Allenby recalls UK role in Palestine

ALLENBY entered Jerusalem yesterday, but few people noticed.

Seventy-five years after the entry into the city by General Sir Edmund Allenby, marking the end of Turkish occupation, his great- nephew, Viscount Allenby of Megiddo and Felixstowe, re-enacted the scene, invited by the Mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek.

But the props just weren't there. Viscount Allenby, 61, was shown old film of the tumultuous crowds who had greeted the general's arrival as he accepted the surrender of the city, and of the smart cavalry regiments standing to attention. There was even a fleeting glimpse of T E Lawrence in the background.

Yesterday, however, there were no crowds. Three Palestinians shuffled their cards in front of boarded-up shops: 'Allenby. Who is Allenby?' A taxi-driver shrugged, and tourists took photographs of the ceremony. Even the border police, helping themselves to doughnuts prepared for the guests, looked unimpressed by the motley group of Britons and religious and municipal dignitaries, accompanied by a bagpiper, who passed by. Gen Allenby's proclamation, which spoke of freeing the people from great oppression, was re-read but there was no wild applause.

Mr Kolleck had forgotten to tell Viscount Allenby that another anniversary was also being marked yesterday by people who would, in retrospect, be singularly unimpressed by Gen Allenby's proclamation and the fruits of other British interventions in the region. Yesterday was also the fifth anniversary of the Palestinian intifada protest against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, including east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

In 1917, Gen Allenby accepted the surrender of Jerusalem from a proxy Arab Mayor, Hassain al- Husseini. His descendant, Faisal Husseini, today a leading representative of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, was not on yesterday's guest-list to re-enact the role. 'Nobody's talked to us about it,' said a spokesman.

The occasion was a chance for nostalgic reminiscences in some quarters. 'I watched Allenby from a balcony near Jaffa Gate,' said Annagrace Lind, 87, whose American grandmother founded The American Colony hotel, then a religious community's building in Jerusalem. 'It was a tremendous occasion. We were all so excited to see the British coming in.

'The Mandate days were the best times we've had here. There were tons of parties at the King David Hotel and elsewhere. And Scottish dancing. The place was full of young British officers.'

Viscount Allenby's visit was also a chance to remember soldiers who died in the Palestine campaign: he laid a wreath in the war-graves cemetery in east Jerusalem, which contains 2,180 British graves.

The British Mandate has left many legacies. The layout of the city, the infrastructure and the system of government are all ascribed to British planning. Gen Allenby first brought fresh water to Jerusalem and cured disease which was ravaging the city. 'I remember the cholera and the typhoid, but a year after the British came it was gone,' said Hagop Terbashian, 82, an Armenian who lost his home when Jews seized west Jerusalem in 1948.

There are also other less welcome legacies. The Israelis use old British emergency regulations to lock up Palestinians without trial in the West Bank and Gaza. And they use old British laws to demolish houses and censor the press. Then there is the greatest legacy of all, the Balfour Declaration, issued weeks before Gen Allenby entered Jerusalem. In it, Arthur Balfour declared Britain's support for a national home for the Jewish people, seen by Palestinians as Britain's great betrayal.

LONDON - Israel's Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, on a visit to Britain, said that John Major had agreed to raise the problem of increasing anti-Semitism in Europe at the Edinburgh summit, which begins tomorrow, and had accepted an invitation to visit Israel, Reuter reports.

(Photograph omitted)

News
i100
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
News
Two giraffes pictured on Garsfontein Road, Centurion, South Africa.
i100
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Commercial Property

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: KENT MARKET TOWN - An exciting new role has ar...

Financial Accountants, Cardiff, £250 p/day

£180 - £250 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Financial Accountants - Key Banking...

Regulatory Reporting-MI-Bank-Cardiff-£300/day

£200 - £500 per day + competitive: Orgtel: I am currently working on a large p...

Recruitment Consultant - Bristol - Computer Futures - £18-25k

£18000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Computer Futures are currently...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices