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  #1  
Old 11-12-2012, 13:58
jainso31 jainso31 is offline
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Default British Mandate in Palestine 1919-1948

The British Mandate for Palestine (a thankless task) and it's Dissolution

Britain obtained a mandate over the areas which now comprise Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jordan.
In 1921, the British divided this region in two: east of the Jordan River became the Emirate of Transjordan, to be ruled by Faysal’s brother ‘Abdallah, and west of the Jordan River became the Palestine Mandate. This was the first time in modern history that Palestine became a unified political entity.
Arabs were angered by Britain’s failure to fulfill its promise to create an independent Arab state.


Throughout the region, Arabs were angered by Britain’s failure to fulfill its promise to create an independent Arab state, and many opposed British and French control as a violation of their right to self-determination. In Palestine, the situation was more complicated because of the British promise to support the creation of a Jewish national home. The rising tide of European Jewish immigration, land purchases and settlement in Palestine generated increasing resistance by Palestinian Arab peasants, journalists and political figures. They feared that this would lead eventually to the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. Palestinian Arabs opposed the British Mandate because it thwarted their aspirations for self-rule, and opposed massive Jewish immigration because it threatened their position in the country.

In 1920 and 1921, clashes broke out between Arabs and Jews in which roughly equal numbers of both groups were killed. In the 1920s, when the Jewish National Fund purchased large tracts of land from absentee Arab landowners, the Arabs living in these areas were evicted. These displacements led to increasing tensions and violent confrontations between Jewish settlers and Arab peasant tenants.

In 1928, Muslims and Jews in Jerusalem began to clash over their respective communal religious rights at the Wailing Wall (al-Buraq in the Muslim tradition). The Wailing Wall, the sole remnant of the second Jewish Temple, is one of the holiest sites for the Jewish people. But this site is also holy to Muslims, since the Wailing Wall is adjacent to the Temple Mount (the Noble Sanctuary in the Muslim tradition). On the mount is the site of the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, believed to mark the spot from which the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven on a winged horse.

On August 15, 1929, members of the Betar youth movement (a pre-state organization of the Revisionist Zionists) demonstrated and raised a Zionist flag over the Wailing Wall. Fearing that the Noble Sanctuary was in danger, Arabs responded by attacking Jews throughout the country. During the clashes, 64 Jews were killed in Hebron. Their Muslim neighbors saved others. The Jewish community of Hebron ceased to exist when its surviving members left for Jerusalem. During a week of communal violence, 133 Jews and 115 Arabs were killed and many wounded.

European Jewish immigration to Palestine increased dramatically after Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, leading to new land purchases and Jewish settlements. Palestinian resistance to British control and Zionist settlement climaxed with the Arab revolt of 1936-1939, which Britain suppressed with the help of Zionist militias and the complicity of neighboring Arab regimes. After crushing the Arab revolt, the British reconsidered their governing policies in an effort to maintain order in an increasingly tense environment. They issued a White Paper (a statement of political policy) limiting future Jewish immigration and land purchases. The Zionists regarded this as a betrayal of the Balfour Declaration and a particularly egregious act in light of the desperate situation of the Jews in Europe, who were facing extermination. The 1939 White Paper marked the end of the British-Zionist alliance. At the same time, the defeat of the Arab revolt and the exile of the Palestinian political leadership meant that the Palestinian Arabs were politically disorganized during the crucial decade in which the future of Palestine was decided.

The constant attacks on British soldiers created pressure in Britain against continuation of the mandate. The Americans pressed Britain to allow at least 100,000 Jewish refugees to emigrate to Palestine (see President Truman and United States Support for a Jewish State) but the British government deemed that this would alienate the Arabs. The British announced that they would be leaving Palestine and returning the mandate to the United Nations.

A United Nations commission (UNSCOP) was sent to investigate conditions in Palestine. Some of its members witnessed as British troops boarded the illegal immigrant ship Exodus and forced it to return to Hamburg, Germany. The commissioners were also impressed by Zionist development efforts and by the impossibility of forming a unitary state in Palestine due to irremediable enmity of the Arab and Jewish populations. They recommended partition of Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state. The UN voted for partition in UN General Assembly Resolution 181 on November 29, 1947. The USSR supported the resolution in order to combat British imperialist influence in the Middle East.

The British and others had understood that partition would likely result in civil war. They had assessed that the Arabs would have the upper hand, and they wanted to create, according to one theory a Jordanian ruled state that would include the West Bank, the Gaza strip and a portion of the Negev, and which would provide them with a Mediterranean base to replace Haifa. The British were convinced that the Jewish state would be pro-Soviet or at least anti-British. This conviction was shared by the United States State department, whose officials were of the opinion that most Jews and especially most Zionists were communists.

Fighting between Jews and Arabs broke out immediately following the partition resolution. When the British left Palestine on May 15, 1948, the Zionists had declared an independent state of Israel (see Israel Declaration of Independence. The armies of several Arab states, including Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Iraq, invaded. The Jordanians confined themselves to Jerusalem, which was to be internationalized and to areas that were to be part of the Palestinian Arab state.

NB On May 14, 1948, on the day in which the British Mandate over a Palestine expired, the Jewish People's Council gathered at the Tel Aviv Museum, and approved the following proclamation, declaring the establishment of the State of Israel. The new state was recognized that night by the United States and three days later by the USSR.

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Old 11-12-2012, 16:23
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Default Re: British Mandate in Palestine 1919-1948

Thanks for starting this topic Jim. I'm interested in the end game, when the RN where on the "Palestine Patrol" as my Dad's old ship HMS Moon was involved. My Dad was demobbed by then, so missed this awful assignment.

Ninian Stewart has written "The Royal Navy and The Palestine Patrol" which is reviewed here http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal...67.1busch.html

this is the content;

Quote:
Few post-World War II peacetime naval assignments were as difficult as that given the Royal Navy off the Palestinian coast from 1945 until Britain withdrew from the Palestinian mandate in 1948. Thousands of desperate [End Page 286] holocaust survivors attempted to escape from Europe to Palestine; they had not only the support of much of world public opinion (though not that of the Arabs), but also the backing of the United Nations and its Relief and Rehabilitation Authority (UNRRA) and a number of European governments, including France and Italy. The Royal Navy, for its part, was struggling to maintain a worldwide presence at a time of serious cutbacks in both ships and men, which made the task no easier.

Ninian Stewart prepared this study as an official Naval Staff History in 1996 essentially as a fiftieth anniversary commemoration; this is the first such compilation to be made available immediately for public consumption. Though the book reads like the official document it is, it is fascinating nevertheless in its detail. There was nothing simple about the Navy's task of intercepting immigrants defined by Britain as illegal. Refugee ships sometimes organized very spirited resistance to boarding, which required the use of firearms, tear gas, and other persuaders; lives were sometimes lost as a result. Conditions aboard the immigrant ships were commonly horrible, the passengers desperate for food, water, and medical aid. Zionist organizations on shore did their best to sabotage British vessels in the main port of Haifa, and constant vigilance was essential. Legal difficulties made it necessary for the most part to stop immigrant ships only when they were within the three-mile limit, which was seldom easy. Numbers could be daunting: the immigrant ships Pan Crescent and Pan York, sailing in December 1947, carried between them over 15,000 immigrants, and when they were diverted to Cyprus, they were escorted by a force that included two cruisers, two destroyers, and two frigates. But overall, Stewart makes a persuasive case that Royal Navy personnel showed extraordinary restraint, and the animosities generated at the time seem generally to have been short-lived.

Without doubt the most famous episode of the Patrol was the arrest of the SS President Warfield, better known to the world as Exodus 1947, whose 4,554 immigrants were "arrested" only after fighting off boarding attempts by five destroyers for some hours. This case attracted such attention because Britain attempted to apply a policy of refoulement, i.e., sending the immigrants back to their country of origin, which in this case was designated as the British occupied zone of Germany, of all places. That policy soon went overboard, but the damage to Britain's reputation was done. It is possible to wish for more discussion in this book of policy decisions on high, and to fault some sections for a certain naiveté regarding "well-meant efforts to hold the balance of fair play between Arab and Jew" (p. 37) which take little account of the imperial interests dictating Britain's Palestine policy in those years. Still, it is a valuable study which for the first time relates the British Navy's side of this particularly controversial peacetime naval operation.
Your post gives a most interesting introduction to how the problem started. I still don't understand why the British were given the Mandate. Something to do with the Empire perhaps?

I'd like to know more about more ends of the problem; the Mandate and earlier, and the Palestine Patrol and how it ended.

Regards,

Clive.
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Old 11-12-2012, 16:34
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Default Re: British Mandate in Palestine 1919-1948

Just to add, Wikipedia has a very informative entry here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aliyah_Bet

The Timeline contains a lot of detail regarding the ships involved.
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Old 11-12-2012, 18:05
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The Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries was a mass departure, flight and expulsion of Jews, primarily of Sephardi and Mizrahi background, from Arab and Muslim countries, from 1948 until the early 1970s. Though Jewish migration from Middle Eastern and North African communities began in the late 19th century, and Jews began leaving some Arab countries in the 1930s and early 1940s, it did not become significant until the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
From the onset of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War until the early 1970s, 800,000–1,000,000 Jews left, fled, or were expelled from their homes in Arab countries; 260,000 of them reached Israel between 1948 and 1951 and amounted for 56% of the total immigration to the newly founded State of Israel. 600,000 Jews from Arab and Muslim countries had reached Israel by 1972. By the Yom Kippur War of 1973, most of the Jewish communities throughout the Arab World, as well as Pakistan and Afghanistan, were practically non-existent

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Old 11-12-2012, 18:21
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Default Re: British Mandate in Palestine 1919-1948

Thanks Clive for your interest and input,.

Without doubt the most famous episode of the Patrol was the arrest of the SS President Warfield, better known to the world as Exodus 1947, whose 4,554 immigrants were "arrested" only after fighting off boarding attempts by five destroyers for some hours. This case attracted such attention because Britain attempted to apply a policy of refoulement, i.e., sending the immigrants back to their country of origin, which in this case was designated as the British occupied zone of Germany, of all places.
That policy soon went overboard, but the damage to Britain's reputation was done. It is possible to wish for more discussion in this book of policy decisions on high, and to fault some sections for a certain naiveté regarding "well-meant efforts to hold the balance of fair play between Arab and Jew" which take little account of the imperial interests dictating Britain's Palestine policy in those years. Still, it is a valuable study which for the first time relates the British Navy's side of this particularly controversial peacetime naval operation.



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Old 11-12-2012, 20:18
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An ex shipmate of mine recounted to us his experiences during his first trip to sea. As a very young junior seaman he found himself with a loaded rifle and orders to shoot any of the Jews in front of him if they moved an inch towards him. They were mostly women and children who were obviously hungry and exhausted. He made up his mind he was not going to shoot anybody, regardless of orders. Fortunately nobody moved and no action was necesary.

In relating this story many years later it was apparent that it had been a very traumatic experience for a young lad. So sad that he was placed in that position.

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Old 12-12-2012, 08:44
jainso31 jainso31 is offline
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Thank you Brian for that very human and touching story-it surely would have been a traumatic experience for the young seaman-probably no more the eighteen years of age.

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Old 12-12-2012, 10:33
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I still don't understand why the British were given the Mandate. Something to do with the Empire perhaps?
Something to do with Turkey being on the wrong side in WW1 and, being defeated, the loss and break up of their Ottoman Empire.

The parts were divided between the allies Britain, France and the USA, with each having control over a part, legalised by a League of Nations "mandate". This led to the formation of countries with artificial borders - Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, and their (then) puppet governments. The USA installed a puppet king in Persia. The division of the Ottoman Empire is the root cause of most of the subsequent conflict in the middle east.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:52
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Something to do with Turkey being on the wrong side in WW1 and, being defeated, the loss and break up of their Ottoman Empire.

The parts were divided between the allies Britain, France and the USA, with each having control over a part, legalised by a League of Nations "mandate". This led to the formation of countries with artificial borders - Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, and their (then) puppet governments. The USA installed a puppet king in Persia. The division of the Ottoman Empire is the root cause of most of the subsequent conflict in the middle east.

When did the USA install this puppet king in Persia?
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:47
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Forester

The British Mandate for Palestine, or simply the Mandate for Palestine, was a legal commission for the administration of the territory that had formerly constituted the Ottoman Sanjaks of Nablus, Acre, the Southern portion of the Beirut Vilayet, and the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem, prior to the Armistice of Mudros. The draft of the Mandate was formally confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations on 24 July 1922, amended via the 16 September 1922 Transjordan memorandum and which came into effect on 29 September 1923 following the ratification of the Treaty of Lausanne.The mandate ended at midnight on 14 May 1948.
The document was based on the principles contained in Article 22 of the draft Covenant of the League of Nations and the San Remo Resolution of 25 April 1920 by the principal Allied and associated powers after the First World War. The mandate formalised British rule in the southern part of Ottoman Syria from 1923–1948.
*****The formal objective of the League of Nations Mandate system was to administer parts of "the defunct Ottoman Empire*****", which had been in control of the Middle East since the 16th century, "until such time as they are able to stand alone." The mandate document formalised the division of the British protectorates - Palestine, to include a national home for the Jewish people, under direct British rule, and Transjordan, an Emirate governed semi-autonomously from Britain under the rule of the Hashemite family.

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Old 12-12-2012, 12:47
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When did the USA install this puppet king in Persia?
My apologies. It was of course the British who were behind Reza Khan and his coup d'etat to overthrow the Qajar dynasty.

He turned out to be not a very good puppet, but he did fulfil the primary aim of preventing the Soviets taking over the country.
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Old 12-12-2012, 14:03
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Reza Shah Pahlavi (March 15, 1878 – July 26, 1944), was the Shah of Iran from December 15, 1925 until he was forced to abdicate by the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran in September 16, 1941.
Reza Shah overthrew Ahmad Shah Qajar, the last Shah of the Qajar dynasty, and founded the Pahlavi Dynasty. He was later designated by parliament as "Reza Shah the Great". He established an authoritarian government that valued nationalism, militarism, secularism and anti-communism combined with strict censorship and state propaganda. He was known as being highly intelligent, without any formal education.
Reza Shah introduced many socio-economic reforms, reorganizing the army, government administration, and finances. His reign brought law and order, discipline, central authority, and modern amenities - schools, trains, buses, radios, cinemas, and telephones.

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Old 12-12-2012, 14:32
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Some British Army Units involved in Palestine 1945-48

"The Jewish press informed its readers that 6th Airborne troops were composed of criminals, murderers and jailbirds and were no better than the Gestapo."
Straight from the Horsa's Mouth, Ted Mold.

In 1945, as the violence escalated , 6th Airborne Division, under the command of Major General Eric Bols, arrived to assist the 1st Infantry Division troops already there. Many regiments have websites but few mention service in Palestine — it's as though nothing happened between between 1945 and 1948. Below are sites which do:

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders have a detailed history of their service in Palestine with many photographs.

87 Airborne Field Regiment RA arrived on HMT Devonshire in 1947 after being newly-formed in India. Brigadier Arthur Sisson describes their time in Palestine.
40 Commando, Haifa on Britains Small Wars.

Highland Light Infantry The HLI site has no official history for Palestine but does have a section for personal stories.
"...the garrison regiment in Jerusalem at that time was the Highland Light Infantry. And they were pretty tough boys. But, in spite of the fact that we weren’t very welcome to many of the civilian population in Palestine, the Highland Light Infantry used to Beat Retreat in full dress at the Governor General’s Residence in Jerusalem every night. And hundreds of the civilian population turned out to see them. Seeing a Scottish regiment in full dress with their pipes and drums is quite a sight to behold."

216 Parachute Signal Squadron have a history of their time in Palestine.
4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards. Fourteen members of the Regiment lost their lives during the tour of duty in Palestine; Newsletter.
17 Field Squadron, RE on Britains Small Wars has some photos though no text.
Royal Anglian & Royal Lincolnshire Regimental Association Lincoln Branch newsletters.
The Suffolk Regiment have a history online but Palestine gets only a brief mention


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Old 15-12-2012, 18:32
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It was not until February 28 1948 that the last British soldiers in India departed: they were the men of the First Battalion the Somerset Light Infantry. On their final day in Bombay, before boarding a troopship bound for Liverpool and home, they paraded for one last time in the former jewel in the crown. Fittingly they marched through the Gateway of India, and were presented with a parting gift by the Army of India, a silver replica of that gateway.


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Old 15-12-2012, 18:59
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Some British Army Units involved in Palestine 1945-48

"The Jewish press informed its readers that 6th Airborne troops were composed of criminals, murderers and jailbirds and were no better than the Gestapo."

jainso31.
Hmmm ... sounds somewhat similar to what Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington) said about his troops during the Peninsular War!
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Old 15-12-2012, 19:26
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Hmmmmm!! Both highly scurrilous remarks; but Wellington's need not be taken too seriously.

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Old 15-12-2012, 22:55
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It was not until February 28 1948 that the last British soldiers in India departed: they were the men of the First Battalion the Somerset Light Infantry. On their final day in Bombay, before boarding a troopship bound for Liverpool and home, they paraded for one last time in the former jewel in the crown. Fittingly they marched through the Gateway of India, and were presented with a parting gift by the Army of India, a silver replica of that gateway.


jainso31
Do not see what this has to do with Palestine.... other than the Brits eventually left ??

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Old 15-12-2012, 23:08
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Having posted my questions and thoughts on the subject of this thread, I now see that it has been removed !

Sorry if someone was offended by my criticism of Britain in this affair: it was not a credit to the country . I do however credit the RN for their duty in carrying out what must have been a quite distasteful task.

I am still none the wiser and must be content that the only good reason was so as to not upset the Arabs ? Unbelievable !

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Old 16-12-2012, 09:08
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#17 is completely erroneous and should have read,but for a senior moment
abject apologies Brian.

HAIFA
Wednesday, 30 June 1948
At about 0400 hrs, on the 30th of June 1948, Z Day, the first of the rearguard units began to withdraw from Haifa dockyard, 2 company, 1st Coldstream Guards, through the No 10 gate, 2 company, Grenadier Guards, from No 1 gate, tanks of the 4/7 Dragoon Guards were covering No 3 and 4 gates, and all embarked at about 0700 hrs. Sub units of 42 RM. Commando entered the dockyard, and embarked at about 0900 hrs. 40 Royal Marine Commando
Headquarters of 40 Commando moved into the dockyard, and formed a small perimeter around the LST H.M.S. Striker, at about 1000hrs, the command of, all British troops ashore, was handed to Lt. Col. Houghton RM., and then with the exception of H.M.S. Striker, all British ships put to sea. Lt. Col. Houghton signaled for the withdrawal of the forward troops of 40 Commando, when they had embarked the 4inch mortar section, took up a position on the forecastle of H.M.S. Striker. Lt. Col. Houghton reported to the GOC, Lt. Gen. MacMillan, that the withdrawal of all British troops was complete, 40 Commando Royal Marines, being the last unit to leave.

However, other sources state that Lieutenant General MacMillan GOC British Troops Palestine was the last British soldier to leave Palestine on the 30th of June. While some other sources state that 40 Commando left on the 27th May. Other reference books state the date of 40 Commandos departure as the 27th of June.

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Old 16-12-2012, 09:19
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Brian- having looked through this thread-I can only find one entry by you ie.#6.You may have posted on a Palestine thread before this one- however IF your remarks were in any way anti Semitic- they may very well have been removed-but that is pure conjecture on my part.

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Old 18-12-2012, 22:37
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Brian- having looked through this thread-I can only find one entry by you ie.#6.You may have posted on a Palestine thread before this one- however IF your remarks were in any way anti Semitic- they may very well have been removed-but that is pure conjecture on my part.

jainso31
Thanks, Jim, my post must have vanished into the ether. I am very pro-Israel, maybe a clue ? My comments were that the affair seemed quite opposite to the usual British 'good guys' culture. What was the reason that so many immigrants were turned back ? Sent back to Germany.... that was a very low blow. What was it all about ? All to being fair to the Arabs ? But credit to the RN for carrying out this unsavory task.

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Old 19-12-2012, 09:24
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Brian-below is one explanation as to why The Exodus Affair happened-the way I see it -the British could not duck out of their responsibilities under the Mandate and everything was done by the book ,popular or unpopular
The Royal Navy did their duty according to the orders given it by the British Government

The British, who were then responsible for administering Palestine, vehemently opposed this kind of large-scale immigration. Displaced person camps run by American, French and Italian officials often turned a "blind eye" to the situation, with only British officials restricting movement in and out of their camps. In 1945, the British reaffirmed the pre-war policy restricting Jewish immigration to Palestine which had been put in place following the influx of a quarter of a million Jews fleeing the rise of Nazism in the 1930s and had been a major cause of the Arab revolt of 1936–1939.
The British then prepared a massive naval and military force to turn back the refugees. Over half of 142 voyages were stopped by British patrols, and most intercepted immigrants were sent to internment camps in Cyprus, the Atlit detention camp in Palestine, and to Mauritius. About 50,000 people ended up in camps, more than 1,600 drowned at sea, and only a few thousand actually entered Palestine.
The Exodus 1947 was the largest Aliyah Bet ship carrying the largest-ever number of illegal immigrants to Palestine and its name and story received a lot of international attention. The incident took place near the end of Aliyah Bet shortly before the British government withdrew from Mandatory Palestine and the state of Israel was established.
Historians say Exodus 1947 helped unify the Jewish community of Palestine and the Holocaust-survivor refugees in Europe as well as significantly deepening international sympathy for the plight of Holocaust survivors and rallying support for the idea of a Jewish state.
One called the story of the Exodus 1947 a "spectacular publicity coup for the Zionists."
and indeed it was!!!!


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Old 19-12-2012, 11:56
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Thanks Jim.

So one responsibility of the Mandate was to restrict immigrant Jews which Britain did by the book because they vehemently opposed this kind of large-scale immigration and did not want to upset the Arabs.

By using a massive naval and military force against the refugees from Hitler's camps , about 50,000 people ended up in British camps, more than 1,600 drowned at sea, and only a few thousand actually entered Palestine.

Then in a change of heart the British government withdrew from Mandatory Palestine and the state of Israel was established. The new nation was then attacked by the Arab states but Israel beat them off without any help from Britain.

Not exactly the finest chapter in British history, but as usual the RN did iheir duty. Not a pleasant task.

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Last edited by Old Salt : 19-12-2012 at 11:57. Reason: typo
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Old 19-12-2012, 13:05
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Default Re: British Mandate in Palestine 1919-1948

Not exactly Brian-the Mandate expired on the 30th June 1948 and the British left the country- having done what was required of them as per the Mandate given them-as I said in the beginning -a thankless task.Those confined to British camps were freed- to go as they pleased.

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Old 18-05-2015, 16:17
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Exclamation Re: British Mandate in Palestine 1919-1948

THE R.N.'s PALESTINE PATROL

I am trying to assist an oppo in respect of the following. Mention is made of 2 cruisers in the Palestine Patrol - perhaps Garibaldi? - and Milne among the smaller ships? I would appreciate any information and advice where to find same please?

"My brother George (Ganges 43)[George Cracknell] took passage from Malta to someware in the east of the Med circa 1945. At the time he was serving aboard HMS Musketeer and was detailed to transfer to the Italian cruiser RM Garibaldi and join HMS Milne. I cannot find any timeline for the Garibaldi for the period 1943/45. I believe their destination was in the Palestine/Haifa area."
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