LEAGUE OF NATIONS
PERMANENT MANDATES COMMISSION
Held at Geneva from June 8th to 25th, 1926
REPORT OF THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL
Held on Tuesday, June 22nd, 1926, at 10.30 a.m.
Chairman: The Marquis THEODOLI.
Present: All the members of the Commission.
589. Palestine and Transjordan: Examination of the Annual Report for 1925.
M. PALACIOS, returning to the concrete questions of a general character of which the Arabs complained, recalled those concerning the national title, the national hymn and the flag. These were really thorny questions, like all sentimental and patriotic questions, regarding which it was necessary to observe complete prudence and tact.
As regards the first point, the Arabs claimed that it was not in conformity with Article 22 of the Mandate to print the initials and even the words "Eretz Israel" after the name "Palestine" while refusing the Arabs the title "Surial Janonbiah" ("Southern Syria"). The British Government had not accepted the use of this Arab title, but gave the place of honour to the Hebrew word used for 2,000 years and decided that the official name in Hebrew was "Palestina" followed by the initials signifying "Aleph Jod", the regular Hebrew name. Was the question still under discussion and could the accredited representative give the Commission any further information?
Colonel SYMES explained that the country was described as "Palestine" by Europeans and as "Falestin" by the Arabs. The Hebrew name for the country was the designation "Land of Israel", and the Government, to meet Jewish wishes, had agreed that the word "Palestine" in Hebrew characters should be followed in all official documents by the initials which stood for that designation. As a set-off to this, certain of the Arab politicians suggested that the country should be called "Southern Syria" in order to emphasise its close relation with another Arab State.