Following World War I, British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour (a Christian Zionist) authored a declaration to restore a national homeland for the Jews. It was clear by that point that the Ottoman Empire, which previously ruled the area, would be unseated and the League of Nations would give Britain the mandate to assist in building the Jewish state.
What is less known, is that Arab nationalism was given a boost as well. As a result of the mandate, Britain was to oversee nation-building in Palestine (Israel) and Iraq, while supervision of nation-building in Lebanon and Syria became the responsibility of France. Ironically, many Arab lands gained legal claim to their land in the same set of decisions that produced the idea of a homeland for the Jews.
Thus, as the Balfour Declaration reaches it’s 100th anniversary, remember that it’s benefit extends to all nations in the region, not just Israel. You’ll find more interesting information in No Apologies for Balfour. Enjoy!