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Immigration policy in Palestine under Sir Herbert Samuel: British, Zionist and Arab attitudes

Mossek, Moshe (1975) Immigration policy in Palestine under Sir Herbert Samuel: British, Zionist and Arab attitudes. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

During the three decades of British rule in Palestine (1918-1948), the question of Jewish immigration played a major role in the political arena of the country. As far as the Zionists were concerned, Jewish immigration was a vital and indispensable condition to the growth and strengthening of the Yishuv (Jewish community in Palestine), to the prosperity of the country and to the building up of the Jewish National Home. On the other hand, the Palestinian Arabs saw in Jewish immigration the most dangerous and tangible threat to their political existence. . and their economic, social and religious position. The British Government, which, according to the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate, took upon itself to assist the establishment of the Jewish National Home by facilitating Jewish immigration, was well aware of the controversial nature of this question and devoted considerable endeavour to finding a solution satisfactory to all parties concerned. The present study examines the making of immigration policy during the first five years of the Civil Administration, which correspond to Sir Herbert Samuel's rule in Palestine. This includes an analysis of the different approaches and contributions of the various bodies and individuals which took part in the framing of the policy; an examination of the political, administrative arid legal patterns, procedures and schemes of immigration; and finally, the implementation of the schemes and their subsequent effects on the official policy. With regard to the participants in this process, one can point to three political factors which acted concurrently in three different arenas: Jerusalem, London and the immigration centres in Europe. The first network consists of the Palestine Administration and the British Government: the High Commissioner, the Chief Secretary, the Legal Department, the Department of Immigration and Travel, the Sub-Department of Labour and various economic departments of the Palestine Administration; the British Cabinet, the Colonial Office, the Home Office, the Foreign Office and British Consuls in Europe, mainly those situated in the immigration centres: Warsaw, Constantinople, Vienna and Trieste. The second network includes the corresponding bodies of the Zionist Organisation: the Zionist Executive in London, the Zionist Commission to Palestine and later, the Palestine Zionist Executive and the branches of the Zionist Organisation in Europe. An additional network is the supreme body of the Palestine Arab national movement - the Palestine Arab Congress, its Executive Committee and the several Delegations which were despatched to London during this period for negotiations with the Colonial Office. From a chronological and substantial point of view, this research is divided into two principal periods. The first is from July 1920, the date of the setting up of the Civil Administration, until the May Disturbances of 1921. During this period, the primary political, administrative and legal patterns concerning immigration took shape, namely, crystallisation of concepts, outlining of policy, setting up of the Department of Immigration and Travel and legislation of the first Immigration Ordinance (Chapter 1). The later period runs between June 1921 until the middle of 1923, the end of Samuel's rule in Palestine. During this period a revision was made of the concepts and schemes of the policy (Chapter 3); negotiations regarding constitutional reforms in control of immigration took place (Chapter 9-); the Immigration Department and machinery of control were reorganised (Chapter 5); legislation of the second Immigration Ordinance (Chapter 6); and finally, an examination of the principle of Economic Absorptive Capacity as an indicator for immigration (Chapter 7).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 1975 Moshe Mossek
Library of Congress subject classification: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/4034

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