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administration in Palestine       kingdom. “Two years ago he was    the conference approved the
            did its utmost to obstruct the    a Bedouin sheik, a capable but    establishment of a Jewish national
            establishment of a Jewish national   modest soldier; at present he is   home in Palestine under the care of
            home there, in blatant disregard of   attempting to play the role of a Near   a separate Mandatory, distinct from
            London’s official policy.         Eastern Napoleon and to set up an   Syria, and by the end of July Faisal
                                              Arab Empire from the Euphrates    had been forcefully evicted from
            To further complicate matters,    almost to the Nile,” a disillusioned   Syria by the French.
            Emir Faisal ibn Hussein of Mecca,   Weizmann lamented.
            the effective leader of the nascent                                 So it was that within five years of its
            Pan-Arab movement, who in                                           issuance the Balfour Declaration
            January 1919 had signed a historic                                  had been endorsed by the official
            agreement with Chaim Weizmann,                                      representative body of the will of the
            upcoming head of the Zionist                                        international community: not only
            movement, which endorsed the                                        in the practical sense of supporting
            Balfour Declaration and urged “all                                  the creation of a Jewish national
            necessary measures... to encourage                                  home in Palestine but in the deeper
            and stimulate immigration of Jews                                   sense of recognising “the historical
                                                   Prince Faisal’s delegation at Paris, 1919
            into Palestine on a large scale,”                                   connexion of the Jewish people with
            reneged on this agreement as                                        Palestine and… the grounds for
            his imperial ambitions grew. On   It quickly transpired, however, that   reconstituting their national home
            8 March 1920, he had himself      Faisal had overplayed his hand.   in that country” (in the words of the
            crowned as King Faisal I of Syria   Though Britain and France, while   League of Nations’ mandate).
            “within its natural boundaries,   dismissing the legitimacy of his
            including Palestine” and demanded   self-enthronement altogether,   Further Reading: Efraim Karsh & Inari Karsh,
            that France and Britain vacate    implied their readiness to recognise   Empires of  the Sand: The Struggle for Mastery in the
            the country’s western (that is,   him provisionally as head of an   Middle East 1789–1923 (London / Cambridge, MA:
            Lebanese) and southern (i.e.      independent Syrian state provided   Harvard University Press, 1999).
            Palestinian) parts. This resulted   he came to Europe without delay
            in the Jerusalem pogrom of April   to state his case, Faisal would
            1920 in which five Jews were      not come without receiving         About The Author
            murdered and 211 wounded, which   assurances that the looming San    Professor Efraim Karsh is emeritus professor of
            was carried out not in the name of   Remo conference “does in no way   Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King’s
            Palestine’s independence but under   allow Palestine to be separated   College  London,  Director  of  the  Begin-Sadat
                                                                                 Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University,
            the demand for its incorporation   from Syria.” This proved the last   and editor of the Middle East Quarterly and Israel
            into Faisal’s self-proclaimed     straw. Rebuffing his ultimatum,    Affairs.

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