Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Saluting Two Arab Palestinian Martyrs

I found myself directed to Walter Laqueur's A History of Zionism, p 267, where he mentions two of the many assassinations of Arabs who opposed the Mufti Amin Al-Husseini, espeially if they were binationalists.

Jewish minimalists, after Brit Shalom, now the Ihud led by a ‘Committee of Five’ - Magnes, Szold, Buber, Smilansky and Simon, and other groups sought out a partner (see here for all the convoluted history).

Lacquer writes that "with the blessing of the Jewish agency", contacts were made by them with leading Arab personalities to find a common language. They met and talked and prepared more blueprints, only to realize in the end that in spite of all the outward civilities there was no common ground. 

On July 15, 1947, a binationalist testified to the UN Special Committee on Palestine that

Mr. COHEN (Interpretation from Hebrew): Concerning the question of the programme of the League, it was presented to you in the memorandum which was given before the hearing. This programme was crystallized after direct contact with certain Arab groups. These negotiations which have taken place between certain groups of Arabs and Jews have proved more than once that this programme has considerable chance of success, 


The Ihud found Fawzi Darwish Hussaini, a labor activist and a cousin of the mufti. He was willing to sign an agreement with his Jewish friends providing for a bi-national state based on the principle of no domination of one nation over the other. He suggested the immediate establishment of political clubs and a daily newspaper to combat the influence of the Arab war party. 

On 11 November 1946, five members of Young Palestine, Fawzi’s group, signed an agreement concerning common political action with Ihud representatives, but this promising initiative came to a sudden and tragic end. Twelve days later Fawzi was killed by Arab terrorists and his group dispersed. ‘My cousin stumbled and received his proper punishment’, Jamal Hussaini, one of the leaders of the extremist party, declared a few days later. 

Laquer goes on and relates that in September 1947, Sami Taha, a prominent Haifa trade resident, was killed. His society had declared itself in favor of a Palestinian, not an Arab state, acknowledging that Jews too had certain rights. He had become a target for extremists. 

More names:

They should be saluted, not as much as for their politics as for simply trying to be independent thinkers.



Even the NYTimes knew, early on, of the Mufti's political assassinations of Arab rivals:

Edited by Ilan PappĂ© 


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