Do not turn the Balfour Declaration into a holy Jewish text

Middle East
on 64 Comments

The 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration is nearly upon us (November 2nd 2017) and its 67 words of apparent British imperial generosity towards the Jewish people are already taking on sacred status.

We are about to canonise Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour, and turn his letter to Lord Rothschild, which viewed “with favour” the establishment of a Jewish “national home” in Palestine, into a holy Jewish text.

But unlike other Jewish scripture, these are not words our rabbis will be allowed to examine, verse by verse, in synagogue sermons, nor our students wrestle with in yeshiva study halls.

For the sake of future Jewish generations, not to mention historians of the 20th century, it would be a good idea to put a stop to this manufacturing of holiness, this muddling of religion and nationalism. It’s only adding to the mountain of historical and political deceit that blocks the road to a place of justice and peace.

Sanctification

So how does British imperial wheeling and dealing become sanctified? For the Balfour Declaration there are six easy steps to take you there:

1. ‘The Jewish right to national self-determination is an inalienable right’

2. ‘The Balfour Declaration recognised that right’

3. ‘To question Balfour is to question that right and by implication the right of the State of Israel to exist’

4. ‘To question the right of Israel to exist is an act of antisemitism, denying to Jews that which you allow to everyone else’

5. ‘Therefore Balfour cannot be criticised’

6. ‘Therefore Balfour is holy writ’

And so you have it. Instant sanctification!

And instant blasphemy too if you dare to question this quasi-Jewish sophistry.

It’s a construction that plays games with notions of political rights, with European conceptions of nationhood, and with Jewish history. Then it wraps it up with an interpretation of Judaism at odds with 1800 years of rabbinic thinking on the meaning of Jewish exile. It also ignores the principled and far sighted objections to Balfour expressed by leading Jews in 1917 who saw the flaws in Zionism for Jews in Britain and for Arabs in Palestine.

Mark Regev

The chief exponent of today’s sanctification of Balfour is the Israeli Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Mark Regev.

This is the same Mark Regev you may remember watching on the TV news defending Israeli assaults on Gaza in 2008/9, 2012, and 2014 when he was the Israeli Prime Minister’s official spokesman. His well-sharpened talking points and his calm, unemotional performance in front of a camera would help him land his promotion to London in 2015.

Lately, Regev has been speaking at various events promoting the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration as a moment to be celebrated while simultaneously demonising anyone who refuses an invitation to the Balfour party.

In June he spoke at a We Believe in Israel event for ‘activists’. Here’s a flavour of his rhetoric against Balfour dissenters:

“If you are against Balfour you are against Israel, you’re against reconciliation, you’re against peace. And let’s speak clearly, because if someone stands up and says I’m against the Jewish national home they are basically saying Israel should never have been created in the first place. And if you call upon the British Government today to apologise for Balfour you are basically expressing an extremist position that says Israel should not be there. And so let’s be clear, opposition to Balfour is opposition to the very existence of the Jewish national home. And it should be exposed.”

Not only about Jews

But let’s be clear, Ambassador Regev, Balfour cannot be a Jewish text only. Because Balfour is not only about Jews. This document belongs to another people just as much as it does to us. Even when those people, the majority in the land in 1917, were reduced by Balfour to merely the “non-Jewish communities in Palestine.”

It’s impossible to have an honest commemoration of Balfour without acknowledging the consequences for both the Jews and the Palestinians.

But as soon as Balfour becomes a sacred text, where criticism becomes blasphemy, you immediately destroy all space for scrutiny and questions, and indeed honesty.

The sanctification of Balfour allows Ambassador Regev to talk in terms of “exposing extremism”. But what’s so extreme about asking people to consider the consequences of a clearly biased piece of imperial diplomacy designed to strengthen Britain’s hand in wartime and in the post-war settlement? While the Zionist movement in Britain was intimately involved in the drafting of the Declaration there was no intention of even consulting the indigenous population.

A turning point

In Jewish history the Balfour Declaration is undoubtedly a turning point. It was the moment when the nationalist project for a Jewish ‘return’ to the ‘promised land’ became not just an idea or a dream but an achievable ambition. Balfour led to the British Mandate after the First World War, which, through various twists and turns, led to the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.

For the Palestinians, Balfour is equally momentous, but for all the wrong reasons.

For the Palestinians, Balfour marks the beginning of their displacement, dispersion and exile. How else was this building of a Jewish home land (which the Zionist leadership always intended to be a Jewish majority State) going to be realised? Balfour was always bad news for the Palestinians.

Current affairs

So how can we celebrate Balfour with “pride” as Theresa May insists it should be? How can the seeds of a tragedy for another people be so brazenly ignored?

There will certainly be no apology from Britain. The Government has already responded to that demand and announced that:

“The Balfour Declaration is an historic statement for which Her Majesty’s Government does not intend to apologise…a full assessment of the Declaration and what followed from it can only be made by historians.”

But Balfour is still not history. It’s current affairs. That’s the problem.

One hundred years after Balfour we have an on-going Nakba, an endless occupation, an annexation, a siege and discrimination against Palestinians from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean.

Questioning the ethics of Balfour and its consequences is not about being “against Israel”, “against peace” or “against reconciliation”. On the contrary, it’s a call for an open and honest appraisal of what has taken place and a cry for equality for all who call the Holy Land home. That’s not a position that requires demonisation.

In 2017 there’s no turning the clock back to a time before Balfour. But we can look ahead and ask what a just peace in the Holy Land ought to look like. That’s not being sacrilegious and that’s not antisemitism.

So let’s not turn Balfour into a holy Jewish text. Let’s not celebrate, with pride, a document which has caused so much pain. And let’s not brand its critics as extremists. None of this is in the slightest way helpful, unless of course, Mr Regev, your aim is not reconciliation but the closing down of public debate.

A version of this story first appeared on October 1 on the Patheos site. 

About Robert Cohen

Cohen is a British writer. He blogs at Micah's Paradigm Shift. http://micahsparadigmshift.blogspot.co.uk/

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64 Responses

  1. Paranam Kid
    October 2, 2017, 12:01 pm

    The ultimate irony: Balfour’s declaration was drawn up for pure antisemitic reasons: Balfour himself was an antisemite, and Britain did not want all those East European Jews escaping pogroms to come to Britain.

    And, as we all know, Zionism & antisemitism go hand-in-hand. Herzl would conclude in his Diaries that “the anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies”.

    Today, Israel is cuddling up in bed to European fascist parties in France, the UK, Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Hungary. Trump’s racist pronouncements have had NO reaction from Israel !

    It is all part of that ultimate irony: Israel exists today because of fascism & racism, but feels a very close political affinity with fascist/racist parties.

    • Citizen
      October 2, 2017, 2:26 pm

      It’s arguable that the major motive for Balfour was British government using Zionist leverage on both sides of the pond to entice USA into WW1 to save the Brit ass from Germany.

      • jon s
        October 2, 2017, 4:19 pm

        Citizen,
        Slight problem here: the declaration was issued on Nov.2 1917, while the US had entered the war in April 1917. So the British didn’t have to “entice” the US at that point. The US was already in.

      • John O
        October 2, 2017, 4:37 pm

        @jon s

        You assume that the Balfour declaration was sprung on the world on 2 November 1917, without any preliminary discussions, arm-twisting, toe-in-the-watering, money-promising, or any of the other things that are done before a government adopts a policy.

      • Citizen
        October 3, 2017, 4:45 am

        The Balfour Declaration had been prearranged since March 1916. What followed was pretext, followed by news propaganda in USA, and entry of the doughboys “to save the world for democracy.” On How The Zionists Got US Into WW1: http://www.allempires.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=27905

        In 1916, the Brits were flat on their ass.

      • MHughes976
        October 3, 2017, 12:39 pm

        Well, Citizen, I’ve respected your views for many years and have read that allempires passage and I think it’s very controversial, as indeed the comments show. I don’t think that there’s any documentary proof or even any real suggestion of commitment to Zionism by the British Government – of course there was long-standing sympathy from some of its members, but that’s a different thing – in 1916. The Somme battle was raging from July to November, and the French were fighting at Verdun. The upshot in both places was that the great German Army had for the first time ever been forced to fall back and had endured losses that it was less able than its adversaries to make good. The one and only attempt by the German High Seas Fleet to break out into the North Sea had failed, which committed the Germans more and more to antagonising the United States (whose underlying aim was to avoid a surge in Japanese power through the collapse of Russia) by a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.
        Reading the first hand account of the Battle of the Ancre, the last phase of the Somme, by Edmund Blunden, who wasn’t a bloodthirsty militarist (Undertones of War), you don’t get the impression that Britain was on its ass. I don’t think the Government thought so abjectly, either.
        Perhaps there’s little point in disputing exactly how bad things were. There was a terrible problem and anything that might help would be attempted. I suppose that my view is that military desperation was less important in the origin of the Balfour Declaration than some say and pro-Jewish sympathies and ideology – Christian Zionism – more important. Those forces are very important now.

      • RoHa
        October 4, 2017, 4:05 am

        MHughes, one of the many myths around WW1 is the American myth (regarded as an unquestionable truth in the US) that only US intervention saved France and Britain.

        In fact, although the American military contribution was useful (once they had learned to fight*) it was by no means decisive. American financial and economic support was more important. Britain was deeply in debt to American business and bankers.

        The US military aid was very useful, and was a blow to the morale of the Central powers, but not desperately needed. By the time the US forces arrived, the British Empire forces and France had already stopped the German army. The British forces were being reinforced by reserves from Britain and troops from the Palestine and Italy campaigns. American forces took part in the campaigns that led to the break through, and played a valuable role, but it was British Empire and French forces that led the actual break through of the Hindenburg Line.

        In Australia, of course, we are absolutely convinced that the Allies were saved by Monash and the AIF, but I have heard whispered hints that this might not be entirely true either.

        (*When the Americans arrived, British officers explained the tactics they had painfully developed over the preceding years. The Americans refused to learn from British advisers, and tried the tactics that the British had used in 1914.)

      • jon s
        October 4, 2017, 4:17 pm

        Citizen,
        I must ask you, regarding the allempires article: Do you really believe this stuff?

        The Zionist movement , at that point a small minority even among the Jewish people, operating on a shoestring budget, somehow managed to cause a shift in the policies of the British Empire, cause the USA to enter a war which wasn’t in America’s best interests, and cause the German Empire to lose.
        Some more of that old the-Jews -control-everything myth?

      • Mooser
        October 4, 2017, 7:19 pm

        “Some more of that old the-Jews -control-everything myth?”

        “Jon s”, states don’t usually brag about how weak they are. Are you really sure you want to denigrate Zionist power?
        .
        If people think Zionists control everything, they will be afraid to cross us.

  2. JeffB
    October 2, 2017, 12:27 pm

    Robert certainly we can have an honest conversation about Balfour. But that means an honest conversation. One where we talk about the context of Balfour. In 1882 the world moved from being merely anti-Judaic:Judaism was a pernicious evil that needed to be stamped out, to Antisemitic: Jews as a people were a pernicious evil that needed to be stamped out. Russia sponsored this change. Huge movements pushed back against Jewish advancement in France and Germany. England didn’t have these problems because while there was secret Judaism in England to some extent Judaism was illegal. Permitting Jews to live in England, even as non citizens was widely seen as “abandonment of Christianity”. Official toleration of Judaism didn’t exist until 1753 (against strong opposition) and full legalization only occurred in 1858. Changes like this had gone through several cycles previously most recently when Cromwell had allowed for toleration but that had been quickly reversed.

    So let’s start with the basic question. Why do you believe you would be writing about how terrible Balfour was from England were it not for Balfour having fundamentally changed the status of Jews from stateless parasites to just another nation?

    So continuing Balfour allows for a little migration and then England returns to normal choking off migration because the residents object. During that period of time antisemitic ideology is put into practice and 1/2 of European Jewry is physically destroyed. This happens with the widespread and broad support of huge chunks of the populations in the countries involved. The rest of the world, including your country and my country elite agree that Jews are a noxious people but thinks extermination is perhaps a bit too much. They register their opposition, they rescue some small fraction. but at the same time block any attempt at large scale resettlement to get the Jews of eastern europe out of danger during the period when the Nazi regime was waffling between ethnic cleansing and genocide.

    England’s half hearted attempts are defeated by Palestinian Jews and global Zionists and the Jews end up with a state. Antisemitism and anti-judaic themes continues to spread all throughout the world by the Russians now called the Soviets who repurpose Nazi propaganda and tie it to the anticolonial agenda. Most of the world’s Jewish communities are destroyed, but instead of this being some horrible tragedy the Jews benefit because Israel now exists.

    So that’s the legacy of Balfour. Your life. My life. Millions of Jews living in happiness and peace. When you oppose Balfour but let’s talk about how this plays out in a world without Balfour. Let’s have that honest discussion. Let’s discuss if opposition to Balfour is really opposition to Hitler having only wiped 1/3rd of the Jews off the map and that the final solution isn’t progressing in the modern world because of Israel.

    Now I’ll agree the Palestinians got the short end of the stick here. Up against a tremendous historical wave which would have required excellent leadership to survive intact they play badly and lose badly. The negative results for them is a partially fixable problem. There certainly is some unfairness that unlike many of the other post colonial people’s there movement failed. Their opponents were more heavily motivated, damaging short term profits did nothing to dissuade them from the Zionist program.

    So 200 years from now there the Palestinian nation has dissolved and the descendents of the Palestinians get to live in a technologically advanced happy healthy country. OK. There was a lot of suffering to get there, quite a bit of it self inflicted. Betting into a great hand makes you lose chips even if you have a good hand. Any card that hits the board that doesn’t make your hand better, makes it worse. Both of those are in some sense “unfair”. But those are the rules of the game.

    So go ahead Robert let’s discuss Balfour.

    • John O
      October 2, 2017, 2:03 pm

      @JeffB

      Yes, an honest discussion of the Balfour Declaration would be useful. Let’s start with this bit: “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”.

      • JeffB
        October 2, 2017, 10:51 pm

        @John O

        Fair enough let’s discuss that. I suspect Balfour had a typical colony in mind and in his mind the colony would be administered with the same civil rights to all the inhabitants. I think the British did an imperfect job, were a bit uneven but did try hard to implement that policy. The Arabs and later the Palestinians and even later the Jews opposed it, so it Britain wasn’t able to pull it off.

        Where do you want to go with this.

      • John O
        October 3, 2017, 12:12 pm

        @JeffB

        “The Arabs and later the Palestinians and even later the Jews opposed it, so it Britain [sic] wasn’t able to pull it off.”

        Of course. The Arabs caused trouble first, then the Palestinians (is there a difference?) and finally, the Jews. Basically, the old Zionist crap about “you forced us to commit atrocities. We didn’t want to but we had to, because you hate us more than you love your own children …blah blah.”

      • JeffB
        October 3, 2017, 1:31 pm

        @John O

        Of course. The Arabs caused trouble first, then the Palestinians (is there a difference?) and finally, the Jews. Basically, the old Zionist crap about “you forced us to commit atrocities. We didn’t want to but we had to, because you hate us more than you love your own children …blah blah.”

        Sorry the historical of events offends you. But yes. The Arabs (not the Palestinians hey didn’t exist as a distinct population yet) pushed for immigration quotas. Then the Syrians sent activists in to whip the people into committing atrocities in the 1920s. That’s where a Palestinian consciousness begins to arrive as well. Jews first start hitting back hard in 1937.

      • Blake
        October 3, 2017, 6:25 pm

        It was deliberately ambiguous
        July 18 1917 Lord Rothschild forwarded the final draft of the Balfour Declaration to Mr Balfour to sign and was not proclaimed in Palestine until 1920 is sufficient proof of its character (Balfour signed it on November 2 1917).

        “Into the Maze – Four Plain questions (examining the Balfour Declaration point by point):
        Mass tricks of Balfour Declaration deception
        1. What exactly is a “National Home”? Nobody knows. The expression was used because it was ambiguous. To Syrians it is explained as a home. Fifteen months after the British Government had declared that it viewed this ambiguity with favour, Mr Lansing, the American Foreign Secretary, was obliged to ask at the Paris Peace Conference in Paris what “National Home” meant. Dr Weizmann replied that it meant there should be established such conditions ultimately in Palestine that “Palestine shall be just as Jewish as America is American and England is English. “ Mr (as he was then) Balfour was very pleased with this reply. It is difficult to see why, since Dr Weizmann had removed with his frankness a good deal of ambiguity.
        2. “Nothing shall be done,” says the vigilant Declaration, “which may prejudice the civil & religious rights of non-existing Jewish communities in Palestine.” No phrase could sound better but what exactly are “civil rights”? Again nobody knows. That is why the Declaration is anxious to guarantee them. Observe that the phrase “political rights” is not used. Political rights would have been something definite. The political rights of a people are its ownership of its country. The right to have, as Syrian-Arabs demand, “a National Government created, which shall be responsible to a Parliament elected by the people of Palestine – Muslims, Christians, and Jews.” A Subterfuge: When the Zionists drew up their programme of October 1916, the first portion of that program reads thus: “The Jewish population of Palestine shall enjoy full civic and POLITICAL rights…” no mistake here and at the end of the Balfour declaration itself is it civil rights guaranteed to the Jews? Read and see: “the rights and POLITICAL status enjoyed by the Jews.” No mistake again.
        3. The third point is less important but worth noting. The people of Palestine are referred to as the “Non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” There are about 80000 Jews & 670000 non-Jews in Palestine [1922]. The word would give anybody the impression that the “non-Jewish communities” were some specialised sort of bodies & not the mass of the population.
        4. Nothing, according to the declaration, is to prejudice the “political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” What does this mean? It means that Jews, besides being put on the road to establishing a Jewish state in Palestine, are also guaranteed against not belonging to it if they don’t wish. Political Zionism may look forward, therefore, to having their cake and eating it.
        The truth peeps out very clearly from this part of the Declaration. If there existed no intention in the minds of its framers of founding a Jewish state, why were they moving to protect their co-religionists from the necessity of belonging to it? If the National Home was only to be a home, the political status of Jews elsewhere could no more be altered by it than is the status of Englishman because thousands of them have homes in France & Italy. But if a state was erected in Palestine? Ah then!
        Excerpt from: Palestine Deception
        [Balfour Declaration] FORMULA MAKING:
        There was a meeting at the house of one of their number [British Zionist] in Feb 1917, Sir Mark Sykes was there “in his private capacity.” He was told there MUST be no internationalisation of Palestine because the Zionists desired a British protectorate with full rights to the Jews to develop as a nation. M. Nahum Sokoloff, the chief representative in Britain of the International Zionist Executive, was chosen, as the result of the meeting, to continue negotiations with Sir Mark Sykes & M. Picot, who acted for the French Government. The Zionist report says with satisfaction: “Thus opened the chapter of negotiations which ended 9 months later with the Balfour Declaration.” Still fearful of internationalisation, which would have made the Zionist state impossible, Mssrs Weizmann & Sokoloff spent some months vainly trying to get the Sykes-Picot Agreement cancelled. Though they failed in this, yet somehow internationalisation did drop out of sight.
        The goal was getting visible. A number of prominent Zionists, Ahad Ha-am, the writer, Mssrs Joseph Cowen, Akiva Yaakov Ettinger, Albert Hyamson, Simon Marks, Harry Sacher, Israel Moses Sieff, Leon Simon, Samuel Tolkowsky, Aaron Aaronsohn, Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky, Samuel Landman, & others from continental countries, as they visited England from time to time, were gathered in to form a Political Committee. Their names are of great interest, since it was they, together with well-known Zionist leaders, who began work on the “Balfour Declaration.” Many versions of the suggested formula were drafted,” says the Zionist report, “by various members of the Political Committee.” Drafts went back and forth to the Foreign Office. “Some were detailed and elaborate,” but the Government did not want to commit itself to more than a general statement of principle. Finally, a “concise and general formula was agreed upon.” This was made known to and approved by President Woodrow Wilson, Sir Mark Sykes, and Baron Edmond de Rothschild. All seemed finished. On July 18 Lord Rothschild forwarded the Balfour Declaration to Mr Balfour [to sign].”
        Source: “The Palestine Deception, 1915–1923: The McMahon-Hussein Correspondence, the Balfour Declaration, and the Jewish National Home” By: J. M. N. Jeffries
        Edited by William M. Mathew

      • YoniFalic
        October 5, 2017, 1:28 pm

        Civil Rights was a well understood term in 1917 in the English-speaking world. The US Congress had used the term in the title of the 1866 Civil Rights Act, and there was an important Congressional debate that was extremely clear about what Civil Rights meant. Walter Bagehot, who was editor of The Economist from 1860-1877 wrote over 40 essays on the US Civil War and its aftermath for The Economist. The British understood the term Civil Rights at least as well as the Americans.

    • Talkback
      October 2, 2017, 3:33 pm

      What JeffB is trying to say is that the violation of the Palestinian’s right to self determination was good, because it was good for the Jews and still is.

    • Mooser
      October 2, 2017, 3:35 pm

      ” Betting into a great hand makes you lose chips even if you have a good hand. Any card that hits the board that doesn’t make your hand better, makes it worse. Both of those are in some sense “unfair”. But those are the rules of the game.”

      And there you have it, “Jeff’s” credentials to discuss Balfour. Or most anything else.

    • Matt McLaughlin
      October 2, 2017, 3:44 pm

      So tired of the FAST FORWARD button being used in COMMENTS to explain the Balfour and 1917 when Zionism not the will of the world’s Jews. All speak of self determination is bs. A Balfour disliked Jews whom he believed a race.
      ‘An alien is an alien until racially absorbed.”- ABalfour

    • lyn117
      October 2, 2017, 9:46 pm

      What JeffB is arguing is might makes right, so it’s OK for the Russians to have run all those Jews out of Russia because they had the might to do so. Too bad so many got killed, but that’s the rules of the game, they were just up against a historical process. Hitler had the might to murder all those Jews but that’s just the rules of the game, I guess. Yeah, a bit unfair.

      • eljay
        October 3, 2017, 7:32 am

        || lyn117: What JeffB is arguing is might makes right … ||

        …as long as Jews are doing unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them. Don’t expect to see him advocating, justifying or defending acts of injustice and immorality committed by others against Jews.

      • JeffB
        October 3, 2017, 8:19 am

        @lyn117

        Where in that post did I say anything remotely like might makes right?

      • Mooser
        October 3, 2017, 11:41 am

        “Where in that post did I say anything remotely like might makes right?”

        “Jeff b” you said it all over and clear through. Your posts are implicit with two absurd contentions, that might makes right, and that Jews have might.
        If you have ever discussed these things with anybody other than other Zionists, you might understand where you are coming from.

      • Mooser
        October 3, 2017, 12:08 pm

        ” Hitler had the might to murder all those Jews but that’s just the rules of the game, I guess. Yeah, a bit unfair.”

        You are forgetting a basic tenet of Zionist dialectic: Now that the Jews are re-connected to their native land, they can do anything; numbers, resources, nothing matters.

      • Mooser
        October 3, 2017, 12:32 pm

        “What JeffB is arguing is might makes right”

        Gosh, he can’t help it. After all “might makes right” has always served the Jews soooo well, it’s just a habit of thought.

      • JeffB
        October 3, 2017, 1:51 pm

        @Mooser

        If you have ever discussed these things with anybody other than other Zionists, you might understand where you are coming from.

        I do all the time. I had a longish conversation about these things in fact yesterday after the Algeria talk. Had exactly the attitude I love from gentiles. Israel is just another pain in the ass middle eastern state no different than the rest of them. Doesn’t give a damn about the Palestinians, doesn’t give a damn about the Jews. Cares about the American military.

      • Mooser
        October 3, 2017, 3:42 pm

        “I do all the time. I had a longish conversation about these things in fact yesterday after the Algeria talk.”

        Well, I hope your discussion with you came to some satisfying conclusions.

      • JeffB
        October 3, 2017, 4:22 pm

        @eljay

        Balfour was abouts migration. All 4 neighborhoods my grandparents grew up were Jewish neighborhoods at the time and have none (or almost none) Jewish persons living there today. The neighborhood I live in is moving from Italian, Presbyterian and Jewish to South Asian. I don’t consider that immoral and when done unto me either.

        I support immigration. I support the natural flow of people from one place to another. And most directly I strongly oppose here in the USA the “anchor baby” crowd that argues that the children of illegal immigrants born here aren’t Americans. So while you enjoy playing the hypocrisy card in this case you are just bald faced lying.

      • Mooser
        October 3, 2017, 4:39 pm

        “I support immigration. I support the natural flow of people from one place to another.”

        Just think, you could be living in Israel. Where a violent and illegal Zionist colonial-settlement project is just like the ethnic and economic progression of American neighborhoods.

      • amigo
        October 3, 2017, 5:02 pm

        “So while you enjoy playing the hypocrisy card in this case you are just bald faced lying.” Jeffy boy to eljay.

        That,s a bit rich coming from the zio who bald faced claims the existence of a “US Law” that has only been introduced and has not moved any further.

        “That is USA law. Presidents have been breaking it which has created confusion on this issue.” jeffy boy

        http://mondoweiss.net/2017/10/congressman-everywhere-palestine/#comment-179297

      • Mooser
        October 3, 2017, 6:08 pm

        ” And most directly I strongly oppose here in the USA the “anchor baby” crowd”

        Now, now, you can’t blame Israelis for coming to the US to give birth to make sure their babies get American citizenship. A necessary colonial precaution.

      • JeffB
        October 3, 2017, 6:34 pm

        @amigo

        That,s a bit rich coming from the zio who bald faced claims the existence of a “US Law” that has only been introduced and has not moved any further.

        What are you talking about? It passed the 104th Congress on October 23, 1995. Senate (93–5),and the House (374–37)

        https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-104publ45/content-detail.html

      • eljay
        October 3, 2017, 6:47 pm

        || JeffB @eljay … while you enjoy playing the hypocrisy card in this case you are just bald faced lying. ||

        You’re a Zionist and – as your numerous and rather verbose posts clearly demonstrate – you’re good with Jews doing unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

        And I don’t expect to see you advocating, justifying or defending acts of injustice and immorality committed by others against Jews.

        So, no, I’m not lying. But perhaps I am wrong about you and you do, in fact, advocate, justify or defend acts of injustice and immorality committed by others against Jews. Shame on you, you anti-Semite.

      • amigo
        October 4, 2017, 2:52 pm

        Jeffyboy, you now give us a different link.Can,t you tell the difference between one link and another.

        As to the 2nd link , it points to a senate bill that is a wish list–ie ,

        The US believes Jerusalem ,”Should be ” recognised as the capital of Blah blah blah.

        Secondly , the bill allows the President to ignore the bill if he /she views it as in the Interest of the Security of the United States.Every President since this wish list was penned by the State of Israel (1995) and passed by the bought and paid for congress critters , has ignored it.That is why every few years some congress critter (heller in the case of the latest attempt to get a new Law passed—check the first link you gave ) will open an envelope with the latest attempt ,sent by the zionist entity and present it to congress , for his fellow Israel firsters to rubber stamp it. Some democracy you live in.

        So , the president is not breaking the law and if you believe he is , then you had better go to work and have him impeached.

        As Mooser says , jeffy boy, Grow up and then come back .I wont hold my breath.

        How,s the hamburger joint in Penn Valley doing??.

      • amigo
        October 4, 2017, 6:45 pm

        Jeffyboy , an update on your 1995 Jerusalem act.Seems as if that wish list , you call US Law cant get past the Foreign Affairs Committee who prefer to leave the decision to the POTUS.Best of luck getting BDS supporters behind bars what with the ADL standing firmly behind the right to free speech which includes boycotts.

        “In March 2011 a new bill, the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act of 2011 (H.R. 1006), was introduced. Cosponsored by fourteen Members of Congress, including House Europe Subcommittee Chairman Dan Burton (R), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) and House Middle East Subcommittee Chairman Steve Chabot (R), the bill would discontinue the Presidential waiver authority included in the 1995 Act, relocate the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and affirm the city as the undivided capital of Israel.[38] This bill died at the end of 2011, having failed to clear the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem_Embassy_Act#Developments

      • Mooser
        October 4, 2017, 6:49 pm

        “The US believes Jerusalem ,”Should be ” recognised as the capital of Blah blah blah….wish list of Israel’s 1995…”

        Well, what do you know! The law isn’t. That “Jeffy B” sure has a grown-up POV.

      • Mooser
        October 4, 2017, 6:52 pm

        “How,s the hamburger joint in Penn Valley doing??.”

        Kept him too busy to post all through 2016. I say, hooray for hamburgers!

    • Misterioso
      October 3, 2017, 10:27 am

      And what did it lead to?

      William A. Eddy, an aide to Secretary of State George C. Marshall nailed it: The creation of a Jewish state in Palestine would result in “a theocratic racial Zionist state….” (The Passionate Attachment….”, George W. Ball and Douglas Ball, 1992, p. 316)

      How right he was!!

      A recent example:
      https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.815169

      Haaretz, Oct. 2, 2017
       
      “Israel, partner in genocides”

      “Sending weapons to a government that’s guilty of genocide is very similar to sending weapons to Germany during the Holocaust”

      By Yair Auron

      EXCERPT:
      “The State of Israel is sending weapons to a country that’s carrying out ethnic cleansing. Once one couldn’t even imagine such a thing, but then it turned out that during the 1990s the Rabin-Peres-Meretz government was selling weapons to the genocidal governments of Rwanda and Serbia.
       
      “To send weapons to a government that’s guilty of genocide is very similar to (excuse the comparison) sending weapons to Nazi Germany during the Holocaust. Our leaders nevertheless did this knowingly and desecrated the memory of the Holocaust in the process. It’s important to stress that they turned both you and me into criminals, into accessories to a crime and to abettors of genocide.
       
      “In Myanmar there is now a ‘textbook example of ethnic cleansing’ going on, as per the United Nations. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman can equivocate and lie, but the bitter reality is sad. Israel is the only democratic country, at least according to press reports, that is still sending weapons to Myanmar. European and North American countries have stopped doing so, even though there is no official embargo.”

      • Maghlawatan
        October 3, 2017, 10:39 am

        Israel sold weapons to the Argentinian junta that murdered 8000 Jews.

      • JeffB
        October 3, 2017, 1:44 pm

        @Maghlawatan

        It was 2000 they killed. The Israelis refused to provide intelligence assist on leftist Jews. The weapons sold to Argentina ($700 millio) would have been worthless for the “dirty war”. What Begin was selling was mainly the stuff Argentina would later use against the British. Not shockingly Begin was not a big fan of the British.

        So no they didn’t help in the killing of Jews in any way. They didn’t object to the regime. Israel has worked (mostly succesfully) to be friendly with all of Argentina’s governments.

        As an aside unknown to the Israelis many members of the Junta thought Jews were still interested in the Andinia Plan. This was an alternative location on some of the Argentinian Islands for the Jewish state that early Zionists had considered. They tortured many of the leftist Jews to find out more information about their related activities. A wonderful example of the damage your side causes in spreading all sorts of wild conspiracies about Zionists.

      • John O
        October 3, 2017, 4:39 pm

        @JeffB

        “It was 2000 they killed.”

        Absolutely. Those Argentinians scarcely mowed the grass.

  3. Blake
    October 2, 2017, 3:26 pm

    Unsure if you are aware of this proposal from 1938.

    “10 Jewish Homelands Outside Palestine”

    “….there were about 30 such proposals throughout the 19th and early 20th century, historians reckon, although most were never more than utopian slogans.

    One of the best-known Jewish territorialist projects not focused on Palestine was the Uganda Plan. Presented by Theodor Herzl at the Sixth Zionist Congress of 1903, it fell only six votes short of a majority. Another was/is Birobidzhan, established by Stalin in Siberia as a socialist haven for the Jewish people in the Soviet Union (see #333). The faint echoes of a third proposal, for a Jewish homeland in Alaska, provided the setting for Michael Chabon’s 2007 alternate-history noir detective novel, ‘The Yiddish Policemen’s Union’.”

    http://bigthink.com/strange-maps/ten-jewish-homelands-outside-palestine

  4. MHughes976
    October 2, 2017, 4:08 pm

    I keep recommending the account of Balfour in Margaret Macmillan’s ‘Peacemakers’. The reference to the non-Jewish communities was insincere, and the Press was immediately briefed that the real meaning was ‘Palestine for the Jews’. Balfour and Lloyd George were strong Christian Zionists, in no serious sense anti-Semites: Balfour was often on hand to oppose discrimination against Jews in British society. It’s true that they were trying to win the War and thought that the support from American Jewry would be good, but America had been in the War for more than 6 months and was preparing a mighty army shortly to arrive in France, so it was a hardly a desperate measure to secure support.
    I’ve no idea why it should be a sacred Jewish text. It is British and Christian. ‘English’ is not too appropriate, since Balfour was every inch a Scottish Presbyterian and LlG was extremely Welsh. But there had been an English CZ tradition, by then 300 years old, which combined with the Scottish one to devastating effect – and of course they knew of American opinion represented for decades by the Blackstone Memorial. Anyway, it’s a disgrace to my dear country.

    • MHughes976
      October 2, 2017, 4:38 pm

      Just to add that I think that Brian Klug on ‘The Other Balfour’, published by the Balfour Project in 2013, is quite good on B’s personal opinions.

  5. Matt McLaughlin
    October 2, 2017, 4:40 pm

    Don Lewis in ORIGINS OF CHRISTIAN ZIONISM states 1917 War Cabinet not Brit, either.

    • MHughes976
      October 3, 2017, 12:45 pm

      An important point. The War Cabinet, a rather extraordinary institution of which Balfour was not a member, was not wholly British but represented the British Empire. However, those two concepts, British and British imperial, were very much intertwined in those days.

  6. unverified__5ilf90kd
    October 2, 2017, 5:22 pm

    One glaring fact about the Balfour Declaration is that many people who discuss it , leave out an important sentence which says “it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”. Cohen also leaves it out. This does more than anything else to make the Balfour Declaration into a holy Jewish text.

    • Blake
      October 3, 2017, 6:29 pm

      Yes but not the political rights. It was deliberately ambiguous. See my comment above in reply to Jeff B

  7. Elizabeth Block
    October 3, 2017, 9:52 am

    A few years ago I was asked by a Zionist if I knew about the San Remo Convention. I didn’t then. I do now. It was issued after a conference there, in 1922, where the victorious powers got together to divvy up the colonies. It quotes the Balfour Declaration in full.

    Why she thought the San Remo Convention was a big deal, or in any way valid, I don’t know. Taking land you don’t own, and giving it to someone else, isn’t valid. Period. This applies to San Remo and to Balfour.

  8. Maghlawatan
    October 3, 2017, 10:41 am

    The Balfour Declaration was typical Zionist backdoor arse licking and greased by money. Same as today in DC. The problem with Zionism is it takes up too many evenings.

    • Mooser
      October 3, 2017, 12:46 pm

      ” The problem with Zionism is it takes up too many evenings.”

      That tears it! You mean after working in the hot sun all day on a Kibbutz, I won’t even get my evenings to myself?

      • Maghlawatan
        October 3, 2017, 1:34 pm

        You have to hand over the children to indoctrína tors, Mooser. You can’t be trusted. You might go all Lenny Bruce.

        Where would the kids be then?

        https://youtu.be/axEGY1zWe8g

      • Mooser
        October 3, 2017, 3:45 pm

        “You have to hand over the children to indoctrína tors…”

        Nonsense, it’s an old-fashioned idea that only professionals can abuse children. Mothers, fathers, siblings, relatives all have a part to play.

  9. Misterioso
    October 3, 2017, 10:43 am

    When the Balfour Declaration was issued, Palestine was still a province of the Ottoman Empire. Hence, by viewing “with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish peoples,” the Balfour Declaration violated the well established legal maxim, “Nemo dat quod non habet” (nobody can give what he does not possess.)

    In discussing the legal basis for the creation of Israel, the highly respected American lawyer and diplomat Sol Linowitz wrote: “…the [Balfour] Declaration was legally impotent. For Great Britain had no sovereign rights over Palestine; it had no proprietary interest; it had no authority to dispose of the land. The Declaration was merely a statement of British intentions and no more.” (Sol M. Linowitz, “Analysis of a Tinderbox: The Legal Basis for the State of Israel.” American Bar Association Journal XLlll l957, pp.522-3)

    Even Chaim Weizmann knew the Declaration had no legal status: “The Balfour Declaration of 1917 was built on air.” (Quoted by Mallison, “The Balfour Declaration,” in The transformation of Palestine: essays on the Origin and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, ed. by Abu-Lughold; Northwestern University Press, 1971 p. 85)

    It should be noted that In its report, the 1919 King Crane Commission pointed out that the Balfour Declaration did not call for a Jewish state in Palestine and it could not be achieved without denying the “civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities….” The commissioners also found “…that the Zionists looked forward to a practically complete dispossession of the present non-Jewish inhabitants…by various forms of purchase…” and recommended that “Jewish immigration should be definitely limited”, that “the project for making Palestine a Jewish commonwealth should be given up…” (Howard, Harry N., The King Crane Commission, Beirut: Khayats, 1963; quoted by Sami Hadawi, Bitter Harvest, pp.17-18.)

    The King-Crane Commission also made it clear where it stood regarding the Zionist’s historical claim to Palestine: “…the initial claim, often submitted by Zionist representatives, that they have a `right’ to Palestine, based on an occupation of two thousand years ago, can hardly be seriously considered.” (“The American King-Crane Commission of Inquiry, 1919” quoted in From Haven to Conquest, p. 217, edited by Whalid Khalidi) Or as Lord Sydenham stated before the British House of Lords on 21 June 1922: “If we are going to admit claims on conquest thousands of years ago, the whole world will have to be turned upside down.” (Hansard)

  10. James Canning
    October 3, 2017, 1:00 pm

    A number of British leaders hoped Jews would leave England and settle in Palestine, and therefore supported the Balfour letter.

  11. Maghlawatan
    October 3, 2017, 1:42 pm

    The Zionists forced the creation of a state but they couldn’t make a normal state. Because there is no such thing as free land. The price of 1948 was a sick society. Israel is one of the jurisdictions where proving a crime is difficult. Thuggery is built into the sabra DNA.
    This will probably be the death of Israel.

    • JeffB
      October 3, 2017, 4:32 pm

      @Maghlawatan

      Where do you guys get this stuff? That’s just make up negative facts and assert them.

      Now in real life.
      Gun crime 1/12 USA levels
      Murder rate 1/2 USA levels
      Rape 60% USA levels
      Assault resulting in injury 1/6th USA levels

      and like most of the world higher burglary than USA levels
      only thing where Israel stands out is auto theft at 20% higher than the fairly high USA levels.

      in terms of non serious crime worth mentioning
      soft drug use 1/5th USA levels (stereotypes do have some basis)

      http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/Israel/United-States/Crime

      • amigo
        October 3, 2017, 6:54 pm

        “Where do you guys get this stuff? That’s just make up negative facts and assert them.

        Now in real life.” jeffy boy

        Let,s try a more civilised society.

        Rapes in Israel are 60% higher than Ireland.

        Assaults in Israel are 8 times higher .

        Murders in Israel are 3 times higher.

        Now go and check Israel against Denmark and weep.

        I agree with Mag –Let,s face it , Israel is f—-d and that,s without including the hundreds of War crimes committed by the rogue entity, on a daily basis.

      • Maghlawatan
        October 4, 2017, 8:37 am

        Jeff

        Do you know anything about the Israeli kidney industry?

      • Mooser
        October 4, 2017, 5:09 pm

        “Do you know anything about the Israeli kidney industry?”

        As far as I know (I am no expert on this) the edible organs from a permitted animal which is kosher are also kosher.

      • JeffB
        October 4, 2017, 6:59 pm

        @Maghlawatan

        Do you know anything about the Israeli kidney industry?

        Only thing I know of is that an Israeli biotech developed a chip / cell growth program to advance towards kidney replacement (were able to replace one subsystem in the kidney) and repair. Not really an industry not even a usable technology yet for actual human patients but a major step towards organ replacement.

  12. just
    October 3, 2017, 4:42 pm

    More truth and theft from Netanyahu:

    “Netanyahu backs annexation of 19 West Bank settlements

    Israeli PM’s support of bill to bring Jewish areas into Greater Jerusalem shows refusal to revive peace process, say Palestinians

    Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has backed legislation that would in effect annex settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories that are home to between 125,000 and 150,000 Jewish people.

    In comments made at a meeting of his Likud party at the large settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, Netanyahu said he would support the “Greater Jerusalem” bill. The bill, pushed by rightwing MPs, would annex 19 settlements around Jerusalem, placing them within the city’s municipal boundaries.

    The legislation, drawn up by Yisrael Katz, a member of Likud and minister in Netanyahu’s coalition, is expected to be introduced in the winter session of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.

    Ma’ale Adumim is a settlement of roughly 40,000 people just east of Jerusalem. It is considered strategic because it lies in the centre of the West Bank, and making it part of Israel could greatly hinder Palestinian statehood aspirations.

    “Ma’ale Adumim will always be part of Israel and in addition I support the Greater Jerusalem bill,” Netanyahu said during the meeting. He added that he was considering including Ma’ale Adumim within the same plan.

    “I am also weighing placing Ma’ale Adumim within the boundaries of Greater Jerusalem within the context of the Greater Jerusalem bill,” he said.

    “We will build thousands of housing units here,” he said. “We will add the industrial zone needed and the expansion needed to allow for the advanced development of this place … This place will be part of the state of Israel.”

    Observers have noted an increase in visits by Netanyahu to settlements in the occupied territories since Donald Trump was sworn in as US president in January.

    Since Trump took office – and despite requests by the US president to hold back on settlement building – an emboldened Netanyahu government has pushed forward with a steady stream of announcements on settlement building. …”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/03/netanyahu-backs-annexation-of-west-bank-settlements

    Tell me why Americans support this rogue, genocidal, apartheid, and nuclear- armed state. Where are the consequences? BDS, BDS, BDS!

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