Arab-Jewish relations in the 1930’s
The time period of 1929-1939 was a huge turning point in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and is largely responsible for the feelings between the two parties that we know today. Major events resulting from global and regional affairs led to a drastic change in relations between the two groups that cannot be mended.
The few years prior to 1929 could have been considered as a peaceful lull, however one that began to unravel quickly beginning with the events of the tarpat. In late August 1929, the first of this unravelling began when Palestinian worshippers emerged and began to attack not only Zionists, but long-established, ultra-orthodox Jewish communities living in Hebron and Safed (Caplan 79). The British brought the Shaw Commission to investigate and found Palestinians bitterly angry with hardships caused by Zionist immigration, land purchase, and fear of domination. The Jews, on the other hand, were largely dissatisfied with the incompetency of the British to keep the peace. The result of the commission was in favor of the Palestinians, it recognized the impact of Zionist immigration and land purchase, and even mentioned resuming discussions of establishing a self-governing institution in Palestine. Clearly this would greatly anger the Zionists, however none of the policies mentioned in the Passfield White Paper were ever implemented, leaving both sides of the conflict in great question.
The unrest amongst the Palestinians urged them on, and they continued protesting through 1933, focusing rather on the British instead of Jewish or Zionist targets. British and Zionist leaders began to realize this was a genuine national movement by the Palestinians, and new, more radical and involved political parties were beginning to be formed by the Arabs. At a global scale, this movement could not have occurred at a more crucial time, unrest in Germany and surrounding countries with the election of Hitler began to usher many Jews to Palestine.
Jewish immigration was rapidly increasing, and in 1935 the largest number of immigrants during the Mandate period was recorded. The influx of Jewish immigrants had about the expected result within Palestine. In mid-April 1936, the British had no choice but to impose a curfew and declared a state of emergency. The Arab Higher Committee declared a general strike, which escalated into the Palestinian-Arab rebellion. The Palestinians were tired of the massive amounts of Jewish immigrants caused by the stirrings of World War II. The countermeasures eventually taken by the British civil administration were brutal. Bulldozing of homes, searches, curfews, etc. (Caplan 82) left Palestinians bitter. It took nearly five months of general destruction by the...