Arab Collaboration with the Zionists

Hillel Cohen’s book, Army of Shadows: Palestinian Collaboration with Zionism, 1917-1948, has already been mentioned on this blog.  Benny Morris, at The New Republic, has written a lengthy review of the book.  He compares Arab collaboration during the British Mandate and the Independence Day War to Arab construction in Israeli settlements today.  He lists some of the reasons Arabs collaborated with the Jews during the Mandate period:

1. They believed the Zionists would win and thought it practical to be on their side
2. They were rebelling against the leadership of Haj Amin Al-Husseini and other nationalist leaders
3. Financial benefit
4. In order to benefit their clan, village or tribe
5. They had friends who were Jews

Presumably these same reasons still apply to Arab collaboration with Israel.

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2 Comments on “Arab Collaboration with the Zionists”

  1. moonkoon Says:

    Hi, thanks for your blog.
    I came across it when looking for information about the discussion amongst Zionists on the wisdom of accepting the 1947 UN Partition decision.

    @ “Presumably these same reasons still apply to Arab collaboration with Israel.”

    Palestinian “collaborators” is an unfortunate term to continue using, and implies that they betray their “cause”.
    Is this how Zionists view Palestinians who work with Israelis?
    I can think of less inflammatory terms to use, how about neighbour.
    How can a Palestinian earn the respect of Zionists?
    How do they fit into the Zionist reality?
    These contemporary Palestinians who chose to interact with Israel don’t seem to hold the view expressed in Dajani’s speech to the King-Crane Commission.
    “It is impossible for us to make an understanding with them [Jews] or even to live (with) them together…”
    They perhaps display pragmatic acceptance, something, I suggest, that is needed on both sides.

  2. Hadassah Says:

    Thanks for pointing out this semantic issue. I was using the terminology of Cohen’s book without thinking about it. I am not sure if the word “collaboration” must be interpreted in the way you did. Do you have a suggestion for another word?

    Pragmatic acceptance sounds good, but it seems like everyone has a different view of what the pragmatic thing to do is.


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