Here is your brief notes on Palestine and Arab Nationalism

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The British policies in Palestine also greatly contributed to the rise of Arab nationalism and strengthened the sense of Arab unity. With the rapid increase of Jewish immigrants and their settlement in Palestine, the Arabs began to fear Jewish political dominance of Palestine and economic dominance of the rest of the Arab countries.

They expressed resentment against this trend in the form of a revolt in 1936. Most of the Arab countries mobilized public support for the Palestine Arabs.

But the Zionist pressure in U.SA. and Britain pre­vented the powers from making any concession to the Arabs with regard to stoppage of Jewish immigration and land purchases or establishment of self-government in Palestine. As a result intermittent clashes between the Arabs and Palestines continued up to 1939.

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In the meanwhile, a British Cabinet Committee on Palestine was formed which held its first meeting in October 1938. The Committee suggested an Arab Jewish Conference to sort out the Palestinian question.

The British made this move to conciliate the Arabs and to secure Britain’s vital interests in Middle-East. Accordingly a Round Table Conference on Palestine was held ,at Lo/.don in February 1939 which was attended by the top level representatives from Egypt, Iraq, Trans-Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen as well as Jewish and Arab representatives from Palestine.

However, the Conference failed to arrive at any agreement owing to widely divergent views of Arab and Jewish representatives. However, the Arab countries showed complete solidarity at the Conference by presenting a unified front on the issue.

Next the British sought to resolve the issue by proposing a federation of Palestine with the neighbouring countries, including Syria and Lebanon. However, the French were opposed to the inclusion of Syria and Lebanon in any scheme of Arab Federation.

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In fact the French were opposed to the idea of Arab Federation even if Syria was excluded from it because the establishment of federation was likely to promote disquiet and agitation in Syria. France was in no mood to compromise her position in Syria to enable Britain to solve their problems in Palestine.

Another difficulty was posed in the formation of Arab Federation by Saudi Arabia which op­posed the creation of federation because it was likely to lead to Hishimite domination. As a result the idea of Arab Federation had to be aban­doned.

In Syria and Lebanon also the Arab nationalism suffered a setback due to refusal of France to ratify the treaties- of 1936. This resulted in the resignation of the nationalists regimes in these two countries and pro- French governments were installed.

The French tried to suppress the rising nationalism with firm hand. This created feeling of despondency and frustration among the young militant elements and they decided to adopt alternative methods of action and looked for alternative sources of support. In other words, the nationalism drifted towards extremism. In Iraq the army began to increasingly intervene in politics.

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In 1938 four powerful colonels under Salah-ud-din. As Sabbagh formed the famous ‘Golden Square’ and provided a new twist to Arab nationalism and began to explore the possibilities of establishing an Arab Empire. They provided arms and training to the Palestine Arabs during their revolt. They also induced the Syrian nationalists to rise against the French.

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