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Issa Basil Banda: Pro Islamists over Christians, Nazi fan and "student" of its propaganda in 1933, Mufti's ally in 1948

Reader comment on item: The Grand Mufti

Submitted by Charles (United States), Jan 3, 2023 at 18:09

Issa Basil Bandak (عيسى باسل البندك; 1891 – May 1984) and his 'Sawt al- Shaʿb:

* Promoted Nationalism over Religion.

* Defended anti-Christian Muslim 'YMMA' with propaganda.

* Bandak promoted Muslims' rights even when on the expense of Christians'.

* In 1933 he went to Paris to 'receive instructions from a group of Germans and Arabs on conducting Nazi propaganda in Palestine.

* In 1948, allied himself with Hitler's ally, the infamous Mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini.

Haiduc-Dale, N. (2013). Arab Christians in British Mandate Palestine: Communalism and Nationalism, 1917-1948. United Kingdom: Edinburgh University Press.


...the Islamic reform movement founded by figures such as Jamal al- Din al- Afghani, Rashid Rida and Muhammad 'Abduh.107 The most famous and long- lasting organisation to emerge during that time period was the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, founded by Hasan al-Banna in 1928. The Brotherhood itself became directly involved in Palestine in the 1930s.The YMMA was ostensibly a social organisation and its branches were, according to Lesch, 'relatively independent' of the SMC and other Islamic institutions... while formally a nonpolitical organisation, many members of the YMMA took an active role in politics. In 1932, the government shut down the organisation's Acre branch 'owing to the Association's complete departure from its avowed social, non-political objects'. And despite officially standing outside the nationalist rift, Lesch asserts that 'their pan-Islamic anti-Christian tendencies were supported by such conservative (and anti- SMC) leaders as Sulaiman al- Taji al-Faruqi, former head of the National Party and editor of the newspaper al-Jami'a al-islamiyya'...


Bandak took a different approach. Despite differences between the YMMA and the SMC, Bandak used similar arguments in defence of both Islamic institutions. As explained above, in his support of the SMC, Bandak accepted Islamic nationalism as a driving ideology for Palestinian Arabs of all religions. Bandak condemned what he called Filastin's 'disgusting attacks against the most important Islamic personalities in the country', and he supported YMMA communal organisation, arguing that the group was defending Islam rather than attacking Christianity. He argued, in effect, that the SMC should participate in leading the nationalist movement because of its religious standing...


... in an article in Sawt al- Shaʿb mirrored those found in Muslimowned papers. Bandak argued that 'Arab Christians should be the first to recognise the rights of their Moslem Brethren over public positions and support them with the Government [even] though some Christian officials might suffer from the grant[ing] if Moslem demands ...


Jewish Daily Bulletin, Oct 8, 1933.

(J. T. A Special Correspondent)
Sept 16.--

Eissa Bendak, editor of the radical Christian-Arabic bi-weekly "Sowt Es-Shaab" published in Bethlehem, has left for Paris where he will receive instructions from a group of Germans and Arabs on "conducting Nazi propaganda" in Palestine. Bendak was recently instrumental in organizing the Arab Fascist Party at Bethlehem whose object is to harass the Jews.


Forster, A. (1950). A Measure of Freedom: An Anti-Defamation League Report. United States: Doubleday. p.73:

In the middle of 1949 , Yusif el Bandak , an Arab , arrived in the United States and called on Hart at the suggestion of Sir Frederick Morgan, a retired British Lieutenant-General.

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