Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Balfour Declaration: The Real Facts Behind It Concerning Palestine and the Jewish Homeland

Nadene Goldfoot                                                
The worst war of all the centuries started on July 28, 1914 and wasn't over until November 11, 1918 that involved the whole world.  It was World War 1.  70 million men fought and out of them, 9 million died.  7 million civilians were caught in the battle and died as well.  "the Allies were 1) the Russian Empire, 2)the French Third Republic, and the 3) United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland) They fought against  the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary. "

"Although Italy was a member of the Triple Alliance alongside Germany and Austria-Hungary, it did not join the Central Powers, as Austria-Hungary had taken the offensive, against the terms of the alliance.  These alliances were reorganized and expanded as more nations entered the war: Italy, Japan and the United States joined the Allies, while the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria joined the Central Powers."
1917 British soldier
Lord Balfour (1848-1930)    (enlarged view of letter at end of article).  
This year of 2017, November 2,  2017 will stand out as the 100th year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration  of 1917 from England that finally said that their government favored the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.  It was written to Walter Rothschild, the 2nd Baron Rothschild, leader of the Jewish community,  to give to the  Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. 
They said that to do this, they would use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object.

It makes me sad to read this because I wonder that with this wonderful aim, why did they  back out in the middle of it and favor  the Palestinians like they did.  My cousin, Stanley Goldfoot, a reporter, was put in jail in Akko/Acre  by the British in Palestine because he was Jewish, and was working for the Jews who  needed that  state badly.   

The next part of the Declaration was a warning.  It continued, "it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

That meant that the native Muslim or Christian people of Palestine were to continue with their lives of living in peace.  Also, this declaration was not to be used as an excuse to attack Jews outside of Palestine for having their own national home once again.  
1929 Attacks on Jews by Arabs
Jews did not attack or harm the Arab Muslims in any way, shape or form, but the Muslim Arabs  attacked the Jews!  The Balfour Declaration did not see this coming.  Word got out to the Muslims that Jews might take over the land and the power that one person accrued,  Haj Amin al- Husseini (1893-1974) , who had been awarded the position of Sherif of Jerusalem by a Jew, Herbert Samuel,  thought he was being threatened.  He riled his fellow Muslims in Jerusalem to riot in 1929.  This went against the philosophy of Emir Feisal (1885-1933), soon to be the king of Iraq  starting in 1921 who was the oldest son of Hussein, sherif of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.  He had met with Dr. Weizmann in Transjordan in 1918 and again in Paris in 1919 where they reached an agreement on mutual aid, conditional on the implementation of British promises to the Arabs.  Later, because he was  expulsed from Syria by the French as King in 1920, and the acts by other Arabs, his acceptance of Zionism became hostile.     Husseini kept the Muslims stirred up, enough to drive some Jews out for fear of their lives.  
Ben on left with glasses, won the 1965 College Bowl 

 Portland, Oregon's Ben Padrow was born in 1927 in Tel Aviv.  His parents were Jews with ancestors from Poland, probably from one of the aliyot that started in 1882.  Matthew, his father, was a dentist and a pharmacist and Lea "Mimi's"  family had a small hotel in Tel Aviv.  The three immigrated to Portland, Oregon and were my neighbors.  Joan was born in 1936 and we grew up playing together.  Ben went on to become an icon in Portland as the speech instructor at Portland State, going to the 1965 College Bowl and winning  as well as was the first editor of our Jewish newspaper, the Jewish Review.   I heard stories about their lives in Palestine from Mimi.  So Jews in Palestine were promised a state but were not protected whereas the Balfour was written in such a way as to protect the Arabs and Christians, but not the Jews.  As time proceeded, Jews were kept out at the height of their need during the Holocaust while Arabs were allowed in by the very British who had been awarded the mandate to assist in creating that Jewish Homeland.     
What had been going on in England that caused the English government's Lord Balfour to write such a declaration?  Jews had lost their national homeland in the year 70 when the Romans, who had occupied their homeland for over the past 100 years, had burned down their sacred Temple and their city of Jerusalem that was in their state of Judah, once a part of the Empire of Israel.  They were to wait for 2,000 years to have a 2nd chance for their specially chosen homeland by G-d.  (Exodus 6:6-27) I am Hashem your G-d who takes you out from under the burdens of Egypt.  I shall bring you to the land about which I raised my hand to give it to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob;  and I shall give it to you as a heritage--I am Hashem."  
Catherine II (the Great) ruled from 1762-1796)
Her Jewish policy marked by liberalism and coercion,
allowed to register in merchant and urban classes in 1780 but
permission was restricted to White Russia in 1786, beginning the creation
of the Pale of Settlement-she prevented extension of Jewish settlement and in
1795, prohibited Jewish residence in rural areas.  
It came about because Jews had been treated so badly in Russia, starting with Catherine II's reign where she made sure they stayed in the Pale of Settlement outside of Russia-the lands of Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Ukraine, Crimea, White Russia (Belorussia) (Belarus), Bessarabia's (Moldova)  25 provinces belonging to Czarist Russia in 1791.  The Russians kept oppressive laws against them such as the "Statute Concerning the Jews" of 1835.  By 1882, they created the May Laws where Jews were excluded from rural areas inside the Pale.  As a result of all these restrictions, Jewish economic development was severely kept down.  The Pale wasn't abolished until August 1915 and legally in March 1917 close to the end of World War I.  Jews had really suffered for 126 years the degradation of not being a citizen of any land and of not being able to leave or better themselves, of taking their sons when still children into the Russian army only to be fodder on the front lines, sure to lose their lives first.  

It was so bad that Jews were sneaking illegally out of the Pale and immigrating in mass to Palestine and western Europe and the United States in the late 1880s  that continued on into about 1924.  My father-in-law's family had to pay a man to lead them out in the middle of the night with the children holding hands.   My paternal grandfather, Nathan Abraham Goldfus, left Telsiai, Lithuania for England at 21, then went on to Dublin, Ireland and finally got to Council, Idaho, and there met another Lithuanian immigrant by 1905, my soon to be grandmother, Zlata Jermulowske from Lazdijai, Lithuania .  Her city had been taken and incorporated to become Poland, Lithuania's neighbor.  Neither were able to learn to read or write in their lowly status, but they produced 2 PhD's, one Master's degree grandchildren and all the rest were college graduates, while one great grandson is a Veterinarian in the United States.  

Jews immigrating to Palestine were said to be making "aliyah" or going up spiritually by going to their ancient lands where G-d told them they must live.  For 2,000 years they were not able to follow this injunction from G-d himself being they had been overcome by the most inscrutable army in the world at that time, the Romans.   The creation of Christianity had placed Jews in a lowly position of being hated by those early Christians who created all their rules against Jews in Constantinople.  That and the "New Testament", especially "John," put them in disfavor to all, except those who would become followers of Mohammad after his birth and power from 570 to 632 where many Jews were able to live in a fair harmony, but  in another lower status called dhimmitude as a dhimmi.  (2nd class citizen).  

That England came up with the understanding that Jews were deserving of their own space was amazing being they had outlawed Jews from their shores in 1290 and didn't allow any back from this expulsion until 1655, is amazing.  One wonders what got into Lord Balfour.  
Chaim  Weizmann (1874-1952)
Theodore Herzl( 1860-1904)
Lord Balfour was  Arthur James Balfour, born in 1848 and died in 1930.  He was a British statesman and philosopher.  Balfour was the head of the government with which Theodore Herzl, founder of Zionism who was a Hungarian Jewish newspaper reporter working in Paris, negotiated with from 1902 to 1903, and was later impressed by Chaim Weizmann,  Jewish chemist and Zionist leader, later 1st president of Israel.  In 1916 he was the director of the British Admiralty Chemical Laboratories.  He had invented a better type of ammunition that helped the Allies to win the war.  
Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935) Brilliant French Captain on French general staff
Anti-Semitism put him on Devil's Island
The Jews had been going through much anti-Semitism and the Dryfus Affair in France  of 1894 was the tipping point that caused Zionism-the return back to their roots.   The Zionist philosophy started to grow  in 1897 officially.  The  French Jewish captain Dryfus  was accused of having sold secret documents to Germany and was innocent.  Being he was Jewish, he wasn't listened to and sentenced to Devil's Island.  He was found innocent in 1906.                                                                          
19th Century Pogrom in Pale of Settlement
The first aliyah group of about 5 aliyot  back to Palestine was in 1882 and the 5th took place in 1903.  The Russians had been attacking Jewish villages and towns in mass called Pogroms.  Perhaps you remember seeing them in the movie, "Fiddler On the Roof."  Often people were killed in them.  The 1882 aliyah was made up of 300 families and other smaller groups came from Russia.  
Jewish family on Mt. Zion in Palestine

At that time 450 pioneers came from Romania, also people suffering from anti-Semitism though they were not a part of the Pale.  it was just wide-spread.  A few dozen families came from Yemen in those early days as well.  At the time, Palestine was under the Ottoman Empire rule and had been since 1517.  These Jews  founded a number of agricultural settlements.   Jews had been going back as early as right after the destruction of the 2nd Temple by the Babylonians in 538 BCE.  In 1121 some 300 Jews returned to Palestine from France and England. They knew they weren't wanted in Europe. 

Further persecutions in 1890 sent thousands of Russian Jews to Palestine.  About 25,000 had emigrated during that first aliyah.  The 2nd aliyah occurred from 1904 to 1914.  
Workers for the Anglo Iranian Oil company operate a derrick, Persia. Hulton
Then, something big happened that probably was the reason why the British became cold-hearted towards the Jews.  Headlines read:   "May 26, 1908: Mideast Oil DiscoveredThere Will Be Blood. 1908: A British company strikes oil in Persia (now Iran). It's the first big petroleum find in the Middle East, and it sets off a wave of exploration, extraction and exploitation that will change the region's — and the world's — history. Of course, it was an Englishman, William D'Arcy,  who discovered the oil.

"D'Arcy and Burmah reorganized their holdings in 1909 as the Anglo-Persian Oil Co. (which became the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. in 1935, British Petroleum in 1954and BP in 2000.) Its initial public offering of stock shares sold out in 30 minutes in London. People stood five deep around the tellers' cages to buy shares in Glasgow. The race for oil accelerated throughout the Middle East."  It was in the 1890s that automobiles were being manufactured and there was a great need for oil to run them.    
Feisal's brother, Abdullah, who  planned to mount an attack, but Winston Churchill persuaded him not to, agreeing instead to recognize Abdullah as King of a part"-Transjordan.  He's
the ggrandfather of today's King Abdullah of Jordan.  

This hunt was interrupted by that inevitable World War which they were going to wind up as soon as possible.  They needed the Muslim troops supplied by Abdullah of Saudi Arabia  He helped, but expected a pay-off from the Brits;  land.  Of course, they broke their promise of the real-estate that was intended for the Jews and gave 80% of it to Abdullah, the Hashemite prince who also wanted land to rule.  The fact that they could not have won at all had it not been for Chaim Weizmann was forgotten about almost-and they were to get a very small sliver of that original promise. "As World War I progressed, Britain's war effort was hindered by their ineffective manufacturing of explosives.  Britain's situation suddenly changed when  chemist, Chaim Weizmann  made a breakthrough in synthesizing the needed solvent "acetone" by using a bacterial fermentation process."   It's interesting that the piece that went to the Jews was completely devoid of oil.  As usual, Jews have had to depend on their minds and their G-d, and not on what they have amassed of physical objects.  
Balfour had not written his declaration on the spur of the moment in a zeal of empathy.  
No, it came about by having many long negotiations initiated  by Chaim Weizmann, Nahum Sokolow (1860-1936) Warsaw,Polish  Zionist leader and Hebrew journalist and others AFTER the outbreak of World War I in 1914. 

 He acted with the support of  other Jews; such as  Viscount Herbert  Louis Samuel-(1870-1963) British statesman and philosopher who had appointed Husseini as Sherif of Jerusalem.  Samuel's memorandum to the Cabinet in 1914 concerning a British trust for the Jewish Home influenced the Balfour Declaration to be written.  Chief Rabbi J.H. Hertz, the Haham Moses Gaster and others also added their support to Weizmann.                                                                      
Weizmann and Feisal in 1918 
The Arabian Commission to the Peace Conference from January to June 1919 and its advisors. In front, Emir Feisal with, from left to right, Mohanned Rustum Bey Haidar of Baalbek, Brigadier General Nuri Pasha Said, Captain Pisani, T.E. Lawrence and Capt. Hassan Bey Kadri.Lawrence encouraged Prince Feisal to come to the Paris Peace Conference at Versailles to represent the Arab cause, and the British War Cabinet designated Lawrence to work with him. 

It wasn't until April 24, 1920 at the San Remo Conference that Britain should administer Palestine and be responsible for the implementation of the Balfour Declaration.  There was more delay and on July 24, 1922, the the Palestine Mandate was approved by the Council of the League of Nations meeting in London.  The League had discussed the draft and the final approved form of the Balfour Declaration is quoted in the preamble, thereby giving "recognition to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country".  The Zionist Organization was recognized as the Jewish Agency as long as the Mandatory considered it appropriate.  Articles listed provided for the facilitation of Jewish immigration by mandatory Power, while ensuring the rights and status of the other sections of the community, and for encouraging settlement of the Jews on the land, including unrequired state and wastelands;  for enacting a national law to enable Jews taking up their residence in Palestine to acquire Palestine citizenship;  the recognition of English, Arabic, and Hebrew as the official languages of Palestine;  and the recognition of the holy days of the respective communities as legal days of rest.  
1920 map cutting off 80% to create Transjordan out of Jewish Homeland

 Article 25 of the mandate delimits the borders of the country, excluding Transjordan from Palestine.  The Palestine Mandate ended on May 15, 1948, with the withdrawal of the British administration."  The mandate was to last for 30 years. 
Update: 1/29/17 It is an official doctrine from Great Britain issued November 2, 1917.  
Since it was coming from Great Britain itself, -it says in it that the British government favors the establishment of he National it certainly passed and Britain did not have
any reason to abstain.  It was a pass or fail vote, I imagine.  

  The Declaration was approved by the British cabinet.  It was approved by other Allied government and incorporated in the Mandate in 1922.  Balfour visited the USA in the spring of 1917 and met with President Wilson, who supported the efforts of the American Zionists headed by Brandeis.  This expedited the final decision of the British government.  But-and this is the surprise, Jews in Britain headed by DL Alexander and CG Montefiore, said that the Zionist plans could endanger Jews in other countries who were not suffering from pogroms. They were protesting strongly to the creation of a state.  This opposition made the government more cautious and is why the letter was quite moderate and did not include "Providing a Jewish National Colonizing Corporation" for the resettlement and economic development of the country into the letter.  Comfortable Jews of the USA and Britain did not want to start suffering because of a Jewish state being created.  They were not involved in all that was going on in Western and Eastern Europe against the Jewish people and just didn't want to lose their position.  They were afraid.  They did have reason, of course.  As we can now look back in history, we all have suffered from anti-Semitism, but who can say whether or not it was caused by the creation of Israel?  It  had been there all along before Israel's creation was thought about as it was.  For instance, the expelling of Jews from England that I cited; the creation of USA in the beginning in the late 1600s when a small  boatload of Sephardic Jews wanted to enter "New Amsterdam" (before it was New York) and were turned down being Jews until they discovered the Jews were part owners of the business providing for them out of the Netherlands.  

                                                             Foreign Office,
                                                            November 2nd,1917
Dear Lord Rothschild,
                   I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on
behalf of His Majesty's Government, the following
declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations
which has been submitted to and approved by the Cabinet.
                   His Majesty's Government view with favour the
     establishment in Palestine of a national home for the
     Jewish people and will use their best endeavours to
     facilitate the achievement of this object it being
     clearly understood that nothing shall be done which
     may prejudice the civil and religious rights of
     existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the
     right and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
     I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.
                                                        Arthur James Balfour

The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia ***** read this! 
Tanakh, The Stone Edition (Old Testament) 

dhimmi ([ðimi]; Arabic: ذمي, meaning "protected person") refers to specific individuals living in Muslim lands, who were granted special status and safety in Islamic law in return for paying the capital tax.
Dhimmitude is a neologism borrowed from the French language and popularized as a polemical term by writer Bat Ye'or. It was formed from dhimma by analogy with servitude in order to draw an implicit comparison.

No comments:

Post a Comment