you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the
The text of the declaration was approved by the US President Woodrow
Wilson immediately. It was endorsed publicly by France in February 1918 and
Italy in May the same year. The Zionists concluded that the British Government
had undertaken a solemn commitment to facilitate Zionist colonization of
Palestine, the objective of the establishment of a Jewish state.ii
The Turkish Empire was liquidated when the World War I ended in November 1918.
Britain formally assumed the Palestine mandate in 1922 and maintained its
control until May 1948. Immigration of the Jews continued despite restrictions
placed by the British. The post-war troubles in the Eastern Europe and the
British administration prompted new waves of Jewish immigration to Palestine.
Between 1920 and 1939 almost 3, 50,000 Jews entered Palestine. The
contradiction between Britain’s dual commitments in fostering Jewish
self-determination and safeguarding Arab rights soon became apparent, and the
inevitability of the clash between Jewish and Arab national aspirations became
manifested. The Palestinians resisted Zionist encroachments, whereas the
Zionists, backed by British, crushed the rebellions. There were relatively
minor Palestinian uprisings in 1920, and 1921 but one of the most dramatic
escalations of the conflict occurred during the Arab Revolt from 1936 to 1939.
This revolt was the longest-running Palestinian protest against Jewish national
aspirations in Palestine prior to the establishment of the Jewish State of
Israel. The revolt was sparked by the Peel Commission Report (which was also
known as Palestine Royal Commission) recommending the partition of Palestine
into two states in order to accommodate the Jews. Owing to the fierce
resistance of the plan among the Palestinians and the Jews, Britain was
eventually forced to abandon the 1937 partition plan. Nevertheless, the
partition plan continued to gain international legitimacy in the aftermath of
World War II and the Holocaust which resulted in the near destruction of the
Jewish people in Europe. During the war, the Jews extended full support to the
Allies in the hope that at the end of war they would be given their promised
Reich (1985), n. 9, pp. 54-55.
Abu-Lughod (1971), n. 18, pp.l-7