Last updated on: 5/20/2008 2:59:00 PM PST

What Was the Outcome of the 1919 Weismann - Feisal Agreement?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
Joseph E. Goldberg, PhD, Professor of Political Science and Regional Studies at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, in an entry titled "Feisal-Weizmann Agreement," in the 1996 book An Historical Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, wrote the following:

"Feisal...made clear his position that he would not support Zionist immigration into Palestine unless he secured an independent Arab state in Syria. Later, Feisal noted that the Arabs could not yield Palestine and could not accept Jewish supremacy there. By the end of 1919, cooperation between Feisal and the Zionists had ended. Various explanations have been offered by one side or the other for the change in Feisal's position. Clearly, he altered his view from one of sympathy for Zionist aspirations to one in which a clash between Arab and Jewish demands became inevitable. It is probable that at one point Feisal saw the Zionists as valuable allies in the postwar negotiations, particularly with the French, for a future Arab state and that later, in part because of opposition from the Arabs in Palestine and questions from other Arab sources, he believed that this was not the path to be followed."

1996 - Joseph E. Goldberg, PhD 

Howard M. Sachar, PhD, Professor of Middle Eastern and European History at Georgetown University, in his 1976 book titled A History of Israel, wrote:

"When [Prince] Feisal...appeared before the [WWI Paris] Peace Conference on February 6 [1919] to demand Arab independence, he concurred that Palestine should be invested with its own guaranteed status as the enclave of the 'Zionist Jews.' As it turned out, however, Feisal expected more than a territorial quid pro quo [territory for territory] from the Jews. He also expected Zionist diplomatic support against the French [in Syria].

Two weeks before, the emir's key advisers had approached the Zionist leaders with a proposal for an Arab-Jewish entente, a 'Semitic' understanding in preference to the Western mandates. Together, it was suggested, the two peoples [Jews and Arabs] would oppose French claims to the Syrian interior. The initial Zionist reaction to this overture was noncommittal. Feisal's advisers persisted, returning to the formula continually. Embarrassed, finally, Weizmann [President of the World Zionist Organization] asked his Arab friends at least not to interfere with the French regime in the Syrian 'littoral' [coastal region].

It soon became evident that Weizmann was unwilling to act independently of his British patrons, who had made specific commitments of their own to the French. By mid-1919, as a result, Feisal terminated his public meetings with the Zionists and asked them to desist from releasing statements invoking his name. His January 4 'treaty' with Weizmann [Weizmann-Feisal Agreement] was not published, and the Zionists, respecting Feisal's wishes, withheld comment on it for many years. Increasingly disillusioned with the Zionist connection, the emir chose now to envisage the Jewish National Home as merely a subprovince within the Arab kingdom."

1976 - Howard M. Sachar, PhD