1901: Jewish National Fund starts buying land


The Jewish Agency Buys Land, Evicts Palestinian Farmers, and Prepares For Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians

The Jewish National Fund was the principal Zionist tool for the colonialism of Palestine. Jews started buying Arab land and evicting the Palestinian tenant farmers. Much of the land was held by the JNF as ‘custodian’ on behalf of the Jewish people. The land was then used to settle Jewish immigrants.

During the Mandatory years through the Nakba, Yossef Weitz headed the settlement department. The Jewish Agency bought most of their land from absentee landlords who who registered the land out from under peasant farmers and then sold that land to the Jewish Agency, who would promptly evict the farmers who had lived on that land for hundred if not thousands of years.

Sometimes, these evictions were forcible. Forced to abandon their traditional way of life, displaced peasant farmers moved to urban areas, where economic opportunities were limited. This influx of dispossessed farmers into cities created a sense of anger and frustration among them, contributing to social and political tensions that played a significant role in the Arab-Israeli “conflict”. […]

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  1. Ilan Pappé, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2006), 20 - 23
  2. Ron David, Arabs and Israel for Beginners (For Beginners, 2001), 98-99

1915: Hussein McMahon Correspondence


Britain Promises Palestine to the Arabs in Exchange for Arabs Entering WWI to Fight the Ottomans

The Hussein-McMahon Correspondence took place between July 1915 and March 1916, between Hussein bin Ali, the Sharif of Mecca, and Sir Henry McMahon, the British High Commissioner in Egypt. 

The correspondence centered on the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire and British support for it, with discussions about the post-war recognition and independence of an Arab state in exchange for Arab support against the Ottomans. Part of the promised homeland included Palestine.

The British would later claim that they intended to exclude Palestine from the land promised to the Arabs.

The United Nations does not see there being much controversy. Palestine was part of the land promised by Britain to the Arabs. […]

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1916 – Sykes-Picot Agreement

The French and the British Make a Secret Agreement Dividing up the Land Promised to the Arabs

The Sykes–Picot Agreement was a 1916 secret treaty between the United Kingdom and France, with assent from the Russian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy, to define their mutually agreed spheres of influence and control in an eventual partition of the Ottoman Empire. France and British representative signed the agreement a year after the Hussein-McMahon […]

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1916: Arab Revolt Against Ottoman Empire

Lawrence of Arabia: Enticed by the British With a Promise of an Arab Homeland, Arabs Join WWI Against the Ottoman Empire

On the basis of the McMahon–Hussein Correspondence, exchanged between Henry McMahon of the United Kingdom and Hussein bin Ali of the Kingdom of Hejaz, the rebellion against the ruling Turks was officially initiated at Mecca on 10 June 1916. The primary goal of the Arabs was to establish an independent and unified Arab state stretching […]

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1917: Balfour Declaration


Britain Pledges a Zionist Homeland in Palestine

The Balfour Declaration was a public statement issued by the British Government in 1917 announcing British support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, then an Ottoman region with a small minority Jewish population. The statement came in the form of a letter from Britain’s then-foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, […]

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1918: Partition of the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire is Divided up Between the French and the British, and Promises Made to the Arabs Are Ignored.

The partition of the Ottoman Empire (30 October 1918 – 1 November 1922) was a geopolitical event that occurred after World War I and the occupation of Istanbul by British, French, and Italian troops in November 1918. The partitioning was planned in several agreements made by the Allied Powers early in the course of World […]

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