THEY MUST GO Page 188
Chapter 8: Our Fathers’ Children
 
 
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188 THEY MUST GO

bsigns of a national or political movement errs and desecrates, by bhis error, the concept of an ideological movement of any bkind. . . . One can speak of all kinds of trends and turnings from bvarious directions but not about an Arab national movement.”

bAlas, the poor Arab lad insisted that he existed. After the bbloody 1921 riots by the “invisible” Arab national movement, bthe British colonialist government appointed the Haycraft Com- bmission to look into the causes of the Arab riots that took the blives of forty-three Jews. They were hardly an unbiased party, bbut the fact remains that the anti-Zionist British did not have to bfabricate the essential cause of the riots. It was, unfortunately, bquite true that the Arab’s “main objection to immigration has, bhowever, been political and this obsession, although originating bwith the more educated Arabs, has filtered through the khans band coffee shops into the streets and villages. It can be summed bup in the fear that through extreme Jewish immigration bPalestine will become a Jewish dominion.”

bAs the Arab national dybbuk refused to be exorcised, the bZionist movement resorted to all kinds of blandishments and bdevices to “win over” the Arabs. All were based on the time- bdishonored Middle Eastern appetite for baksheesh—bribes, money. bThus, men like Yosef Nahmani became skilled in lavishing en- btertainment and gifts on local Bedouin sheikhs. Another fre- bquent initiative was to gather Arab signatures on mazbatas b(“petitions”) in support of Zionism. These were obtained for bsmall sums from village heads and were then proudly displayed bas external propaganda to show that the Arab population was bnot unanimously opposed to Zionism. (After the State of Israel bcame into being and for the first two decades or so, a more so- bphisticated but essentially similar game was played with the co- boperation of the heads of the hamullas. That, today, is gone with bthe shifting sands of time. Thanks to Israeli education, the Arab btoday would stone any official who attempted such a crude ap- bproach.)

bIn any event, these “spontaneous” Arab ads and petitions bon behalf of Zionism proved to be a tidy little source of income bfor the Uncle Ahmeds of their time, but their effectiveness was bsurely nonexistent. Every Arab knew why another Arab sudden- bly became “pro-Zionist.” The petitions became things of ridi- bcule, and, worse, when a decision was made to end a long-term b 

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THEY MUST GO Page 188
Chapter 8: Our Fathers’ Children