The British Mandate

For four hundred years before World War I, the Turkish Ottoman military government ruled the land called Palestine. This land consisted of what is now Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, and the territories of Israel: the West Bank, and Gaza. During World War I (1914-1918), the Turkish Ottoman Empire joined Germany and Austria-Hungary against the Allies. When the Allies won the war, the Ottoman Empire was dismembered under the jurisdiction of the League of Nations.

Palestine Mandate
Mandate For Palestine, San Remo 1920

The League of Nations established the class A Mesopotamia Mandate of 1920 that gave administrative control of the territory today called Iraq to the British and the class A French Mandate of Syria that give administrative responsibility of what is now Lebanon and Syria to the French. In the San Remo conference on April 24, 1920, the League of Nations assigned the Mandate for Palestine to the British. The text of the Mandate was confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations on July 24, 1922. It came to be known as the British Mandate of 1922. It assigned the administration of the lands of what is now Jordan, Israel, and the Israeli territories to the British.

The Mandate gave Britain the responsibility to establish the rule of law in the land, meaning public order, good government, and civil and religious rights for all the inhabitants of the land. The British hoped to establish self-governing institutions in Palestine. As part of this process, the British hoped to also establish the Jewish homeland. Both turned out to be impossible.

The Mandate included references to the 1917 Balfour Declaration which was favorable to the establishment of a Jewish homeland. The preamble of the Mandate stated

... the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,

The preamble also made explicit reference to the fact that the Jews had an historical connection to the land of Palestine, a connection that in fact dates for over 3000 years.

... recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country;

In article 2 the Mandate stated

The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble,

The establishment of a Jewish homeland was completely aborrent to the Arabs. Likewise the presence of any Jews in a self governing body of any kind was abhorrent to the Arabs. In an effort to mollify the Arabs, the British split the Palestine Mandate into two distinct areas, using the Jordan River as a natural boundary. East of the river, which represented three quarters of the whole Mandate area, was to be reserved for the Arabs alone. The British installed the Hashemite Abdulla to be the ruler of what was to become Transjordan and now called Jordan. Only to the land west of the river was Jewish immigration going to be permitted.

However, this diplomatic ploy did not work. The Arabs were intransigent and unwilling to work in any way with the Jews in any kind of legislative council and/or constitution. Britian even suggested that the council be composed of twelve seats with ten of the seats allocated to the Arabs and only two to the Jews. The Arabs refused to cooperate.

Over the next few years, the British tried repeatedly to include both the Jewish and the Arab communities in the day to day running of the Mandate. Each time, the Arabs were intransigent and absolutely refused to cooperate in any way. In the end Britain was not able to establish self rule in the land west of the Jordan river and had to administer the land itself. In 1947 Britain realized that the Mandate for the West of the Jordan river was unworkable with the continual riots and violence initiated by the Arabs. Britain declared that it would only continue to administer the area until May 15, 1948. In May 14, 1948, Israel declared its independence.

Israel Independence
Israel Independence: Note that the Jewish newspaper is called The Palestinian Post, the forerunner of The Jerusalem Post.

The main point we wish to emphasize here is that from the beginning of the British Mandate until its end, it was impossible for the British to get any Arab participation in a shared self rule over the land if that self rule included any Jewish representation. One has to ask why did the Arabs take such a stand? The answer is simple, once one understands Islam. Once a land is ruled by an Islam ruler it is considered an Islam land. The only rulers permitted are to be Muslims.

In 638, the Muslims conquered Jerusalem from the Byzantines. So from this point forward, Jerusalem and the Palestine land associated with Jerusalem cannot be under any rule but Muslim rule. And under Muslim rule, the non-Muslims, if they are allowed to live rather than be slaughtered, must live as Dhimmis, a subjugated, deprecated, deprived, and overly taxed second class citizen-slave. So when the British tried to set up a self government that would have some Jewish representation, the Arab intransigence was an Islam intransigence, both to the inclusion of Jewish representation and to the establishment of a Jewish homeland. There was no hope of any compromise because the Muslims must rule state of affairs is prescribed by the Koran and the Koran is considered by the Muslims to be a holy book whose words were dictated by Allah to his messenger Mohammed. And it is impossible to compromise on the words when they are considered as coming from Allah. Just as there was no possible solution to the Arab Jewish conflict from 1922 through 1948, there is no possible stable diplomatic compromise now to the Mideast conflict.