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16th of August










Aug 16

In 1929 Rioting began in Mandatory Palestine between Jewish settlers and Arabic Palestinians.


In the 19th Century a great number of Jews and some people of other faiths began to support the idea of the Jewish people returning home to the Holy Land, an act known as Aliyah, and the creation of a Jewish homeland once more. This movement was known as Zionism and by 1882 a large scale immigration of Jews to Palestine began.


In 1840 Palestine became under the administration of Ottoman Empire and by 1917 the First World War had reached most of Palestine and the Holy City of Jerusalem. The Arabs in Palestine had already planned to start an uprising against the Ottoman Empire and the British gave assurances that they would support an uprising and guarantee the Independence of the Arabs if they were successful. British and Commonwealth forces managed to secure Jerusalem by the end of 1917 and by the 25th of September 1918 they had freed Palestine from the Ottoman forces. However the United Kingdom did not keep its promise to the Palestinians. On the 2nd of November the Foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, also promised to support a home for the Jewish people in Palestine in a letter known as the Balfour Declaration. At the end of World War I administration of the Ottoman Empire was divided by the Allied powers and Britain received a Mandate from the League of Nations to Govern Palestine.


The Arabic people were understandably furious and the United Kingdom had to deal with many several riots. More over many Zionist-Jewish-Palestinians were unhappy as they wanted a Jewish homeland of their own in Palestine. The capital city of Jerusalem is a very important city for all three major religions (Christian, Judaism and Islam). One particular site that is of great importance is known by many names including the Wailing Wall, the Western Wall, the Buraq Wall (Arabic) or the Kotel (Hebrew). In the Islamic faith the wall is the site that their prophet Muhammad tied his horse which transported him from Mecca (in Saudi Arabia) to Jerusalem and back during his “Night Journey” (Isra and Miraj) in the year 621 (his holy horse was known as Al-Baraq which is were their name for the wall derived).  In Judaism the site is one of their most holy. It is the site of their temple which Abraham bound his only son, preparing to sacrifice him to god. It is also where the Ark of the Covenant came to rest. The site became of great significances to Zionists which added to contention between Jews and Arabs over the site. For decades the Wailing Wall caused rivalry between both religious groups over access for worship and on the 16th of August 1929 Rioting began between them. It lasted until the end of the month and resulted in 243 deaths (133 Jewish and 110 Arabic) and 571 injured (339 Jewish and 232 Arabic). Many of which were caused by the British attempting to stop the riots.




In 1930 the first British Commonwealth Games (often erroneously called the British Empire Games) were held in Ontario, Canada.


The first games had 400 athletes from 11 nations participating in 59 events. The athletes came from Australia, Bermuda, British Guiana, Canada, England, Ireland, Newfoundland, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa and Wales.


In 1949 it was agreed that member states no longer had to pledge allegiance to the British crown which allowed India to stay as a commonwealth member while still becoming a republic. This change of policy led to the name changing to the Commonwealth of Nations but it was not until the 1978 games held in Edmonton that the name for the games changed from the British Commonwealth Games to the Commonwealth Games.