Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Balfour Declaration Followed by the Talaat Pasha Declaration

History, not fake news:-

A few months after the issuance of the Balfour Declaration, the leader of the Zionist movement, Chaim Weizmann, who had played an important role in its issuance, led a Zionist commission to the Middle East to explore ways and means for implementing the declaration, including “the establishment of good relations with the Arabs and other non-Jewish communities in Palestine.”

In Cairo, he managed to persuade a number of prominent exiled Syrian and Palestinian nationalists “that Zionism has come to stay, that it is far more moderate in its aims than they had anticipated and that by meeting it in a conciliatory spirit they are likely to reap substantial benefits in the future.” Healso succeeded in allaying the fears of the Egyptian Sultan (later King) Fuad of Zionism’s alleged designs on Islam’s holy places, especially its supposed intention to destroy the Dome of the Rock and to reestablish the Jewish temple on its ruins.

Yet his most important achievement was the establishment of a personal relationship with Emir Faisal ibn Hussein of “Great Arab Revolt” fame...The two struck an immediate rapport in their first meeting (on 4 June 1918), with Faisal readily conceding “the necessity for cooperation between Jews and Arabs” and “the possibility of Jewish claims to territory in Palestine.” Yet it took several moremonths and a string of further meetings for the two to sign an agreement (on 3 January 1919) supporting the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine in accordance with the Balfour Declaration and the adoption of all necessary measures “to encourage and stimulate immigration of Jews into Palestine on a large scale.”

In a letter to a prominent American Zionist a couple of months later, Faisal amplified this pledge: “We Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement … and we regard [the Zionist demands] as moderate and proper. We will do our best, in so far as we are  concerned, to help them through: we will wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home.”

Nor was Faisal the only regional leader to accept the Jewish right to national revival. 

On 12 August 1918, the Ottoman Grand Vizier Talaat Pasha issued an official communique expressing “sympathies for the establishment of a Jewish religious and national center in Palestine” and offering “to put this work under the high protection of the Ottoman Empire, and to promote it by all means which are compatible with the sovereign rights of the Ottoman Empire that do not affect the rights of the non-Jewish population.”


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