During the second half of the 19th century the British Empire wanted to ensure the Middle East remains destabilised. It was around the same time that the Zionists were planning to set up a separate Jewish state in Palestine where more than 97 percent of the population were Palestinian Arabs — both Muslims and Christians. [...]

Sunday Times 2

Sykes Picot Agreement: 100 years ago, Britain and France carved up West Asia


During the second half of the 19th century the British Empire wanted to ensure the Middle East remains destabilised. It was around the same time that the Zionists were planning to set up a separate Jewish state in Palestine where more than 97 percent of the population were Palestinian Arabs — both Muslims and Christians.

It was the time when most of the Middle East was under the Turkish Ottoman Empire. This was a hurdle which needed to be removed. The opportunity came during World War 1 when Turkey was defeated by the allied forces led by Britain and France.
Anticipating the downfall of the Ottoman Empire, Britain and France began secret talks on November 23, 1915 to divide the Middle East and bring the entire region under their control. These talks ended up in the Sykes-Picot Agreement. Russia was in decline, but Britain and France got Russia involved.

The Syce-Picot agreement is the root cause of many Middle Eastern crises: An Arab girl holds a Palestinian flag as she marches for the right of return for Palestinian refugees who fled their homes or were expelled during the 1948 war that followed the creation of the state of Israel, near the southern Israeli Bedouin of Rahat on May 12. Thousands of Arab Israelis marched in protest as their Jewish compatriots partied, each group in its own way marking the 68th anniversary of the Jewish state's founding (AFP)

As a result of this worst ever western conspiracy, the Middle East suffers even today. After the war, Britain and France, as per the agreement, divided the Middle East between them, defined the borders of the new states they created and shaped the region to suit their agenda.

As per the Sykes-Picot Agreement signed one hundred years ago on May 16, 1916, Palestine in the Mediterranean, Jordan, Baghdad and areas around the Persian Gulf were grabbed by Britain while Syria, Lebanon and Turkish Cilicia were brought under French control. Later Egypt was brought under British control while the North African countries Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Mauritania came under French control.

Neither France nor Britain actually ‘owned’ these territories, but they were to effectively control them from London and Paris. This situation continues to date. Britain kept the Arabs in the dark of these secret negotiations while the Zionists were active partners of its plan. The Arabs came to know of the Agreement only when the Russian Communists released its contents to the media.

This agreement violated assurances T.E. Lawrence gave the Arabs. Lawrence, a British Army officer, was tasked with convincing the Arabs to fight against the Ottoman Empire. He gave them a promise that Arabs would rule the Arab lands. The Arabs trusted the British, not knowing that they were to be betrayed.

Declassified documents have disclosed various assurances of Arab independence given by Secretary of War, Lord Kitchener, the Viceroy of India, and others in the War Cabinet. Great Britain never intended to honour the promises that it made. It had used the Arabs to get the Ottoman Empire out of the way to protect and promote their own interests.

While Lawrence was negotiating with the Arabs, Great Britain, behind their back, was negotiating with France, and planning to divide the Middle East after the war. They needed to make sure there was no united Arab kingdom that would ever get in the way.
In the newly created western European model of the nation-states, Britain and France installed Arab stooges as rulers giving titles such as kings and creating royal families. This royal family concept which separates people from rulers is in complete violation of Islam which insists on equality of all.

These rulers were expected not to introduce democracy and freedom. Poverty and illiteracy prevailed in the new sheikdoms. Today’s political, economic, religious and social problems and conflicts in the entire region are the direct outcome of this British-French conspiracy.

In partitioning the Middle East, Palestine was brought under the British Mandatory Authority which, between 1923 and 1948, did everything possible to help the Zionist Jews to drive out Palestinians, grab Palestinian lands and create the required infrastructure for a separate Jewish state. For example Jewish migrants were allowed to use arms while Palestinians were tied to lamp post and killed for using a pen knife.

Even before Palestine was brought under British control, in 1917 the British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour wrote to Walter Rothschild, a leader of the British Zionist community, stating that: “His Majesty’s government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object .

Balfour wrote a memorandum from the 1919 Paris Peace Conference in which he declared that: “The four Great Powers (Britain, France, United States and Soviet Union) are committed to Zionism. And Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long traditions, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land”

On September 30, 1918, disgusted Arabs, religious leaders and other notables of Makkah declared in Damascus a government loyal to the Sharif of Makkah. However Britain supplied weapons and money to Ibn Saud, the founder of Saudi Arabia, and got Sheriff Hussein of Makkah removed and brought the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah under the control of Ibn Saud family.
Later the United States and the Soviet Union joined Britain and France, coaxed member countries in the newly formed United Nations and passed a resolution establishing the Zionist Jewish state of Israel in 1948 in violation of all known laws, norms and cherished human values.

Britain and France, to protect their interests, protected the Arab dictators. In 1956, Britain, France and Israel jointly invaded Egypt, when popular President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal, which was under British control. They were forced to withdraw due to pressure from US President Dwight Eisenhower.

Avenging this setback, , Israel, with the backing of the US, Britain, France and Russia, annexed Egypt’s Sinai and Gaza, Syria’s Golan Heights, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan during its war of aggression in June 1967. This was a crippling blow to Arabs.

During the past few decades Arab dictators, perhaps under pressure from their US- European masters, began establishing secret ties and deals with Zionists, virtually abandoning the Palestinians. It is said Israel has had a hand in all the subsequent wars in the region. These wars have sent more than 58 millions of Arabs into refugee camps, allowed Western oil companies to grab the oil wealth of Iraq.

The question is, how long will these crimes continue?
(The writer is a senior journalist. He can be reached at almfarook19@gmail.com)

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