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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

To Churchill, Palestine was the Jewish State and Trans-Jordan the Arab state

When looking at Juan Cole's absurd screed last week, I noticed a commenter named Charley James, who obviously worships Cole - and apparently uses his same methods of lying.

Here was his comment:
I’ve been reading Martin Gilbert’s fascinating 2007 book, “Churchill and the Jews.” What I learned for the first time is that, going all the way back to the Balfour Declaration in the early days of the 20th century, the British government (including Churchill, a major supporter of a Jewish homeland in Palestine) insisted on what, today, we call a two state solution.

As reprehensible as Mr. Netanyahu’s apartheid policies are, he and a segment of Israel’s voters have lost sight of one of the conditions of their country’s creation: That Palestinians are entitled to their own secure home as much as Jews are entitled.

As an American Jew, I have no sympathy – or tolerance – left any more for the government of Israel, nor for the way organizations such as AIPAC work to manipulate Congress and public opinion. Dr. Gilbert’s book simply confirmed to me that the current government in Israel is as nasty and dark as many of the governments people fled to reach Israel.

So I looked at Gilbert's book to see what Charley, the self proclaimed As-a-Jew, was talking about.

My findings show how easily someone who hates can twist the facts. Gilbert proves that Great Britain supported a policy that is far to the right of the current Israeli government, and indeed one that even the most right-wing Israeli parties are not espousing:

In April 1921, Churchill prepared to set off from London for Cairo and Jerusalem. His object was to determine the nature of British rule in both the Palestine and Iraq Mandates. He had set aside four weeks for the task, which, in Palestine, would include visits to Jewish towns and villages. Before he left London, his three senior Middle East Department advisers, Lawrence,Shuckburgh, and Major Hubert Young — who like Lawrence had helped the Arab forces during the revolt against the Turks — informed him that there was no conflict between Britain's wartime pledges to the Arabs and to the Jews. In 1915 the Arabs had been promised 'British recognition and support for their independence' in the Turkish districts of Damascus, Hama, Horns and Aleppo — each of which was mentioned in the promise — but which did not include Palestine or Jerusalem.4 Two years later Britain had promised a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine, but with no mention of specific borders. If, therefore, the land east of the Jordan became an Arab State, and the land west of the Jordan up to the Mediterranean Sea became the area of the Jewish National Home, Britain's two pledges would be fulfilled.

To ensure that Britain had not promised the same area to both the Jews and the Arabs, Churchill's senior adviser at the Middle East Department, Sir John Shuckburgh, asked Sir Henry McMahon why neither Palestine nor Jerusalem had been specifically mentioned in his letters as part of the future Arab sovereignty. McMahon replied that his reasons for 'restricting myself' to specific mention of Damascus, Hama, Horns and Aleppo were (1) that these were places to which the Arabs attached vital importance and (2) that there was no place I could think of at the time of sufficient importance for purposes of definition further south of the above.' McMahon added, 'it was as fully my intention to exclude Palestine as it was to exclude the more northern coastal tracts of Syria.' The reason he had not mentioned the River Jordan as the most westerly limit of Arab control was that he thought it might be 'desirable' at some later stage of the negotiations to find 'some suitable frontier line' between the Jordan and the Hedjaz railway.5 This was the area that Weizmann and the Zionist leaders hoped to include within the Jewish National Home.
We learn from Gilbert that Great Britain fully intended to give all of what later became British Mandate Palestine - and possibly even more! - to the Jews for their national home, and most of Transjordan and Syria to the Arabs for their own national aspirations.

Not only that, but it was clear to the British that Jerusalem was not considered important to the Arabs in these days before the Mufti of Jerusalem started his anti-semitic campaign to kick Jews out of that city.

So thank you, idiotic commenter at a third-rate academic's blog, for giving me the opportunity to learn something. Not to mention to prove how easily haters simply lie.