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The BALFOUR DECLARATION was a British government public statement made during World War I
World War I
, to announce their support for the establishment of a "national home" for the Jewish people in Palestine , then part of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
. The declaration was contained in a letter dated 2 November 1917 from the United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Lord Walter Rothschild , a leader of the British Jewish community , for transmission to the Zionist
Zionist
Federation of Great Britain and Ireland . The text of the declaration was published in the press on 9 November 1917.

During the period of the British War Cabinet discussions leading up to the declaration, the wider war had reached a period of stalemate; the US was yet to fully deploy, and the Russians were distracted by internal upheaval. In accordance with the pro- Zionist
Zionist
policy of the newly installed Lloyd George ministry , a senior member of the British War Cabinet secretariat, Sir Mark Sykes , initiated formal discussions with the Zionist
Zionist
leadership on 7 February 1917, and Balfour requested Rothschild and Chaim Weizmann to submit a draft of a public declaration on 19 June. Further drafts were discussed by the British Cabinet during September and October, with input from Zionist
Zionist
and anti- Zionist
Zionist
Jews
Jews
but with no representation from the local population in Palestine , and the release of the final declaration was authorised by 31 October. The Cabinet discussion on approval described perceived propaganda benefits amongst the worldwide Jewish community for the Allied war effort. It read:

His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours 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
Jews
in any other country.

The first part of the declaration was the first public support for Zionism by a major political power. The term "national home" had no precedent in international law, and was intentionally unclear as to whether a Jewish state
Jewish state
was contemplated. The intended boundaries of Palestine were not specified, and the British Government later confirmed that the words "in Palestine" meant that the whole of Palestine was not intended as the Jewish national home.

The second part of the declaration was added to satisfy opponents of the policy, who had claimed that it would otherwise prejudice the position of the local population of Palestine and encourage antisemitism against Jews
Jews
worldwide. Whilst the declaration provided political rights in Palestine for Jews, rights for the Palestinian Arabs who comprised the vast majority of the local population were limited to civil and religious. In 2017, the British Government acknowledged that the Declaration should have called for the protection of political rights.

The issue of the declaration had many long-lasting consequences. It galvanized popular support for Zionism, led to the creation of Mandatory Palestine
Mandatory Palestine
, which later became Israel
Israel
and the Palestinian territories , and was the origin of the ongoing Israeli Palestinian conflict , considered the world's most intractable conflict. There remains ongoing scholarly controversy over a number of areas, including whether the declaration contradicts earlier promises the British may have made to Hussein ibn Ali al-Hashimi , the Sharif of Mecca, in the McMahon–Hussein correspondence .

CONTENTS

* 1 Background

* 1.1 Early British support * 1.2 Early Zionism * 1.3 Early Palestine

* 1.4 World War I
World War I

* 1.4.1 1914-16: Initial Zionist–British Government discussions * 1.4.2 1915-16: Prior British commitments over Palestine * 1.4.3 1916-17: Change in British Government * 1.4.4 1917: British- Zionist
Zionist
formal negotiations * 1.4.5 Late 1917: Progress of the wider war

* 2 Motivation

* 2.1 Historiography

* 2.2 Approvals

* 2.2.1 April to June: Allied Discussions * 2.2.2 June and July: Decision to Prepare a Declaration * 2.2.3 September and October: American Consent and War Cabinet Approval

* 3 Drafting

* 3.1 Authors and evolution of the draft

* 4 Terms

* 4.1 Jewish national home vs. Jewish state
Jewish state
* 4.2 Scope of the National Home "In Palestine" * 4.3 Civil and religious rights of non-Jewish communities in Palestine * 4.4 Rights and political status of Jews
Jews
in other countries

* 5 Reaction

* 5.1 Sykes-Picot Agreement Exposed * 5.2 Zionist
Zionist
reaction * 5.3 Opposition in Palestine * 5.4 Broader Arab response * 5.5 The Holy See * 5.6 Response by Central Powers * 5.7 United States
United States
* 5.8 Evolution of British opinion

* 6 Long-term impact * 7 The document * 8 See also

* 9 Notes

* 9.1 Primary supporting quotes * 9.2 Explanatory notes and scholarly perspectives

* 10 External links * 11 Citations

* 12 Bibliography

* 12.1 Specialized works * 12.2 General histories * 12.3 Works by involved parties

BACKGROUND

EARLY BRITISH SUPPORT

Lord Shaftesbury's "Memorandum to Protestant Monarchs of Europe for the restoration of the Jews
Jews
to Palestine", as published in the Colonial Times
Colonial Times
, in 1841

The basis for British support for an increased Jewish presence in the region of Palestine was linked to geopolitical calculations, though 19th-century dispensationalist evangelical Christian beliefs had motivated Lord Shaftesbury and other lobbyists initially in the mid-19th century and created a supportive sentiment among the British political elite towards the "restoration of the Jews
Jews
" to Palestine.

Early British political support was precipitated in the late 1830s and led by Lord Palmerston , following the Eastern Crisis after Muhammad Ali occupied Syria
Syria
and Palestine . French influence as protector of the Catholic communities began to grow in the wider region, as Russian influence began to grow as protector of the Eastern Orthodox , leaving Britain without a sphere of influence. The British Foreign Office worked to encourage Jewish emigration to Palestine, exemplified by Charles Henry Churchill 's 1841–42 exhortations to Moses Montefiore
Moses Montefiore
, the leader of the British Jewish community. Such efforts were premature, as Zionism was not to emerge within the world's Jewish communities until the last decades of the century, spearheaded by the efforts of Theodor Herzl
Theodor Herzl
, a Jewish journalist living in Austria-Hungary , whose efforts to gain international support for his ideas were not to succeed in his lifetime.

With the geopolitical shakeup occasioned by the outbreak of World War I , the earlier calculations, which had lapsed for some time, led to a renewal of strategic assessments and political bargaining over the Middle and Far East.

EARLY ZIONISM

Further information: Zionism The " Basel program " approved at the 1897 First Zionist Congress
First Zionist Congress
, of which the first line states: " Zionism seeks to establish a home for the Jewish people in Palestine secured under public law"

Zionism arose in the late 19th century in reaction to anti-Semitic and exclusionary nationalist movements in Europe. Romantic nationalism in 19th-century Central and Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
had helped to set off the Haskalah , or "Jewish Enlightenment", creating a split in the Jewish community between those who saw Judaism as their religion, and those who saw it as their ethnicity or nation. The 1881–84 Anti-Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire encouraged the growth of the latter identity, resulting in the formation of the Hovevei Zion pioneer organizations and the publication of Leon Pinsker 's Autoemancipation .

In 1896 Herzl published the foundational text of political Zionism, Der Judenstaat ("The Jews' State" or "The State of the Jews"), in which he asserted that the only solution to the " Jewish Question " in Europe, including growing anti-Semitism, was the establishment of a state for the Jews. A year later, Herzl founded the Zionist Organization , which at its first congress called for "the establishment of a home for the Jewish people in Palestine secured under public law". Proposed measures to attain that goal included the promotion of Jewish settlement there, the organisation of Jews
Jews
in the diaspora , the strengthening of Jewish feeling and consciousness, and preparatory steps to attain those necessary governmental grants. Herzl died in 1904 without the political standing that was required to carry out his agenda of a Jewish home in Palestine.

Zionist
Zionist
leader Chaim Weizmann , later President of the World Zionist Organisation , moved from Switzerland to the UK in 1904 and met Arthur Balfour , then Prime Minister, during his 1905–06 election campaign in a session arranged by Charles Dreyfus , his Jewish constituency representative. During this meeting, Balfour asked what Weizmann's objections had been to the 1903 Uganda Scheme to give a portion of British East Africa to the Jewish people as a homeland. The scheme, which had been proposed to Herzl by Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain following his trip to East Africa earlier in the year, had been subsequently voted down following Herzl's death by the Seventh Zionist
Zionist
Congress in 1905, after two years of heated debate in the Zionist
Zionist
Organization.

In January 1914 Weizmann first met Baron Edmond de Rothschild , a member of the French branch of the Rothschild family and a leading proponent of the Zionist
Zionist
movement, in relation to a project to build a Hebrew university in Jerusalem. The Baron was not part of the World Zionist
Zionist
Organization, but had funded the first Jewish agricultural colonies of the first major wave of Jewish immigration to Palestine in the 1880s, and transferred them to the Jewish Colonization Association in 1899. This connection was to bear fruit later that year when the Baron's son, James de Rothschild , requested a meeting with Weizmann on 25 November 1914, in order to enlist him and the Zionists in influencing those deemed to be receptive within the British Government to their agenda of a "Jewish State" in Palestine. Through James's wife Dorothy , Weizmann was to meet Rózsika Rothschild , who introduced him to the English branch of the family – in particular her husband Charles and his older brother Walter , a zoologist and former MP. Their father, Lord Nathan Rothschild , head of the English branch of the family, had a guarded attitude towards Zionism, but he died in March 1915 and his title was inherited by Walter.

Many British Jews at this time were not Zionists; prior to the declaration only 8,000 out of Britain's 300,000 were considered Zionists.

EARLY PALESTINE

Further information: History of Palestine § Restoration of Ottoman control

The Turks had applied a restrictive policy to Jewish immigration to Palestine as early as 1882, the time of the retroactively named First Aliyah
Aliyah
that can be considered as the first Zionist
Zionist
arrivals. Although there was a certain amount of tension with the local population (mainly among the merchant and notable classes), Constantinople in 1901 gave Jews
Jews
the same rights as Arabs to buy land and the percentage of Jews
Jews
in the population rose to 7% by 1914. Also by 1914, with growing distrust of the Young Turks and the Second Aliyah
Aliyah
, Arab nationalism in general was on the rise and in Palestine anti-Zionism was a unifying characteristic. "The Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
was not, in and of itself, the source of trouble in a land that previously had been more or less at peace, but nor was it a mere signpost on a road heading undivertibly toward a cliff. No one can say what the course of events in Palestine might have been without it. What did come was the product of forces and factors entirely unforeseen."

WORLD WAR I

Further information: Timeline of World War I
World War I

1914-16: Initial Zionist–British Government Discussions

Herbert Samuel's cabinet memorandum, The Future of Palestine , as published in the British Cabinet papers (CAB 37/123/43), as at 21 January 1915

In July 1914 war broke out in Europe between the Triple Entente (Britain, France, and the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
) and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, and, later that year, the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
). On 9 November 1914, four days after Britain's declaration of war on the Ottoman Empire, of which the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem
Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem
– often referred to as Palestine – was a component, Zionism was first discussed at a meeting of the British Cabinet . At the meeting David Lloyd George , then Chancellor of the Exchequer , and whose law firm Lloyd George, Roberts and Co had been engaged a decade before by the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland to work on the Uganda Scheme, "referred to the ultimate destiny of Palestine".

Weizmann's political efforts picked up speed, and on 10 December 1914 he met with the British cabinet member Herbert Samuel
Herbert Samuel
, a Zionist, who believed Weizmann's demands were too modest. Two days later, Weizmann met Balfour again, for the first time since 1906.

A month later, Samuel circulated a memorandum entitled The Future of Palestine to his cabinet colleagues. The memorandum stated: "I am assured that the solution of the problem of Palestine which would be much the most welcome to the leaders and supporters of the Zionist movement throughout the world would be the annexation of the country to the British Empire". Samuel discussed a copy of his memorandum with Lord Nathan Rothschild in February 1915, a month before the latter's death. It was the first time in an official record that enlisting the support of Jews
Jews
as a war measure was proposed.

Many further discussions followed, including the initial meetings in 1915–16 between Lloyd George, who had been appointed Minister of Munitions in May 1915, and Weizmann, a leading Zionist
Zionist
who was also a scientific advisor to Lloyd George's Ministry of Munitions. Seventeen years later in his War Memoirs Lloyd George described these meetings as being the "fount and origin" of the declaration although this claim has been rejected by historians. Lloyd George was however, the Prime Minister at the time of the Balfour Declaration, and ultimately responsible for it.

1915-16: Prior British Commitments Over Palestine

Main articles: McMahon–Hussein Correspondence and Sykes–Picot Agreement Map from FO 371/4368 (1918) showing Palestine in the "Arab" area. Excerpts from CAB 24/68/86 (Nov. 1918) and the Churchill White Paper (Jun. 1922) The Cabinet document states that Palestine was included in the McMahon pledge to the Arabs, whereas the White Paper states that it "has always been regarded" as being excluded.

In late 1915 the British High Commissioner to Egypt
Egypt
, Henry McMahon , had exchanged ten letters with Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca , in which he had promised Hussein to recognize Arab independence "in the limits and boundaries proposed by the Sherif of Mecca" with the exception of "portions of Syria
Syria
" lying to the west of "the districts of Damascus, Homs
Homs
, Hama
Hama
and Aleppo
Aleppo
", in exchange for Hussein launching a revolt against the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
. In the decades after the war, the extent of this coastal exclusion was hotly disputed since Palestine lay to the southwest of Damascus
Damascus
and was not explicitly mentioned. File:MPK1-426 Sykes Picot Agreement Map signed 8 May 1916.jpg Palestine in the Sykes–Picot Agreement map under "international administration", with Haifa Bay
Haifa Bay
, Acre and Haifa as a British enclave, and excluding the area from Hebron south.

On the basis of the correspondence, the Arab Revolt
Arab Revolt
began on 5 June 1916. However, in May 1916 the governments of the United Kingdom, France, and Russia
Russia
had also secretly concluded the Sykes–Picot Agreement , which Balfour described later as a "wholly new method" for carving up the area, after the 1915 agreement "seems to have been forgotten". This secret agreement was negotiated in early 1916 between Sir Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot . Sykes was a British MP whose role had developed from his seat on the 1915 De Bunsen Committee to have a significant influence on British policy in the region, including initiating the creation of the Arab Bureau , whilst Picot was a French diplomat and former consul-general in Beirut. The agreement defined their proposed spheres of influence and control in Western Asia should the Triple Entente
Triple Entente
succeed in defeating the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
during World War I. It divided many Arab territories into British- and French-administered areas and allowed for the internationalisation of Palestine, proposing that the form of the Palestine administration would be confirmed after consultation with both Russia
Russia
and Hussein.

These wartime initiatives, inclusive of the Declaration, are frequently considered together by historians because of the potential, real or imagined, for incompatibility between them, particularly in regard to the disposition of Palestine. For a fuller discussion of these and other issues, the reader is referred to the relevant article. Suffice it to say, in the words of Albert Hourani , “The argument about the interpretation of these agreements is one which is impossible to end, because they were intended to bear more than one interpretation.”

1916-17: Change In British Government

In terms of British politics, the declaration resulted from the coming into power of the Lloyd George and his cabinet , which had replaced the Asquith led-cabinet in December 1916, since he and Balfour had favoured a post-war partition of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
in contrast to Asquith and Grey who favoured reform.

Lloyd George had wanted to make the destruction of the Ottoman Empire a major British war aim, and two days after taking office told General Robertson , the Chief of the Imperial General Staff , that he wanted a major victory, preferably the capture of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
, to impress British public opinion. Lloyd George immediately consulted his War cabinet about a “further campaign into Palestine when El Arish had been secured.” Subsequent pressure from Lloyd George, over the reservations of Robertson, resulted in the recapture of the Sinai for British-controlled Egypt
Egypt
with the capture of El Arish in December 1916 and Rafah in January 1917, and the arrival of British forces at the southern borders of the Ottoman empire. Following two unsuccessful attempts to capture Gaza , a stalemate in Southern Palestine began in April 1917, and the Sinai and Palestine Campaign
Sinai and Palestine Campaign
would not make any substantial progress until 31 October 1917.

1917: British- Zionist
Zionist
Formal Negotiations

Following the change in government, Sykes was transferred to the War Office Secretariat as political secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, and charged with reopening discussions with the Zionists. In early 1917, despite having previously built a relationship with leading British Zionist
Zionist
Moses Gaster
Moses Gaster
, he began looking to meet other Zionist leaders and was introduced to Weizmann and Nahum Sokolow at the end of January 1917. On 7 February 1917, official negotiations began between Sykes and the Zionist
Zionist
leaders.

Late 1917: Progress Of The Wider War

During the period of the British War Cabinet discussions leading up to the declaration, the wider war had reached a period of stalemate. On the Western Front the tide would first turn in favour of the Central Powers in spring 1918 , before decisively turning in favour of the Allies from July 1918 onwards. Although the US had declared war on Germany in the spring of 1917, they would not suffer their first casualties until 2 November 1917, by which point President Wilson would still be hoping to avoid the dispatch of large contingents of troops into the war. The Russian forces were known to be distracted by the ongoing Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution
and the growing support for the Bolshevik faction, but Alexander Kerensky 's Russian Republic had remained in the war, and would only withdraw after the final stage in the revolution on 7 November 1917 .

MOTIVATION

HISTORIOGRAPHY

Avi Shlaim says there were two main schools of thought on the origins of the Balfour Declaration, one represented by Leonard Stein, the other by Mayir Vereté. He says that Stein does not reach any clear cut conclusions, that implicit in his narrative is that it was the activity and skill of the Zionists whereas according to Vereté, it was the work of hard-headed pragmatists motivated by British imperial interests in the Middle East. Much of modern scholarship on the decision to issue the declaration focuses on the Zionist
Zionist
movement and rivalries within it, with a key debate being whether the role of Weizmann was decisive or whether the British were likely to have issued a similar declaration in any event. More recently, Historian Martin Kramer has argued that securing the assent of Britain's French and American Allies, and of the Vatican, which controlled many Christian Holy Sites in Palestine, was a necessary precondition of the Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
and Gutwein assays a twist on an old idea, asserting that Sykes approach to the Zionists was so as to pursue a radical political agenda on behalf of the British government.

The geopolitical calculations behind the decision to release the declaration were debated and discussed in the following years. Some historians argue that British government's decision reflected what James Gelvin calls 'patrician anti-Semitism' in the overestimation of Jewish power in both the United States
United States
and Russia. In addition, the British intended to preempt the expected French pressure for an international administration.

The British believed that expressing support would appeal to Jews
Jews
in Germany and particularly America, given two of Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
's closest advisors were known to be avid Zionists; they also hoped to encourage support from the large Jewish population in Russia.

In his Memoirs, published in 1939 , Lloyd George listed nine factors motivating his decision as Prime Minister to release the declaration, including the view that a Jewish presence in Palestine would strengthen Britain's position on the Suez Canal and reinforce the route to Great Britain's imperial dominion in India. Lloyd George told the Palestine Royal Commission in 1937 that the declaration was made "due to propagandist reasons... In particular Jewish sympathy would confirm the support of American Jewry, and would make it more difficult for Germany to reduce her military commitments and improve her economic position on the eastern front".

APPROVALS

April To June: Allied Discussions

According to Schneer, Sykes had as objective the mobilizing of Zionism to the cause of British suzerainty in Palestine so as to have arguments to put to France
France
in support of that objective. At this point the Zionists were still unaware of the Sykes-Picot Agreement although they had their suspicions. In regard to the Arabs, citing Stein (from Sokolow’s notes of the meeting), Schneer writes that Sykes said “The Arabs professed that language must be the measure and could claim all Syria
Syria
and Palestine. Still the Arabs could be managed, particularly if they received Jewish support in other matters."

The War cabinet had previously agreed to allow a detachment of French Muslim troops to accompany British forces when they finally entered Palestine. The French chose Picot as French High Commissioner for the soon to be occupied territory of Syria
Syria
and Palestine. The British appointed Sykes as Chief Political Officer to the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. On 3 April 1917, Sykes met with Lloyd George, Curzon and Hankey to receive his instructions in this regard, namely to keep the French onside while pressing for a British Palestine and “the Prime Minister suggested that Sir Mark Sykes ought not enter into any political pledges to the Arabs, and particularly none in regard to Palestine”. En route to the East, Sykes first went to France, arriving a few days after Sokolow who in the meantime had met Picot and other French officials (According to Schneer, each of Sykes and Picot, representing his respective government, was trying to undercut the Sykes-Picot Agreement at the other’s expense. “The French are determined to take the whole of Palestine,” Sokolow reported to Weizmann) and then convinced the French Foreign Office to accept for study a statement of Zionist
Zionist
aims, their “desiderata in regard to facilities of colonization, communal autonomy, rights of language and establishment of a Jewish chartered company.”

The French position in regard to Palestine (and the Levant) during the lead up to the Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
were largely dictated by the terms of the Sykes-Picot Agreement and were complicated from 23 November 1915 by increasing French awareness of the British discussions with the Sherif of Mecca. Italy's participation in the war, governed by the Treaty of London (1915) , eventually led to the Agreement of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne in April 1917; at this conference, Lloyd George had raised the question of a British protectorate of Palestine and the idea "had been very coldly received" by the French and the Italians. The War cabinet, reviewing this conference on 25 April, "inclined to the view that sooner or later the Sykes-Picot Agreement might have to be reconsidered...No action should be taken at present in this matter".

June And July: Decision To Prepare A Declaration

A copy of Lord Rothschild's initial draft declaration, together with its covering letter, 18 July 1917, from the British War Cabinet archives.

By 13 June 1917, it was acknowledged by Ronald Graham , head of the Foreign Office’s Middle Eastern affairs department, that the three most relevant politicians – the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary, and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs , Lord Robert Cecil – were all in favour of supporting the Zionist
Zionist
movement; on the same day Weizmann had written to Graham to advocate for a public declaration.

On 19 June, Balfour met with Lord Rothschild and Weizmann, and asked them to submit a formula for a declaration.

Following receipt of Lord Rothschild's 18 July draft declaration by the Foreign Office, the matter was brought to the Cabinet for formal consideration.

September And October: American Consent And War Cabinet Approval

As part of the War Cabinet discussions, views were sought from ten "representative" Jewish leaders. Those in favour comprised four members of the Zionist
Zionist
negotiating team (Rothschild, Weizmann, Sokolow and Samuel), Stuart Samuel (Herbert Samuel's elder brother), and Chief Rabbi Joseph Hertz . Those against comprised Montagu, Philip Magnus , Claude Montefiore and Lionel Cohen .

The decision to release the declaration was taken by the British War Cabinet on 31 October 1917. This followed discussion at four War Cabinet meetings (including the 31 October meeting) over the space of the previous two months. Consent from the U.S. President was sought over the same time period.

British officials asked President Wilson for his views on the matter on two occasions – first on September 3, when he replied the time was not ripe, and later on October 6, when he agreed with the release of the Declaration. Following the US entry into the war in early April, for a month during April and May 1917, Balfour had been in the United States
United States
on the Balfour Mission , and spent significant time discussing Zionism with Wilson's advisor and leading Zionist
Zionist
Louis Brandeis .

With respect to the War Cabinet, in order to aid the discussions, the Cabinet Secretariat solicited interministerial clarification as well as the views of President Woodrow Wilson, and in October, formal submissions from six Zionist
Zionist
leaders and four non- Zionist
Zionist
Jews.

Excerpts from the minutes of these four War Cabinet meetings provide a description of the primary factors that the ministers considered:

* 3 SEPTEMBER 1917: "With reference to a suggestion that the matter might be postponed, pointed out that this was a question on which the Foreign Office had been very strongly pressed for a long time past. There was a very strong and enthusiastic organisation, more particularly in the United States, who were zealous in this matter, and his belief was that it would be of most substantial assistance to the Allies to have the earnestness and enthusiasm of these people enlisted on our side. To do nothing was to risk a direct breach with them, and it was necessary to face this situation." * 4 OCTOBER 1917: "... stated that the German Government were making great efforts to capture the sympathy of the Zionist
Zionist
Movement. This Movement, though opposed by a number of wealthy Jews
Jews
in this country, had behind it the support of a majority of Jews, at all events in Russia
Russia
and America, and possibly in other countries... Mr. Balfour then read a very sympathetic declaration by the French Government which had been conveyed to the Zionists, and he stated that he knew that President Wilson was extremely favourable to the Movement." * 25 OCTOBER 1917: "... the Secretary mentioned that he was being pressed by the Foreign Office to bring forward the question of Zionism, an early settlement of which was regarded as of great importance."

British War Cabinet minutes approving the release of the declaration, 31 October 1917

* 31 OCTOBER 1917: " stated that he gathered that everyone was now agreed that, from a purely diplomatic and political point of view, it was desirable that some declaration favourable to the aspirations of the Jewish nationalists should now be made. The vast majority of Jews in Russia
Russia
and America, as, indeed, all over the world, now appeared to be favourable to Zionism. If we could make a declaration favourable to such an ideal, we should be able to carry on extremely useful propaganda both in Russia
Russia
and America."

DRAFTING

AUTHORS AND EVOLUTION OF THE DRAFT

File:Palestine and the Balfour Declaration, Cabinet Paper, January 1923.jpg "Palestine and the Balfour Declaration", Cabinet Paper reviewing the background to the declaration, January 1923

Lloyd George and Balfour remained in government until the collapse of the coalition in October 1922 . Under the new Conservative government , attempts were made to identify the background to the drafting. A Cabinet memorandum was produced in January 1923 asserting that the primary authors were Balfour, Sykes, Weizmann, and Sokolow, with "perhaps Lord Rothschild as a figure in the background", and that "negotiations seem to have been mainly oral and by means of private notes and memoranda of which only the scantiest records seem to be available."

In subsequent decades, declassification of Government archives allowed scholars to piece together the choreography of the drafting of the declaration; in his widely cited 1961 book, Leonard Stein published four previous drafts of the declaration. Stein illustrated the evolution of the drafting from the original proposal by the Zionist
Zionist
Organization, followed by various iterations. The drafting began with Weizmann's guidance to the Zionist
Zionist
drafting team on its objectives in a letter dated 20 June 1917, one day following his meeting with Rothschild and Balfour, that the declaration from the British government should state: "its conviction, its desire or its intention to support Zionist
Zionist
aims for the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine; no reference must be made I think to the question of the Suzerain Power because that would land the British into difficulties with the French; it must be a Zionist
Zionist
declaration."

Subsequent authors have debated as to who the "primary author" really was. In his posthumously published 1981 book The Anglo-American Establishment , Georgetown University
Georgetown University
history professor Carroll Quigley explained his view that the primary author of the declaration was Alfred, Lord Milner , and more recently, William D. Rubinstein , Professor of Modern History at Aberystwyth University
Aberystwyth University
, Wales, wrote that Conservative politician and pro- Zionist
Zionist
Leo Amery , as Assistant Secretary to the British war cabinet in 1917, should be considered the main author of the declaration.

DRAFT TEXT CHANGES

PRELIMINARY ZIONIST DRAFT July 1917 His Majesty's Government, after considering the aims of the Zionist
Zionist
Organization, accepts the principle of recognizing Palestine as the National Home of the Jewish people and the right of the Jewish people to build up its national life in Palestine under a protection to be established at the conclusion of peace following upon the successful issue of the War.

His Majesty's Government regards as essential for the realization of this principle the grant of internal autonomy to the Jewish nationality in Palestine, freedom of immigration for Jews, and the establishment of a Jewish National Colonizing Corporation for the resettlement and economic development of the country. The conditions and forms of the internal autonomy and a Charter for the Jewish National Colonizing Corporation should, in the view of His Majesty's Government, be elaborated in detail and determined with the representatives of the Zionist
Zionist
Organization.

LORD ROTHSCHILD DRAFT 12 July 1917 1. His Majesty's Government accepts the principle that Palestine should be reconstituted as the national home of the Jewish people.

2. His Majesty's Government will use its best endeavours to secure the achievement of this object and will discuss the necessary methods and means with the Zionist
Zionist
Organisation. 1. His Majesty’s Government ====== accepts the principle of recognizing that Palestine should be reconstituted as the national home of the Jewish people.======

2. His Majesty's Government ======will use its best endeavours to secure the achievement of this object and will discuss the necessary methods and means with the Zionist
Zionist
Organisation.

BALFOUR DRAFT Mid August 1917 His Majesty's Government accepts the principle that Palestine should be reconstituted as the national home of the Jewish people and will use their best endeavours to secure the achievement of this object and will be ready to consider any suggestions on the subject which the Zionist
Zionist
Organisation may desire to lay before them. 1. His Majesty's Government accepts the principle that Palestine should be reconstituted as the national home of the Jewish people. and 2. His Majesty's Government will use its their best endeavours to secure the achievement of this object and will discuss the necessary methods and means with be ready to consider any suggestions on the subject which the Zionist
Zionist
Organisation may desire to lay before them.

MILNER DRAFT Late August 1917 His Majesty's Government accepts the principle that every opportunity should be afforded for the establishment of a home for the Jewish people in Palestine and will use its best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object and will be ready to consider any suggestions on the subject which the Zionist organisations may desire to lay before them. His Majesty's Government accepts the principle that Palestine should be reconstituted as the national home of every opportunity should be afforded for the establishment of a home for the Jewish people in Palestine and will use their its best endeavours to secure facilitate the achievement of this object and will be ready to consider any suggestions on the subject which the Zionist Oorganisations may desire to lay before them.

MILNER–AMERY DRAFT 4 October 1917 His Majesty's Government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish race, and will use its best endeavours 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 in any other country by such Jews
Jews
who are fully contented with their existing nationality. His Majesty's Government accepts the principle that every opportunity should be afforded for views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine race, and will use its best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object and will be ready to consider any suggestions on the subject which the Zionist
Zionist
organisations may desire to lay before them , 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 in any other country by such Jews
Jews
who are fully contented with their existing nationality.

FINAL VERSION His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours 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
Jews
in any other country. His Majesty’s Government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish race, and will use its their best endeavours 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
Jews
in any other country by such Jews
Jews
who are fully contented with their existing nationality.

TERMS

The agreed version of the declaration, a single sentence of just 67 words, was sent in a short letter from Balfour to Walter Rothschild, for transmission to the Zionist
Zionist
Federation of Great Britain and Ireland , on 2 November 1917. The declaration contained four clauses , of which the first two promised to support "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people", followed by two "safeguard clauses" with respect to "the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine", and "the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews
Jews
in any other country".

JEWISH NATIONAL HOME VS. JEWISH STATE

Further information: Homeland for the Jewish people "This is a very carefully worded document and but for the somewhat vague phrase "A National Home for the Jewish People" might be considered sufficiently unalarming... But the vagueness of the phrase cited has been a cause of trouble from the commencement. Various persons in high positions have used language of the loosest kind calculated to convey a very different impression to the more moderate interpretation which can be put upon the words. President Wilson brushed away all doubts as to what was intended from his point of view when, in March 1919, he said to the Jewish leaders in America, "I am moreover persuaded that the allied nations, with the fullest concurrence of our own Government and people are agreed that in Palestine shall be laid the foundations of a Jewish Commonwealth." The late President Roosevelt declared that one of the Allies peace conditions should be that "Palestine must be made a Jewish State." Mr. Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
has spoken of a "Jewish State" and Mr. Bonar Law
Bonar Law
has talked in Parliament of "restoring Palestine to the Jews"." Report of the Palin Commission , August 1920

The phrase "national home" was intentionally used instead of "state" because of opposition to the Zionist
Zionist
program within the British Cabinet, although the chief architects of the declaration considered that a Jewish State
Jewish State
would emerge in time. The term "national home" was intentionally ambiguous. For example, the phrase 'national homeland' had no legal value or precedent in international law, so its meaning was thus unclear when compared to other terms such as 'state'.

Explication of the wording has been sought in the correspondence leading to the final version of the declaration. Following discussion of the initial draft, Sykes met with the Zionist
Zionist
negotiators to clarify their aims. His official report back to the Cabinet categorically stated that the Zionists did not want "to set up a Jewish Republic or any other form of state in Palestine or in any part of Palestine." but rather preferred some form of protectorate as provided in the Palestine Mandate. In approving the Balfour Declaration, Leopold Amery , one of the Secretaries to the British War Cabinet of 1917–18, testified under oath to the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry in January 1946 from his personal knowledge that:

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
Balfour Declaration
that Palestine would ultimately become a "Jewish Commonwealth" or a "Jewish State", if only Jews
Jews
came and settled there in sufficient numbers.

Curzon produced a memorandum circulated on 26 October, 1917 where he addressed two questions, the first being “What is the meaning of the phrase "a National Home for the Jewish race in Palestine" and noted that there were different opinions ranging from a fully fledged state to a merely spiritual centre for the Jews.

David Lloyd George, who was Prime Minister at the time of the declaration, told the Palestine Royal Commission in 1937 that it was intended that Palestine may become a Jewish Commonwealth if and when Jews
Jews
"had become a definite majority of the inhabitants":

The idea was, and this was the interpretation put upon it at the time, that a Jewish State
Jewish State
was not to be set up immediately by the Peace Treaty without reference to the wishes of the majority of the inhabitants. On the other hand, it was contemplated that when the time arrived for according representative institutions to Palestine, if the Jews
Jews
had meanwhile responded to the opportunity afforded them by the idea of a national home and had become a definite majority of the inhabitants, then Palestine would thus become a Jewish Commonwealth.

Both the Zionist
Zionist
Organization and the British government devoted efforts to denying that a state was the intention over the following decades, including in Winston Churchill's 1922 White Paper. However, in private, many British officials agreed with the interpretation of the Zionists that a state would be established when a Jewish majority was achieved; in particular, at a private meeting on 22 July 1922 at Balfour's home, Richard Meinertzhagen claims both Balfour and Lloyd George admitted that an eventual Jewish state
Jewish state
had always been their intention. Note however that Meinertzhagen has been subject of criticism, notably by Brian Garfield , "he pretended his vast ”diaries“ were records of events as they were occurring. but in fact they are memoirs, created and re-created long after the events, with the author’s retrospective (and often fictional spin”)"

SCOPE OF THE NATIONAL HOME "IN PALESTINE"

The choice of stating such a homeland would be found 'in Palestine' rather than 'of Palestine' was also no accident. With respect to the scope of the Jewish National Home, the initial draft of the declaration, contained in a letter sent by Rothschild to Balfour, referred to the principle "that Palestine should be reconstituted as the National Home of the Jewish people." In the final text, following Lord Milner's amendment, the word "reconstituted" was removed and the word that was replaced with in.

This text thereby avoided committing the entirety of Palestine to the Jewish National Home, resulting in controversy in future years over the intended scope. This was subsequently clarified by the 1922 Churchill White Paper, which wrote that "the terms of the declaration referred to do not contemplate that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home, but that such a Home should be founded 'in Palestine.'"

The declaration did not include any geographical boundaries for Palestine. Following the end of the war, three documents – the declaration, the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence and the Sykes-Picot Agreement – became the basis for the negotiations to set the boundaries of Palestine.

CIVIL AND RELIGIOUS RIGHTS OF NON-JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN PALESTINE

"If, however, the strict terms of the Balfour Statement are adhered to... it can hardly be doubted that the extreme Zionist
Zionist
Program must be greatly modified. For "a national home for the Jewish people" is not equivalent to making Palestine into a Jewish State; nor can the erection of such a Jewish State
Jewish State
be accomplished without the gravest trespass upon the "civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine." The fact came out repeatedly in the Commission's conference with Jewish representatives, that the Zionists looked forward to a practically complete dispossession of the present non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine, by various forms of purchase." Report of the King-Crane Commission , August 1919

The declaration's first safeguard clause referred to protecting the civil and religious rights of non- Jews
Jews
in Palestine. The clause had been drafted together with the second safeguard by Leo Amery in discussion with Lord Milner, with the intention to "go a reasonable distance to meeting the objectors, both Jewish and pro-Arab, without impairing the substance of the proposed declaration".

The "non-Jews" constituted 90% of the population of Palestine; Ronald Storrs , Britain's Military Governor of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
between 1917 and 1920, described that this community had observed that they had been "not so much as named, either as Arabs, Moslems or Christians, but were lumped together under the negative and humiliating definition of 'Non-Jewish Communities' and relegated to subordinate provisos". The community also noted that there was no reference to protecting their "political status" or political rights, as there was in the subsequent safeguard relating to Jews
Jews
in other countries. This protection was frequently compared against the commitment to the Jewish community, and over the years a variety of terms were used to refer to these two obligations as a pair.

Balfour stated in February 1919 that Palestine was considered an exceptional case in which "we deliberately and rightly decline to accept the principle of self-determination ," although he considered that the policy provided self-determination to Jews. Avi Shlaim considers this the declaration's "greatest contradiction". This principle of self-determination had been declared on numerous occasions subsequent to the declaration – President Wilson's January 1918 Fourteen points , McMahon's Declaration to the Seven in June 1918, the November 1918 Anglo-French Declaration , and the June 1919 Covenant of the League of Nations that had established the mandate system . In an August 1919 memo Balfour acknowledged the inconsistency among these statements, and further explained that the British had no intention of consulting the existing population of Palestine. The results of the then ongoing American King–Crane Commission of Enquiry consultation of the local population were subsequently suppressed for three years until the report was leaked in 1922. Subsequent British Governments have acknowledged this deficiency, such as the 1939 committee led by the Lord Chancellor , Frederic Maugham , which concluded that the government had not been "free to dispose of Palestine without regard for the wishes and interests of the inhabitants of Palestine", and the April 2017 statement by the British Minister of State
Minister of State
, Baroness Anelay , that the government acknowledged that "the Declaration should have called for the protection of political rights of the non-Jewish communities in Palestine, particularly their right to self-determination."

RIGHTS AND POLITICAL STATUS OF JEWS IN OTHER COUNTRIES

Edwin Samuel Montagu , the only Jew in a senior government position, wrote a 23 August 1917 memorandum stating his belief that: "the policy of His Majesty's Government is anti-Semitic in result and will prove a rallying ground for anti-Semites in every country of the world."

The second safeguard clause was a commitment that nothing should be done which might prejudice the rights of the Jewish communities in other countries outside of Palestine.

The original drafts of Rothschild, Balfour, and Milner did not include this safeguard, which was drafted together with the preceding safeguard in early October. It reflected opposition from influential members of the Anglo-Jewish community. The Conjoint Foreign Committee of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Anglo-Jewish Association had published a letter in The Times
The Times
on 24 May 1917 entitled Views of Anglo-Jewry, signed by the two organisations' presidents, David Lindo Alexander and Claude Montefiore , stating their view that: "the establishment of a Jewish nationality in Palestine, founded on this theory of homelessness, must have the effect throughout the world of stamping the Jews
Jews
as strangers in their native lands, and of undermining their hard-won position as citizens and nationals of these lands." This was followed in late August by Edwin Samuel Montagu , an influential anti- Zionist
Zionist
Jew and Secretary of State for India , and the only Jewish member of the British cabinet, who wrote in a Cabinet memorandum that: "The policy of His Majesty's Government is anti-Semitic in result and will prove a rallying ground for anti-Semites in every country of the world."

Lord Rothschild took exception to the new proviso on the basis that it presupposed the possibility of a danger to non-Zionists, which he denied.

REACTION

See also: Balfour Day

The text of the declaration was published in the press one week after it was signed, on 9 November 1917.

SYKES-PICOT AGREEMENT EXPOSED

The Tsarist government was a minor party to the Sykes–Picot agreement, and when, following the Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution
, the Bolsheviks published the agreement in Izvestia and Pravda on 23 November 1917 and in the British Guardian on November 26, 1917, "the British were embarrassed, the Arabs dismayed and the Turks delighted." The Zionists had been aware of the outlines of the agreement since April and specifically the part relevant to Palestine, following a meeting between Weizmann and Sir Ronald Cecil where Weizmann made very clear his objections to the proposed scheme. At a private meeting in London on 1 December 1918, French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau and Lloyd George were to agree to certain modifications to the Sykes-Picot Agreement, including British control of Palestine.

ZIONIST REACTION

Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
as published in The Times
The Times
, 9 November 1917

The publication of the intent galvanized Zionism, which finally had obtained an official charter. It was first published in newspapers on 9 November, and leaflets were circulated throughout Jewish communities. These leaflets were airdropped over Jewish communities in Germany and Austria, as well as the Pale of Settlement
Pale of Settlement
, which had been given to the Central Powers following the Russian withdrawal.

Weizmann had argued that one consequence of such a public commitment by Great Britain, making the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine one of the Allies' war aims, was that it would have three effects: it would swing Russia
Russia
to maintain pressure on Germany's Eastern Front , since Jews
Jews
had been prominent in the March Revolution of 1917 . It would rally the large Jewish community in the United States to press for greater funding for the American war effort , underway since April of that year; and, lastly, that it would undermine German Jewish support for Kaiser Wilhelm II .

American Zionism was still in its infancy; in 1914 the Zionist Federation had a small budget of about $5,000 and only 12,000 members, despite an American Jewish population of three million. However, the Zionist
Zionist
organizations had recently succeeded, following a show of force within the American Jewish community, in arranging a Jewish congress to debate the Jewish problem as a whole. This impacted British and French government estimates of the balance of power within the American Jewish public.

In the ongoing Sinai and Palestine Campaign, both Gaza and Jaffa
Jaffa
fell within several days. Once under British military occupation, large transfers of funds were possible, and a major effort began to drain the marshy land of the Valley of Jezreel, whose redemption as the breadbasket of Palestine became the priority of the Third Aliyah settlers, mainly from Eastern Europe.

The declaration spurred an unintended and extraordinary increase in the number of adherents of American Zionism; in 1914 the 200 American Zionist
Zionist
societies comprised a total of 7,500 members, which grew to 30,000 members in 600 societies in 1918 and 149,000 members in 1919. Whilst the British had considered that the declaration reflected a previously established dominance of the Zionist
Zionist
position in Jewish thought, it was the declaration itself that was subsequently responsible for Zionism's legitimacy and leadership.

In August 1919 Balfour approved Weizmann's request to name the first post-war settlement in Mandatory Palestine
Mandatory Palestine
, " Balfouria ", in his honor. It was intended to be a model settlement for future American Jewish activity in Palestine.

Hebert Samuel, the Zionist
Zionist
MP whose 1915 memorandum had framed the start of discussions in the British Cabinet, was asked by Lloyd George on 24 April 1920 to act as the first civil governor of British Palestine , replacing the previous military administration that had ruled the area since the war. Shortly after beginning the role in July 1920, he gave a reading at the Hurva Synagogue
Hurva Synagogue
in Jerusalem, which, according to his memoirs, led the congregation of older settlers to feel that the "fulfilment of ancient prophecy might at last be at hand".

From 1918 until World War II Jews
Jews
in Mandatory Palestine
Mandatory Palestine
celebrated Balfour Day as an annual national holiday on 2 November. The celebrations included ceremonies in schools and other public institutions and festive articles in the Hebrew press.

OPPOSITION IN PALESTINE

The most popular Palestinian Arab newspaper, Filastin (La Palestine) , published a four-page editorial addressed to Lord Balfour in March 1925.

The local Christian and Muslim community of Palestine, who constituted almost 90% of the population , strongly opposed the declaration. As described by the Palestinian-American philosopher Edward Said in 1979, it was perceived as being made: "(a) by a European power, (b) about a non-European territory, (c) in a flat disregard of both the presence and the wishes of the native majority resident in that territory, and (d) it took the form of a promise about this same territory to another foreign group."

According to the 1919 King–Crane Commission , "No British officer, consulted by the Commissioners, believed that the Zionist
Zionist
programme could be carried out except by force of arms." A delegation of the Muslim-Christian Association , headed by Musa al-Husayni , expressed public disapproval on 3 November 1918, one day after the Zionist Commission parade marking the first anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. They handed a petition signed by more than 100 notables to Ronald Storrs, the Occupied Enemy Territory Administration (OETA) military governor:

We have noticed yesterday a large crowd of Jews
Jews
carrying banners and over-running the streets shouting words which hurt the feeling and wound the soul. They pretend with open voice that Palestine, which is the Holy Land of our fathers and the graveyard of our ancestors, which has been inhabited by the Arabs for long ages, who loved it and died in defending it, is now a national home for them... We Arabs, Muslim and Christian, have always sympathized profoundly with the persecuted Jews
Jews
and their misfortunes in other countries... but there is wide difference between such sympathy and the acceptance of such a nation... ruling over us and disposing of our affairs.

The group also protested the carrying of new "white and blue banners with two inverted triangles in the middle", drawing the attention of the British authorities to the serious consequences of any political implications in raising the banners. Later that month, on the first anniversary of the occupation of Jaffa
Jaffa
by the British, the Muslim-Christian Association sent a lengthy memorandum and petition to the military governor protesting once more any formation of a Jewish state.

BROADER ARAB RESPONSE

In the broader Arab world, the declaration was seen as a betrayal of the British wartime understandings with the Arabs. The Sharif of Mecca and other Arab leaders considered the declaration a violation of a previous commitment made in the McMahon–Hussein correspondence in exchange for launching the Arab Revolt.

Following the publication of the declaration, the British had dispatched Commander David George Hogarth to see Hussein in January 1918 bearing the message that the "political and economic freedom" of the Palestinian population was not in question. Hogarth reported that Hussein "would not accept an independent Jewish State
Jewish State
in Palestine, nor was I instructed to warn him that such a state was contemplated by Great Britain". Hussein had also learned of the Sykes–Picot Agreement when it was leaked by the new Soviet government in December 1917, but was satisfied by two disingenuous telegrams from Sir Reginald Wingate , who had replaced McMahon as High Commissioner of Egypt, assuring him that the British commitments to the Arabs were still valid and that the Sykes–Picot Agreement was not a formal treaty.

Continuing Arab disquiet over Allied intentions also led during 1918 to the British Declaration to the Seven and the Anglo-French Declaration, the latter promising "the complete and final liberation of the peoples who have for so long been oppressed by the Turks, and the setting up of national governments and administrations deriving their authority from the free exercise of the initiative and choice of the indigenous populations".

The 3 January 1919 Faisal–Weizmann Agreement was a short-lived agreement for Arab–Jewish cooperation on the development of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, which Faisal had mistakenly understood was to be within the Arab Kingdom. Faisal did treat Palestine differently in his presentation to the Peace Conference on 6 February 1919 saying "Palestine, in consequence of its universal character, be left on one side for the mutual consideration of all parties concerned". The agreement was never implemented.

THE HOLY SEE

Further information: Pope Benedict XV and Judaism

Zionist
Zionist
diplomat Nahum Sokolow was granted an audience with Pope Benedict XV in early May, Jewish settlement in Palestine and the status of the Holy Places were discussed. The Pope expressed general sympathy and support for the Zionist
Zionist
desire for immigration and colonization, restricted under Ottoman rule.

With the advent of the Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
and the British entry into Jerusalem
Jerusalem
on December 9, the Vatican reversed its earlier sympathetic attitude to Zionism and adopted an oppositional stance that was to continue for some time to come.

RESPONSE BY CENTRAL POWERS

Immediately following the publication of the Balfour Declaration, it was met with tactical responses from the Central Powers. Two weeks following the declaration, Ottokar Czernin , the Austrian Foreign Minister, gave an interview to Arthur Hantke, President of the Zionist Federation of Germany , promising that his government would influence the Turks once the war was over. On 12 December, the Ottoman Grand Vizier , Talaat Pasha , gave an interview to the German newspaper Vossische Zeitung that was published on 31 December and subsequently released in the German-Jewish periodical Jüdische Rundschau on 4 January 1918, in which he referred to the declaration as "une blague" (a deception) and promised that under Ottoman rule "all justifiable wishes of the Jews
Jews
in Palestine would be able to find their fulfilment" subject to the absorptive capacity of the country. This Turkish statement was endorsed by the German Foreign Office on 5 January 1918. On 8 January 1918, to advocate for further progress, a German-Jewish Society was formed, named the Union of German Jewish Organizations for the Protection of the Rights of the Jews
Jews
of the East (VJOD).

Following the war, the Treaty of Sèvres
Treaty of Sèvres
was signed by the Ottoman Empire on 10 August 1920. The treaty dissolved the Ottoman Empire, requiring Turkey
Turkey
to renounce sovereignty over much of the Middle East. Article 95 of the treaty incorporated the terms of the Balfour Declaration with respect to "the administration of Palestine, within such boundaries as may be determined by the Principal Allied Powers". Since inclusion of the Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
in the Treaty of Sevres did not affect the legal status of the Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
or the Mandate, there was also no effect when Sevres was superseded by the Treaty of Lausanne , which did not include any reference to the Balfour Declaration.

In 1922, German anti-Semitic theorist Alfred Rosenberg in his primary contribution to Nazi theory on Zionism, Der Staatsfeindliche Zionismus ("Zionism, the Enemy of the State"), accused German Zionists of working for a German defeat and supporting Britain and the implementation of the Balfour Declaration, in a version of the stab-in-the-back myth .

UNITED STATES

In 1922 Congress officially endorsed American support through passage of the Lodge–Fish Resolution notwithstanding opposition from the State Department.

Lawrence Davidson argues that President Wilson and Congress ignored democratic values in favour of "biblical romanticism" when they endorsed the declaration and points to a pro- Zionist
Zionist
lobby, which was active at a time when the small number of unorganized Arab Americans were not heard.

EVOLUTION OF BRITISH OPINION

"It is said that the effect of the Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
was to leave the Moslems and Christians dumbfounded... It is impossible to minimise the bitterness of the awakening. They considered that they were to be handed over to an oppression which they hated far more than the Turk's and were aghast at the thought of this domination... Prominent people openly talk of betrayal and that England has sold the country and received the price... Towards the Administration adopted the attitude of "We want the Jewish State
Jewish State
and we won't wait", and they did not hesitate to avail themselves of every means open to them in this country and abroad to force the hand of an Administration bound to respect the "Status Quo" and to commit it, and thereby future Administrations, to a policy not contemplated in the Balfour Declaration... What more natural than that should fail to realise the immense difficulties the Administration was and is labouring under and come to the conclusion that the openly published demands of the Jews were to be granted and the guarantees in the Declaration were to become but a dead letter?" Report of the Palin Commission , August 1920

Although in the end nothing came of them, during 1917 and 1918, the Turks made informal peace overtures to the British. In the second and third weeks of November, after the signing of the Balfour Declaration, the War Cabinet considered what terms it might offer in order to detach Turkey. Both Milner and Smuts were willing to permit leaving Palestine under nominal Turkish sovereignty and this view, backed by Lloyd George, prevailed even over the objections of the Foreign Office and Curzon.

In October 1919, Lord Curzon succeeded Balfour as Foreign Secretary. Curzon had opposed the Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
prior to its publication and therefore determined to pursue a policy in line with its "narrower and more prudent rather than the wider interpretation". Following Bonar Law's appointment as Prime Minister in late 1922, Curzon wrote to Law that he regarded the declaration as "the worst" of Britain's Middle East commitments and "a striking contradiction of our publicly declared principles". Curzon had been a member of the 1917 Cabinet that had approved the declaration, and according to Sir David Gilmour , Curzon had been "the only senior figure in the British government at the time who foresaw that its policy would lead to decades of Arab–Jewish hostility".

In August 1920 the report of the Palin Commission , the first in a long line of Commissions of Inquiry on the question of Palestine during the Mandate period, noted that "The Balfour Declaration... is undoubtedly the starting point of the whole trouble". The conclusion of the report mentioned the Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
three times, stating that "the causes of the alienation and exasperation of the feelings of the population of Palestine" included:

* inability to reconcile the Allies' declared policy of self-determination with the Balfour Declaration, giving rise to a sense of betrayal and intense anxiety for their future; * misapprehension of the true meaning of the Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
and forgetfulness of the guarantees determined therein, due to the loose rhetoric of politicians and the exaggerated statements and writings of interested persons, chiefly Zionists; and * Zionist
Zionist
indiscretion and aggression since the Balfour Declaration aggravating such fears.

British public and government opinion became increasingly less favourable to the commitment that had been made to Zionist
Zionist
policy. In February 1922 Churchill telegraphed Samuel, who by then had been appointed High Commissioner for Palestine, asking for cuts in expenditure and noting:

In both Houses of Parliament there is growing movement of hostility, against Zionist
Zionist
policy in Palestine, which will be stimulated by recent Northcliffe articles. I do not attach undue importance to this movement, but it is increasingly difficult to meet the argument that it is unfair to ask the British taxpayer, already overwhelmed with taxation, to bear the cost of imposing on Palestine an unpopular policy.

Following the issuance of the Churchill White Paper in June 1922, the House of Lords rejected a Palestine Mandate that incorporated the Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
by 60 votes to 25, following a motion issued by Lord Islington . The vote proved to be only symbolic as it was subsequently overruled by a vote in the House of Commons following a tactical pivot and variety of promises made by Churchill. The wording of the declaration was thus incorporated into the British Mandate for Palestine, a legal instrument that created Mandatory Palestine for the explicit purpose of putting the declaration into effect. Unlike the declaration itself, the Mandate was legally binding on the British Government.

LONG-TERM IMPACT

The declaration had two indirect consequences, the emergence of a Jewish state
Jewish state
and a chronic state of conflict between Arabs and Jews throughout the Middle East. With respect to the latter, the declaration has been described as the "original sin " with respect to Britain's failure in Palestine and for wider events in Palestine. Starting in 1920, the Intercommunal conflict in Mandatory Palestine broke out, which widened into the regional Arab–Israeli conflict , often referred to as the world's "most intractable conflict". The Arab-Israeli conflict in a wider sense ran primarily from 1948–73, but continues today, mainly in the form of the more localized Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Britain's involvement in this became one of the most controversial parts of its Empire's history, and damaged its reputation in the Middle East for generations. According to Elizabeth Monroe, "measured by British interests alone, one of the greatest mistakes in imperial history."

Jonathan Schneer's 2010 study concluded that because the buildup to the declaration was characterized by "contradictions, deceptions, misinterpretations, and wishful thinking", the declaration sowed dragon\'s teeth and "produced a murderous harvest, and we go on harvesting even today". The foundational stone for modern Israel
Israel
had been laid, but the prediction that this would lay the groundwork for harmonious Arab-Jewish cooperation proved to be wishful thinking. Following the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine
1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine
, the British House of Commons approved the White Paper of 1939 and although this policy lasted until the British surrendered the Mandate in 1948, it served only to highlight the fundamental difficulty for the Mandatory in carrying out the Mandate obligations.

The declaration also had a significant impact on religious Jews, with some seeing its coming as a divine providence ; this encouraged Religious Zionism and discouraged traditional religious anti- Zionism .

THE DOCUMENT

Lord Balfour's desk, in the Museum of the Jewish Diaspora in Tel Aviv

The document was presented to the British Museum
British Museum
in 1924 by Walter Rothschild; today it is held in the British Library
British Library
, which separated from the British Museum
British Museum
in 1973, as Additional Manuscripts number 41178. From October 1987 to May 1988 it was lent outside the UK for display in Israel's Knesset
Knesset
. The Israeli government are currently in negotiations to arrange a second loan in 2018, with plans to display the document in Independence Hall .

SEE ALSO

* Proposals for a Jewish state
Jewish state
* British Mandate for Palestine (legal instrument)
British Mandate for Palestine (legal instrument)
* Diplomatic history of World War I
World War I

NOTES

PRIMARY SUPPORTING QUOTES

* ^ Montefiore was the wealthiest British Jew, and leader of the Board of Deputies of British Jews . Charles Henry Churchill's first letter, in 1841, intended to catalyse an interest in Jewish emigration to Palestine: "Supposing that you and your colleagues should at once and earnestly interest yourselves upon this important subject of the recovery of your ancient country, it appears to me (forming my opinions upon the present attitude of affairs in the Turkish Empire) that it could only be as subjects of the Porte that you could commence to regain a footing in Palestine." * ^ According to Weizmann's memoir, the conversation went as follows: "Mr. Balfour, supposing I was to offer you Paris instead of London, would you take it?" He sat up, looked at me, and answered: "But Dr. Weizmann, we have London." "That is true," I said, "but we had Jerusalem
Jerusalem
when London was a marsh." He ... said two things which I remember vividly. The first was: "Are there many Jews
Jews
who think like you?" I answered: "I believe I speak the mind of millions of Jews
Jews
whom you will never see and who cannot speak for themselves." ... To this he said: "If that is so you will one day be a force." Shortly before I withdrew, Balfour said: "It is curious. The Jews
Jews
I meet are quite different." I answered: "Mr. Balfour, you meet the wrong kind of Jews". * ^ Weizmann wrote in his memoirs: "The entry of Turkey
Turkey
into the fray and the remarks made by the Premier in his Guildhall speech were an additional impulse towards proceeding with the reconnoitring work at a higher speed... An opportunity offered itself to discuss the Jewish problems with Mr. C. P. Scott (Editor of the Manchester Guardian)… Mr. Scott, who has, I believe, given the whole problem a very careful and sympathetic attention, was good enough to promise that he would talk to Mr. Lloyd George on the subject... As it happened, Mr. Lloyd George, having several engagements for the week suggested that I should see Mr. Herbert Samuel, and an interview took place at his office. " * ^ Weizmann wrote in his memoirs: "He believed that my demands were too modest, that big things would have to be done in Palestine; he himself would move and would expect Jewry to move immediately the military situation was cleared up... The Jews
Jews
would have to bring sacrifices and he was prepared to do so. At this point I ventured to ask in which way the plans of Mr. Samuel were more ambitious than mine. Mr. Samuel preferred not to enter into a discussion of his plans, as he would like to keep them 'liquid', but he suggested that the Jews
Jews
would have to build railways, harbours, a university, a network of schools, etc... He also thinks that perhaps the Temple may be rebuilt, as a symbol of Jewish unity, of course, in a modernised form." * ^ Weizmann wrote in his memoirs: "On the suggestion of Baron James, I went to see Sir Philip Magnus with whom I had a lengthy conversation, and he expressed his willingness to cooperate, provided that great discretion was used... I asked Sir Philip his opinion of the advisability of seeing Mr. Balfour, and he thought that an interview with Mr. Balfour would be of very great interest and value... At one of my visits to London I wrote to Mr. Balfour and got an appointment with him on Saturday the same week at 12 o'clock in his house. I spoke to him practically in the same strain as I did to Mr. Samuel, but the whole turn of our conversation was more academic than practical." * ^ Weizmann was Chemical Advisor to the Ministry of Munitions on Acetone Supplies, and had been asked to produce a new process for the production of acetone in order to reduce the cost of cordite production. The popular suggestion that this role influenced the decision to release the declaration has been described as "fanciful", a "legend", a "myth", and "a product of imagination". Lloyd George's description in his War Memoirs, which helped create this myth, was as follows: "But by the spring of 1915 the position in the American acetone market had become extremely delicate... In the survey we made of all the various prospective requirements, it soon became clear that the supplies of wood alcohol for the manufacture of acetone would prove quite insufficient to meet the increasing demands, particularly in 1916... While I was casting about for some solution of the difficulty, I ran against the late C. P. Scott, Editor of the Manchester Guardian... I took his word about Professor Weizmann and invited him to London to see me... He could produce acetone by a fermentation process on a laboratory scale, but it would require some time before he could guarantee successful production on a manufacturing scale. In a few weeks' time he came to me and said: "The problem is solved."... When our difficulties were solved through Dr. Weizmann's genius I said to him: 'You have rendered great service to the State, and I should like to ask the Prime Minister to recommend you to His Majesty for some honour.' He said: 'There is nothing I want for myself.' 'But is there nothing we can do as a recognition of your valuable assistance to the country?' I asked. He replied: 'Yes, I would like you to do something for my people.' He then explained his aspirations as to the repatriation of the Jews
Jews
to the sacred land they had made famous. That was the fount and origin of the famous declaration about the National Home for Jews
Jews
in Palestine. As soon as I became Prime Minister I talked the whole matter over with Mr. Balfour, who was then Foreign Secretary. As a scientist he was immensely interested when I told him of Dr. Weizmann's achievement. We were anxious at that time to gather Jewish support in neutral countries, notably in America. Dr. Weizmann was brought into direct contact with the Foreign Secretary. This was the beginning of an association, the outcome of which, after long examination, was the famous Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
which became the charter of the Zionist movement." * ^ See the original 25 October 1915 letter here . George Antonius – who had been the first to publish the correspondence in full – described this letter as "by far the most important in the whole correspondence, and may perhaps be regarded as the most important international document in the history of the Arab national movement... is still invoked as the main piece of evidence on which the Arabs accuse Great Britain of having broken faith with them." * ^ Three months prior to the signing of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, Sykes had been approached with a plan by Samuel in the form of a memorandum which Sykes claimed to have committed to memory. In a 27 February 1916 letter, prior to his departure to Russia, Sykes wrote to Samuel: "I read the memorandum and have committed it to memory." With respect to the borders, Sykes explained: "By excluding Hebron and the East of the Jordan
Jordan
there is less to discuss with the Moslems, as the Mosque of Omar then becomes the only matter of vital importance to discuss with them and further does away with any contact with the bedouins, who never cross the river except on business. I imagine that the principal object of Zionism is the realization of the ideal of an existing centre of nationality rather than boundaries or extent of territory. The moment I return I will let you know how things stand at Pd." It happened that, while Sykes was in Petrograd, Lucien Wolf had submitted for consideration a formula for Palestine and the British then asked for the French and Russian opinion of it. As it turned out neither was enthusiastic and the matter did not progress. Sykes also discussed the matter with Picot, suggesting the creation of an Arab Sultanate of Palestine under French and British protection and was reprimanded by Grey, Buchanan should tell Sykes ‘to obliterate from his memory that Mr Samuel’s Cabinet memorandum made any mention of a British protectorate and that I told Mr Samuel at the time that a British protectorate was quite out of the question and Sir M. Sykes should never mention the subject without making this clear’. * ^ In his August 1919 memo Balfour noted, "In 1915 it was the Sherif of Mecca to whom the task of delimitation was to have been confided, nor were any restrictions placed upon his discretion in this matter, except certain reservations intended to protect French interests in Western Syria
Syria
and Cilicia. In 1916 all this seems to have been forgotten. The Sykes–Picot Agreement made no reference to the Sherif of Mecca, and, so far as our five documents are concerned, he has never been heard of since. A wholly new method was adopted by France
France
and England, who made with each other in the Sykes–Picot Agreement the rough and ready territorial arrangements already described—arrangements which the Allied and Associated Powers have so far neither explicitly accepted nor explicitly replaced." * ^ Sykes was introduced to Weizmann and Sokolow via James A. Malcolm, a British Armenian businessman, and L. J. Greenberg , the editor of the Jewish Chronicle . * ^ Nahum Sokolow described the meeting in 1919 as follows: "The 7th of February, 1917, constitutes a turning-point in the history... At the commencement of the year 1917 Sir Mark Sykes entered into closer relations with Dr. Weizmann and the author, and the discussions held with the latter led to the meeting of February 7th, 1917, which marks the commencement of official negotiations. Besides Sir Mark Sykes, the following took part in this meeting: Lord Rothschild, Mr. Herbert Bentwich, Mr. Joseph Cowen, Dr. M. Gaster (at whose house the meeting took place), Mr. James de Rothschild, Mr. Harry Sacher, Right Hon. Herbert Samuel, M.P., Dr. Chaim Weizmann, and the author. The deliberations yielded a favourable result, and it was resolved to continue the work." * ^ Per Lloyd George's memoirs: "The Balfour Declaration represented the convinced policy of all parties in our country and also in America, but the launching of it in 1917 was due, as I have said, to propagandist reasons... The Zionist
Zionist
Movement was exceptionally strong in Russia
Russia
and America... It was believed, also, that such a declaration would have a potent influence upon world Jewry outside Russia, and secure for the Entente the aid of Jewish financial interests. In America, their aid in this respect would have a special value when the Allies had almost exhausted the gold and marketable securities available for American purchases. Such were the chief considerations which, in 1917, impelled the British Government towards making a contract with Jewry." * ^ The Peel Commission described Lloyd George's evidence as follows: "In the evidence he gave before us Mr. Lloyd George, who was Prime Minister at the time, stated that, while the Zionist
Zionist
cause had been widely supported in Britain and America before November, 1917, the launching of the Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
at that time was "due to propagandist reasons"; and, he outlined the serious position in which the Allied and Associated Powers then were. The Roumanians had been crushed. The Russian Army was demoralized. The French Army was unable at the moment to take the offensive on a large scale. The Italians had sustained a great defeat at Caporetto. Millions of tons of British shipping had been sunk by German submarines. No American divisions were yet available in the trenches. In this critical situation it was believed that Jewish sympathy or the reverse would make a substantial difference one way or the other to the Allied cause. In particular Jewish sympathy would confirm the support of American Jewry, and would make it more difficult for Germany to reduce her military commitments and improve her economic position on the eastern front... The Zionist leaders gave us a definite promise that, if the Allies committed themselves to giving facilities for the establishment of a national home for the Jews
Jews
in Palestine, they would do their best to rally Jewish sentiment and support throughout the world to the Allied cause. They kept their word." * ^ Sykes had also informed the Zionists he was meeting Picot the following day and Sokolow was nominated by Rothschild to join the meeting which duly took place at Sykes' house. Sokolow was able to present the Zionists case and express his desire for a British protectorate although Picot declined to be drawn on this point. The day after that, Sokolow and Picot met alone at the French embassy, on this occasion Picot said "“He personally would see that the facts about Zionism were communicated to the proper quarters and he would do his best to win for the movement whatever sympathies were necessary to be won so far as compatible with the French standpoint on this question.” * ^ Sykes went on ahead to Italy and had meetings with the British ambassador and British Vatican representative to prepare the way for Sokolov to see representatives at the Vatican. Sokolov arrived a month later in May and by the time he returned to France
France
in early June, had managed to secure limited support from the Vatican (he had an audience with the Pope) as well as sympathy from the Italian Government. On May 21, 1917 Angelo Sereni, president of the Community of Israelite Italians, presented Sokolow to Sonnino the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs.He was also received by Paolo Boselli the Italian prime minister. Sonnino arranged that the secretary general of the ministry send a letter to the effect that although he could not express himself on the merits of a program which concerned all the allies, "generally speaking" he was not opposed to the legitimate claims of the Israelites. * ^ Ronald Graham wrote to Lord Hardinge , the Permanent Under- Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (i.e. the most senior civil servant , or non-minister , at the Foreign Office) on 13 June 1917: "It would appear that in view of the sympathy towards the Zionist
Zionist
movement which has already been expressed by the Prime Minister, Mr. Balfour, Lord R. Cecil, and other statesmen, we are committed to support it, although until Zionist
Zionist
policy has been more clearly defined our support must be of a general character. We ought, therefore, to secure all the political advantage we can out of our connection with Zionism, and there is no doubt that this advantage will be considerable, especially in Russia, where the only means of reaching the Jewish proletariat is through Zionism, to which the vast majority of Jews
Jews
in that country adhere.” * ^ Weizmann wrote that: "it appears desirable from every point of view that the British Government should give expression to its sympathy and support of the Zionist
Zionist
claims on Palestine. In fact, it need only confirm the view which eminent and representative members of the Government have many times expressed to us, and which have formed the basis of our negotiations throughout the long period of almost three years" * ^ In 1929 Zionist
Zionist
leader Jacob de Haas described the situation as follows: "In May 1917 prior to the arrival of the Balfour Mission to the United States, President Wilson took occasion to afford ample opportunity for the discussion of Zionist
Zionist
Palestinian prospects, and the occasion was not neglected. At the first official reception given by President Wilson for Mr. Balfour, the latter singled out Brandeis as one with whom he desired private conversation. Mr. Balfour while in Washington summarized his own attitude in a single sentence, "I am a Zionist." But while Balfour and Brandeis met as often as circumstances demanded other Zionists met and discussed the Palestinian problem with all those members of the British mission whose understanding it was thought desirable to cultivate. This was made necessary because at that particular juncture the creation of an American mandatory for Palestine a policy Brandeis did not favor was being persistently discussed in the European press." * ^ In December 1922, Sir John Evelyn Shuckburgh of the new Middle East department of the Foreign Office discovered that the correspondence prior to the declaration was not available in the Colonial Office, 'although Foreign Office papers were understood to have been lengthy and to have covered a considerable period'. Huneidi wrote in 2001 that "The 'most comprehensive explanation' of the origin of the Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
the Foreign Office was able to provide was contained in a small 'unofficial' note of Jan 1923 affirming that... 'little is known of how the policy represented by the Declaration was first given form. Four, or perhaps five men were chiefly concerned in the labour – the Earl of Balfour, the late Sir Mark Sykes, and Messrs. Weizmann and Sokolow, with perhaps Lord Rothschild as a figure in the background. Negotiations seem to have been mainly oral and by means of private notes and memoranda of which only the scantiest records seem to be available.'" The full text of a note included CO 733/58, Secret Cabinet Paper CP 60 (23), 'Palestine and the Balfour Declaration, January 1923. An unofficial FO note added 'little referring to the Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
among such papers as have been preserved'. Shuckburgh's memo asserts that 'as the official records are silent, it can only be assumed that such discussions as had taken place were of an informal and private character'. * ^ Richard Meinertzhagen wrote in his diary that "L.G. and A.J.B. both said that by the Declaration they always meant an eventual Jewish State". * ^ Amery described this moment in his memoirs: "Half an hour before the meeting Milner looked in from his room in the Cabinet offices, next door to mine, told me of the difficulties, and showed me one or two alternative drafts which had been suggested, with none of which he was quite satisfied. Could I draft something which would go a reasonable distance to meeting the objectors, both Jewish and pro-Arab, without impairing the substance of the proposed declaration?" * ^ Ronald Storrs , Britain's Military Governor of Jerusalem between 1917 and 1920, wrote in 1943: "The Declaration which, in addition to its main Jewish message, was at pains to reassure non-Palestinian Jews
Jews
on the score of their national status, took no account whatever of the feelings or desires of the actual inhabitants of Palestine. In its drafting, Arabs observed the main and position portion to be reserved for the Jewish people, while the other races and creeds were not so much as named, either as Arabs, Moslems or Christians, but were lumped together under the negative and humiliating definition of "Non-Jewish Communities" and relegated to subordinate provisos. They further remarked a sinister and significant omission. While their religions and civil rights were specifically to be safeguarded, of their political rights there was no mention whatever. Clearly, they had none." * ^ At the 9 June 1930 Permanent Mandates Commission, the British Accredited Representative, Drummond Shiels , set out the British policy to reconcile the two communities. The Permanent Mandates Commission summarized that "From all these statements two assertions emerge, which should be emphasised: (1) that the obligations laid down by the Mandate in regard to the two sections of the population are of equal weight; (2) that the two obligations imposed on the Mandatory are in no sense irreconcilable. The Mandates Commission has no objection to raise to these two assertions, which, in its view, accurately express what it conceives to be the essence of the Mandate for Palestine and ensure its future." This was quoted in the Passfield white paper , with the note that: "His Majesty's Government are fully in accord with the sense of this pronouncement and it is a source of satisfaction to them that it has been rendered authoritative by the approval of the Council of the League of Nations." * ^ The term "twofold duty" was used by the Permanent Mandates Commission in 1924, the phrase "double undertaking" was used by Prime Minister Ramsey MacDonald in his April 1930 House of Commons speech, the Passfield white paper , and his 1931 letter to Chaim Weizmann , whilst the 1937 Peel Commission used the term "dual obligation". A particularly heated question was whether these two obligations had "equal weight", and in 1930 this equal status was confirmed by the Permanent Mandates Commission and by the British Government in the Passfield white paper. The obligation proved to be untenable, having been put into effect via the British Mandate for Palestine , which was confirmed in 1922 as the vehicle for delivering the promises of the Declaration. Fifteen years after the Mandate was confirmed, the 1937 Palestine Royal Commission report, the first official proposal for partition of the region, referred to the requirements as "contradictory obligations", and with respect to the wider situation that had arisen in Palestine noted that the "disease is so deep-rooted that, in our firm conviction, the only hope of a cure lies in a surgical operation". The continuing intercommunal conflict had proven to the British that it was impossible for them to pacify the two communities in Palestine by using different messages for different audiences; as James Renton described it in 2007, "The attempt to create different messages for different audiences regarding the future of the same place, as had been attempted since the fall of Jerusalem, was untenable." * ^ In 1930, on learning that King George V
George V
had requested his views about the state of affairs in Palestine, John Chancellor , the High Commissioner for Palestine , wrote a 16-page letter via Lord Stamfordham , the King\'s Private Secretary . The letter concluded, "The facts of the situation are that in the dire straits of the war, the British Government made promises to the Arabs and promises to the Jews
Jews
which are inconsistent with one another and are incapable of fulfilment. The honest course is to admit our difficulty and to say to the Jews
Jews
that, in accordance with the Balfour Declaration, we have favoured the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine and that a Jewish National Home in Palestine has in fact been established and will be maintained and that, without violating the other part of the Balfour Declaration, without prejudicing the interests of the Arabs, we cannot do more than we have done." * ^ 19 February 1919, Balfour wrote to Lloyd George that: "The weak point of our position of course is that in the case of Palestine we deliberately and rightly decline to accept the principle of self-determination. If the present inhabitants were consulted they would unquestionably give an anti-Jewish verdict. Our justification for our policy is that we regard Palestine as being absolutely exceptional; that we consider the question of the Jews
Jews
outside Palestine as one of world importance, and that we conceive the Jews
Jews
to have an historic claim to a home in their ancient land; provided that home can be given them without either dispossessing or oppressing the present inhabitants." * ^ Wilson's January 1918 Fourteen points stated a requirement for "free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the population concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined", McMahon's June 1918 Declaration to the Seven stated that "the future government of these regions should be based upon the principle of the consent of the governed", the November 1918 Anglo-French Declaration stated that the local "national governments and administrations their authority from the free exercise of the initiative and choice of the indigenous populations," and the June 1919 Covenant of the League of Nations stated that "the wishes of these communities must be a principal consideration in the selection of a Mandatory" and described a "sacred trust", which was later interpreted in 1971 by the International Court of Justice that "the ultimate objective of the sacred trust was the self-determination and independence of the peoples concerned". * ^ In an August 1919 memo discussing the Covenant of the League of Nations , Balfour explained: "What I have never been able to understand is how can be harmonised with the declaration, the Covenant, or the instructions to the Commission of Enquiry... In short, so far as Palestine is concerned, the Powers have made no statement of fact which is not admittedly wrong, and no declaration of policy which, at least in the letter, they have not always intended to violate," and further that: "The contradiction between the letter of the Covenant and the policy of the Allies is even more flagrant in the case of the 'independent nation' of Palestine than in that of the 'independent nation' of Syria. For in Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country, though the American Commission has been going through the form of asking what they are. The four Great Powers are committed to Zionism. And Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long traditions, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land." * ^ This statement was first made during a debate regarding the upcoming centenary of the Declaration; the Foreign Office subsequently repeated the statement in response to a petition on the UK Parliament petitions website , which had called for an official apology for the Declaration. * ^ On walking to the Hurva Synagogue
Hurva Synagogue
on Shabbat Nachamu , Samuel wrote in his memoirs that he "found the surrounding streets densely thronged, and the great building itself packed to the doors and to the roof, mostly by older settlers, some of those who had come to live, and to die, in the Holy City for piety's sake. Now, on that day, for the first time since the destruction of the Temple, they could see one of their own people as governor in the Land of Israel. To them, it seemed that the fulfilment of ancient prophecy might at last be at hand."(Samuel 1945 , p. 176) * ^ Ali Allawi explained this as follows: "When Faisal left the meeting with Weizmann to explain his actions to his advisers who were in a nearby suite of offices at the Carlton Hotel, he was met with expressions of shock and disbelief. How could he sign a document that was written by a foreigner in favour of another foreigner in English in a language of which he knew nothing? Faisal replied to his advisers as recorded in ‘Awni ‘Abd al-Hadi’s memoirs, “You are right to be surprised that I signed such an agreement written in English. But I warrant you that your surprise will disappear when I tell you that I did not sign the agreement before I stipulated in writing that my agreement to sign it was conditional on the acceptance by the British government of a previous note that I had presented to the Foreign Office… contained the demand for the independence of the Arab lands in Asia, starting from a line that begins in the north at Alexandretta-Diyarbakir and reaching the Indian Ocean in the south. And Palestine, as you know, is within these boundaries… I confirmed in this agreement before signing that I am not responsible for the implementation of anything in the agreement if any modification to my note is allowed”" * ^ Although it was noted by UNSCOP that "To many observers at the time, conclusion of the Feisal-Weizmann Agreement promised well for the future co-operation of Arab and Jew in Palestine." and further referring to the 1937 report of the Palestine Royal Commission which noted that "Not once since 1919 had any Arab leader said that co-operation with the Jews
Jews
was even possible" despite expressed hopes to the contrary by British and Zionist
Zionist
representatives. * ^ In the original German: Vereinigung jüdischer Organisationen Deutschlands zur Wahrung der Rechte der Juden des Ostens * ^ This is described similarly by William Helmreich and Francis Nicosia. Helmreich noted that: "‘’Der staatsfeindliche Zionismus’’, published in 1922, was Rosenberg’s major contribution to the National Socialist position on Zionism. It represented in part an elaboration on ideas already expressed in articles in the ‘’Volkischer Beobachter’’ and in other published works, notably ‘’Die Spur.’’ The title provides the gist of a thesis that Rosenberg sought to convey to his readers: "The Zionist
Zionist
organization in Germany is nothing more than an organization that pursues a legalized undermining of the German state. He accused German Zionists of having betrayed Germany during the war by supporting Britain’s Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
and pro- Zionist
Zionist
policies and charged that they had actively worked for a German defeat and the Versailles settlement to obtain a Jewish National Home in Palestine. He went on to assert that the interests of Zionism were first and foremost those of world Jewry, and by implication the international Jewish conspiracy." which Nicosia described as: "Rosenberg argues that the Jews
Jews
had planned the Great War in order to secure a state in Palestine. In other words, he suggested that they generated violence and war among the gentiles in order to secure their own, exclusively Jewish, interests. In fact, the title of one of those works, ‘’Der Staatsfeindliche Zionismus’’ (Zionism, the Enemy of the State), published in 1922, conveys the gist of Rosenberg’s approach to the question, an approach that Hitler had been taking in some of his speeches since 1920. Rosenberg writes: “The Zionist
Zionist
Organization in Germany is nothing more than an Organization that perpetrates the legal subversion of the German state.” He further accuses the Zionists of betraying Germany during World War I
World War I
by supporting Great Britain and its Balfour Declaration, working for a German defeat and the implementation of the Balfour Declaration, supporting the Versailles settlement, and embracing the Jewish National Home in postwar, British-controlled Palestine." * ^ Viscount Northcliffe , who owned The Times, the Daily Mail, and other publishing totalling around two fifths of the total British newspaper circulation, published a statement from Cairo on 15 February 1922 (p. 10) suggesting Palestine risked becoming a second Ireland. Further articles were published in The Times
The Times
on 11 April (p. 5), 26 April (p. 15), 23 June (p. 17), 3 July (p. 15) and 25 July (p. 15)

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND SCHOLARLY PERSPECTIVES

* ^ Renton described this as follows: "A crucial aspect of this depiction of the Declaration as a product of British benevolence, as opposed to realpolitik, was that the British had a natural and deep-rooted concern for the rights of Jews
Jews
and specifically their national restoration, which was an ingrained part of British culture and history. Presented in this way, the Declaration was shown to be a natural, almost preordained event. Hence, Zionism was presented not just as the telos of Jewish history but also of British history. The tendency of nationalist and Zionist
Zionist
histories to develop towards a single point of destiny and redemption allowed for, indeed required, such an explanation. The myth of British 'proto-Zionism', which has had such a longstanding influence on the historiography of the Balfour Declaration, was thus produced, so as to serve the needs of Zionist propagandists working for the British Government." * ^ Donald Lewis writes: "It is the contention of this work that only by understanding can one make sense of the religious and cultural influences that worked together to create a climate of opinion among the political elite in Britain that was well disposed to the Balfour Declaration." * ^ A B C LeVine and Mossberg describe this as follows: "The parents of Zionism were not Judaism and tradition, but anti-Semitism and nationalism. The ideals of the French Revolution spread slowly across Europe, finally reaching the Pale of Settlement
Pale of Settlement
in the Russian Empire and helping to set off the Haskalah, or Jewish Enlightenment. This engendered a permanent split in the Jewish world, between those who held to a halachic or religious-centric vision of their identity and those who adopted in part the racial rhetoric of the time and made the Jewish people into a nation. This was helped along by the wave of pogroms in Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
that set two million Jews
Jews
to flight; most wound up in America, but some chose Palestine. A driving force behind this was the Hovevei Zion movement, which worked from 1882 to develop a Hebrew identity that was distinct from Judaism as a religion." * ^ Gelvin wrote: "The fact that Palestinian nationalism developed later than Zionism and indeed in response to it does not in any way diminish the legitimacy of Palestinian nationalism or make it less valid than Zionism. All nationalisms arise in opposition to some "other". Why else would there be the need to specify who you are? And all nationalisms are defined by what they oppose. As we have seen, Zionism itself arose in reaction to anti-Semitic and exclusionary nationalist movements in Europe. It would be perverse to judge Zionism as somehow less valid than European anti-Semitism or those nationalisms. Furthermore, Zionism itself was also defined by its opposition to the indigenous Palestinian inhabitants of the region. Both the "conquest of land" and the "conquest of labor" slogans that became central to the dominant strain of Zionism in the Yishuv originated as a result of the Zionist
Zionist
confrontation with the Palestinian "other"." * ^ Defries wrote: "Balfour had, at the least, acquiesced in Chamberlain's earlier efforts to assist the Jews
Jews
in finding a territory to establish a Jewish settlement. According to his biographer he was interested enough in Zionism at the end of 1905 to allow his Jewish constituency party chairman, Charles Dreyfus, to organise a meeting with Weizmann. It is possible that he was intrigued by the rejection by the Zionist
Zionist
Congress of the 'Uganda' offer. It is unlikely that Balfour was 'converted' to Zionism by this encounter despite this view being propounded by Weizmann and endorsed by Balfour's biographer. Balfour had just resigned as prime minister when he met Weizmann. Despite his subsequent dramatic defeat at the polls by the Liberals and his ultimate resignation as Party leader in 1911, he was to stage a renaissance politically. His advice was sought by the Liberal administration on matters of defence and with the outbreak of the First World War his opinion was in even greater demand. In December 1914 Weizmann met Balfour again." * ^ Rovner wrote: "In the spring of 1903 the fastidiously dressed sixty-six-year-old secretary was fresh from a trip to British possessions in Africa... Whatever the genesis of the idea, Chamberlain received Herzl in his office just weeks after the Kishinev pogroms. He fixed Herzl in his monocle and offered his help. "I have seen a land for you on my travels," Chamberlain told him, "and that's Uganda. It's not on the coast, but farther inland the climate becomes excellent even for Europeans… nd I thought to myself that would be a land for Dr. Herzl." " * ^ Rovner wrote: "On the afternoon of the fourth day of the Congress a weary Nordau brought three resolutions before the delegates: (1) that the Zionist
Zionist
Organization direct all future settlement efforts solely to Palestine; (2) that the Zionist Organization thank the British government for its offer of an autonomous territory in East Africa; and (3) that only those Jews
Jews
who declare their allegiance to the Basel Program may become members of the Zionist
Zionist
Organization." Zangwill objected… When Nordau insisted on the Congress's right to pass the resolutions regardless, Zangwill was outraged. "You will be charged before the bar of history," he challenged Nordau… From approximately 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 30, 1905, a Zionist
Zionist
would henceforth be defined as someone who adhered to the Basel Program and the only "authentic interpretation" of that program restricted settlement activity exclusively to Palestine. Zangwill and his supporters could not accept Nordau's "authentic interpretation" which they believed would lead to an abandonment of the Jewish masses and of Herzl's vision. One territorialist claimed that Ussishkin's voting bloc had in fact "buried political Zionism"." * ^ Kedourie described the White Paper's 1922 statement as: "... the untruth that the government had 'always' regarded McMahon's reservation as covering the vilayet of Beirut and the sanjaq of Jerusalem, since in fact this argument was no older than Young's memorandum of November 1920" * ^ In most narratives, including that of Schneer, Gaster’s role in bringing about the declaration has been dealt with dismissively. Attempt have been made by scholars, including James Renton, to rehabilitate his role. * ^ Gutwein described the impact as follows: "Sykes's approach to the Zionist-radical leadership in early 1917 led to a major transformation in Weizmann’s political standing. From the outbreak of the war until Asquith's fall, it was Weizmann who sought paths to British statesmen and officials to request their aid, but his efforts were blocked due to his radical positions. Now, it was Sykes who approached Weizmann and Sokolow and requested their assistance to advance radical aims. The co-opting of Weizmann and the Zionist-radicals into Lloyd George's administration transformed them from lobbyists into partners, and Sykes used their help to promote three major goals of the radical policy: the fight against Wilson’s "peace without victory" policy; the establishment of "Greater Armenia" as a Russian protectorate that included Turkish Armenia; and the replacement of joint British-French rule in Palestine, in the spirit of the Sykes–Picot Agreement, with an exclusive British protectorate." * ^ Grainger writes: "It was later lauded as a great humanitarian gesture and condemned as a wicked plot, but the preceding Cabinet discussions about it show that it was the product of hard-headed political calculation… It was argued that such a declaration would encourage support for the Allies in the United States
United States
and in Russia, the two countries in the world which had very large Jewish populations. But behind it all was the knowledge that, if Britain promoted such a policy, it would necessarily be up to her to implement it, and this would in turn mean that she would have to exercise political control over Palestine. One aim of the Balfour Declaration was thus to freeze out France
France
(and anyone else) from any post-war presence in Palestine." and Barr writes: "To ward off the inevitable French pressure for an international administration once Palestine had been conquered, the British government now made its support for Zionism public." * ^ Gelvin noted that "The British did not know quite what to make of President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
and his conviction (before America's entrance into the war) that the way to end hostilities was for both sides to accept "peace without victory." Two of Wilson's closest advisors, Louis Brandeis and Felix Frankfurter
Felix Frankfurter
, were avid Zionists. How better to shore up an uncertain ally than by endorsing Zionist aims? The British adopted similar thinking when it came to the Russians , who were in the midst of their revolution. Several of the most prominent revolutionaries, including Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
, were of Jewish descent. Why not see if they could be persuaded to keep Russia in the war by appealing to their latent Jewishness and giving them another reason to continue the fight? ... These include not only those already mentioned but also Britain's desire to attract Jewish financial resources." * ^ Schneer described this as follows: "Thus the view from Whitehall
Whitehall
early in 1916: If defeat was not imminent, neither was victory; and the outcome of the war of attrition on the Western Front could not be predicted. The colossal forces in a death-grip across Europe and in Eurasia appeared to have canceled each other out. Only the addition of significant new forces on one side or the other seemed likely to tip the scale. Britain's willingness, beginning early in 1916, to explore seriously some kind of arrangement with "world Jewry" or "Great Jewry" must be understood in this context." * ^ During the First World war and the aftermath, the Zionist leadership preferred to accomplish Zionist
Zionist
aims with sole British support and rejecting French protection. However, Zionist
Zionist
diplomat Nahum Sokolow met with French leaders and secured a letter dated 4 June 1917, giving assurances of sympathy towards the Zionist
Zionist
cause by Jules Cambon , head of the political section of the French foreign ministry. This letter was not published, but was deposited at the British Foreign Office. Kramer, quoting historian Isaiah Friedman, states that the Cambon letter was "indispensable" to the latter issuance of the Balfour Declaration. However, Edy Kaufman writes that though the latter was apparently submitted to Ronald Graham by Sokolow, Kaufman says that Picot was asked to come over to London by end of October to appear at a Cabinet meeting and explain the French position in relation to the Zionist
Zionist
movement. (Kaufman cites Stein as considering it feasible the possibility that the document was not brought to the attention of Lord Balfour or that he forgot about its existence and cites Verete as believing the document probably lost). * ^ Quigley wrote: "This declaration, which is always known as the Balfour Declaration, should rather be called "the Milner Declaration," since Milner was the actual draftsman and was, apparently, its chief supporter in the War Cabinet. This fact was not made public until 21 July 1937. At that time Ormsby-Gore, speaking for the government in Commons, said, "The draft as originally put up by Lord Balfour was not the final draft approved by the War Cabinet. The particular draft assented to by the War Cabinet and afterwards by the Allied Governments and by the United States... and finally embodied in the Mandate, happens to have been drafted by Lord Milner. The actual final draft had to be issued in the name of the Foreign Secretary, but the actual draftsman was Lord Milner." * ^ A B C D Gelvin wrote: "The words of the Balfour Declaration were carefully chosen. It was no accident that the declaration contains the phrase "in Palestine" rather than "of Palestine", nor was it an accident that the foreign office would use the words "national home" rather than the more precise "state" – in spite of the fact that "national home" has no precedent or standing in international law. And what exactly do "view with favour" and "use their best endeavours" mean? The seeming ambiguities of the declaration reflect debates not only within the British government but within the British Zionist
Zionist
and Jewish communities as well." * ^ Norman Rose described this as follows: "There can be no doubt about what was in the minds of the chief architects of the Balfour Declaration. The evidence is incontrovertible. All envisaged, in the fullness of time, the emergence of a Jewish state. For the Zionists, accordingly, it was the first step that would lead to Jewish statehood. Yet for Weizmann – a confirmed Anglophile – and the Zionist
Zionist
leadership there proved to be adverse repercussions. As the British attempted to reconcile their diverse obligations, there began for the Zionists a period full of promise but also of intense frustration. One cynic noted that the process of whittling down the Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
began on 3 November 1917." * ^ Brysac and Meyer wrote: "As the lawyer and historian David Fromkin has shrewdly noted, out of an estimated three million Jews living in the United States
United States
in 1914, a mere twelve thousand belonged to an amateurishly led Zionist
Zionist
Federation, which claimed but five hundred members in New York. Its annual budget prior to 1914 never exceeded $5,200, and the largest single gift it received totalled $200." * ^ Reinharz described this as follows: "At the Zionist
Zionist
Emergency Conference in August 1914, Poalei- Zion
Zion
demanded the convening of a Jewish congress which would debate the Jewish problem as a whole... During a year of fruitless discussions, the AJC would only agree only to a limited convention of specific organizations, rather than a congress based on democratic elections. In March 1916, therefore, the Zionists invited a number of other organizations to set up a congress. The internal strife among American Jewry, which had been so widely feared, broke out in full force... The elections were held in June, two months after the United States
United States
had entered the war; 325,000 voted, 75,000 of whom were from the Zionist
Zionist
workers' camp. This was an impressive demonstration of the ability of the immigrant Zionists to rally massive support. Immediately after came President Wilson's suggestion to Wise not to hold the congress while the war was on, and the opening session was thus postponed from September 2, 1917, until "peace negotiations will be in prospect". The PZCs acceptance of the deferment again aroused the ire of supporters of the congress, who described it as a degrading surrender." * ^ A B Reinharz wrote: "British and French estimates of the balance of power in the American Jewish public were greatly affected by this success in the struggle for a congress. It was a victory for Zionists under the leadership of close advisers to the Wilson Administration, such as Brandeis and Frankfurter, against the desires of the bankers from Wall Street, the AJC, and the National Workers' Committee. It spurred an impressive growth in organized membership: from 7,500 in 200 Zionist
Zionist
societies in 1914 to 30,000 in 600 societies in 1918. One year later, the number of members reached 149,000. In addition, the FAZ and the PZC collected millions of dollars during the war years. This demonstration of support for Zionism among the masses of American Jews
Jews
played a vital role in the British considerations which led to the Balfour Declaration. The American Government (or, at least, the State Department), which did not particularly want to support the Declaration, did so almost in spite of itself – apparently because of the growing strength of Zionists in the United States." * ^ James Renton wrote: "Overall, it is clear that the Declaration, the Anglo- Zionist
Zionist
propaganda campaign, the public support from international labour and President Wilson gave the Zionists a powerful position from which to further their influence in American Jewry. However, this could not have been further from the effect intended by the British Government. The Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
was certainly not meant as a tool to aid the growth of the Zionist
Zionist
movement, or to exacerbate communal divisions. Its issuance was supposed to reflect a shift that had already taken place within world Jewry, but in fact was responsible for the Zionists claim to legitimacy and leadership." * ^ Edward Said wrote in his 1979 The Question of Palestine: "What is important about the declaration is, first, that it has long formed the juridical basis of Zionist
Zionist
claims to Palestine and, second, and more crucial for our purposes here, that it was a statement whose positional force can only be appreciated when the demographic or human realities of Palestine are kept clearly in mind. That is, the declaration was made (a) by a European power, (b) about a non-European territory, (c) in a flat disregard of both the presence and the wishes of the native majority resident in that territory, and (d) it took the form of a promise about this same territory to another foreign group, so that this foreign group might, quite literally, make this territory a national home for the Jewish people. There is not much use today in lamenting such a statement as the Balfour Declaration. It seems more valuable to see it as part of a history, of a style and set of characteristics centrally constituting the question of Palestine as it can be discussed even today." * ^ According to Martin Kramer and Isaiah Friedman, Sokolow secured support for continued Jewish colonization from Pope Benedict XV on 4 May 1917. Pope Benedict described the return of the Jews
Jews
to Palestine as "providential; God has willed it.". According to Minerbi, there are two different reports of this talk, one handwritten in French (which Minerbi relies on "because the conversation was probably held in that language and because this report was written in Sokolow's own hand right after the interview") and the other was "typewritten in Italian several days after the audience". Kreutz has the following "“The French translation of Sokolow’s report is published in Minerbi, L’Italie, 63-64. The report was originally dictated by Sokolow in Italian because he wanted to present his interviews as accurately as possible. He described his meeting with both Cardinal Gasparri and the Pope in dialogue form, but it ”is not, of course, to be taken as a verbatim record“ (Stein, Declaration, 407)". Minerbi cites CZA Z4/728 for the aide-memoire in French and CZA A18/25 for the Italian version and says that Stein relied exclusively on the latter. In relation to the quotation above, Minerbi gives ".... Sokolow: I am deeply moved by these historical memories, which are so apt. Allow me the liberty to add that the Rome that destroyed Judea was duly punished. It vanished, whereas not only do the Jewish people live on, they still have sufficient vitality to reclaim their land. His Holiness: Yes, yes, it is providential; God has willed it. ..." In his History of Zionism, Sokolov describes his visit to Italy, saying that with regard to the question of the Holy Places, it was considered advisable to enter into negotiations with the Vatican. Subsequently he had meetings with the Cardinals and then he mentions he had an audience with the Pope on the 10th of May, providing no other details. In regard to the Holy Places, Minerbi gives: "His Holiness:...But the problem of the Holy Places is for us of utmost importance. The sacred rights must be preserved.We shall arrange this between the Church and the great Powers. You must honor these rights to their full extent....These are rights hundreds of years old, guaranteed and preserved by all the governments...." * ^ Mathew described Churchill's manoeuvre as follows: "...the judgment was overturned by a large majority in the Commons, a result not of a sudden opinion shift but of Churchill's skillful opportunism in turning at the last minute a general debate on funding for the colonies worldwide into a vote of confidence on the government's Palestine policy, emphasizing in his concluding remarks not a Zionist argument but imperial and strategic considerations. Churchill concluded the Commons debate with the following argument: "Palestine is all the more important to us... in view of the ever-growing significance of the Suez Canal; and I do not think £1,000,000 a year... would be too much for Great Britain to pay for the control and guardianship of this great historic land, and for keeping the word that she has given before all the nations of the world." * ^ Norman Rose noted: "... for the British the Balfour Declaration inaugurated one of the most controversial episodes in their imperial history. Undone by the complexities of wartime diplomacy, unable to bridge the gap with either of the interested parties, the Declaration impaired their relations with both Palestinian Arabs and Zionists. And no less, it stained Britain's reputation throughout the Arab Middle East for generations to come." * ^ Schneer's conclusion, stated twice in his work, was that: "Because it was unpredictable and characterized by contradictions, deceptions, misinterpretations, and wishful thinking, the lead-up to the Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
sowed dragon\'s teeth . It produced a murderous harvest, and we go on harvesting even today". * ^ The implementation of the declaration fed a disenchantment among the Arabs that alienated them from the British administrators in Mandatory Palestine. Palestinian historian Rashid Khalidi has argued that following the Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
there ensued "what amounts to a hundred years of war against the Palestinian people".

* ^ In regards to the 1939 White Paper, detailed accounts and sources may be found at in the 1947 UNSCOP discussions. The positions of the principal protagonists may be summarized as follows: The British: "His Majesty's Government adhere to this interpretation of the Declaration of 1917 and regard it as an authoritative and comprehensive description of the character of the Jewish National Home in Palestine." (Cmd. 6019, paragraph 6.) The Zionists: “The new policy for Palestine laid down by the Mandatory in the White paper now issued denies to the Jewish people the right to rebuild their national home in their ancestral country...." (Statement by the Jewish Agency on the White Paper of 1939. Text reproduced in the Jewish Agency for Palestine: Book of Documents, pages 137-138.) The Arabs: “Since the proposal did not measure up to the political demands proposed by Arab representatives during the London Conference of early 1939, it was officially rejected by the representatives of Palestine Arab parties acting under the influence of Haj Amin Eff el Husseini . More moderate Arab opinion represented in the National Defence Party was prepared to accept the White Paper.” (Quoted from the UNSCOP report above) * ^ Israeli professor of sociology Menachem Friedman described the impact of the Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
on religious Jews
Jews
as follows: "In historical retrospect, it is relatively simple to downplay the significance of declaration today; nevertheless, one cannot overestimate its dramatic influence on the Jewish masses, especially those living in Eastern Europe. Metaphorically speaking, they felt as if they actually heard the beating wings of Redemption. From the theological point of view, the Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
was even more significant than Zionist
Zionist
activities in Palestine at that time. Although Zionist
Zionist
enterprise in Palestine was defined as "rebellion" against God and traditional faith in Redemption. Yet the Jew who believes in Divine Providence was almost compelled to believe that the Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration
was a manifestation of God's Grace. This political phenomenon - which was issued as a result of Zionist
Zionist
lobbying and was addressed to the Zionist
Zionist