Development and Disappointment

Arab approaches to economic modernization in Mandate Palestine

Authored by: Jacob Norris

The Routledge Handbook of the History of the Middle East Mandates

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138800588
eBook ISBN: 9781315713120
Adobe ISBN: 9781317497066

10.4324/9781315713120.ch17

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Abstract

To mark the fifteenth anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, the newspaper Falastin dedicated its entire front page to the cartoon in Figure 17.1 on 2 November 1932. The cartoon might at first seem to depict a familiar story of Arab dispossession at the hands of Zionist immigration, backed up by the firm hand of British imperial rule. But the way in which the cartoon conveys this message points to an aspect of Arab Palestinian thought which is rarely discussed in the literature on Mandate Palestine. The drawing projects onto a map of Palestine the figure of Lord Balfour, with “the woes inflicted on Palestine by his fateful declaration” radiating out from his letter and with a ticking time bomb attached. These ‘woes’ (wailat) are numbered from one to ten, with an accompanying explanation for each number given beneath. The theme that runs through these features is economic modernization and the exclusion of Palestinian Arabs from it. From the Rutenberg electricity project (number 7, top left), to the “Jewish factories of Haifa” (number 8, bottom left), to the “Dead Sea Project” (number 6, top right), the cartoon places natural resources and the modernization of infrastructure at the center of the struggle for Palestine.

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