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EPISODE 7 - THE LEGAL OBLIGATIONS OF THE MANDATE FOR PALESTINE

Article 2 of the Mandate states: “The Mandatory” – that is Great Britain – “shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the Jewish national home …” 

"The Mandate of Palestine was specific about who was the beneficiary of this right of self-determination.  The preamble to the Mandate tells us that the Mandate was created in order to reconstitute the Jewish homeland on its ancient land.  If you read through the Mandate you’ll see that there are a number of provisions designed to guarantee that.  The Mandatory authority, the British, were supposed to co-operate with the Jewish Agency in running the Mandate, they were supposed to encourage and facilitate the acquisition of citizenship by Jews, immigration by Jews, close settlement of Jews on the land.  So there are all these provisions that show us that it was a Mandate designed to guarantee the self-determination of the Jewish people …"  Professor Avi Bell, Professor of Law at San Diego University School of Law

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Map of Mandate for Palestine

 

"The whole idea of the Mandate was for the Jews to be given the right to immigrate so that the population could increase, so that while the Trust is on-going they would be stronger, more numerous, and then could declare the independence of their country. That was the whole strategy." Dr Jacques Gauthier

British soldiers in Hebron, 1929

 

"It’s worth noting here that the Mandate does not name any other ethnic group, or any other peoples than the Jewish people as far as obtaining through the Mandate political authority over this territory. It does mention the non-Jewish communities and does preserve for them, by the language of the Mandate, their civil and religious rights. But all the political rights were reserved to the Jewish people." Dr Cynthia Wallace, Author, Foundations of the International Legal Rights of the Jewish People and the Land of Israel

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Jewish pioneers, Ottomon era Palestine

 

"The Mandate does not even mention ‘Arab’, it mentions ‘non-Jewish communities.’ Consequently, I interpret this very much in the same way as the Ottomans looked at the ‘Milit system’ for the non-Islamic communities to whom they gave a certain degree of self-government and security for their religious interests. Similarly the Jews, if and when they were to become the majority population are obliged to recognise the ‘civil and religious rights’ of, again, non-Jewish communities such as Islam, such as Baha’i, Christian and others." Dr Gerald Adler

Ottomon era Jews in Palestine

"I want to underline that the primary objective of the Mandate for Palestine was to grant political rights in respect of Palestine to the Jewish people. It was applied in favour of the Arabs in the area of Mesopotamia, and the areas known as Syria and Lebanon. But in Palestine the political rights of self-determination was exercised in favour of the Jewish people. As we turn to Jerusalem, it’s important to understand the centrality of Jerusalem in Jewish history, in Judaism, in order to understand how one can reconstitute what these Jewish people used to have." Dr Jacques Gauthier

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Chaim Weizmann and Emir Faisal

 

So, by 1922 there were three Mandates for the purpose of forming four Arab nations – all of which had gained their independence by 1946 – and so the agreement that Chaim Weizmann made with Emir Faisal back in 1919 was entirely fulfilled. However, the agreement was quickly abandoned by the Arabs.

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