Last updated on: 5/7/2008 1:30:00 PM PST

Did the British Neglect the Interests of the Palestinian Arabs under the Mandate?



General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
Don Peretz, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at State University of New York at Binghamton, in his 1996 book titled The Arab-Israel Dispute, wrote the following:

"During the mandate, there was major progress in economic development. Formerly isolated regions were linked through new roads; the railway and communications networks were extended; health and educational facilities were improved with British assistance in the Arab sector and by the Jews in the Yishuv. Agricultural and industrial productivity increased. Zionist leaders claimed credit not only for development of the Yishuv, but for improvements in the country as a whole. The British credited their administration. Arab nationalists discounted these advances, asserting that they benefited the British and Jewish settlers rather than the great majority of the population."

1996 - Don Peretz, PhD 



PRO (yes)

Michael C. Hudson, PhD, Director of the Center of Contemporary Arab Studies, in an essay from 2000 titled "The Transformation of Jerusalem 1917-2000 A.D." in Jerusalem in History, wrote:

"The Palestinian Arabs rightly suspected the political intentions of the Zionist movement, but their leaders, for the most part, remained naively convinced until the mid-1930s of Britain's good intentions toward them."

2000 - Michael C. Hudson, PhD 



Rashid Khalidi, PhD, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University, in his 1997 book titled Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness, wrote:

"In Palestine throughout the Mandate period, however, the power of the state accrued exclusively either to the British or to their Zionist protègés, and was rigorously denied to the Palestinians."

1997 - Rashid I. Khalidi, DPhil 



The United Nations' Division for Palestinian Rights, in a 1990 document titled "The Origins and Evolution of the Palestine Problem: 1917-1988, PART I, 1917-1947," contained the following:

"The Mandate provided for no body to serve the interests of the Palestinian people, similar to the Jewish Agency given official status... It is clear that by failing to consult the Palestinian people in the decision on the future of their country, the victorious Powers ignored not only the principle of self-determination that they themselves had endorsed, but also the provisions of Article 22 of the League's Covenant."

1990 - United Nations (UN) 



CON (no)

Mark Tessler, PhD, Samuel J. Eldersveld Collegiate Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan, in his 1994 book titled A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, wrote:

"Palestinian society also experienced economic growth and became more professionally differentiated during this period. On the one hand, a variety of factors contributed to the emergence of an Arab working class. On the other, the Arab middle class expanded, as did the number of Arab commercial and business enterprises. Taken together, along with gains in education, these developments laid a foundation for the gradual transformation of Arab Palestine from a conservative and socially fragmented feudal society into a coherent national community with modern institutions and political aspirations...

The role of the mandatory administration in expanding port, railway, and transport facilities was equally significant, and Britain's investment in the economy of Palestine increased substantially... These developments, too, provided opportunities for Arab employment and contributed to the proletarianization of a large segment of the Arab peasantry."


1994 - Mark Tessler, PhD 



Baruch Kimmerling, PhD, Professor of Sociology at Hebrew University, and Joel S. Migdal, PhD, Professor of International Studies at the University of Washington, in their 2003 book titled The Palestinian People: A History, wrote the following:

"While anti-British sentiment did grow substantially during the course of the mandate, the ill feelings did not result from total disinterest by the authorities in the plight of the villagers. The British made efforts to improve their situation, and to ensure that the nearly uncontrolled economic growth did not claim them as its victims. Unfortunately, genuine British dismay failed to produce a comprehensive economic plan."

2003 - Joel S. Migdal, PhD 
Baruch Kimmerling, PhD