Israel/Middle East (News & Politics)/WWII

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Question
David,
If you are an expert in Mid East, this may be your question; if not maybe you could direct me further.
I heard a considerable amount of things regarding the "battle" for Palestine during WWII.  Do you know much about the legal authority that Winston Churchill had at that time over Palestine?  I heard some, some what terrible things that he was using some kind of authority that was not his, to do some trading of other countries for Palestine.  Have you ever heard of this?
thank you.

Answer
Hi Leah,

To be quite honest with you, I've never heard of the "Battle for Palestine". Actually, during the war, Palestine was relatively quiet, except for 2 incidents that, I guess, could come close to a "battle" for Palestine. In 1940, German and Italian warplanes bombed Tel Aviv and Haifa. Roughly 100 people were killed. But the bombing lasted for about a day and no further action was taken on either side since then, as far as I know. The other incident was in 1941. The Germans invaded North Africa, in aid of their Italian and Vichy French allies. By 1942, there was fear that Palestine was going to be next since it bordered North Africa. Britain had vital interests in Egypt and Palestine was an internationally recognized Mandate of Britain and as such, Churchill's, and Britain's, relationship to Palestine was much like that of the Queen's relationship to Canada. Plans for a massive evacuation of the population were put in place should the Germans be successful. But the Battle of El Alamein in Egypt stopped them from advancing further and Palestine was thereafter safe.

As far as your second question, I'm not quite sure what you mean. To me, it sounds like you're saying that Britain gave up ruling some of their overseas colonies in favor of Palestine. If I'm correct, then that's not exactly true. The closest thing that might have come close to that was at the Versailles Peace Conference after WWI, and it wasn't from Churchill, but rather from David Lloyd George who was British prime minister at the time. Churchill was only Manager of the Royal Air Force. Britain and France were victorious over Germany and Turkey and had divided up the Ottoman Empire among themselves. Britain agreed to take some areas as mandates - this included Palestine - and France agreed to take other areas.

I hope this answers your question. Feel free to contact me again if you would like.

Israel/Middle East (News & Politics)

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David

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I am an expert in Middle Eastern history, and Israeli history in particular. My main focus is Biblical analysis, the origins of Islam, and medieval and modern historical events in Israel. Everything you see happening in the world today, has a history.

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I am a free-lance writer who has previously lived in, and studied the history of, Israel.

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