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December 3: Palestine Population Stats

December 3, 2014

300px-Palestine_1937_mil_obv_Goldberg_70-4420The Palestine Post reported on this date in 1937 that the population of Palestine consisted of 811,347 Muslims, 389,504 Jews, 108,433 Christians and 11,588 others. The newspaper had been founded five years earlier by Gershon Agron, a Philadelphia resident who had worked as the editor of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency until moving to Palestine in 1924. The paper was renamed the Jerusalem Post in 1950. Agron also served as mayor of Jerusalem from 1955 until his death in 1959. The Jewish population in Palestine had swelled from only 70,000 in 1920 (according to the League of Nations) because of several factors, including economic and social oppression in Nazi Germany, Poland, and Romania, immigration restrictions adopted by the U.S. in 1924, and the success of the Zionist movement at swamp drainage, land acquisition, and the facilitation of Jewish immigration.

“About 175,000 European Jews migrated to Palestine between 1933 and 1936, about one-fourth of them from Germany. The increase in Jewish immigration aroused growing opposition among Palestinian Arabs.... In March 1936 the British government issued an assurance that it would recognize the independence of Egypt. France issued a similar pledge in relation to Syria. These pledges to neighboring countries fanned the flames of Palestinian nationalism.... Such was the internal and international situation when the Arab Revolt began in April 1936. It lasted for three years and was more serious than previous protests...” —Farid Al-Salim, Middle Ground Journal