Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. © Copyright 2010 - 2015   All rights reserved. The British Mandate Daniel 11:20 His successor will send out a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor. In a few years, however, he will be destroyed, yet not in anger or in battle.      This verse is very distinctive of the relatively brief, British involvement in the Middle East.  The British and French succeeded the Ottomans but only under the mandate system.  The mandate system was created in 1919 as a temporary arrangement where the communities would receive mandatory advice and assistance until they were able to stand on their own.  It was stipulated in the mandate that the “wishes of the communities” be a principle consideration.  There were no set boundaries for anything but by 1923, the French had accepted Syria and Lebanon while the British took Iraq and Palestine.  In time, they both left voluntarily but they left behind a “tax collector” in the form of an oil company, which took a disproportionate amount of Iraqi profits.  After several decades, the Iraqi government regained control of their oil revenues yet not in battle but in international courts.        Before I talk about the oil, I will discuss the division of land, which went pretty smooth except for one part.  The British decided to split Palestine into two sections, separated by the Jordan River.  They retained control of the western section, including Jerusalem, while the eastern section became Jordon.  They picked two sons of a Hashemite ruler from Mecca, Faisal and Abdullah, to become kings of Iraq and Jordon.  The Hashemite ancestry went back to Muhammad’s grandfather so they had some degree of popularity.  Iraq became an official nation in 1932, followed by Syria and Lebanon in 1943, and Jordon in 1946.  Of course, the one part of the system that did not go smoothly was the western 23% of Palestine.        Circumstances occurred that were impossible to foresee when the British retained the small area.  In the 1920’s, the British started allowing an influx of Jews because the mandate stipulated that the “wishes of the communities” be a principle consideration.  It seemed logical because there were Jewish communities in Palestine.  Problems arose in the 1930’s when Nazi persecution caused the influx to skyrocket.  In 1939, just as persecution got worse, the British imposed an quota on annual immigration.  With no where to go, the Jews either immigrated illegally or ended up in detention camps.  By the end of WWII, in 1945, the population of Palestine was 31% Jewish, up from 11% in 1922.  Despite criticism from the United States and others, the British maintained their ban on immigration after the war.  Over 250,000 Jews were held in “displaced persons” camps in Europe and others were diverted to Cyprus.  Finally, the British gave up and turned the problem over to the newly formed United Nations.          After months of debate, the United Nations approved a resolution to make two nations   out of the small strip of land.  One nation would be Jewish and the other Arab with Jerusalem remaining under international administration.  Most Jews accepted the proposal but most Arabs were against it.  Nevertheless, on May 14, 1948, Israel proclaimed their independence for the first time in over 2500 years.        In a matter of days, the armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon attacked the tiny nation but Israel survived because it was God’s plan.  Since then, much of the hostilities in the Middle East have been directed towards Israel.  As a result of the first war, approximately 700,000 Palestinians were expelled or fled from their land, which continues to be a problem for Israel today.  Following the 1948 war, Egypt began blocking ships traveling to and from Israel.  That led to wars in 1956 and 1967 but Israel just gained more land from the Arabs.  Yet, they gave much of it back in efforts to make peace, which have resulted in treaties with Egypt and Jordon.  However, Israel remains at odds with groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas.  Hezbollah is a Shiite party in southern Lebanon, backed by Iran and Syria.  They want the Golan Heights back but Israel refuses because it is too easy to launch rockets into northern Israel from there.  Hamas is a Palestinian party currently ruling the Gaza Strip.  They want their independence but they refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist.  They also want a return to the 1948 borders (above left) but Israel refuses because that would require them to return East Jerusalem.  When Jordon controlled East Jerusalem, they blocked access to the Western Wall.  Besides, Israel considers Jerusalem to be the eternal, undivided capital of the Jewish people.  The Oil Factor       The “tax collector” reference is distinctive to the oil in Iraq because its value would have been unknown in previous verses.  The royal splendor sounds typical of Great Britain who primarily initialized the plan.  It started slightly before WWI, in 1912, when the Turkish Petroleum Company (TPC) was formed to seek concessions from the Ottomans to explore for Iraqi oil.  It was the mastermind of Calouste Gulbenkian, a naturalized British citizen born in Constantinople.  In the original deal, TPC would be owned 50% by the British government, 30% by Royal Dutch/Shell (which Gulbenkian owned a majority), and 20% going to the Ottomans.  When WWI broke out, that arrangement was dissolved.  In 1923, TPC resumed negotiations but under the provisions of the British mandate.  Now, four countries, besides Iraq, wanted a share in the ownership of TPC.  Iraq wanted the same 20% promised to the Ottomans but three of the four countries voted “no”.  Iraq was afraid that the province in question, Mosul, would be annexed into Turkey without British support so they conceded to demands in 1925.  TPC was divided equally between Britain, France, Persia, and the United States, with 5% going to Gulbenkian.  It was renamed the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC) but Iraq only got a small royalty on each ton extracted.       After oil was struck in 1927, Iraqi oil money flowed into IPC pockets for 45 years.  In return for completing two pipelines to the Mediterranean, IPC received more concessions to develop oil fields in southern Iraq.  As time went by, they received larger areas on both sides of the Tigris River.  The windfall started to crumble in 1958 when the Iraqi army overthrew the Hashemite monarchy and formed the Republic of Iraq.  In 1961, President Abdul Qassem nationalized 99.5 % of the concession areas, leaving only the producing oilfields in IPC's control.  In 1972, the Arab Socialist Baath Party took control of the government and nationalized the rest of IPC's assets.  The Iraqi government settled ensuing legal claims in international court, which got rid of the tax collector but not in battle click to enlarge sitemap home
Next Page: The Final Empire & America’s Role Begins Daniel 11:21-22 this was page 10 on Daniel 11 click to enlarge
  Daniel 11 Explained  Condensed “one page” Commentary Previous Page: The Ottoman Empire  (4 centuries in the Middle East) Daniel 11: 15-19 The Fuller Picture - Iran, Russia and TPP: Obama tries to pivot to Asia RT [Russia] (editorial) – May 16, 2015 Quotes: For a few decades all went peachy, except for the fact that AIOC [Anglo- Irainian Oil Co, later BP] creamed off most of the profits and grossly underpaid its workers. In order to deal with this issue Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh decided to nationalize AIOC in 1951. … This included taking Iran to the International Court of Justice; pressuring other countries not to buy Iranian oil and blockading Iranian ports. It all made everyone pretty miserable, but failed to have the desired effect.  Out of luck and out of Iranian oil, the UK asked their buddies in the US to pitch in. The CIA obliged, organizing a slick take-down job on Mosaddegh [1953]and the AIOC was back in business in Iran, although the price of CIA cooperation meant that it now had to share some of the oil concessions with American and other European companies. The Shah’s extravagance and generally nasty behavior did little to endear him with his people, and in 1979 he was finally overthrown in the Islamic Revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini.    This is a recent article (with more than one subject) but it gives some of the history behind the British and Iran.     The history sounds very similar to the Iraqi experience, except Iraq didn’t try to nationalize the existing fields until much later than Iran (1972 rather than 1951).  The results in international courts were the same and the U.S. now admits to their role in bringing down the prime minister and installing the Shah in 1953.  It took about 26 years for the people to revolt, in 1979, which leads into the next verse.    Ironically, the Americans eventually took out the the Bathe Party, in Iraq, which nationalized the existing oil fields in 1972.  It just took longer, until 2003, because it was part of verse 22, next page.  Anyway, it shows that money and greed had a lot to do with the situation in the Middle East today.  But a lot of it started with the discovery of oil and the ‘tax collector’.  Similarities and differences with Iranian oil Added: 5-18-2015       In summary, I think it is obvious that Daniel 11 perfectly matches Middle Eastern history so far (verses 2-20).  Although vague at times, God provided enough key words to distinguish each empire from the others.  When presented chronologically, it is unmistakable.  No one has discovered this before because the information was “sealed until the time of the end”. (Daniel 12:9)  With the information unsealed, it proves, without question, that God is actively controlling the Middle East.      Starting in the next verse, I will explain how the final empire started back in 1979.  Considering the tax collector was eliminated in 1972, I would say that Daniel 11 is moving right along.  It’s just that God’s concept of time is different from ours.  Peter said, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2Peter 3:9)  Even though God is patient, there is a limit because the future verses, described in Daniel 11, will eventually come and go, just as the previous empires did.  updated at bottom 5-18-2015 U.N. Partition Plan 1947