العروبة، وتركيا، والمخيلة الوطنية الفلسطينية في عيون مرآة الشرق (1919-1926)
النص الكامل: 


The historical study of various things “Palestinian” tends to dwell on the Palestinian reaction to and engagement with Zionism. Abu-Lughod first brought attention to this phenomenon many years ago, writing that “the Palestine of 1948 was a very different Palestine from that of 1917 and that difference is not solely the result of the impact of either imperialist or Zionist.”1 Some thirty years after he penned these prescient remarks, Michelle Campos and Rashid Khalidi reemphasized that the scholarly study of Palestinian history in some context other than Zionism remains the central dilemma in the field of Palestine studies.2 This paper is one attempt to move beyond the Zionist-Palestinian encounter by examining the ways in which Palestinian nationalists looked to their neighbors in the Arab world and Turkey as a source of inspiration during the formative years of the Palestinian national movement, 1919-1926.

I explore this material and discursive “turn to the East” through the Palestinian newspaper Mir’at al-Sharq (Mirror of the East), the chief organ of the opposition faction (mu`aridun) in Palestinian political life of the Mandate period. In its attempt to discredit the Husseini-dominated national leadership, the paper frequently looked to Egypt, Syria, Turkey and elsewhere with examples of more successful national movements in order to emulate their achievements and sidestep their blunders. My argument is that, already in the early-mid 1920s, many Palestinians came under the influence of their neighbors in the Arab world and beyond to a much greater extent than has been acknowledged. More broadly, scholars might chose to study the evolution of the Palestinian national struggle not simply as an encounter between two nationalist movements but rather in tandem with regional and international developments.

Throughout the early-mid 1920s, the Arab World and Turkey proved to be potent sources of inspiration for Palestinian nationalists. In particular Mir’at al-Sharq paid close attention to the unraveling events in Egypt and Syria. The paper frequently looked across the Sinai desert to Egypt for cues on how to reconcile the fractured national movement in Palestine; how to improve Palestine’s Education Department; and how to develop cultural institutions of the nation. Egyptians were at once praised for reconciling their internal squabbles by uniting in the face of colonial rule, or reprimanded for failing to achieve real independence from Britain. In both cases Egypt was a crucial departure point for the paper’s discussion of Palestinian issues. Syria also found itself at the center of the Palestinian national imagination throughout the period under discussion. Long after the French deposed Faysal in July 1920, the paper continued to embrace the pan-Syrian idea, suggesting that the push for unity with Syria that prevailed in the First Palestinian National Congress of 1919 had important residual effects that poorly understood. The Syrian revolt of 1925-7, moreover, led Mir’at al-Sharq to ask if the Palestinians should adopt similar tactics against the British. Mir’at al-Sharq found role models beyond the Arab world, however. The paper lauded Mustafa Kemal for fending off Western aggression: “where was the Palestinian Kemal?” it asked. Hints of a residual longing for Ottoman rule similarly found a place on the pages on Mir’at al-Sharq. Moreover, throughout the period under discussion, Palestinians proposed political unification with Egypt, Syria, Jordan as well as Turkey. This final point suggests that the idea of an independent polity in Palestine was perhaps not as coagulated as is commonly assumed during the early-mid 1920s.

Mir’at al-Sharq

The 1920s constituted a seminal decade for the Arabic press in Palestine. Ami Ayalon has argued that during the 1920s, the press “consolidated its presence in the public domain and became by far the most important type of text in use.”3 Although we lack precise figures for Mir’at al-Sharq, a typical paper published in 1920s Palestine circulated some 1,000-1,500 copies.4 While literacy rates were low5, interest in the press was on the rise. From 1914 to 1929 the number of Arabic newspapers circulating in Palestine grew at a faster rate than did the population.6 In rural life the press would be read aloud in the town café or village guesthouse, followed by a discussion of political affairs.7 In urban centers, public and lending libraries, literary clubs, reading rooms and most importantly the coffeehouse, all formed a part of newspaper culture. The paper, then, acted as an important conduit for shaping public opinion.

The press also played a defining role in party politics. The Palestinian political environment of the Mandate period was shaped to a large extent by the Husseini-Nashashibi family-clan rivalry. In this context Mir’at al-Sharq acted as the chief organ and mouthpiece of the Nashashibi faction, which also became known as simply the opposition (mu`aridun).8 This meant it represented a fairly broad constituency within Palestinian society. The Husseinis secured an edge over the Nashashibis in two of the most significant political and religious institutions of the 1920s. Musa Kazim al-Husseini was elected president of the Arab Executive Committee (AE) at the Third Palestinian National Congress in 1920 and the British appointed Hajj Amin al-Husseini as Mufti of Jerusalem in 1921 and President of the Supreme Muslim Council (SMC) in 1922. These factors drove the Nashashibi family and their allied clans into opposition, leading them to boycott the AE and as well as a number of annual Palestinian National Congresses. In response they established the Arab National Party (Al-Hizb al-watani), which developed into a cohesive political party of disparate elements within Palestinian society, all allied against the Husseini-dominated leadership. The opposition was in general more reconciliatory with the British and the Zionists, although paradoxically, the Husseinis received more government patronage. This political and family-clan rivalry played a key role in the paper’s coverage of events, as we shall see below.

Mir’at al-Sharq began publication in Jerusalem in September 1919 under the editorial custody of Bulus Shihadah, a Christian originally hailing from Ramallah.9 Insofar as the boundaries between “news” and “editorials” were often quite blurry, the paper provides a window into the perceptions and attitudes of its editors in every issue. Political commentary often accompanied telegraphs received from Europe. More frequently, front page articles dove didactically into political and social issues. To the extent that the paper actively engaged its readers and published their responses to editorials and articles, the paper’s editorial positions often represented not merely its editors but a broader reading public. Qustandi has argued as well that Mir’at al-Sharq was among the most significant papers published in Palestine during the Mandate period and reflected the most pressing political, social and economic events of the day.10

It is worth saying a few words about the paper’s general approach towards the British even if our goal is to understand a broader regional outlook. From the outset Mir’at al-Sharq adopted a reconciliatory position with the Mandatory power and promoted an environment of mutual trust between the British and the Palestinians.11 It consistently urged Palestinians to work within the constraints of the Mandate. The paper called for Palestinians to participate in the 1922 Legislative Assembly elections, for instance, boycotted by the Husseini-dominated AE. In one case, they even went so far as to encourage Palestinians to take a lesson in temperament from the British.12 Rashid Khalidi has suggested that “it would not be surprising if the paper did receive British support, since providing subventions to local newspapers was an old British policy in Egypt, where Storrs had served before the War as Oriental Secretary, in which capacity he was responsible for such activities.”13 Most scholars who have examined Mir’at al-Sharq have neglected to mention, however, that it frequently criticized the British for abandoning the peasantry, failing to provide education and health services, or for their support for Zionism. They published articles lambasting colonialism as an evil disease of the West.14 Even though the paper promoted reconciliation with the Mandatory power, then, it was often critical of British policies. In this sense the paper’s orientation was not all that different from many Palestinians of the period.15

What was the paper’s relationship to Zionism? Wasserstein has shown that the paper’s editor, Bulus Shihadah, accepted funds from the Zionists.16 It was, however, quite common for members of the opposition faction to receive regular subventions from Zionists, and this seems to have only somewhat vitiated the paper’s attacks on Zionism. The first edition of the paper to dedicate a lead article on the Jews suggested that whereas the entire world was working to break down barriers between different peoples, the Jews sought to strengthen them. The world “is moving forward, while the Jews are moving backwards.”17 Throughout the period under discussion Zionism was described as a grave danger to the country. Although fervent anti-Zionist rhetoric was less common in Mir’at al-Sharq than in other papers, such as the short-lived Suriyya al-Janubiyya (Southern Syria), it is clear the paper opposed Zionism from the outset even if its tone was somewhat attenuated. Whatever the case may be the purpose of the present study is to explore Palestinian reactions to things other than Zionism.

The Arab World: Egypt and Syria


Egypt had long played an important role in Palestinian intellectual life at the close of the Ottoman period. For the Palestinian educated classes, Cairo, in particular al-Azhar, was the most frequented destination for higher learning throughout the Ottoman era.18 Ami Ayalon’s brilliant study Reading Palestine documents the far-reaching influence of “the neighborhood” on the Palestinian literary scene in the Ottoman and Mandate periods.19 Well before newspapers began to appear in Palestine, a small number of Palestinians had been subscribing to the Lebanese and later Egyptian paper al-Muqtataf; some even contributed letters to its Bab al-masa’il section.20 Two of the major libraries in Palestine in the last few decades of Ottoman rule, the Khalidiyya Library and the al-Aqsa Mosque Library, subscribed to the paper in addition to other Egyptian and Lebanese publications.21

The appearance of some thirty-two newspapers in Palestine following the 1908 revolution in Istanbul only makes sense if we consider the broader Palestinian interest in Egyptian and Lebanese intellectual life at the close of the Ottoman period.22 The Palestinian press of the pre-World War I era was in constant conversation with the Egyptian press. It was also quite typical for Palestinian papers to begin articles with references to Egyptian papers.23 To take one example, the author of a 1910 article in Al-Nafir responded to a piece by Ram Adeeb, an Egyptian author who had compared literary endeavors in Palestine, Egypt and Syria. The author praised Adeeb for acknowledging the significant contribution made by Palestinians, all the while criticizing him for failing to mention the Palestinian writers by name.24 Palestinians who kept memoirs and diaries from the period recorded reading Egyptian papers and literary journals as well.25 From the 1920s onward many of the leading Egyptian periodicals were imported to Palestine. Thus Mir’at al-Sharq began to publish in an environment profoundly influenced by the Egyptian, Syrian and Lebanese literary scenes.

No surprise that Mir’at al-Sharq covered Egyptian affairs with great interest. In fact, Mir’at al-Sharq had previously served as the name of an Egyptian paper.26 Perhaps Shihadah adopted the name based on his experiences with the Egyptian press prior to the war. In one case the paper stated outright they followed Egypt’s lead in political and international coverage.27 The paper frequently republished articles that appeared in al-Ahram and al-Muqattam 28 as well as Saad Pasha Zaghloul’s embellished declarations to the Egyptian nation.29

Mir’at al-Sharq often identified Egypt as the bearer of progress in the region. A front page article, for instance, lamented the outcome of the San Remo Conference, which sealed Palestine’s fate under British rule and laid the contours of the Mandatory system in the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire.30 The article noted that the prosperity enjoyed by Egypt’s population in recent years dealt a heavy blow to the oppression and despotism which had hitherto served as an obstacle to progress in the East. “The Palestinian people,” it continued “are just as capable of reaching this goal as their Egyptian brother.” If only the British would expand job opportunities, provide basic freedoms and insure justice, the article concluded, the Palestinian people would accomplish the same as Egypt.

The political situation in Egypt was a constant source of stir in Palestine. In March 1919 the British arrested four political leaders of Egypt’s national movement and deported them to Malta for demanding that the Egyptian delegation to Versailles Conference be recognized. This, among other things, led to widespread revolt among the peasantry. 31 For more on the causes of the revolt, see Ellis Goldberg, “Peasants in Revolt – Egypt 1919” International Journal of Middle East Studies 24(2) (1992): 261-280 As news of the revolt spread to Palestine, a number of Arab nationalist societies began to prepare arms inventories to join the revolt.32 Arab nationalist activity throughout Palestine was similarly encouraged in March 1920 by rumors of a “revolution” in Egypt.33 A lead article in Mir’at al-Sharq, for instance, noted that “the issue of government employment was among the causes of the Egyptian revolution of 1919, in which the Egyptians took revenge against the British government. Thus we hope that this issue will be solved in Palestine according to the principles of justice, truth and fairness.” The Egyptians and Indians did not sit cross-legged at the seat of government but demanded citizenship. The “refined and educated” people of Palestine, the article concluded, demand the same.34

In the winter of 1921 England dispatched Colonial Secretary Churchill to Palestine and Iraq while sending Lord Milner to Egypt to investigate their political situations. Mir’at al-Sharq explained that Lord Milner issued a report that the Egyptians desired self-rule just as any did European country.35 The paper commented that Mr. Churchill would no doubt find the same attitude in Palestine. In February 1922 Egypt gained pseudo-independence from Britain. In response Mir’at al-Sharq congratulated “Egypt on its independence, which is considered the first independence of the Eastern nations. This has initiated a new epoch for the people of the East.”36 The Egyptian precedent, the paper suggested, afforded the peoples of the East the opportunity to escape the yoke of colonial enslavement.

Egypt also acted as a source of emulation in matters of national unity. The rift between the Nashashibi and Husseini factions flared up as a result of the impending municipal elections in 1926. No surprise that during this period the paper increasingly turned to Egypt for cues on reuniting the Palestinian national movement.

The period following the Egyptian revolt of 1919 witnessed a major division between the Constitutional-Liberal Party (hizb al-ahrar al-dustrurin) and the Wafd, or the Nationalist Party (al-hizb al-watani). Adli Yakan Pasha, a member of the Turco-Circassian ruling class more willing to negotiate a settlement with the British, led the former. Saad Zaghloul Pasha, leading the Wafdist block, pressed for fewer concessions and complete independence from British rule.37 Although initially stirring up agitation against Adli, Zaghloul seems to have realized that his hostility to the official negotiating team had become counterproductive. He called upon members of the Wafdist coalition to cease attacks on the delegation. Mir’at al-Sharq acknowledged that while this conflict had caused great detriment to the Egyptian national cause, the two leaders convened and arrived at a mutual agreement for the good of Egypt.38 “This is how virtuous people act towards their country. This is how people act who do not have a personal interest in the matter.” The article concluded that “if Egypt is our guide in life than we should act like the men of Egypt act.”

Just a few weeks later Mir’at al-Sharq wrote about further divisions between Tharwat Pasha and Zaghloul Pasha.39 Tharwat Pasha, allied with Adli, held the post of Prime Minister in the nominally independent Egyptian government in 1922. He succeeded in passing the Egyptian Constitution in 1923 under British tutelage, bitterly opposed by Zaghloul for giving too much power to the British. Mir’at al-Sharq reported, however, that Tharwat Pasha visited Said Pasha Zaghloul to reconcile their differences. He sat with Zaghloul for two long hours, which constituted evidence that “the leaders of the [Egyptian] parties are working to forget the past and burry their personal hatred for the greater good. When will this happen in Palestine?”

Of course, talk of Egypt was not always positive. One article was extremely critical of the Egyptian independence movement. It suggested that the leaders of the Egyptian political parties had accomplished nothing. They have been “frozen in time” and are not keeping up pace with the events of the day. They remain steeped in obstinacy, the result being their colonization and enslavement. Then the paper asked, if “us, Palestinians, have learned our lesson from the political errors of the Egyptians?”

The paper also turned to Egypt for cues on education. Mir’at al-Sharq published an article by Khalil Totah, director of Education Department for the Jerusalem Municipality, on the state of education in Egypt.40 Totah suggested that whoever visits Egypt after having been to Europe and America will be amazed to find that, on the one hand, Egyptian schools were just as advanced as those in Paris, London or New York, while on the other, just as decadent (inhitat) as the most lowly villages in the entire East. He wrote that some schools “were in the state of my early childhood, in which the students sat on the ground on a few pieces of straw, using tin boards to read and write while the teacher sat in the corner smoking nargilah as if he was at a coffee house.”

Still, Totah had mostly positive things to say about the Egyptian schools. In particular he admired the trade and academic institutions, whose education materials, curricula and quality of instruction were of the highest caliber, no different than European or American schools. He wrote that the education budget represented about forty percent of government expenses. The British government had made good progress in educational advancement in Egypt, Totah added, to an extent none of us could have imagined. They introduced in Egypt a system of modern education, replete with the most modern instruments and tools. Moreover, they had sent some one thousand students to Europe this year. Totah brought his discussion back to Palestine, lamenting the neglected state of the Palestine education department. Palestine needed to sidestep the indolent and nargilah-smoking village sheikh and embrace Egypt’s modern technologies.

The editors of Mir’at al-Sharq had spent some time traveling around Egypt and wrote a number of columns in the paper about their experiences, consistently urging both the Mandatory government and the Palestinian people to take after their Egyptian neighbors. One article examined the Egyptian economy. “We did not talk to anyone in Egypt who did not tell us the country was in complete ruins, especially the agricultural sector.” The vigilant government took notice of the situation and held a number of meetings to discuss the needs of the people. “Do you think,” the paper wrote, “that had there been a crisis with the orange exports in Palestine or a major decline in the prices that the government [of Palestine] would have thought to protect the industry as was done in Egypt?”41

In another section the authors discussed Egyptian tourist attractions.42 They wrote fondly of their visits to castles, the pyramids, the zoo and the antiquities museum. “An Egyptian journalist sitting next to me at the Ramesses Theater asked – what is the greatest theater in Jerusalem?” Apparently the author of the article failed to think of one, writing that there are no theatres in Jerusalem. But soon it occurred to him that in fact there were theatres in Jerusalem. “I told him that the greatest theater in Jerusalem is a Zionist theater.” The remainder of the article is an appeal to all the national organizations and Muslim and Christian youth groups in Palestine to establish an Arab national theatre in Palestine. He called for a campaign to raise funds among the notables of Jerusalem for such a project. Interestingly, the simple fact that there existed a Zionist theatre in Palestine only became cause for concern when the writer traveled to Egypt and conversed with Egyptians over their national theater.

The extent to which Egypt found itself at the center of the Palestinian national imagination is further suggested by one article which even proposed political unification between Palestine and Egypt.43 The paper declared that one Eastern Muslim king would rule fourteen million men. “Their customs are our customs; their character is our character; their religion is our religion.” The writer of the article divulged that no one had proposed this idea before (except for the famous lawyer Husni Bik Abd al-Hadi) and it may in fact sound rather asinine to the casual reader. A more careful look at a number of other sources from the 1910s and 1920s, however, suggests that a variety of Palestinians pondered or proposed political unification between Palestine and Egypt.44 The scheme had deeper roots than the author realized. In any case, Mir’at al-Sharq saw many benefits to the idea. The Palestinians would send representatives to an Egyptian parliament ruled independently from Cairo. Palestinian and Egyptian faculties would be united. The whole would be greater than the sum of its parts, the paper argued. Although it is a stretch to conclude that there was any serious push for a Palestine-Egypt union in the 1920s, this article points to the flirtatious ways in which Palestinians looked to escape.


Syria also found itself at the center of organized Palestinian political activity from 1919 onwards. The Faysali government in Damascus from 1918-1920 was probably the principal source of Palestinian political loyalty throughout its short-lived tenure. The First Palestinian National Congress, held in Jerusalem in January and February 1919, described Palestine as “Southern Syria” and declared that we “should not be separated from the Independent Arab Syrian Government and [should] be free from all foreign influence and protection.”45 The First Syrian General Congress held in Damascus in the summer of 1919 served as a model for many of the subsequent Palestinian national congresses.46 Two of the important nationalist organizations to flourish in Palestine after World War I, Al-Muntada al-Adabi and Al-Nadi al-‘Arabi, were offshoots of Damascus-based societies. The Damascus groups maintained strong ties with their counterparts in Palestine. Their leaders traveled to Jerusalem providing instruction, guidance and monetary subventions.47 A country-wide meeting of nationalist organizations in Palestine in November 1919 led to the establishment of the “Supreme Committee of the Palestinian Associations” (Al-Lajnah al-‘Ulya lil-Jamiyyat al-Filastiniyya) which coordinated the activities of the Pan-Syrian unity movement. The committee even attempted to recruit Palestinians to serve in Faysal’s army.

When Faysal was proclaimed king of a united Syria in March 1920, demonstrations spread throughout Palestine in the spring of 1920.48 The protests, appearing in most urban centers of the country, expressed popular support for Faysal’s rule. The Palestinian public school system also became a venue for spreading pro-Faysali propaganda.49 The first significant outbreak of violence between Jews and Palestinians, during the Nabi Musa celebration in April 1920, “was a direct result of the fervor which took hold of the Palestinians in the wake of Faysal’s coronation, and of the possibility that Palestine might be included in his Kingdom.”50 All of this suggests the important role played by Damascus in the emergence and evolution of Palestinian national politics of the 1920s.

Nearly all scholars have argued, however, that the push for Palestine-Syria unity in 1919 was an ephemeral political maneuver to avert the Zionist onslaught and achieve independence from colonial rule rather than a genuine display of loyalty to Damascus.51 Scholars tend to focus on the total disappearance of the phrase “southern Syria” in Palestinian political discourse after Faysal was deposed by the French in July 1920. Mir’at al-Sharq continued to embrace the idea of unity with Syria throughout the 1920s, however, suggesting that the importance of Syria in the Palestinian national imagination was deeper than most scholars have been willing to admit.52 Consider the language used to depict the bond between Syria and Palestine some seven years after the initial call for unity. Syria was described as “a single body” yet the various aspects of this body had been divided. “First it was beheaded, its hands were removed, its heart divided and finally its legs severed.”53 Another article from the mid-1920s held that “a great crime was committed through the separation of Syria from Palestine. These are two countries which are one and the same, united by a single language, with the same customs, a single, natural geography. Cutting it apart is like cutting apart a single body into many parts…I don’t know how it is possible for an arm or a leg to live without its body.”54

The (male) national movement was not the only political movement in Palestine to take cues from its Arab neighbors. Syrian and Egyptian women also played an important role in the Palestinian women’s movement.55 Ellen Fleischmann notes that many articles in Filastin, the popular Jaffa paper edited by ‘Isa al-‘Isa, urged Palestinian women to become more politically active and berated them for “trailing behind their sisters in Egypt and Syria in fostering a women’s ‘awakening.’”56

The gaze north and east found a comfortable home on the pages of Mir’at al-Sharq. The editors declared in one issue that the “the paper exists first and foremost to service Palestine, then Syria, then the Arab countries.”57 Syrians greatly expanded the number of scientific and literary clubs and frequently sponsored educational lectures, something Mir’at al-Sharq said the Palestinians ought to pursue as well.58 The paper also noted that France divided the country into different regions and made each region completely independent over its own affairs. It entrusted most of the high posts to the people while for important matters each of these regions reported back to the central government in Damascus or Beirut. The paper lamented that the British had not done something similar in Palestine. “Syria today resembles the United States in a great step towards autonomy, which the Syrian nation had ardently desired.”59 The Arab Executive Committee led by Musa Kazim al-Husseini agreed that the French Mandate was a positive step intended to prepare the Syrians for independence. “In Syria, France, acting more in sympathy with the inhabitants, appoints natives to fill exalted positions, and reserves to herself the right of council and advice.”60 Throughout the mid 1920s Mir’at al-Sharq pressed the British to adopt a constitution in Palestine. For more than one hundred years the practice had been in place in a variety of other countries.61 The paper emphasized that in Egypt, Iraq and the Lebanese Republic, constitutions (dasatir) had already been approved, and will soon be approved in Syria as well. It is as if the Palestinian people were “not a real people, as if they were not entitled to what every other nation is entitled to.”

The paper reacted with a hefty dose of approbation towards the Syrian revolt, lasting from July 1925 until the spring of 1927. As historian Michael Provence has argued, the revolt brought together for more than two years “a ragtag collection of farmers, urban tradesmen and workers, and former junior officers of the Ottoman and Arab armies.”62 It was a popular movement which enjoyed widespread participation across social classes and geographical spaces. Mir’at al-Sharq had weekly coverage of the events of the revolt and took every opportunity to praise the Syrian rebels.63 It contrasted the “frozen” state of Palestinian politics with the strength of the Syrian revolt.64 One article complained that the Husseini-dominated Arab Executive had failed to compel the British authorities to adopt laws in Palestine favorable to the Palestinians.65 The nation must wake up like the other nations of the world. “Why,” the paper asked, “do we not demand today what Syria demanded as it spilled the blood of its fine people?” Why not follow the path of our neighbor “Egypt the almighty”? “We have not called for a bloody revolution to win our rights…”66

The paper found in the Syrian revolt a source of inspiration for the East. The Druze were described as the courageous defenders of their religion and tradition in the face of the French colonists.67 The paper took special care to note that the revolt was a “national Syrian revolt” that transcended sectarian divides.68 Addressing the League of Nations, the paper affirmed that the Syrian national consciousness was too powerful for the French to suppress.69 The article delved into a series of rhetorical questions, lambasting the League: “Why do you sanctify freedom in your country yet curse it in others? Why do you praise heroism in the West and vilify it in the East? Why are you so ready to recognize independence of the European countries while you remain so stingy with the Syrian people?” The paper concluded with additional words of praise for the Syrians: “May peace be upon the holy revolutionaries fighting for freedom and independence in the East. May peace be upon all those who have spilled their blood for peace, the homeland and liberating the East.”

Mir’at al-Sharq also ran a series of articles titled “obstacles” which were preventing the East from advancing. One such article identified “religious zealotry” as the main impediment causing the East to lag behind the West.70 The Syrian revolt provided the best evidence for this claim. Had the revolt taken place thirty or forty years ago it is difficult to say if the Syrian Christians would have played a significant role. Yet today, the paper argued, there is no opposition whatsoever among the Christians, “all of whom boast a true Arab nationalist spirit.” No surprise that the Christian editor of Mir’at al-Sharq, Bulus Shihadah, would take pride in the Christian participation.71

A front page editorial titled “the East for the Easterners and the West for the Westerners” with a subtitle “Syria for the Syrians” by an anonymous free lance journalist who had spent time traveling around the region suggests that the turn to Syria was also linked to a pan-Eastern, anti-colonial tendency.72 The writer declared that the East will not surrender to what the West variously termed mandatory rule, guidance, protection, supervision or colonialism.73 In a particularly emotional uproar the author wrote that “the East will rise up in its entirety, from the Caucus Mountains to the Anatolian Peninsula, from Syria to Egypt, from Tripoli to Algeria, from Morocco to the Arabian Peninsula, from Iraq to Iran, from Afghanistan to India and from China to Japan. May these nations and all others pronounce in the language of the East their presence as a united force before the West.” The panegyric of solidarity continued: “From Mustafa Kemal and Halide Edip Adivar to Abd al-Rahman Shahbandar and Nazik al-Abed, from Sa’ad Zaghloul and Safia Zaghloul to Abd al-Karim, from Gandhi and his wife to all the male and female leaders of the East.” The echoes of these nationalists reverberated throughout the East.

Dr. Salim Shihadah penned an article titled “Arab Civilization after the War” which similarly embraced Syria and Egypt as the beacons of civilization in the Arab world.74 He opened with a quotidian rendition of the glories of a bygone Arab civilization –“their Baghdad was the Paris of its time.” This memory, however, “was merely the bliss of yesterday and should not make us forget the bitterness of today.” Shihadah proceeded with a comparative analysis of Arab achievements in three countries (aqtar) – Syria, Egypt, and the Hijaz. The people of Syria and Egypt were on the correct paths towards civilization because they had awoken from their slumber and felt their national needs. The Hijazi Kingdom and its people, by contrast, more closely resembled the Syria and Egypt of a hundred years ago, remaining steeped in theocratic rather than national beliefs. Shedding themselves of this religious zeal, Egypt and Syria instead became the “beacons of Arab civilization,” he argued. To be modern and progressive in the Arab world, for Shihadah, meant to leave behind religion and embrace secular nationalism by following the lead of Egypt and Syria.

Syria, much like Egypt, was critical for the Palestinian national imagination. The Faysali regime acted as a training ground for Palestinian nationalists. Syria was a source of loyalty from the outset of Palestinian nationalist activity in 1919 throughout the 1920s. Mir’at al-Sharq looked favorably upon the Syrian revolt asking if Palestinians should adopt similar tactics against the British. Finally, the paper glorified Syria as one of the intellectual centers of the Arab world.


Turkey occupied a unique role in Palestinian discourse insofar as it constituted both the erstwhile oppressor in the eyes of many nationalist ideologues as well as a nation similarly struggling against post-war European occupation. Interest in Turkish affairs seems to have been quite high in Palestine in the immediate post-war period.75 The memories of mass conscription, disease, starvation and death from the war years soon gave way to admiration, however, as Mustafa Kemal refused to accept political subordination to Europe. Even before Kemal had defeated the Greeks in Turkey, he provided hope in “every Eastern heart” by refusing to heed Europe’s decisions.76 The Turks were proud defenders of their freedom and independence.77 The feeling was widespread that, due to Kemal’s successes in Anatolia, the Treaty of Sèvres would be revisited and the British Mandate over Palestine was susceptible to change.78 One unsigned petition circulating in Palestine spoke enthusiastically of the Turkish war effort: “Rights can only be secured by the sword and freedom by fire. You see what tricks and wiles are used by Europe in order to put an end to Turkey’s liberty, honor and independence.”79 After Kemal’s armies proved victorious against the Greeks in the summer of 1922 the attitude towards Turkey became ever more dramatic. Mustafa Kemal was revered as the great defender of the East and Islam who successfully fought off Western colonialism.80 At the same time, however, Mir’at al-Sharq praised Turkey for abolishing the Caliphate and overcoming its religious zealotry, a factor deemed responsible for Turkey’s remarkable progress.81 Turkey was also extolled for having been among the first Eastern nations to adopt “modern civilization.”82 Palestinians, it seems, found in Mustafa Kemal whatever they wanted.

It is difficult to underestimate just how potent was the turn towards Turkey. Years after Kemal founded the Turkish republic, Mir’at al-Sharq published a full-blown panegyric titled “We Want a Man like Mustafa Kemal: Where is He?”83 The article opened with a series of harsh condemnations of the current Palestinian leadership. The paper rebuked the Husaynis for having made few political or economic gains. Only ten percent of Palestinian students were in school, the paper lamented. The interparty rivalry had been damaging the interests of the country. “We want a man like Mustafa Kemal to bring this ship to the port of peace. Where is he? One man rose up in Turkey to save the nation from the claws of death, a man who knew how to bring the nation out of the shackles of slavery and tyranny. Where is our Mustafa Kemal?” The veneration became even more poetic as Mustafa was described in almost mystical terms. We “bow before your heroism (butula) and ingenuity (‘abqariya)…hopefully a beam of light from your noble spirit will be sent to Palestine to establish for us a hero like you…to herald an epic of independence and freedom.” Many other articles like this one called for the Palestinians to follow the footsteps of Kemal and fight off Western oppression.84 For Mir’at al-Sharq, Kemal knew the meaning of freedom and the Palestinians needed to imitate his ways.

The paper was not alone to embrace the Turkish cause. A coalition of unlikely allies found refuge in Kemal’s victory. A petition from 10 December 1922 signed by dozens of Palestinian notables, journalists and merchants called for “complete independence for Palestine under a Kemalist Turkish Mandate.”85 The communist party in Palestine similarly reveled in the Turkish triumph. British political reports of the time confirm that the sentiment was rather widespread. Herbert Samuel noted in 1924 that the Kemalist victory over the Greeks and the prospect of a revision of the Treaty of Sevres between the Allied Powers and Turkey had much influence over the Palestinians.86 Turkey paved the way for the liberation of the Near East. “It became, therefore, the nucleus for all oppressed nations to gather around it...”87

The celebrations of Kemal’s victory were not limited to the written word. The Turkish flag was displayed by a number of shopkeepers in Hebron88 as well as during the annual Al-Nabi Rubin festival where some 4000 people marched through Jaffa.89 In Gaza, shops were decorated and minarets were light in Kemal’s honor. Precessions in Gaza and Nablus which included banners and drums were stopped by the police. In honor of Kemal a religious service was held in the Harim al-Sharif complex in Jerusalem. Money was collected throughout the country for Kemal’s victorious armies.90

The Arab Executive Committee even decided to dispatch a delegation to Istanbul to push the Kemalist movement to support Palestinian demands.91 The delegates pressed the Turks to execute Article 1 of the Turkish National Pact, which called for the right to self-determination for the inhabitants of the lands taken from the Ottoman Empire and emphasized the religious ties between the Turks and the Palestinians. These meetings held in Istanbul in November 1922 and later Lausanne turned out to be a great disappointment, as the Turks were resigned to the status quo and allowed the Allied powers to pursue their own interests in the Arab East.

By 1925 Mir’at al-Sharq began to reminisce about the good old days under Ottoman rule. The paper commented frequently that each province of the empire had sent delegates to the representative assembly in Istanbul. They in fact spoke quite fondly of Arab-Turkish relations. “They had representatives, we had representatives, they had ministers, we had ministers, they had arbiters, we had arbiters, they contributed soldiers, we contributed soldiers.”92 Insofar as the British colonial regime afforded few political rights to the Palestinians, it makes sense that Palestinians would have developed nostalgia for the post-1908 Ottoman period.

This is not to say, however, that Mir’at al-Sharq moved beyond the Ottoman despotism polemic that prevailed in the post-War Arab East. The paper reported that the Arab nation was in its mere infant stages at the close of the Ottoman Empire as a result of the religious zealotry of Sultan Abdul Hamid II.93 Before the 1908 constitutional revolution, Ottoman government teachers “resembled teachers of the sixteenth century.”94 While the Ottomans improved access to education after 1908, the paper noted, the effort was too little and too late. They also neglected the Arabic language to the extent that Arabic grammar was taught in the Turkish language.95 These points are consistent with the broader perception of late Ottoman rule in Palestinian historiographical writing.96 The evidence presented here, however, complicates this picture. During the 1920s Turkey became not only the oppressor of the Arabs in Palestinian discourse but also a source of inspiration.


Since Palestine was a remote and provincial locale in the late Ottoman period, Palestinians went abroad to pursue higher education. They became acquainted with the fruits of the nahda via Syrian and Egyptian interlocutors. Educated Palestinians closely followed the intellectual, cultural, social and political scenes in the regional hubs. In some cases they even proposed subordinating Palestine to rule from Cairo, Damascus or Ankara. The Arabic press played a key role in this regional current. As the chief organ of the opposition faction, Mir’at al-Sharq served as the linchpin for a large contingent of groups within Palestinian society. The paper frequently looked to more successful national movements abroad and sought to emulate their success stories and avert their blunders. Egypt, Syria and Turkey, in particular, acted as discursive sounding bounds, catalysts for action, frames of reference and sources of emulation.

Zachary J. Foster is a graduate student in Arab Studies at Georgetown University.


1 Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, “The Pitfalls of Palestiniology.” Arab Studies Quarterly 3(4) (1981): 404-5.

2 Michelle Campos, “Ottoman Palestine into the 21st Century.” Paper presented at the Conference, Palestine: What We Know, George Washington University, 16 October 2009; Rashid Khalidi, “The State of Palestine Studies,” Paper presented at the Conference, Palestine: What We Know, George Washington University, 16 October 2009.

3 Ami Ayalon, Reading Palestine: Printing and Literacy: 1900-1948 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2004), p. 62.

4 Circulation figures almost certainly underestimate the number of Palestinians exposed to the press. Even before the war newspapers were frequently circulated by hand. In a 1913 al-Quds editorial, Jurji Hanania reported that readers tend to share their copy of the paper with ‘fifty other readers.’ See Rashid Khalidi, Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness (New York: Columbia University Press), 56-7. The editor of al-Karmil, Najib Nassar, similarly remarked in his paper on 13 December 1912 that ‘thousands’ were reading the paper for free even though only a few hundred subscribed. See Aida al-Najjar, The Arabic Press and Nationalism in Palestine, 19201948, (Unpublished dissertation, Syracuse University, 1975), ch. 2

5 The first dependable figures for literacy rates in Palestine came in 1932. Muslim men: 25%, Muslim women: 3%; Christian men: 72%, Christian women: 44%, Jewish men: 93%, Jewish women: 73%. See Khalidi, Palestinian Identity, p.225 n.33.

6 Ayalon, Reading Palestine, p. 63.

7 Adnan Abu-Ghazaleh, ‘Arab Cultural Nationalism in Palestine during the British Mandate.’ Journal of Palestine Studies 1(3) (1972): 37-63; Ann Mosely Lesch, Arab Politics in Palestine, 1917-1939: The Frustration of a Nationalist Movement. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1979), p. 65; Ayalon, Reading Palestine.

8 For more details on the rivalry, see Porath, The Emergence of the Palestinian National Movement 1918-1929 (London: Cass 1974), ch. 5; See especially p.222-230 for a good discussion of the paper’s role as the chief organ of the opposition; See also Bernard Wasserstein, The British in Palestine: The Mandatory Government and the Arab-Jewish Conflict, 1917-1929 (Cambridge: Blackwell, 1991), ch. 10. Two of the other major Palestinians newspapers, Sirat al-Mustaqim and Filastin, were also allied with the opposition.

9 Shihadah played a prominent role in Palestine’s intellectual and cultural life. After achieving highest honors in preparatory school, he was appointed as a teacher in Acre. Then he served as a confident of and advisor to Abbas Efendi, the oldest son of the founder of the Baha’i faith. He moved to Gaza and was later transferred to a school in Bethlehem. This last teaching appointment ended abruptly with the outbreak out World War I, so Bulus went to work in his brother’s pharmacy in Jenin during the war years. He was a poet, writer and frequent contributor to the Egyptian and Syrian literary scene during the Turkish period as well as the spokesperson for the Haifa branch of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP). Apparently he even wrote one poem that rivaled the works of Fekry Pasha Abaza. He also co-authored a monograph on the history of Jerusalem. See Khalil Totah and Bulus Shihadah, Ta’rikh al-Quds wa-daliluha (A Brief History and Guide of Jerusalem) (al-Quds: Matba`at Mirat al-Sharq, 1920). Later Bulus Shihadah served in key leadership positions in the National Party (hizb al-watani). This biographical information comes from an article written about his life by an anonymous writer in Mir’at al-Sharq 22 March 1928.

10 Qustandi Shomali, Mir’at al-Sharq: A Critical Study and Chronological Bibliography (Jerusalem: Arab Studies Society, 1992) (in Arabic).

11 One of its earliest editorials, for instance, noted that “the people cannot do without the government and the government cannot do without the people,” Mir’at al-Sharq 24 September 1919.

12 Mir’at al-Sharq 7 October 1919; see also 19 April 1921, where the paper notes that it still considers the British government just and interested in improving the lot of the Arab nation.

13 Rashid Khalidi, Palestinian Identity, p. 170

14 One article titled “the East for the Easterners and the West for the Westerners” called on Easterners around the globe to rise up against their colonial masters. Western civilization “more closely resembles calcified graves – the outside adorned with shimmering marbles yet the inside bears the stench of a wretched and ignoble fragrance.” Every nation of the East will “rise up and smash the thrones of its own servitude on the one hand and the thrones of its colonial master,” Mir’at al-Sharq 21 June 1922. See also an article titled “We Requested Civilization and We Received Influenza,” 13 May 1922; see also lead editorial on 14 June 1925; Elsewhere, British policies are described as coercive, destructive and ruinous, see, for instance, 1 June 1921.

15 Wasserstein explains how Palestinians tapped for service into the British administrative apparatus “usually face conflicting tugs of loyalty.” One the one hand they were bound by duty to carry out their service as government employees, and on the other, by their commitment to the national cause. See Bernard Wasserstein, “‘Clipping the Claws of the Colonisers’: Arab Officials in the Government of Palestine, 1917-48.” Middle Eastern Studies, 13(2) (1977): 171-194.

16 Wasserstein, The British in Palestine, p. 150. He cites a Zionist report from Kisch to Stein in 1924 that Shihadah had been receiving L25 a month from Zionist funds. Porath writes, however, that while the Zionists supported the establishment of the Al-Hizb al-Watani party, they did not provide financial support for the paper. See Yehoshua Porath, The Emergence of the Palestinian-Arab National Movement, 1918-1929. (London: Cass, 1974), p. 224

17 Mir’at al-Sharq, 1 October 1919

18 Uri M. Kupferschmidt, “Connections of the Palestinian ‘Ulama with Egypt and Other Parts of the Ottoman Empire,” in Amnon Cohen (ed.) Egypt and Palestine: A Millennium of Association 868-1948 (New York : St. Martin’s Press, 1984), 176-189. Much of the Palestinian leadership during the Mandate period also received their education abroad, see Bayan Nuweihid al-Hout, “The Palestinian Political Elite during the Mandate Period,” Journal of Palestine Studies 9(1) (1979): 85-111.

19 Ayalon, Reading Palestine, p. 48-57

20 Ayalon examined this section for the first thirty-three years of the journal and found that letters of Palestinian origin were counted some eighty-six times (out of a total of 2,612). See Ami Ayalon, “Modern Texts and Their Readers in Late Ottoman Palestine,” Middle Eastern Studies 38(4) (2002): 17-40.

21 Rashid Khalidi notes that twenty-six years of the journal al-Muqtataf are located in the Khalidi Library in Jerusalem, starting from the year 1877. The al-Aqsa library, as well, has holdings of al-Muqtataf beginning in 1880. See Khalidi, Palestinian Identity, p. 54; Ayalon, Reading Palestine, p. 49.

22 After the 1908 revolution, Palestinians could publish with limited interference from Istanbul. See Ya’qub Yehoshua, Tarikh al-Sihafa al-‘Arabiyya fi Filastin fil-‘Ahd al‘Uthmani, 1908-1918. (Jerusalem: Matba’at al-Ma’arif, 1974). Notwithstanding the expanded press freedoms in Palestine, the arrival of written works from Egypt continued to expand after 1908. See Ayalon, Reading Palestine, p. 48-57.

23 Ibid, p. 53.

24 Al-Nafir, 14 June 1910

25 The educator Khalil Sakakini noted in his diary on 30 September 1914 that people stopped reading the Egyptian press because the Ottoman authorities prevented it from arriving in Palestine, see Akram Musallam (ed.). Yawmiyat Khalil al-Sakakini, al-kitab al-Thani: Al-Nahda al Orthodoksiya, al-Harb al-‘Uthma, al-Nafi fi Dimashq (Jerusalem and Ramallah: Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center and the Institute of Jerusalem Studies, 2004), p.97; See also Ayalon, Reading Palestine, 51-2

26 See A. Albert Kudsi-Zadeh, “The Emergence of Political Journalism in Egypt,” The Muslim World 70(1) (1980): 47-55

27 Mir’at al-Sharq 31 March, 1927

28 See, for instance, Mir’at al-Sharq 19 November 1924, 26 November 1924; December 3 1924

29 Mir’at al-Sharq, 1 June 1921

30 Mir’at al-Sharq, 9 June 1920. A separate article title “Political Horizons” in the same edition of the paper make a very similar point about Egypt.

31 For more on the causes of the revolt, see Ellis Goldberg, “Peasants in Revolt – Egypt 1919” International Journal of Middle East Studies 24(2) (1992): 261-280

32 Wasserstein, The British in Palestine, p. 37

33 Ibid, p. 62.

34 Palestinian employment in the British Mandatory government was a key issue throughout the period under discussion. Palestinians found themselves significantly underrepresented among senior service positions in the Mandatory government. Moreover, no Arab was appointed head of a government department a district commissioner in Palestine, these positions were reserved for the British or Zionists. See Wasserstein, British in Palestine, 168

35 Mir’at al-Sharq, 1 March 1921.

36 Mir’at al-Sharq, 13 May 1922

37 See John C. B. Richmond, Egypt, 1798-1952: Her Advance Towards a Modern Identity (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977), p. 181-186

38 Mir’at al-Sharq, 16 January 1926

39 Mir’at al-Sharq, February 13 1926

40 Mir’at al-Sharq, 27 May 1920

41 Mir’at al-Sharq, 4 November 1926.

42 Mir’at al-Sharq, 4 November 1926.

43 See Mir’at al-Sharq, 23 December 1926. This proposition also seems to have stemmed from an idea that had been circulating in Palestine to establish an Arab government in Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Trans-Jordan and the Hijaz. See, for instance, Mir’at al-Sharq, 15 October 1920; 24 May 1925

44 The idea for an Egypt-Palestine union was not new in 1926. The Nablus branch of the Ottoman Decentralization party made precisely this demand in 1913. See Yosef Lunts, “The Roots and Sources of the Arab National Movement in Palestine on the Eve of World War I,” in Moshe Ma’oz and B. Z. Kedar, (eds.) The Palestinian National Movement (Tel Aviv: Misradha-Bitahon, 1996) (in Hebrew), p.34. One of the only Palestinian sources from World War I (the press was shut down by the Ottomans) is a diary written by a young soldier who carried out his Ottoman military service in Jerusalem. On the first page of the diary he asks rhetorically about the fate of Palestine after the war. He suggests that Palestine would either be independent or join Egypt. See Salim Tamari (ed.) Am al-jarad, al-Harb al-Uzma ma ma-mahw al-madi al-Uthmani min Filastin: Ma’a Ayyam muthirah fi hayat al-askari ihsan al-Qasirah, yawmiyat jundi uth-mani 1915-16 (Beirut: Mu’assasat al-Dirasat al-Filast?iniyah, 2008), p. 75-6. Finally, in the introduction to their monograph Tarikh Filastin published in 1923, al-Barghouti and Totah wrote that, historically, Palestine “was incorporated (mundamaja) into Syria or affixed to Egypt, and in the past it would have been impossible for it to have been an independent country (bilaad mustaqalla) as a result of its geographical position, small size and varied population. So, too, in future days, it may be connected to Egypt or Iraq…”. See ‘Umar al-Salih al-Barghuthi and Khalil Totah, Ta’rikh Filastin (Jerusalem: Matba‘at Bayt al-Maqdis, 1923), p.13

45 Porath, The Emergence, p. 82.

46 Many Palestinians who would later play key roles in the Palestinian national movement began their political careers in Damascus, including Shaykh Abd el-Qader Muzaffar, Haj Amin al-Husseini, Izzat Darwazah, Rushdi al-Shawwa, Salim Abdul Rahman al Haj Ibrahim, Muhammad ‘Ali Bey al-Tamimi and others. See Porath, The Emergence, ch.2; Manuel Hassassain, Palestine: Factionalism in the National Movement, 1919-1939. (Jerusalem, Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA), 1990), p. 32

47 Porath, The Emergence, p. 78.

48 Muhammad Y. Muslih, The Origins of Palestinian Nationalism. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988), p. 174; Porath, The Emergence, p. 95-100

49 Abdul Latif Tibawi, Arab Education in Mandatory Palestine: A Study of Three Decades of British Administration (London: Luzac, 1956), p. 195

50 Porath, The Emergence, p. 99.

51 See, for instance, Haim Gerber, Remembering and Imagining Palestine: Identity and Nationalism from the Crusaders to the Present (New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), ch. 3; Muslih, Origins of Palestinian Nationalism, ch.6; Porath, The Emergence, p. 100-111; Lesch, Arab Politics in Palestine, p. 90-1.

52 See, for instance, September 1921 (exact date missing); 24 May 1925; 18 November 1925; 3 March 1926; 11 September 1926; 4 November 1926. In one case, the paper also declared that Palestine and Transjordan were one country unnaturally separated by the British. The article proposed uniting the two under the name “Greater Palestine” (Filastin al-Kubra). 24 May 1925.

53 Mir’at al-Sharq 24 May 1925

54 Mir’at al-Sharq 4 November 1926

55 Ellen Fleischmann, The Nation and Its “New” Women: The Palestinian Women’s Movement, 1920-1948 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003)

56 ibid, p. 86

57 Mir’at al-Sharq 18 September 1926. Indeed, it was not uncommon for the paper to respond to coverage of the Damascus Aleph Ba’, see, for instance, Mir’at al-Sharq 14 January 1921, 10 January 1922

58 Mir’at al-Sharq 15 October 1919

59 Mir’at al-Sharq 22 September 1922. Some four years later Mir’at al-Sharq once again suggested that Syria reached a state of progress equal to that of the Untied States, see 7 February 1926. For similar praise to the Syria commitment to the independence and advancement of Syria, see article titled “Open Letter,” Mir’at al-Sharq, 19 May 1920

60 Arab Executive Committee to Winston Churchill, 28 March 1921, Akram Zu’aytir, Watha’iq al-Haraka al-Wataniyya al-Filistiniyya, 1918-1939: Min Awraq Akram Zuatir. (Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1979), p. 66.

61 Mir’at al-Sharq 19 June 1926

62 Michael Provence. The Great Syrian Revolt and the Rise of Arab Nationalism (Austin, University of Texas Press, 2005), 12.

63 This was not the case, for instance, of the Haifa paper al-Karmil, which highlighted that the Druze attacked Christian villages in the Hawran. See Porath, The Emergence, p.300

64 Mir’at al-Sharq 31 July 1926

65 See, for instance, Mir’at al-Sharq, 25 September 1926

66 Filastin also positioned the possibility of a Palestinian revolt in the context of the Syrian revolt. See Filastin, 2 July 1926. Cited in Wasserstein, British in Palestine, p.220. The paper noted that “if we revolt it will be said that we are unfit for civilization as in Syria, and if we follow a moderate policy it will be said that we are satisfied with our present condition.”

67 Mir’at al-Sharq, 23 November 1925

68 Mir’at al-Sharq, 23 November 1925

69 Mir’at al-Sharq, 31 March 1926

70 Mir’at al-Sharq 7 February 1926

71 The paper frequently promoted a secular flavor of nationalism. See, for instance, an article title “The East is Obliterated” in Mir’at al-Sharq 30 January 1926; see also lead articles in Mir’at al-Sharq 10 November 1920; 5 December 1925; 9 December 1925; 12 December 1925

72 Mir’at al-Sharq 21 June 1922

73 Mir’at al-Sharq elsewhere described the word “Intidab” as “a new word in the Western political lexicon which the politicians have taken comfort using after the word isti`mar became heavy on the ears of the Easterners.” See 27 February 1926.

74 Mir’at al-Sharq, 10 November 1920.

75 See, for instance, Report on the Political Situation in Palestine, July 1921 and October 1921 in Robert L. Jarman (ed..) Political Diaries of the Arab World: Palestine and Jordan, vol. 1, (Slough: Archive Editions, 2001), 97, 114; Both al-Akhbar and al-Karmil reported weekly on the situation in Anatolia both before and after the Kemalist victory, See Qustandi Shomali, The Arabic Press in Palestine: Al-Akhbar 1909-1947, A Critical Study and Chronological Bibliography (Jerusalem: Arab Studies Society, 1996) (in Arabic); Qustanfi Shomali, The Arabic Press in Palestine: El-Carmel 1908-1941, A Critical Study and Chronological Bibliography (Jerusalem: Al-Liqa’ Center for Religious and Heritage Studies in the Holy Land, 1996) (in Arabic). Mir’at al-Sharq also provided weekly updates on Turkish-Greek conflict in Anatolia.

76 Mir’at al-Sharq 12 March 1921

77 Mir’at al-Sharq 10 January 1922

78 Wasserstein, British in Palestine, p. 95

79 An unsigned proclamation which was distributed in Palestine in May 1920, see Muslih, The Origins of Palestinian Nationalism, p. 200.

80 See, for instance, al-Karmil 20 September 1922, in which an editorial “extols Mustafa Kemal and says the East is in need of such men to liberate itself,” cited in Report on the Political Situation in Palestine, September 1922, Political Diaries of the Arab World, 305. See also Herbert Samuel to Lord Duke, 10 November 1922, Report on the Political Situation in Palestine, Political Diaries of the Arab World, p. 307.

81 Mir’at al-Sharq 7 February 1926. This position is consistent with the secular, nationalist outlook of the paper.

82 Mir’at al-Sharq 19 June 1926

83 Mir’at al-Sharq 13 February 1926

84 For additional words of praise to Turkey for fighting off Western oppression, see Mir’at al-Sharq 27 May 1922; See also Al-Taba (Haifa) 13 February 1923, which encouraged the Arabs to take after the Turkish movement, cited in Herbert Samuel to Lord Duke, Political Report on the Situation in Palestine, February 1923, Political Diaries of the Arab World, vol. 1, 480; see also Filastin 11 August 1922, in which a leading article praised Turkey’s efforts to fight off Western aggression. The article also compared the Palestinian and Turkish situations, suggesting that the next Palestinian Congress should draft a covenant similar to that of Kemal’s, cited in Report on the Political Situation in Palestine, August 1922, Political Diaries of the Arab World, vo1. 1, p. 282; see also Porath, The Emergence, 158-9.

85 Abd al-Wahhab Kayyali (ed.). Watha’iq almuqawamah al-Filastiniyah al-‘Arabiyah didd al-ihtilal al-Baritani wa-al-Sahyuniyah, 1918-1939 (Beirut: Mu’assasat al-Dirasat al-Filastiniyah, 1988), p.66.

86 Hebert Samuel to the Colonial Office, 25 January 1924, Political Diaries of the Arab World, vol. 2, p. 766.

87 Herbert Samuel to Lord Duke, May 1923, Political Diaries of the Arab World, vol. 2, p. 566.

88 Ibid, 15 December 1922, vol. 1, p. 321

89 Ibid, 19 October 1923, vol. 1, p. 703.

90 Ibid, 6 October 1922, vol. 1, p. 289.

91 Porath, The Emergence, p. 161-169

92 Mir’at al-Sharq 27 April 1925

93 Mir’at al-Sharq 30 January 1926

94 Mir’at al-Sharq 22 December 1921

95 Mir’at al-Sharq 22 December 1921

96 Beshara B. Doumani, ‘Rediscovering Ottoman Palestine: Writing Palestinians into History.’ Journal of Palestine Studies 21(2) (1992): 5-28.



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