[Old NCERT World History ch13] After WW2: African Independence: Egypt, French Guniea, Mau Mau rebellion, Apartheid (Part 4 of 4)Devendra Vishwakarma
- West Asia
- Syria and Lebanon
- African Independence
- Egypt: Naseer
- Libya: Gaddafi
- Algeria: De Gaulle
- Gold Coast = GHANA: Nkrumah
- Kenya: Mau Mau rebellion
- Portuguese Colonies
- South Africa: apartheid
- Nelson Mandela
- AFRICA Renaming of Places
Syria and Lebanon
As in other parts of Asia, there was an upsurge for freedom in West Asia also immediately after the Second World War. You have read in the previous chapter about the movement of the people of Syria against the French rule. After the war, the French tried to restore their authority over Syria and Lebanon but, in the face of opposition from the people of these countries and the world opinion, they were forced to withdraw. Both Syria and Lebanon became independent by the end of 1946.
There was an upsurge in all the Arab countries at this time and the 1950s saw their emergence as independent nations. Some countries which had been nominally free asserted their independence. There were also movements to overthrow the outdated political systems which existed in some countries. All these led to conflicts and, in some cases, prolonged wars between the Arab countries and the imperialist powers. The period saw the growing power of Arab nationalism which led to efforts by the Arab people and governments to come together to face and solve common problems. The Arab League was formed comprising all the Arab states.
However, before many of the Arab countries could gain their independence, a development took place in West Asia which was to become a source of tension and lead to many wars in the years to come. This was the creation of the state of Israel.
Mrunal: Israel-Palestine has been discussed in detail in a separate article: click me
Palestine, as has been mentioned before, had become a British mandate in 1919. The British troops again occupied the country in 1945. Palestine was inhabited by Arabs and Jews. A movement called the Zionist movement claimed that Palestine was the homeland of all the Jews, wherever they may be living, and should be restored to them. The persecution which the Jews in Europe had suffered for centuries had culminated in the Nazi Germany’s policy of exterminating them. Millions of Jews were killed in Germany and in those countries of Europe which had been occupied by Germany. The terrible tragedy had won them the sympathy and support of the world.
The British in Palestine had permitted some Jews from outside Palestine to settle there. The Zionists had, meanwhile, been campaigning for a Jewish state there. This had complicated the freedom movement in Palestine the majority of whose inhabitants were Arabs. In 1947 the United Nations passed a resolution according to which Palestine was to be divided into an Arab state and a Jewish state. However, in 1948, the British withdrew their troops from Palestine and soon after the state of Israel was proclaimed. This led to a war between the Arab states and Israel. The Arab states were defeated in the war.
The creation of Israel became a source of tension in West Asia. The Arab states refused to recognize her as a legitimate state, The policies pursued by the government of Israel further added to the bitterness. About 900,000 Arabs were forced to leave their homes and lands in Palestine and were rendered homeless. They found shelter in various refugee camps in Arab states. Most countries of Asia and Africa condemned the Israeli government’s treatment of the Arabs of Palestine and for following racist policies. In 1956, Israel joined Britain and France in invading Egypt. Later there were other wars between Israel and the Arab states as a result of which Israel occupied large parts of the territories of other Arab states.