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Did Egypt’s Prince Mohamed Ali Tewfik Propose the Sale of the Western Wall to Mandatory Palestine’s Jews?

January 15, 2020

According to documents recently discovered by Professor Steven E. Zipperstein of UCLA and Tel Aviv University and author of Law and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Trials of Palestine, Prince Mohamed Ali Pasha (also known as Prince Mohamed Ali Tewfik), the uncle of Egypt’s penultimate monarch King Farouk I and his regent from 1936 to 1937, may have secretly approached the British government in 1929 with a proposal to sell the Western Wall to the Jewish community of then Mandatory Palestine. The prince elaborated on his proposal in a letter to Sir John Chancellor, the British High Commissioner for Palestine at the time. The prince’s letter was discovered by Professor Zipperstein 90 years later in the UK’s Colonial Office’s archives. According to the Times of Israel, Prince Mohamed Ali Pasha hand-delivered the letter to then British Ambassador Sir George Clerk to Turkey in Istanbul on the 29th of August, 1929, a time in which tensions between Palestine’s Jews and Muslims were running high. These tensions were caused by disputing claims over the Western Wall by Palestine’s Muslim and Jewish communities and culminated in the bloody 1929 Palestine Riots, which resulted in…

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