Sunday, March 05, 2023

The most infamous section of the 1939 British White Paper was the part that severely restricted the ability of Jews to immigrate to Palestine - on the eve of the Holocaust.

Not as well known is that the White Paper also prohibited or restricted Jews from purchasing lands from Arabs for much of the area of the Mandate:

The Administration of Palestine is required, under Article 6 of the Mandate, "while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced," to encourage "close settlement by Jews on the land," and no restriction has been imposed hitherto on the transfer of land from Arabs to Jews. The Reports of several expert Commissions have indicated that, owing to the natural growth of the Arab population and the steady sale in recent years of Arab land to Jews, there is now in certain areas no room for further transfers of Arab land, whilst in some other areas such transfers of land must be restricted if Arab cultivators are to maintain their existing standard of life and a considerable landless Arab population is not soon to be created. In these circumstances, the High Commissioner will be given general powers to prohibit and regulate transfers of land. 
This was official antisemitism. 

In 1940, the specifics of what land was allowed to be sold was first published, as described by the 1946 Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry:
[The] Land Transfers Regulations, published on 28th February, 1940, divided Palestine into three zones.

In Zone A, consisting of about 63 percent of the country including the stony hills, land transfers save to a Palestinian Arab were in general forbidden. In Zone B. consisting of about 32 percent of the country, transfers from a Palestinian Arab save to another Palestinian Arab were severely restricted at the discretion of the High Commissioner. In the remainder of Palestine, consisting of about five percent of the country-which, however, includes the most fertile areas- land sales remained unrestricted.
Here is a map, published in American Jewish newspapers shortly afterwards, showing the different zones as best understood at the time. 

It appears that the map is wildly inaccurate - and hugely optimistic. The white areas where there should be unrestricted ability for Jews to purchase land is shown as far more than the 5% that the Anglo-American Commission determined, and Zone A forbidden for Jews to purchase as shown is far less than 63% of the entire land. 

The real map shows that Jews could only purchase (without restriction) within the red-bordered areas, nearly all along the Mediterranean coast plus Jerusalem:

But while the Jews reacted negatively to this official discrimination against Jews by Great Britain, the Zionist leaders used this map as incentive to get American Jews to purchase land in Palestine, saying there was plenty of land available to legally buy:

The above map of Palestine, tentatively drawn, is based upon an unofficial analysis of the Palestine land edict which divides the country into three zones for the purpose of land purchase. The tentative map gives an inkling into the meaning of the message cabled to Dr. Israel Goldstein, President of the Jewish National Fund, by Menahem Ussishkin, World President of the Keren Kayemeth in Jerusalem, that "Large opportunities for land buying (in Palestine) are still available." 
The free zone embraces, including the land holdings already in Jewish possession, an area of approximately 7,000,000 dunams exclusive of the Negeb. Final clarification of the limits of the respective zones is awaited.
"Do not despair," Mr. Ussishkin declared in his message. "We will persist in our opposition with all means at our disposal to the new policy threatening to convert our Homeland into a ghetto. Large opportunities for buying land are still available."  He is confident that American Jewry, center of Jewish hope, will rise to occasion and assist the Jewish Agency in its political struggle and the Keren Kayemeth in its practical work to win the struggle. 
Even in the face of these immoral and bigoted restrictions, the Zionist leaders wanted to redouble the chance for legally purchasing what little land they still could.

(h/t Yerushalimey)

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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