This short excerpt describes the situation in Palestine on the eve of Zionist colonization
Palestine at the beginning of the 20th century
From “The “Palestinian question” – central point of the Arab revolution”, published on the IWL-FI website in February 2012
In the early 20th century, Palestine was a province dominated by the Ottoman Empire. In 1917, 644,999 Arab Palestinians and 56,000 Jews lived there. That year, the Balfour Declaration was signed between the British authorities and the Europe-based Zionist Organization to encourage and finance Jewish migration to Palestine. This agreement formed a strategic alliance between Zionism and western imperialist powers. In the words of Chaim Weizmann, a leading Zionist who would later become the first president of Israel, “a Judaic Palestine will be the safeguard for England, particularly where the Suez Channel is concerned”.
One WWI ended, as part of the dismantlement of the Ottoman Empire, the League of Nations (a predecessor of the UN) declared the territory to be a Mandate controlled by British forces (a period also known as the Palestinian Mandate or Mandatory Palestine). The population was as follows: in 1922, there were 664,000 Palestinians and 84,000 Jews; in 1931: 750,000 and 175,000 respectively. Zionism secured considerable growth of the Jewish population by supporting emigration, but Palestinian Arabs continued being a vast majority.
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