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Transcript of PALESTINE
Who controlled the region before and after WW1?
THE OTTOMAN RULE
Back during 1517, Palestine was absorbed into the Ottoman Empire.
They remained under the rule of the Turks all the way until WW1.
The Ottoman rule over Palestine came to an end because towards the end of the war, the Turks were defeated by the British forces led by General Allenby.
During the peace talks that took place at the end of the war, arrangements were created which gave away parts of the Ottoman Empire.
Some parts were handed to the French and some to the British, which included Palestine.
THE BRITISH RULE
When parts of the Ottoman Empire were handed over to the British, Palestine was included. Britain governed this area under a League of Nations mandate from 1920-1948.
The Arabs that lived there believed Palestine was their homeland and were promised by the allies for help in defeating the Turks by the McMahon agreement. (Which the British claimed the agreement made no such promise)
During the British rule, much violence and attacks occurred because the Jews believed they were promised the same piece of territory from the Balfour Declaration
Due to this violence, the British had to restore law and order using its military, but it did not stop and got worse after Nov. 1937.
In 1947, the newly formed United Nations accepted the idea to partition Palestine into a zone for the Jews (Israel) and a zone for the Arabs (Palestine). With this United Nations proposal, the British withdrew from the region on May 14th 1948.
What type of Government existed after 1919?
The region of Palestine, the ancient Jewish homeland, came under the control of the British as a mandate granted by the League of Nations. The articles of the mandate included the requirement of establishing a Jewish national home.
Palestine’s boundaries had not been defined because it was part of Greater Syria and was not a distinct political unit. With the imposition of the Palestine Mandate, the borders of Palestine were defined for the first time. It included land on both sides of the Jordan River encompassing the present-day countries of Israel and Jordan.
For the most part, the Arab community opposed the immigration of Jews, Zionism, and the mandate. This led to rejecting cooperation with British proposals and activities because it could indicate an acceptance of British authority.
In an effort to pacify the Arab community, the British increased restrictions on Jewish immigration to Palestine, until it was virtually halted with the British White Paper of 1939.
This was intolerable to the Jewish residents, because it closed a crucial escape route for Jews fleeing Nazi Europe.
Nevertheless, the Jewish community joined Britain in its World War II fight against Nazi Germany. David Ben Gurion famously declared: “We shall fight the war as if there is no White Paper and we shall fight the White Paper as if there is no war.”
After the war, Britain announced its intention to end the mandate and leave the region.
Yishuv - (Hebrew) The Jewish community in Palestine prior to the declaration of the state of Israel, including the pre-Zionist era (Old Yishuv) as well as the Zionists of the late Ottoman Turkish rule and British mandate eras (New Yishuv).
Zionists- Jews who wanted to create an independent Jewish state
Major ethnic divisions after 1919
Events in 1920-1930’s related to opposition to the mandate system
1936-39 ARAB REVOLT
It consisted of a strike including withholding of taxes, of acts of sabotage against British forces, assassination of British officials, murder of Jewish civilians and murder of other Arabs. These actions swiftly escalated into terrorist attacks against the Jews and the British. This first stage of the "Arab Revolt" lasted until November, 1936. The second stage began in September 1937
The revolt was a pivotal event in the history of Zionism and of Palestine:
It signaled the real beginning of active involvement of the Arab states in the Palestinian cause.
It established an ethos of Arab violence and of Jewish reprisals against Arab civilians.
It destroyed the leadership of the Palestinian Arab community
It gave birth to the idea of Palestine partition
The State of Palestine declared its independence on 15 Nov 1988 when the Palestinian National Council (a govt. in exile in Algiers) approved Yasser Arafat's proclamation of independence. Yasser Arafat was the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a national, political group that actively campaigned for Palestine's independence from Israel.
Palestine did not gain independence in a manner familiar to most. The November 1988 declaration was just that, a declaration.
For a nation to be truly independent, other states must recognize that state's independence. However, The State of Palestine has only gained recognition on the same level as the Vatican (Holy See) by the United Nations.
It is not yet fully independent since the UN does not function as a State nor does it have the power to recognize independent states.
Current Form of Government
The State of Palestine has a parliamentary democracy, run by a unity government between the Fattah and Hamas political parties. Fattah is active and runs the West Bank while Hamas operates from the Gaza Strip.
Currently, the State of Palestine is in an ongoing sovereignty dispute with Israel. This dispute is by far the most controversial and most hotly contested issue. The State of Palestine does not recognize Israel nor does Israel recognize the State of Palestine.
Both claim the same territory and have for a long time, engaged in ceaseless acts of war, violence, terrorism, espionage and annexation, barring a ceasefire or two.
Both sides have tried to find an agreeable compromise but fail every time as neither wants to give in. The most recent offensive by Israel claimed 2,100 Palestinian lives and untold damage.
The two sides are currently in talks brokered by Egypt but Palestine is now left with a humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of a mostly one-sided war.