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British declarations vs. British acts

Reader comment on item: Palestinians Who Helped Create Israel
in response to reader comment: History of Israel

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Apr 1, 2009 at 16:14

Dear Infidel !

I read your comment with much interest and I agree with you. There is but one inaccuracy - if I may say so. You wrote :

> In 1917 the League of Nations agreed to create a homeland for the Jews. This intention was confirmed by the Balfour Declaration in December 1917.<

The League of Nations didn't exist in 1917. It was established by the treaty of Versailles signed on 28.06.1919.

The Balfour Declaration was essentially a letter by Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour (approved by a British Cabinet meeting ) to Baron Rothschild , the leading figure of the British Jews. Writing letters just like making promises doesn't cost much but can create many desirable impressions and useful friends. Rothschild enjoyed popularity not just in Britain but also in America whose Jews were not necessarily enthusiastic about fighting against the "Beast of Berlin" (Kaiser William II) at a time where this "beast" was conducting a very Jewish-friendly policy in the occupied Russian territories. Now all of it is obscured and forgotten due to the later tragedy of the holocaust. So few people remember how well Kaiser Germany treated Polish and Russian Jews between 1914-1918. The local Polish anti-Semites at once had a theory of a Jewish-German conspiracy against Poland. They had some reason for saying that. The Germans closed down the leading anti-Semite newspapers that had been published under the tsarist régime and jailed the most vocal Jew-haters.

Add that at that time Russia, the Entente's Eastern "steam roller" against Germany was falling rapidly apart and the preparations for the bolshevik coup d'état were approaching their culmination. Within 5 days of the Belfour Declaration "the Great October Revolution" took place and with its the nightmare of a ceasefire and a separate peace treaty on the eastern front became a reality. It was known that many Jews participated in the Bolshevik movement and that Jews generally expected betterment of their situation from the revolution. So the declaration was also meant to attract the European and Russian Jews to the cause of the Entente.

That Palestine was still in the Turkish hands didn't disturb anyone, least of all the authors of the letter. One is not stingy with giving away that which belongs to others. But when Palestine became a British mandate so close to the Suez canal, so conveniently on the road to India , the British grew very forgetful of their promises. They needed the Jews no more, least of all in Palestine forming an independent strong Jewish state. What was favourable and useful to the British in 1917, in two or three years became very ominous and inconvenient for them.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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