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January 24, 2012 3:27 pm

Artificially Created States

avatar by Eli Hertz

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League of Nations Symbol. Photo: wiki commons.

Fifty-one member countries – the entire League of Nations – unanimously declared on July 24, 1922:

“Whereas recognition has been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”

Unlike nation-states in Europe, modern Lebanese, Jordanian, Syrian, and Iraqi nationalities did not evolve. They were arbitrarily created by colonial powers.

In 1919, in the wake of World War I, England and France as Mandatories (e.g., official administrators and mentors) carved up the former Ottoman Empire, which had collapsed a year earlier, into geographic spheres of influence. This divided the Mideast into new political entities with new names and frontiers.

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Territory was divided along map meridians without regard for traditional frontiers (i.e., geographic logic and sustainability) or the ethnic composition of indigenous populations.

The prevailing rationale behind these artificially created states was how they served the imperial and commercial needs of their colonial masters. Iraq and Jordan, for instance, were created as emirates to reward the noble Hashemite family from Saudi Arabia for its loyalty to the British against the Ottoman Turks during World War I, under the leadership of Lawrence of Arabia. Iraq was given to Faisal bin Hussein, son of the sheriff of Mecca, in 1918. To reward his younger brother Abdullah with an emirate, Britain cut away 77 percent of its mandate over Palestine earmarked for the Jews and gave it to Abdullah in 1922, creating the new country of Trans-Jordan or Jordan, as it was later named.

The Arabs’ hatred of the Jewish State has never been strong enough to prevent the bloody rivalries that repeatedly rocked the Middle East. These conflicts were evident in the civil wars in Yemen and Lebanon, as well as in the war between Iraq and Iran, in the gassing of countless Kurds in Iraq, and in the killing of Iraqis by Iraqis, Syrians by Syrians as well as the killing of Egyptians by Egyptians.

The manner in which European colonial powers carved out political entities with little regard to their ethnic composition not only led to this inter-ethnic violence, but it also encouraged dictatorial rule as the only force capable of holding such entities together. The exception was Palestine, or Eretz-Israel – the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, where:

“The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country [Palestine] under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish National Home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.”

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