A Brief History of Palestine up to 1933

Map - Courtesy of Rafy User HD1986 from Wikipaedia

Maftur has never known a time when her country wasn't governed by the British under a mandate from the League of Nations. Until Turkey's defeat during WW1, however, Palestine had been part of the Ottoman Empire. The northern half had been administered from Beirut, the middle from Jerusalem, and the unruly South from Gaza.

      By 1933,Iraq, Britain's other Mandated area had already received its independence as to a certain extent had Transjordan, which for administrative purposes in 1922 had been lumped into the mandate of Palestine although it was never physically part of it. Palestine, however, had special problems. After Turkey had sided with Germany in WW1, the British Embassy in Cairo had offered political independence to influential Arab sheiks within the Turkish Empire if they rebelled against the Turks. At the samee time in England Balfour, the British foreign Secretary, had declared Britain would favour Palestine becoming a homeland for the Jews, with the often overlooked proviso, so long as that homeland did not prejudice the civil and religious rights of the non-Jewish communities.

      In 1922 the League of nations gave Britain the mandate for Palestine on condition that they develop it as a Jewish homeland.

     Most Arabs felt betrayed and refusedto develop an independence that depended on collaboration with the Jews. Arab resentment in Haifa where Maftur lived increased when German Jews, fleeing from the Nazis, became a significant percentage of the town's population.

      British exploitation of Middle Eastern oil didn't help matters. The British chose Maftur's home town of Haifa as the terminal for an oil line from Iraq and developed it as a modern port with a huge oil refinery and an extensive industrial area.

      The opening of Haifa harbour proved a catalyst for nationwide unrest sparked off by the inhabitants of Jaffa, who up to then had had a monopoly of Palestine's export trade.