The Balfour centenary is also the centenary of the Zionist lobby

FeaturesUS Politics
on 90 Comments

On the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, many voices tell us of the damage this colonial document did to the Palestinian people, and the obligation on Britain and its imperial successor, the United States, to support Palestinian rights at last.

As someone keenly interested in Jewish history, I have a different angle on Balfour: the declaration marked the arrival of the Zionist lobby in international affairs. That amorphous coalition that is called the Israel lobby or the Jewish lobby announced its presence with the Balfour promise of 1917. It is the one element of the Balfour history that will not be anatomized in the press these days, because it so touches on a delicate issue, “Jewish influence,” which is widely thought to be an anti-Semitic idea. But no history of Balfour is complete without understanding Zionist agency in producing the colonial entitlement. And no effort to rectify Balfour will be possible without reckoning with the role of the lobby in our policy-making to this day.

The why’s and wherefore’s of the Balfour Declaration were extremely complicated. Britain was still a colonial power, and had colonial interests in the Middle East. And it was also a combatant in the Great War as one of the Allied Powers (France and Russia) against the Central Powers (Germany, Austria and the Ottoman Empire).

The Balfour Declaration emerged at the height of the war — it was negotiated over many months in 1917 — and must be seen first and foremost as a war-time instrument, an effort by the British to win American Jews to their side in the war. “[W]hen British officials made the case to skeptics [for the Balfour Declaration], they stressed the geopolitical benefit that Zionism would bring to the British Empire and to the current war effort,” John Judis writes in his history, Genesis.

“Every influence must be used now,” Chaim Weizmann, the Russian-born Zionist who so effectively negotiated the declaration with British authorities, told the American Zionist Louis Brandeis in a cable about wartime schemes. “Jews have now [a] splendid opportunity [to] show their gratitude [to] England and America.”

Israeli historian Tom Segev says that Weizmann was bluffing. “In 1917, Weizmann had reason to conjure up the myth of Jewish power and influence, and he rose to the occasion admirably…. Britain’s belief in the mystical power of ‘the Jews’ overrode reality, and it was on the basis of such spurious considerations” that it issued the Balfour Declaration.

Segev and other historians maintain that Weizmann could not summon real power and influence, and the able statesmen of the British empire fell for his claims. I think these historians are wrong; Jewish power and influence was a real factor, if hardly the only one, and the British overlords were not hoodwinked but assessed the landscape as realistically as they could.

So if we blame the British for the Balfour Declaration, we ought to blame the Zionist lobby too.

Here are three members of that early Zionist lobby who demonstrate its influence.

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

The leading opponent of the Balfour Declaration was a Jewish anti-Zionist member of the British cabinet, Edwin Montagu, who saw the British commitment as undermining Jewish citizenship in nations around the world, and argued eloquently on that score. In October of 1917 he convinced the cabinet that it should not issue the declaration without the OK of the American president, Woodrow Wilson. Wilson came out against the declaration, Tom Segev says in One Palestine, Complete, until Weizmann “lobbied his friend Brandeis, who in turn spoke with someone on Wilson’s staff, and the White House reversed its position.” Segev says the incident was just good p.r. work on the part of Weizmann and Brandeis, but it confirmed Prime Minister Lloyd George in “his conviction that the Jews controlled the White House.”

It is obviously specious to say that the Jews controlled the White House. But as I have shown, Louis Brandeis had converted to Zionism at 56 five years earlier because he needed to have a Jewish base in order to get a high position in the Wilson administration, and he got one by embracing a position popular among the new immigrants. Wilson wanted a “representative Jew,” who could help him win votes among the multitude of Russian Jews who had come to New York and other American cities. And the president closely heeded the views of the banker Jacob Schiff when he rejected Brandeis as Attorney General in 1913 for not being a “representative Jew,” and then when he elevated Brandeis to the Supreme Court in 1916. In that interval, Brandeis had become a hero to the Jews of the Lower East Side as a Zionist leader.

And as an “adviser to President Wilson and a man who moved comfortably in the upper echelons of WASP society, Brandeis put a seal of respectability and attractiveness on the American Zionist movement,” writes Naomi Cohen.

Dismissing Brandeis’s role as inconsequential, mere P.R., insults the record.

Jacob Schiff

Jacob Schiff was the most important Jewish banker of his age, and his ambivalence about Zionism and the allied war effort are significant to understanding the Balfour Declaration.

A Germany-loving German immigrant who hated Russia for its treatment of Jews, Schiff, 70, opposed American entry into the war on Russia’s side; and was thought to have helped the German war effort. The banker’s financial power was legendary. Enraged by the Kishinev pogrom of 1903 in Russia, Schiff “exerted all of his influence to block Russian access to loans” during the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-1905, the historian Gary Dean Best writes. Japan’s victory in that war may be attributed to the “influence of the Jewish banking community in the United States and Europe.”

Hatred of Russia was the main reason that the Russian Jewish masses in the U.S. were generally against the U.S. entering the war or neutral. When historians say that the British were trying to get American Jewry on their side in the Great War– and when they note that the Germans were also making a play for Zionist support — they are describing Schiff’s playing field. As the historian Kenneth Ackerman writes, Schiff had international clout:

Schiff had openly used his wealth to pressure Russia into changing its anti-Semitic polices. Moreover, Schiff had refused to allow his bank to participate in American war loans to Britain or France as long as they allied themselves with Russia.

In March 1917, Schiff abandoned his neutrality. The Russian revolution had removed the czar and installed a government he approved of, and he supported American entry into the war “without reservation,” writes his biographer Naomi Cohen.

She says the British ascribed too much power to Schiff. “Just as the Germans inflated their expectations of Schiff, so did the English exaggerate his importance in their own struggle for American loans and goodwill. The myth of Jewish control of finance and of the press pervaded the British foreign office, and Schiff was regarded as the prime example of Jewish power.”

Cohen is yet another example of a historian arguing that the British didn’t understand the power map of their age. These masters of empire may have exaggerated the power of American Jews, but they didn’t get to “Rule Britannia” by not studying political realities; and it is undeniable that Schiff was an important figure. P.S. The U.S. entered the war a month after Schiff stopped being neutral.

Later in 1917, Schiff endorsed the Balfour Declaration because though a non-Zionist himself, he recognized the support for Zionism inside the American Jewish community, to which he felt great responsibility. His biographer writes that a crucial American Jewish Committee statement in support of the Balfour Declaration was written by Schiff himself, and then “cleared with Secretary of State [Robert] Lansing.”

We have to ask: If Zionism had the power to persuade assimilationists of Schiff and Brandeis’s status and acumen to get on board, how can anyone conclude that the British were fools to be catering to the Zionists? As Segev writes, the Declaration’s author, Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour, was motivated by a belief in “Jewish power. ‘Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad,’ Balfour wrote, is ‘of far profounder impact than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land.”

Chaim Weizmann

Books have been written about Weizmann’s tenacious role in bringing about the Balfour Declaration, and his ability to walk in and out of the British Foreign Office seemingly at will during the Great War, capped by the moment 100 years ago when Mark Sykes said, “It’s a boy,” in telling Weizmann that the declaration had been adopted.

Let me focus on one clear example of the chemist’s actual influence.

In June 1917, the United States undertook a bold and secretive move in the war effort. It sent Henry Morgenthau, the non-Zionist Jewish former ambassador to Turkey, to Europe in an effort to make a separate peace between the Allied Powers and the Ottoman Empire and help end the war. Weizmann was informed of the trip by Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis in a cable, and the move was extremely alarming to Zionists. If the allies made a deal with the Ottomans, the Ottomans would hold on to Palestine, and the whole dream of getting a British assurance of a Jewish “home” in Palestine was off the table. Weizmann flew into action. He was appointed as a British representative and was sent to Gibraltar to head off the trip. He succeeded in convincing Morgenthau not to go on, after lengthy discussions with Morgenthau and a French official who had come to negotiate as well.

In explaining why the British allowed Weizmann to negotiate on their behalf, against their own interest in exploring a separate peace with Turkey, Jonathan Schneer writes in his book The Balfour Declaration that the “Foreign Office had concluded that Britain needed the support of ‘international Jewry’ to win the war.” Weizmann, Schneer sneers, “shrewdly harped upon the power of this cosmopolitan cabal” with the Foreign Office.

Whether Weizmann shrewdly harped or inflated mystical powers, whether there was a cabal or not– let’s stop to consider the reality here. During its internal deliberations over the future of Palestine, the British Foreign Office is deputizing a keenly interested party to do wartime negotiations on its behalf that help to undermine a diplomatic initiative. That’s real power.

In fact, Senator David Reed of Pennsylvania later accused Weizmann of prolonging the war for two years by scuttling the Morgenthau Mission (as Weizmann relates in his autobiography). And of course, Weizmann served as Israel’s first president.

Anyone who diminishes the Zionist role in the creation of the colonial document must reckon with these real expressions of power, mostly behind-the-scenes. And while it is true that the Balfour Declaration was a colonial document, the British abandoned their colonial role in Palestine by 1947 when they found the Palestine mandate to be too much trouble to administer. The Zionists have been in control in Israel and Palestine since that time, demolishing the promise by the Foreign Secretary to protect the rights of the non-Jewish communities of the territory as they colonize hilltop after hilltop.

Edwin Montagu was an anti-Zionist. Henry Morgenthau was not a Zionist. Brandeis was not always a Zionist. Schiff was not always a Zionist. That is the key to understanding this history. Zionism is an ideology about Jewish safety based on separatism and nationalism that answered the long-debated Jewish question in Europe. Not all Jews accepted it. Unfortunately the American Jewish Committee, which gave lukewarm endorsement to the Balfour Declaration 100 years ago, is all in today, as is just about every other major Jewish organization.

They are the heart of the Israel lobby, and today they do Weizmann’s work on a grand scale: ensuring that there is no daylight between the U.S. government  and the Israeli government. When scholars have the temerity to point this out, they are branded as anti-Semites…

The misery in Palestine that was triggered by the Balfour Declaration will not end until the root cause of that suffering is identified and taken on aggressively. That root cause is Zionism. And we’re gonna need a whole lot of Jewish influence to break it down.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

90 Responses

  1. Citizen
    November 3, 2017, 10:24 am

    Won’t hold my breath waiting for NPR (or any TV network or cable TV news show) to allow Phil Weiss on to discuss this subject; nor will CSPAN WJ allow PW to give this history lesson and take calls from the unwashed masses.

    • Boomer
      November 5, 2017, 6:59 am

      re Citizen: “Won’t hold my breath waiting for NPR (or any TV network or cable TV news show) to allow Phil Weiss on to discuss this subject”

      That would be nice (though I don’t have cable, so I would hope it’s a broadcast network). Perhaps PBS would do it. I first learned about Juan Cole years ago from his appearance on the News Hour. So sometimes progressive voices slip through the embargo. But even that was focused on other aspects of the Middle East, I think. The embargo on views and news about Palestine remains as tight as ever.

      Facts do come out at times. I recall that Scott Pelley did mention in passing on CBS Evening News during the last slaughter in Gaza that most its residents were people (and their descendants) forced out of what is now Israel in 1948. Of course, Pelley was precipitously pulled from that show.

      I”ve been checking Google News to monitor MSM coverage of the Balfour anniversary in the US. A few mentions, but mostly in sources aimed at Jewish audiences, or from overseas. For example, Giles Fraser has a piece in the Guardian. Excerpt:

      “But having married an Israeli, I now feel more keenly than before the remarkable disconnect between the language we have historically used about Israel and the actual place and its people.

      “Most of those who wrote so enthusiastically about Jews in the 17th century had never actually met any. Jews weren’t so much a people as an idea. Likewise, the Israel that David Lloyd George was won over to through Sunday school was a merger of Christian theological fantasy and British national self-aggrandisement.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2017/nov/02/before-balfour-the-reformation-helped-to-create-the-state-of-israel

  2. Boomer
    November 3, 2017, 1:38 pm

    re: “In fact, Senator David Reed of Pennsylvania later accused Weizmann of prolonging the war for two years by scuttling the Morgenthau Mission (as Weizmann relates in his autobiography).”

    Thanks for the essay. As usual, very informative. I had to look up “Morgenthau Mission.” There’s so much history to learn. Ignorance of the past doesn’t mean that it does not affect us. As Faulkner would say, it’s not really past. Still, we can only carry on as best we can.

  3. Keith
    November 3, 2017, 7:04 pm

    PHIL- ” Zionism is an ideology about Jewish safety based on separatism and nationalism that answered the long-debated Jewish question in Europe.”

    Overall good article. Interesting how all of these Jewish authors downplay Jewish power, as if shining a spotlight into the shadows is anti-Semitic. What will the Goyim think? I do, however, disagree that Zionism was a response to Jewish safety concerns. At no time did the pre-state Zionists consider a Jewish state as refuge for vulnerable Jews, something which they repeatedly emphasized and which is only common sense. The infrastructure of Palestine was such that it would have been impossible for Palestine to absorb millions of Jewish refugees. Rescuing large numbers of Jews absolutely required their immigration into the Western democracies, primarily Britain and the US, something which the Zionists resisted. If anything, Zionism sought to deal with the problem of Jewish concentration in the professional strata of the host society while simultaneously avoiding complete assimilation which was viewed as an existential threat to the Jewish people. As things worked out, Israel is significantly dependent upon the Diaspora which it has long despised.

    • JWalters
      November 3, 2017, 10:48 pm

      Thanks for bringing up these central points.

      Herzl specifically wanted to avoid the assimilation that seemed to accompany Jews’ success in the Western nations. Israel was to be a method of segregation. This segregationist view and strategy was common among Eastern European Jews, and initially opposed by those in Western Europe and America. The Eastern European Jews followed the Torah more strictly, and believed Jews were indeed God’s privileged people. They insisted any new Jewish state had to be in Palestine, not Uganda. As the boots on the ground for the enterprise, their support was essential. e.g. “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror”.

      • Keith
        November 4, 2017, 11:52 am

        JWALTERS- “They insisted any new Jewish state had to be in Palestine, not Uganda.”

        True, if we are talking about the Zionist leadership,however, the mass of common Jews wanted nothing to do with making aliyah to Palestine. For the common Jews, Palestine at the start of the 20th century was no bed of roses, colonization entailed real sacrifice and Jewish colonists hard to come by. Not like now with Israel powerful and secure within the empire with heavy subsidization of Jewish immigrants.

  4. JWalters
    November 3, 2017, 11:11 pm

    Thank you for this excellent piece of historical scholarship. Understanding any problem is essential to repairing it. And when human beings are involved, watch out! For example, stage magicians sometimes go to amazing lengths to conceal how they achieve some astounding effect. Generals in war launch elaborate deceptions to mislead their adversaries. Informing and mis-informing probably arrived in society approximately together. Naturally some among the ultra-wealthy will try to mislead their underlings, i.e. the voters.

  5. JosephA
    November 3, 2017, 11:32 pm

    It helps, to really understand and dissect a modern subject, to analyze the origins, substance, and functions of the topic. You have done so, and quite logically. I thank you!

  6. Matt McLaughlin
    November 4, 2017, 12:23 am

    “Christians desired the ingathering of Jews in the Holy Land, not Jews” – Prof Rabkin, Univ Montreal. Zionism is Protestant, something to impose upon Jews so they’d go to Palestine. Zionism not will of world’s Jews, 1917.

    https://t.co/6YDIR5P1SB?amp=1

  7. CitizenC
    November 4, 2017, 9:02 am

    Overall an excellent piece by Phil IMO. Schiff’s “non-Zionist” position superseded his earlier avowed anti-Zionism. In 1907 he stated “ ‘Speaking as an American,’ he declared, ‘I cannot conceive that one can be at the same time a true American and an honest adherent of the Zionist movement.’”

    His peer in the American Jewish Committee, attorney Louis Marshall, “declared
    political Zionism to be a mere ‘poet’s dream,’ an ‘irreverent protrusion of religious Judaism.’”

    Rabbi Elmer Berger called the “non-Zionist” position Zionist in all but name, an excuse to avoid opposing Zionism.

    I disagree that “Zionism is an ideology about Jewish safety based on separatism and nationalism that answered the long-debated Jewish question in Europe”

    Separatism certainly, nationalism only in the extreme sense of racialist nationalism like Nazism. Nationalism was liberal insofar as it assimilated Jews and others to the nation. Even Germany had such a strain, which was overcome by racialist nationalism. Zionism obviously excluded non-Jews by definition. Its state would not be “Jewish like England was English” but “Jewish like Germany was German” 1933-45.

    Nor did Zionism have anything to do with “safety”. It was an elite project of national renewal. As Ahad Ha’am put it, Zionism was concerned with “the problems of Judaism, not of Jewry”. This was echoed by Buber, Ben-Gurion and many others

    At the time Zionism arose in early 1880s westward immigration was possible and remained the preferred outlet until the gates finally closed, in the US, in the early 1920s. For Zionism, the rise of Hitler and Nazism was not a threat to Jews, but a confirmation of its world-view, and an opportunity for collusion with an ideological partner, as in the Transfer Agreement that broke the Jewish boycott of Germany. At all times Zionism put its political project in Palestine ahead of the fate of imperiled Jews.

    Otherwise, in my view, this is an excellent article, together with Phil’s earlier observations about Brandeis and Zionism.

    An interesting related book is Sahar Huneidi’s “Broken Trust”, about the history of the Balfour Declaration thru the tenure of Herbert Samuel, first British High Commissioner for Palestine. It is out of print, very expensive used, and the copies at Columbia and NYPL do not circulate. But still worth tracking down.

    Huneidi cites the British debate over Balfour, after it was promulgated in 1917. She argues that Zionism’s “strategic value” was negligible, and that the British govt persisted, despite considerable criticism, for reasons of invested prestige.

    http://www.ibtauris.com/books/humanities/history/regional%20%20national%20history/asian%20history/middle%20eastern%20history/a%20broken%20trust%20herbert%20samuel%20zionism%20and%20the%20palestinians

    Part of this debate was stimulated by J M N Jeffries in his articles for the Daily Mail in the early 1920s, which translated the key parts of the Hussein-McMahon correspondence, showing that Palestine was included in the portion of the Ottoman lands promised to the Arabs for their support against Turkey in the war. Institute for Palestine Studies republished this recently

    http://www.palestine-studies.org/books/palestine-deception-1915%E2%80%931923-mcmahon-hussein-correspondence-balfour-declaration-and-jewish

    The foreword by William Mathew should be mostly disregarded. It undercuts and fails to support historically Jeffries’ findings. IPS chose this, I think, because under Rashid Khalidi’s influence it discourages the Israel Lobby argument. Mathew criticized Huneidi’s book.

    I was at a recent talk at Columbia at which Khalidi categorically dismissed the IL argument, said that for Britain and the US, it was “always about strategic interest”, which I think is egregiously wrong.

    Another interesting book on this period is Doreen Ingrams’ Palestine Papers, which compiles official documents about the debate over the BD, showing the resistance of many British officials, including Lord Curzon. This book is from 1973

    https://www.abebooks.com/book-search/title/palestine-papers-1917-1922/

  8. watzal
    November 4, 2017, 9:48 am

    Zionism is an offspring of Protestant anti-Semitism in Great Britain. It’s foreign to Jewish thinking and Jewish ethics. David Ben-Gurion invented the narrative of return after 2000 years of exile. Without the abolishment of Zionism, there will never be peace in Palestine. As a democratic state, Israel wouldn’t need Zionist ideology any longer. David Crorin’s book is a good read. http://betweenthelines-ludwigwatzal.com/2017/11/01/balfours-shadow/

    • Jackdaw
      November 4, 2017, 11:44 am

      “it’s foreign to Jewish thinking and Jewish ethics ”

      NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM!

      • Mooser
        November 4, 2017, 1:33 pm

        “NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM!”

        Now if a customary, traditional expression isn’t a stable and powerful basis on which to found a state, well, I don’t know what is!

        “The Zionists, and the Arabs, represented by Faisal, made their respective claims for self determination at the Treaty of Versailles. The Zionists prevailed, the Arabs, represented by Faisal, did not.Many groups made claims for self determination. Germany made claims regarding territory and reparations. (After losing the WW1?)” “Jackdaw”

        “Next year in Jersalem”? You haven’t even made it to the 21st Century yet

  9. atime forpeace
    November 4, 2017, 9:58 am

    A very enlightening write up. Thank you.

    Maybe the http://forward.com which seems to be at the dawn of an enlightenment will allow http://mondoweiss.net to link efforts to make the Amercan Jewish community come out of their ZIonist induced torpidity.

  10. dvered
    November 4, 2017, 10:50 am

    The British Colonialists gave the Zionists something that was not theirs to give.
    If they felt generous they should have offered them Yorkshire or Kent as a national homeland for the Jews.

    • RoHa
      November 4, 2017, 7:59 pm

      Offer Yorkshire as a national homeland for the Jews? That would show extreme anti-Semitism!

      • John O
        November 5, 2017, 3:06 am

        “Offer Yorkshire as a national homeland for the Jews? That would show extreme anti-Semitism!”

        Oh, I don’t know. It *is* God’s Own County, after all.

    • wfleitz
      November 6, 2017, 9:24 am

      I highly recommend this video from David Icke about Balfour. One of the best discussions I’ve heard:

      https://www.davidicke.com/article/435908/balfour-declaration-really-happened-david-icke-dot-connector-videocast

      Also a very good interview with Shlomo Sand on the Richie Allen show:

      https://youtu.be/19lbpj7MmCY

      • Tuyzentfloot
        November 7, 2017, 8:45 am

        I highly recommend this video from David Icke about Balfour.

        I’ve heard about David Icke but I’d rather watch him talk about his secret reptilian invasion than this boring Balfour stuff.

      • Mooser
        November 7, 2017, 12:30 pm

        “him talk about his secret reptilian invasion”

        If he ever gets shingles, he’s gonna be in a scaly situation.

  11. Nathan
    November 4, 2017, 2:53 pm

    There have been so many articles about the Balfour Declaration. I suppose that the interest will soon end as we approach the 70th anniversary of the UN Partition Plan (29 Nov 1947). This latest article gives a rather clear hint as to what it’s all about: Zionism is the root cause of Palestinian suffering, and it has to be broken down. In even more blunt terms, the proposed (but unstated) agenda of the article is the undoing of Israel.

    The publication of the Balfour Declaration marks the end of the debate in British political circles regarding the fate of the Ottoman Empire. There were those who were of the opinion that the empire should remain intact at the end of the war, and there were others who were of the opinion that the empire should be dismantled. The Balfour Declaration made it clear that it is British policy to dismantle the Ottoman Empire. The French government had also published a statement the year before regarding the restoration of the rights of the long-exiled Jewish people. In short, both the British and the French wished to present their strategy in altruistic terms; i.e. they are only interested in doing good for others.

    There is no reason to get carried away and to present a case of “the power of the lobby”. The British Empire had an agenda, but it felt that it should keep its cards close to its chest. Indeed, for 100 years everyone is guessing what might have been the true British motivation for publishing the declaration. On the other hand, it was quite easy to figure out the motivation behind this above article.

    • Mooser
      November 5, 2017, 12:06 pm

      : “Zionism is the root cause of Palestinian suffering, and it has to be broken down.” “Nathan”

      Exactly, “Nathan”, you put it very well. Get rid of, ‘break down’ Zionism, and things will go much better.

  12. Tony Greenstein
    November 4, 2017, 3:23 pm

    It’s an interesting essay, though I think it over credits Zionist/Jewish power and underestimates strategic reasons for the Balfour Declaration e.g. the competition between France and Britain in the Middle East.

    However Phil is wrong to say that ‘” Zionism is an ideology about Jewish safety based on separatism and nationalism that answered the long-debated Jewish question in Europe.”

    No Zionism was first and foremost a racial movement that sought to transform what it meant to be Jewish from a religion to a nation/race. It was a settler colonial movement that sought to create a ‘new Jew’ not save the old one. THis came out most clearly in WW2 with all the deals with the Nazis but it was there all along. Jabotinsky’s alliance with Petlyura and Herzl’s traipsing after Edouard Drumont.

    Zionist was NEVER about rescue and indeed it fought tooth and nail during WW2 to stop Jews going anywhere but Palestine.

    • Nathan
      November 4, 2017, 4:07 pm

      Tony – One hundred years ago (1917), it really was common knowledge throughout the world that the Jews are a nation (a peoplehood). The Reform Movement presented a case that the Jews are “no longer” a people (see the Pittsburg Platform of 1885), but obviously the term “no longer” indicates that the proposed change is from “peoplehood to only religion”. The vast majority of Jews in the world defined themselves as a nation, so it’s simply not true that Zionism wished to “transform what it meant to be Jewish from a religion to a nation”.

      • RoHa
        November 4, 2017, 8:04 pm

        If the vast majority of Jews defined themselves as a flock of penguins, that would not give them any rights to Antarctica.

        It doesn’t matter how they define themselves; what matters is what they are.

      • Nathan
        November 5, 2017, 3:42 am

        RoHa – All identities in the world are self-identities. In reality, there are no nationalities. It is simply an abstract concept within the minds of people. A group of people can perceive itself as an ancient nation, and this self-perception doesn’t need your approval or agreement. The Jews perceive themselves as an exiled nation, and that’s that.

      • jon s
        November 5, 2017, 4:06 am

        Even Shakespeare referred to the Jews as a nation:

        “He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what’s his reason? I am a Jew. ..” (A Merchant of Venice)

      • eljay
        November 5, 2017, 8:35 am

        || Nathan: … A group of people can perceive itself as an ancient nation, and this self-perception doesn’t need your approval or agreement. The Jews perceive themselves as an exiled nation, and that’s that. ||

        People who choose to be/come Jewish are free to perceive themselves any way they like. But the fact remains that Jewish:
        – is a religion-based identity; and
        – does not comprise a right to a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine (or anywhere else for that matter).

        And that’s that.

      • RoHa
        November 5, 2017, 8:40 am

        “The Jews perceive themselves as an exiled nation, and that’s that.”

        And they are wrong. They aren’t one.

      • RoHa
        November 5, 2017, 8:42 am

        And what did Shakespeare mean by the word “nation”?

      • Mooser
        November 5, 2017, 12:18 pm

        “Even Shakespeare referred to the Jews as a nation:”

        “Jon s” if the Jews are a nation, have Israel give me an order, and make me cvarry it out.

        How the hell can you have a “nation” which has absolutely no power over its ‘citizens’?
        How the hell can you have a “nation” which can’t collect taxes from its citizens?

        So what we have is a “nation” based on a sentimental religious volunteerism. (Combined with cultivated sociopathy, but let it pass for now) Some nation.
        Seems a hell of a lot more like a religion, to me.

      • Mooser
        November 5, 2017, 12:45 pm

        ” The Jews perceive themselves as an exiled nation, and that’s that.”

        And that’s why hundreds, maybe thousands of irreplaceable 78 rpm records were smashed to powder and returned to the factory for credit.

      • amigo
        November 5, 2017, 2:44 pm

        “Even Shakespeare referred to the Jews as a nation:”. Jon S

        Nonsense –Shakespeare was quoting Shylock, who thought, he was part of a nation.

        In any event , Shakespeare was a lush.He was “Bard” from every inn , in Stratford -on -Avon and most of Warwickshire.

      • echinococcus
        November 5, 2017, 4:24 pm

        The Jews perceive themselves as an exiled nation…

        …while I perceive myself as Nathan’s creditor. He owes me a million bucks. Pay up.

      • Nathan
        November 5, 2017, 7:31 pm

        eljay – It is merely your perception that “Jewish is a religion-based identity”. It’s an interesting point of view, but it’s not the only perception. I have seen quite a few books in the library entitled “The History of the Jewish People” – so it would seem that there are those who perceive the Jews to be a people. Anyway, it’s really quite irrelevant how you perceive someone else’s identity. Your agreement or understanding is not a necessary ingredient.

        You like to repeat in nearly every comment you make that the Jews had no right to found a state in Palestine (or elsewhere). However, they did found a state in Palestine, and that’s that. Your agreement was not a necessary element in the founding of the Jewish state (or any other state).

      • eljay
        November 5, 2017, 8:14 pm

        || Nathan: eljay – It is merely your perception that “Jewish is a religion-based identity”. It’s an interesting point of view … ||

        I agree. And the best part is that I don’t need your approval or agreement.

        || … I have seen quite a few books in the library entitled “The History of the Jewish People” – so it would seem that there are those who perceive the Jews to be a people. … ||

        Jews can perceive themselves to be a people and can be perceived by others to be a people. Neither perception comprises a right to a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

        || … You like to repeat in nearly every comment you make that the Jews had no right to found a state in Palestine (or elsewhere). However, they did found a state in Palestine, and that’s that. … ||

        She: That man raped me! He had no right! He had no right!!!
        He: You keep saying that he had no right to rape you. However he did rape you, and that’s that.

      • Mooser
        November 5, 2017, 10:56 pm

        ” so it would seem that there are those who perceive the Jews to be a people”

        And every one of those people honor us for being a separate people.

        See, it’s when other people (Africans, Native Americans, just for two) are perceived as a “people” they can suffer for it.
        But Jews will be perceived as a separate people so the world can heap honors on us.
        That’s how it’s always been, right? No trauma ‘long us, boss!

      • Mooser
        November 6, 2017, 1:44 pm

        “He was “Bard” from every inn , in Stratford -on -Avon and most of Warwickshire”

        And Shakespeare’s dipsomaniacal notoriety is remembered in every manual-transmission car. They all have “throw-out bearings”.

    • Mooser
      November 5, 2017, 12:08 pm

      “No Zionism was first and foremost a racial movement that sought to transform what it meant to be Jewish from a religion to a nation/race.”

      Yes, it was a fraud.

      • jon s
        November 6, 2017, 2:57 pm

        Amigo, very funny, “Shakespeare was quoting Shylock”.

      • amigo
        November 6, 2017, 4:41 pm
      • amigo
        November 6, 2017, 5:02 pm

        “Amigo, very funny, “Shakespeare was quoting Shylock”.jon s

        Not nearly as funny as your original claim.

        Author,s do not always express their own views through those of the characters in their plays.The Bard is no different and thankfully so.

        What is really funny , or should I say , sad , is to see you scraping the bottom of the keg , looking for any residual sediment that might aid your fictitious claim of Jewish Nationhood.

      • Mooser
        November 7, 2017, 11:44 am

        “Amigo, very funny, “Shakespeare was quoting Shylock”.

        And who was Shylock quoting? Rebbe Shakespeare?

  13. Bumblebye
    November 4, 2017, 7:25 pm

    Apparently there were a number of similar ‘declarations’ prior to Balfour in Nov 1917 – France had one in June the same year…

    • Nathan
      November 5, 2017, 5:29 am

      Here’s an English translation of the French statement:

      “The Secretary General of Foreign Affairs to Mr Sokolof, Paris 4th June 1917.

      “You were good enough to present the project to which you are devoting your efforts, which has for its object the development of Jewish colonization in Palestine. You consider that, circumstances permitting, and the independence of the Holy Places being safeguarded on the other hand, it would be a deed of justice and of reparation to assist, by the protection of the Allied Powers, in the renaissance of the Jewish nationality in that Land from which the people of Israel were exiled so many centuries ago.

      “The French Government, which entered this present war to defend a people wrongfully attacked, and which continues the struggle to assure the victory of right over might, can but feel sympathy for your cause, the triumph of which is bound up with that of the Allies.

      “I am happy to give you herewith such assurance”.

      The French minister of foreign affairs was Jules Cambon, and this statement was issued with the approval of PM Alexandre Ribot. It’s interesting to note that Jewish nationality and the very long exile of the people of Israel are simply self-evident common knowledge.

      Anyway, it would seem that both the French and the British wished to present their ambitions in the Middle East as an act of altruism (“a deed of justice…”).

      • Mooser
        November 5, 2017, 12:12 pm

        “Anyway, it would seem that both the French and the British wished to present their ambitions in the Middle East as an act of altruism “ “Nathan”

        And you only make the case for Zionism stronger, nay, impregnable by pointing out how well Zionism fit into the plans of French, English, and German colonialism.

  14. gamal
    November 4, 2017, 11:17 pm

    “Britain was still a colonial power, and had colonial interests in the Middle East”

    you know I was in Africa when Britain had colonial interests there me and Shehu Kangiwa saw everything you did, this is deep you should listen and leave us alone…..shehu kangiwa hausa master…..

    https://youtu.be/v2xuMnvu9Yg

  15. Emet
    November 5, 2017, 3:58 am

    Philip, you are so far down the hole that you will never see the light of day. You consume the Jewish conspiracy theories with such enthusiasm that there is no convincing you otherwise.
    Take the following for example. Britian would most likely not have won WW1 as quickly as it did, yes thats right, without Weizmann’s invention of acetone. Supplies of explosives was running low as essential ingredients were running out. Acetone enabled the production to get back on track. Why no mention of this in your article? Also, no mention of a major event that occurred in 1916 that shook Great Britian to its boots, an event that those involved did not really recover from, including Churchill. And that is the defeat at Gallipoli. Also, not to mention this in the context of the British/Ottoman power struggle is to put your head even further down the hole. Britain wanted to break up the power and stranglehold the Ottomans had over the region and the ability they had to interrupt vital shipments from the East to the allies. So Britian played everyone of against each other with the objective of driving wedges between the Ottoman’s and the peoples they ruled over. And so Britian promised Palestine to multiple parties. They felt grateful for what Weizmann had done but not enough to award him and OBE or equivalent. The British controlled and manipulated. To make out is if the Jews were the key is another display on your part on just how intellectually inept you really are.

    • Mooser
      November 5, 2017, 12:37 pm

      “Britian would most likely not have won WW1 as quickly as it did, yes thats right, without Weizmann’s invention of acetone”

      Weizman “invented” acetone? And why did he give this “invention” to Britain, instead of saving it for the Jewish nation’s military?

      • oldgeezer
        November 5, 2017, 2:39 pm

        @Mooser

        Yeah… I wasn’t going to correct him but didn’t bother.

        Of course Weizmann did not invent or discover acetone. It had been known for quite a few decades. He did help figure out a way to make it on an industrial scale though in all fairness.

        I guess the short answer to emet as to why it wasn’t mentioned in the article is that it’s not true and it’s just another myth.

      • Emet
        November 5, 2017, 3:06 pm

        Why would you publish Mooser’s stupid comment? Acetone or the process to produce it, what’s the f#3%#3 difference. The implications of what he did were the same. That’s right, blame the Jews again. This time for winning WWI. If not for Weizmann you all would be speaking German now.

      • Mooser
        November 5, 2017, 9:53 pm

        “Why would you publish Mooser’s stupid comment?”

        It’s a little agreement we have. You’ll find it here.

        “…the Jews again. This time for winning WWI. If not for Weizmann you all would be speaking German now.”

        Thank you, Dr. Panglosstein.

      • RoHa
        November 6, 2017, 8:26 am

        “blame the Jews again. This time for winning WWI. ”

        Not fair, of course. It was the Australians who won WW1.

        “If not for Weizmann you all would be speaking German now.”

        Even in Australia? Well, maybe so. But, although I think everyone should speak English, I have to say that speaking German isn’t all that bad. Better than speaking Polish.

      • Mooser
        November 6, 2017, 12:00 pm

        “Not fair, of course. It was the Australians who won WW1.”

        God bless Australia! Thank you, Australians.

      • oldgeezer
        November 6, 2017, 4:44 pm

        @emet

        What’s the difference?

        Not a heck of a lot of difference since you are still off base and it is at best a huge exaggeration and at worst a lie.

        Commercial production of acetone existed for a number of years before he came along with his contribution. Science tends to be evolutionary and building upon prior works incrementally. Sometimes revolutionary but his was not one of them.

      • Mooser
        November 7, 2017, 12:35 pm

        “Commercial production of acetone existed for a number of years before he came along with his contribution”

        Yeah. Chiam Weitzman invented “huffing”, a way of processing volatile solvents.

    • DaBakr
      November 6, 2017, 2:19 am

      Yes, I noticed there was no mention of weitzmans ‘gift’ to the British war effort. Like to know how Weitzman s invention was a direct result of Zionist power.

      And yes, Alfred Barnes also didn’t discover silver nitrate, he just discovered how to prevent all US infants from getting syphilis through the birth canal. That’s how inventing things works. Take a raw material and do something useful with it and help all man/women kind.

      • Mooser
        November 6, 2017, 1:29 pm

        “And yes, Alfred Barnes also didn’t discover silver nitrate, he just discovered how to prevent all US infants from getting syphilis through the birth canal”

        If anybody suffering from the pox needs more information, see “Treatment of Venereal Disease during the Civil War – Medical Antiques”
        Give it silver nitrate a try. It couldn’t hurt!

      • Mooser
        November 7, 2017, 12:36 pm

        Oh, make sure to use a hard-rubber syringe for administration. Nuff sed?

  16. Ossinev
    November 5, 2017, 7:07 am

    @Nathan
    “The vast majority of Jews in the world defined themselves as a nation”
    If that is still the case and presumably it is in your eyes shouldn`t the vast majority of 6 million odd(sic) American Jews be registered as foreign nationals. Even more to the point shouldn`t they be upping non sticks and moving back to their ancient etc(sob) with a significant number doing their bit for the most moral.

    • Mooser
      November 5, 2017, 3:11 pm

      ” shouldn`t the vast majority of 6 million odd(sic) American Jews be registered as foreign nationals.”

      I asked Dr. Panglosstein about that, and he said it was a great idea. Far from creating problems of dual-loyalty, it will result in Jews being given diplomatic immunity, in addition to all the rights of American citizens.

      • Mooser
        November 5, 2017, 10:07 pm

        I worry a little tho. If Americans perceive Jews as a separate nation, a people, they might throw us into gated communities!

      • RoHa
        November 6, 2017, 8:32 am

        Not only that, Mooser, but if we start taking it seriously, we’ll have to forbid Jews from becoming members of Federal Parliament. When we say “Australian nationality and no other”, we mean it.

      • Mooser
        November 6, 2017, 2:05 pm

        “, but if we start taking it seriously, we’ll have to forbid Jews”

        Hold it right there, “RoHa”. Please remember, Jewish peoplehood is always cost-free, and in fact, entitles us to extra privileges and precedence.
        Why, just try to come up with, in all of history, a case when the notion of the Jews as a separate “people” “race” or “State” has ever done us any harm? Why shouldn’t we espouse it?

  17. Jackdaw
    November 5, 2017, 11:28 am

    Leopold Amery drafted the Balfour Declaration. He was one of the Secretaries to the British War Cabinet of 1917-1918 and in January, 1946, he testified under oath to the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry from his personal knowledge [Tr. 1/30/46, p 112] that:

    1. He believed that the Jewish National Home was an experiment to determine whether there would eventually be a Jewish majority over the whole of Palestine.
    2. He believed that the territory for which political rights were to be recognized was intended to include all of Palestine both east and west of the Jordan River.
    3. He had always assumed that the particular reference to not infringing the civil or religious liberties of Arab population was not so much a safeguard against the British Government infringing those liberties . . ., but a Jewish state infringing those liberties. Therefore, at the time that possibility of a Jewish majority over the whole of the larger Palestine was, he thought envisaged.
    4. The phrase “the establishment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish people” was intended and understood by all concerned to mean at the time of the Balfour Declaration that Palestine would ultimately become a “Jewish Commonwealth” or a “Jewish State”, if only Jews came and settled there in sufficient numbers.
    5. Recalled that Lloyd-George had testified earlier [likely in 1939 at the time of the 1939 White Paper]:

    “…There could be no doubt as to what the Cabinet then had in mind. It was not their idea that a Jewish State should be set up immediately by the Peace Treaty…. On the other hand, it was contemplated that when the time arrived for according representative institutions to Palestine, if the Jews had meanwhile responded to the opportunity afforded them … and had become a definite majority of the inhabitants, then Palestine would thus become a Jewish Commonwealth. The notion that the Jews should be a permanent minority never entered into the heads of anyone engaged in framing the policy. That would have been regarded as unjust, and as a fraud on the people to whom we were appealing.”

    Miserable people hate facts.

    • oldgeezer
      November 5, 2017, 2:48 pm

      @jackdaw

      ” if only Jews came and settled there in sufficient numbers.”

      Means, opportunity and history.

      Together with the obvious motive.

      Thence began the ethnic cleansing.

    • Mooser
      November 5, 2017, 3:00 pm

      “Miserable people hate facts.”

      Gotta lot of respect for Britain, don’t you, “Jackdaw”?

      So whatever arrangement Britain had in mind for the Jewish homeland, Zionists found it impossible to live with, and killed many British soldiers and administrators and blew up the King David Hotel.

      Hows about we show the British government and its “declarations” the same amount of respect and recognition the Zionists did?

    • John O
      November 5, 2017, 3:42 pm

      Leo Amery was responsible for the “without prejudice” bit of the Balfour declaration, without which it would have been an even greater travesty. In the run-up to WW2, he was anti-appeasement and was instrumental in having Chamberlain replaced by Churchill in 1940.

      Lord Balfour was Prime Minister in August 1905 when the decidedly anti-Semitic Aliens Act, restricting Jewish immigration to the UK, was passed.

      • Jackdaw
        November 6, 2017, 9:48 am

        @JohnO

        I don’t know where you got your information from, but Leo Amery says different.
        http://www.balfour100.com/biography/leo-leopold-amery/

      • John O
        November 6, 2017, 12:24 pm

        @Jackdaw

        Where did I get my information from? One of Leo Amery’s relatives, BBC correspondent Jane Corbin, whose documentary on the I/P conflict was shown last week on UK television.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-41763648

        As for your link, it doesn’t contradict what I said.

      • Jackdaw
        November 7, 2017, 3:35 am

        Whether Amery wrote the Declaration himself, or whether he added a comma, he knew the intent of the framers better than anyone, and what he said, under oath, before the Committee, should be dispositive.

      • Mooser
        November 7, 2017, 12:22 pm

        “of the framers better “

        “The Framers”? So the Balfour Letter has become Israel’s Constitution?
        And yet the Zionists fought so hard to kick out the British. How do you square those two things?

      • John O
        November 7, 2017, 1:14 pm

        @Jackdaw

        Quite right. Rather than declare a Jewish state in 1948, the Zionists should have waited until there was a Jewish majority both east and west of the Jordan.

    • amigo
      November 5, 2017, 3:47 pm

      “Miserable people hate facts.”jackduh

      Correction !!.

      People hate alternate facts.

    • eljay
      November 6, 2017, 7:23 am

      || Jackdaw: … Miserable people hate facts. ||

      Yup, every last one of you miserable Zionists hates the fact that the religion-based identity of Jewish does not comprise a right to a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

    • amigo
      November 6, 2017, 2:45 pm

      “if only Jews came and settled there in sufficient numbers.” jackduh

      If I steal it . will they come.

  18. Mooser
    November 5, 2017, 12:26 pm

    Some “nation”. Oh, BTW, who is the King, Premier, President, or Central Committee of this Jewish “nation”? How does the “nation’s” leadership disseminate its orders and see that they are obeyed?

    Oh, BTW, when you designate yourself a nation, and plan to take your nation’s land from somebody else, it’s best if you have some of the objective factors in your favor, too. Can’t depend on God for everything!

    Some “nation”! Can’t tax us, can’t draft us, can’t order us to do a single freakin thing (like, you know, not diluting and eradicating the “nation” by out-marriage, such a little thing to ask, but the “nation” can’t do it) can only appeal to us with sentient. Sounds like a religion, to me.

  19. Ossinev
    November 5, 2017, 5:53 pm

    @Mooser
    “Oh, BTW, who is the King, Premier, President, or Central Committee of this Jewish “nation”? How does the “nation’s” leadership disseminate its orders and see that they are obeyed?”

    Easy peasy. The one and only candidate ( in his mind and that of his delightful first lady ) is Youknowyahoo. Has already post Charlie Hebdo declared himself to be the representative of all Jews.
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.636737.

    He may have to re-anglicise his name to Ben Nitay however to give himself that extra rolls of your tongue street cred on the world stage.

  20. pabelmont
    November 5, 2017, 9:52 pm

    I like the part about the Jewish bankers causing Russia to loose the Russo-Japanese war. so deliciously supportive of something these days usually called anti-semitic, a slur, an untruism (is it called that? do the Zios deny it or just call it antisemitic?).

  21. Ossinev
    November 6, 2017, 12:54 pm

    Meanwhile back here in the UK the stench of Zionist lobbying and influence is becoming daily more apparent and overwhelming.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-41890436
    Basically we have a high ranking UK Cabinet Minister lying through her teeth about the extent and nature of her ” private holiday” to poor victimised Zioland where she accidentally and by complete coincidence met up with a few Israeli politicians and lobbyists describing them as “a handful of meetings” and that her boss good old Boris Johnson the Foreign Secretary knew all about it in advance. . No wait a minute wait a minute stop press her cover has been blown. It wasn`t a handful of meetings, it was at least twelve , and would you Adam and Eve it !?
    “Among meetings that were not previously reported, she said that she had met Mr Netanyahu to discuss his forthcoming visit to the UK as well as the Israeli “domestic political scene” and UK-Israeli collaboration”

    She has apoligised for breaking ministerial codes of conduct and lying to the Prime Minister and the electorate.

    So that`s all OK then. Give it a few days for all the silly fuss to settle down and she can get back to her main priority as a government minister which is to work tirelessly 24/7 in supporting Zioland. Well campaign money just doesn`t materialise out of thin air you know.

  22. Ossinev
    November 6, 2017, 2:16 pm

    Just to add flavour to the Ziomixture. Theresa May the UK Prime Minister met the Yahoo officially in Downing Street last week WITHOUT KNOWING that Patel had secretly and unofficially met him in Zioland in August.

    Still as yet no action against her other than ” a reprimand” from May = silly girl !! don`t get caught out again “.

    The Labour Party is calling for a full investigation into a serious breach of the ministerial code of conduct.

    • John O
      November 7, 2017, 3:03 am

      According to the BBC this morning, Patel – no, don’t laugh – suggested some of Britain’s overseas aid budget could be given to the Israeli Army to help with its “humanitarian operations”. Stop laughing, you there at the back!

  23. Henry Norr
    November 6, 2017, 7:41 pm

    Excellent post! I’m surprised, though, that among all the books Phil cites, there’s no mention of Alison Weir’s “Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel,” which covers the same territory (and related issues) and reaches similar conclusions. It’s concise, clear, and thoroughly documented. To anyone interested in this history (which, IMO, we should all be), I recommend that you disregard any calumnies you might have heard about Ms. Weir and check out her excellent book.

    http://againstourbetterjudgment.com

    • CitizenC
      November 12, 2017, 8:07 am

      Second Henry Norr’s recommendation. 93 pages of dry text and 100+ of footnotes. As Henry said, try reading the book rather than repeating “what we know” about Alison and IAK.

  24. Emet
    November 12, 2017, 6:48 am

    Balfour was not the first. Napoleon recognized Palestine as belonging to the Jews long before.

    http://www.mideastweb.org/napoleon1799.htm

    • echinococcus
      November 12, 2017, 8:46 am

      Count on Napoleon to defend international law against invaders!
      Are you sure you are feeling well? No strange ideas about being Nappy’s ghost or something like that?

      • Mooser
        November 12, 2017, 12:32 pm

        Poor Napoleon. His last words will never be blown apart. “Able was I”,he declared, “ere I saw Elba.”

    • eljay
      November 12, 2017, 7:03 pm

      || Emet: Balfour was not the first. Napoleon recognized Palestine as belonging to the Jews long before. ||

      Napoleon was as mistaken as everyone else. Palestine has never “belonged” to “the Jews”. Palestine belonged to its non-Jewish and Jewish indigenous population.

Leave a Reply