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British Anxiety and the 1939 London Conference


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The British government, fearful of the impact of its repressive Palestine policies on British interests throughout the Middle East as World War II approached, and impressed by the intensity of Palestinian resistance, called for a conference to be held in London in February 1939 to discuss the Palestine question. Arab and Jewish delegates were invited. The Arab delegations included representatives from Palestine, Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Transjordan. The British vetoed the attendance of the paramount Palestinian leader Haj Amin al-Husseini (see 82, 88, 100, 202), mufti of Jerusalem and chairman of the Arab Higher Committee (see 242). This photograph shows a meeting at the Egyptian Embassy in London attended by the Arab delegates to the London Conference. Seated in the front row, third and fourth right, are Prince (later King) Faisal of Saudi Arabia and Prince (later King) Khalid of Saudi Arabia.