Sir Herbert Samuel: A Change of Heart

By Charlotte Kelsted

Sir Herbert Samuel was the first High Commissioner of Mandatory Palestine. Criticised by Bernard Wasserstein and Sahar Huneidi for prioritising the political desires of the Jews over those of the Arabs, Samuel has been served a great injustice. Whilst he was certainly a committed Zionist throughout the First World War, Samuel’s appointment as High Commissioner in April 1920 led him to a change of heart. From April 1920 onwards, he was unquestionably an impartial administrator.


After losing his father at the age of six, Herbert Samuel’s formative years were heavily influenced by his uncle, Samuel Montagu.[1] Montagu was one of the earliest English enthusiasts for Zionism, and this aspect of Samuel’s upbringing appears to have greatly influenced him.[2] Although he abandoned his Jewish beliefs during his time at Oxford University, Samuel remained intrigued by the prospect of a Jewish return to the Holy Land.[3] At the turn of the century, however, Palestine was part of the vast Ottoman Empire, having been under Muslim rule for nearly 700 years. A return of the Jews to Palestine was a distant ideal which perforce limited Samuel’s interest in the movement.[4]

Samuels Memorandum

These circumstances, however, were remarkably different once the Turks entered the First World War on 5 November 1914. If the Allies proved victorious, the Ottoman Empire would surely crumble and its former lands be divided among the victorious European powers.[5] With a Jewish return to Palestine no longer so far-fetched, Samuel’s interest in Zionism resurfaced. After obtaining the Zionist Organization’s latest publications, Samuel – who was Home Secretary in 1914 – became captivated by the idea of a Jewish state in Palestine. Just four days after the Turks entered the war, he approached Edward Grey, then Foreign Secretary. Samuel portrayed a Jewish state as a ‘foundation of enlightenment’, inspiring Jews across the world and ‘rendering them more useful to their current populations’.[6] Grey was impressed by Samuel’s spirited address and admitted that the idea of a national home for the Jews had always appealed to him.[7] Samuel approached David Lloyd George (Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time) on the topic later that day and found him similarly keen to see a Jewish state established in Palestine.[8] Samuel’s fascination with Zionism was further revealed in a meeting with George, Chaim Weizmann and C. P. Scott on 3 December 1914, in which he revealed that he was putting together a Cabinet memorandum campaigning for a British protectorate over Palestine after the war.[9]


Just four weeks later, Samuel had finished his memorandum and sent it to Prime Minister Herbert Asquith and his colleagues.[10] Entitled ‘The Fate of Palestine’, the memorandum opened with a sentimental description of how Jews across the world had waited for ‘over eighteen hundred years’ to return to Palestine, their connection to the land ‘almost as ancient as history itself’.[11] Samuel emphasised that if Britain were to annex Palestine after the war, she would once again be playing the part of ‘civiliser of a backwards country’, and that the eternal gratitude of Jews world-wide would be secured for evermore.

To Samuel’s disappointment, the Prime Minister and his Cabinet paid little attention to his largely speculative memorandum.[12] He remained determined nonetheless and in February he met with leading figures of the Anglo-Jewish community to gather support for his ideas. Samuel then re-circulated his memorandum in March, only for his proposals to be brushed aside once again.[13]

The Balfour Declaration

In fact, the British government’s decision to open negotiations with Zionist representatives in February 1917 was largely a result of factors beyond Samuel’s control. As the need to secure American support in the war increased throughout 1916, a deal with Zionist representatives became ever more likely. There existed among the British political elite at the time a belief in the ‘worldwide influence and capability of the Jews’, lent credence by the fact that Louis Brandeis, head of the American Zionist Organization, was one of President Woodrow Wilson’s closest friends.[14] The replacement of Herbert Asquith with Lloyd George at the head of a new coalition government in December 1916 also increased Zionist prospects.[15] Lloyd George had remarked that he was ‘very keen’ to see a return of the Jews to Palestine when first approached by Samuel but Asquith had dismissed Samuel’s memorandum as no more than a ‘lyrical outburst’.[16] In February 1917 Lloyd George gave his permission for negotiations between the British Government and Zionists to begin.[17]

Delighted with this development, on 17 February 1917, Samuel attended ‘the first full-dress conference leading to the Balfour Declaration’.[18] Throughout 1917 he continued to work alongside Dr Gaster, Lord Rothschild, Weizmann, Lord Milner, and a handful of others to finalise the intricacies of the Balfour Declaration. With Samuel’s approval of this ‘wise step’, Lord Balfour made the following declaration in a letter to Lord Rothschild on 2 November 1917:

His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.[19]

Over the next couple of years, Samuel remained closely involved with the Zionist movement. He made a number of public speeches reassuring the Jewish community that the government intended to honour its promises whilst emphasising his own determination to see a return of the Jews to Palestine.[20] He also chaired the Zionist Congress that put together a statement of official aims for presentation at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.[21]

The mandate for Palestine was provisionally assigned to Great Britain on the 23 April. The following day, Lloyd George announced that Samuel was the ‘right man’ to govern Palestine.[22] Samuel remained unsure, however. Although personally interested in Zionism, he believed that there were inevitable ‘dangers’ associated with the appointment of a Jew as High Commissioner.[23] He explained to Lloyd George that because the British Government had made a promise to protect the rights of both the Jewish and non-Jewish communities in Palestine in November 1917, appointing a Jew as High Commissioner might give false hope to Zionist ambitions.[24] Lloyd George agreed to give Samuel some time to reconsider. However, upon reflection Samuel considered himself duty-bound to accept such a prestigious offer from the Prime Minister and accepted the position on 25 April.[25]

Huneidi, who argues that Samuel was a committed Zionist from 1914 until 1925, attributes Samuel’s hesitation to a concern that Arab hostility towards a Jewish High Commissioner would make the implementation of a Zionist program more difficult.[26] Wasserstein, who argues that Samuel feigned impartiality between the two communities whilst actually laying the foundations for a Jewish state, similarly argues that Samuel’s ‘primary motivating force’ for accepting the position of High Commissioner was ‘the realisation of the Zionist dream’.[27] Samuel did not, however, immediately accept the Prime Minister’s offer as an opportunity to further his own Zionist ambitions; instead, he took a few days to consider the Prime Minister’s offer and, on accepting the position, accepted that he would be arriving in Palestine as an impartial administrator.

Samuels First Steps

On 30 June 1920, Samuel arrived at Jaffa Port. In a ceremonious white military uniform with ‘collar and cuffs embroidered with gold’, he was greeted by a 17-gun salute.[28] On arrival in Jerusalem, Samuel addressed the vast crowd that had gathered. He expressed his intention to head a ‘fair and impartial’ administration that would benefit all citizens of Palestine.[29] A week later, an inaugural Assembly was convened at Government House. To Samuel’s delight, ‘consuls, Bedouin chiefs, muftis, mukhtars, sheiks, rabbis, Arabs and Jews’ attended from across the country.[30] Samuel read aloud the statement of King George V, communicating the Government’s aim to establish a ‘liberal’ government in Palestine, with ‘every race and creed respected’.[31] He followed this with a reaffirmation of his own desire to establish an ‘impartial’ administration, announcing that an Advisory Council would be set up in the coming weeks as the first step towards self-government.[32] The Arabs were reassured by Samuel’s promises whilst the Jews remained confident that Samuel was truly a Zionist at heart, determined to transform Palestine into a Jewish state.

Huneidi has alleged that Samuel ‘only paid lip service to the notion that Arab rights could and should be respected’ and that Samuel’s early vows of impartiality were merely attempts to ‘pacify’ the Arabs during his first few months as High Commissioner.[33] Over the coming months, however, Samuel was to hold several meetings with leaders of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities to discuss the composition of an Advisory Council, as he had promised at the inaugural Assembly.[34] In October it was decided that the Council would contain ten unelected government representatives and ten nominated individuals: four Muslim Arabs, three Christian Arabs, and three Jews.[35]

Huneidi has also claimed that during Samuel’s initial months as High Commissioner, he established ‘a largely Zionist administration, disguised as a British one’.[36] However, as soon as possible, Samuel made it possible for both Arabs and Jews to apply for senior positions in the government.[37] He also ordered an equal number of Arabs and Jews to be employed in the police force and left in position many of the British non-Jews inherited from the previous military government, several of whom were allegedly anti-Zionist.[38] By June 1921, ‘out of a total of 2,490 government employees of all ranks, 1,633 (66 per cent) were Arabs’.[39]

Jewish Disappointment

Understandably, the announcement of Samuel’s appointment as High Commissioner had been a source of immense excitement for the Jews. Weizmann heralded the ‘realisation of the great vision’ and Menachem Ussishkin, Head of the Jewish National Fund, triumphantly declared ‘our wishes have been fulfilled!’.[40] Regrettably, Samuel made no attempt to communicate to Weizmann and the rest of the Jewish community his newfound sense of duty as High Commissioner, which obligated him to rule Palestine impartially, according to the official policy of the British Government. Therefore, trusting that Samuel’s initial declarations of impartiality were empty statements designed merely to keep the Arabs under control, the Jews in Palestine remained hopeful throughout 1920 that soon enough Samuel would begin laying the foundations for a Jewish state. By October 1920 the Jews had nominated an Elected Assembly and a meeting was convened with the High Commissioner. Samuel, however, used this meeting to emphasise the necessary limits to Jewish influence in Palestine, rather than discuss how best to increase Jewish authority.[41] He declared that it was ‘not the object of the Assembly’ to address questions ‘affecting Palestine as a whole’: their influence was to be restricted to the ‘internal affairs’ of the Jewish community only.[42]

Samuel’s attitude towards the Elected Assembly of Jews was highly unexpected, and challenges Wasserstein’s claim that the High Commissioner sought to create the ‘necessary political conditions’ for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine.[43] Rather than enthusiastically suggesting ways to gradually increase the Assembly’s influence in the running of the country, Samuel sought to confine Jewish power. This also undermines Huneidi’s claim that ‘in contrast to the restrictions placed on the development of Arab self-governing institutions, Samuel fostered those of the Jews’.[44] In reality, Samuel used his authority as High Commissioner to limit the Zionist movement.

Arab Hostility

In December 1920, a Palestinian Arab Congress was convened in Haifa by representatives of Christian-Muslim societies, with a memorandum expressing the views of those in attendance presented to Samuel.[45] The memorandum began by appealing for ‘a native government, representative of, and elected by, the Arabic-speaking population living in Palestine up to the beginning of the war’.[46] This was followed by a list of the Arab community’s frustrations with the current administration: the arrival of Zionist emigrants; the introduction of Hebrew as an official language of Palestine; and the continued existence of a Zionist flag.[47] Although Samuel had maintained impartiality by balancing these measures with restrictions on Jewish immigration, the creation of an Advisory Council and limitations on the power of the Jewish Elected Assembly, he had not denied the British Government’s commitment to the Balfour Declaration. Arab animosity was therefore set to continue.

Tension increased throughout January 1921. In an attempt to placate Arab frustration, Samuel met with Musa Kazim Pasha al Husseini and five other Arab leaders on 16 January.[48] The group reiterated their opposition to the Jewish claim to Palestine and pressed the High Commissioner to renounce the British Government’s commitment to the Jews.[49] Samuel explained that whilst it was ‘not within his competence to discuss the policy laid down by His Majesty’s Government’, the Arabs ought to feel reassured by the government’s intention to ‘carry out the Balfour Declaration as a whole, giving no less importance to the second part of the declaration than to the first’.[50] Samuel knew only too well that this was not the answer the Arab leaders desired.

The May Riots of 1921

Four months later, a clash between Jewish workers and Bolsheviks soon escalated into ‘mass violence’ between the Arabs and Jews.[51] Within days, the conflict had spread from Jaffa up the coastal plain to Tel Aviv, Nablus and Tulkarem.[52] Desperate to regain control, Samuel ordered the use of armoured cars, artillery-mounted troops and even aeroplanes to drop bombs on the largest crowds.[53] Warships were sent to Haifa and Jaffa and a squadron of Indian cavalry were brought in from Egypt to help restore order.[54] After a week of pandemonium, an estimated 95 people had been killed and at least another 200 injured.[55]

The May riots only strengthened Samuel’s resolve to remain an impartial mediator and increase self-government in Palestine. No sooner had order been restored to the country than Samuel appealed to Churchill to this effect.[56] Samuel explained to Churchill that the most appropriate step was an enlargement of the Advisory Council.[57] Although this would not wholly satisfy either the Arabs or the Jews, Samuel hoped that by increasing each party’s influence in the running of the country, tension would be reduced, as would the likelihood of further disorder.

Churchill was concerned lest it should appear, not only to the Arabs and the Jews, but to the rest of the international community, that the British Government could be manipulated by violence. He explained that although he supported measures ‘to secure …. effective representation of non-Jewish opinion’ in Palestine, he did ‘not think, however, that the best moment for making such a concession was the morrow of the Jaffa riots’.[58] Samuel was thus prohibited from using the words ‘elected’ and ‘representative’ in his next speech to the country.[59] But Samuel was still anxious to reassure the population, and emphasised in his speech that discussions were taking place in London to ensure a ‘free and authoritative expression of popular opinion’ in Palestine as soon as possible.[60] In his Interim Report of July 1921, Samuel once again stated that ‘steps are being taken to frame a constitution for the country, which will include an elective element’.[61]

The Interim Report of July 1921 also reveals Samuel’s continued commitment to impartiality so far as Jewish immigration was concerned. Samuel proposed that the number of immigrants be limited to the economic absorptive capacity of the country.[62] By neither prolonging the ban on immigration which had been imposed during the riots in May, nor replacing this ban with an unlimited influx of Jews, Samuel hoped to be fair to both communities. However, neither party was satisfied: the Arabs accused the administration of creating work simply to enable the arrival of Jews, while in a letter to the High Commissioner on 19 July, Weizmann claimed that Samuel’s immigration policy ‘gradually, systematically and relentlessly reduced’ Zionist prospects in Palestine.[63]

The White Paper of 1922

In February 1922 the British Government entered into correspondence with the Palestine Arab Delegation and the Zionist Organization, in the hope of coming to an agreement with the two communities. Unfortunately, the Palestine Arab Delegation were uncooperative from the start, plainly stating that ‘no constitution which would fall short of giving the people of Palestine full control of their own affairs could be acceptable’.[64] In contrast, the Zionist Organization now realised that it was in their best interests to work with the government. Churchill asked Weizmann to ensure that Jews across the world accepted the limits to Jewish influence in Palestine and Weizmann dutifully complied.[65]

Despite the Arab Delegations refusal to cooperate, their fate was still in the hands of the British. In late June 1922, Churchill’s White Paper was published, combining the British Government’s correspondence with both the Palestine Arab Delegation and Zionist Organization since February, with a statement by Samuel outlining future policy in Palestine.[66] Samuel made clear his intention to remain an impartial administrator, explaining that Palestine would ‘not be converted into a Jewish national home, but that such a home should be founded’ in Palestine, at the same time reassuring the Arabs that this would not lead to the ‘disappearance or subordination of the Arabic population, language or culture’.[67] Immigration would continue according to the economic absorptive capacity of the country and a Legislative Council would be established with Samuel as President. There would be ten official members and twelve members ‘elected on a wide franchise’, further measures of self-government to be introduced at a later date, if all went according to plan. Unfortunately for Samuel, the elections for a Legislative Council in 1922 did not go according to plan. On 22 August the fifth Palestinian Arab Congress declared an Arab boycott of the elections, stating that unless the British Government revoked all promises to the Jews, there would be no Arab cooperation with the administration.[68]

Samuel was not giving up that easily, however. Explaining to the Duke of Devonshire (Colonial Secretary from October 1922 to January 1924) that he felt it his ‘duty’ to encourage Arab participation in the elections, in late-1922 Samuel held several meetings with leaders of the Arab Moderate Party to explain that their participation in the elections was highly ‘desirable’.[69] Sadly, his efforts proved unsuccessful. Yet Samuel remained determined to make the elections a success, optimistically extending the deadline for voting until May.[70] The High Commissioner’s continued efforts to encourage Arab participation call into question once again Wasserstein’s claim that Samuel only feigned impartiality between the Arabs and Jews: Samuel did not seize the opportunity in February 1922 to establish a Legislative Council composed mainly of Jews. Instead, he was prepared to wait another three months in the hope of Arab cooperation. Sadly, this was to no avail, with only 225 Arabs across the entire country taking part in the elections.[71] The elections had been a total ‘failure’ for Samuel’s administration and the British Government in London began to lose interest.[72]

The Failure of the Arab Agency Scheme

With ‘parliamentary and public opposition to the Balfour Declaration policy during the previous two years coming mainly from the Conservative benches and the right-wing press’, the installation of a Conservative government in October 1922 led to a reconsideration of British policy in Palestine.[73] In the Summer of 1923, the government appointed a special Cabinet Committee in London to ‘examine and advise upon the future of His Majesty’s Government in relation to Palestine’.[74] Samuel travelled to London and addressed the Committee directly. He argued that it was absolutely crucial for Britain to remain true to her promises of November 1917 and that further attempts at cooperation with the Arabs must be made, proposing the creation of an Arab Agency ‘exactly analogous’ to that of the existing Jewish Agency in Palestine.[75] Samuel’s trip to London was a success. On 27 July the Cabinet Committee concluded that ‘no one now seriously advocates a complete reversal of policy’ in Palestine.[76]

On 4 October 1923, the Duke of Devonshire also informed Samuel that the government was willing to support the creation of an Arab Agency.[77] The Duke wished to make it ‘quite clear’, nonetheless, that this was the very last concession to be made by the British Government to the Arabs and that Arab cooperation was ‘imperative’. Regrettably, the Arabs rejected Samuel’s Arab Agency scheme in October, and the following month the British Government was forced to announce that it ‘would proceed no further upon the path of political concessions’.[78]

Not Giving Up

Undeterred, Samuel still tried to encourage Arab participation in the administration. Only one day after the rejection of the Arab Agency, he appealed to the Colonial Office for ‘the appointment as officials of a number of members of influential Muslim notable families’, emphasising that it was ‘all the more necessary for the government to establish other points of contact’ now that the Arabs had rejected his latest proposal.[79] Unfortunately, Samuel no longer had the support of the British Government in London, nor that of many British officials in Palestine, fed up as they were with the Arabs’ refusal to cooperate with the administration. Samuel also sought to establish local government bodies and elected municipal institutions in Palestine, only for this initiative to be rejected in March 1925 by Leo Amery (Colonial Secretary from November 1924).[80]

The End

Despite Samuel’s efforts, from 1923 onwards both the British Government in London and the majority of British officials in Palestine had lost interest in establishing cooperation between the Arabs and the Jews. From 1923 until his departure in July 1925, Samuel’s administration remained ‘little more than an umpire between two parallel governments’.[81] Wasserstein has described this as ‘a form of… institutional partition… a decade before the country’s territorial partition began to be seriously discussed’.[82]

But this was not through any lack of endeavour. Samuel’s primary objective as High Commissioner of Palestine had been the creation of a unified political body representative of both the Jews and non-Jews of Palestine in equal measure. He had spent his first four months setting up an Advisory Council comprising leaders of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities. In 1922, he had sought to replace this with an enlarged Legislative Council, consisting of twelve representatives of the Palestinian population, in the hope that over time, the ratio of Palestinian representatives to British officials on the Council would be increased and lead to greater Palestinian self-government. Not once had Samuel suggested anything other than an equal balance of Jews and Arabs on either the Advisory or Legislative Councils. Following an announced Arab boycott of the elections for the Legislative Council in 1922, Samuel had met with Arab leaders of the Moderate Party to encourage Arab participation. When this failed, he hopefully extended the deadline for voting until May. Unfortunately, the Arabs remained uncooperative. Further undermining Wasserstein and Huneidi’s claim that Samuel’s ultimate ambition in Palestine was the creation of a Jewish state, is the fact that Samuel did not seize this opportunity to establish a Legislative Council exclusively made up of Jews. Instead, he remained determined to encourage Arab cooperation with the administration, persuading the British Government to support the creation of an Arab Agency in the Summer of 1923. Unfortunately, this was to be rejected by the Arabs once again.

Samuel had also devoted a great deal of his time in Palestine to ensuring equal employment of the Arabs and Jews in the civil administration, again refuting Huneidi’s claim that Samuel’s administration was ‘largely Zionist’, disguised as British: Samuel permitted both communities to apply for the most senior positions in government, while insisting that an equal number of Jews and non-Jews be employed in the Palestinian police force.[83] After the failure of the Arab Agency scheme in 1923, Samuel placed even greater emphasis on encouraging Arab participation in the administration.

Samuel had also sought to establish a policy of impartiality between the Arabs and the Jews with regard to Jewish immigration, settling on immigration numbers that met the ‘economic absorptive capacity’ of Palestine as a compromise between unlimited Jewish immigration and a total ban on Jewish arrivals.[84] Of crucial significance is Samuel’s insistence in his first meeting with the Elected Assembly of Jews in October 1920 that their influence be limited to the ‘internal affairs’ of the Jewish community only.[85]

Huneidi and Wasserstein have contended that Samuel remained an ardent Zionist as High Commissioner of Palestine. But this contention has been rebutted by showing that Herbert Samuel, a staunch Zionist throughout the First World War, experienced a change of heart in April 1920. Samuel arrived in Palestine with a strong sense of duty, an obligation to honour the British Government’s promises to both the Jews and non-Jews, and a determination to rule Palestine as an impartial administrator.

Samuel’s ultimate failure to create a unified political body in Palestine was a result of the following: the uncompromising attitude of the Arabs, who consistently refused to enter into discussion with Samuel’s administration; the determination of the Zionists to see a Jewish return to Palestine; and the British Government’s lack of interest in bringing about cooperation between the Arabs and the Jews after the rejection of the Arab Agency scheme in October 1923. It was certainly not due to a lack of effort on Samuel’s part to bring the two communities together. No man could have done more.

[1] Herbert Louis Samuel, Memoirs (London, 1945), p. 3.

[2] Bernard Wasserstein, Herbert Samuel: A Political Life (Oxford, 1992), pp. 201-2.

[3] Samuel, Memoirs, p. 18.

[4] Ibid, pp. 139-140.

[5] Malcolm Yapp, The Making of the Modern Near East, 1792-1923 (London, 1987), p. 95; William Matthew, ‘War-Time Contingency and the Balfour Declaration of 1917: An Improbable Regression’, Journal of Palestine Studies 40 (January 2011), 28.

[6] Samuel, Memoirs, pp. 139-41.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid, p. 142.

[11] ‘The Fate of Palestine’, Cabinet Memorandum, Jan 1915, The Personal and Political Papers of Viscount Samuel dealing with Israel and Jewish Affairs, Israel State Archives (ISA) SAM/H/1.

[12] John McTague, British Policy in Palestine, 1917-1922 (Lanham, 1983), p. 12.

[13] David Vital, Zionism: The Crucial Phase (Oxford, 1987), p. 95.

[14] Tom Segev, One Palestine, Complete (London, 2001), p. 38.

[15] Leonard Stein, The Balfour Declaration (New York, 1961), p. 309; Elizabeth Monroe, Britain’s Moment in the Middle East, 1914-1956 (Baltimore, 1963), p. 29.

[16] Samuel, Memoirs, p. 140; Herbert Asquith to Venetia Stanley, 28 Jan 1915, no. 281, Michael and Eleanor Brock (eds.), H. H. Asquith, Letters to Venetia Stanley (Oxford, 1985).

[17] Avner Cohen, Israel and the Arab World (London, 1970), p. 122.

[18] Chaim Weizmann, Trial and Error: The Autobiography of Chaim Weizmann (London, 1972), p. 188.

[19] Herbert Samuel (HS) to War Cabinet, Nov 1917 (ISA) SAM/H/1; Lord Balfour to Lord Rothschild, 2 Nov 1917 (ISA) SAM/H/2.

[20] ‘Great Thanksgiving Meeting’, The Jewish Chronicle, 7 Dec 1917 (ISA) SAM/H/18; ‘Declaration Day’, The Jewish Chronicle, 7 Nov 1919, The Lloyd George Papers, Parliamentary Archives, LG/F/44/8/2.

[21] Samuel, Memoirs, p. 148; Pamela Haviland, Palestine: The Origin and Establishment of a Mandate – 1914-1922, unpublished MA thesis, University of Nebraska (1971), p. 111.

[22] Samuel, Memoirs, pp. 149-50.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Sahar Huneidi, A Broken Trust: Herbert Samuel, Zionism and the Palestinians (London, 2001), p. 94.

[27] Wasserstein, The British in Palestine: The Mandatory Government and the Arab-Jewish Conflict, 1917-1929 (Oxford, 1978), p. 88.

[28] Segev, One Palestine, Complete, p. 148.

[29] Jerusalem to ZO Central Office (Telegram), 2 Jul 1920 (ISA) SAM/H/17.

[30] ‘Impressions of an Historic Assembly’, The Palestine Weekly, 16 Jul 1920 (ISA) SAM/H/18.

[31] Speech by HS, 7 Jul 1920 (ISA) SAM/H/18.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Huneidi, A Broken Trust, pp. 101-3.

[34] John Bowle, Viscount Samuel: A Biography (London, 1957), p. 202; Speech by HS, 7 Jul 1920 (ISA) SAM/H/18.

[35] Bowle, Viscount Samuel, p. 202.

[36] Huneidi, A Broken Trust, p. xv.

[37] Wasserstein, ‘‘Clipping the Claws of the Colonisers’: Arab Officials in the Government of Palestine, 1917-1948’, Middle Eastern Studies 13 (May 1977), 172-3.

[38] Ibid, 173; Lionel Casper, The Rape of Palestine and the Struggle for Jerusalem (Jerusalem, 2003), p. 38.

[39] Wasserstein, ‘Clipping the Claws’, 178.

[40] Chaim Weizmann (CW) to HS, 8 Jun 1920, Meyer Weisgal (ed.), The Letters and Papers of Chaim Weizmann, 1874-1952 (London, 1968), vol. IX; Menachem Ussishkin to Zioniburo London (Telegram), 11 Jun 1920, Zionism and Other Matters Relating to Jews in Palestine, The National Archives (TNA) FO 141/742/3.

[41] HS to President of Elected Assembly, 24 Oct 1920 (TNA) FO 141/742/3.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Wasserstein, The British in Palestine, p. 87.

[44] Huneidi, A Broken Trust, p. 121.

[45] Memorandum of the Palestinian Arab Congress, 18 Dec 1920 (TNA) FO 141/439/1.

[46] Ibid.

[47] Ibid.

[48] HS to Curzon, 14 Feb 1921 (TNA) FO 141/439/1.

[49] Ibid.

[50] Ibid.

[51] Wasserstein, ‘Herbert Samuel and the Palestine Problem’, The English Historical Review 91 (October 1976), 765.

[52] HS to Winston Churchill (WC), 8 May 1921, Martin Gilbert and Randolph Churchill (eds.), The Churchill Documents (Hillsdale, 2009), vol. IV.

[53] High Commissioner of Egypt to Foreign Office (FO), 2 May 1921, Palestine: Civil Administration and General Situation (TNA) FO 141/439/2.

[54] HS to WC, 8 May 1921, The Churchill Documents, vol. IV; High Commissioner of Egypt to FO, 2 May 1921 (TNA) FO 141/439/2.

[55] Wasserstein, ‘Herbert Samuel and the Palestine Problem’, 767.

[56] HS to WC, 8 May 1921, The Churchill Documents, vol. IV.

[57] Ibid.

[58] WC to HS, 4 May 1921 (Telegram), The Churchill Documents, vol. IV.

[59] Ibid.

[60] Speech by HS, 3 Jun 1921 (TNA) FO 141/439/2; Michael Cohen, Britain’s Moment in Palestine: Retrospect and Perspectives, 1917-1948 (Routledge, 2014), p. 120.

[61] Interim Report on the Civil Administration of Palestine, 30 Jul 1921 (TNA) FO 141/439/2.

[62] Ibid.

[63] Neil Caplan, ‘The Yishuv, Sir Herbert Samuel, and the Arab Question in Palestine, 1921-5’ in Ellie Kedourie and Sylvia Haim (eds.), Zionism and Arabism in Palestine and Israel (London, 1982), p. 5; CW to HS, 19 Jul 1921, The Letters and Papers of Chaim Weizmann, vol. X.

[64] Palestine Arab Delegation to WC, 21 Feb 1922 (TNA) FO 141/742/3.

[65] WC to Zionist Organization (ZO), 3 Jun 1922 (TNA) FO 141/742/3; ZO to WC, 18 Jun 1922 (TNA) FO 141/742/3.

[66] The White Paper of 1922 (TNA) FO 141/742/3.

[67] Ibid.

[68] Naomi Shepherd, Ploughing Sand: British Rule in Palestine, 1917-1948 (New Brunswick, 2000), p. 61.

[69] HS to Duke of Devonshire, undated (ISA) SAM/H/5.

[70] Ibid.

[71] Wasserstein, ‘Herbert Samuel and the Palestine Problem’, 771.

[72] Duke of Devonshire to HS, 4 Oct 1923 (TNA) FO 141/439/2.

[73] Cohen, Britain’s Moment, p. 146.

[74] ‘The Future of Palestine’, Cabinet Memorandum, 27 Jul 1923 (TNA) CAB 24/161/51.

[75] Wasserstein, The British in Palestine, p. 125.

[76] ‘The Future of Palestine’, Cabinet Memorandum, 27 Jul 1923 (TNA) CAB 24/161/51.

[77] Duke of Devonshire to HS, 4 Oct 1923 (TNA) FO 141/439/2.

[78] Bowle, Viscount Samuel, p. 227; Evyatar Friesel, ‘British Officials on the Situation in Palestine, 1923’, Middle Eastern Studies 23 (April 1989), 198.

[79] Wasserstein, ‘Clipping the Claws’, 175.

[80] HS to Leo Amery, 4 Mar 1925 (ISA) SAM/H/7.

[81] Wasserstein, ‘Herbert Samuel and the Palestine Problem’, 773.

[82] Wasserstein, Herbert Samuel, p. 226.

[83] Huneidi, A Broken Trust, p. xv.

[84] Interim Report on the Civil Administration of Palestine, 30 Jul 1921 (TNA) FO 141/439/2.

[85] HS to President of the Elected Assembly, 24 Oct 1920 (TNA) FO 141/742/3.


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