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It's 1918 in the Middle East and you get to draw the boundries!

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  • niikeb
    replied
    Originally posted by Golani View Post
    Much of the Arab hostility was due to British actions (of course not all of them) and in 1917 there weren't 1 million Arabs in the area, the Arabs were still very much tribal and had very little affiliation to a specific piece of land. If you'll note I started with making the Saudi Arabia the official "Bedouin state", a good enough reason for most of the Arabs of the region to drain towards there.

    But we are talking about a complete void of European influence. Both in terms of Jews and Arabs. In such a laboratory condition the Arabs have no edge.
    The Interm Report of the LoN in 1920 counted 77,000 Christians 76,000 Jews and 547,000 Muslims.

    The 1914 Ottoman records compiled by McCarthy record, 81,000 Christians, 59,000 Jews, 657,000 Muslims.

    By 1941 it was 471k Jewish and 1.1m Arab. (40% or greater in West Bank)
    That means 350k Jewish Growth and 450k Arab. Of course the ratio went from 11% Jewish to 30% Jewish.

    So even if we accept 640,000 Arabs in 1918, the Jews in the area are so under populated that any land given to them by the Allies (who inspite of your claims at no European Influence, British Armies Occupy Transjordan in 1918, as a fact on the ground. They need to hand it over to someone.) Would quickly be untendable with out sufficent population.

    In light of Israel's military victories in 1947-1967, I do not think there was a more advantageous time to start a nation then directly post WW2.

    I think that the British Mandate in spite of favorable attitudes to the Arabs worked out quite well for Israel, giving them time and relative safety to get ready for independance.

    But while I agree that a supportive British government would have allowed the Jews to reach the critical population mass to form Israel, I do not think that going it alone in 1918 was a recipie for success, especially considering the nearby unrest in Jordan and Syria, that I think would have created a map that was heavily Turkish Perisan and Saudi.

    And Saud was not drawing Arabs into Arabia, he was expanding his domain into what is now Saudi Arabia, with only the British holding him (and Ataturk) back from expansion.

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  • Golani
    replied
    Originally posted by niikeb View Post
    But what about the internal Palestinians. I mean by 1921 Amin al-Husayni is the grand mufti, if you remember he later worked for Hitler. Do you just expect the British to deport all 1 million Arabs in the area?I just dont see how a group that is 10% of the population in 1918 gets to be in charge of an area where they are such a minority.
    You yourself admit that the Isralies would have needed time to get a nation and defenses set up.
    Much of the Arab hostility was due to British actions (of course not all of them) and in 1917 there weren't 1 million Arabs in the area, the Arabs were still very much tribal and had very little affiliation to a specific piece of land. If you'll note I started with making the Saudi Arabia the official "Bedouin state", a good enough reason for most of the Arabs of the region to drain towards there.
    That is irrefutable. You can not find a similar sized nation that survived in that region out of the dozens that attempted to. (There is a huge list of nations that attempted to spring out of the Ottoman remains). But the map the British and French drew stuck. Because 1% British power was greater than everything else in the region in the post WW I era.
    But we are talking about a complete void of European influence. Both in terms of Jews and Arabs. In such a laboratory condition the Arabs have no edge.

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  • niikeb
    replied
    Originally posted by Golani View Post
    Again, these are completely shots in the dark.
    My points are-
    Without the British blunt intervention in the ME in general and Palestine in specific, my basic assumption is that our neighbors wouldn't have invaded.
    I mean, eventually they would have, but not immediately. Israel wouldn't have to face the challenge it faced in '47-'49 of an immediate all inclusive Arab invasion.
    By the time the Arabs/Muslims invade, Israel would have been very well established, in terms of population and industry.
    The absence of the British works in favor of a Jewish army by another perspective- the Arabs would have been significantly under armed, under equipped and under lead (all fields for which the British took very good care of in the 40's) both by the virtue that they are simply missing all of the above and by the fact that Jews could have actually acquired and manufacture arms, hold military training and so on.
    But what about the internal Palestinians. I mean by 1921 Amin al-Husayni is the grand mufti, if you remember he later worked for Hitler. Do you just expect the British to deport all 1 million Arabs in the area?I just dont see how a group that is 10% of the population in 1918 gets to be in charge of an area where they are such a minority.
    You yourself admit that the Isralies would have needed time to get a nation and defenses set up.

    Not to mention that The Ikhwan had pushed up into Jordan in the early 1920s and were pushed back by the British. They send 4,500 raiders agaisnt Jordan, before the British defeated them. Also in 1925 the Sauds conquered Hejaz.

    Honestly I see them having an even less likely chance of succeding than the Kingdom of Kurdistan did.

    There is a huge list of nations that tried to make it on thier own. The only ones that succeded discounting Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, were ones backed by European forces.

    That is irrefutable. You can not find a similar sized nation that survived in that region out of the dozens that attempted to. (There is a huge list of nations that attempted to spring out of the Ottoman remains). But the map the British and French drew stuck. Because 1% British power was greater than everything else in the region in the post WW I era.

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  • Golani
    replied
    Again, these are completely shots in the dark.
    My points are-
    Without the British blunt intervention in the ME in general and Palestine in specific, my basic assumption is that our neighbors wouldn't have invaded.
    I mean, eventually they would have, but not immediately. Israel wouldn't have to face the challenge it faced in '47-'49 of an immediate all inclusive Arab invasion.
    By the time the Arabs/Muslims invade, Israel would have been very well established, in terms of population and industry.
    The absence of the British works in favor of a Jewish army by another perspective- the Arabs would have been significantly under armed, under equipped and under lead (all fields for which the British took very good care of in the 40's) both by the virtue that they are simply missing all of the above and by the fact that Jews could have actually acquired and manufacture arms, hold military training and so on.

    Leave a comment:


  • niikeb
    replied
    Originally posted by Golani View Post
    It's an oxymoron, I feel that if Israel would have existed in the late 19th century there would have been a massive immigration to it (granted, not like that of the holocaust, but waves in sync. with pogroms and persecutions). Every time there was an influx of antisemitism Jews would flee to Israel.
    Remember- even Hitler's initial plan was expulsion, not extermination, imagine all those Jews that fled Germany would have reached safe haven in Israel, instead of being turned down by virtually all countries and forced to return to Europe. Imagine if the Jewish population of each country that fell to Hitler would have fled to Israel instead of pushed into ovens.
    So many Jews would have been safe (Europe would have less Jews to begin with) and the population of Israel would have been immense.

    True, the American Jews wouldn't have come right away, but they would have, in Time. Some of course would stay there and either denounce the state or their nationality, just like it is in our reality.

    Still a better starting scenario then the reality, in which the British didn't enable Jewish immigration, didn't allow them to arm and defend themselves, instigated the Arab population against the Jewish and helped them (Arabs) to kill the Jews.
    So yeah, I'd take my scenario any day.
    I mean firstly it is a very good point that a late 19th century Greece/Egypt version of Israel would have stood the best chance at success. The situation in the 19th century before Arab nationalism and Muslim Political unity was far different than it was in the Post WW1 era. A Serbia type Israel starting at the right time could have worked.

    But in 1918 my concern isnt about them surviving the next 5-10 years until the population grows enough for self defense. It is them surviving the first 12 months against the Saudis and other neighbors, internal and external.

    My question is the ability of 120k Jews to rule a population of 1 million Arabs.

    Remember the Israel Military of 1947 was comprised of WW2 vets and Holocause survivors. The army they could have drawn on in 1918 was not as well trained or determined. I do not see the Arabs emmigrating from Transjordan in the face of 120k Jews like they did with 400-600k Jews during the Independance war.

    I think they needed Britain to "control" the area initially to give them time to react.

    I mean prior to 1915 no one thought that a Non Ottoman Palestine would open up in the blink of an eye. Even the most ardent Zionists believed they had to work internal to the Ottoman Empire. It was a case where events overtook planning. Where you save for a hundred years to buy a house that you are renting and the owner dies suddenly with no will or heirs.

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  • Golani
    replied
    Originally posted by niikeb View Post
    I just don't see the American or European Jews of the 1918 era being inclined to a massive surge in immigration to Trans Jordan.

    I mean had the Anti Semitic White Russians (such as Denikin) won, there may have been impetus for a large scale emigrations for Trans Jordan.
    But I just do not see European or American Jews as willing to Emigrate. I mean in 1918 The main Emigrants would have been from Poland and Russia, both of which nations would not have been exactly stable enough to allow mass emigration with out issue.
    It's an oxymoron, I feel that if Israel would have existed in the late 19th century there would have been a massive immigration to it (granted, not like that of the holocaust, but waves in sync. with pogroms and persecutions). Every time there was an influx of antisemitism Jews would flee to Israel.
    Remember- even Hitler's initial plan was expulsion, not extermination, imagine all those Jews that fled Germany would have reached safe haven in Israel, instead of being turned down by virtually all countries and forced to return to Europe. Imagine if the Jewish population of each country that fell to Hitler would have fled to Israel instead of pushed into ovens.
    So many Jews would have been safe (Europe would have less Jews to begin with) and the population of Israel would have been immense.

    True, the American Jews wouldn't have come right away, but they would have, in Time. Some of course would stay there and either denounce the state or their nationality, just like it is in our reality.
    Agreed that the British were unhelpful, but with out them more or less keeping the peace, there would not be a Jewish state in Israel today. I mean say they were able to immigrate 60k Jews to Palestine in 1918, to bring the totals to 130k. And say they were able to convince the Arab Christians in the area (Who were some of the main founders of Arab nationalism) to side with them. They are still out numbered by 5 to 1. With no time to prepare for war.
    Still a better starting scenario then the reality, in which the British didn't enable Jewish immigration, didn't allow them to arm and defend themselves, instigated the Arab population against the Jewish and helped them (Arabs) to kill the Jews.
    So yeah, I'd take my scenario any day.

    Leave a comment:


  • niikeb
    replied
    Originally posted by Golani View Post
    This gets into the truly shady territory of alternate history.
    There are factors that are nothing but guesses. If there wasn't the British embargo on Jewish immigration- who know how many millions would have come here. If the Brits would impose a reverse embargo than what actually happened in history (Jews can immigrate to Israel, Arabs can't) then we could have easily be a sizable majority.
    I just don't see the American or European Jews of the 1918 era being inclined to a massive surge in immigration to Trans Jordan.

    I mean had the Anti Semitic White Russians (such as Denikin) won, there may have been impetus for a large scale emigrations for Trans Jordan.
    But I just do not see European or American Jews as willing to Emigrate. I mean in 1918 The main Emigrants would have been from Poland and Russia, both of which nations would not have been exactly stable enough to allow mass emigration with out issue.
    No.
    Again- history shows the opposite, the British presence did the opposite of keeping the peace, moreover not only did it induce war they helped persecute (and persecuted themselves) the weak minority.

    So no, the Jews probably had better chance without a British presence than with a "historically compatible" British presence.
    Agreed that the British were unhelpful, but with out them more or less keeping the peace, there would not be a Jewish state in Israel today. I mean say they were able to immigrate 60k Jews to Palestine in 1918, to bring the totals to 130k. And say they were able to convince the Arab Christians in the area (Who were some of the main founders of Arab nationalism) to side with them. They are still out numbered by 5 to 1. With no time to prepare for war.

    What the British did was enforce an overt peace that allowed both sides to prepare for the upcoming conflict (Which became more apparent as time went by).

    Also one has to realize that Prior to 1918 Arab Christians in the Levant were not a persecuted minority with an identity as they are now in places like Pakistan and Iraq.

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  • Golani
    replied
    Originally posted by niikeb View Post
    From most sources, the number of Jews in the mandate not including Jordan as of 1918 was 60,000 with 600,000 non Jews.
    By 1947 Palestine is 650k Jews, 150k Christians 1 millionish Arabs

    Agreed that a free pass may have brought many over, but still the numbers were just too few to actually create a majority Jewish State. The best you could get is a Lebanon situation where Christian/Jews for a powerful minority of the government.
    This gets into the truly shady territory of alternate history.
    There are factors that are nothing but guesses. If there wasn't the British embargo on Jewish immigration- who know how many millions would have come here. If the Brits would impose a reverse embargo than what actually happened in history (Jews can immigrate to Israel, Arabs can't) then we could have easily be a sizable majority.
    The lack of people during the Immigration Phase would require a western nation to keep the peace.
    No.
    Again- history shows the opposite, the British presence did the opposite of keeping the peace, moreover not only did it induce war they helped persecute (and persecuted themselves) the weak minority.

    So no, the Jews probably had better chance without a British presence than with a "historically compatible" British presence.

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  • niikeb
    replied
    Originally posted by Golani View Post
    You got a little mixed up here.

    I agree that the Jewish population in Israel as of 1918 would have been insufficient to settle both banks of the Jordan. I disagree about settling the west side of it, let alone the 1947 borders.

    Even excluding the Holocaust, a free pass into Israel would have brought many Jews over here.
    From most sources, the number of Jews in the mandate not including Jordan as of 1918 was 60,000 with 600,000 non Jews.
    By 1947 Palestine is 650k Jews, 150k Christians 1 millionish Arabs

    Agreed that a free pass may have brought many over, but still the numbers were just too few to actually create a majority Jewish State. The best you could get is a Lebanon situation where Christian/Jews for a powerful minority of the government.
    Also, I can't see why there would be a need for a British mandate to help create the state.
    The lack of people during the Immigration Phase would require a western nation to keep the peace.
    Or Turkey.

    I don't submit to the "Iranian-Arab controversy is superior to all" theory. Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas all ganged up on Israel very nicely, leaving behind not only the Persian/Arab thing, but also the Shia (Iran&Hezbollah)- Sunni (Hamas)- Alawit (Syria) thing.

    Now, imagine a Kurdistan that borders a Shia Iraq and an Iran. I can easily see it leading to a unification (even springing from a temporary alliance) of the 2 to take Kurdistan out. I'm not even talking about all the other dangers that loom out for them.

    Indeed, Kurdistan would face some very similar challenges we face.
    Agreed that Kurdistan, and Israel would be major targets of any regional power.
    Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post
    Actually, given the wisdom of hindsight, not such a bad option:- especially with Ataturk in charge.

    Who knows: perhaps the Israel/Palestine area would have remained the peaceful,backward corner of the Turkish Empire it had been throughout the 19th Century, instead of becoming- something else.
    Ataturk was a rebel against the Ottomans, if the Ottoman Empire still existed, the odds of an Ataturk takeover would not be great.

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  • BELGRAVE
    replied
    Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
    Leave it for the Turks to sort out, but insist they accept Jewish migrants.
    Actually, given the wisdom of hindsight, not such a bad option:- especially with Ataturk in charge.

    Who knows: perhaps the Israel/Palestine area would have remained the peaceful,backward corner of the Turkish Empire it had been throughout the 19th Century, instead of becoming- something else.
    Last edited by BELGRAVE; 03 May 12, 02:59.

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  • Golani
    replied
    Originally posted by niikeb View Post
    That would have been possible even up to 1946, but would have required a full fledged British participation in the founding of Israel.
    Also in 1918 it would have been almost impossible to know that the Holocaust would have displanted so many Jews to Israel.
    In 1918 there would not have been enough Jews in the area to sucessfully create a Jewish state even if it was just the 1947 mandate.
    Best case scenario for a Judeo Christian state would have been British Mandate with intention of creating one, aka no Immigration White papers.
    You got a little mixed up here.

    I agree that the Jewish population in Israel as of 1918 would have been insufficient to settle both banks of the Jordan. I disagree about settling the west side of it, let alone the 1947 borders.

    Even excluding the Holocaust, a free pass into Israel would have brought many Jews over here.

    Also, I can't see why there would be a need for a British mandate to help create the state.
    Quite a pickle, but if anything the Kurdish north did not (and does not) belong in Iraq.
    Or Turkey.
    A Syria + Sunni Iraq would probably balance nicely in the region, but if Iran Gobbled up the Shiia Iraq, that would create a major power player in the region (not that Iran is not already a Major power player). Of course if the CIA kept it's nose out of Iran, maybe greater Iran could have become the moderate democratic beacon of the Middle East.
    Still, Iraq is Arab and not Persian, maybe Shiia Iraq could have survived.
    I don't submit to the "Iranian-Arab controversy is superior to all" theory. Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas all ganged up on Israel very nicely, leaving behind not only the Persian/Arab thing, but also the Shia (Iran&Hezbollah)- Sunni (Hamas)- Alawit (Syria) thing.

    Now, imagine a Kurdistan that borders a Shia Iraq and an Iran. I can easily see it leading to a unification (even springing from a temporary alliance) of the 2 to take Kurdistan out. I'm not even talking about all the other dangers that loom out for them.

    Indeed, Kurdistan would face some very similar challenges we face.

    Leave a comment:


  • niikeb
    replied
    Originally posted by Golani View Post
    Depends on what you call a successful state, but in any case, the 1 and only basis for their sovereignty is the British bribery of the Hashemite family.
    Well looking back, it has caused less problems than most. But yes it is not a historic country.
    Indeed, Jabel Druze and the Golan Heights.

    The state of Israel would still be a Jewish state, but it will also supply safe haven for other persecuted minorities.
    That would have been possible even up to 1946, but would have required a full fledged British participation in the founding of Israel.
    Also in 1918 it would have been almost impossible to know that the Holocaust would have displanted so many Jews to Israel.
    In 1918 there would not have been enough Jews in the area to sucessfully create a Jewish state even if it was just the 1947 mandate.
    Best case scenario for a Judeo Christian state would have been British Mandate with intention of creating one, aka no Immigration White papers.
    Iraq as a whole is quite the sore. Aside for obvious things (oil) the Shia half borders Iran and the Sunni half borders Syria. There's quite a possibility for them to be swallowed by said countries.
    Quite a pickle, but if anything the Kurdish north did not (and does not) belong in Iraq.
    A Syria + Sunni Iraq would probably balance nicely in the region, but if Iran Gobbled up the Shiia Iraq, that would create a major power player in the region (not that Iran is not already a Major power player). Of course if the CIA kept it's nose out of Iran, maybe greater Iran could have become the moderate democratic beacon of the Middle East.
    Still, Iraq is Arab and not Persian, maybe Shiia Iraq could have survived.

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  • Golani
    replied
    Originally posted by niikeb View Post
    1. Fair point, I went forward knowing that Jordan would be a sucessful state, but in 1918 that was not apparent.
    Depends on what you call a successful state, but in any case, the 1 and only basis for their sovereignty is the British bribery of the Hashemite family.
    3. While I find the Idea of a sucessful Jewish Christian state in Transjordan appealing, I am not sure if it would work. I would also include the Druze areas of Southern Syria and the Christian areas of Southern Lebanon if I were to take that route.
    Indeed, Jabel Druze and the Golan Heights.

    The state of Israel would still be a Jewish state, but it will also supply safe haven for other persecuted minorities.
    4. I think Iraq is the most obvious problem with British/French map drawing mixed with wholesale bribes. One major problem with Sunii Iraq is the lack of resources which would possibly lead to them getting eaten up. But maybe if it had been it's own nation from the start it would have had a better chance.
    Iraq as a whole is quite the sore. Aside for obvious things (oil) the Shia half borders Iran and the Sunni half borders Syria. There's quite a possibility for them to be swallowed by said countries.

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  • niikeb
    replied
    Originally posted by Golani View Post
    In which case my scenario would look very similar to what Dest25 posted (IIRC the map is by Ralph Peters) with the following differences-

    1. The state of Israel is erected on the entire territory of mandatory Palestine (i.e modern Israel and Jordan), Jordan therefore doesn't exist.

    2. Saudi Arabia is the "only" gift given to the Bedouins for their mutiny. Bedouins from all over the region (Mainly Sinai and mandatory Palestine) are encouraged to move there.

    3. Lebanon does not exist. It is part of Syria. The Christian minority should be encouraged to immigrate to Israel.

    4. Modern Iraq should be broken into Sunni and Shia, OTOH it can't be ruled by Bedouins (i.e the Faysel family as was historically) but it also can't be swallowed up by greater Syria, that's a toughy....
    1. Fair point, I went forward knowing that Jordan would be a sucessful state, but in 1918 that was not apparent.
    2. and 4a Agreed that planting the Faysel family in Jordan and Iraq was a major gamble that worked in Jordan and failed in Iraq.
    3. While I find the Idea of a sucessful Jewish Christian state in Transjordan appealing, I am not sure if it would work. I would also include the Druze areas of Southern Syria and the Christian areas of Southern Lebanon if I were to take that route.
    4. I think Iraq is the most obvious problem with British/French map drawing mixed with wholesale bribes. One major problem with Sunii Iraq is the lack of resources which would possibly lead to them getting eaten up. But maybe if it had been it's own nation from the start it would have had a better chance.

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  • Golani
    replied
    Originally posted by niikeb View Post
    Very fair point.

    I guess one would state which desires are which. I personally tried to lower the amount of "opressed minorities" in the region while breaking up nations that could create an unbalanced situation.

    I think for every individual an improved middle east would be different. I think some issues would be global such as reducing suffering and war, but those as you say are tradeoffs.
    In which case my scenario would look very similar to what Dest25 posted (IIRC the map is by Ralph Peters) with the following differences-

    1. The state of Israel is erected on the entire territory of mandatory Palestine (i.e modern Israel and Jordan), Jordan therefore doesn't exist.

    2. Saudi Arabia is the "only" gift given to the Bedouins for their mutiny. Bedouins from all over the region (Mainly Sinai and mandatory Palestine) are encouraged to move there.

    3. Lebanon does not exist. It is part of Syria. The Christian minority should be encouraged to immigrate to Israel.

    4. Modern Iraq should be broken into Sunni and Shia, OTOH it can't be ruled by Bedouins (i.e the Faysel family as was historically) but it also can't be swallowed up by greater Syria, that's a toughy....

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