Episode 6 - The Role of Winston Churchill in the Mandates

One person who played a prominent role in the Mandate was Winston Churchill.  In 1921 he was appointed Colonial Secretary, which gave him the responsibility of implementing the Mandates in the former Ottoman Empire.  The 1922 White Paper, which was attributed to Churchill, was in fact largely drafted by Colonial Office official John Shuckburgh, together with the first High Commissioner to Palestine, Sir Herbert Samuel. It contained a phrase that was central to Churchill’s belief that the Jews were in Palestine “as of right and not by sufferance.”


‘They weren’t tolerated for this, it wasn’t a gift, it was their right to have the Land.’  And unquestionably by that point Churchill believed it.  He was already espousing Zionist views in 1906, he espoused them more strongly in 1908, but then when he went to Palestine in 1921 and saw everything that the Jews in Palestine were achieving in developing the land, and he felt that they were a moderating force and that they shared his values.  And on top of his belief from before that the Jews, as he put it later, ‘made Jerusalem famous – that this was their land from biblical times – it was their Promised Land’.   Dr Michael Makovsky, Author of “Churchill’s Promised Land.”


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