Britain’s denial of democracy and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine

Israel/Palestine
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“The British government have promised that what is called the Zionist movement shall have a fair chance in this country, and the British Government will do what is necessary to secure that fair chance…We cannot tolerate the expropriation of one set of people by another or the violent trampling down of one set of national ideals for the sake of erecting another…” 

Winston S. Churchill to an Arab delegation, 30 March 1921.[1]

“I do not admit that the dog in the manger has the final right to the manger, even though he may have lain there for a very long time…I do not admit, for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America, or the black people of Australia…I do not think the Red Indians had any right to say, ‘The American Continent belongs to us and we are not going to have any of these European settlers coming in here’. They had not the right, nor had they the power.” 

Winston S. Churchill to the Peel Commission on Palestine, 12th March 1937.[2]

*** 

By the end of the official British presence in Palestine in mid May 1948, four hundred thousand Palestinian Arabs had been expelled, directly and indirectly from the country and 225 villages, towns and centres had more or less been ethnically cleansed of their indigenous inhabitants. Most of the villages were reduced to rubble by the Zionist forces, in order to prevent the Palestinians from ever returning.  

The four hundred thousand that fled during the final six months of the Britain’s rule in Palestine made up half of the indigenous Palestinians that were eventually cleansed by the end of 1948.[3] 

The question that inevitably needs to be asked is, what role Britain played in laying the foundations of what became known as the al-Nakba or the ethnic cleansing of Palestine? 

The British Empire obtained eventual control of Palestine and other areas of Arabia by convincing Arabs to side with it, against the Ottoman Empire during World War One. The flags of self-determination and independence were waved by Blighty and proved partly enough to entice Arabs in Palestine and elsewhere to enter an agreement.  

Imperial Britain’s agreement with the Arabs are contained in what are known as the Hussain-McMahon letters. So named after the Sharif Hussain bin Ali leader of the Hijaz region of the Arabian Peninsula and Henry McMahon, the British High Commissioner in Cairo.[4]

Unbeknown to the Arab leadership, Britain made two simultaneous commitments during this period. One was an agreement with the French, known as Sykes-Picot, to carve up the Arab territories under Ottoman Empire. Named after the British official Mark Sykes and the French diplomat, Francois Georges-Picot. The other is the Balfour Declaration issued from London. This declaration committed the British government to,  

“…view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object…”[5]

Below, I argue that the denial of representative government and democracy to the Arab Palestinians was the founding facilitation of British rule in Palestine and subsequently one of the key building blocs in the creation of Israel and the eventual ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

What became known as Palestine and is now known as Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, that is the territory west of the river Jordan, had a population of over 90 percent Arab and about 8 percent at the time of Britain’s entry into the region.  

The Arabs formed an overwhelming majority. Naturally any nation or people would have opposed the colonisation of their country by foreign settlers with a view to establish a national home therein. Representative government in Palestine was a threat to the British-Zionist project and as such needed to be forestalled. 

David Lloyd George, the then British Prime Minister in a meeting with Chaim Weizmann, leader of the Zionist movement in the UK and Lord Balfour, British Foreign Secretary, instructed Winston Churchill, the Colonial Secretary of the period that “he mustn’t give representative Government to Palestine.”[6]

In this same meeting both Balfour and Lloyd George confined and confirmed to Weizmann that by Jewish National Home they actually “meant an eventual Jewish State.”[7]  

Lord Balfour confirmed that the denial of representative government and democracy was British policy, “..In Palestine, we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country…” because Zionism, “be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long tradition, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who know inhabit that ancient land.”[8]

The denial of democracy was not only agreed to by the British political right wing but was also very much supported by the British Labour left wing.  

Ramsay MacDonald, the future leader of the Labour Party and the first ever Prime Minister of a Labour Government wrote that Palestinian demands for self-determination were deprived of “complete validity” because the biblical stories he was reared on as a child rendered that, “Palestine and the Jew can never be separated.”[9] Furthermore, Palestinian Arabs were incapable of developing the resources of their country and as such there is an “alluring call”[10] for “hundreds of thousands of Jews” [11] to colonise Palestine under a British mandate which sanctimoniously but verily deny representative government to the indigenous Palestinians. Colonel Josiah Wedgwood, a prominent Labour (and former Liberal) politician in the inter-war period agreed to democracy in Palestine but not until the “Jews are in a majority”[12] and once the “higher civilisation” of immigrant Jewish settlers “is numerous and wise enough to make democracy safe for all” they would then be able to “range up beside the other self-governing dominions”[13] of the British empire.  

In effect, the founding strategy of Zionism in Palestine was the cross-party, British denial of representative government and democracy to the indigenous Arab population. 

With this cross-party founding strategy in place, both Conservative and Labour politicians justified Britain’s Zionist project in respect to their own ideologies. The Conservatives proffered right-wing reasons for supporting Zionism and Labour, left-wing reasons.  

Firstly, for the British right-wing, Zionist colonialism represented an opportunity to also solve a domestic political consideration. Namely, Jewish immigrants or refugees fleeing anti-semitic pograms in eastern Europe. Rather than they fleeing to the West, they could go to Palestine. As Harry Defries has shown in his book on the Conservative Party attitude to Jews, “support for a territorial solution for the Jews be it in Palestine or elsewhere, was to find favour with many…who opposed Jewish immigration into Britain.”[14] In an earlier period, Joseph Chamberlain, who claimed that he only despised one race, that is the Jews, [15] had found himself agreeing with Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, that the solution is “to find some country in this vast world of ours where these poor exiles can dwell in safety without interfering with the subsistence of others.”[16] 

Another justification the Zionist initiative was supported amongst the right-wing was to pre-empt Jews from joining revolutionary socialist or communist organisations. As Churchill wrote in his essay, “Zionism vs Bolshevism”, after strongly implying that Jews were responsible for the French and Russian revolutions, it would therefore be “important to foster and develop any strongly-marked Jewish movement which leads directly away from these fatal associations. And it is here that Zionism has such a deep significance…” As such, once “millions” of Jews have migrated to Palestine they “would be especially in harmony with the truest interests of the British Empire.” i.e. the Suez Canal and Britain’s oil interests of the Persian Gulf. [17]

The harmony and security of the British Empire also featured in left-wing justifications for British engineered, Zionist colonialism. Colonel Wedgwood in his Zionist tract, “The Seventh Dominion”, wrote that Palestine was geographically the “Clapham Junction” of the British Empire.  As such a “friendly and efficient population” is required to settle there. The criteria of the new settlers in Palestine are “men on whom we can depend, if only because they depend on us…The Jews depend on us.”[18]

The Wilsonian notion of self-determination was also utilised by the British left-wing to justify Britain’s Zionist project. Woodrow Wilson, the American president had arrived at the Peace Conference in 1919 brandishing his idealistic strategy with a view to prevent future conflict and establish peace.[19] The argument had a short shelf life as firstly there were simply not enough Jews in Palestine to determine an independent state and therefore, secondly, even if there were, why should Jewish self-determination be given priority over Arab self-determination?[20] Partly, on this basis Labour politicians reverted to socio-cultural type and imperialist racial dehumanisation. H.N. Brailsford, a former Guardian journalist, seconded MacDonald’s opinion and justified Zionist colonialism on the basis that the Arabs were incapable of developing Palestine because they were “degenerate semi-savages” who had no right to “exclude millions” of settlers. [21]

From another angle left-wing justifications were utilised to misconstrue Arab opposition to the Balfour Declaration. Following the lead of Zionist labour propagandists, Colonel Wedgwood was at the forefront in arguing that Arab opposition was one based not on self-determination, but on economic class. The Zionist were raising the living standards of the indigenous population and the Arab elite in Palestine were opposed to this development. Wedgewood claimed that the Zionist were ‘teaching’ native Arabs how to claim for higher wages from their elite and this is why there was opposition to Britain’s Zionist project.[22]             

In the Anglo-French carve up of the region, the Sykes-Picot agreement, Palestine covers a larger land mass than it does now. The original Palestine also covered the land mass east of the river Jordan, that is now known as Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.  

The idea to wrench this part of Palestine into a separate entity didn’t arise until the very early 1920’s. The most popular reason for its creation rotates around the shenanigans of Emir Abdullah, the son of the “duped” Sharif Husain.[23] The story has it that Abdullah was on his way to what is now known as Syria to liberate it from the French, after they had thrown out his brother Faysal as its ruler. 

Therefore to forestall any dispute with its co-imperialist, the British eventually placated Abdullah by making him ruler, firstly on a six month probation and then permanently, of this geographical patch of Palestine, the area east of the river Jordan. It became known as Trans-Jordan. In the negotiations conducted with the head of the Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill in Jerusalem Abdullah, did ask whether: 

“His Majesty’s Government mean to establish a Jewish kingdom west of the Jordan and to turn out the non-Jewish population?..that men could be cut down and transplanted in the same way as trees.”[24]

Churchill denied that this was to be the case. Indeed, he claimed that such assertions were “groundless apprehension among the Arabs in Palestine.”[25] Yet Alec Kirkbride who had served in Trans-Jordan in various capacities [26] since its concoction as well as being an “immense influence” [27] on Emir Abdulla strongly implies in his autobiography that there may already had been a sinister motive. He states that the country was created because the British had intended it: 

“…to serve as a reserve of land for use in the resettlement of Arabs once the National Home for the Jews in Palestine…became an accomplished fact.” [28]

With the denial of representative democracy for the indigenous population firmly entrenched in British imperial governance, the total amount of European Jewish settlers in Palestine increased from 60,000 to 180,000 by the end of the 1920’s.  

In August 1929, major disturbances took hold of Palestine which resulted in the deaths of 133 Jews and 116 Arabs. The British government’s then Colonial Secretary, Lord Passfield, launched a commission to investigate the causes of the disturbances. The Shaw report, so-called after Walter Shaw, reported back to parliament in March 1930.  

The report partly concluded that the disturbances were not pre-meditated and furthermore that the indigenous Palestinians were fearful of their future. Land they had tilled for centuries was being sold by absentee landlords and they were being thrown off by the new Zionist landlords. The new landlords employed only Jewish labour, in accordance with Zionist principles and this had led to apprehension.     

Assuredly, certain strategies remained the same. On the eve of the report’s publication Lord Passfield confessed to Weizmann that he opposed “a representative legislative council” because he “feared that such elected bodies might become focuses of legal resistance to the proclaimed policy of the Government and the obligations it had undertaken…”i.e. the Balfour Declaration and the commitment to Jewish immigration. [29]

On the back of this report, the government appointed John Hope Simpson to mainly look into how settlement issues in Palestine could be ameliorated. 

While Hope-Simpson was conducting his survey in Palestine, Zionist representatives in London met with the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Colonies, Dr. Drummond Shiels. Shiels informed the Zionists that Hope-Simpson’s mission was “to examine the possibilities for settlement of Arab fellaheen (i.e. peasants) in Transjordan and Jews in Western Palestine.” [30]

The Shaw Commission’s report and the Hope-Simpson report remained loyal to British Zionism’s gradualist approach in establishing a Jewish majority. This gradualism occasionally came into conflict with the flamboyant Zionism of the representatives of the European settler Jews, who wanted more mass immigration into Palestine. What united British governors and Jewish Zionist was their agreement to deny representative government to the indigenous Palestinians. [31]

Both of these reports formed the basis of the proposed governmental policy known as the Passfield White Paper of October 1930 which aimed to ostensibly restrict Jewish immigration. Others have had a more cynical interpretation of the reports. The author and son of Mark Sykes, Christopher Sykes, claimed that these reports were a: 

“…starting point of a certain rhythm to be noticed from then on in the affairs of Palestine under the Mandate. A Royal Commission goes off to the troubled land; its recommendations lead to the sending of a subsidiary commission to make definitive proposals on how to put the recommendations into effect; the proposals conflict with too much of settled conviction and involve too much political risk to be acted on; both Commissions prove to have been a waste of talent and time. This frequent sending of abortive commissions to Palestine was part of that belief which continues at the present time, namely that if one can only get a clear statement of any problem, its solution must likewise become clear. The belief appears to be true of only a few areas of experience and was never to be true of Palestine.” [32]

Indeed, the White Paper was “aborted” in Parliament by Ramsay MacDonald on 13th February 1931. MacDonald read a letter which in effect abrogated the reports and continued to commit the British government to the Balfour Declaration and implicitly the denial of representative government to Palestine.  

A Zionist historian has argued that it was this repudiation of the reports in this letter which heralded the mass immigration of the early 1930’s. Between 1931 and 1935, Jewish immigration more than doubled to 400,000. [33] Needless to say the horrific growth of anti-semitism in Europe played no small part in Jews fleeing their homes and seeking salvation in either Palestine or elsewhere.

The intensification of British engineered Zionist colonial immigration coupled with denial of representative government led to the three year Palestinian Arab Revolt which began in April 1936. 

Amidst the revolt, Britain launched a Royal Commission enquiry. Yet the Colonial Secretary in this period, William Ormsby-Gore, knew all too well what was at root of the latest disturbances. In June 1936, he stated in parliament that: 

“…The Arabs demand a complete stoppage of all Jewish immigration, a complete stoppage of all sales of land, and the transfer of the Government of Palestine…to what they call a National Government responsible to an elected democratic assembly. Those are their three demands, and quite frankly, those demands cannot possibly be conceded.” [34] 

The Royal Commission was appointed on the 29th July 1936 and was headed by Lord Peel and included five other emissaries, including Professor Reginal Coupland. This Commission is more commonly known as the Peel Report on Palestine and it reported back to parliament on the 7th July 1937.  

The commission interviewed 66 witnesses and although Arabs did initially boycott the process, by the time they decided to co-operate, it may have been too late. On the eve of the Commission meeting its first Arab witness for the report, Coupland informed Weizmann that partition and the establishment of a Jewish state would inevitably be recommended. [35] 

It just maybe a case of extreme coincidence that the reports recommendations dovetailed with British intentions, as expressed in private by Lloyd-George and Balfour almost 20 years previous, in creating a Jewish state. 

Along with partition the commission also recommended population transfer between Britain’s Zionist colonisers and the indigenous population. The report acknowledged that the Palestinians will need to bear the brunt of the population transfer and it also recognised that there are not enough areas for them to be transferred to within Palestine. As the report states: 

“It is the far greater number of Arabs who constitute the major problem; and while some of them could be re-settled on the land vacated by the Jews, far more land would be required for the re-settlement of all of them.” [36]

Therefore, as Alec Kirkbride informed us in his biography and as Emir Abdulla had originally feared: 

“…the execution of large-scale plans for irrigation, water-storage, and development in Trans-Jordan…would make provision for a much larger population than exists there at the present time.” [37]

The report also deceptively charged that the uprising was due to “present antagonism between the races.” That is, the uprising arose from racial conflict and not because Britain continuously denied representative democracy to Palestinians so as to guarantee Zionist immigration and colonisation of Palestine. 

In conclusion, the report envisioned that partition and population transfer could be achieved in “less than three years.” [38]

Just after the publication of the report, Weizmann offered Ormsby-Gore, Zionist assistance in transferring the Palestinains of the Galilee to Trans-Jordan. [39]

The report’s findings heralded not only an intensification of the revolt, but also an intensification of British counter-insurgency operations. As such, it was largely in this period that the “best endeavours” aspect of the Balfour Declaration manifested itself into naked British Imperialist power.  

Dr. Laleh Khallili has written how in this period Palestine became a “hub” for British counter-insurgency methods.[40] These methods were imported from its other colonies such as South Africa or Peshawar, India and then utilised and “consolidated” in Palestine, with the results later to be used in Kenya, Malaya or Oman in the post Word War 2 period. Blockhouses, barriers and fences were used to limit or contain population movement. Barbed wire was purchased by Zionist settlers from Mussolini’s Italy for the fences. 

Dobermans from South Africa were imported into Palestine to intimidate Palestinians; the use of human shields which was used in Peshawar, India was incorporated by the British in Palestine. More often than not, when an operation was finished the British patrol in the vehicle would sharply break, for the Arab to fall off the bonnet and then be deliberately run over. [41] 

British officers destroyed, vandalised and looted villages. [42] At times, burning the villages and making a mockery of their hoarded food stuffs. [43]  Waterboarding, [44] blowing up a bus full of Arab detainees in a collective punishment reprisal [45] and extrajudicial killings [46] and of course that Balfourian “best endeavour” of them all, robbing children of their pocket money [47] were all methods utilised to crush the revolt. However, 

“…the most significant legacy of British counterinsurgency in the Arab Revolt was the training of men who were to become the founding fathers and highest ranking officers of the Israeli military…” [48]  

As such it is difficult not to notice the strong, if not overbearing, similarities between the practises of the Zionist forces in 1947-48 and the British counter-insurgency operations during the Arab revolt of the late 1930’s. Some of these practises continue to this day in occupied Palestine. [49]

The revolt was finally crushed in 1939. According to Ghassan Kanafani, the deaths and causalities inflicted on the Palestinians in this period would have been proportionally equivalent to 200,000 Britons killed, 600,000 wounded and 1,224,000 arrested. [50] In other words Palestinian society was politically and militarily decimated. 

In the same year, Britain revoked the Peel report as well another subsidiary report with the 1939 White Paper. Christopher Sykes argued that this was done largely to placate the Arab populations of the Middle East because, 

“The concern of the Arabic-speaking world with Palestine was not a chimera imagined by orientalists and Arabophils. It was a real fact and an extremely dangerous one.” [51]

with a view to keeping Arabs on side in Imperial Britain’s war with Nazi Germany: 

“…the White Paper…did succeed, very imperfectly but in the main, in its primary object. It cut the ground away from extremist agitators. Slowly rebellion died away in Palestine, and throughout the war years there was no formidable Arab rising against the British in the country.” [52]  

Once the war was over, and Britain handed over the Mandate to the United Nations, it is no surprise that although it abstained, it insisted on the four commonwealth countries to vote for the partition resolution in November 1947. [53]

The resolution heralded a new chapter in Palestinian history. With the indigenous Palestinians still reeling from British violence and brutality of the late 1930’s, Kanafani argued that the ensuing ‘civil war’ in 1947-48 was merely a belated cleaning up operation by the British trained Zionist forces. He states the Zionists were plucking “the fruits of the defeat of the 1936 revolt which the outbreak of the war had prevented it from doing sooner.” [54]

Can one really be surprised that Britain failed to keep law and order between November 1947 and the official end of the Mandate in May 1948 when half of the actual ethnic cleansing of Palestine took place?  

Sixty years later, Lord Balfour’s distant successor, the British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, addressed the Labour Party’s Friends of Israel, Annual Lunch and endorsed the conclusions of the Peel Report. He claimed the then vision to partition Palestine was “good”. [55] 

Naturally, he failed to mention that this “good” vision was and is firmly rooted in Britain’s brutal denial of democracy to the indigenous Arab population with a view to establish a Jewish majority in Palestine.

The utilisation of European Jewish suffering in the first half of the twentieth century in arguments to impose Zionist-Jewish immigration and colonialism on Palestine, are if not disingenuous, then certainly incorrect. The British project to colonise Palestine with Zionist Jews predates the intensification of Jewish persecution, the kristallnacht and the Nazi holocaust. 

What mattered to Imperial Britain was the supposed security of the Suez Canal and it wanted to plant, what it thought would be a reliable population in Palestine with a view to secure it. As the political academic (whose family were early settlers in Palestine), Mayer Verete argued:

“…the British wanted Palestine – and very much so – for their own interests, and it was not the Zionists who drew them to the country…had there been no Zionists in those days the British would have had to invent them.” [56]

Indeed, from the early 1940’s onwards Britain began floating the idea of Jewish-Zionist colonisation of what is now eastern North Africa and specifically Libya, which according to Churchill would be “linked (if they so chose) with a Jewish home in Palestine.” [57] European Zionists did not seem to be as enthusiastic as British imperialists with this idea. [58] 

In conclusion, the “only democracy in the Middle East” as Israel’s supporters fondly refer to the British engineered colonial entity, is founded not only on ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian population but also on Imperial Britain’s denial of democracy to the Palestinians during the mandate period.

Nu’man Abd al-Wahid is a UK-based freelance Anglo-Yemeni writer specialising in the political relationship between the British state and the Arab World.

FOOTNOTES

1. PRO FO 371/6343.

2. Quoted in Angela Clifford, “Serfdom or Ethnic Cleansing? – A British Discussion on Palestine – Churchill’s Evidence to the Peel Commission (1937), Athol Books, Belfast and London, 2003, pg. 34

3. For an account of the ethnic cleansing that took place under the British Mandate see, Rosemarie M. Esber, “Under the Cover of War”, Aribicus Books and Media, Alexandria (V.A), 2009. For an account of the entire ethnic cleansing see Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Oneworld Publications, Oxford, 2007.

4. George Antonious, The Arab Awakening, Simon Publications, Florida (2001) Appendix A and D.

5. Christopher Sykes, “Cross Roads to Israel”, Collins, London, 1965, pg. 15

6. Randolph Churchill, “Winston S. Churchill – Companion Volume 4, Part 3”, Heinemann, London, 1977, pg.1559.

7. ibid. Meeting took place in July 1921.

8. Quoted in Sykes, op. cit. pg.17

9. Ramsay MacDonald, “A Socialist in Palestine”, Jewish Socialist Labour Confederation – Poale Zion, 1922, pg.18

10. Ibid. pg.17 1

1. ibid. pg.19

12. Josiah Wedgwood, “The Seventh Dominion”, The Labour Publishing Company Limited, London, 1928, pg. 4

13. Ibid. pg. 33

14. Harry Defries, Conservative Party Attitudes to Jews, Frank Cass, London, 2001, pg. 32.

15. ibid. pg. 24

16. ibid pg. 45

17. Winston Churchill, “Zionism vs. Bolshevism”, Illustrated Sunday Herald, (London), 8th February 1920. http://www.fpp.co.uk/bookchapters/WSC/WSCwrote1920.html (accessed 14th June 2011).

18. Wedgewood. op cit. pg3

19. Margaret Macmillan, The Peacemakers, John Murray, London, 2003, pg.19-21.

20. Paul Kelemen, “Zionism and the British Labour Party: 1917-1939”, Social History, Vol. 21, No.1, January 1996, pg73

21. ibid.

22. Commons Debates, Fifth Series, Vol. 143, Column 307, 14th June 1921

23. T.E.Lawrence (“of Arabia”) quoted in Ma’an Abu Nowar, “The History of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan: Vol. 1”, Icatha Press, Oxford, 1989 pg.10

24. CAB 24/126

25. ibid.

26. Abu Nowar, op cit, pg.25, pg.31, pg.172 and pg.195

27. Ilan Pappe, Britain and the Middle East Conflict 1948-1951, MacMillan Press, London, 1988, pg.xiii.

28. A.S.Kirkbride, A Crackle of Thorns, John Murray, London, 1956, g. 19.

29. Joseph Gorney, The British Labour Movement and Zionism, Frank Cass and Company Limited, London, 1983, pg.69.

30. ibid. pg. 72

31. ibid. pg. 72-75

32. Sykes, op. cit. pg.144

33. Gorny, op. cit. pg.103-104.

34. Commons Debates, Fifth Series, Vol. 313, Column 1324, 19th June 1936.

35. Sykes, op. cit. pg 192 and pg. 198-203.

36. Report of the Palestine Royal Commission, Cmd. 5479 (London, 1937), pg. 391.

37. ibid.

38. ibid.,pg.395.

39. Philip Mattar, The Mufti of Jerusalem: Al-Hajj Amin al-Husayni and the Palestinain National Movement, Columbia University Press, New York, 1988, pg.81.

40. Laleh Khalili, The Location of Palestine in Global Counterinsurgencies, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 42, Issue 3(2010), pg 413-433.

41. Matthew Hughes, The Banality of Brutality: British Armed Forces and the Repression of the Arab Revolt in Palestine, 1936-1939, English Historical Review, 124 (2009), pg. 329

42. ibid. pg.320-322

43. ibid. pg.338-339

44. ibid. pg.331

45. ibid. pg.337

46. ibid. pg.347

47. ibid. pg.328

48. Khalili, op. cit, pg. 418.

49. ibid. For example Khalili draws attention to the destruction of old city of Jaffa by the British in the 1930’s and recent Israeli practices in the ‘West Bank’ of Palestine, specifically, Jenin.

50. Ghassan Kanafani, ‘The 1936 – 39 Revolt in Palestine’, Tricontinental Society, London, 1980, pg27. http://www.newjerseysolidarity.org/resources/kanafani/kanafani4.html (accessed 14th June 2011).

51. Sykes, op. cit, pg.238

52. ibid pg.239.

53. Professor Walid Khalidi, “From 1947 to 1897: From Partition to Basle”, Palestine Conference: The Nakba: Sixty Years of Dispossession, Sixty Years of Resistance, London School of Oriental and African Studies, 21st February, 2009. The author was present. Indeed, the first time I heard, in a blunt manner, that Israel was based on the denial of Paestinian democracy was here.

54. Kanafani, op. cit, pg. 30.

55. David Miliband, “Prospects in the Middle East”, Annual Lunch of Labour Friends of Israel, London, 4th November 2008. http://davidmiliband.net/speech/prospects-in-the-middle-east/ (accessed 13th June 2011).

56. Mayir Verete,“From Palmerston to Balfour: Collected Essays of Mayir Verete”,London, Frank Cass, 1992, pg.3-4

57. Gorney, op. cit. pg. 175. British Labour Party support for “throwing open Libya…to Jewish settlement” (Hugh Dalton, British Chancellor 1945-47) see John Callaghan, ‘The Labour Party and Foreign Policy: A history’ Routledge, London, 2007, pg. 158.

58. For a British discussion of this initiative see, W. R. Louis, Imperialism at Bay, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1977, pg.58-62

About Nu'man Abd al-Wahid

Nu’man Abd al-Wahid is a Yemeni-English independent researcher specialising in the political relationship between the British state and the Arab World. His main focus is on how the United Kingdom has historically maintained its political interests in the Arab World. A full collection of essays can be accessed at http://www.churchills-karma.com/. Twitter handle: @churchillskarma.

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