Iraq and Palestine have similarities in their histories and more precisely in their drive to become self determined states. Their formation has been held under the mandate of international influences and their sovereign rights subjected to foreign powers. However, there as well exist some differences on how the mandates for both were handled. When one has already acquired their right to self-determination, the other still struggles to get it. Again, handlers of the two situations have either changed, that is there are new players, or play different roles than the played before. In comparing and contrasting the two, answers from questions such as: who are the players? What is the mandate of the players? Who is giving the mandate? Has the mandate been successful? Among others will have to be provided. To begin with, the paper will cover the similarities of the two situations and later the differences.
The first similarity of Iraq and Palestine
The mandate of the both countries, created by the international forces has made them bear some similarities in their histories. Some of these similarities will be expounded further below and they include; first, in the struggle to their self determination, they are considered to be a territories rather than states and thus their push to become fully independent. In the case of Iraq, it is a state that seeks to emerge from formally three Ottoman Empire provinces of Bagdad, Basra, and Mosul. The provinces though under Ottoman rule, dissenting voices were present as well as the political activities in the region that motivated Iraq public and their international friends into fighting for their own liberation. Similarly, on the other side, Palestine mandate was meant to help in the self-determination of the Jews’ national home as it was stated by the League of Nations, in their request to see Jews in their own independent state. The Jews were considered as the traditional occupants of the territory of Palestine.
The second similarity
Another similarity is that, in both situations, the mandate is authorised by big and international organisations. For instance, Iraq mandate of engagement with international community as well as Palestine mandate were authorised by the League of Nations. At that time the League of Nations did not include majority of world countries as a members but have big and influential world powers that made their way in world affairs. The same scenario is evident in regard to situation with Palestine, as when the time to be placed under the League of Nation’s mandate as well came, again not all countries were members of the organisation but still the super powers were present. It is notable that both the League of Nations and United Nations are related and they may have similarities.
The third similarity
Thirdly, another similarity is the enforcement of the mandates on each country. In the case of Iraq, for example, League of Nations members were convinced in the British government’s ability to enforce the league’s mandate as outlined. The members of the league had given the British what they considered ‘sacred trust’. In turn, the British had accepted the responsibility of enforcing the mandate as had been authorised by the League of Nations. The Palestinian case as well the British government who again were given the mandate to protect all Palestinian territories from occupation, lease or surrendered to any foreign government was involved. The British government therefore had to play a leading role in both situations as a trusted enforcer of the mandates.
Additionally, both mandates had resulted from continental wars in the Eurasia. Major Powers in Europe and Western Asia were trying to occupy other nations by force, what later resulted in world wars. In the conflicts, British and allies had acted in favour of the two countries and later after negotiations they not only pushed for international mandate in protecting the territories but also offered to protect them as well as lead them to achieving their goal of self-determination. The League of Nations had made it clear that the mandate was given precisely to help the territories become independent states with a clear and legitimate government.
The fourth similarity
Another similarity that existed was that the British had promised that the territories in the two situations would be handed over to Arabs. Unfortunately this was later rejected as the British government endeavoured to have their interest protected in the region. For instance, in the case of Palestine, the British failed to create an Arab state, something that lead to uproar among Arab nations in the region. The Arabs felt that they had been cheated with the emergence of Palestinian mandate and that the British and French were trying to become dominant in the region. On the other hand, the British had again attempted to have Iraq government manage by the native locals, something that Arabs saw as betrayal considering their support for the British against the Ottoman rule in the tree provinces.
The mandator, in both cases sought to have the interest of the foreigners as well as their rights were observed. The British ruling class had sought to have their interest protected by the regimes that rose to powers so as to consolidate their control over the central Asia region. In doing this, they even went ahead to imposing leadership of their choice in the territories and thus overlooking the need for democratically elected governments. In the Palestinian case they had made it clear that only the Jews were to be allowed to vote, which was better option for them due to the support they enjoyed from the Jews as they were against Germany too.
Again, the administrations that were to emerge in the two territories had to guard the national interest of all the people without discrimination. Moreover, these administrations were as well authorized to protect the natural resource of their nations. Though, it had been indicated that they had to to operate with no discriminations, the British had favoured imposing a Shiite government in case of Iraq and Zionist regime in case of Palestine, something that did not go down well with other groups present in the respective territories. That is, most Arabs felt misrepresented in the Zionist regime in the mandatory Palestine, while the same fate was suffered by other religious groups in Iraq. They wanted a fair deal that would give them equal rights if not rights above the others. Furthermore, Arabs were trying to dominate the two territories by having Arab states created.
In both cases, it is clear that the British government had not properly prepared in enforcing the mandate. This is so as the boundary issue seems to have remained unresolved up to date. The Iraq with Turkey, boundary is still unmarked and tensions remain high in the border areas. The unclear demarcation of these boundaries has even raised the cross border crime in the two nations. Conversely, still it remains unclear on where the border lies between Palestine and Jordan. Again, no clear boundary exist to show the regions that have maintained for settling the Jews.
Again, both these territories were formally under the control of the Ottoman Empire. By joining central Europe powers in the First World War, Ottoman Empire was seen as a threat by the British that would cut Britain’s communication with India. The British considered India as an important trade partner and took much from it using the colonial administration they had set up. Hence, they considered the fatal threat to their trade, and decided to raid some of the territories controlled by the Ottoman Empire to create a safe place for their trade. As a result, the Ottoman Empire was forced to surrender the territories and allow the establishment of independent states under the mandate of League of Nations’ mandate for Mesopotamia, and mandate for Palestine.