Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Churchill's Comment in GraphicZionism Portrayal

And, yes, he did express himself so:

I always had in my mind the hope that the whole ques­tion of the Mid­dle East might have been set­tled on the largest scale on the mor­row of vic­tory and that an Arab Con­fed­er­a­tion, com­pris­ing three or four Arab States—Saudi-Arabia, Iraq, Tran­sjor­da­nia, Syria and the Lebanon—however grouped, pos­si­bly united amongst them­selves, and one Jew­ish State, might have been set up, which would have given peace and unity through­out the whole vast scene of the Mid­dle East. As to whether so large a pol­icy could have been car­ried into being I can­not be sure, but a set­tle­ment of the Pales­tine ques­tion on the basis of par­ti­tion would cer­tainly have been attempted, in the clos­est pos­si­ble asso­ci­a­tion with the United States and in per­sonal con­tact with the Pres­i­dent, by any Gov­ern­ment of which I had been the head. But all this oppor­tu­nity was lost. (Churchill by Him­self, 176-77)

And since it were the Arabs who scuttled that partition, obviously it was a no-solution. 

This, too, is indicative:-

HC Deb 16 March 1922 vol 151

§26. Captain Viscount CURZON asked the Prime Minister whether it is the intention of His Majesty's Government to establish a national home for the Jews in Palestine; if so, whether, before such a decision was arrived at, the cost of such an undertaking received consideration; what is the direct cost to this country of such a policy to-day; and whether, in all the circumstances, this policy can be reconsidered in the interest of economy?

§Mr. CHURCHILL This question should be addressed to me. The reply to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The policy of the Government, as the House is aware, was laid down in the letter addressed to Lord Rothschild in November, 1917, by my right hon. Friend the Lord President of the Council. The question of the grounds that led to the adoption of that policy is not one that can be dealt with by question and answer. I am not prepared to reconsider the policy that has been adopted... 


For those asking about borders, here:

PLEDGES TO ARABS.HC Deb 11 July 1922 vol 156

23. Mr. LESTRANGE MALONE asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the continual misinterpretations of our pledges to the Arabs, he will publish the letter of 24th October, 1915, from Sir Henry McMahon to the Sheriff of Mecca in full or the whole correspondence of which that letter formed one item?
§Mr. CHURCHILL No, Sir; it would not be in the public interest to publish one or all of the documents comprising the long and inconclusive correspondence that took place with the Sheriff of Mecca in 1915–16. I am dealing with the question of the alleged pledges to the Arabs in my reply to the hon. Member for North Stafford.
§31. Mr. ORMSBY-GORE asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what pledges, if any, were made to the Palestine Arabs in the year 1915; whether the Sykes-Picot agreement, negotiated between the Governments of France and Great Britain before the Arabs entered the War as Allies, provided that in the event of Allied victory Palestine west of the Jordan was to be a separate international State with the exception of Haifa, which was to be British territory; and whether the Balfour declaration of November, 1917, was preceded by any pledges or promises regarding the future of Palestine?
§Mr. CHURCHILL No pledges were made to the Palestine Arabs in 1915. An undertaking was given to the Sheriff of Mecca that His Majesty's Government would recognise and support the independence of the Arabs within certain territorial limits, which specifically excluded the districts of Mersina and Alexandretta and the portions of Syria lying to the west of the districts of Damascus, Horns, Hama and Aleppo. It was also stipulated that the undertaking applied only to those portions of the territories concerned in which Great Britain was free to act without detriment to the interests of her Allies. His Majesty's Government have always regarded and continue to regard Palestine as excluded by these provisos from the scope of their undertaking. This is clear from the fact, to which the hon. Member refers, that in the following year they concluded an agreement with the French and Russian Governments under which Palestine was to receive special treatment.
So far as I am aware, the first suggestion that Palestine was included in the area within which His Majesty's Government promised to recognise and support the independence of the Arabs was made by the Emir Feisal, now King of Iraq, at a conversation held in the Foreign Office on the 20th January, 1921, more than five years after the conclusion of the correspondence on which the claim was based. On that occasion the point of view of His Majesty's Government was explained to the Emir, who expressed himself as prepared to accept the statement that it had been the intention of His Majesty's Government to exclude Palestine.

When I assumed responsibility for Middle Eastern affairs, I went carefully into the correspondence referred to, and my reading of it is the same as that of the Foreign Office, as was recently stated in the declaration of British policy in Palestine which has been published and laid before the House. I am quite satisfied that it was as fully the intention of His Majesty's Government to exclude Palestine from the area of Arab independence as it was to exclude the more northern coastal tracts of Syria.


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