Simplification of British Role - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Gail
    • 23.06.11 | 18:53 (IDT)

    This counterfactual article is flawed in many ways. Most notably, Shumsky over emphasizes the British role in establishing a Jewish state. To begin with, Shumsky ignores that the British promised a national home to both Arabs and Jews. Between 1915 and 1916, British high commissioner in Egypt Sir Henry McMahon heavily corresponded with Sharif Husayn ibn Ali's two sons Abdullah and Faysal. McMahon asserted British support for Arab independence and autonomy in the Arabian Peninsula and the Fertile Crescent, including Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq post-WWI under certain conditions. Territory that was not entirely Arab or areas that might conflict with French interests were excluded from land that the British were willing to support Arab autonomy in after World War I. Contradictorily, in 1917, Foreign Minister Arthur James Balfour wrote a letter to Baron Rothschild declaring his support for a Jewish state in Palestine. These contradictory diplomatic efforts reflects the continued British approach to dealing with Jewish/Arab tensions in Palestine during the British Mandate. When the Arabs attacked the Jews in the skirmishes of the early 1920's and the 1929 uprisings as well as the 1936 rebellion, the British mostly remained silent. Additionally, the British severely limited Jewish immigration to Palestine especially as the situation worsened in Germany. To credit British support as responsibile for the establishment of a Jewish state and lack of a Palestinian state is an incorrect assesment of British involvement in the region.

    from the article: The historical truth behind the Israeli-Palestinian narratives
    First published 02:29 23.06.11 | Last updated 02:29 23.06.11
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