Palestinians Have Suffered a Century of Colonial Arrogance

November has been a bleak month for Palestinians, at the mercy of ruthless and indifferent colonial powers for a century now.  November 2017 marks the centennial of the Balfour Declaration, a single-paragraph letter from the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Balfour, to World Zionist Organization leader Lord Rothschild sealing a quid pro quo to save Britain from defeat in World War I and sacrificing the Arabs of Palestine in exchange.

Since the Ottoman Empire was allied with Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1916, the UK and France with characteristic colonial arrogance decided in the Sykes-Picot Agreement how to divide up Ottoman Arabia if victorious. Meanwhile, however, British forces urged the Arabs to revolt and fight with them, for which the Arabs were promised political independence in the McMahon–Hussein Correspondence of 1915-1916 should the Triple Entente prevail.  On this pledge, Arab leaders fielded some 70,000 troops under mixed Arab and British command including Capt. T.E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”) fighting major battles from June 1916 through October 1918 in the Palestinian cities of Gaza, Rafah, Jenin, Jerusalem, Hebron, Nablus, Tulkarm, Nazareth, Beersheba and Tiberius, as well as key cities in Syria.

The Arab-assisted Entente prevailed, whereupon an Anglo-French Declaration of November 7, 1918 assured “the establishment of national governments and administrations deriving their authority from the initiative and free choice of the indigenous…

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