AJC eBook: Israel’s Triple Anniversary - Page 7

2017—ISRAEL’S TRIPLE ANNIVERSARY YEAR 5 The Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917, was actually a letter from the foreign secretary to the eminent British Jew, and Zionist, Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild. Balfour informed Rothschild that the following “declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations” had been approved by the cabinet: His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country. 3 The letter’s repercussions went far beyond Britain. Endorsed by the United States (which had entered the war against Germany in April), France, and Italy, Balfour’s declaration made the Zionist project a war aim of the ultimate winners. In December, when General Edmund Allenby and his British troops entered Jerusalem and ousted the Ottomans, astonished Jews around the world, bereft of their homeland for over 1800 years, could be forgiven for thinking in messianic terms. The war ended in 1918 with the defeat of Germany and its allies. The San Remo Conference of 1920, convened by the victors to decide the fate of the territories of the defunct Ottoman Empire, adopted the terms of the Balfour Declaration, and three years later the new League of Nations, created to resolve international disputes peacefully, designated Palestine a mandate of Great Britain, which restated its aim to work toward the establishment of a Jewish national home there, although it specifically excluded the area east of the Jordan River from Jewish settlement. Britain indeed made a separate agreement with the Hashemite royal family to create a new entity there, the emirate of Transjordan, in 1921, which emerged as an independent state in 1946 and was subsequently renamed Jordan. 3 David Fromkin, A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East (New York, 1989), p. 297. 2 01 7— I SR A E L’ S T RIP LE ANNIVERSARY YEAR 5 The Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917, was actually a letter from the foreign secretary to the eminent British Jew, and Zionist, Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild. Balfour informed Rothschild that the following “declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations” had been approved by the cabinet: His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.3 The letter’s repercussions went far beyond Britain. Endorsed by the United States (which had entered the war against Germany in April), France, and Italy, Balfour’s declaration made the Zionist project a war aim of the ultimate winners. In December, when General Edmund Allenby and hi ]\™[\Y\\[[H[\YHX[\ۚ\Y]\[Hܛ \YوZ\Y[[܈ݙ\ N YX\[Hܙ][܈[[[Y\X[X\\ˈH\[Y[ NLN]HYX]و\X[H[]˜[Y\ˈH[[[ۙ\[Hو NL ۝[YHHXܜXYHB]HوH\]ܚY\وHY[X[[\\KYYH\\وB[\X\][ۋ[YHYX\]\H]XYYHو][ۜܙX]Y\H[\][ۘ[\]\XXY[K\Yۘ]Y[\[HHX[]BوܙX]]Z[X\]Y]Z[Hܚ\H\X\Y[وB]\][ۘ[YH\K[Y]XYX[H^YYH\XHX\وBܙ[]\H]\][Y[ ]Z[[YYXYHH\\]HYܙY[Y[]H\[Z]HX[[Z[HܙX]HH][]H\KH[Z\]Hق[ڛܙ[[ NLKX[Y\Y\[[\[[]H[ NM [\œX\]Y[H[[YYܙ[‘]YZ[HXXH[[XXNH[وHX[[\\H[HܙX][ۈوH[\ZYHX\][ܚ NNJK M˂