The Irreconcilable Committments: A History of the British Involvement in Palestine 1915-1939
Messner, Kenneth A.
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The goal of this paper is to show how Palestine, a stagnant, backwater province of the Ottoman Empire, became such a hotly contested piece of land in the twentieth century. First, the development of Nationalist movements among the Arabs and the Jews in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries must be understood. The Arab nationalists had as their goal the establishment of an Arab state or confederation of states encompassing the Fertile Crescent. The Zionist aim was to build a Jewish state in Palestine, the ancient homeland from which the Jews had been exiled during roman times. the Arab nationalists were too weak and disorganized to throw out their Ottoman rulers without aid from the outside. The Zionists formed a well-organized and funded movement and began to implement their program by establishing Jewish colonies in Palestine; yet they, too, were dependent on support from some other nation to guarantee the success of their endeavor. Both groups were seeking the proper moment and sponsor which would translate their plans into reality when World War I began and Great Britain became directly involved in the Middle East.