I was also convinced that in the Levantine portion of Palestine, that portion of Palestine west of the Jordan—they are not true Arabs, because the population of Palestine west of the Jordan is a mixture composed of Phoenicians, Canaanites, Arabs, Egyptians, and other tribes.
is part of this:
I have been in that country and have held a responsible office in that country. I was a political officer in Jerusalem all through the summer of 1918. I always thought that the only chance for Palestine to become prosperous and go ahead was to attract Jewish capital, Jewish brains, Jewish labour, and Jewish energy to restore actually the very soil of the country. I was also convinced that in the Levantine portion of Palestine, that portion of Palestine west of the Jordan—they are not true Arabs, because the population of Palestine west of the Jordan is a mixture composed of Phoenicians, Canaanites, Arabs, Egyptians, and other tribes—if the Moslems of that country were to be worthy of the great traditions of the Holy Land, it was absolutely essential to bridge the gulf between them and other races, and more particularly the Jews. I believed the Jews—they are original cousins in blood, with great traditions of civilisation behind them—were the people to do it. Lord Beaconsfield, in books like "Tancred," set out ideas that have been long associated with that perpetual Zionist movement which has gone on for the last 2,000 years, and which does not depend on any particular number of Jews in Palestine, but on the association of Jewish energies with the ultimate reconstruction of Palestine. When I saw what Jewish, colonists have done in Palestine I was convinced that it was a practical policy.
I quite agree that there is no room in Palestine for a very large number of Jews, and probably not a very large number of Jews want to go there. There are 15,000,000 Jews in the world, and it is very fortunate that the whole 15,000,000 do not want to go into a country which is about the size of Wales. A large number will remain, as heretofore, scattered throughout the nations of the world, without any particular home, but bound together as all Jews are by a common religious tradition. That common Jewish tradition has one centre only, and that is Palestine. If you want to understand the Zionist movement you have to understand something of the Jewish religion. Palestine is inseparably bound up with their religious ideas and religious sentiment. It is essentially connected with the idea that the Bible was written by Palestinian Jews; that the greatest productions of the Hebrew race and their contributions to humanity came from Palestine; that the Psalms came from Palestine, and if they are going to write Psalms again they are going to be written in Palestine by Jews. That is the idea behind Zionism, and it called forth the Balfour Declaration.
It is that sentiment which has caused a great many Christian people all over the world to sympathise with the Zionist idea, and it is that cultural aspect of Zionism which will be of enormous value to the Near East. The Near East wants a movement of that kind. If, in the coming century, there is going to be an approximation between East and West, there is either going to be that approximation or a great gulf fixed between East and West. There is either going to be a split between Asia and Africa, on the one hand, and Europe on the other, or a bridge built. I am not at all sure that that bridge cannot and will not be built in Palestine. It is quite possible, from a Jewish university in Jerusalem, that West can be explained to East and East to West, and that you will be able to revivify what the West wants from the Eastern ethical and spiritual ideal, as similarly you will give to the East some of the practical, social and political ideals that have been worked out in the West...
... I do not want to emphasise the Jewish-Arab aspect of this question; that will work itself out in time. In Jewish Palestine the task that Great Britain has to perform is to ensure that the Christian holy places will be as well and better looked after in the future than in the past. Why are we always concentrating on the Moslem and Jewish aspects of Palestine? Cannot we occasionally remember the Christian aspect of Palestine?...
Those were the word of William Ormsby-Gore on June 14, 1921 in Parliament.
And as regards what had been promised to them, the Secretary of State for Colonies, Winston Churchill, declared at that session:
...in order to gain the support of the Arabs against the Turks, we, in common with our Allies, made during the War another series of promises to the Arabs. We made them, through King Hussein and those who gathered round him, for the reconstitution of the Arab nation, and, as far as possible, for a restoration of Arab influence and authority in the conquered provinces, or, as we term them, the liberated provinces. There is no doubt about these pledges either. In regard to Palestine, a third promise of a very important character was made, on behalf of the Government, by my right hon. Friend the President of the Council (Mr. Balfour), on 2nd November, 1917, that Great Britain, if successful in the War, would use her best endeavours to establish a Jewish national home in Palestine. Such was the position, and such were our obligations when the War came to an end.