Istiqlal Party: Palestine

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Important political party established in Palestine, August 1932.

The party's creation was spurred by the HusayniNashashibi split, which had almost paralyzed the Palestinian national movement. Its founders, most of whom hailed from the Nablus area, called for the adoption of new methods of political action, including noncooperation with the British Mandate authorities and nonpayment of taxes. The party also called for total Arab independence, pan-Arab unity, the abrogation of the Mandate and the Balfour Declaration, and the establishment of Arab parliamentary rule in Palestine.

After reaching its maximum degree of influence, especially among the young and the educated, in the first half of 1933, the party began to decline very rapidly. Among the factors responsible for its decline were the active hostility of the Husayni camp, the lack of financial resources, and the differences between the pro-Hashimite and pro-Saʿudi elements within the party. A distinctive mark of the party was its espousal of the idea that British imperialism was the principal enemy of the Palestinians; thus the party urged them to focus their struggle not simply on Zionism, but on British colonialism as well.

see also balfour declaration (1917); husayni family, al-; husayni, musa kazim al-; nashashibi family; zionism.


Porath, Yehoshua. The Emergence of the Palestinian-Arab National Movement, 19181929. London: Cass, 1974.

muhammad muslih