Wednesday, May 20, 2020

San Remo +100: The National Home for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel

The boldest of ideas envisaged in San Remo, to establish a national home for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel, was the one which measured up to the historical expectations and proved to be a success.

MK Zvi Hauser..
19 May '20..

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the San Remo Conference. The international meeting was held by the Allied Supreme Council in the Italian Riviera in the aftermath of World War I, and determined the fate of the Middle East regions held under the control of the Ottoman Empire during the previous four centuries. Following the principles laid down by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, the representatives of the Allied powers concluded that occupied territories were to be administered in the form of “Mandates.” By this new legal instrument sovereign control was transferred temporarily to an Allied power, in order to support the forthcoming independence of those territories.

Most of the territories in the Middle East were proposed for the independence of Arab populations. Thus a “Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon” was assigned to France, and Mandatory power was entrusted to the United Kingdom for the emancipation of the people of Iraq. Nonetheless a small territory in the Middle East was assigned to the United Kingdom as part of a third Mandate, which proved to be the most challenging: the Mandate over “Eretz Israel.”

The Allied powers adopted a courageous resolution with far-reaching implications, overturning a condition that was nearly 2,000 years old. They determined that the Land of Israel would be temporarily entrusted to a British administration for a specific purpose—the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people, and especially for the millions of Jews dispersed in the Diaspora. For the first time, there was international recognition for Jewish self-determination in the Jewish people’s ancestral homeland.

(Read Full Column)

MK Zvi Hauser is the chairman of the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee.

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