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World War I and Palestine: Britain’s Conflicting Promises. IAFS/JWST 3650. Announcements. Ronit Avni , “My Neighborhood” discussion and screening, Mon, 18 Feb, 3-3:50pm RSVP: Meghan.Zibby @ colorado.edu (space is limited). Outline. British interests in West Asia Ottoman decline

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Presentation Transcript
announcements
Announcements
  • RonitAvni, “My Neighborhood” discussion and screening, Mon, 18 Feb, 3-3:50pm
  • RSVP: Meghan.Zibby@colorado.edu (space is limited)
outline
Outline
  • British interests in West Asia
  • Ottoman decline
  • Orientalism and Lawrence of Arabia
  • World War I
  • Conflicting British promises
british interests in the middle east
British Interests in the Middle East
  • Access to India
    • initially, overland passage to India
    • post-1869, a quicker route via the Suez Canal
british interests in the middle east1
British Interests in the Middle East
  • Protecting Suez Canal
    • 1882 occupation of Egypt
  • Oil
    • 1908: oil discovered in Persia
ottoman turkish empire
Ottoman (Turkish) Empire
  • Rising influence of Young Turks
  • 1915: Ottoman genocide of Armenians
  • Turkish alliance with Germany during World War I
edward said s theory of orientalism
Edward Said’sTheory of Orientalism

An academic field

A style of thought based on a distinction between the Oriental and “us”

A Western style of rule over the Orient

where is the orient
Where is the “Orient”?

In Orientalists’ heads

Originally, India and the Middle East

All of “Far East”—India, Japan, China, etc, and the “Muslim world”

what are orientals like according to orientalists
What are “Orientals” like (according to Orientalists)?

Orientals:

Childlike

Irrational

Dishonest

Gullible yet cunning

Lazy

Incapable of order

Depraved

  • vs. Orientalists:
    • Mature
    • Rational
    • Full of clarity
    • Direct
    • Noble
said on orientalism
Said on Orientalism

Based on accepted scholarly understanding

Has less to do with the Orient than with the West

critiques of said
Critiques of Said

Overly focused on Western views, rather than “Oriental” agency

Overgeneralizations

quickthink
Quickthink

In what ways is Said’s work on orientalism relevant today?

significance
Significance

We must understand our own biases

We must think about the language we use

te lawrence lawrence of arabia 1885 1935
TE Lawrence: “Lawrence of Arabia” (1885-1935)
  • British intelligence agent during WWI
  • Active in Arab Revolt (1916-1918)
  • Pushed for

Arab

indepen-

dence

King Faisal

and advisors

(Lawrence 3rd from right)

te lawrence lawrence of arabia 1885 19351
TE Lawrence: “Lawrence of Arabia” (1885-1935)
  • Seen as a hero in Britain
  • Fictionalized autobiographical accounts, e.g. Seven Pillars of Wisdom
  • Arabists’ influence
world war i
World War I
  • 1916: Sykes-Picot Agreement
  • 1916: Arab Revolt
  • 1920: Treaty of Sevres and end of Ottoman Empire

Sykes-Picot Plan

world war i1
World War I
  • Britain’s other conflicting World War I promises:
    • 1915: McMahon-Hussein correspondence
    • 1917: Balfour Declaration
mcmahon hussein correspondence 1915 1916
McMahon-Hussein Correspondence (1915-1916)
  • Henry McMahon, British High Commissioner to Egypt
  • Sharif Hussein, protector of Mecca and Medina
  • McMahon’s intentional vagueness
mcmahon hussein correspondence 1915 19161
McMahon-Hussein Correspondence (1915-1916)

“The districts of Mersina and Alexandretta, and portions of Syria lying to the west of the districts of Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo, cannot be said to be purely Arab, and must on that account be excepted from the proposed limits and boundaries . . . . Subject to the above modifications, Great Britain is prepared to recognize and support the independence of the Arabs within the territories in the limits and boundaries proposed by the Sherif of Mecca.”

--McMahon to Hussein, 24 Oct. 1915

ottoman administrative districts
Ottoman Administrative Districts

“portions of Syria lying to the west of the districts of Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo [must] be excepted “

Based on maps in Cmd. 5957 (1939)

balfour declaration 1917
Balfour Declaration (1917)
  • Nov 1917
  • Arthur Balfour, British Foreign Secretary
  • Lord Rothschild, British Jewish leader
balfour declaration 19173
Balfour Declaration (1917)
  • British motivations
    • Short-term: Russian and US support during WWI
    • Long-term: stable hold on Palestine
conclusions
Conclusions
  • British decisions made with focus on European impact, not repercussions for West Asia
  • Despite intentional vagueness of Balfour Declaration and McMahon-Hussein correspondence, British promises not compatible