How Britain Betrayed the Palestinians’ Demands for Independence and Nationhood

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Beverley Milton-Edwards’ book, Contemporary Politics in the Middle East(Cambridge and Oxford: Polity Press, 2000), has a section on British Rule in Palestine as an example of colonial rule in the region, ‘Case Study: The Palestine Debacle’, pp. 34-39. This section makes it very clear that Britain held out the promise of independence and self-government, not just to the Zionist settlers in Balfour Declaration, but also to the Palestinians. However, it reneged on its promise to them, and in practice generally favoured the Jewish settlers over the indigenous Arab population.

The British had promised the Sharif Hussein independence and nationhood for his people in return for Hussein raising an army against the Ottoman overlords in 1916. The book states

By 1916 the British had succeeded in persuading the Sharif Hussein to raise an Arab army to lead a revolt against their Ottoman rulers. The British, in return for Arab support…

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