P. 8

indigenous self-rule and national   President Woodrow Wilson) and
             self-determination, the victorious   prominent Pan-Arab nationalists
             Allied Powers sought to steer the   quickly endorsed the wartime
             former Ottoman colonies into      Balfour Declaration, at the Paris
             independence rather than carve up   peace negotiations in 1919 the
             the defeated empire for themselves.   Jewish national cause fell victim to
                                               great-power rivalries and intrigues.
             Within this framework, the April   Reluctant to acquiesce to British
             1920 San Remo peace conference    predominance in the Middle East,
             determined to appoint Britain     the French, while acknowledging
             as the Mandatory for Palestine,   that “the whole world was
             tasked with putting into effect “the   sympathetic to the aspiration of
             declaration originally made on    the Jews to establish a national   Lloyd George, Orlando, Clémenceau, Wilson (Paris, 1919)
             November 2, 1917, by the British   home in Palestine” and promising
             Government, and adopted by the
             other Allied Powers, in favour of         “the whole world was sympathetic to
             ‘the establishment in Palestine
             of a national home for the Jewish        the aspiration of  the Jews to establish
             people’, ‘it being clearly understood         a national home in Palestine”
             that nothing shall be done which
             may prejudice the civil and religious
             rights of existing non-Jewish     “to do their utmost to satisfy their
             communities in Palestine, or the   legitimate desire,” sought to revive
             rights and political status enjoyed by   the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement
             Jews in any other country’.”      that internationalised most of
                                               Palestine so as to prevent its
             The decision was approved by the   placement under a British mandate.
             League of Nations’ Council, who   For his part, President Wilson
             entrusted the Mandate to Britain on   obstructed the proposal of his
             24 July 1922.                     British and French war allies for
                                               an immediate allocation of the
             From Balfour to San Remo          mandates, and instead demanded
             The road to this decision, however,   to send an enquiry commission
             was not easy. While in 1917       to elucidate the state of opinion
             Britain’s war allies (notably US   in Syria.  Even the British military         Gates of San Remo Conference             (1920)

        6      SAN REMO 100
   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13