Monday, May 01, 2017

Southern Syria Was Also a Palestinian Newspaper

Suriyya al-Janubiyya (Arabic: سوريا الجنوبية‎‎, 'Southern Syria') was the name of a newspaper published in Jerusalem beginning in September 1919 by the lawyer Muhammad Hasan al-Budayri, and edited by Aref al-Aref, with contributions from, amongst others, Haj Amin al-Husayni.

At the time, the term "Southern Syria" referred to a political position which implied support for the Greater Syria nationalism associated with the kingdom promised to the Hashemite dynasty of the Hejaz by the British during World War I. After the war, the Hashemite prince Faisal attempted to establish such a Pan-Syrian or pan-Mashriq state (i.e. a united kingdom that would comprise all of modern Syria, as well as Mount Lebanon and Palestine, including Transjordan, so that Palestine would be the province of "Southern Syria"). This kingdom was to be united with the other Hashemite domains in Hejaz and Iraq, thus contributing in large measure towards the fulfillment of Pan-Arabist ambitions. However, he was stymied by conflicting promises made by the British to different parties (see Sykes-Picot Agreement, Balfour Declaration and McMahon–Hussein Correspondence), leading to the French destruction of the self-proclaimed Kingdom of Syria in 1920.

The newspaper Suriyya al-Janubiyya espoused this Pan-Syria idea alongside Pan-Arabist and Palestinian nationalist political positions. These positions were not contradictory at the time and, in fact, were mutually supportive. With the disappearance of Faisal's Syrian kingdom, the idea of Pan-Syrianism lost support, and the newspaper focused on Palestinian nationalism and opposition to British rule and Zionist immigration, prior to the suppression of the paper by the British authorities in April 1920.

And here:

Southern Syria is a designation that is called the areas south of natural Syria, which are also known as historic Palestine and eastern Jordan (sometimes including the Houran Plain). This name was used during the London Conference in 1840 and was used by the British Encyclopedia in its 11th edition in 1911 as follows: «Palestine can be referred to as the third third of the state of Syria»

South Syria extends to the Sinai, where the Egyptian historian Abdul Rahman al-Jabarti referred to the inhabitants of El-Arish as Syrians [1]. This label spread especially at the end of the British mandate over Palestine and talk about a national homeland for the Jews in it. The Arabs of Palestine called for using this term to denote that this country is part of Syria. This term was used at the Syrian General Conference, which represented all the inhabitants of Syria (including the south) and called for its unity.


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