No History wasted, here, either.
"The outbreak of World War I in 1914, and the Ottoman Empire’s alliance with Germany, gave Britain and other imperial powers new opportunities to help themselves to the region’s riches
. Britain and Russia reached a new agreement in 1915, dividing up Iran and Turkey. Britain and France likewise made plans to divvy up much of the Middle East between them once the war was won.
At the same time
, Britain encouraged Arab revolts
against the Ottoman Empire with the promise
that victory would lead to a united Arab nation
, reaching from the Red Sea to the Persian Gulf. And in November 1917, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour wrote to the Zionist leader Lord Rothschild promising British government support for "the establishment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish People."
(The Zionist movement, which originated in Europe, sought creation of a Jewish state.)
The British government had promised the same country to two nations.
At the war’s end, private intere$t$
hopeful of exploiting the region’s oil
, urged their governments to ignore war-time promises to Arab leaders
. A variety of small, divided Arab states would be much easier to maneuver into oil deals than a large, independent Arab republic
. The European powers agreed. France assumed control of Syria and Lebanon. Britain took Palestine and Mesopotamia. London granted local control to kings and sheiks favorable to British interests. These arrangements were ratified by the League of Nations; Britain’s Palestinian colony was officially a League "Mandate."