Friday, November 04, 2016

Quick Fisk of "Britain & Palestine"

The anti-Zionist "Balfour Project" site - they assert that there was a ‘sacred trust’of England to facilitate Palestinian independence which is still to be fulfilled (there wasn't and in fact, Arabs were not even mentioned in the Balfour Declaration the Versailles Peace Conference, the San Remo Conference and the League of Nations Mandate decision, 5:05) - has produced a film.

Here are just a few fisking points:

1. Gt. Britain's involvement in Palestine with its consuls from 1839 and the whole Christain Restoration ideology for some three centuries - starting with the 1621 pamphlet of MP Sir Henry Finch is ignored (1:08) but is later mentioned (5:23). It's political analysis leads off with an immediate introduction of World War One.

2.  What do they mean by "all of Palestine"? (2:00)  TransJordan included? If so, what happened to it? Why was it excluded from the terms of the Mandate which were to reconstitute the national homeland for the Jews?

3. A "first promise" of the "contradictory promises" (3:01) is that of McMahon.  But what of the November 9, 1914 meeting of the British Cabinet?  Here:

Zionism was first discussed at a British Cabinet level on 9 November 1914, four days after Britain's declaration of war on the Ottoman Empire. David Lloyd George, then Chancellor of the Exchequer "referred to the ultimate destiny of Palestine."...In a discussion after the meeting with fellow Zionist and President of the Local Government Board Herbert Samuel, Lloyd George assured him that "he was very keen to see a Jewish state established in Palestine."

4. Did McMahon mean (3:10) by mentioning an "Arab state" also Palestine? Or was he referring to everywhere else but Palestine?

5.  Some Arabs joined the war effort (3:19)?  How many? How representative were they? Jews also joined the effort under the British flag.  And which "land" did the Arabs drive out the Turks?  It wasn't "Palestine" for the Jews of the Jewish Legion assisted with that.  

See how simply devious they are.  And there's more.



Stephen Franklin said...

Some notes with reference to your questions:

2."Why was it excluded from the terms of the Mandate which were to reconstitute the national homeland for the Jews?"

Under Article 25 of the Mandate, Britain could exclude the territory to the East of the Jordan from certain provisions (ie from the national homeland for the Jews).

3. The 1922 Palestine White Paper ( said:

"With reference to the Constitution which it is now intended to establish in Palestine, the draft of which has already been published, it is desirable to make certain points clear. In the first place, it is not the case, as has been represented by the Arab Delegation, that during the war His Majesty's Government gave an undertaking that an independent national government should be at once established in Palestine. This representation mainly rests upon a letter dated the 24th October, 1915, from Sir Henry McMahon, then His Majesty's High Commissioner in Egypt, to the Sharif of Mecca, now King Hussein of the Kingdom of the Hejaz. That letter is quoted as conveying the promise to the Sherif of Mecca to recognise and support the independence of the Arabs within the territories proposed by him. But this promise was given subject to a reservation made in the same letter, which excluded from its scope, among other territories, the portions of Syria lying to the west of the District of Damascus. This reservation has always been regarded by His Majesty's Government as covering the vilayet of Beirut and the independent Sanjak of Jerusalem. The whole of Palestine west of the Jordan was thus excluded from Sir. Henry McMahon's pledge."

YMedad said...

As regards 2, I was being rhetorical. And if "Palestine" is to be redivided, Jordan's territory need be taken into account.

As for 3, you're quoting the 1922 White Paper which was an internal policy statement rather than the previous international diplomatic agreements and opposed them.

Pay more attention, please.

Stephen Franklin said...

Jordan's territory has nothing to do with it. When the Balfour Declaration was made there was no territorial definition of Palestine. The Mc Mahon Hussein agreement was made in 1915 and predated the Balfour Declaration. The Jewish National home provisions of the Mandate only applied to territory to the West of the Jordan

The 1922 Palestine White Paper, or at least the part that I quoted, was about an international agreement and it stated Britain's interpretation of that agreement. The statement was made by the Colonial Office, which was not an internal department.

The Arabs who fought with the British in WW1 captured Aqaba and what would become Eilat. That was no mean achievement because Aqaba was defended with heavy artillery.

That said they were the forces of men loyal to Feisal Hussein and Lawrence of Arabia, who were supporters of Zionism and Feisal Hussein in 1919 signed the Weitzmann Feisal agreement, which was largely drafted by T E Lawrence.