When Rashida Tlaib’s 90-year-old grandmother was born, Palestine was still under British control. That year, the British tore down a screen that separated Jewish men and women praying at the Wall, a catalyst for confrontation between Arabs, Jews and Mandate authorities in 1928.
2. The Jewish population in the British Mandate of Palestine went from 100,000 in 1928 to 400,000 in 1936, in part due to 1933 Haavara Agreement between Nazi Germany and Zionist German Jews, which offered German Jews a way to leave an increasingly hostile environment in Germany.
3. The Haavara Agreement provided a substantial export market for German factories to British-ruled Palestine. Between 1933 and 1939, $35,500,000 (in 1938 currency) worth of goods were exported to Jewish businesses in Palestine under the program, helping the Nazi-run economy.
4. Under Haavara Agreement (seen by some Nazis as solving "the Jewish Problem), emigrants with $5,000 (in 1930s value) could move to Palestine in spite of British restrictions on Jewish immigration under an immigrant investor program similar to the modern EB-5 visa program.
5. Even critics of the Nazi regime like Werner Otto von Hentig supported the policy of settling Jews in Palestine, believing that if the Jewish population was concentrated in a single foreign entity, then foreign diplomatic policy and containment of the Jews would become easier.
6. The Haavara (meaning transfer) Agreement was also seen as a way to break the anti-Nazi boycott of 1933, undertaken in US and Europe, and which had mass support among European Jews and was thought by the German state to be a potential threat to the German economy.
7. Meanwhile, in Mandatory Palestine (ruled by the British), a growing Jewish population (174,610 in 1931, rising to 384,078 in 1936) was acquiring land, changing the demographics and developing the structures of a future Jewish state despite opposition from the Arab population.
8. In 1930, Sheikh Izz ad-Din al-Qassam arrived in Palestine from Syria and established the Black Hand, an anti-Zionist, anti-British militant organization. He recruited and trained 800 peasants to kill Zionist settlers and vandalize British outposts. (Echos of ISIS in Syria).
9. The British killed al-Qassam in 1935, generating widespread outrage in the Arab community. A few months later, the Arab revolt launched and when it ended in March 1939, more than 5,000 Arabs (10% of the Arab male population), 400 Jews, and 200 British had been killed.
10. In 1937, the Peel Commission proposed a partition between a Jewish state, whose Arab population would have to be transferred, and an Arab state to be attached to Jordan. Ben-Gurion privately told his son that partition would be a first step to "possession of land as a whole."
11. The Peele proposal was rejected by the Arabs. Following the London Conference (1939) the British Government published a White Paper which proposed a limit to Jewish immigration from Europe, restrictions on Jewish land purchases, leading to Jews organizing illegal immigration.
12. Lehi, an extremist Zionist group, staged armed attacks on British authorities in Palestine. However, the Jewish Agency, which represented mainstream Zionists, still hoped to persuade Britain to allow resumed Jewish immigration, and cooperated with Britain in World War II.
13. In 1939, the British reduced the number of Jewish immigrants allowed into Palestine. World War II and the Holocaust started shortly thereafter and once the 15,000 annual quota was exceeded, Jews were interned in detention camps or deported to places such as Mauritius.
14. After the War, the Jewish Resistance Movement carried out several attacks and bombings against the British administration. In 1946, the militant group Irgun blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, the headquarters of the British administration, killing 92 people.
15. Following the King David Hotel bombing, the British Government began interning illegal Jewish immigrants in Cyprus. In 1948 the Lehi assassinated UN mediator Count Bernadotte in Jerusalem. Yitzak Shamir, a future prime minister of Israel, was one of the conspirators.
16. After the spate of British deaths, the Palestinian Mandate became widely unpopular in Britain, even caused US Congress to delay granting the British vital loans for reconstruction. Anti-British Jewish militancy drew 100,000 British troops in the country, straining the budget.
17. The Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry in 1946 was a joint attempt by Britain and the United States to agree on a policy regarding the admission of Jews to Palestine. In April, the Committee reported that its members had arrived at a unanimous decision.
18. The Committee approved the American recommendation of the immediate acceptance of 100,000 Jewish refugees from Europe into Palestine. It also recommended that there be no Arab, and no Jewish State.
19. The Committee stated that "in order to dispose once and for all of the exclusive claims of Jews and Arabs to Palestine, we regard it as essential that a clear statement of principle should be made that Jew shall not dominate Arab and Arab shall not dominate Jew in Palestine."
20. Truman supported the migration of 100,000 Jews to Palestine (though not other recommendations), which would have caused an Arab revolt, which would have required 300,000 US troops to quell. Fed up, Britain terminated the Palestine Mandate, punting Question of Palestine to UN.
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