Israel did not just get created out of thin air in 1948.  There were many ups and downs for around 70 years before the State came to be.  One of the stories is from post World War I, and it deals with the betrayal of the Jews.

World War I

A most significant change in status of the Land of Israel occurred during World War I.  The British Empire took over the Land from the Ottoman Empire in 1917.  That ended around 400 years of Turkish rule, and opened the door for a major change in the area.

Already before World War I, there were tens of thousands of Jewish settlers who had returned to the empty land.  That also led to an influx of nomadic Arabs from the Middle East who searched for better jobs. But, it was very hard to get the Turks to agree to any form of autonomy or semi-state status for the Jewish people.  In 1917, all of this changed.

Lord Balfour

The Foreign Secretary of the British Empire, Lord Arthur Balfour, delivered what would be known as the Balfour Declaration.  That declared that His Majesty looks favorably upon the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.

The government policy was clear.  Prime Minister Lloyd George and Arthur Balfour along with other senior members of the were positively inclined towards the Jewish people.

But the politicians in London was one thing.  The British administration in the Land of Israel was filled with significant anti-Jewish tendencies.

This video breaks down perfectly how the Jewish people were betrayed right from the very start of the Balfour Declaration.

Promises, Promises

The whole idea of the return of the Jews to the Land of Israel was anathema to the civil governors of the Land of Israel.  In truth, the British administration gave a green light to the Arab leadership to do a pogrom against the Jews in the Land of Israel.  The Arabs were good at killing Jews and they jumped on the opportunity.

At first, the mandate for the Jewish home in the Land of Israel was cut down to 22% of what it had been.  But then, the British leadership, once again, gave the Arabs a green light to kill and pillage in Jerusalem, Hebron, and other cities.  The cruelty was unbelievable.  The Arabs killed 139 Jews and wounded many more.  As a follow up to the pogroms, the British actually rewarded the Arabs.  They chased the remnants of the Jewish population from Hebron instead of punishing the Arab marauders.

British Mandate – Mixed Blessing

Ultimately, the Jewish people in the Land of Israel realized that they need to fight the British mandate.  Had the Jewish people not taken up arms against the British Empire, it is possible that no Jewish State would have been created.

So, in summation, the British Mandate both helped form and hindered the formation of the State of Israel.