The Prospect for Israel's Arabs:
Reflections of a Palestine
It is not easy to answer the question so often asked of Palestinian old-timers: “What do people like yourself feel about the Arabs in Israel today?” The further question usually implied, rather than asked, is: “What about the Arabs no longer here?”
During the Mandatory period I lived much among the Arabs. Once I lived for a whole year at Ramallah, in the Samarian hills, riding on horseback round my sixty hill villages as District Officer and Magistrate, the only Jew among 30,000 Moslems. Another year I spent at Nazareth as the Assistant District Commissioner in charge of Galilee—from the Lebanese frontier to the Emek and from the Jordan River to Nahalal. (It was then that I started the Peasant House in Nazareth to sell Arab handicrafts; from Nazareth I transferred the peasant costumes to the Citadel in Jerusalem, and so became a co-founder of the Folk Museum.) To deal with the peasants I had to learn Arabic; but with the more educated ones I could speak English or French. I knew King Abdullah of Jordan; the Mufti of Jerusalem; his arch-enemy, Ragheb Bey Nashashibi, the Mayor of Jerusalem; and a host of Arab colleagues in the Palestine Civil Service, several of whom subsequently became cabinet ministers or civil servants in Jordan or other Arab states.
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