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The GuardiansThe League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire$
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Susan Pedersen

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199570485

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570485.001.0001

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When Internationalism Stopped Working

When Internationalism Stopped Working

(p.356) Twelve When Internationalism Stopped Working
The Guardians

Susan Pedersen

Oxford University Press

No territory was more central to the mandates system than Palestine. Britain had always insisted that its Palestine policy be approved in Geneva, and went to some lengths to secure international support for a Zionist pledge that its allies initially thought misguided. In the 1930s, however, this ‘internationalization’ of Palestine policymaking lessened Britain's room to manoeuvre. As the 1929 riots and the 1936 Arab Revolt revealed the depth of Arab opposition to continued Jewish immigration, British statesmen looked first for new ways (including partition) to balance both communities' claims, and then to retreat from the Balfour pledge. Yet, most members of the Mandates Commission, as well as increasingly anti-Semitic East European statesmen, had come to see Palestine largely as a destination for European Jews and opposed any such moves. This chapter tracks that complex history, showing how the inflexibility fostered by ‘internationalization’ drove a number of British statesmen to condemn a mandates regime they had largely created.

Keywords:   Palestine, Arab Revolt, Peel Commission, partition, Ormsby-Gore, Zionism, internationalization, Jewish immigration, anti-Semitism

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