Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry - Chapter I

Chapter I
Recommendations and Comments
The European Problem

Recommendation No. 1. We have to report that such information as we received about countries other than Palestine gave no hope of substantial assistance in finding homes for Jews wishing or impelled to leave Europe.

But Palestine alone cannot meet the emigration needs of the Jewish victims of Nazi and Fascist persecution; the whole world shares responsibility for them and indeed for the resettlement of all "displaced persons".

We therefore recommend that our Governments together, and in association with other countries, should endeavor immediately to find new homes for all such "displaced persons", irrespective of creed or nationality, whose ties with their former communities have been irreparably broken.

Though emigration will solve the problems of some victims of persecution, the overwhelming majority, including a considerable number of Jews, will continue to live in Europe. We recommend therefore that our Governments endeavor to secure that immediate effect is given to the provision of the United Nations Charter calling for "universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion".


In recommending that our Governments, in association with other countries, should endeavor to find new homes for "displaced persons", we do not suggest that any country should be asked to make a permanent change in its immigration policy. The conditions, which we have seen in Europe, are unprecedented, and so unlikely to arise again that eve are convinced that special provision could and should be made in existing immigration laws to meet this unique and peculiarly distressing situation. Furthermore, we believe that much could be accomplished-particularly in regard to those "displaced persons", including Jews, who have relatives in countries outside Europe-by a relaxation of administrative regulations.

Our investigations have led us to believe that a considerable number of Jews will continue to live in most European countries. In our view the mass emigration of all European Jews would be of service

neither to the Jews themselves nor to Europe. Every effort should be made to enable the Jews to rebuild their shattered communities, while permitting those Jews, who wish to do so, to emigrate. In order to achieve this, restitution of Jewish property should be effected as soon as possible. Our investigations showed us that the Governments chiefly concerned had for the most part already passed legislation to this end. A real obstacle, however, to individual restitution is that the attempt to give effect to this legislation is frequently a cause of active anti-Semitism. We suggest that, for the reconstruction of the Jewish communities, restitution of their corporate property, either through reparations payments or through other means, is of the first importance.

Nazi occupation has left behind it a legacy of anti-Semitism. This cannot be combated by legislation alone. The only really effective antidotes are the enforcement by each Government of guaranteed civil liberties and equal rights, a program of education in the positive principles of democracy, the sanction of a strong world public opinion- combined with economic recovery and stability.

Refugee Immigration Into Palestine

Recommendation No. 2. We recommend (a) that 100,000 certificates be authorized immediately for the admission into Palestine of Jews who have been the victims of Nazi and Fascist persecution; (b) that these certificates be awarded as far as possible in 1946 and that actual immigration be pushed forward as rapidly as conditions will permit.


The number of Jewish survivors of Nazi and Fascist persecution with whom we have to deal far exceeds 100,000; indeed there are more than that number in Germany, Austria and Italy alone. Although nearly a year has passed since their liberation, the majority of those in Germany and Austria are still living in assembly centers, the so" called "camps," island communities in the midst of those at whose hands they suffered so much.

In their interests and in the interests of Europe, the centers should be closed and their camp life ended. Most of them have cogent reasons for wishing to leave Europe. Many are the sole survivors of their families and few have any ties binding them to the- countries in which they used to live.

Since the end of hostilities, little has been done to provide for their resettlement elsewhere. Immigration laws and restrictions bar their entry to most countries and much time must pass before such laws and restrictions can be altered and effect given to the alterations. Some can go to countries where they have relatives; others may secure inclusion in certain quotas. Their number is comparatively small.

We-know of no country to which the great majority can go in the immediate future other than Palestine. Furthermore that is where almost all of them want to go. There they are sure that they will receive a welcome denied them elsewhere. There they hope to enjoy peace and rebuild their lives.

We believe it is essential that they should be given an opportunity to do so at the earliest possible time. Furthermore we have the assurances of the leaders of; the Jewish Agency that they will be supported and cared for.

We recommend the authorization and issue of 100,000 certificates for these reasons and because we feel that their immediate issue will have a most salutary effect upon the whole situation.

In the awarding of these certificates priority should as far as possible be given to those in the centers, and to those liberated in Germany and Austria who are no longer in the centers but remain in those countries. We do not desire that other Jewish victims who wish or will be impelled by their circumstances to leave the countries where they now are, or that those who fled from persecution before the outbreak of war, should be excluded. We appreciate that there will be difficulty in deciding questions of priority, but none the less we urge that so far as possible such a system should be adhered to, and that, in applying it, primary consideration should be given to the aged and infirm, to the very young and also to skilled workmen whose services will be needed for many months on work rendered necessary by the large influx.

It should be made clear that no advantage in the obtaining of a certificate is to be gained by migrating from one country to another, or by entering Palestine illegally.

Receiving so large a number will be a heavy burden on Palestine. We feel sure that the authorities will shoulder it and that they will have the full cooperation of the Jewish Agency.

Difficult problems will confront those responsible for organizing and carrying out the movement. The many organizations-public and private-working in Europe will certainly render all the aid they can; we mention UNRRA especially. (cooperation by all throughout is necessary.

We are sure that the Government of the United States, which has shown such keen interest in this matter, will participate vigorously and generously with the Government of Great Britain in its fulfillment. There are many ways in which help can be given.

Those who have opposed the admission of these unfortunate people into Palestine should know that we have fully considered all that they have put before us. We hope that they will look upon the situation again, that they will appreciate the considerations which have led us to our conclusion, and that above all, if they cannot see their way to help, at least they will not make the position of these sufferers more difficult.

Principles of Government: No Arab, No Jewish State

Recommendation No. 3. In order to dispose, once and for all, of the exclusive claims of Jews and Arabs to Palestine, we regard it as essentia1 that a clear statement of the following principles should be made:

I. That Jew shall not dominate Arab and Arab shall not dominate Jew in Palestine. II. That Palestine shall be neither a Jewish state nor an Arab state. III. That the form of government ultimately to be established, shall, under international guarantees, fully protect and preserve the interests in the Holy Land of Christendom and of the Moslem and Jewish faiths.

Thus Palestine must ultimately become a state which guards the rights and interests of Moslems, Jews and Christians alike; and accords to the inhabitants, as a whole, the fullest measure of self-government, consistent with the three paramount principles set forth above.


Throughout the long and bloody struggle of Jew and Arab for dominance in Palestine, each crying fiercely: "This land is mine"- except for the brief reference in the Report of the Royal Commission (hereinafter referred to as the Peel Report) and the little evidence, written and oral, that we received on this point-the great interest of the Christian World in Palestine has been completely overlooked, glossed over or brushed aside.

We, therefore, emphatically declare that Palestine is a Holy Land, sacred-to Christian, to Jew and to Moslem alike; and because it is a Holy Land, Palestine is not, and can never become, a land which any race or religion can justly claim as its very own.

We further, in the same emphatic way, affirm that the fact that it is the Holy Land, sets Palestine completely apart from other lands, and dedicates it to the precepts and practices of the Brotherhood of Man, not those of narrow nationalism.

For another reason, in the light of its long history, and particularly its history of the last thirty years, Palestine cannot be regarded as either a purely Arab or a purely Jewish land.

The Jews have a historic connection with the country. The Jewish National Home, though embodying a minority of the population, is today a reality established under international guarantee. It has a right to continued existence, protection and development.

Yet Palestine is not, and never can be, a purely Jewish land. It lies at the crossroads of the Arab world. Its Arab population, descended from long-time inhabitants of the area, rightly look upon Palestine as their homeland.

It is therefore neither just nor practicable that Palestine should become either an Arab State, in which an Arab majority would control the destiny of a Jewish minority, or a Jewish State, in which a Jewish majority would control that of an Arab minority. In neither case would minority guarantees afford adequate protection for the subordinated group.

A Palestinian put the matter thus: "In the hearts of us Jews there has always been a fear that some day this country would be turned into an Arab State and the Arabs would rule over us. This fear has at times reached the proportions of terror . . . Now this same feeling of fear has started up in the hearts of Arabs . . . fear lest the Jews acquire the ascendancy and rule over them."

Palestine, then, must be established as a country in which the legitimate national aspirations of both Jews and Arabs can be reconciled, without either side fearing the ascendancy of the other. In our view this cannot be done under any form of constitution in which a mere numerical majority is decisive, since it is precisely the struggle for a numerical majority which bedevils Arab-Jewish relations. To ensure genuine self-government for both the Arab and the Jewish communities, this struggle must be made purposeless by the constitution itself.

Mandate and United Nations Trusteeship

Recommendation No. 4. We have reached the conclusion that the hostility between Jews and Arabs and, in particular, the determination of each to achieve domination, if necessary by violence. make it almost certain that, now and for some time to come, any attempt to establish either an independent Palestinian State or independent Palestinian States would result in civil strife such as might threaten the peace of the world.

We therefore recommend that, until this hostility disappears, the Government of Palestine be continued as at present under mandate pending the execution of a trusteeship agreement under the United Nations.


We recognize that in view of the powerful forces both Arab and Jewish, operating from outside Palestine, the task of Great Britain, as Mandatory, has not been easy. The Peel Commission declared in 1937 that the Mandate was unworkable, and the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations thereupon pointed out that it became almost unworkable once it was publicly declared to be so by such a body. Two years later the British Government, having come to the conclusion that the alternative of partition proposed by the Peel Commission was also unworkable, announced their intention of taking steps to terminate the Mandate by the establishment of an independent Palestine State. Our recommendations are based on what we believe at this stage to be as fair a measure of justice to all as we can find in view of what has gone before and of all that has been done. We recognize that they are not in accord with the claims of either party, and furthermore that they involve a departure from the recent policy of the Mandatory. We recognize that, if they are adopted, they will involve a long period of trusteeship, which will mean a very heavy burden for any single Government to undertake, a burden which would be lightened if the difficulties were appreciated and the Trustee had the support of other members of the United Nations.

Equality of Standards

Recommendation No. 5. Looking towards a form of ultimate self-government, consistent with the three principles laid down in Recommendation No. 3, we recommend that the mandatory or trustee should proclaim the principle that Arab economic, educational and political advancement in Palestine is of equal importance with that of the Jews; and should at once prepare measures designed to bridge the gap which now exists and raise the Arab standard of living to that of the Jews; and so bring the two peoples to a full appreciation of their common interest and common destiny in the land where both belong.


Our examination of conditions in Palestine led us to the conclusion that one of the chief causes of friction is the great disparity between the Jewish and Arab standards of living. Even under conditions of war, which brought considerable financial benefits to the Arabs, this disparity has not been appreciably reduced. Only by a deliberate and carefully planned policy on the part of the Mandatory can the Arab standard of living be raised to that of the Jews. In stressing the need for such a policy we would particularly call attention to the discrepancies between the social services, including hospitals, available in Palestine for Jews and Arabs.

We fully recognize that the Jewish social services are financed to a very great extent by the Jewish community in Palestine, with the assistance of outside Jewish organizations; and we would stress that nothing should be done which would bring these social services down to the level of those provided for the Arabs, or halt the constant improvements now being made in them.

We suggest that consideration be given to the advisability of encouraging the formation by the Arabs of an Arab community on the lines of the Jewish community which now largely controls and finances Jewish social services. The Arabs will have to rely, to far greater extent than the Jews, on financial aid from the Government. But the Jews of Palestine should accept the necessity that taxation, raised from both Jews and Arabs, will have to be spent very largely on the Arabs on order to bridge the gap which now exists between the standard of living of the two peoples.

Future Immigration Policy

Recommendation No. 6. We recommend that, pending the early reference to the United Nations and the execution of a trusteeship agreement, the mandatory should administer Palestine according to the mandate which declares with regard to immigration that "The administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions".


We have recommended the admission of 100,000 immigrants, victims of Nazi persecution, as soon as possible. We now deal with the position after the admission of that number. We cannot look far into the future. We cannot construct a yardstick for annual immigration. Until a Trusteeship Agreement is executed it is our clear opinion that Palestine should be administered in accordance with the terms of the Mandate quoted above.

Further than that we cannot go in the form of a recommendation. In this disordered world speculation as to the economic position of any country a few years ahead would be a hazardous proceeding. It is particularly difficult to predict what, after a few years have passed, will be the economic and political condition of Palestine. We hope that the present friction and turbulence will soon die away and be replaced by an era of peace, absent so long from the Holy Land; that the Jew and Arab will soon realize that collaboration is to their mutual advantage-but no one can say how long this will take.

The possibility of the country sustaining a largely increased population at a decent standard of living depends on its economic future, which in turn depends largely on whether or not plans referred to in Recommendation No. 8 can be brought to fruition.

The Peel Commission stated that political as well as economic considerations have to be taken into account in regard to immigration, and recommended a "political high level" of 12,000 a year. We cannot recommend the fixing of a minimum or of a maximum for annual immigration in the future. There are too many uncertain factors.

We desire, however, to state certain considerations which we agree should be taken into account in determining what number of immigrants there should be in any period. It is the right of every independent nation to determine in the interests of its people the number of immigrants to be admitted to its lands. Similarly it must, we think, be conceded that it should be the right of the Government of Palestine to decide, having regard to the well-being of all the people of Palestine, the number of immigrants to be admitted within any given period.

In Palestine there is the Jewish National Home, created in consequence of the Balfour Declaration. Some may think that Declaration was wrong and should not have been made; some that it was a conception on a grand scale and that effect can be given to one of the most daring and significant colonization plans in history. Controversy as to which view is right is fruitless. The National Home is there. Its roots are deep in the soil of Palestine. It cannot be argued out of existence; neither can the achievements of the Jewish pioneers.

The Government of Palestine in having regard to the well-being of all the people of Palestine cannot ignore the interests of so large a section of the population. It cannot ignore the achievements of the last quarter of a century. No Government of Palestine doing its duty to the people of that land can fail to do its best not only to maintain a National Home, but also to foster its proper development, and such development must in our view involve immigration.

The well-being of all the people of Palestine, be they Jews, Arabs, or neither, must be the governing consideration. We reject the view that there shall be no further Jewish immigration into Palestine with-: out Arab acquiescence, a view which would result in the Arab dominating the Jew. We also reject the insistent Jewish demand that forced Jewish immigration must proceed apace in order to produce as quickly as possible a Jewish majority and a Jewish State. The well-being of the Jews must not be subordinated to that of the Arabs; nor that of the Arabs to the Jews. The well-being of both, the economic situation of Palestine as a whole, the degree of execution of plans for further development, all have to be carefully considered in deciding the number of immigrants for any particular period.

Palestine is a land sacred to three faiths and must not become the land of any one of them to the exclusion of the others, and Jewish immigration for the development of the National Home must not become a policy of discrimination against other immigrants. Any person, therefore, who desires and is qualified under applicable laws to enter Palestine must not be refused admission or subjected to discrimination on the ground that he is not a Jew. All provisions respecting immigration must be drawn, executed and applied with that principle always firmly in mind.

Further, while we recognize that any Jew who enters Palestine in accordance with its laws is there of right, we expressly disapprove of the position taken in some Jewish quarters that Palestine has in some way been ceded or granted as their State to the Jews of the world, that every Jew everywhere is, merely because he is a Jew, a citizen of Palestine and therefore can enter Palestine as of right without regard to conditions imposed by the Government upon entry, and that therefore there can be no illegal immigration of Jews into Palestine. We declare and affirm that any immigrant Jew who enters Palestine contrary to its laws is an illegal immigrant.

Land Policy

Recommendation No. 7. (a) We recommend that the Land Transfers Regulations of 1940 be rescinded and replaced by regulations based on a policy of freedom in the sale, lease or use of land, irrespective of race, community or creed, and providing adequate protection for the interests of small owners and tenant cultivators; (b) We further recommend that steps be taken to render nugatory and to prohibit provisions in conveyances, leases and agreements relating to land which stipulate that only members of one races community or creed may be employed on or about or in connection therewith; (c) We recommend that the Government should exercise such close supervision over the Holy Places and localities such as the Sea of Galilee and its vicinity as will protect them from desecration and from uses which offend the conscience of religious people, and that such laws as are required for this purpose be enacted forthwith.


The Land Transfers Regulations of 1940 sought to protect the Arab tenant and small owner by prohibiting the sale of land save to a Palestinian Arab in one zone, by restricting such sales in another, and allowing unrestricted sale of land only in the third zone. Their effect has been such as to amount to discrimination against the Jews; their tendency is to segregate and keep separate Arabs and Jews. In the zones where sales are prohibited or restricted, they have protected the Arab from the temptation to dispose of his land, on which his livelihood and that of his family so often depend, for a sum out of all proportion to its real value. Though made with the object of maintaining the existing standard of living of Arab cultivators, and of preventing the creation of a considerable landless Arab population, they afford no protection to the Arab living in the free zone. He may sell his land for a fantastic price and add to the congestion in the other zones by moving there. An Arab living a short distance away, just across the zone boundary, cannot obtain anything approximating the same sum for land of equal quality.

We are opposed to any legislation or restrictions discriminating against Jew or Arab. We recognize the need for protecting the Arab small owner and tenant, for providing against a large landless Arab population, for maintaining, indeed for raising, the Arab standard of living. This necessity was also recognized in the Peel Report (Chapter IX, paragraph 10) which endorsed the following principles of earlier reports: that (i) unless there is a marked change in the methods of cultivation the land in Palestine is unable to support a large increase in population, and (it) there is already congestion on the land in the hill districts. Those principles are as true, if not truer, today.

We do not believe that the necessary protection for the Arab can be provided only by confining the Jew to particular portions of Palestine. Such a policy, suggested by the Peel Commission, is consistent with their proposed solution, partition, but scarcely with that put forward by us.

The leases granted by the Jewish National Fund contain a provision that no labor other than Jewish shall be employed by the lessee on or about or in connection with the land subject to the lease, and a further provision that a sub-lease shall contain similar terms.

As we have said we are opposed to such discrimination. We appreciate that one of the reasons for such provisions was to secure employment for Jewish immigrants on the land. We do not think that object justifies the retention of such stipulations which are harmful to cooperation and understanding between Arab and Jew.

Land acquired by the Jewish National Fund or for a Waqf by the Supreme Moslem Council becomes inalienable. The Peel Commission expressed the view in its Report (Chapter IX, paragraph 80) that caution on the part of the Government in disposing of - State domain to these bodies was desirable. The situation requires watching.

It would not be to the interests of the inhabitants of Palestine if too large a proportion of the land should become inalienable whether held by one organization or another.

In the small, thickly populated country of Palestine, with its rapidly increasing population, it is in the interest of Jews and Arabs alike that all- land should be developed and put to the fullest possible use. The settlement of title to land should proceed as quickly as possible and the development of State lands, not required for public purposes and capable of use, should be facilitated.

The Holy Land of Palestine contains within its borders and throughout its territories places sacred to the followers of three great religions. The "Lido" with its dancing and swing music on the shore of the Sea of (Galilee offends the sensibilities of many Christian people. Reports came to our notice of other projects the completion of which would be equally objectionable. We therefore feel it right by our recommendation to emphasize the necessity for close supervision and to recommend the strengthening of the law should that be required.

Economic Development

Recommendation No. 8. Various plans for large-scale agricultural and industrial development in Palestine have been presented for our consideration; these projects, if successfully carried into effect, could not only greatly enlarge the capacity of the country to support an increasing population but also raise the living standards of Jew and Arab alike.

We are not in a position to assess the soundness of these specific plans; but we cannot state too strongly that, however technically feasible they may be, they will fail unless there is peace in Palestine. Moreover their full success requires the willing cooperation of adjacent Arab states, since they are not merely Palestinian projects. We recommend therefore that the examination, discussion and execution of these plans be conducted, from the start and throughout, in full consultation and cooperation not only with the Jewish Agency but also with the governments of the neighboring Arab States directly affected.


The building of the Jewish economy has enjoyed the advantage of abundant capital, provided on such terms as to make economic return a secondary consideration. The Arabs have had no such advantage. In principle, we do not think it wise or appropriate that plans, such as the project for a Jordan Valley Authority, should, if judged technically sound, be undertaken by any private organization, even though that organization, as suggested by the Jewish Agency, should give an assurance of Arab benefits and Arab participation in the management.

Such proposals, by reason of their magnitude and far-reaching effects, should be conceived as public projects, suitable for Government enterprise and accepted only provided that they are calculated to benefit all parts of the population. But the undertaking of a worthwhile project should not be held up merely from financial considerations which could be overcome with the aid of semi-philanthropic sources. Some-compromise should not be impossible which would combine Jewish finance with Government responsibility and control.

We welcome the knowledge that the Government of Palestine has itself prepared programs of postwar development; we could wish that means might be found for projects of larger range and on a more ambitious scale; but we recognize that until political peace is restored there is great difficulty in raising the necessary funds whether from revenue or borrowing.

Meanwhile it is suggested that the Government should acquire powers, at present lacking, to investigate fully the extent of the country's water resources, to control the use of underground water and to determine rights to surface water.

We doubt whether Palestine can expand its economy to the full, having regard to its limited natural resources, without a full and free interchange of goods and services with neighboring countries. In some respects, indeed, as in certain projects involving water supply, their active collaboration is indispensable to full development on an economic basis.

The removal of Article 18 of the Mandate would clear the way to those comprehensive tariff and trade agreements, not conflicting with any international obligations that might be accepted by the Mandatory or Trustee, which could ultimately lead to something like a customs union-an objective already in mind as between the surrounding countries of the Arab League.


Recommendation No. 9. We recommend that, in the interests of the conciliation of the two peoples and of general improvement of the Arab standard of living, the educational system of both Jews and Arabs be reformed, including the introduction of compulsory education within a reasonable time.


In Chapter XVI of the Peel Report, the bad features of the educational system of Palestine and the great disparity between the money spent on Arab and Jewish education were pointed out. The Report also emphasized that both Jewish and Arab education in Palestine were nationalistic in character. Particular attention was called to nationalist propaganda in Arab schools.

Our investigations disclosed that today the Jewish schools also- controlled and largely financed by the Jewish community-are imbued with a fiery spirit of nationalism. They have become most effective agencies for inculcating a spirit of aggressive Hebrew nationalism. We would urge most strongly that adequate control must be exercised by the Government over the education of both Jews and Arabs, in order to do away with the present excited emphasis on racialism and the perversion of education for propaganda purposes. The Government should ensure, by a careful supervision of text books and curricula, and by inspection of schools that education contributes to the conciliation of the two peoples.

We believe further that a large share of responsibility for Arab education might well be assumed by an Arab community, similar to the Jewish community already established in Palestine. But if the Arab and Jewish communities are to set themselves the goal of compulsory education, a much higher proportion of the annual Palestinian budget must be devoted to education than heretofore, most of which will be spent on Arab education. This will only be possible if the proportion of the budget now devoted to security can be substantially reduced.

We would also stress the urgent necessity of increasing the facilities for secondary, technical and university education available to Arabs. The disparity between the standard of living of the two peoples, to which we have already drawn attention, is very largely due to the fact that the Jewish professional and middle class so largely outnumbers that of the Arabs. This difference can only be removed by a very substantial increase in the facilities for higher education available to Arabs.

The Need for Peace in Palestine

Recommendation No. 10. We recommend that, if this Report is adopted, it should be made clear beyond all doubt to both Jews and Arabs that any attempt from either side, by threats of violence, by terrorism, or by the organization or use of illegal armies to prevent its execution, will be resolutely suppressed.

Furthermore, we express the view that the Jewish Agency should at once resume active cooperation with the Mandatory in the suppression of terrorism and of illegal immigration, and in the maintenance of that law and order throughout Palestine which is essential for the good of all, including the new immigrants.

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