Primary Source Documents
Very good collection of documents, letters and telegrams between Arab and British officials regarding Arab independence.
Section I: Lord John Russell's refusal to favour independence of the Caliph (1860). First stirrings of Arab Secret Societies (1865-1880).
Section II: Arab Secret Societies. From the Young Turk Revolution to 1912. French Comments. Syrian delegation to Lord Kitchener, 1912.
Section III: Arab Syrian Congress in Paris and Franco-Syrian Committee in Paris, June, 1913.
Section IV: Lord Kitchener's conversation with Emir Abdullah, February 1914, and its aftermath. (A) Lord Kitchener's account and views of Sir Louis Mallet. (B) Emir Abdullah s account of his conversation with Lord Kitchener, transmitted with notes by Mr. G. Antonius.
Section V: Aziz Bey and the Arab Movement, 1914. Great sources if you're looking for evidence of early Arab nationalism.
1915-1916. Decide for yourself if the British official (McMahon) implied an autonomous homeland for Arabs to Hussein (Sharif of Mecca). Index: 1915-07-14: Letter from Hussein to McMahon confirming Arab willingness to fight alongside the British in exchange for autonomy.
1915-08-30: Letter from McMahon to Hussein accepting Arab support while refusing to outline boundaries.
1915-09-09: Letter from Hussein to McMahon taking McMahon to task for his ambiguity on key points.
1915-11-05: Letter from Hussein to McMahon acknowledging territorial concessions, as well as a British military presence in the new Arab territories after the war. Note last paragraph where he comments on McMahon's promise that Government officials "will not interfere with internal affairs".
1915-12-14: Letter from McMahon to Hussein making diplomatic statements regarding French interests in Beirut, etc.
1916-01-01: Letter from Hussein to McMahon warning that Arab peoples would not allow the French to own and occupy any land in Beirut and the coasts once the war concludes.
1916-01-25: Letter from McMahon to Hussein promising to consider the question of Baghdad and reaffirming British/French solidarity without addressing the question of Beirut.
Keep in mind when you read the introduction that this is a pro-Palestinian site, however, the historical merit of the letters themselves is evident.
Sykes Picot Agreement|
1916. This secret treaty between the British and French divided the Middle East between the two countries, Britain: Iraq, Palestine, and Jordan. France: Lebanon, Syria, and much of southern Turkey. (Consider how this contradicts implications of McMahon/Hussein letters.) Another location: Sykes Picot Agreement.
1917. Letter from Lord Balfour outlining British willingness to support the creation of a homeland for Jewish people in the Holy Land.
Treaty at Lausanne|
1918. Abolished Capitulations and recognized Turkey -without- the Arab provinces.
27 Articles of T.E. Lawrence. |
1917. Englishman who led Arab tribesman against the Turkish with Hussein writes of working with Arab tribesman successfully against Turks. Shows general bias of the day as well as giving light to lifestyle and politics of nomadic Arab tribes.
T.E. Lawrence's report on Mesopotamia|
1920. He reports on mismanagement and the execution of innocent Arabs by the British officials.
British White Paper |
1922. Early evidence of trouble in Palestine, Winston Churchill makes statements regarding Arab rights and the Balfour Declaration.
British White Paper|
1939. British Government attempts to quell unrest by limiting Jewish immigration.
UN Partition Plan|
1947. This non-binding resolution which calls for two independent states was accepted by Isrealis, rejected by Palestinians.
Massacre at Deir Yasin|
1948. Red Cross Report on the Massacre at Deir Yasin by the radical Irgun.
1948. Excerpts from the report of the UN Mediator, Bernadotte.
UN Resolution 181|
1948. On the Partition of Palestine.
Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel.|
1948. Proclaimed when the British Mandate finally ended, on May 14.
1967. (Note that the introduction was prepared by the Israeli ministry of Foreign Affairs, but the text of the Resolutions is primary source material.)
The Palestinian National Charter. |
1967. Outlines basic grievances, refuses to recognize the State of Isreal, etc.
UN Security Council Resolution 242. |
1967. Response to the Six-Day War. Outlines strategy for negotiating peace.
UN Security Council Resolution 338|
1973. Response to the Yom Kippur War. Calls for a cease fire.
UN Security Council Resolution 425. |
1978. Response to Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Calls for removal of IDF troops from Lebanon.
Memorandum of Understanding between Israel and the U.S. |
1981. Agreement to share air space, run military exercises together, etc.
Golan Heights Law. |
1981. Extends Israeli jurisdiction over the Golan Heights area.
Palestinian Declaration of Independence. |
1988. Note the difference in tone, compared to 1967 Charter.
Israel's Peace Initiative.|
1989. Does not recognize the P.L.O. or allow for the establishment of a Palestinian state. Does offer free elections for Palestinian Arabs, transition to self-rule.
Invitation to Madrid Peace Conference|
1991. Break-up of the Soviet Union precipitated the joing American/Soviet invitation to Arab and Israeli leaders. Palestinians are included as part of Jordanian-Palestinian Delegation. Reference made to self-rule.
Letters from Arafat to Rabin, and Rabin to Arafat.|
1993. Arafat recognizes Israel, renounces portions of the Palestinian National Charter (1967); Rabin recognizes P.L.O. as the representative of the Palestinian people.
Declaration of Principles of Interim State Government. |
1993. Outlines arrangements for transition to self-rule. Portions of this document also available at alternate site: Part I and Part II.
|Agreement on the Gaza Strip and Jericho Area. |
1994. Arrangements between P.L.O. and Israel.
Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip.|
1995. Includes maps of safe passage zones, release of Palestinian prisoners, etc.
1997. Concerning redeployment at Hebron. Includes maps.