Understand the causes and consequences of inter-state and intra-state conflicts. Also, you will learn more about the effectiveness of conflict management.

JC History Tuition Singapore - What is the Instrument of Accession - Indo-Pakistani Conflict Notes

What is the Instrument of Accession?

Historical context: India divided and the British departure
In 1946, Britain declared that it would grant India independence. The Governor-General Lord Louis Mountbatten declared that this important phase would commence on 15 August 1947. However, views on the ground were divided on the matter.

Leaders of the Indian National Congress Party, Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi, called for a single federal dominion of independent India. They believed that a united India was vital to bring people from all faiths together.

In contrast, the Muslim League leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah insisted that the Partition was necessary to form an independent Pakistan that governs the Muslims rather than to remain subordinate to the Hindu majority of India.

As such, the British civil servant Sir Cyril Radcliffe was tasked by Mountbatten to draw up the borders between India and Pakistan.

An illustration of the Partition of India [Sources: Nigel Dalziel, The Penguin Historical Atlas of the British Empire, Penguin Books, 2006; George s Duby, Atlas historique mondial, Larousse, 2003].

In less than ten weeks, a British layers, Cyril Radcliffe, who had never set foot on Indian soil, presided over the partition of British India’s two largest multicultural provinces, Punjab and Bengal.

After first rushing Radcliffe to finish drawing the new maps in desperate haste, Mountbatten embargoed them as soon as Radcliffe finished, refusing to allow even his own British governors of Punjab and Bengal to see where the new lines would be drawn, such that no troops could be stationed at key danger points along these incendiary provincial borders, no warnings could be posted for desperate people who, overnight, found themselves living in ‘enemy’ countries rather than among relatives and friends.

An excerpt taken from “India and Pakistan: Continued Conflict or Cooperation?” by Stanley Wolpert.

As a result of the Partition, many Hindus and Muslims were subjected to violent attacks from opposing sides. An estimated of up to 20 million people were displaced as a result of the Partition.

Enter Maharaja Hari Singh: Jammu and Kashmir
On 26 October 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh, then ruler of the State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), signed the Instrument of Accession (IoA) with India. Initially, Hari Singh wanted Kashmir to remain independent, but changed his mind when attacked by tribesmen from Pakistan during the Poonch uprising.

J&K was founded by Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1846. It was strategically located within the border provinces of Gilgit-Baltistan and Ladakh, thus explaining it being a hotly contested territory.

The circumstances, as they developed owing to the raids of tribesmen, were such that immediate action was uncalled for. The invasion of tribesmen was possible only because of Pakistani support. Mahajan commented: “The tribesmen were subjects of Pakistan. This was an unprovoked act of aggression. The Maharaja had done nothing to invite it. […] Unless accession took place and supported by the National Conference, Nehru was unwilling to send Indian army.

An excerpt from “Jammu and Kashmir: The Cold War and The West” by D. N. Panigrahi.

On that same day, Mountbatten accepted the accession of J&K.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the Indo-Pakistani conflict under the theme of Conflict and Cooperation. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as JC Math Tuition and JC Chemistry Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition, Social Studies Tuition, Geography, History Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English, Math and Science Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Singapore - What is the United Nations Partition Plan - Arab-Israeli Conflict Notes

What is the United Nations Partition Plan?

Learn more about the day when Palestine was partitioned as part of the United Nations Plan [Video by the Associated Press].

Historical Context: The end of the British mandate of Palestine
Between 1922 and 1947, Great Britain assumed control of the Palestinian territory, as part of its mandate authorised by the League of Nations. As mentioned in the Balfour Declaration, the British government expressed support for the creation of a ‘national home for the Jewish people’ even though it did not specify the territorial delineation of Palestine.

As Jewish immigration from Europe took place between 1922 and 1947, the Arab-Jewish tensions (see Arab revolts of 1936-39) grew and escalated by the onset of the Second World War. Even the British was not spared of the escalating violence, pressuring the government to seek an viable solution for the two groups.

In the years between the 1929 Wailing Wall riots, which had shaken the Zionist leadership’s complacent faith in eventual Arab acceptance of the Zionist enterprise, and the outbreak of the Arab Revolt, informal negotiations took place between Ben-Gurion and Musa Alami. […]

Ben-Gurion seemed to come to a more sober understanding of the Arab position: “There is a conflict, a great conflict. There is a fundamental conflict. We and they want the same thing: We both want Palestine. And that is the fundamental conflict.”

An excerpt taken from “The Palestinian People: A History” by Baruch Kimmerling and Joel S. Migdal.

Enter the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP): The Partition Plan
In April 1947, Britain referred the ‘Palestine matter’ to the United Nations – an inter-governmental organisation that took over the mantle of the defunct-League of Nations. In May 1947, the UNSCOP examined the matter. This committee consisted of eleven members: The Netherlands, Peru, Sweden, Uruguay, Yugoslavia, Canada, Australia, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, India and Iran.

In summary, the UNSCOP concluded that the British Mandate should be terminate and that Palestine should be partitioned into two independent states.

The Partition Plan was as follows:

  1. The proposed Jewish state: Land around Tel Aviv and Haifa, Negev, Jezreel and the Hule Valleys. The Jewish state was to be comprised of about 5,500 square miles and the population was to be 538,000 Jews and 397,000 Arabs.
  2. The proposed Arab state: Gaza strip, Nablus, Galilee, Hebron and Beersheba. The Arab states was to be compromised of 4,500 square miles and the population was to be 804,000 Arabs and 10,000 Jews.
  3. The Jerusalem city was to be administered as an international zone.

On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) obtained a two-thirds majority, adopting Resolution 181. Both the United States and the Soviet Union supported the Partition Plan, whereas Britain abstained.

It is important to note that the Palestinian Arabs and Jews were divided on the Partition Plan, which may have explained why tensions persisted even after 1948.

The question of the Palestinian position regarding the UN partition plan which was adopted on the 29 November 1947 is not as clear and sharp as it is customary to portray it in most of the historical sources dealing with the issue. In the Palestinian camp there was a variety of views which were not expressed in the ultimate position, which crystallized and was perceived by the international community as an absolute rejection of the partition resolution.

The Palestinian people was forced to pay an unbearable price for their acquiescence of the decision of a short-sighted leadership. The terrible tragedy which befell them demolished their hopes to realize their national ambitions and to live in a state where they would enjoy sovereignty and independence like all other nations.

An excerpt taken from “The Two-State Solution: The UN Partition Resolution of Mandatory Palestine – Analysis and Sources” by Ruth Gavison.
A map to illustrate the United Nations Partition Plan of 1947 [Source: The United Nations Department of Public Information].

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about Conflict and Cooperation. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as JC Math Tuition and JC Chemistry Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition, Social Studies Tuition, Geography, History Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English, Math and Science Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Singapore - What is the Balfour Declaration - Arab-Israeli Conflict Notes

What is the Balfour Declaration?

Learn more about the Balfour Declaration to understand its impact on the Arab-Israeli conflict in the 20th Century [Video by The Economist]

Historical Context
During World War One, Britain and France clashed with Germany on the Western Front. In December 1917, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George publicly supported Zionism. The Russian Jew Chaim Weizmann was one of those that led this movement.

The British government’s decision to declare its support of Zionism was partly driven by hopes of garnering Jewish support for the Allied Powers amidst the war.

On 27 November 1914, tentatively reviewing British war aims, [C. P. Scott] raised the question of Palestine and Zionism, but found that the subject was not new to Lloyd George, who told him that he had had a ‘heart to heart’ talk with Herbert Samuel, that he sympathised with the aspirations of a small nation and was interested in a ‘partly Jewish buffer state’. Scott continued diligently to press the Zionists’ case and at the end of January 1917 he urged the British Government to issue a definite statement in favour of making Palestine a national home for the Jews.

An excerpt taken from “The Question of Palestine British-Jewish-Arab Relations, 1914-1918” by Isaiah Friedman.

The Declaration: A letter to Rothschild
On 2 November 1917, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour wrote a letter to Lionel Walter Rothschild, a friend of Weizmann. The letter stated that the British government was in favour of the ‘establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people’. Rothschild represented the British Jewish community.

His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

An excerpt taken from the Balfour Declaration written by Arthur James Balfour to Lord Rothschild, 2 November 1917.

After the Declaration was made, the League of Nations declared that Palestine would fall under the British Mandate on 24 July 1922. This ‘mandate’ system was meant to give the League authority to administer non-self-governing territories, so as to advance the well-being of the population within.

While the British Mandate allowed both the Jewish and Arab communities to manage their own affairs, the British was unable to maintain regional stability.

But the Balfour Declaration, far from being dropped, became embedded – even augmented – in British policy to Palestine. This continuing British commitment was made in the face of all-but overwhelming evidence and argument that a British-backed Zionist project for a Jewish national home would lead to inter-communal antagonism and, in time, a territory that would be ungovernable. Arab opposition was rekindled after the war and, as Jewish immigration resumed, soon manifested itself in demonstrations, petitions and outbreaks of violence.

An excerpt taken from “Legacy of Empire Britain, Zionism and the Creation of Israel” by Gardner Thompson.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about Conflict and Cooperation. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as JC Math Tuition and JC Chemistry Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition, Social Studies Tuition, Geography, History Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English, Math and Science Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.