THE period between the end of the Great Rebellion and the events of 1948 unfolded in two phases: the war years (1939-45) and the two years immediately following (1945-47). During the first phase the Palestinians were generally quiescent. Their passivity was due partly to the brutality and thoroughness of the British repression of the rebellion, and partly to the relatively reassuring provisions of the 1939 White Paper on Zionist immigration and land acquisition. Other contributing causes were the economic war boom brought about by an increased level of expenditure on the part of British and Allied forces deployed in the Middle East, and the pronouncements made by British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden in favor of postwar Arab unity - a cause popular with Palestinian and other Arab nationalists.
In spite of their bitterness at the brutality of the British suppression of their rebellion, about nine thousand Palestinians volunteered during World War II for service in the British forces against the Axis powers. Some of these volunteers are seen here on parade in Nablus in May 1941.
A poster of the Irgun Zvai Leumi (National Military Organization), "Irgun" for short, which began its terrorist campaign against the Palestinians in September 1937, and was the parent body of the Stem Gang.