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Tuesday, February 7 2012
A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate
The Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman Empire was one of the most geographically-extensive (see the map below) empires in history. Included within it, over the course of its expansion and contraction, were Turkey, large areas of Arabia (see Paul's Geography Lesson), Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Greece, Jordan, Bulgaria, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania - and "Palestine." It was also one of the longest-lasting empires in human history. Centered on a ruling dynasty in Turkey, it existed from the late thirteen century to the early twentieth century (listen to our audio Sermon The Ottoman Empire).
Jerusalem had already been contested for centuries between the forces of the Church of Rome and Islam (i.e. including the so-called "Crusades" - see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad), however after the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century, and during one of the cyclical rises and falls of the so-called "Holy Roman Empire" (the full official name for it was the "Holy Roman Empire of The German Nation"; see The Holy Roman Empire) that succeeded it, Jerusalem was taken and absorbed into the Ottoman Empire in 1517. It remained under Ottoman control for the next four centuries, subject to the religion of the Ottoman Empire - Islam. It could have remained so until the present day, however early in the twentieth century, Jerusalem was liberated by the British. Throughout its Imperial history, Britain created and gave birth to many great nations of today (some of which maintained their recognition and appreciation for their founder, some of which did not); Israel became one of them.
In the First World War (1914-1918), the Ottoman Empire sided with Germany, and so hence found itself facing British and British Empire forces in battle. Jerusalem was taken by the British, under the command of General Edmund Allenby after the Battle of Jerusalem in 1917. At the end of the war, with the fall and dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the League of Nations, at the Conference of Lausanne, established the internationally-recognized legal framework the British "Mandate for Palestine," which would result, by means of the British, in the birth of the modern state of Israel in 1948.
The Balfour Declaration
Arthur James Balfour was a Conservative Member of Parliament who held office as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1902 to 1905. He later served, from 1916 to 1919, as Foreign Secretary.
The Balfour Declaration of 1917 (officially dated November 2 1917) was a letter (the actual letter is shown in the illustration below) from Foreign Secretary Balfour to Baron Rothschild (Walter Rothschild), a prominent leader and representative of British Jews, as an official communication to the "Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland." The key statement of the declaration:
"His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."
The Balfour Declaration became a key document that would lead to the eventual creation of the present-day state of Israel. The original document is today stored at the British Library.
The Battle Of Jerusalem - Liberation On Hanukkah
The Battle of Jerusalem was a culminating event in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of the First World War. Unlike every other conquering force of the Middle East throughout all of history, the British came not to impose their Empire, but to use its power to liberate the Middle East from any Empire - as plainly stated in the Balfour Declaration.
The Ottoman military forces were no pushover - the fact that they took on all comers, from across all of Europe and the Middle East, for over four centuries, and won, attests to their power and abilities. But the British too were a fine military force (who won most, lost a few, over the centuries), and perhaps they were receiving some help. It was prophetically time for the people of Judah to go home again - and to stay there this time.
After a series of battles through some of the most-familiar "Biblical" places (Hebron, Bethlehem, Jericho, Beersheba, Joppa/Jaffa), Jerusalem was captured by British forces on December 9 1917. Two days later, at the start of Hanukkah, General Edmund Allenby entered Jerusalem and liberated it from four centuries of Ottoman / Muslim occupation.
The British Mandate
The British Mandate for Palestine, also officially known as the Palestine Mandate, or the Mandate for Palestine, was an internationally recognized (an important factor - no solution is peacefully accepted if it's not recognized by world powers) policy, entrusted to Britain, to administer the region, shown on the map below, after it was liberated from centuries of rule and occupation by the Ottoman Empire. Notice that the entire land of Israel, as it was given to all of the tribes of Israel, on both sides of the Jordan River (see the tribal map in the study A History Of Jerusalem: Jebus Of Canaan), in the time of Moses and Joshua, was within the area of the British Mandate.
The rise of Nazi Germany had a profound effect on what may otherwise have been the much-greater borders of the present-day state of Israel. The Second World War slowed and stopped political progress of the goals of the British Mandate for Palestine. After the war, and the Satanic holocaust that was committed upon the people of Judah, the people of Judah were no longer willing to wait for their own sovereign homeland in which no one could ever again do to them what Adolf Hitler (and the millions of Europeans who had the same anti-Semitic minds as Hitler, just as millions all around the world still do today, regardless of whatever excuse that they hide behind) did to them all across Europe. The impatience led to a deadly and tragic insurgency against the British administration of the land of Israel. Based on the political and military foothold that Britain had given to them, on May 14 1948, the people of Judah unilaterally declared the creation of the State of Israel. Regardless of what would have been, if time had been permitted, the British Mandate was over.
Fact Finder: Is "Zionism" ultimately about the return of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem?
This Day In History, February 7
457: Leo I became the emperor of the Byzantine Empire.
1301: King Edward I of England revived the title of Prince of Wales and bestowed it on Edward of Caernarvon, who later became Edward II.
1550: Giovanni Maria del Monte was elected Pope Julius III.
1668: The Netherlands, England and Sweden signed a pact against Louis XIV of France.
1783: The Spanish and French Siege of Gibraltar was lifted after 4 years.
1792: Austria and Prussia (an area of Germany, not to be confused with Russia) formed an alliance against France.
1807: The Battle of Eylau. Napoleon fought a fierce but indecisive battle against Russian and Prussian forces.
1867: The British North America Act, to create the Dominion of Canada, was introduced in the House of Lords by the Earl of Carnarvon.
1878: Pope Pius IX died. His nearly 32 year pontificate was the longest in the history of the Roman Catholic church. He was the inventor of the anti-Biblical dogma of the "Immaculate Conception" in 1854.
1904: The biggest fire in the U.S. since the great Chicago Fire of 1871 broke out in Baltimore. It destroyed over 2,500 buildings.
1913: The Ottomans (a centuries-long ruling dynasty in Turkey; listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) lost 5,000 men in a battle with the Bulgarian army in Gallipoli.
1926: Average wage for common labour in U.S.: 54 cents per hour.
1986: It rained sardines in Ipswich, Australia. Scientists speculated that a violent storm caused updrafts that lifted the fish out of shallow waters and took them into the atmosphere.
1990: The Soviet communist party under Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to surrender monopoly on political power after 70 years.
1992: European Community ministers formally signed the Maastricht Treaty of European Union (see Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!).
1999: Crown Prince Abdullah became the King of Jordan following the death of his father, King Hussein.
2009: Bushfires in Victoria left 173 people dead in the worst natural disaster in Australia's history.