feeling. In fact, from this point of view, the Moslems, just because the sacred places of all three religions are sacred to them, have made very naturally much more satisfactory custodians of the holy places than the Jews could be.

This agrees with something else I have come across recently, the book Remembering and Imagining Palestine by Haim Greber, which concludes that:

 As time progressed, the mixture of old memories and new imaginings created amongst the Palestinians a sense of preordained ethnic responsibility: they became conscious that they were elected by God to serve as guards of the holy sites of Jerusalem for the entire world of Islam.

Is it really true that Christian Holy places are abhorrent to Jews? Well, certainly not to all Jews, but it does seem that some Orthodox Jews in Israel are very hostile to Christian sites and the Christian clergy. A recent article in Foreign Policy Journal paints a rather horrifying picture of attacks and insulting behavior from 1948 onwards. Just a few extracts:

Monsignor Thomas MacMahon, secretary of the Catholic Near East Association of New York, wrote to the United Nations on August 20, 1948, “there have been constantly some violations and desecrations of Catholic holy places. The associated Press report of August 19, 1948 confirmed that Jewish forces perpetrated criminal acts against 12 Roman Catholic institutions in Northern Palestine… Seven churches, convents and hospitals have been looted by Jews and others seized by force.”

According to Father Pascal St. Jean, Superior of Our Lady of France Hostel, valuables were stolen, archives plundered, and “both chapels, were desecrated, figures of Christ unfastened from crosses and taken away. In the great chapel we came upon Jewish soldiers of both sexes dancing in the sanctuary to the music of the harmonium. Benches were taken outside and used for profane purposes.  We have seen mattresses in the great chapel and Jewish soldiers have certainly been sleeping there. I protest against these acts in particular. They are sins committed on the premises of holy worship.”

Father Rezk of the Greek Orthodox Church, Jaffa, reported on August 4, 1956, “armed Jewish soldiers broke through the Church door. Chalices and sacred vases containing the Holy Host were stolen, along with other religious items. They threw away the icons of Jesus Christ and the holy Virgin in a garden next door.”

When Zionist forces occupied Jerusalem in 1967, Nancy Nolan, wife of Dr Abu Haydar of the American University Hospital of Beirut, witnessed Israeli soldiers and youths throwing stink bombs at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The Church of St. Anne, whose crypt marks the birthplace of Mary, and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem were vandalized. The Warden of the Garden Tomb, Reverend S J Mattar, was shot, and shots were fired randomly into the Tomb in an attempt to kill the Warden’s wife. Jews went into the Church of the Nativity and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, smoking, littering and bringing in dogs.

When Zionists seized Convents and Churches on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem in 1968, they looted gold and silver ornaments. An eyewitness account states that the interior of the Church of St. Saviour had its altar wrecked, and an altar painting destroyed. The valuable collection of church vestments was missing. Armenian and Greek Orthodox cemeteries were desecrated on Mt. Zion, including 14 tombs of Christian patriarchs. Practically every tomb at the Greek Orthodox cemetery was smashed. Likewise with the Catholic cemetery. The Very Reverend Father Andres, Procureua-General in the Holy Land, stated in an article in the Catholic journal, La Terra Sainte, March 1968, that “the Jews actually dragged the corpses out of the tombs and scattered the coffins and remains of the dead all around the cemetery.”

In 2011 the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported: Clergymen in the Armenian Church in Jerusalem say they are victims of harassment, from senior cardinals to priesthood students; when they do complain, the police don’t usually find the perpetrators. Ultra-Orthodox young men curse and spit at Christian clergymen in the streets of Jerusalem’s Old City as a matter of routine. In most cases the clergymen ignore the attacks, but sometimes they strike back.

Last week the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court quashed the indictment against an Armenian priesthood student who had punched the man who spat at him. Johannes Martarsian was walking in the Old City in May 2008 when a young ultra-Orthodox Jew spat at him. Maratersian punched the spitter in the face, making him bleed, and was charged for assault. But Judge Dov Pollock, who unexpectedly annulled the indictment, wrote in his verdict that “putting the defendant on trial for a single blow at a man who spat at his face, after suffering the degradation of being spat on for years while walking around in his church robes is a fundamental contravention of the principles of justice and decency.”

When Narek Garabedian came to Israel to study in the Armenian Seminary in Jerusalem half a year ago, he did not expect the insults, curses and spitting he would be subjected to daily by ultra-Orthodox Jews in the streets of the Old City.

The US State Department Report on Religious Freedom (2012) also criticizes Israel for its attitude to religious minorities.

Governmental and legal discrimination against non-Jews and  non-Orthodox streams of Judaism continued. The government implements some policies based on Orthodox Jewish interpretations of religious law…. Since the state does not permit civil marriages, interfaith marriages, or marriages performed by non-Orthodox rabbis or unrecognized religious authorities, many marriages must take place outside the country in order to be legally recognized. This provision restricts the ability of individuals to choose their own religious authorities and prevents several hundred thousand Israeli citizens from marrying within the country.

The government provides some resources for the upkeep of holy places of Muslims and all recognized religious communities, but provides significantly greater levels of government resources to Jewish holy places. The government also funds construction of Jewish synagogues and cemeteries. Government resources available for religious or heritage studies to Arab and non-Orthodox Jewish public schools are significantly less than those available to Orthodox Jewish public schools. Public and private Arab schools offer studies in both Islam and Christianity, but state funding for such studies is proportionately less than the funding for religious education courses in Jewish schools.

Ministry of the Interior (MOI) officials continued to revoke citizenship or deny services (such as child registration, social benefits, identity cards, and passports) to some citizens based on their religious beliefs, according to the Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ). This included cases of individuals who immigrated under the Law of Return as Jews but were discovered to hold Messianic or Christian beliefs. According to the JIJ, on July 4 the MOI granted residency to a Holocaust survivor whom it previously had refused in May 2011 due to her profession of Messianic Jewish beliefs. There were reports of societal abuses and discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice.

Relations between religious and ethnic groups, including between Muslims and Christians, Arabs and non-Arabs, and secular and religious Jews continued to be tense.

There were at least five incidents of vandalism of churches and monasteries in Jerusalem and Latroun during the year. Spray-painted graffiti of religious denigration marked them as “price tag” attacks conducted in retaliation for government actions to restrict settlement activity in the West Bank and designed to exact a “price” for actions settlers considered contrary to their interests. Officials quickly and publicly criticized the attacks and police opened investigations and made several arrests. There were no prosecutions as of the end of the year.

Messianic Jews and Jehovah’s Witnesses were harassed regularly by Yad L’Achim and Lev L’Achim, Jewish religious organizations opposed to missionary activity. During the year, Jehovah’s Witnesses reported assaults, threats of violence, and other crimes to the police.

The Government of Israel continued to apply travel restrictions during the year that impeded access to particular places of worship in the West Bank and Jerusalem for Muslims and Christians.

The Israeli government’s strict closures and curfews hindered residents from practicing their religion at key holy sites, such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

Israeli authorities continued to limit visas for Arab Christian clergy serving in the West Bank or Jerusalem to single-entry visas, complicating their travel, particularly to areas under their pastoral authority outside the West Bank or Jerusalem.

Again during the year, Israeli authorities severely limited the access of Palestinians to Rachel’s Tomb, a Bethlehem shrine holy to Jews, Christians, and Muslims under Israeli jurisdiction in Area C, but allowed relatively unimpeded access to Jewish visitors. The Government of Israel restricted access to the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount by Muslims from Jerusalem and the West Bank. The Israeli government provided Muslims from Gaza no opportunity to access the site.

Israeli settlers in the West Bank continued to justify violence against Palestinian persons and property as necessary for the defense of Judaism. Some Jewish groups continued to call for the destruction of the Islamic Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque to enable the building of a third Jewish temple. Some settlers continued to carry out “price tag” attacks against Palestinians in response to Israeli government actions that were contrary to settlers’ interests. These included acts of vandalism, arson, and anti-Muslim graffiti on mosques located primarily in the West Bank, as well as anti-Christian graffiti on churches in Jerusalem. There were no prosecutions in either case.

Some ultra-Orthodox youths in religious studies programs insulted and almost daily spat on Christian clergy, nuns, and seminarians in Jerusalem’s Old City.

See also the 2013 report.

Other relevant articles: Israel is not a liberal democracy.

Additional sources: Wikipedia pages Mosque of Omar (Jerusalem)Temple Mount; Dome of the Rock.

Last updated: September 18, 2014.


Posted in 4. RELIGIONS, Christianity, Islam, Israel / Palestine, Judaism | 1 Comment