Between a rock and a hard place: Palestinian pro-Zionist propagandists between Zionist institutions and Arab nationalists, 1930-1931

Hillel Cohen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The study of the phenomenon of Palestinian collaboration with Zionist institutions and with the state of Israel is extremely limited, despite the prevalence and continuation of this phenomenon from the early encounters between Arabs and Zionists up until the present time. This article focuses on a distinctive group of Palestinian Arabs who joined the Zionist propaganda effort after the bloody riots of the summer of 1929. In coordination with Zionist activists, they attacked the Arab leadership, tried to spread dissent between Muslims and Christians and advocated Muslim-Jewish cooperation. After presenting the various possible motives of these collaborators, which relates both to their view of the Arab leadership and their attitudes towards the Jews, the article discusses their self image as nationalists and their deteriorating relationship with their Zionist controllers. The apparent lack of trust between the Zionist 'Arabists' and the Arab propagandists is evidence of the tremendous gap between Zionist aspirations and the interests of the Arabs of Palestine. Even the most 'moderate' of Arabs, who took it upon themselves to bridge this gap (be it out of a sincere belief in the possibility of peaceful coexistence or out of greed) found themselves in conflict with their compatriots, with the Zionists and with their own conscience.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)49-69
Number of pages21
JournalIsrael Affairs
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008

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