Histórias do Médio Oriente
1) The Churchill White Paper of 3 June 1922 clarified how Britain viewed the Balfour Declaration, 1917. That Declaration announced the British intent to aid the "establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people", wording which became controversial.
The key components of the White Paper are summarized by these quotations from it:
"The tension which has prevailed from time to time in Palestine is mainly due to apprehensions, which are entertained both by sections of the Arab and by sections of the Jewish population. These apprehensions, so far as the Arabs are concerned are partly based upon exaggerated interpretations of the meaning of the [Balfour] Declaration favouring the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine, made on behalf of His Majesty's Government on 2 November 1917."
'Unauthorized statements have been made to the effect that the purpose in view is to create a wholly Jewish Palestine. Phrases have been used such as that Palestine is to become "as Jewish as England is English." His Majesty's Government regard any such expectation as impracticable and have no such aim in view. (...) In this connection it has been observed with satisfaction that at a meeting of the Zionist Congress, the supreme governing body of the Zionist Organization, held at Carlsbad in September, 1921, a resolution was passed expressing as the official statement of Zionist aims "the determination of the Jewish people to live with the Arab people on terms of unity and mutual respect, and together with them to make the common home into a flourishing community, the upbuilding of which may assure to each of its peoples an undisturbed national development"'.
'it is contemplated that the status of all citizens of Palestine in the eyes of the law shall be Palestinian, and it has never been intended that they, or any section of them, should possess any other juridical status. So far as the Jewish population of Palestine are concerned it appears that some among them are apprehensive that His Majesty's Government may depart from the policy embodied in the Declaration of 1917. .'
2) 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine
In April 1936, the Arab leadership in Palestine, led by Hajj Amin al-Husayni, declared a general strike to protest against, and put an end to Jewish immigration to Palestine. The revolt was driven primarily by Arab hostility to Britain's permission of restricted Jewish immigration and land purchases which Palestinian Arabs believed was leading them to becoming a minority in the territory and future nation-state. They demanded immediate elections which, based on their demographic majority, would have resulted in a democratic Arab government. (...)
Although the British administration didn't officially recognize the Haganah, the British security forces cooperated with it by forming the Jewish Settlement Police, Jewish Auxiliary Forces and Special Night Squads. A smaller Haganah splinter group, the Irgun organization (also called by its Hebrew acronym Etzel), adopted a policy of retaliation and revenge (including against civilians).
* Despite the assistance of 20,000 additional British troops and several thousand Haganah men, the uprising continued for over two years. By the time order was restored in March of 1939, more than 5,000 Arabs, 400 Jews, and 200 Britons were killed.
3) The White Paper of 1939, also known as the MacDonald White Paper after Malcolm MacDonald, the British Colonial Secretary who presided over it, was a policy paper issued by the British government under Neville Chamberlain in which the idea of partitioning the Mandate for Palestine was abandoned in favor of an independent Palestine governed jointly by Arabs and Jews.