3 January, 1919
Following the First World War, Emir Feisal, son of Sherif Hussein (Husayn) of Mecca, and the leader of the Arab movement, met in Aqaba with Dr. Chaim Weizmann, the head of the Zionist Commission to Palestine. Later, at the Paris Peace Conference, the two negotiated and signed the following agreement, which spoke of full cooperation in the development of the independent Arab state in present-day Syria and Iraq (as promised by the British to Feisal) and the Jewish home in Palestine (from the Balfour Declaration), and encouraging “the immigration of Jews into Palestine on a large scale”.
The agreement was not carried out, mostly due to the change in Allied policy regarding the Arab State which Feisal had planned to establish.
Agreement Between Emir Feisal and Dr. Weizmann
3 January, 1919
His Royal Highness the Emir Feisal, representing and acting on behalf of the Arab Kingdom of Hedjaz, and Dr. Chaim Weizmann, representing and acting on behalf of the Zionist Organization, mindful of the racial kinship and ancient bonds existing between the Arabs and the Jewish people, and realizing that the surest means of working out the consummation of their natural aspirations is through the closest possible collaboration in the development of the Arab State and Palestine, and being desirous further of confirming the good understanding which exists between them, have agreed upon the following:
The Arab State and Palestine in all their relations and undertakings shall be controlled by the most cordial goodwill and understanding, and to this end Arab and Jewish duly accredited agents shall be established and maintained in the respective territories.
Immediately following the completion of the deliberations of the Peace Conference, the definite boundaries between the Arab State and Palestine shall be determined by a Commission to be agreed upon by the parties hereto.
In the establishment of the Constitution and Administration of Palestine, all such measures shall be adopted as will afford the fullest guarantees for carrying into effect the British Government’s Declaration of the 2nd of November, 1917.
All necessary measures shall be taken to encourage and stimulate immigration of Jews into Palestine on a large scale, and as quickly as possible to settle Jewish immigrants upon the land through closer settlement and intensive cultivation of the soil. In taking such measures the Arab peasant and tenant farmers shall be protected in their rights and shall be assisted in forwarding their economic development.
No regulation or law shall be made prohibiting or interfering in any way with the free exercise of religion; and further, the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall ever be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.
The Mohammedan Holy Places shall be under Mohammedan control.
The Zionist Organization proposes to send to Palestine a Commission of experts to make a survey of the economic possibilities of the country, and to report upon the best means for its development. The Zionist Organization will place the aforementioned Commission at the disposal of the Arab State for the purpose of a survey of the economic possibilities of the Arab State and to report upon the best means for its development. The Zionist Organization will use its best efforts to assist the Arab State in providing the means for developing the natural resources and economic possibilities thereof.
The parties hereto agree to act in complete accord and harmony on all matters embraced herein before the Peace Congress.
Any matters of dispute which may arise between the contracting parties hall be referred to the British Government for arbitration.
Given under our hand at London, England, the third day of January, one thousand nine hundred and nineteen
Chaim Weizmann Feisal Ibn-Hussein
Reservation by the Emir Feisal
If the Arabs are established as I have asked in my manifesto of 4 January, addressed to the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, I will carry out what is written in this agreement. If changes are made, I cannot be answerable for failing to carry out this agreement.