The borders of most of the Arab countries east of the Mediterranean were delineated in the period following WWI, on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. The borders were fixed on the basis of British and French interests and the ties those two countries had formed with local groups.
Two non-Muslim groups were granted independence: The Jews were given Britain’s pledge – in the form of The Balfour Declaration – that it would help establish a National Home for them, and France granted the Christians dwelling north of Israel the country of Lebanon, as separate from Syria. The Zionist movement was active and visible in the political corridors of Britain, while the French empathized with the fears the Lebanese Christians held of becoming a minority in a country with a Muslim majority.
One ethnic group, the Kurds, was left without a state, and was, instead, divided…
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