Total Pageviews

Saturday, June 23, 2012

What Happened to the Planned Jewish National Home During World War I: Arabs and Jews

Nadene Goldfoot
World War I ran from 1914 to 1918.  On August 1, 1914 the Ottoman Empire signed a secret alliance treaty with Germany, who declared war on Russia that very day.  By the 5th of August the Ottomans closed the Dardanelles.  On November 1st Russia declared war on the Ottoman Empire.  By the 5th,  France and the United Kingdom also declared war on them.

November 8th, Sultan Mehmed V declares Jihad on the Allies.  The Ottomans try to take the Suez Canal but fail to do so January 28 to February 3, 1915.  April 29, 1916 was when the British forces were under siege at Kut and surrender to the Ottomans and June 5, 1916 was the start of the Arab Revolt.  Arabs wanted to break away from the Ottoman Empire, a land of Turks who were not Arabs, and establish their own land from Aleppo, Syria to Aden, Yemen.  However, even by 1908 this wasn't very strong.  "Many Arabs gave their primary loyalty to their religion or sect, their tribe, or their own particular governments."  Sherif Hussein bin Ali , Arab, sided with the UK and France.  In 1913 the Arabs held the 1st Arab congress in Paris and wanted reforms in the Ottoman Empire, not a new established country of their own.  

August 3-5, 1916  was when Ottoman attack on the British in the Sinai peninsula failed. This is now bringing the fight to the land that is to be the Jewish Homeland.  By January 9, 1917 Battle of Rafa took place when. the British drive the Ottomans out of Sinai.  On March 26, 1917 started the first Battle of Gaza. The British attempt to capture the city fails.


April 19, 1917 was when Second Battle of Gaza took place. The Ottoman lines resist a British attack. On  July 6, 1917,  Arab rebels led by Lawrence of Arabia seized the Jordanian port of Aqaba.  From October 31 to November 7th  the Third Battle of Gaza took place.   This time the British broke through the Ottoman lines.  During this period, on November 2nd, the  Balfour Declaration was received:  The British government supports plans for a Jewish "national home" in Palestine.


December 8 to the 26, 1917 Battle of Jerusalem. The British enter the city (December 11).  February 21, 1918 was when the British captured Jericho.  September 19 to 21, 1918 was the Battle of Megiddo. The British conquered Palestine.  October 1, 1918 and Damascus was entered by the British.  By the 30th of October The Ottoman Empire signs the Armistice of Mudros.

Finally, on November 11, 1918, At 6 am, Germany signs the Armistice of Compiègne. End of fighting at 11 a.m.

Because the Ottoman Empire had been on the Axis side with Germany, they lost the war and had to give up their empire.  The war had also sapped their treasury.  This is how the British came to hold the mandate over the land until May 14, 1948.

 There were 15 million deaths in this war; 10 million were military personnel and 7 million were civilians. The United States had lost  116,708 soldiers or 117,465 total deaths.  This amounted to 0.13% of their population, which was at that time 92 million people.  The Ottoman Empire had lost 2,921,844 or 13.72% out of a population of  21.3 million people. Military deaths alone for them amounted to 771,844 soldiers. They had lost a lot of people from famine and disease.   It was the deadliest conflict in human history.  


No comments: