Question:Why did delegates to the General Syrian Congress object to the planto create mandates in the former Ottoman provinces?
Therewas a schism of opinion between the Arab leaders and the TripleEntente forces comprising of the Britain, Russia, and France. In1914, a rift between the Central Powers and the Triple Entente powersarose as to who would conquer and rule the Ottoman Empire. Accordingto Woodrow Wilson, America wished that the world would be a sereneand safe environment for all people. He proposed the setting ofmandates within the territories of the Ottoman Empire. The alreadycollapsed Ottoman Empire was entangled up between the French and theBritish to rule as mandates until the regions were ready and stablefor independence. However, the Arab leaders had a lot of doubts aboutthe purposes of the great powers. According to the leaders, they didnot wish to be ruled by the Europeans. As a result, they expressedtheir reservations in the General Syrian Congress of 1919.
Whatalternatives did they offer?
Inthe General Syrian Congress held in Damascus, Arab leaders airedvarious proposals and desires on behalf of their representatives inthe Southern, Eastern, and the Western zones. They opposed thegesture that Arabs living in the Syrian were less developed andrequired a compulsory power. As a result, they demand an absolutepolitical independence in the region, claiming that Syrians were justas gifted and advanced as other races. Additionally, the leaderswelcomed economic and technical assistance from America and the GreatBritain, under strict conditions that they would not expresspolitical ambitions in the respective country and that the foreignaid would last for no more than twenty years. Finally, the leadersrejected the Zionists claim of creating a Jewish commonwealth inPalestine, and also opposed the involvement of French government inSyria’s political and economic matters.