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League of Nations 1922

(Excerpts in italics from

"In accordance with the principles of the Balfour Declaration and Article 22 of the League Covenant, the League of Nations drew up the Mandate for Palestine, tailor-made by the British. The document underwent several transformations. Arab pressure and riots in Palestine had brought about the Churchill White Paper of 1922, which again reiterated the right of the Jews to a Homeland in Palestine, but detached all of the area east of the Jordan river from Palestine and gave it to the Hashemi family as an independent Arab state.

"ART. 2. The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.

"ART. 15. The Mandatory shall see that complete freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship, subject only to the maintenance of public order and morals, are ensured to all. No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants of Palestine on the ground of race, religion or language. No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.

The right of each community to maintain its own schools for the education of its own members in its own language, while conforming to such educational requirements of a general nature as the Administration may impose, shall not be denied or impaired."

Of course none of this ever happened. Reasons why were well explained by Ze'ev Jabotinsky in 1922 where he foresaw the actual chain of events with an accuracy that can only come from knowing what makes people and cultures tick and click.

In 1936. the Palestinians revolted against the British. Britain responded by appointing a Royal commission with Lord Peel as chairman. The commission investigated and found both sides equally intransigent. Their recommendation was to partition Palestine. This provided the Jews with a small area that included Haifa, Nazareth, Tel Aviv, and Jaffaan area of about 25% of what eventually became Israel. In his Letters to Paula, Ben-Gurion explained his enthusiasm for the Partition in no uncertain terms, for it provided the Jews with a foothold from which they could logically expect to: "Erect a Jewish State at once, even if it is not the whole land. The rest will come in the course of time, it must come." In his 'My Talks With Arab leaders,' (1972) Ben-Gurion explained further during the aftermath of the Peel Commission: "A comprehensive agreement is undoubtedly out of the question now. For only after total despair on the part of the Arabs, despair that will come not only from the failure of the disturbances and the attempt at rebellion, but also as a consequence of our growth in our country, may the Arabs possibly acquiesce in a Jewish Eretz Israel." Ben-Gurion saw the Palestine Partition Plan as opportunity. Most of the Zionist movement adopted Ben-Gurion's position.

Ben-Gurion was certainly in agreement with Jabotinsky that battles were to come although he did not mention an Iron Wall specifically.

What the Mandate left, of course, were two camps, each with a homeland at stake.

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