January 1, 2017
Dave Jones gave an instructive insight into the brown stuff which, in a metaphorical meaning, often “hit the turbo fan…” (December 30-January 5, 2017).
I feel compelled to state my disagreement in opinion with reverence to a patriotically highflying Mr Jones asserting “…We (the British) are known around the world for fairmindedess and acceptance of other ways of life”.
Recently, I’ve come across an article based on the book “A Line in the Sand” by British historian James Barr. The author’s thorough research from British and French classified files revealed the former colonial powers’ historical betrayal of faith of the Arabs and caused a destabilising effect of the Middle East coupled with collateral damages whose consequences have prevailed until today.
Following the outbreak of WWI, the Turkish sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Mehmed V, formed an alliance with Kaiser Wilhelm II and called for the jihad against the enemies of the German Reich. Cairo-based British intelligence incited the chief magistrate of Mecca, sheriff Hussein Bin Ali, regarded to be the successor the Prophet Mohammed, to revolt against the Turks.
In 1915 British high commissioner in Egypt Sir Henry McMahon promised in writing to sheriff Hussein that, after the defeat of the Turks, an independent Arabia consisting of the Arabian peninsula, Syria and Palestine. In 1916 the British mediator of the negotiations, Thomas Edward Lawrence, aka Lawrence of Arabia, received information from London that MP Mark Sykes and the French envoi Francois Georges-Picot had a signed a secret agreement whose mutual consent called for a partition of all Arab provinces between Britain and France after the Turks had been defeated. Sykes and Picot simply drew a line across Arabia’s map! The annexed territories north of this line: French; south, British, and Palestine; under international administration. The British government promised to France large tracts of land still owned by the Turks, but had earlier given the basis for expectation to the Arabs. (In 2014 the video of an IS combatant read: “End of Sykes-Picot.) A little while after, the British government offered to European Zionist leaders that Jews may settle in Palestine. A breach of the agreed international administration of Palestine. At that time in Palestine lived 640,000 Arabs and 60,000 Jews.
In 1918 the Arab insurgents, led by TE Lawrence, arrived in Damascus for the hour of truth: Field marshal Edmund Allenby admitted to his government’s manipulation that Damascus remains under French control. Foreign secretary Arthur Balfour vowed to respect the Sykes-Picot agreement but concealed this doesn’t pertain to Palestine.
Last week the long-term effect of the British government’s treachery not to install international administration in Palestine caused a diplomatic incident: The Spanish ambassador was summoned to the Israeli foreign office and received a note of protest. Netanjahu and his cabinet members complained bitterly about the Spanish representative of the UN Security Council which passed a resolution condemning Israel’s latest illegal expropriation of Palestinian land to build a huge settlement. Remarkably, even the US UN representative approved the resolution against the Jewish state. The US stance shows that president Obama is picking a bone with an obnoxious Netanjahu who – in the past and with the support of the mighty US Israel lobby – had ridiculed the leaving resident of the White House.