Palestine had never been an independent, autonomous entity before July 1920, when the British Mandate was implemented. Throughout history, the land of Palestine had always been divided into smaller kingdoms, independent city-states, or had been part of larger empires, of which it was at best a province or merely part of a province. It was impregnated by other cultures: Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman, Arab and Ottoman. Nevertheless, it was the cradle of two of the great monotheistic religions, Judaism and Christianity, and the location of holy places for a third, Islam.
Then, after World War I, the land of Palestine was mandated by the League of Nations to the British Empire (the British Mandate), with the explicit assignment that ‘the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect (…) the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine’. From this assignment originate the State of Israel as well as what is generally called ‘the conflict in the Middle East’.