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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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1929–1936: Towards Communalism

1929–1936: Towards Communalism

(p.97) 3 1929–1936: Towards Communalism
Arab Christians in British Mandate Palestine

Noah Haiduc-Dale

Edinburgh University Press

Factionalism created a rift in society along both familial and communal lines. This chapter examines how a series of events in the late 1920s and early 1930s heightened this tension. First, the 1929 Western Wall violence recast the Arab-Jewish conflict in a religious light, with Christian interests suddenly severed from those of the Muslim majority. In the following year the murder of an Arab Christian newspaper editor, Jamil al-Bahri, in Haifa by a group of Muslims increased communalist tension and intensified inter-Christian debates about their relationship to Muslims. A pan-Islamic Congress held in Jerusalem in 1931 further increased the importance of Islam in arguments about Zionism and Palestine. The politics of local elections were dominated by debates about communal representation, too. Such case studies highlight the ways in which this period witnessed the continued politicization of religion. The chapter concludes by describing the martyrdom of ‘Izz al-Din al-Qassam, widely credited with triggering the revolt which began the following year.

Keywords:   Western Wall, Jamil al-Bahri, Islamic Congress, Elections, ’Izz al-Din al-Qassam

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