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Optional Term Paper 1

AVIA 3143

OMAR JOUDAH

"Our" Four Fathers, Expatiation,


Extortion, Greed, and Mutualism

The Palestinians are not exceptional people. They share with people everywhere a most

common and persistent longing: to live in peace, with the dignity possible only in a society that

is free and just. Only their particular circumstances and history set them apart. 1 Palestine is a

country that lies at the intersecting point of three continents, Europe, Asia, and Africa, and it is

considered a Holy Land to three major religions, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Since the

seventh century, the people of Palestine have been Arab, with a commonlanguage and culture.

Palestinian cities like Jerusalem were centers of Arab civilization where scholars, poets and

scientists congregated. Over the centuries, most Palestinians became Muslims, although small

communities of Jews and Christians maintained their faiths. In Islam, responsibility is placed on

the Muslim society to go to great measures to coexist with other settlers, as well as respect their

cultural and religious views. This practice was observed by the people of Palestine from the

seventh century until the time of the Turks. They peacefully coexisted with the Jews and

Christians for hundreds of years, and even to this day, there are Christian Arabs living peacefully

alongside Muslims in the Jordan Valley and other parts of the Middle East.

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Many great Conquerors have sought control over the trade routes and land of Palestine. One

such Conqueror was the Yavuz Selim I, the Sultan of Turkey. Yavuz Selim I conquered Palestine

for his Ottoman Empire in 1517. (For the next four hundred years, the Turks ruled Palestine as

part of an administrative area called Greater Syria, which consisted of modern day Palestine,

Syria, and Lebanon. Even under the rule of the Turks, and for as long as the villagers could

remember, the land of Palestine belonged to those who worked it.2) Most mention of the Turks

struck fear into the hearts of Christians of the late Middle Ages, however, the Ottomans generally

allowed religious groups to continue their own faiths within the conquered territories. They also

tended to preserve the established feudal institutions, and in many cases permitted the co-

existence of law codes to regulate the different ethnic and religious groups. Their administrative

and governmental systems were well developed and highly effective and most lands under

Ottoman control were well managed during this time.3)

Meanwhile, the British had plans of their own. Britain especially was interested in gaining

control of the Middle East. Britain had become the most industrialized nation of the day, through

the slave trade in Africa, and piracy of gold, silver, cotton, spices, and other goods. India was the

crown jewel so to speak in Britain's trade market, a major supplier of cotton for Britain's textile

industry. The British sought more ventures for trade, and the trade routes through the Middle

East to India would greatly increase their potential for wealth. (In 1838, Britain signed the

Anglo-Turkish Treaty, which allowed British merchants complete freedom to sell their goods in

Arab markets. Over the next ten years, British exports to Greater Syria tripled.4) AsBritain's

economic stake in the area grew, it looked for a way to extend its political influence. The British

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used many steps to ensure their grip on this region. One of the main men to upstart the Jewish

colonization of Palestine was Lord Shaftesbury. ((Anthony Ashley Cooper (1801-1885), later

Lord Shaftesbury, is said by Tuchman to have been "the most influential nonpolitical figure,

excepting Darwin, of the Victorian age. Shaftesbury was the greatest influence for social

legislation in the nineteenth century. He was led into acceptance of pre-millennialism by Edward

Bickersteth, which then gave rise to his views of Jewish Restorations.[80] Lord Shaftesbury said

concerning his belief in the second coming, that it "has always been a moving principle in my

life, for I see everything going on in the world subordinate to this great event."[81] Because of

his pre millennialism, Shaftesbury became greatly involved as Chairman of the London Society

for Promoting Christianity among the Jews.[82] Shaftesbury spearheaded a movement that lead

to "the creation by the Church of England of an Anglican bishopric in Jerusalem, with a

converted Jew consecrated as its first bishop.” [83]"Oh, pray for the peace of Jerusalem" were

the words engraved on a ring that he always wore on his right hand.[84] Since Lord Shaftesbury

believed that the Jews would return to their homeland in conjunction with the Second Advent, he

"never had a shadow of a doubt that the Jews were to return to their own land. . . . It was his

daily prayer, his daily hope."[85]In 1840, Shaftsbury was known for coining a slogan that he

would often repeat throughout his life, that the Jews were "a country without nation for a nation

without a country. Shaftsbury put forth the view that Palestine could become a British colony of

Jews that "could provide Britain with cotton, silk, herbs, and olive oil."[87]5)

The first step was to set up a consulate in Jerusalem for the protection of the twenty thousand

Jews who lived in religious communities in Palestine in 1840. The second step was British

control of the Suez Canal in Egypt in 1875. Now, British ships could sail from Europe to India

in half the time. The idea of Jewish colonization of Palestine became even more appealing to

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British ruling circles. During the first year of World War I, the British made and alliance with

Sharif Hussein and his son Feisal, who ruled the Eastern Coast of the Arabian Peninsula.

Hussein and Feisal wanted alliance with the British to help secure their power. Hussein sent his

son to Damascus and Beirut in 1916 to meet with the Arab Nationalist Organization Al Fatat,

who were the largest and most organized at that time. (On May 5, 1916, Jemel Pasha, the harsh

Turkish overlord of Greater Syria, rounded up and executed twenty-one key Arab nationalists,

including leaders of al-Fatat.6) The Arab revolt began in June 1916, and Hussein and Feisal

called for all Arabs to take up arms in revolt against the Turks. Arab troops reclaimed most of

the Hejaz, the Eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. They attacked Turkish railways in the

Hejaz region to slow the supplies to Turkish troops. By late 1916, the Arab troops had cornered

12,000 Turkish troops in Medina. While the Arab troops held down the Fourth Turkish Army,

British General Edmund Allenby advanced through Palestine and Syria. In 1917, theBritish

wrote promises to Hussein, the British and French collaborated to draw up the Sykes-Picot

Agreement, which would dissect the Greater Syria area between the two powers. Neither side

could agree on Palestine, however, but this was of little importance to the British, who would

betray France exactly as they had the Palestinians, by telling them one thing, and secretly

arranging to do something very different. Both the British and the Zionist came to realize at this

moment in history that their visions could be materialized through mutualism. (Mutualism is a

positive reciprocal relationship between two species. Through this relationship both species

enhance their survival, growth or fitness.8) The British rulers used Zionist movement to gain a

solid foothold in Palestine, while the Zionists saw their opportunity to defend the Suez Canal for

the British, and in turn receive protection from the British while they extorted the Palestinians

from their land, their culture, and their livelihood, just as the Nazis had done to them in

Germany, and the Czar Nicholas III and his Interior Minister, Wenzel Von Plehve of Russia had

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done to them in the pogroms in the early 1900's. (Throughout the spring and summer of 1917,

British statesmen and Zionist leaders worked on the British declaration of support for Zionism.

The first draft stated: His Majesty's Government accepts the principle that Palestine should be

reconstituted as the national home of the Jewish people... and will be ready to consider any

suggestions on the subject which the Zionist organizationmay desire to lay before them. The

draft was reworded several times to find a version that did not offend English Jews, many of

whom opposed Zionism. The largest Jewish organization in England strongly protested against

the declaration because it "must have the effect throughout the world of stamping the Jews as

strangers in their native lands.” The final version of the declaration was a compromise. The

Zionists' real goal - the Jewish state - was concealed in the diplomatic term "national home.” On

November 2, 1917, the declaration was released publicly in the form of a letter from Lord

Balfour of the British government to Lord Rothschild, a wealthy English Jew.9)

British planes dropped leaflets over the villages promising the people of independence at the

war’send. Thousands of Arabs came to the aid of the British. On October 1, 1918, British and

Arabs troops entered Damascus, where the people were celebrating a final independence from a

long oppressive rule by the Turks, or so it seemed.

Works Cited
Ice, D. T. (2009). Pre-Trib Research Center. Retrieved from pre-trib.org: http://www.pre-
trib.org/article-view.php?id=2955, 9

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