Rather than preparing the country for self-rule, the mandate agreement sowed the seeds of conflict in Palestine. Assess this statement
The Arab-Israeli conflict refers to the war between the Jewish state of Israel and the Arabs of the Middle East over land in the area known as Palestine (Bickerton, 9). There have been various reasons associated with this long term conflict. These include land, claim of the country and anti-Semitism (Bickerton, 10). Consequently, there has been lots of peace agreements and treaties that have been sealed between the two contending groups, in a quest to find peace in the Middle East region. The British mandate for Palestine is one of these agreements. This mandate was developed by the Treaty of Versailles and approved to by the League of Nations, in 1919 following the First World War (Silverburg& Sanford, 273). Following the agreement of this mandate, Britain had an official authority to govern the Palestine land. Consequently, the Palestine people would remain under the mandate of the British. One of the most important rationales for the mandate was the acknowledgement of the historic relation of the Jews to the Palestinian land and the ultimate founding of a Jewish homeland (Silverburg& Sanford, 274). Remarkably, the mandate led to a lot of criticism. Some proponents think that the mandate was the source of even more conflicts in Palestine, rather than an organizing tool for the country’s independence. This paper seeks to explore on the aforementioned criticism of the mandate.
Initially, Great Britain involved itself in secret deliberations with several other nations with reference to the mandate issue. The pacts with the Arab nation and other European powers in most cases happened to contradict the initial goals and objectives of the mandate. As a result, the British Government had to initiate dissimilar changes to the agreements of the mandate (Feinberg, 133). Because of this, the involved parties of the mandate felt that their interests were not adequately addressed. This resulted to a new political climate of tension and the consideration of the British Government as being incompetent to implement the mandate. Consequently, this annihilated any chance to hold a peaceful negotiation regarding a peaceful coexistence between the Jews and Arabs (Feinberg, 133). Additionally, this failure on the part of the British Government gave birth to a split land, a series of wars and an unpromising peace process in Palestine (Feinberg, 134).
Furthermore, the failure of Great Britain to honor the agreement of the mandate drew indifferent reactions from both Arabs and Palestinians, which propagated more conflict in Palestine. Notably, Arabs were annoyed by the failure of Great Britain to honor its promise of developing an autonomous Arab state (Silverburg& Sanford, 279). The situation however grew worse in Palestine, after the realization that Great Britain had failed in its promise of the institution of a Jewish homeland, which was stated in the mandate. Furthermore, the increasing surge of European Jewish immigration, land purchases and settlement in Palestine bred increasing confrontation by Palestinian Arab peasants, commentators and politicians (Feinberg, 140). This is because the Palestinians were afraid that a Jewish state would be ultimately established in Palestine. Consequently, the Palestinian Arabs emerged to strongly oppose the mandate which they felt frustrated their desire for independence and countered the Jewish immigration because it intimidated the administration of the British Government in the country. As a result, this led to a state of more conflicts in Palestine, instead of organizing the country for independence.
Additionally, the Palestine area experienced the rise of two main nationalist groups through the British mandate period; the Jewish and Arab nationalist groups (Feinberg, 143). Both of these groups had their own interests which they sought to defend concerning Palestine (Silverburg& Sanford, 281). Conversely, neither group got what they were interested in. This is because Great Britain retained their administration of Palestine. Consequently, a competition and conflict of interest emerged between these two groups. As a result, the Jews who had acquired various war tactics in the previous wars, decided to use tactics of terrorism attacks to drive their claim for the Palestine area. Consequently, various groups also attacked the British. This further resulted to a series of conflicts in Palestine during that period. Examples of these include the Arab revolt of 1936-1939 and the Civil War of 1947-1948 (Bickerton, 35).
The mandate agreement in Palestine which was sealed with an intention of creating a Jewish homeland was not helpful for the country in its quest for independence. Conversely, the mandate happened to be one of the most ineffectual political disasters in history which only bred the seed of conflict in Palestine. This is because of Great Britain’s incompetency in implementing the agreements of the mandate in Palestine. Britain propagated its own failure by trying to double deal both the Jews and Arabs through dissimilar promises it could not honor. Because of this, both parties struggled to defend their interests, causing more tension and conflicts in Palestine.
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Feinberg, Nathan. Some Problems of the Palestine Mandate. Tel-Aviv: Shoschani's Print. Co,
Silverburg, Sanford R. Palestine and International Law: Essays on Politics and Economics.
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