In What Ways Did Developments in Palestine Increase Hostility Between Jews and Arabs, 1916 – 1947?

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  • Topic: British Mandate of Palestine, Israel, Zionism
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  • Published : February 29, 2012
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In what ways did developments in Palestine increase hostility between Jews and Arabs, 1916 – 1947?

There are several ways in which the developments in Palestine increased hostility between Jews and Arabs. Mainly, the Balfour Declaration, the decision of the Peel commission, violent actions of Arab and Jewish Military groups, and World War Two. All these ways are linked to one another, therefore dramatically increasing hostility between Jews and Arabs in Palestine.

The Balfour Declaration (written in 1917) announced that the British favoured Zionism and creating a Jewish homeland in Palestine. This made Jews feel safer and reassured because they thought that this would be the end of anti-Semitism for them. However when the Arabs found out about this, they felt betrayed. Just a year before that, England had promised to help Arabs create a free state. They did not keep this promise, instead they made Palestine their mandate, and let thousands of Jews take over their land. Arabs were not only mad at England, but also at Jews, whose number in Palestine dramatically increased after the Balfour Declaration. Arabs felt like Jews decided to come into their country without noticing that Palestine was already inhabited, increasing hostility between them.

British felt responsible for the hate and inability to live with one another between Jews and Arabs and made a British Royal Commission; the Peel Commission. Peel decided it would be best to separate the Jews and Arabs by creating two separate states for them. The Arabs’ reaction to this was very negative. Not only did Peel want to give Jews a large part of their country even though there still wasn’t that many of them, it was also the part with access to the sea, while most of what they got was desert. This felt unfair and caused many rebellions, and a big one in 1936 including which included a general strike.

This and all the other strikes were usually led by Arab militant groups. In order stop these...
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