Timeline--Britain

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BRITISH INVOLVEMENT IN THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT:

1915: British High Commissioner in Egypt Sir Henry McMahon exchange letters with Hussein ibn Ali, Sharif of Mecca during World War I concerning the future political status of the Arab lands of the Middle East, where the United Kingdom was seeking to bring about an armed revolt against the Ottoman Empire's rule. McMahon's promises were seen by Arab nationalists as a pledge of immediate Arab independence. These correspondences were later known as the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence.

1916: Britain and France define their respective spheres of post-World War I influence and control in the Middle East reached on May 16, 1916, an understanding known as The Sykes-Picot Agreement. Britain was allocated control of areas roughly comprising Jordan, Iraq and a small area around Haifa. France was allocated control of South-eastern Turkey, Northern Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. The controlling powers were left free to decide on state boundaries within these areas. The area which subsequently came to be called Palestine was to be internationally administed pending consultations with Russia and other powers. -This agreement is viewed by many as conflicting with the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence of 1915–1916. The conflicting agreements are the result of changing progress during the war, switching in the earlier correspondence from needing Arab help to subsequently trying to enlist the help of Jews in the United States in getting the US to join the First World War, in conjunction with the Balfour Declaration, 1917.

1917: British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour sent a letter dated November 2, 1917, to Lord Rothschild (Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild), a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation, a private Zionist organization. The letter stated the position, agreed at a British Cabinet meeting on October 31, 1917, that the British government supported Zionist plans for a Jewish "national home" in Palestine, with the condition that nothing should be done which might prejudice the rights of existing communities there.

1918: Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, the League of Nations granted the British and the French temporary colonial administration over former Ottoman provinces south of present day Turkey. These regions had been called vilayets under the Ottomans, but were referred to as mandates at the time, after the process that allocated them. The two powers drew arbitrary borders, dividing the area into four sections. Three of these -- Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon -- survive to this day as states. The fourth section was created from what had been known as "southern Syria." The region was officially named the British Mandate of Palestine, and was called "Falastin" in Arabic and "Palestina (E.I.)" in Hebrew. The British revised its borders repeatedly, but under the direction of Winston Churchill the region was divided along the Jordan River, forming two administrative regions. The portion east of the Jordan River was then known as Transjordan, and later became the Kingdom of Jordan. The area to the west of the Jordan retained the former name of Palestine.

1920: Under the leadership of Haj Amin al-Husayni, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the local Arabs rebelled against the British, and attacked the growing Jewish population repeatedly. These sporadic attacks began with the riots in Palestine of 1920 and Jaffa riots (or "Hurani Riots") of 1921.

1929: Riots broke up in Palestine and 67 Jews were massacred in Hebron, and the survivors were evacuated.

1936: In April, the Arab leadership in the British Mandate of Palestine, led by Hajj Amin al-Husayni, declared a general strike to protest against, and put an end to Jewish immigration to Palestine. The revolt known as the Great Uprising was driven primarily by Arab hostility to Britain's tolerance of restricted Jewish immigration and land purchases which Palestinian Arabs believed was leading them to becoming a minority in the territory and future nation-state. They demanded immediate elections which, based on their demographic majority, would have resulted in a government under their control.

1937: A British Royal Commission of Inquiry set out to propose changes to the British Mandate of Palestine following the outbreak of the Great Uprising. The Peel Commission proposed a partition between Jewish and Arab areas that was rejected by both the Arabs and the Zionist Congress.

1939: In May 1939, the British published a White Paper that marked the end of its commitment to the Jews under the Balfour Declaration. It provided for the establishment of a Palestinian (Arab) state within ten years and the appointment of Palestinian ministers to begin taking over the government as soon as "peace and order" were restored to Palestine; 75,000 Jews would be allowed into Palestine over the next five years, after which all immigration would be subject to Arab consent; all further land sales would be severely restricted.

1943: The Irgun and Stern Gang/Lehi (an armed underground Zionist faction in pre-state Israel (British Palestine) that had as its goal the eviction of the British from Palestine, to allow unrestricted immigration of Jews and the formation of a Jewish state) stepped up harassment of British forces in an attempt to obtain unrestricted Jewish immigration after news regarding Nazi persecution of Jews in Europe increased.

1944: Lord Moyne, the British minister resident in Cairo and a close personal friend of Churchill, was assassinated by Lehi/Stern Gang. As the highest ranking British government representative in the region and was directly responsible for blocking Europe's Jews from reaching Palestine during the Holocaust, his assassination alienated the British prime minister, who until then had supported a Jewish national home in Palestine. Subsequently, no British government considered setting up a Jewish state in Palestine. The assassination also led the Jewish Agency's clandestine military arm, Haganah, to cooperate with the British against the Irgun.

1945: British encouraged Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Transjordan, and Yemen to form the Arab League to coordinate policy between the Arab states. Iraq and Transjordan both ruled by the Hashemite family coordinated policies closely, signing a mutual defense treaty, while Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia feared that Transjordan would annex part or all of Palestine, and use it as a basis to attack or undermine Syria, Lebanon, and the Hijaz (The Kingdom of Hejaz (1916 to 1925) was a state in Hejaz region, ruled by the Hashemite family. In 1925 the Sa'ūds captured the holy city of Mecca from Sherif Hussein ibn Ali ending 700 years of Hashemite tutelage of the Islamic holy places. On 10 January 1926 Ibn Saud was proclaimed King of the Hejaz in the Great Mosque at Mecca. In 1927, following the defeat of Husayn, the British government recognized the power of the Saud family, led by Ibn Saud, over much of what is today Saudi Arabia. By 1932, having conquered most of the Peninsula, Saud renamed the area from the lands of Nejd and Hejaz to Saudi Arabia. He then proclaimed himself King of Saudi Arabia, with the support of the British government.

-In November 1945, the Arab League reestablished the Arab Higher Committee as a supreme executive body of Palestinian Arabs in the territory of the British Mandate of Palestine, but it fell apart due to infighting.

1947: The British Empire by 1947 realized that Palestine was becoming a major trouble spot, requiring some 100,000 troops and a huge maintenance budget. The British decided to present the Palestine problem to the United Nations (UN) which would eventually lead to the partition plan of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab after the United Nations General Assembly approved the UN General Assembly Resolution 181, to resolve the Arab-Jewish conflict. 1948: The State of Israel was proclaimed on May 14, 1948, one day before the expiry of the British mandate over Palestine. Immediately after its independence, the Arab armies attacked the State of Israel. This was the first in a series of open wars in the Arab-Israeli conflict. - Lehi/Stern Gang assassinated the UN Mediator, Count Folke Bernadotte on September 17, 1948, who had been sent to broker a settlement in the dispute between the Arabs and the Jews. 1956: United Kingdom along with France and Israel attacked Egypt on Oct. 31, 1956 as a result of Nasser nationalizing of the Suez Canal and expelling British oil and embassy officials after the U.S. and Britain withdrew their pledges of financial aid for the building of the Aswan High Dam. The alliance between the two European nations and Israel was largely one of convenience; the European nations had economic and trading interests in the Suez Canal, while Israel wanted to reopen the canal for Israeli shipping and end Egyptian-supported guerrilla incursions.

-The Suez crisis resulted in the resignation of the British Conservative Prime Minister, Sir Anthony Eden, and marked the completion of the shift in the global balance of power from traditional European powers to the United States and the Soviet Union and was a milestone in the decline of the British Empire.

1957: The British invading forces withdrew from the Suez Canal in March 1957. After Suez, Aden and Iraq became the main bases for the British in the region

1967: Some Arabs believe that the United States and Britain provided active support for the Israeli Air Force in the Six-Day War/June War that erupted between Egypt and the nearby Arab states of, Jordan, Iraq, and Syria on June 5th. Claims of American and British combat support for Israel began on the second day of the war. Radio Cairo and the government newspaper Al-Ahram made a number of claims, among them: that U.S. and British carrier-based aircraft flew sorties against the Egyptians; that U.S. aircraft based in Libya attacked Egypt; and that U.S. spy satellites provided imagery to Israel.

1973: The United Kingdom received almost uninterrupted supply of oil during the 1973 oil crisis due to its refusal to allow America to use their airfields and embargoed arms and supplies to both the Arabs and the Israelis after the fourth Arab-Israeli War broke-out.

-Britain for the first time sided with the Arab powers against Israel on the United Nations Security Council after Sadat of Egypt had worked to curry favor in Europe and made some success before the war. The UK had traditionally been an ally of Israel, and Harold Wilson's government had supported the Israelis during the Six Day War, but his successor, Ted Heath, had reversed this policy in 1970, calling for Israel to withdraw to its pre-1967 borders.

1975: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland opposed along with 34 other members the UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 which equated Zionism with racism.

2006: The British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, urged for a calm mediation between Hezbollah and Israel after the eruption of hostilities. He also asserted Israel's right to self-defense but stated that he understand the plight of Lebanon and the Lebanese government. "What is happening is absolutely tragic for all the people involved…”

-British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett stated: "It's absolutely dreadful, it's quite appalling. We have repeatedly urged Israel to act proportionately." After the 2006 Qana air strike that led to the greatest loss of civilian life in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_War

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suez_Crisis

http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2006/07/4ae2a98d-13b9-40eb-b3d8-3ba52d5fc35f.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1948_Arab-Israeli_War

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-Day_War

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_Attrition

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yom_Kippur_War

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/013B1ECF-6E04-401E-A62F-2E70D849E39B.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Israeli_invasion_of_Lebanon_1982

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Intifada

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1844214.stm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Intifada

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UN_General_Assembly_Resolution_3379

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_David_Accords

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_League_and_the_Arab-Israeli_conflict

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oslo_accords

http://history.sandiego.edu/gen/WW2Timeline/palestine.html

http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/2ee9468747556b2d85256cf60060d2a6/e9e216ed3ca6cde085256997006717ec!OpenDocument

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hussein-McMahon_Correspondence

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balfour_Declaration%2C_1917

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sykes-Picot_Agreement

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Mandate_of_Palestine

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peel_Commission

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Uprising

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lehi_%28group%29#Assassination_of_Lord_Moyne

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lehi_%28group%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibn_Saud_of_Saudi_Arabia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Hejaz

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