The British Mandate

What was the British Mandate?

British forces entered Jerusalem and the city gave itself up to the war victors on December 9, 1917. This was done literally with General Allenby entering the city from Jaffa Gate, leading a victory convoy. This was the end to the glorious four centuries of the Ottoman-Turk Empire, giving way to a thirty year British rule.

The Paris-Peace Conference was held from January to June 1919 where the Mandate system came into existence under the Article 22 of the Convent of the League of Nations, which stated that the nations who are unable to hold a government on their own will be given under the trust of advanced countries who will handle the state affairs until such nations have gained enough strength to operate the government affairs on their own. This concept was approved and taken up through the Treaty of Versailles in June 1919.


The question of executing the Treaty of Versailles was raised up in a meeting held at San Remo, Italy, between the representatives of France, Britain, Belgium, Greece, Japan and Italy in April 1920. The leading role in deciding the mandates was played by the allies’ countries through the members of their supreme council. Mandates in the Middle East were fixed through adopting the basic features of the Treaty of Sevres.

The administrative control of Palestine was allotted to the British mandate and the territory was named “British Mandate for Palestine”. In July 1920, the civil administration of the mandate took over military and Jerusalem was made the capital.

Terms were laid down for the British mandate which incorporated the features of the Balfour Declaration and these terms were approved by the League of Nations Council on July 24, 1992 and made official in September of the same year. Although not a member of the League of Nations, United States endorsed the idea of a Jewish national home through a joint resolution of the United States Congress.

The squeaky Jewish wheel kept on turning with grease provided at the expense of the Arab population as the mandate, similar to the Balfour Declaration, called upon the need to establish a separate Jewish home with Jewish organization to be set up. Moreover, Jewish immigration was encouraged while a term stating that no prejudice would be shown to the rights of other sections of the population. The official languages of the territory were decided to be English, Arab and Hebrew.

Winston Churchill was the British colonial secretary at that time who summoned a major conference in Cairo in March 1921 to look through the issues of Middle East. Following this conference, the Palestine Mandate was divided along the Gulf of Aqaba Line of the Jordan River and this portion was named “Transjordan”. This newly established territory was to have its own Arab administration, although still under the general supervision of the commissioner for Palestine Mandate, but Abdullah was appointed as its emir.



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§ 8 Responses to The British Mandate

  • David Patton says:

    It is sad the every American never remembers History the way it happened, nor do they make any attempt to find out things before they make judgements. Our current President May have a College degree, but they never taught him History, or he would never have asked Israel to go back to the 1967 Borders, I think they should demand that the Borders go back to what was originally proposed. That would shake things up.

    • Lance Del Plato says:

      I am in total agreement, I have just done some research because it was bothering me that he had the nerve to think his opinion matters. Just what our country is always doing, butting into everyone’s business.

  • Ant Aloy says:

    The current Israeli Government led by Prime Minister Netanyahu leads a government whose polices in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are less than democratic. To reject the United Nations from visiting the West Bank to probe illegal settlements is illogical since Mr Netanyahu claims to support a Palestinian State (but not based on the US President’s 1967 lines).

    Nonetheless, I believe that there is a desire by most people in the world to see a full and comprehensive peace in the Middle East but this vision has been hampered by Prime Minister Mr Netanyahu, who relentlessly is building settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

    To put the conflict into context with respect to international law and the feelings of the world, may I convey the following.
    Last November, there were a further 6 UN Resolutions on Palestine and the Middle East. One resolution on Jerusalem was supported by 166 nations plus the UK. Israel disagreed. In fact, there are over 150 UN Resolutions (including 181, 191 and 194) – all remain unimplemented in full.

    Furthermore the ruling of the International Court of Justice in the Hague pertaining to the ‘security barrier’, which is 3 times the length of the Berlin Wall, has been sadly ignored by Mr Netanyahu. Perhaps if the ‘security barrier’ had to be built at all, it would have been better to have constructed it on the 1967 borders – instead of inside the internationally recognised Palestinian Territories (including East Jerusalem).

    Nonetheless once this ‘separation barrier’ and the settlement enterprise is completed, Palestinian communities will be separated into pockets of territory that lack contiguity, surrounded by settlements only accessible by settler only roads. ‘Natural growth’ settlements too were not acceptable as part of Phase I of the internationally agreed Road Map (2003). Day by day, the ‘security barrier’ and settlements erode the possibility of a two-state solution and the viability to bring about a fully comprehensive peace for Israelis and Palestinians.

    There are 130 nations in the world that recognise Palestine including India, China, Russia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brazil. More recently Iceland and Thailand have added to that recognition. Lastly UNESCO’s recognition last year of Palestine (supported by France, Spain, Ireland and Norway amongst many European nations) was still a positive step forward and a counter balance to those who deny Israel or Palestine’s right to exist. Dignity and peace is paramount for both peoples and recognition of both states ensures that those in the rejection camps are marginalized even further.

    • Maria says:

      Please search for “End the occupation of Israel” on Facebook and study the historical facts there. The jews were promised the British Mandate as their homeland. A tiny portion of the huge territory in the arab world. But after pressure from influential arabs and the British need for oil, the British gave away 80 % of the British Mandate to the arabs. The jews were left with only 20 % of the British Mandate. A tiny little strip of land, of which the arabs now want further land…! We HAVE to teach our children and youth the facts, so we do not end up with more generations of historically ignorant jew- and Israel-haters.

    • Maria says:

      Ant Aloy, you speak of UN as a highly respected entity, and seem unaware that it is highly dominated by OIC (The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) consisting of 57 islamic member states. The organisation is the collective voice of the Muslim world, the Ummah, and aggressively and persistently seeks to further and strenghten islamic interests. Including weakening and demonizing Israel. The thorn in their side.

  • George W Heads says:

    Maria by the context of your message you are obviously Jewish. the oil was not an issue prior to or during the creation of Israel out of Palestine The demand for oil was not present therefore it was of no consequence and can not be used as an excuse for the then Occupying force UK France, in fact the United nations for not Providing or Executing a reasonable ” Duty of Care” towards the Palestinian people there never was an Israel and the jews in Palestine, (and let us not forget Your ancestors were “Palestinian” Judaism is a religion NOT a Nationality) numbered 15000 against a Palestinian presence of around 75000. it is only the American settlers Greed and corrupt upbringings that brought about the Annexation of Palestine. Your ancestors were Probably Palestinian. Through European American to Zionist and most likely have no infinity with Zion at all.

  • Malone Cooper says:

    George…how narrow-minded of you to assume that only Jews would be supportive of Israel.

  • Annie Cee says:

    George, by the context of your message to Maria, you are obviously confused about the difference between Jewish and pro-Israel attitude. Many non Jews support Israel’s right to live and defend herself, and many Jews do not support Israel.
    Contrary to your statement, the problem of oil has been an issue since the 1920s and while it might not have been the main consideration at the time of the partition, it has certainly become so since the early 70′s when, incidentally, the wold’s attitude toward Israel became a lot more hostile, while they were fawning to the Arab countries.
    In addition, I find it really interesting that people use UN resolutions to criticize and try to de-legitimize Israel while at the same time, challenging the very resolution that gave birth to Israel. How convenient!
    Finally, one should wonder about the people who blame Natanyahu and the settlements for the failure to reach a peace settlement and forget the conference of Tabah, when, under the pressure of the US, Israel had accepted 95% of the palestinian demands and Arafat walked out of the negociations.
    A little good will and knowledge of history would go a long way in resolving these problems!

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