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Arab Christians in British Mandate PalestineCommunalism and Nationalism, 1917-1948$
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Noah Haiduc-Dale

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748676033

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748676033.001.0001

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1923–1929: Christians and a Divided National Movement

1923–1929: Christians and a Divided National Movement

(p.61) 2 1923–1929: Christians and a Divided National Movement
Arab Christians in British Mandate Palestine

Noah Haiduc-Dale

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter begins with an examination of one of Britain’s most substantial creations: the Supreme Muslim Council. This religious organization, dominated by Hajj Amin al-Husayni, became the centre of the Palestinian Arab nationalist movement as well, placing much political and organizational power in the hands of Muslim religious authorities. This British creation contributed to the rise of the opposition National Party that sought British favour for its family-based faction. With the façade of Arab unity destroyed by the realities of factionalism, some Muslim leaders placed blame on Christians for the problems facing Arabs. Issues such as foreign Christian missions in Palestine and Arab Christian employment in the government service became politically sensitive topics. Christians responded to this “Islamization” of Palestinian nationalism in a variety of ways, depending on their social and educational status, their denomination, and other factors. While some began advocating for a stronger sense of Christian unity, most were steadfast in privileging their ethno-national identity. Once again, the chapter highlights variations among Christians through biographical snapshots of ‘Isa Bandak, ‘Isa al-’Isa, and Bulous Shihada.

Keywords:   Supreme Muslim Council, Hajj Amin al-Husayni, National Party, Nashashibi, Factionalism, ’Isa Bandak, ’Isa al-Isa, Bulous Shihada

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