T. Cliff

The Problem of the Middle East

Part IV
The National Movement in the Arab East

<p. 143>

Chapter XVI
The Arab National Movement in Palestine

I. Imperialism, Zionism and the Arab National Movement

What distinguishes Palestine from the other Arab countries is the existence of Zionism, which acts as an agent of imperialism and a refuge in which imperialist rule seeks shelter from the ire of the Arab masses.

There is a double antagonism between the interests of the masses of the Arab people and Zionism: firstly there is the antagonism whose source is in the direct activity of Zionism itself (the boycott of the Arab worker and the products of the fellah, the eviction of Arab tenants etc.) and secondly there is the antagonism against Zionism as the agent of imperialism. A clear difference must be made between the point of view of the workers and that of the peasants as regards Zionism. The workers, who are to a decisive extent employed in works belonging to foreign capital and the government, see Zionism, inasmuch as they have reached class consciousness, as the enemy mainly because of its being the agent of imperialism, and they emphasise the fact that imperialism is the stem and Zionism the branch. On the other hand the peasants, who are in tiny villages cut off from the centres of economy and the state, are fast asleep, subjugated and illiterate, and capable of stirring themselves for real national liberatory struggles only when the connection between these struggles and the struggle for the land is made clear to them. And of course, if it comes to this, their attention will centralise more on the millions of dunams in the hands of the Arab feudal lords than on the areas in the hands of the Zionists which are in the main cultivated by Jewish toilers. At this stage the antagonism felt by the masses of fellaheen towards Zionism will be mainly the result of the intertwining of the interests of the Zionists with those of imperialism, the defender of the feudal class. But before the anti-feudal class struggle in the Arab village reaches this stage, the antagonism of the fellaheen towards Zionism is more sporadic and incomplete, and mainly the fruit of the direct activity of Zionism itself. And even though the struggle of the fellaheen against their eviction is just, by itself it has no perspectives all the while that it does not entwine with the struggle against the stem which produces the branch – imperialism. This is evidence when we remember that the strength of Zionism is based on three separate but connected factors: firstly, imperialism, secondly, the great quantity of Zionist capital and hence the great power of purchasing land, erecting industrial enterprises etc. and thirdly, the mainly feudal characteristic of the Arab economy, which makes it possible for the landlords to sell lands to the Zionists freely and without considering the illiterate tenants and ill-organised Arab masses. There is therefore a close internal connection between the struggle against imperialism, Zionism and feudalism. The peasantry is not capable of establishing an independent power and so alone cannot rise to the point of connecting the three theatres of struggle.

Regarding the relation of the classes ruling the Arab people towards Zionism:

The feudal class in all the colonies always shows antagonism to imperialism at the beginning of its penetration, as it opposes the changes that imperialism introduces which modernise the country even though to a very limited extent. After a time, with the rise of new social forces, be they the bourgeoisie, or even more, the proletariat, which aspires to radical changes in the life of the country and struggles against imperialism which stifles the advance of the country, the feudal class becomes the enemy of the national movement and ally of imperialism. The existence of Zionism in Palestine distorts this process to a large extent.

Firstly, a considerable part of the landowners sell their lands to the Zionists. This indeed weakens the position of the feudal lords as a class, as a foreign national and more modern element is introduced which is outside of feudal authority. But it is well known that the children of a declining class themselves do not believe in the future of their class or in the right of its existence, and they lose faith in and attachment to it. And when in addition to this, money is introduced into the picture, the children of the declining class prove themselves to be very easily corrupted.

<p. 144> Secondly, seeing that from the very beginning Zionism introduces changes and modernisation into the life of the country to a much greater extent than imperialism, from the very beginning the Arab feudal class as such concentrates its struggle not against imperialism, but against Zionism, hoping to separate the two by revealing its own readiness to come to terms with imperialism.

Thirdly, the feudal class as such is not only anti-Zionist but also anti-Jewish. Hating every change and longing for the past, it preaches terror and annihilation of the Jews. In this way it gives support to the imperialist policy of divide et impera.

The Arab bourgeoisie is neither developed nor independent. To a great extent it is of feudal origin and connected with the feudal class. The portion of comprador bourgeoisie is also great. Insofar as it strives to construct industrial enterprises of its own it comes into more direct conflict with Zionist capital which rules over light industry than with foreign capital which rules over the key positions of the economy. It is therefore always ready to compromise with imperialism and always desirous of proving to it that it can act as an even better agent than the Zionist bourgeoisie. The Arab bourgeoisie therefore does not appear as an independent power in the Arab sector and always connects its struggle with that of the feudal class which is not only anti-Zionist but also anti-Jewish. In such a struggle the feudal reaction which is the more conservative, clerical, racial factor, is bound to gain the upper hand in the leadership.

The economic demands of the existing leadership will throw light on the general social characteristics of this leadership, and its attitude towards Zionism and imperialism.

While in general the demand for protective tariffs to aid industry occupies a central position among the demands of the national movements in Egypt and Syria, this is not the case in Palestine. Here the feudal class and the comprador bourgeoisie who stand at the head of the national movement are interested mainly in the import of cheap industrial goods. They are enemies of industrial development. Yusuf Haikal, present mayor of Jaffa, writes in his book The Palestine Problem (Jaffa 1937, Arabic): ‘Palestine is a poor country and can never be an industrial country.’ (p. 120) ‘She cannot be an industrial centre nor a commercial centre, but only an agricultural country.’ (p. 248) The protection of industrial development is never mentioned at any conference of the Arab national movement, or in any memorandum to the government. Thus even the Arab economic Congress which met in March 1933 did not mention this. Its detailed resolutions touch on all sorts of relatively minor matters, but not on the fate of industry.

More than a dozen years later the attitude of the leadership of the national movement towards industrial development has become no warmer. Thus in an interview with the Arab Information Bureau, Farid Sa’ad, head of the Palestine Arab commercial delegation to London, said:

‘I proved to (English) industrialists whom I met that it was their duty to strengthen their position in the markets of the Middle East, which before the war had been a Japanese monopoly … to strengthen themselves in this market before the Jewish industrialists in Palestine ruled over it.’

The interview was published under the title The Arab Commercial Delegation is Persuading the English Factories that they must Export their Products. (Ad-Difa, 10/5/45) The central task of the delegation was to prove to the industrialists in England that as the majority of consumers were Arabs, they should take Arab in place of Jewish agents. (Majallat al-Ghurga at-Tijariya, Haifa Periodical of the Arab Chamber of Commerce, July 1945) The ‘national’ papers and leaders praised this delegation as the representative of the national interests of the Arabs. This throws a clear light on the character of the present leadership of the national movement.

II. For the Arab Feudal Lords and Bourgeoisie Zionism is the Sole Source of Discord with Imperialism

The Arab leaders have unceasingly striven to prove that they can be allies of imperialism which can therefore safely dispense with Zionism as a pillar in the East. Unceasingly they repeat the refrain: the British policy of support for Zionism is given under the influence of the Jews but is against the interests of the Empire.

<p. 145> Thus in the testimony of Haj Amin al-Husayni, the most well-known leader of the national movement in Palestine and Mufti of Jerusalem, before the Royal Commission, he said:

‘I have always known and believed that the British Government and British people have great statesmen and I am always convinced of the wise judgement of the British Government and the justice of the British Government … but when I see such action taken I always attribute it to Jewish pressure because we cannot see how such a great nation, such a great country with the great statesmen they have, could adopt such a course unless there was outside influence bearing in that direction.’ (Royal Commission of Palestine, Minutes, No. 4614, p. 296)

Similarly, during the time of the riots Al-Liwa, the paper of Haj Amin’s ‘Palestine Arab Party’, wrote in a leading article:

‘It is the Jewish influence which has infiltrated into the very heart of British politics in Palestine, that does harm to the authorities and prevents them from doing the duty that human feeling puts upon them …’ (1/6/36)

Zionism is not concomitant with the interests of British imperialism! Long live the British Empire, down with Jewish influence! The Arab leaders are heart and soul ready to serve the Empire! – Such is the stand of the feudal and semi-bourgeois leadership.

The Paper Palestine and Transjordan which intended to serve as a mouthpiece for the propaganda of the Arab national leadership – among the British officials, members of parliament etc. wrote (18/6/36):

‘The Arab race is universally in favour of a close British friendship and clearly conscious of the real benefits that other nations have derived from such a friendship … when there was no artificial racial problem created … The Jews do not “symbolise foreign domination”. This is sheer self-flattery … nor are they “the scapegoats of anti-British feeling” … We favour them with a very definite antipathy all for themselves!’

The same paper printed a caricature showing Weizmann looking at the Temple of Solomon which he sees in the air, while John Bull stands behind him blindfolded, and an abyss yawns before him into which he leads John Bull (17/10/36).

Proclamation No. 3 of the leadership of the Arab revolt, given on 4th September 1936 says:

‘… it is regrettable that Britain suffers this number of casualties in a holy part of the Arab countries, their allies of yesterday and today (!), in order to serve Zionism and erect a national home for it in Arab Palestine … The government could not stamp out the revolt and restore order by force, as the Arab people were behind the rebels … and the English soldiers did not fight willingly, but were forced to enter the struggle. They knew that they were not fighting for British interests, as the Arabs do not fight Britain, and do not wish to damage her interests, but fight against the Jewish settlement and Zionist policy alone. If not for these two, the Arabs would live in friendship and peace with the English.’ (Haikal, op.cit., pp. 215/6, 219)

III. Of What Does the Feudal, Semi-Bourgeois Leadership Accuse Zionism?

While for the Arab worker Zionism appears as an enemy mainly because it is the agent of imperialism, and because while limiting the industrial development of the Arab economy it shuts the doors of its own economy before him, for the feudal and semi-bourgeois leadership Zionism appears as an enemy for entirely other reasons. By striving for imperialism to choose it and not the Zionists as its agents they act as a servant who slanders another before the master. A very good card to play in this game is to accuse Zionism of Bolshevism, and this is a constant theme of the leadership.

This accusation received clear expression in, for instance, the Moslem Congress in Jerusalem in 1931, convened by Haj Amin. In this congress a ‘representative’ from Egypt, As-Sayid Rashid Rida, a well-known reactionary leader, said: ‘The Jews endeavour by Bolshevist means to destroy Islam and Christendom.’ Iad Bey Ishaki, the ‘representative’ of the Moslems of Russia who was sentenced to death by the Soviet government and emigrated to Warsaw said:

‘The Communists send much capital to Palestine in order to make it Bolshevist and oppose the Arabs. If the danger to the Mosque of Al-Aksa does not pass, the day is not far that, in the Mosque of Al-Aksa, where once stood Solomon’s Temple, will arise a temple to Trotsky and to the ambassador of Russia in Ankara, and besides them to the other great Jewish Communists …’

<p. 146> On December 13th, 1931 Al-Jami’a Al-Arabiya, the paper of the Moslem Council of the Husaynis, printed a document from the protocol of the Elders of Zion which ‘proves’ the connections of the Jews with Communism. Similar documents were printed frequently by the same paper and the Arab press in Palestine generally.

This idea of the identity of Zionism and Bolshevism which was created to encourage the imperialist ruler to disembosom itself of Zionism is given clear expression in a book intended mainly for British readers, and among them mainly those connected with the Palestine administration. In this book the wife of the leader Mogannam writes:

‘It is natural that the Arabs should have been irritated by the self-assertion and aggressiveness of these new arrivals and be influenced by the social and Bolshevik principles which they bring with them. A strong Bolshevik element has already established itself in the country and has produced an effect on the population, not by the success of its propaganda only, but by the genuine uneasiness it has inspired amongst the Arabs, especially amongst the poorer classes.

‘It is true that the danger to be apprehended from the movement cannot now be sufficiently appreciated, as it is being partly checked by the government, but in the event of an abnormal movement taking place in this part of the East those who were responsible for allowing the introduction of this element and the spread of its propaganda among the Arab people of the country, dissatisfied and disappointed as they are, will realise to what extent they were wrong in taking the matter with such easiness.’ (M. Moganna, The Arab Woman, pp. 217/8).

The enmity of the feudal and semi-bourgeois leadership is directed not only against Zionism but also against the Jewish settlement – a modern settlement – as such. Haj Amin replied unequivocally to the question of the Royal Commission: ‘Does His Eminence think that this country can assimilate and digest the 400,000 Jews now in the country? – No.’ (Royal Commission on Palestine, Peel, Minutes, No. 4648, p. 298)

These are only ‘soft’ expressions, designed for the digestion of ‘parliamentary’ receptions, of the mad hatred for the Jews which finds active expression in the incitement of racial-religious hostility and the organisation of base terroristic acts against Jews, which in no way help the struggle for freedom from the yoke of imperialism and its Zionist agents, but help only to strengthen the shaky feudal sway over the Arabs.

IV. The Identification of Zionism and the Jews – The Main Weapon in the Hands of the Arab Feudal Reaction

The socio-economic changes among the Arabs during the last few decades – the growth of the bourgeoisie, the rise of an intelligentsia, the large increase of the proletariat – were not accompanied by parallel changes in the leadership of the Arab national movement. The same feudal-clerical leadership has stood uninterruptedly at the head of the Arab national movement, and its rule has until now remained almost unchanged by any forces worthy of note.

This flows not only from the fact that in general the ideological-political superstructure does not change at the same rate as the socio-economic base, but also from the fact that in Palestine, unlike in other colonies, imperialism, by leaning upon Zionism, succeeded in preventing the establishment of any representative institution whatsoever. In countries where such institutions exist, even though their rights are very limited, they constitute a platform for the wrestling of opposing social forces which are forced to struggle against themselves for the support and vote of the people. In this way the leaders are placed face to face with the masses of people. The lack of democratic institutions in Palestine of even the most limited kind strangles the internal differentiation in the Arab national movement, facilitates the feudal leadership’s evasion of any criticism on the part of the masses and allows it to wrap itself in the mantle of ‘militant opposition’.

But the main factor which fortified and still today fortifies the stand of the feudal reaction in the Arab national movement in Palestine is the identification which it makes in its propaganda of Zionism and the Jews, which is not opposed by the Arab bourgeoisie, who see the Jewish capitalist as their enemy No. 1.

<p. 147> A few facts will show what tremendous power this anti-Jewish propaganda put into the hands of the feudal leaders.

Before the 1929 riots the Nashashibi opposition to Haj Amin, which comprises most of the bourgeois elements, began to come to the fore. (Of course, as we have said, there is no clear boundary between these elements and the feudal class, but we may differentiate to some extent.) Then much was spoken about the declining influence of Haj Amin, and some papers made so bold as to attack him quite severely on matters concerning the Supreme Moslem Council, embezzlement, and so on. Much propaganda was made against his appointment as Mufti for nine additional years after his term of office was due to expire in 1929. The propaganda of the Mufti that the Jews wished to control the Wailing Wall, to destroy the Mosque of Aksa and erect in its place the Temple of Solomon, was taken by the Oppositional circles to be directed, first and foremost, to the fortification of his shaky position in the hearts of the people. Thus the paper As-Sirat al-Mustaqim (8/11/1928) wrote: ‘In order to retrieve the faith of the people the leaders of the Supreme Moslem Council found the Bourak (Wailing Wall).’ In the same number the paper wrote:

‘The truth is that the Mufti and his friends love money. They took the Waqf property for themselves … Your (the Mufti’s) lust for money is known to us. We know who you are and what the affair of the ‘Bourak’ is. The Wall is not in danger. The Jews are too weak and afraid to take it from you, except for money.’

While before the riots the antagonism to the Mufti on the part of the leadership of the national movement increased, after them the opposition was pushed aside and the Mufti’s position was assured. The reasons spring from the anti-Jewish struggle conducted in 1929.

Again at the beginning of the 1936 riots the organisational centre of gravity of the national movement was in the National Committees of Jaffa and Haifa in which bourgeois elements had a decisive position, and an important place in the leadership of the riots was taken by the Conference of Mayors who were Nashashibi men. (The mayor of Jerusalem, Dr Khaldi, who sat on the fence between the Mufti and Nashashibi, did not take part in the conference.) At the end, however, the bourgeois elements were completely crushed; many of Nashashibi’s family were assassinated, as also Hassan Sidqi ad-Dajani (owner of the largest number of automobiles in the country) and the Mayor of Nablus. Attempts were also made on the lives of the mayor of Haifa, Hebron and other places, and the full control of the national movement passed over to the hands of the Higher Arab Committee, which was composed mainly of the biggest landowners.

The class struggle of the Arab proletariat which was yet in its swaddling clothes also did not advance or strengthen during the national uprising of 1929 and 1936–39 but was on the contrary paralyzed. Whereas in the popular uprisings in the colonies strikes against foreign capital play a progressively increasing role, in Palestine something very different happened. From 1933–35 there were large-scale economic strikes of Arab workers mainly in the enterprises of foreign capital (Iraq Petroleum Co., Shell, the railways, the port of Haifa, Karaman, Dick and Salti, and so on). As against this, during the whole period of the riots from 1936 to 1939 not a single strike took place in the enterprises of foreign capital and the government.

Nevertheless there were a number, even though a small number, of serious clashes between Arab workers and Arab bourgeoisie which gained force because of the general militancy of the masses during the national uprising. (Thus, for instance, in one enterprise the workers gained an eight hour day by using armed threats.) Various sparks of a peasants’ revolt against the landowners also began to flicker. Thus non-payment of rent, at least for the period of the riots, was a very widespread demand among the members of the fighting bands.

But as long as the proletariat in the decisive centres – the enterprises of foreign capital and the government – did not participate in the class struggle, this struggle could not have a broad and deep character; and the peasants’ movement likewise could not have a stable, clear agrarian revolutionary character. Actually the Mufti’s success in centralising the rebel bands under a united leadership – that of Fawzi al-Qawuqji – paralyzed the process of social awakening of the masses.

The war against the Jews as such is bound to strengthen the sway of the <p. 148> feudal elements and weaken the class differentiation in the Arab national movement, as the Arab worker and fellah oppose Zionism, although their interests are not antagonistic to those of the Jewish worker. Struggle against the Jews has an internal logic of its own. It creates an emotional chauvinistic background and a leaning towards the world anti-Semitic reaction. For such a war there is nothing better than a feudal-clerical leadership.

The methods of struggle which the Arab national movement adopted under the influence of the feudal elements and with the compliance of the bourgeois elements – methods forged out of hatred for the Jewish masses and desire to check any struggle against foreign capital and imperialism – caused the sway of the feudal-clerical leadership not to weaken but to strengthen with the continuation of the national uprising.

Seeing that in the large towns the portion and weight of the Jews is a big, there was no prospect that the activity of the Arab national movement would have any great influence in these areas so long as it was directed against Jews as such. Therefore while at the beginning of the 1936–39 disturbances the centre of gravity of the national struggle was in the large mixed towns (Haifa, Jaffa, Jerusalem), after a few months it moved over to the backward parts of the country. The fact that the centre of partisan activity was in the backward Jenin-Nablus-Tulkarm triangle raised the influence and weight of the feudal layer in the Arab national movement.

The partisan struggle in Palestine gave further proof of the fact that the peasants alone, without the leadership of a progressive urban class – and in our times without the leadership of the proletariat – inevitably falls victim to the influence of reactionary classes. Partisan bands are too weak to be of decisive independent weight against a regular army. Therefore if the partisans are not pioneer forces and auxiliary troops for the fighting proletarian masses, they of necessity act as such for other classes or for another regular army composed either of fellow-countrymen or foreigners.

The weapons that paralyzed the class struggle of the proletariat, diverted the peasantry into a chauvinistic, reactionary channel, and turned the partisans into a card in the hands of the feudal lords who bargained with British imperialism and were ready every moment to become agents of German or Italian imperialism, were the incitement against and slandering of the Jews, and the identification of Zionism and the Jews.

As a matter of fact in the 1936–39 disturbances the Arab masses used not only the weapon of partisan warfare, but also strikes. This, however, was not the main struggle but an auxiliary to the terrorist activity which often took on the form of individual terror (shooting at Jewish buses, or Jewish passers-by in Arab quarters and so on). Had the strike been general, i.e. also in the enterprises of the government and foreign capital, it would indeed have caused material suffering to the Arab masses but in return it would have become the focal point of the struggle for national liberation, and would have raised the weight of the anti-imperialist forces tremendously. But seeing that only Arab industrial, handicraft and commercial enterprises struck, its real weight was small and had mainly demonstrative value – in spite of the fact that the strike lasted half a year. Because of this, from its very birth it had the mark of death upon it. Finally, with the beginning of the orange season, pressure was put for the ending of the strike by the Arab orange grove owners and the Jaffa port workers, whose main income was from loading the oranges, and who together had had a decisive influence in calling the strike. The strike accordingly ended.

From these circumstances yet another singular feature of the Arab national movement becomes clear, which differentiates it fundamentally from other national movements in the colonies. Every colonial national movement must inevitably, whether truly or in a distorted manner, reflect the socio-economic interests of the masses which constitute, if not the engine, at least its motive power. The Arab national movement in Palestine, because of the anti-Jewish direction given it by its feudal leaders, inevitably passed more and more to abstract nationalism even if for a certain time it disclosed in a perverted form the material suffering of the masses of fellaheen. In the 1929 riots, and especially after them, the Arab leaders made much propaganda against Zionism as the evicter of the fellaheen, the cause of the weighing down of the yoke of taxes and so on. Therefore all the commissions and government experts of the years 1929–31 dealt mainly with economic questions. In the 1936–39 riots the material affairs of the masses received almost no expression in the declarations of the feudal <p. 149> leaders. And the reason is clear: from 1929 onwards, there was a very great penetration of foreign imperialist capital into Palestine and socio-economic propaganda would have had to be directed, first and foremost against foreign capital and imperialism (of which Zionism and feudalism are but agents).

Because of these factors, democratization within the Arab national movement did not advance at all. There is not a single political institution of the Arab national movement or Arab parties in Palestine which has been democratically elected. Until today there is practically no party in the modern sense, and there exist only cliques of families and their friends. If the full control of the movement is in the hands of feudal-clerical elements, which because of hatred of the Jews and fear of a Jewish majority oppose democratic elections in the mixed towns inhabited by a majority of Jews (Haifa, Jerusalem), it is no wonder that there is no iota of democracy in the national movement.

And so whatever the direct reasons arousing hatred of the Jews among the Arab masses (whether it be the crimes of the Zionist movement which is yet supported by nearly all the Jews in Palestine, or whether it be the propaganda of Nazi agents) all the while that this hatred exists, all the while that the majority of the Arab masses identify the Jews and Zionism, the Arab national movement is bound to be subjugated to a reactionary feudal clique and to be the tailpiece of forces fundamentally inimical to Arab national freedom.

V. The Feudal Semi-Bourgeois Leadership and the World Forces of Reaction

Foreign policy is the continuation of domestic policy. This holds true for the policy of the Arab leaders in Palestine too. The tailing of the upper classes in the colonies behind imperialism, is the fruit of their socio-economic weakness, the fruit of the class antagonism between them and the masses of people. In Palestine there is the additional factor of hatred of the Jews. This hatred drives the Arab leaders to seek allies among all imperialist forces especially whose which are openly anti-Semitic. And so, while, for instance, various colonial leaders in their struggle against British imperialism became agents of German or Japanese imperialism (as Bose, in India, for example) because of fear of the masses or lack of faith in them, or through incapability of arousing them to a national liberatory struggle which of necessity has a social liberatory content, in Palestine Haj Amin became an agent of Germany for yet an additional reason – because of his spiritual affinity to the anti-Semitic Nazi ideology. Preparation for this ‘alliance’ went on for years.

The Moslem Congress convoked in Jerusalem in 1931 by Haj Amin contained the essence of all the reaction in the Moslem world. At the head of the Indian delegation was Shawkat Ali. About the same time the Egyptian paper Al-Jihad published a declaration by Shawkat Ali in which he said:

‘There is no doubt that there will be riots and troubles (in India) and it will be the duty of the British government to intervene to suppress them … The time has come that the English will come to an understanding with us seeing that they cannot reach an understanding with Mahatma Gandhi, and we are definitely ready to help them if the need will arise to suppress the riots.’ (Al-Sirat al-Mustaqim, 8/12/31)

Another ‘representative’ of the Indian reactionaries was Shafi ad-Daudi who said: ‘I assure you that we are all with you, even those of us who are working with the English along the whole length of the front.’ (Al-Jami’a al-Arabiya, 14/12/31) The ‘representative’ of the Moslems of Russia was Iad Bey Ishaki, mentioned above. The Mufti’s paper Al-Jami’a al-Arabiya published an interview with Ishaki about the position of Russian Moslems, in which he complained against the Bolshevik who took the land from the rich Moslem merchants (17/12/31). The ‘representative’ of the Moslems of the Caucasus was Sa’id bey Shamel.

‘He was chosen as the president of the religious organizations in the Caucasus which fought against the Bolsheviks in long and persistent struggles in the years 1920 and 1921 and he has been engaged during the last ten years in Europe, America, Turkey, Iran and other countries leading the Caucasian religious organizations against the Bolsheviks. The Caucasian peoples, Moslem and Christian, have already united against the Bolsheviks and strive for freedom and the achievement of independence.’ (Al-Jami’a al-Arabiya, 17/12/31)

The ‘representative’ of Tunis, Abd al-Aziz al-Tha’alibi, said in the Congress: ‘The danger of Communism is not like the danger of imperialism, but is the primary danger, stronger and more terrible.’ (Al-Jami’a al-Arabiya, 20/12/31) <p. 150> The ‘representative’ of Iran was Zia ed-Din et-Tabatbai, the same Zia ed-Din that the Soviet press is today sharply attacking for his reactionary underhandedness in Iran. The rest of the participants on the congress were of like timbre.

Every reactionary deed done in the world was warmly applauded by the official Arab leaders and newspapers. Thus on 4/4/35 al-Jami’a Al-Arabiya published an article by Shakib Arselan, a Druze leader in the pay of the Axis, in which he wrote:

‘We do not forget the praiseworthy stand of the leader of Italy in support of the Arabs at the time he was editor of the paper Popolo d’Italia … We consider it an honour to meet a great man who today is almost the leading statesman in Europe.’

He goes on to count the benefits Mussolini accorded Tripoli. On another occasion in connection with the war in Abyssinia he writes: ‘We do not need to feel sorry for the Abyssinian government as it has for hundreds of years suppressed the Moslems in its country.’

Have the leaders of any other colonial national movement reached greater depths of degradation as to support an imperialist war against another colonial people?

In the same issue of al-Jami’a Al-Arabiya (4/4/35) an article was published called Islam and the Jews written by the English Moslem Dr. Khaled Sheldrick, in which, inter alia, he says:

‘Hitler saved Germany from the yoke of Jewish capitalists … Germany is today stepping on the path of progress … if the success of this movement continues, the other countries will follow in its footsteps …’

The same paper constantly printed anti-Semitic news from the English paper The Fascist, and the same ideas were clearly and unequivocally repeated on innumerable occasions by all the Arab national leaders in Palestine (see for instance, Falastin, 4/2/37). The Franco revolt was warmly praised by the paper Al-Liwa.

Not one of the influential Arab leaders in Egypt or Syria has expressed such a reactionary stand. The cause is primarily the existence of Zionism and the support the Jewish masses give it which enable the feudal reaction to turn the anger against Zionism from being directed against imperialism and feudalism which help Zionism, into an anti-Jewish channel of racial hatred.

Last updated on 28.5.2011