The Myth of the “West Bank”
A mythical phrase that has become commonplace in the Arab-Israeli conflict is the phrase, “West Bank.” I call this a mythical phrase because it was invented by Jordan to describe the territory west of the Jordan River, a territory which Jordan illegally occupied.
When the news media refers to this area, they call it the “occupied West Bank.” Of course we understand these great reservoirs of truth to mean that it is occupied by Israel. But it was Jordan that illegally occupied the so-called “West Bank” until it was liberated by Israel in 1967. When and how did a land promised to the Jews become the “West Bank?”
On November 5, 1914, the British Government declared war on Turkey. They recruited an Arabian warlord by the name of Ibn Ali Hussein, to lead an Arab uprising against the Turks. Hussein was Sherif of Mecca and the only Arab leader to cooperate with the British during World War I.
Sir Henry McMahon, the British Ambassador to Egypt, promised Hussein Arab independence in return for his assistance. As is often the case with human agreements, some of the details of the agreement were broad and open to different interpretations.
A British officer, T.E. Lawrence provided British leadership, provisions and gold to encourage Hussein and his followers. While Hussein did declare an Arab revolt against Turkey, with British assistance through Lawrence, history gives conflicting claims about the extent and significance of this revolt.
T.E. Lawrence had a great public relations agent named Lowell Thomas. Thomas turned T.E. Lawrence into Lawrence of Arabia and made Hussein the leader of a great revolt. Later reports confirm that the Hollywood Lawrence of Arabia and the great Hussein revolt were myths in themselves.
In 1916, Sir Mark Sykes, representing the British, and Francios Georges Picot representing the French, drew up a first plan to partition the Turkish Empire. The plan was known as the Sykes-Picot Agreement. It was abandoned as others plans developed.
An important part of this plan was to protect British and French interest in pre-Israel Palestine. While this had been a neglected, desolate region from the time the Jews were dispersed in 135 CE, its location was of strategic interest to the British and French.
At this time, a change of government took place in Britain which would have monumental consequences. David Lloyd George became Prime Minister and Author James Balfour became Foreign Secretary. Both were Christian Zionist. On November 2, 1917, Britain issued the famous Balfour Declaration giving superpower support of the rights of the Jewish people to establish a homeland in Palestine. The Jews were promised land on both sides of the Jordan River.
At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, the foundation was laid which led to Britain being granted the mandate to administer Palestine and Mesopotamia (renamed Iraq by the British). This was confirmed by the newly formed League of Nations at the San Remo Conference in 1920. France would be given the mandate to administer Lebanon, Syria, and the Golan Heights. This set the stage for conflict between Britain, France, Sherif Hussein and the Jews for control of Palestine and both banks of the Jordan River. MORE ABOUT THIS IN PART 2.
This blog will be posted for the week. Please be looking for the following Friday as I expose more of THE BIG LIE.
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