Backdrop to Tragedy: The Struggle for Palestine

By William R. Polk; David M. Stamler et al. | Go to book overview

disregard the terms they had set and so advanced, routed the small Arab force opposing them, seized Damascus, and overthrew the Arab govemment.15

Never again were the Arabs of Palestine to find a spokesman of the international stature of Feisal and not for years were they to be represented by an Arab state with even the shadowy prestige enjoyed by Feisal's Syrian government.


9. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE MANDATE

Between October 1917 and September 1918 the whole of the area which was subsequently split off from "geographical Syria" and made into the Mandate of Palestine was occupied by British forces. It was placed under a military government known by the initials of its title as OETA and this administration was to govern the land until July 1920.

OETA felt itself obliged by the rules of war to make no major changes in the social or economic structure of the country and to try to maintain, insofar as was possible, the status quo ante.1 General Allenby issued a proclamation to this effect and informed the Emir Feisal on October 17, 1918, that

whatever measures might be taken during the period of military administration . . . were purely provisional and could not be allowed to prejudice the final settlement by the peace conference . . . I added that the instructions to the military governors would preclude their mixing in political affairs, and that I should remove them if I found any of them contravening these orders. 2

Immediately after OETA was established, it was found that the land system of Palestine was in a state of chaos. Not only had the retreating Turks taken along with them most of the key

____________________
1
Manual of Military Law, Ch.14(quoted in Cmd 5479, pp. 153-54).
15
H. W. V. Temperley, History of the Peace Conference ( London: 1924), VI, 156-59; Arnold Toynbee, The Islamic World Since the Peace Settlement, Survey of International Affairs ( 1925), I, 388-89.
2
Cmd 5974, p. 54. The circumstances surrounding the proclamation, which was written by Sir Mark Sykes, are recounted in Sir Ronald Storrs, Orientations ( London: 1945), p. 301. Text of the proclamation is in H. Luke and E. Keith Roach, Handbook of Palestine and Trans-Jordan ( London: 1934), p. 28.

-70-

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Backdrop to Tragedy: The Struggle for Palestine
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vi
  • Maps viii
  • Tables ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Important Dates in the History of Palestine xiii
  • Part 1 - THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND 1
  • 1 - Out of the Past 3
  • 2 - The Coming of Islam 8
  • 3 - The Crusades 22
  • 4 - The Ottoman Empire 29
  • 5 - The Great Powers in the Middle East 34
  • 6 - The Sick Man of Europe 47
  • 7 - The First World War and Its Spore 55
  • 8 - Emir Feisal and Dr. Weizmann 64
  • 9 - Establishment of the Mandate 70
  • 11 - The Wisdom of Solomon 94
  • 12 - From War to War 106
  • 13 - Inquiries, Reports, and Plans 110
  • 14 - The Mandate's Last Bitter Days 126
  • Part II - JEWISH INTERESTS IN PALESTINE 131
  • 1 - The Age-Old Longing 133
  • 2 - The European Background 139
  • 3 - The Birth of Political Zionism 148
  • 4 - The Land of Promises 159
  • 5 - Internal Conflicts 170
  • 6 - The Seeds of Conflict 175
  • 7 - The War and the Biltmore Program 179
  • 8 - Anglo-American Reactions 185
  • 9 - Postwar and Economic 187
  • 10 - A United Nations Solution: the State is Born 194
  • 11 - East and West 197
  • 12 - Politics in Israel 205
  • 13 - Religion and the State 219
  • Part III - THE ARABS AND PALESTINE 223
  • 1 - "The Existing Non-Jewish Communities" 225
  • 2 - The Arab Gentry 241
  • 3 - The Arab Element in Arabism 246
  • 4 - Modern Arab Nationalism 254
  • 5 - The Reaction to Zionism 265
  • 6 - Pan-Arabism 273
  • 7 - War, Refugees, and Humiliation 286
  • Part IV - THE ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK OF THE PALESTINE PROBLEM 305
  • 1 - Introduction 307
  • 2 - The Mandate Period 309
  • 3 - The Land and Its People 312
  • 4 - Immigration and Land 324
  • 5 - Land and Capital 329
  • 6 - Economics of the Refugee Problem 336
  • 7 - The Economy of Israel 342
  • 8 - Economic Relations Between Israel and the Arabs 352
  • Part V - CONCLUSION 365
  • Conclusion 367
  • SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY 375
  • Index 387
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