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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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1936–1939: Standing Aloof? Arab Christians and the Great Revolt

1936–1939: Standing Aloof? Arab Christians and the Great Revolt

(p.130) 4 1936–1939: Standing Aloof? Arab Christians and the Great Revolt
Arab Christians in British Mandate Palestine

Noah Haiduc-Dale

Edinburgh University Press

Scholars have long highlighted Christians’ inactivity in the “Great Revolt”, the major Palestinian Arab uprising of 1936-1939. This assumption is accompanied by the supposition that that Christians avoided the revolt out of fear of Muslim-Christian violence and a general sense of apathy toward, or even concern about, the national movement’s trajectory. While it is true that many of ‘Izz al-Din al-Qassam’s followers were important revolt leaders, some of his disciples, such as Nuh Ibrahim, also spoke strongly in favour of interreligious unity. Interreligious tensions did increase during this period, but so too did factional violence. Another rift, along generational lines, also emerged as Hajj Amin al-Husayni’s traditional leadership (consolidated in the revolt-era Arab Higher Committee) was gradually side-lined. A new generation of younger, less educated, and often rural rebels took leadership roles, upsetting the societal balance of power. Carefully tracking the role of Christians in the revolt leads to the conclusion that Christians were as fully engaged as their Muslim counterparts, but they were also becoming increasingly aware of their tenuous place in the new Palestinian social order.

Keywords:   ’Izz al-Din al-Qassam, The Great Revolt, Hajj Amin al-Husayni, Arab Higher Committee, Nuh Ibrahim

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