British Mandate—Transjordan in the east intended* as a place for Arabs Palestine west of the Jordan River—At the San Remo conference 1920 (Treaty of Sevres) the Balfour Declaration was honored and Jewish people were encouraged to move here (Reminder: French in Syria, Britain in Iraq, Ibn Saud in Saudi Arabia, Reza Khan in Iran…)
Rising Hostilities 1920s: Arabs were bitter about the growing number of Jewish immigrants to Palestine Jewish people bought farmland from Arabs and hired mainly Jewish workers, effectively pushing Arabs out of Palestine Violence began to spread—mostly Arabs attacking Jews Britain stepped in to quell the violence but gave the appearance of helping the Jews Britain sent multiple commissions of enquiry to determine the source of violence and try to set up solutions o British White Paper of 1922
Between 1930-1935 the Jewish population doubled By the end of 1939, Jews made up 1/3 of the population of Palestine The newer immigrants were fleeing persecution from Europe. They were highly skilled and often wealthy Haiffa (see your map) was the end of oil pipelines from Iraq to the Mediterranean (owning this land = $) The average Jewish worker received 145% more in wages than his Arab counterpart The trend of Arab wages was decreasing 10% a year; Jewish wages increased 10% a year All of this led to severe resentment towards the Jews
Great Arab Revolt 1936-1939 Began with Arabs attacking two Jews and Jews retaliating with two Arab deaths Arabs showed increased organization: Arab demands: o An end to Jewish immigration o An end to transfers of land to Jewish owners o A representative government based on democratic rules * * new: previously Arabs had refused democratic principles, now felt it was time Stats!
More systematic than previous Arab Revolt (WWI, Feisal et. al): o Arab Higher Committee formed as leadership o Crops, pipelines, roads, transportation were destroyed o Non-payment of taxes as a general strike o Bring everyday life to a standstill Revolt was met with violence from the Jews Much of the violence was against British officials, who of course sent 20,000 men to suppress the revolt Lord Robert Peel was sent to figure out what the mess was all about
The Peel Commission: Divide Palestine into separate states Rejected by both sides—no partial land ownership The Arab Revolt violence increased and involved general strikes against all businesses to kill the economy British were unable to slow the violence until 1939
Effects of the Arab Revolt: greater unity among Arabs convinced British to take their demands seriously, but also resulted in loss of Arab lives Issued the White Paper of 1939 o It is not British policy that Palestine should be a Jewish state o Jewish immigration should be limited to 15,000 a year for 5 years o In light of the treatment of Jews in Europe, they should accept 25,000 refugees o Land transfer to Jews should be only restricted zones o Palestine would be independent in 10 years-Arabs could determine immigration restrictions. Rejected.
The White Paper of 1939 coincided with Hitler’s invasion of Poland and the start of WWII Arab countries tried to stay neutral but often sought alliance with Axis powers—thinking maybe Germany & Friends could save them from British imperialism and Zionism? The Grand Mufti (head Islamic law leader) of Jerusalem had fled Palestine during the revolt, went to Europe and met with Hitler
Jews felt rejected by Britain—limits to immigration while the Jews of Europe were being heavily persecuted and allowing Arabs to decide on immigration Jewish people in Palestine had no choice but to support Britain in WWII—save Jews from Hitler o Many Palestinian Jews even joined the British army Illegal immigration continued throughout the war—but the British stuck to their principles o Jews in Mauritius and the SS Struma (go down to “Sinking” on wiki)