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Origins and Outcomes of the Mandate System in the Middle Eas

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Sergio Calderón

on 6 November 2013

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Transcript of Origins and Outcomes of the Mandate System in the Middle Eas

Origins and Outcomes of the Mandate System in the Middle East
After WWI: The Mandate System
British were given mandate by League of Nations over former Ottoman Empire region of Palestine

Frustration grew amongst Jews and Arabs due to uncertainty over a future statehood under the mandate

Other Arab States (e.g. Syria, Iraq) were given statehood; Palestine remained under British Mandate control

Britain was responsible for ensuring and securing freedom for the Jewish population; nevertheless, they guaranteed Arabs there would not be major Jewish immigration

Removal of Western Wall in Jerusalem by request of Arabs led to serious clashes between Jews and Arabs
The Arab Revolt: 1936-39
In 1936 Arabs began major revolt against British officers and police, motivated by opposition to mass Jewish immigration

White paper in 1939 promised:
- Limited Jewish immigration to Palestine 75,000 over five years
- Prohibition of land sales to Jews
- Palestinian independence within 10 years

Sir Henry McMahon, British high commissioner in Egypt, told Sherif Hussein, ruler of the Hejaz and a religious and political spokesman and leader for the Arab people, that Britain supported the Arabs and their control over the area after the breakup of Ottoman.

“Great Britain is prepared to recognize and support the independence of Arabs in all regions within the limits demanded by Sharif of Mecca.”

British later argued that letter was interpreted wrongly by the Arabs and Palestine was not included in the area they were discussing.

Before WWI
Early 1800's - Palestinian conflicts with the Ottoman Empire, who ruled the territories since 1500's

1834 - Conflict with Egyptians

1880's - Rise of Anti-semitism in Europe and Russia
increasing Jewish immigration due to fleeing from persecution

1920's - Conflicts between Arabs and Jews started

Zionism: The belief that promoted the creation of a centralized Jewish homeland in Palestine
1915 Hussein-McMahon Correspondence

1916 Sykes-Picot agreement

November 1917 Balfour Declaration

Declaration of 1917 further complicated the situation in Palestine.

Foreign secretary of the British government, Lord Arthur Balfour, leader of the British Zionist Organization, signed declaration saying the Jews had a right to a home in Palestine, respecting the rights on non-Jews in the area.

However, from a Palestinian Arab point of view, the same area had been promised to them for siding with the Allies in World War One and fighting against the Turks who were fighting on the side of the Germans.

Therefore, when Britain was given Palestine to govern as a League of Nation's mandate at the end of the war, both the Jews and the Arabs believed that they had been betrayed as both believed that they had been promised the same piece of land.

Why did the British government choose to implement the declaration?
To progress the war being fought in Europe.
Advance Britain's foreign policies.

UN Partition
1947, Britain told UN that it was ending the mandate and handed problem over to UN
UN set up a UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP)
The UNSCOP plan was submitted to the General Assembly in NY in August 1947 - ending british mandate.

UN recommended splitting the area into two states, one Arab, one Jewish
Jerusalem under international control.

Recommendation endorsed by UN General Assembly on November 29 1947 as UN resolution 181.
Arabs rejected UN partition
Jews accepted plan on May 14 1948 led by David Ben-Gurion, declared statehood for Israel.
US president Truman recognized Israel
Israel was attacked the next day by the Arab states and Palestinians

Ever since Israel has annexed large pieces of land, breaking previous international agreements and treaties

This was a secret treaty between Britain, France, and Russia.
The agreement was made during the downfall of Russia and the anticipated downfall of the Ottoman Empire between Sir Mark Sykes of Great Britain and Georges Francois Picot of France.

Agreement involved itself in Ottoman Empire after WW1.
- Both Britain and France wanted to claim their spheres of influence in the Middle East.
- It was a trade agreement between France and Great Britain with Arab states.

- France was to rule over the north, Syria and Lebanon and Turkish Cilicia
- Palestine, Jordan and areas around the Persian Gulf and Baghdad to the British.

- Neither France nor Britain actually owened these territories,however, their task was to effectively control them at a governmental and administrative level.

-The agreement clashed with the McMahon agreement of 1915 because if they promised the land to the jews they couldn't also be promised to the Arabs.

Map of Sykes-Picot Agreement
Problems that came out of the Balfour Declaration
The British contradicted themselves.
British lead the Jews to believe that there would be a Jewish state in Palestine after WWI.
The same area of land had been promised to the Palestinian-Arabs through the Hussein-McMahon correspondence.
After WWI ended, the League of Nations gave Palestine to Britain to govern through a mandate.
Historiographical issues
Contradictory aims of the mandate:
On the one hand, the British were supposed to put the country under "such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home", but on the other hand, they were also supposed to safeguard the "civil and religious rights of all inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion."

British were supposed to keep both the Jews and the Arabs happy:
British often succeeded in pleasing neither of the two groups.
The Arabs tended to think Britain was holding onto Palestine until a Jewish majority had been gained. Many Jews though that Britain was secretly arming the Arabs and restricting Jewish immigration and land purchase in order to prevent a Jewish state being created.
Historians' Perspectives
Ritchie Ovendale "The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Wars":
"The state of Israel came into being because, in the end, two of the Great Powers, Russia and the United States, for conflicting reasons, strategic and domestic, thought it would be in their best interest."

Mark Tessler "A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict":
"In what was to become a familiar Arab charge they insisted that the Western world was seeking to salve its conscience for the atrocities of war and was paying its own debt to the Jewish people with someone else's land. "

Michael J. Cohen "The Origins and Evolution of the Arab-Zionist Conflict"
"..But once the United States abdicated any further role in the new European order after the summer of 1919, it was left to Britain and France to divide the Middle East between them. It cannot be said that either power displayed any great altruism when it came to deciding whether the indigenous peoples of the area were mature enough to be granted their independence."
Works Cited
Mimmack, Brian;Price, Eunice; Senes, Daniela."History; A Comprehensive Guide
to Paper 1" Pearson Baccalaureate. 2009. Print.

"Zionism and Arab Nationalism". The Seattle Times. 12 May 2002. Web.

"The Palestine Mandate of the League of Nations" MidEast Web Gateway. 28
October 2013. Web.

After the Balfour Declaration - 1917 to 1936
Nebi Musa riots occur in 1920 - riots in the Old City of Jerusalem and clashes between Arab and Jewish population in pre-British Mandate of Palestine

British were formally awarded Palestine as a mandate in 1922

The Palestine riots, also known as the West Wall Uprising or 1929 massacres occurred when a running dispute between Arabs and Jews over access to West Wall in Jerusalem escalated to violence

Overall, in the post-Balfour period, clashes between Arabs and Jewish settlers in Palestine became more common and raised tension - this eventually lead to the Arab Revolt of 1936
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