12 Pages


ByIsaiah Friedman

This chapter reviews traditional British Pan-Arab policy and its changes over the years. Before World War I, traditional British policy was preservation of the Ottoman Empire. It remained valid after the outbreak of the War and was endorsed by an inter-departmental committee, known as the de Bunsen Committee, which ruled out any annexation of new territories and pointed out that partition of the Ottoman Empire would deeply offend the Muslims. The arrival of Muhammad al-Faruqi, a prominent leader of the Arab secret societies, in Cairo on 10 September 1915 caused a reversal in British policy and wrought a dramatic change in Middle-Eastern history. From the Arab perspective, it was a remarkable achievement, all the more bizarre because essentially it was a product of calculated deception. T. E. Lawrence was a Zionist and considered Arab-Zionist cooperation to be of vital importance for the advancement of Arab cause. Lawrence's scheme was contrary to the policy of Cairo.