How did the Village of Deir Yassin come to be Fought Over in 1948 and Why do Sources A and B Differ on who was to Blame for the Arab Flight from the Village and Other Parts of Palestine at that time?
Since Biblical times, the Jews had been moved from place to place with them only holding their only ‘promised’ state for a very small amount of time. The only wish the Jews had was to be in their holy city of Jerusalem but, after being banned from the city by the Romans, they dispersed around the world. In the late 5th century, the Romans abandoned Jerusalem and in the 8th century the Arabs began to live in the Palestine area. By the start of the 20th century, the Jews believed that God had promised that land to them and so it should belong to them. However, the Arabs, having lived there for 1100 years, did not want to become part of a newly-created state as they enjoyed Palestine as it was. The Arabs also believed Jerusalem to be a holy city. In 1516, The Ottoman Empire invaded Palestine, and for over 400 years, the Arabs did not have control over their land either.
Both the Arabs and the Jews got their chance to have a homeland during the First World War. As the Ottoman Empire was supporting the Central Powers, the British decided that they would support an independent state to try and hinder the Turks. This intention was promised in the MacMahon Letter in 1915, which said that Britain would “support the independence of the Arabs”. The Arabs accepted British help, in the form of training from T. E. Lawrence (more commonly known as Lawrence of Arabia). Yet promises were also made to the Jews about obtaining a national Jewish state in order to try and tempt the USA into the war. There were a lot of Jews in America and Britain hoped that if they told the Zionists, Jews who wanted a national homeland, that the Jews could have a homeland, they would put pressure on America to join the war. This intention was promised in the Balfour Declaration where a leading Zionist was promised “a national home for the Jewish people.
When the Central Powers lost the war in 1918, Palestine was given to Britain as a mandate by the League of Nations. This meant that Britain controlled Palestine and so allowed Jews into Palestine, whilst also helping the local Arabs people. Yet Britain could not predict the numbers in which Jews would immigrate into Palestine, and in the first 10 years of the mandate 100,000 Jews had immigrated. The British managed to deal with this mass arrival, but struggled when 60,000 more Jews entered the country, fleeing from the Fascists in Europe.