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It is a small area—approximately 10,000 square miles, or about the size of the state of Maryland.The competing claims to the territory are not reconcilable if one group exercises exclusive political control over all of it.They reject the notion that a biblical-era kingdom constitutes the basis for a valid modern claim.If Arabs engage the biblical argument at all, they maintain that since Abraham’s son Ishmael is the forefather of the Arabs, then God’s promise of the land to the children of Abraham includes Arabs as well.Britain obtained a mandate over Iraq, as well as the area that now comprises Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jordan.In 1921, the British divided this latter region in two: East of the Jordan River became the Emirate of Transjordan, to be ruled by Faysal’s brother ‘Abdallah, and west of the Jordan River became the Palestine Mandate.Most of the Jews who emigrated from Europe lived a more secular lifestyle and were committed to the goals of creating a modern Jewish nation and building an independent Jewish state.By the outbreak of World War I (1914), the population of Jews in Palestine had risen to about 60,000, about 36,000 of whom were recent settlers. The British Mandate in Palestine By the early years of the twentieth century, Palestine had become a trouble spot of competing territorial claims and political interests.

Their attachment to the land was religious rather than national, and they were not involved in—or supportive of—the Zionist movement that began in Europe and was brought to Palestine by immigrants.They do not believe that they should forfeit their land to compensate Jews for Europe’s crimes against Jews.The Land and the People In the nineteenth century, following a trend that emerged earlier in Europe, people around the world began to identify themselves as nations and to demand national rights, foremost the right to self-rule in a state of their own (self-determination and sovereignty).Palestine seemed the logical and optimal place because it was the site of Jewish origin.The Zionist movement began in 1882 with the first wave of European Jewish immigration to Palestine.

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