Tuesday, May 28, 2013

On British Pro-Zionism in 1916

As recounted,

Gerald Henry Fitzmaurice, served before World War I as a British dragoman, interpreting and translating Ottoman interests to his superiors at the consulate in what was then known as Constantinople. 

Fitzmaurice had an epiphany in the first year of the wat: Britain should promise Palestine to the Jews right now. In return, the Dönmes would withdraw their support from the Turkish government, which would inevitably collapse. 

Fitzmaurice, now attached to the intelligence division at the British Admiralty, lobbied Hugh James O'Bierne, an experienced and well-respected British diplomat. O'Beirne responded positively to the idea. On Feb. 28, 1916, he composed the first Foreign Office memo linking the fate of Palestine with both Jewish interests and British chances of victory in World War I. 

"It has been suggested to me," he wrote to his colleagues, "that if we could offer the Jews an arrangement as to Palestine which would strongly appeal to them, we might conceivably be able to strike a bargain with them as to withdrawing their support from the Young Turk government which would then automatically collapse."

From this book:


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