British Mandate of 1922 (First Antisemitic White Paper)
51 League of Nations Member states ratified the British Mandate of Palestine in 1920, at the San Remo Conference. Jews were set to re-establish sovereignty in their ancestral homeland, while the Arabs petitioned for independence in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria. Then how did the land for Jews get reduced by 78% and get awarded to the Arabs? Winston Churchill maneuvered the first, of several, antisemitic British White Papers.
- Churchill was greatly influenced by T.E. Lawrence, “Lawrence of Arabia” who staunchly defended the Hussein-McMahon pledges, which promised Arab Nationalist ambitions, made in 1915 and 1916.
- Churchill was appointed Colonial Secretary in 1921 and selected several advisors – two of whom were actively pro-Arab. Only his military advisor was sympathetic to Zionism. Yet, when T.E. Lawrence was added to Churchill’s Middle East department, the pendulum swung sharply away from Jewish legal rights that were laid out within the League of Nations-passed 1920 Mandate.
- Lawrence of Arabia had inordinate influence over Churchill, and thus was able to implement his plan to reward the Hashemite rulers of Saudi Arabia. King Hussein of Mecca’s family were appointed rulers of lands to which they had no historical connection. His son Feisal was given Iraq, and his other son, Abdullah, was gifted Transjordan, an area which was supposed to be part of the Jewish homeland. This maneuver was cemented at the 1921 Cairo Conference, and was named the “Sherifian solution” by Winston Churchill.
The British used the legal loophole in Article 25 of the Mandate for Palestine; this entitled the Mandatory to alter the territory east of the Jordan River:
“In the territories lying between the Jordan and the eastern boundary of Palestine as ultimately determined, the Mandatory shall be entitled, with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations, to postpone or withhold application of such provision of this Mandate as he may consider inapplicable to the existing local conditions …”
- Thus, in 1922, Britain, acting in its Mandatory capacity, enacted Article 25 and it was approved by the League of Nations. It is interesting to note that though this was an action not favorable to Jews, it provides a legal claim, to this day, of Jewish rights to Gaza and all parts of Judea & Samaria, as it guaranteed Jewish residence in all places within Jewish Palestine, west of the Jordan River.
- No Jews were allowed to live east of the Jordan River, in the country of Transjordan, and remained the law when Jordan achieved independence in 1946. This law stands today. Jordan became the fourth Arab country east of the Jordan River.
* Bonus Facts *
Stated below, is the admission by the British in the 1922 White Paper that there existed a thriving Jewish community with distinct characteristics and a strong historical connection to Palestine…
“During the last two or three generations the Jews have recreated in Palestine a community now numbering 80,000, of whom about one-fourth are farmers or workers upon the land. This community has its own political organs; an elected assembly for the direction of its domestic concerns; elected councils in the towns; and an organization for the control of its schools. It has its elected Chief Rabbinate and Rabbinical Council for the direction of its religious affairs.
Its business is conducted in Hebrew as a vernacular language, and a Hebrew press serves its needs. It has its distinctive intellectual life and displays considerable economic activity. This community, then, with its town and country population, its political, religious and social organizations, its own language, its own customs, its own life, has in fact “national” characteristics.
When it is asked what is meant by the development of the Jewish National Home in Palestine, it may be answered that it is not the imposition of a Jewish nationality upon the inhabitants of Palestine as a whole, but the further development of the existing Jewish community, with the assistance of Jews in other parts of the world, in order that it may become a center in which the Jewish people as a whole may take, on grounds of religion and race, an interest and a pride. But in order that this community should have the best prospect of free development and provide full opportunity for the Jewish people to display its capacities, it is essential that it should know that it is in Palestine as of right and not on sufferance.
That is the reason why it is necessary that the existence of a Jewish National Home in Palestine should be internationally guaranteed, and that it should be formally recognized to rest upon ancient historic connection.”