A Troubled Mandate
THE IMPATIENT, idealistic Americans had their way. Weizmann yielded to the extent of agreeing to let the Zionist representatives at the peace conference ask for all of Palestine as the Jewish national home. He also promised to demand that the ultimate aim of the British mandate would be the creation of a self- governing commonwealth. By the autumn of 1919 these proposals had received Balfour's blessing and were placed before the peace conference.
The first phase of that conference had by then come to an end with the drafting of the Treaty of Versailles, which brought an official close to the war and established the League of Nations. Under Article 22 of the League's covenant--included in the Treaty of Versailles--the former colonial possessions of Germany and Turkey would be allotted by League mandate to various Allied powers; the mandates were to be decreed at a conference to be held at San Remo, Italy, in the spring of 1920. The United States Senate refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles, because it was unwilling to accept the loss of national sovereignty that it deemed was involved in joining the League of Nations; and so there could be no direct American participation in the parceling- out of mandated territories. But the United States insisted that as one of the major powers its consent was necessary for all mandate awards, and this was granted; each award would be submitted for American approval.
This was of great importance to the Zionist cause, for it was still possible that the Jewish homeland would be scuttled. An unofficial