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Wawro traces history of ‘domestic considerations’ back to Balfour and Eddie Jacobson

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Here’s Jeff Blankfort’s interview today with Geoff Wawro, whose book Quicksand was promoted on this site the other day. The idea of a Jewish state, Wawro says, was endorsed by American presidents for domestic political reasons from the Wilson administration on– "Wilson the proponent of national self-determination was never comfortable with the idea of a Jewish state…"

Wawro’s analysis of the Balfour Declaration: "very little idealism embedded"– but a play to detach Jews in central Europe from their countries, as well as to the bankers financing World War I. Oh I love this; that’s always been my take on Balfour. And Wawro says that Brandeis persuaded Wilson to echo the Balfour Declaration as a play to Jewish voters. On to the "back-room boys" of Truman days (Eddie Jacobson) inveighing against "so-called Arabists in the State Department." Good ride. Says Blankfort: "Wawro is surprised that his book is not receiving reviews outside of a Washington Post online blog. No mention in the NYT, the New Yorker, etc. When you listen to him as well as read the book, you’ll understand why. He doesn’t pull his punches. The book is a must for anyone interested in the subject."

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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