Friday, November 20, 2015

The Israeli/Arab Conflict - The McMahon–Hussein Correspondence - 1916

1. Introduction of the Issue

How bout no Jewish State

     Again, the background to 1916 is that the Ottoman Empire controls Israel. At the time Israel is overwhelmingly Arab and Jerusalem is overwhelmingly Jewish. In the bigger picture the Ottomans control the Middle East. 
     Britain is fighting the Ottomans in WW1. Britain seeks the Arabs in the Middle East as allies there and in exchange offers the Arabs some form of independence with conditions.

2. Discussion

Ya just don't get it (State of Israel)
     Per Wikipedia McMahon–Hussein Correspondence :

     The McMahon-Hussein Correspondence consisted of communications in 1915-6 between Sir Henry McMahon, British High Commissioner in Egypt, and the Sharif of Mecca, Husayn bin Ali. The Arabs under Ali agree to fight against the Ottomans. 
    The most important related letter is dated October 24, 1915 and does not mention "Palestine" and says that some areas of the Middle East will not be part of an independent Arab State. None of the McMahon-Hussein correspondence explicitly mentioned "Palestine".
     Subsequently, the British and Arabs argued regarding whether the agreement included Palestine in the Arab nationalist area, with the British saying no and the Arabs saying yes. There is internal evidence, prior to 1916, that at times the British did consider Palestine to be part of the Arab nationalist State offered.

3. Conclusion

No Israel unless...
 Related conclusions:

  1. By allying with the British and helping to defeat the Ottomans, the Arabs did earn a national Arab State in the Middle East.
  2. The British promise/agreement to the Arabs for an Arab State preceded any such agreement with the Jews for a Jewish State in Israel. 
  3. The British were clear that not all of the Middle East would be an Arab State and never formally communicated to the Arabs that Palestine would be part of an Arab State. 
  4. While there never has been an Arab and or Muslim State approximating the area of Israel and under the Ottomans there was no "Palestine" entity or governing area approximating Israel, the British did use the name "Palestine" to refer to the area. 
  Next, The Balfour Declaration of 1917.


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