Timeline – 1914-1948

November 1914 Palestine was first discussed at British Cabinet level on 9 November 1914. After the meeting Lloyd George assured Herbert Samuel, “he was very keen to see a Jewish state established in Palestine.”
January 1915 Samuel, a member of the British cabinet, circulated a memorandum on ‘The Future of Palestine’ to the Cabinet.
1915 The De Bunsen committee
In April 1915 Prime Minister Herbert Asquith appointed the de Bunsen Committee to identify the Ottoman territories that were of interest to Britain. They considered Haifa port in Palestine a useful transport link to Mesopotamia, but they did not see any value in the rest of Palestine.
1915 The Damascus Protocol was a document given to Faisal bin Hussein on 23 May 1915 by the Arab secret societies al-Fatat and Al-‘Ah on his second visit to Damascus during a mission to consult Turkish officials in Constantinople.
1915 Disastrous Gallipoli campaign, final British withdrawal December 1915
1915 24 October 1915. With defeat in Gallipoli seeming inevitable, Sir Henry McMahon offers Sharif Hussein support for an Arab State excluding areas West of Damascus, if he helps the British against the Ottomans. [See Related Page]
1916 The secret Sykes-Picot agreement divides the Middle East between France, Britain, Russia and Italy. [See Related Page]
1917 Great Britain, during World War I, issues the Balfour Declaration, promising a Jewish national home in Palestine: “it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country. [See Related Page]”
1918 Declaration to the Seven, Britain defines policy that Arab governments liberated by the action of Arab armies would be based on the principle of “consent of the governed”.
November 1918 The Anglo-French declaration implies that the indigenous populations, previously under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, would be granted self determination. [See Related Page]
1919 Paris Peace Conference Groups of imperial nations such as France and Britain sought to divide the Ottoman Empire among themselves using the mandate system while anti-imperialist leaders such as President Wilson and Amir Faysal sought to oppose such plans.
1919 King Crane Commission set up by President Wilson. It recommended Syria and Palestine should be under a single mandate and serious modifications to the Zionist programme. The report was prepared in 1919 but suppressed until 1922.
1920 Sir Herbert Samuel, Jewish and Zionist, was appointed to the position of High Commissioner in 1920, before the Council of the League of Nations approved a British mandate for Palestine.
1920 Wyndam Deedes was Chief Secretary to Herbert Samuel from 1920-22. He was a committed believer in Zionism as the fulfilment of the Old Testament prophecies.
1920 San Remo conference at which Britain obtained the mandate for Palestine.
1920 Arab anti Jewish riots in Palestine. Palin Commission Report on the riots suppressed.
1921 The Rutenberg concession: Britain granted the Jewish owned Palestine Electricity Corporation, founded by Zionist Pinhas Rutenberg, a 70 year monopoly concession to utilize the Jordan and Yarmouk Rivers’ water for generating electricity.Thus awarding a Jewish syndicate wide powers over the economic, social and industrial conditions of an Arab community…for no less than seventy years – in the process ignoring a whole stream of quite reliable applications…from native sources in Palestine in line with a deliberate policy of economic preference to the Zionists. The concession denied Arab farmers the right to use the Yarmouk and Jordan Rivers without permission. Permission was never granted.
January to March 1923 JMN Jeffries publishes a series of articles in the Daily Mail. These presented a hitherto uninformed British readership with details of official promises made to the Arabs in 1915-16 of post-war independence for Palestine in exchange for their support in the struggle against the Ottoman Empire and its German ally – something that London later reneged on.
3rd June 1922 Churchill White Paper. asserting, among other things, that there had been no promise of political independence to Palestine in the form of the war-time McMahon-Hussein correspondence
21st June 1922 Palestine Mandate defeated in the House of Lords 60-29 The motion read: That the Mandate for Palestine in its present form is inacceptable to this House, because it directly violates the pledges made by His Majesty’s Government to the people of Palestine in the Declaration of October, 1915, and again in the Declaration of November, 1918, and is, as at present framed, opposed to the sentiments and wishes of the great majority of the people of Palestine
22nd July 1922 Meeting at Balfour’s home in London. Foreign Secretary Balfour and Prime Minister Lloyd George confirm verbally to Weizmann that ‘by the Declaration they always meant an eventual Jewish state’. Colonial Secretary, Churchill [responsible for Palestine] also present at the meeting when Lloyd George tells Churchill that ‘we’ must not allow such a thing as representative government to happen in Palestine. Sahar Huneidi, A Broken Trust p 59
24 July 1922 Palestine Mandate ratified when Churchill succeeded by a House of Commons vote in overturning June 21st vote in the House of Lords in which a clear majority of peers had rejected Britain`s Palestine policy.
1923 Sept Palestine mandate comes into force.
1929 The Palestine riots in August 1929 in Jerusalem, Hebron and Safed
1929 Shaw Commission Report established to investigate the riots.
1930 On January 1, 1930, Palestine Potash Limited given the “Concession for the extraction of salts and minerals in the Dead Sea”. Moshe Novomeysky was one of the directors and the company had been incorporated in England in 1929. The company became of great importance during the second World war when German and French supply of crucial chemicals stopped. Nationalised by Israel 1951.
1930 Hope Simpson Enquiry The report recommended limiting Jewish immigration based on the economic absorptive capacity of Palestine.
1930 Passfield White Paper was a formal statement of British Policy in Palestine. Zionists claimed that it backtracked on commitments in the Balfour Declaration’
1931 MacDonald letter was a letter written by the Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald which was considered a withdrawal of the Passfield White Paper.
1933 Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany. Security services (SD) begin plans for “final solution”.
1936 Palestinian Arabs demand a halt to Jewish immigration and a ban on land sales to Jews. British troops attempt to assert control, but violence continues. Britain hangs or imprisons most of the Arab leadership. See Hughes for more detail.
1937 The Peel Commission recommends partition of Palestine between Arabs and Jews.
1937 Palestine (Defence) Order in Council 1937 enacted emergency laws such as House Demolitions, Administrative detention and many more
1938 Captain Orde Wingate, a Christian Zionist intelligence officer, sets up Special Night Squads, a joint British Jewish unit for night operations against Arabs. Described as a form of state terrorism.
1938 Woodhead Commission Report was instructed to gather evidence from the various parties and to recommend boundaries for two self-sufficient states, one Arab and one Jewish, to replace the British Mandate
1938 Kristallnacht marks intensification of anti-Semitism, with increasingly violent attacks on Jewish people and property. Plans for deportation of Jews from Germany and Austria, and seizure of their assets, by SD. Concentration camps planned. Jewish refugees fled to several countries, including Britain, the Americas, South Africa, Australia, and Palestine.
1939 In the British White Paper of 1939 Britain announces severe restrictions on Jewish immigration and land purchases in Palestine. Violence erupts from Jewish militants.
1939-45 Second World War follows German invasion of Poland. Polish Jews ghettoised, deported to concentration camps, and exterminated, along with those of Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Netherlands, Belgium, and the occupied parts of France and Russia. Further migration to Palestine and elsewhere when concentration camps liberated.
1942-47 France funds Jewish extremist organisations, Stern Gang and Irgun, against the British.
1944 Murder of Lord Moyne by the Stern Gang.
1945 Britain creates the Defence (Emergency) Regulations which were an expansion of the laws first created in 1937. Many were incorporated into Israeli law.
29th November
Britain lets the United Nations decide what to do about Palestine, which is partitioned into Jewish, Arab, and international areas (Jerusalem and Bethlehem). Fifty-five percent of the territory is allocated to the Jewish state.
  Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan are now independent states.
December 1947 – April 1948
Nakba commences. Mass expulsion of Palestinians by Jewish forces. ie whilst the British were still there.
By April 1948 Palestinians driven from 13 main cities including Haifa, Nazareth and Jaffa (See Wikipedia)
22nd February 1948 The United Kingdom Government announced that Palestine would no longer form part of the sterling bloc. Palestinian pounds no longer convertible to Sterling at parity as they had been previously. (See UN paper)
April 1948 Massacre of Deir Yassin.
Jaffa, Haifa and Jerusalem depopulated.
May 1948 The British mandate over Palestine terminates. Around 250,000 Palestinians already expelled.
  Israel declares independence and Truman recognises Israel. Count Bernadotte appointed as UN mediator.  
12 June 1948 12 June Israel ordered all commercial banks operating within its territory to “freeze the accounts of all their Arab customers and to stop all transactions on all Arab accounts.” and threatened to revoke the licenses of all banks found to be in non-compliance. By the end of December 1948, every bank operating in what had become Israel had obeyed the order, and thus, barely six months after the creation of the state of Israel, all Arab Palestinians, almost all of whom were already homeless and scattered in refugee camps throughout the Arab world, had lost access to the money and valuables which they had deposited in their banks for safe- keeping. (See A History of Money in Palestine from 1900 to Present p-105)1948
Nakba continues Arab armies attack, mainly outside the area proposed for a Jewish State. Israel fights to extend beyond what it was offered and prevails.
September 1948 Count Bernadotte assassinated by Jewish extremist Stern Gang.
December 1948 U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194 establishes a conciliation commission and asserts that refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace should be allowed to do so, that compensation should be paid to others, and that free access to the holy places should be assured.
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