In what ways were both Zionism and Arab nationalism representative of the quest for modernization, and how were they either advanced or frustrated by the British mandate in Palestine?

Zionism and Arab nationalism are representative of the quest for modernization in they sought development through industrial capital. The Zionists were initially aided in their settlement by the British Mandate, whereas the Palestinians were forced to resettle as a result.

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The British mandate was an inevitable result of the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I. For centuries, Palestine and the majority-Arab territories elsewhere had been semi-autonomous provinces of an empire centrally ruled by the Ottoman Turks. With the victory of the Allies (Britain, France, and from 1917, the US), in 1918, the Empire was dissolved, with the supposed intention of granting independence eventually to its constituent territories based on the principle of ethnic self-determination, as was to be applied in Europe as well.

Zionism and Arab Nationalism were both partly founded on the modern concept of the nation-state. Since the early nineteenth century, in Europe and elsewhere, intellectuals and political leaders had believed increasingly that each ethnic group or nationality should have its own unified country and therefore control its political destiny. This became an ideal, as opposed to the situation where, in various cases, national groups were split up into many different small states (as Germany and Italy were before 1870) or existed within a multiethnic empire, such as Austria (from 1867, Austria-Hungary) and Ottoman Turkey, where one dominant nationality ruled over the others.

Both the Arab and Jewish peoples wanted to realize this ideal. The unfortunate thing was that they both claimed "Palestine" as the territory on which they intended to build their nation-state. The Arabs, additionally, had the goal of creating a vast, united state including all of the majority Arab territories, from North Africa to the Middle East and the Arabian peninsula. Palestine was only a small part of this, but Arab nationalists were unwilling to share it with any other group. The British mandate merely delayed the conflict between Arabs and Jews, which broke out in full force in 1948.

Had the British not established their mandate (not only over Palestine but Iraq and Jordan as well, just as the French did with Syria and Lebanon), it's difficult to know what the outcome would have been. If the British had just packed up and left the region after defeating the Ottoman forces, it's possible the Middle East would have been plunged immediately into an even greater state of unrest, with all the religious and ethnic groups—Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Arab, and even Turkish—trying to gain or regain Palestine and other territories. It may have turned out similarly to the situation in Asia Minor, where Turks and Greeks were engaged in warfare for years after World War I had ended. In any event, as stated, British control from 1917 to 1948 only temporarily kept the peace, without resolving the conflict that still exists today over Israel/Palestine.

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The term modernization, when used in the context of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, generally refers to the advancements in the productive forces brought about by industrial capitalism. Zionism was brought to Ottoman Palestine with the assistance of the British Empire. Britain was to a large degree motivated by a desire to secure the Suez Canal and ensure the dominance of the canal by British trade ships, which were loaded with raw materials extracted from colonies such as British-controlled India. The canal had become crucial for the cheap and efficient transport of these resources, allowing smooth passage from the Indian Ocean and Red Sea into the Mediterranean, often destined for factories in the industrial cities of Great Britain.

The Zionist settlers who arrived in Palestine served as insurance for the financial oligarchs in London, solidified with the Balfour Declaration, which established the former Ottoman lands as a British Mandate. The Zionists, often fleeing persecution in Tsarist Russia, learned the procedure and the mentality of European colonialism from their British sponsors in a case where the oppressed became an oppressor. Zionist settlers, like the early Europeans in North America, sought after land that they could develop for profit. The land and its resources would be used as capital, and from that basis, industry could be developed. The Zionist vision did not include the people who already lived on the land. In fact, Arab nationalism and Arab identity could only develop as a national liberation struggle against British and Zionist imperialism. The imperialist powers of Europe and their respective colonies existed by exporting finance capital to their colonies, and although the expansion of capital did introduce industrial capitalism to the colonies, it was always at their expense. British railroads in India transported materials for British industrialists, not for Indians. Similarly, the Zionist settlements were established as profitable enterprises which sought to monopolize the resources of Palestine.

Imperialism tends to prevent the natural development of a national and indigenous bourgeois class, who would normally act as a force of progress and would develop the productive forces themselves. But the Palestinian Arabs, beset by the British and their pawns from Eastern Europe, effectively formed a national identity, refusing to be exiled from their own land. For this reason, Arab nationalist states such as Baathist Syria and Iraq, would become models the Palestinians would admire, and these states became sponsors of the Palestinian resistance. Even outside of the Arab world, the Islamic Revolution would take up the Palestinian cause as well, due to the fact that the Iranian Revolution was an event where the national bourgeois forces in the country removed a dictator who represented the interests of foreign monopoly capital. Therefore, when it comes to Arab nationalism in regards to Palestine, manifestations of Arab nationalism in this conflict have similar dialectical relationships as other exploitative relationships between imperialist states and their colonies.

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