Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Zionism Harpooned Circa 1936

You should all be aware of Nitzana Datrshan-Leitner's book, Harpoon.

It chronicles the rather simple, non-violent way of confronting and defeating terror by Israel: its campaign to target the finances fueling terror organizations.

But it wasn't really all that new.

Eldad Harouvi's history of the CID in Mandate Palestine recounts the British effort beginning in 1936 to deal with the flow of money into Palestine and in to the coffers of the Mufti and other organizations that engaged in terror, insurrection and illegal strikes.

In the Hebrew edition I am reading, on page 117, documents are quoted from indicating Italian Fascist sources as well as from Egypt, false bank accounts, smuggling finances even by monks and nuns and more.

Other academic research papers are here which includes this:

Italian Foreign Minister, Galeazzo Ciano, met the German Ambassador to Rome, Hans Georg von Mackensen, to discuss Axis policy in the Middle East. During their conversation, Ciano stated 'that for years he had maintained constant relations with the Grand Mufti, of which his secret fund could tell a tale' (Source: Mackensen to Foreign Ministry, 10 September 1940, Documents on German Foreign Policy [DGFP] ser. D, Vol. XI (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1961), p. 48.)

and this:

The Italian Foreign Ministry was willing to provide financial support to Arab nationalists in Palestine even before the revolt erupted. At first this was done indirectly. The Syrian exile, Ihsan al-Jabri, co-editor of the journal La Nation Arabe (together with Shakib Arslan) and member of the Syrio-Palestinian delegation to the League of Nations, was receiving funds from the Italian Foreign Ministry since April 1934. By autumn 1935, he had already been given 1,740,000 Italian lire. Jabri assured Italian officials he had 'delivered thousands of pounds' to the Mufti of Jerusalem.5  In November 1935, The Italian Charge d'Affaires in Jeddah, Giovanni Persico, handed ?5,000 to Fuad Hamza, the Saudi Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, on the understanding that this money was to be passed on to Hamza's 'friends in Jerusalem and Transjordan' who were 'willing to begin work at once'.6

In January 1936, Husayni personally asked the Italian Consul-General in Jerusalem, Mariano De Angelis, for a grant of ?100,000. This sum was to help in the financing of 'actions in Palestine and Transjordan'. The Duce approved this payment which was to be carried out 'immediately so as not to continue the relationship with us [and thus] compromise it during the period of agitation'.7 Despite Mussolini's approval, Palazzo Chigi informed the Mufti he would only be granted ?25,000, of which he received approximately 12,000.8 On 19 April 1936, an Arab crowd attacked Jews in Jaffa sparking disturbances
that spread across much of Palestine. Soon afterwards the leaders of the main political parties and organizations headed by the Mufti founded the Arab Higher Committee and announced a general strike. On 7 May 1936, De Angelis notified the Duce of Husayni' s intention to intensify the disturbances and to paralyze the British authorities. To achieve this he requested that the 'other ?16,000 that he had been promised' be forwarded as quickly as possible.9

In June, the Mufti renewed his request for a further ?75,000. De Angelis, who was nearing the end of his tenure in Jerusalem, argued the Arabs' case in Rome. He wrote a long memorandum to Ciano, shortly after the latter's appointment as Foreign Minister, imploring him to agree to Husayni's requests. De Angelis reported that, before he left for Rome, the Mufti asked him to 'tell Signor Mussolini that I have committed myself to the struggle (sono sceso in campo) because I believe in his promise and in his support'.1o Ciano was at first reluctant to enter into a costly commitment. He wished to continue relations with the Mufti but felt that the figure of ?75,000 was too high. He told De Angelis he would reconsider if the request was reduced to ?5,000 or ?10,000.11...

... On 15 January 1936, the Secret Affairs Section of the Cabinet recommended that an agent of the Mufti could purchase weapons in a 'foreign market' using funds 'provided especially by us'. 66 On 16 September of that year, having received the initial list of arms stored in Taranto, the Foreign Ministry considered 'providing for the acquisition of the rest
of the material abroad' .6

And this article which includes this information:

It was not until the strike entered its second month and appeals for help from Palestinian Arabs poured into Egypt3 that pan-Islamic societies and the Arabic press began to pay attention to the Palestinian crisis. Societies such as the Young Men's Muslim Association (YMMA), the Muslim Brethren (Jam'iyat al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin), the Azharite Union, and the Egyptian Women's Union issued manifestos and protests against British policy in Palestine. These societies further initiated a fund-raising campaign for the Arab victims in Palestine.4 

Nothing too new under the sun.


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