chapter  43
Israel and Arabs I
Pages 4

In an area formerly part of the Turkish empire, Syria and Lebanon were taken over by France, and Palestine and Transjordan by Britain, after the 1914-18 war – under League of Nations mandates. The Palestine mandate provided for the creation of a modern Jewish ‘national home’ in the biblical homeland, without prejudice to other communities’ rights – a difficult aim. Since the 1890s the Zionist movement had promoted Jewish settlement in Palestine. The persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany increased their migration – though Britain refused to allow free entry of Jewish refugees – and the Arabs began to attack their settlements. The Nazis’ massacre of millions of Jews during the 1939-45 war brought Zionism wider support, particularly in America; Holocaust survivors struggled to reach Palestine; the British, unable to stop Arab-Jewish fighting, took the problem to the United Nations.