Britain's Great War Pledge To Lord Rothschild-Behind the Balfour Declaration

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 With thanks to a member of the ECG GROUP for the following document

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 Behind the Balfour Declaration

Britain's Great War Pledge To Lord Rothschild

By Robert John 

Acknowledgements

To Benjamin H. Freedman, who committed himself to finding and telling the facts about Zionism and Communism. and encouraged others to do the same. The son of one of the founders of the American Jewish Committee, which for many years was anti-Zionist, Ben Freedman founded the League for Peace with Justice in Palestine in 1946. He gave me copies of materials on the Balfour Declaration which I might never have found on my own and encouraged my own research. (He died in April 1984.)

The Institute for Historical Review is providing means for the better understanding of the events of our time.

Attempts to review historical records impartially often reveal that blame, culpability, or dishonor are not to be attached wholly to one side in the conflicts of the last hundred years. To seek to untangle fact from propaganda is a worthy study, for it increases understanding of how we got where we are and it should help people resist exploitation by powerful and destructive interests in the present and future, by exposing their working in the past.

May I recommend to the Nobel Prize Committee that when the influence of this organization's historical review and search for truth has prevailed the societies of its contributors -- say about 5 years or less from now -- that they consider the IHR for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Regrettably, some of the company in that award would be hard to bear!

The Balfour Declaration may be the most extraordinary document produced by any Government in world history. It took the form of a letter from the Government of His Britannic Majesty King George the Fifth, the Government of the largest empire the world has even known, on which -- once upon a time -- the sun never set; a letter to an international financier of the banking house of Rothschild who had been made a peer of the realm.

Arthur Koestler wrote that in the letter "one nation solemnly promised to a second nation the country of a third." More than that, the country was still part of the Empire of a fourth, namely Turkey.

It read:

Foreign Office, November 2nd,1917

Dear Lord Rothschild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you on behalf of His Majesty's Government the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations, which has been submitted to and approved by the Cabinet:

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

I should be grateful if you would bring this Declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Yours sincerely,

Arthur James Balfour.[1]

It was decided by Lord Allenby that the "Declaration" should not then be published in Palestine where his forces were still south of the Gaza-Beersheba line. This was not done until after the establishment of the Civil Administration in 1920.

Then why was the "Declaration" made a year before the end of what was called The Great War?

"The people" were told at the time that it was given as a return for a debt of gratitude which they were supposed to owe to the Zionist leader (and first President of Israel), Chaim Weizman, a Russian-born immigrant to Britain from Germany who was said to have invented a process of fermentation of horse chestnuts into scarce acetone for production of high explosives by the Ministry of Munitions.

This horse chestnut propaganda production was not dislodged from the mass mind by the short bursts of another story which was used officially between the World Wars.

So let us dig into the records and bury the chestnuts forever.

To know where to explore we must stand back from the event and look over some parts of the relevant historical background. The terrain is extensive and the mud deep, so I shall try to proceed by pointing out markers.

Herzl on the Jewish Problem

Support for a "national home" for the Jews in Palestine from the government of the greatest empire in the world was in part a fulfillment of the efforts and scheming of Theodore Herzl (1860-1904), descendant of Sephardim (on his rich father's side) who had published Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State) in Vienna in l896. It outlined the factors which he believed had created a universal Jewish problem, and offered a program to regulate it through the exodus of unhappy and unwanted Jews to an autonomous territory of their own in a national-socialist setting.

Herzl offered a focus for a Zionist movement founded in Odessa in 1881, which spread rapidly through the Jewish communities of Russia, and small branches which had sprung up in Germany, England and elsewhere. Though "Zion" referred to a geographical location, it functioned as a utopian conception in the myths of traditionalists, modernists and Zionists alike. It was the reverse of everything rejected in the actual Jewish situation in the "Dispersion," whether oppression or assimilation.

In his diary Herzl describes submitting his draft proposals to the Rothschild Family Council, noting: "I bring to the Rothschilds and the big Jews their historical mission. I shall welcome all men of goodwill -- we must be united -- and crush all those of bad." [2]

He read his manuscript "Addressed to the Rothschilds" to a friend, Meyer-Cohn, who said,

Up till now I have believed that we are not a nation -- but more than a nation. I believed that we have the historic mission of being the exponents of universalism among the nations and therefore were more than a people identified with a specific land.

Herzl replied:

Nothing prevents us from being and remaining the exponents of a united humanity, when we have a country of our own. To fulfill this mission we do not have to remain literally planted among the nations who hate and despite us. If, in our present circumstances, we wanted to bring about the unity of mankind independent of national boundaries, we would have to combat the ideal of patriotism. The latter, however, will prove stronger than we for innumerable years to come." [2a]

In this era, there were a number of Christians and Messianic groups who looked for a Jewish "return." One of these was the Protestant chaplain at the British Embassy in Vienna, who had published a book in 1882: The Restoration of the Jews to Palestine According to the Prophets. Through him, Herzl obtained an audience of the Grand Duke of Baden, and as they waited for their appointment to go to the castle, Herzl said to Chaplain Hechler, ''When I go to Jerusalem I shall take you with me.''

The Duke gave Herzl's proposal his consideration, and agreed to Herzl's request that he might refer to it in his meetings outside of Baden. He then used this to open his way to higher levels of power.

Through intermediaries, he endeavoured to ingratiate himself with the Sultan of Turkey by activities designed to reduce the agitation by émigré Armenian committees in London and Brussels for Turkish reforms and cessation of oppression [A] and started a press campaign to calm public opinion in London on the Armenian question. But when offered money for Palestine, the Sultan replied that his people had won their Empire with blood, and owned it. ''The Jews may spend their millions. When my Empire is divided, perhaps they will get Palestine for nothing. But only our corpse can be divided. I will never consent to vivisection. '' [2b]

Herzl met the Papal Nuncio in Vienna and promised the exclusion of Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth from the Jewish state. He started a Zionist newspaper, Die Welt, and was delighted to hear from the United States that a group of rabbis headed by Dr. Gustave Gottheil favored a Zionist movement. All this, and more, in a few months.

It was Herzl who created the first Zionist Congress at Basel, Switzerland, 29-31 August 1897, There were 197 "delegates"; some were orthodox, some nationalist, liberal, atheist, culturalist, anarchist, socialist and some capitalist.

''We want to lay the foundation stone of the house which is to shelter the Jewish nation,'' and ''Zionism seeks to obtain for the Jewish people a publicly recognized, legally secured homeland in Palestine.'' declared Herzl. And his anti-assimilationist dictum that "Zionism is a return to the Jewish fold even before it is a return to the Jewish land," was an expression of his own experience which was extended into the official platform of Zionisn as the aim of "strengthening the Jewish national sentiment and national consciousness." [3]

Another leading figure who addressed the Congress was Max Nordau, a Hungarian Jewish physician and author, who delivered a polemic against assimilated Jews. "For the first time the Jewish problem was presented forcefully before a European forum," wrote Weizmann. But the Russian Jews thought Herzl was patronizing them as Askenazim. They found his "western dignity did not sit well with our Russian-Jewish realism; and without wanting to, we could not help irritating him." [4]

As a result of the Congress, the "Basic Protocol," keystone of the world Zionist movement, was adopted as follows:

Zionism strives to create for the Jewish people a home in Palestine secured by public law. The Congress contemplates the following means to the attainment of this end:

1. The promotion on suitable lines of the colonization of Palestine by Jewish agricultural and industrial workers.

2. The organization and binding together of the whole of Jewry by means of appropriate institutions, local and international, in accordance with the laws of each country.

3. The strengthening and fostering of Jewish national sentiment and consciousness.

4. Preparatory steps towards obtaining Government consent where necessary to the attainment of the aim of Zionism.[5]

The British Chovevei-Zion Association declined an invitation to be represented at the Congress, and the Executive Committee of the Association of Rabbis in Germany protested that:

1. The efforts of so-called Zionists to found a Jewish national state in Palestine contradict the messianic promise of Judaism as contained in the Holy Writ and in later religious sources.

2. Judaism obligates its adherents to serve with all devotion the Fatherland to which they belong, and to further its national interests with all their heart and with all their strength.

3. However, those noble aims directed toward the colonization of Palestine by Jewish peasants and farmers are not in contradiction to these obligations, because they have no relation whatsoever to the founding of a national state.[6]

In conversation with a delegate at the First Congress, Litman Rosenthal, Herzl said,

It may be that Turkey will refuse or be unable to understand us. This will not discourage us. We will seek other means to accomplish our end. The Orient question is now the question of the day. Sooner or later it will bring about a conflict among the nations. A European war is imminent. . The great European War must come. With my watch in hand do I await this terrible moment. After the great European war is ended the Peace Conference will assemble. We must be ready for that time. We will assuredly be called to this great conference of the nations and we must prove to them the urgent importance of a Zionist solution to the Jewish Question. We must prove to them that the problem of the Orient and Palestine is one with the problem of the Jews -- both must be solved together. We must prove to them that the Jewish problem is a world problem and that a world problem must be solved by the world. And the solution must be the return of Palestine to the Jewish people.[American Jewish News, 7 March 1919]

A few months later, in a message to a Jewish conference in London, Herzl wrote "the first moment I entered the Movement my eyes were directed towards England because I saw that by reason of the general situation of things there it was the Archimedean point where the lever could be applied." Herzl showed his desire for some foothold in England, and also perhaps his respect for London as the world's financial center, by causing the Jewish Colonial Trust, which was to be the main financial instrument of his Movement, to be incorporated in 1899 as an English company.

Herzl was indefatigable. He offered the Sultan of Turkey help in re-organizing his financial affairs in return for assistance in Jewish settlement in Palestine.[7] To the Kaiser, who visited Palestine in 1888 and again in 1898, [C] he promised support for furthering German interests in the Near East; a similar offer was made to King Edward VII of England; and he personally promised the Pope to respect the holy places of Christendom in return for Vatican support.[D] But only from the Czar did he receive, through the Minister of the Interior, a pledge of "moral and material assistance with respect to the measures taken by the movement which would lead to a diminution of the Jewish population in Russia." [8]

He reported his work to the Sixth Zionist Congress at Basle on 23 August 1903, but stated, "Zion is not and can never be. It is merely an expedient for colonization purposes, but, be it well understood, an expedient founded on a national and political basis." [9]

When pressed for Jewish colonization in Palestine, the Turkish Sublime Porte offered a charter for any other Turkish territory [with acceptance by the settlers of Ottoman citizenship] which Herzl refused.[11] The British

Establishment, aware of Herzl's activities through his appearance before the Royal Commission on Alien Immigration, [E] and powerful press organs such as the Daily Chronicle and Pall Mall Gazette which were demanding a conference of the Powers to consider the Zionist program, [12] somewhat characteristically, had shown a willingness to negotiate about a Jewish colony in the Egyptian territory of El-'Arish on the Turco-Egyptian frontier in the Sinai Peninsula. But the Egyptian Government objected to making Nile water available for irrigation; the Turkish Government, through its Commissioner in Cairo, objected; and the British Agent in Cairo, Lord Cromer, finally advised the scheme's rejection.[13]

Meanwhile, returning from a visit to British East Africa in the Spring of 1903, Prime Minister Joseph Chamberlain put to Herzl the idea of a Jewish settlement in what was soon to become the Colony of Kenya, but through a misunderstanding Herzl believed that Uganda was intended, and it was referred to as the "Uganda scheme." Of the part of the conversation on the El-'Arish proposal, Herzl wrote in his diary that he had told Chamberlain that eventually we shall gain our aims "not from the goodwill but from the jealously of the Powers." [14] With the failure of the El-'Arish proposal, Herzl authorized the preparation of a draft scheme for settlement in East Africa. This was prepared by the legal firm of Lloyd George, Roberts and Company, on the instructions of Herzl's go-between with the British Government, Leopold Greenberg.[15]

Herzl urged acceptance of the "Uganda scheme," favoring it as a temporary refuge, but he was opposed from all sides, and died suddenly of heart failure on 3 July 1904. Herzl's death rid the Zionists of an "alien," and he was replaced by David Wolffsohn (the Litvak [F]).[16]

The "Uganda proposal" split the Zionist movement. Some who favored it formed the Jewish Territorial Organization, under the leadership of Israel Zangwill (1864-1926). For these territorialists, the renunciation of "Zion" was not generally felt as an ideological sacrifice; instead they contended that not mystical claims to "historic attachment" but present conditions should determine the location of a Jewish national homeland.[17]

In Turkey, the "Young Turk" (Committee of Union and Progress) revolution of 1908 was ostensibly a popular movement opposed to foreign influence. However, Jews and crypto-Jews known as Dunmeh had played a leading part in the Revolution.[19]

The Zionists opened a branch of the Anglo-Palestine Bank in the Turkish capital, and the bank became the headquarters of their work in the Ottoman Empire. Victor Jacobson [G] was brought from Beirut, "ostensibly to represent the Anglo-Palestine Company, but really to make Zionist propaganda among the Turkish Jews." [20] His contacts included both political parties, discussions with Arab members of Parliament from Syria and Palestine, and a general approach to young Ottoman intellectuals through a newspaper issued by the Zionist office.[21] In Turkey, as in Germany, "Their own native Jews were resentful of the attempt to segregate them as Jews and were opposed to the intrusion of Jewish nationalism in their domestic affairs." Though several periodicals in French "were subvened" by the Zionist-front office under Dr. Victor Jacobson, [22] (the first Zionist who aspired to be not a Zionist leader but a "career" diplomat,) and although he built up good political connections through social contacts, "always avoiding the sharpness of a direct issue, and waiting in patient oriental fashion for the insidious seed of propaganda to fructify," [23] yet some of those engaged in the work, notably Vladimir (Zev) Jabotinsky (1880-1940), came to despair of success so long as the Ottoman Empire controlled Palestine. They henceforth pinned their hopes on its collapse.[24]

At the Tenth Zionist Congress in 1911, David Wolffsohn, who had succeeded Herzl, said in his presidential address that what the Zionists wanted was not a Jewish state but a homeland, [26] while Max Nordau denounced the "infamous traducers," who alleged that "the Zionists ... wanted to worm their way into Turkey in order to seize Palestine . It is our duty to convince (the Turks) that ... they possess in the whole world no more generous and self-sacrificing friends than the Zionists." [H] [27]

The mild sympathy which the Young Turks had shown for Zionism was replaced by suspicion as growing national unrest threatened the Ottoman Empire, especially in the Balkans. Zionist policy then shifted to the Arabs, so that they might think of Zionism as a possible make-weight against the Turks. But Zionists soon observed that their reception by Arab leaders grew warmer as the Arabs were disappointed in their hopes of gaining concessions from the Turks, but cooled swiftly when these hopes revived. The more than 60 Arab parliamentary delegates in Constantinople and the newly active Arabic press kept up "a drumfire of complaints" against Jewish immigration, land purchase and settlement in Palestine.[28]

"After many years of striving, the conviction was forced upon us that we stood before a blank wall, which it was impossible for us to surmount by ordinary political means," said Weizmann of the last pre-war Zionist Congress. But the strength of the national will forged for itself two main roads towards its goal -- the gradual extension and strengthening of our Yishuv (Hebrew: literally, "settlement," a collective name for the Jewish settlers) in Palestine and the spreading of the Zionist idea throughout the length and breadth of Jewry.[29]

The Turks were doing all they could to keep Jews out of Palestine. But this barrier was covertly surmounted, partly due to the venality of Turkish officials, [30] (as delicately put in a Zionist report -- "it was always possible to get

round the individual official with a little artifice"); [32] and partly to the diligence of the Russian consuls in Palestine in protecting Russian Jews and saving them from expulsion.[33]

But if Zionism were to succeed in its ambitions, Ottoman rule of Palestine must end. Arab independence could be prevented by the intervention of England and France, Germany or Russia. The Eastern Jews hated Czarist Russia. With the entente cordiale in existence, it was to be Germany or England, with the odds slightly in Britain's favor in potential support of the Zionist aim in Palestine, as well as in military power. On the other hand, Zionism was attracting some German and Austrian Jews with important financial interests and had to take into account strong Jewish anti-Zionist opinion in England.

But before Zionism had finally reckoned it could gain no special consideration in Palestine from Turkey, the correspondent of The Times was able to report in a message published 14 April 1911, of the Zionist organ Jeune Turc's [J] "violent hostility to England" and "its germanophile enthusiasm," and to the propaganda carried on among Turkish Jews by "German Zionist agents." When the policy line altered, this impression in England had to be erased.[34] The concern of the majority of rich English Jews was not allayed by articles in the Jewish Chronicle, edited by Leopold Greenberg, pointing out that in the Basle program there was "not a word of any autonomous Jewish state," [35] and in Die Welt, the official organ of the Movement, the article by Nahum Sokolow, then the General Secretary of the Zionist Organization, in which he protested that there was no truth in the allegation that

Zionism aimed at the establishment of an independent Jewish State.[36] Even at the 11th Congress in 1913, Otto Warburg, speaking as chairman of the Zionist Executive, gave assurances of loyalty to Turkey, adding that in colonizing Palestine and developing its resources, Zionists would be making a valuable contribution to the progress of the Turkish Empire.[37]

[A]  A letter entered in Herzl's diary on 15 May 1896 states that the head of the Armenian movement in London is

Avetis Nazarhek, "and he directs the paper Huntchak (The Bell). He will be spoken to."

  On either side of the main doorway of the hall hung white banners with two blue stripes, and over the doorway was placed a six-pointed "Shield of David." It was the invention of David Wolffsohn, who employed the colors of the traditional Jewish prayer shawl. Fifty years later, the combined emblems became the flag of the Zionist state. The "Shield of David" is of Assyrian origin: previously a decorative motif or magical emblem. It appeared on the heraldic flag of the Jews in Prague in 1527. [C]  On the latter trip he was accompanied by his Empress. Their yacht, the Hohenzollern, put in at Haifa, and they were escorted to Jerusalem by 2,000 Turkish soldiers.

[D]  Pope Pius X told him that the Church could not support the return of "infidel Jews" to the Holy Land.[10] [E]  In 1880, there were about 60,000 Jews in England. Between 1881 and 1905, there was an immigration of some 100,000 Eastern Jews. Though cut by the Aliens Bill of the Balfour Government, which became law in the summer of 1905, immigration continued so that by 1914 there was a Jewish population in England of some 300,000. A leader of the fight against the Aliens Bill and against tightening up naturalization regulations in 1903-1904 was

Winston S. Churchill.[18] [F]  The Eastern Jews referred to each other as "Litvaks" (Lithuania), "Galizianers" (Galicia), "Polaks," "Hungarians," and geographical regions of their ancestral origin, e.g., "Pinskers"; never by the term Jew. [G]  (1869 -- 1935). Born in the Crimea, and nurtured in the atmosphere of assimilation and revolutionary agitation in Russia, Jacobson had organized clubs and written about Zionism in Russian Jewish newspapers. After the First World War, the era of the direct and indirect bribe and the contact man gave way to one in which the interests of nationalities, represented by diplomat-attorneys, had to be met, wrote Lipsky: "In this new world into which Jacobson was thrown, he laboured with the delicacy and concentration of an artist . . working persistently and with vision to build up an interest in the cause. He had to win sympathy as well as conviction." [25] [H]  In the Zionist Congress of 1911, (22 years before Hitler came to power, and three years before World War I),

Nordau said, "How dare the smooth talkers, the clever official blabbers, open their mouths and boast of progress ... Here they hold jubilant peace conferences in which they talk against war... But the same righteous governments, who are so nobly, industriously active to establish the eternal peace, are preparing, by their own confession, complete annihilation for six million people, and there is nobody, except the doomed themselves, to raise his voice in protest although this is a worse crime than any war ... '' [31]

  Approximate annual expenditure for military purposes by the European Powers in the first years of the century

were: France -- £38,400,000; Germany -- £38,000,000; Italy -- £15,000,000; Russia -- £43,000,000; United States

-- £38,300,000; Great Britain -- £69,000,000 at pre-1914 values of sterling.

[J]  Its business manager was a German Jew, Sam Hochberg. Among invited contributors was the immensely wealthy Russian Jew Alexander Helphand who, as "Parvus," was later to suggest to the German left-wing parties that Lenin and his associates be sent to Russia in 1917 to demoralize still further the beaten Russian armies.

The Great War

Until mid-1914, the surface of European diplomatic relations was placid, reflecting successfully negotiated settlements of colonial and other questions. But certain British journalists were charged by their contemporaries "that they deliberately set out to poison Anglo-German relations and to create by their scaremongering such a climate of public opinion that war between the two Great Powers became inevitable." (The Scaremongers: The Advocacy of War and Rearmament 1896-1914, A. J. A. Morris, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984)

Were they paid or pure? Every anti-German diatribe in British newspapers added to German government concern as to whether it was part of a policy instigated or condoned by Downing Street. Further, there were groups in every major European country which could see only in war the possible means to further their interests or to thwart the ambitions of their rivals. This is why the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir-apparent to the Austro-Hungarian throne, on 28 June in Sarajevo, soon set Europe crackling with fire, a fire which naturally spread through the lines of communications to colonial territories as far away as China.

On 28 July, Austria declared war on Serbia. Germany sent an ultimatum to Russia threatening hostilities if orders for total mobilization of the Russian army and navy were not countermanded.

A telegram dated 29 July 1914 from the Czar Nicholas to the Emperor Wilhelm, proposing that the Austro-Serbian dispute should be referred to the Hague Tribunal, remained unanswered. At the same time Germany sent a message to France asking if she would remain neutral; but France, which had absorbed issue after issue of Russian railroad bonds in addition to other problems, was unequivocal in supporting Russia. Amid mounting tension and frontier violations, Germany declared war on Russia and France.

The French Chief-of-Staff, General Joseph Joffre, was prepared to march into Belgium if the Germans first violated its neutrality [38] which had been guaranteed by Britain, France, Prussia, Austria and Russia. German troops crossed the Belgian frontier (on 4 August at 8 a.m.) and the United Kingdom declared war on Germany.

First Pledge

Lord Kitchener, who had left London at 11:30 on the morning of 3 August to return to Egypt after leave, was stopped at Dover and put in charge of the War Office.[39] At the first meeting of the War Council he warned his colleagues of a long struggle which would be won not at sea but on land, for which Britain would have to raise an army of millions of men and maintain them in the field for several years.[40] When the defense of Egypt was discussed at the meeting, Winston Churchill suggested that the ideal method of defending Egypt was to attack the Gallipoli Peninsula which, if successful, would give Britain control of the Dardenelles. But this operation was very difficult, and required a large force. He preferred the alternative of a feint at Gallipoli, and a landing at Haifa or some other point on the Syrian coast.

In Turkey, the Sultan had taken the title of Khalif-al-IsIam, or supreme religious leader of Moslems everywhere, and emissaries were dispatched to Arab chiefs with instructions that in the event of Turkey being involved in the European hostilities, they were to declare a jihad, or Moslem holy war. A psychological and physical force which Kitchener of Khartoum, the avenger of General Gordon's death, understood very well.

Kitchener planned to draw the sting of the jihad, which could affect British-Indian forces and rule in the East, by promoting an Arab revolt to be led by Hussein, who had been allowed by the Turks to assume his hereditary dignity as Sherif of Mecca and titular ruler of the Hejaz. Kitchener cabled on 13 October 1914 to his son, Abdullah, in Mecca, saying that if the Arab nation assisted England in this war, England would guarantee that no internal intervention took place in Arabia, and would give the Arabs every assistance against external aggression.

A series of letters passed between Sherif Hussein and the British Government through Sir Henry McMahon, High Commissioner for Egypt, designed to secure Arab support for the British in the Great War. One dated 24 October 1915 committed HMG to the inclusion of Palestine within the boundaries of Arab independence after the war, but excluded the area now known as Lebanon. This is clearly recognized in a secret "Memorandum on British Commitments to King Hussein" prepared for the inner group at the Peace Conference in 1919. (See Appendix) I found a copy in 1964 among the papers of the late Professor Wm. Westermann, who had been adviser on Turkish affairs to the American Delegation to the Peace Conference.

The Second Pledge

As the major ally, France's claim to preference in parts of Syria could not be ignored. The British Foreign Minister, Sir Edward Grey, told the French Ambassador in London, Mr. Paul Gambon, on 21 October 1915, of the exchanges of correspondence with Sherif Hussein, and suggested that the two governments arrive at an understanding with their Russian ally on their future interests in the Ottoman Empire.

M. Picot was appointed French representative with Sir Mark Sykes, now Secretary of the British War Cabinet, to define the interests of their countries and to go to Russia to include that country's views in their agreement.

In the subsequent secret discussions with Foreign Secretary Sazonov, Russia was accorded the occupation of Constantinople, both shores of the Bosporus and some parts of "Turkish" Armenia.[K] France claimed Lebanon and Syria eastwards to Mosul. Palestine did in fact have inhabitants and shrines of the Greek and Russian Orthodox and Armenian churches, and Russia at first claimed a right to the area as their protector. This was countered by Sykes-Picot and the claim was withdrawn to the extent that Russia, in consultation with the other Allies, would only participate in deciding a form of international administration for Palestine.

The Sykes-Picot Agreement was incompatible with the pledges made to the Arabs. When the Turks gave Hussein details of the Agreement after the Russian revolution, he confined his action to a formal repudiation.

Like the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence, the Tripartite Agreement made no mention of concessions to Zionism in the future disposition of Palestine, or even mention of the word "Jew." However it is now known that before the departure of Sykes [L] for Petrograd on 27 February 1916 for discussions with Sazonov, he was approached with a plan by Herbert Samuel, who had a seat in the Cabinet as President of the Local Government Board and was strongly sympathetic to Herzl's Zionism.[41]

The plan put forward by Samuel was in the form of a memorandum which Sykes thought prudent to commit to memory and destroy, Commenting on it, Sykes wrote to Samuel suggesting that if Belgium should assume the administration of Palestine it might be more acceptable to France as an alternative to the international administration which she wanted and the Zionists did not.[42] Of boundaries marked on a map attached to the memorandum he wrote, "By excluding Hebron and the East of the 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 center of nationality rather than boundaries or extent of territory. The moment I return I will let you know how things stand at Pd.'' [43]

However, in conversations both with Sykes and the French ambassador, Sazonov was careful not to commit himself as to the extent of the Russian interest in Palestine, but made it clear that Russia would have to insist that not only the holy places, but all towns and localities in which there were religious establishments belonging to the Orthodox Church, should be placed under international administration, with a guarantee for free access to the Mediterranean.[44]

Czarist Russia would not agree to a Zionist formula for Palestine; but its days were numbered.

The Third Pledge

In 1914, the central office of the Zionist Organization and the seat of its directorate, the Zionist Executive, were in Berlin. It already had adherents in most Eastern Jewish communities, including all the countries at war, though its main strength was in Russia and Austria-Hungary.[45] Some important institutions, namely, the Jewish Colonial Trust, the Anglo-Palestine Company and the Jewish National Fund, were incorporated in England. Of the Executive, two members (Otto Warburg [M] and Arthur Hantke) were German citizens, three (Yechiel Tschlenow, Nahum Sokolow and Victor Jacobson) were Russians and one (Shmarya Levin) had recently exchanged his

Russian for Austro-Hungarian nationality. The 25 members of the General Council included 12 from Germany and

Austria-Hungary, 7 from Russia...Chaim Weizmann and Leopold Kessler) from England, and one each from Belgium, France, Holland and Rumania.[46]

Some prominent German Zionists associated themselves with a newly founded organization known as the Komitee fur den Osten, whose aims were: "To place at the disposal of the German Government the special knowledge of the founders and their relations with the Jews in Eastern Europe and in America, so as to contribute to the overthrow of Czarist Russia and to secure the national autonomy of the Jews." [47]

Influential Zionists outside the Central Powers were disturbed by the activities of the K.f.d.O. and anxious for the Zionist movement not to be compromised. Weizmann's advice was that the central office be moved from Berlin and that the conduct of Zionist affairs during the war should he entrusted to a provisional executive committee for general Zionist affairs in the United States.

At a conference in New York on 30 August 1914, this committee was set up under the chairmanship of Louis D. Brandeis, with the British-born Dr. Richard Gottheil and Jacob de Haas, Rabbi Stephen Wise and Felix Frankfurter, among his principal lieutenants. For Shmarya Levin, the representative of the Zionist Executive in the United States, and Dr. Judah Magnes, to whom the alliance of England and France with Russia seemed "unholy," Russian czarism was the enemy against which their force should be pitted.[48] But on 1 October 1914 Gottheil, first President of the Zionist Organization of America, wrote from the Department of Semitic Languages, Columbia University, to Brandeis in Boston enclosing a memorandum on what the organization planned to seek from the belligerents, with respect to the Russian Jews:

We have got to be prepared to work under the Government of any one of the Powers ... shall be glad to have any suggestion from you in regard to this memorandum, and shall be glad to know if it meets with your approval. I recognize that I ought not to have put it out without first consulting you; but the exigencies of the situation demanded immediate action. We ought to be fully prepared to take advantage of any occasion that offers itself.[49]

In a speech on 9 November, four days after Britain's declaration of war on Turkey, Prime Minister Asquith said that the traditional eastern policy had been abandoned and the dismemberment of the Turkish Empire had become a war aim. "It is the Ottoman Government," he declared, "and not we who have rung the death knell of Ottoman dominion not only in Europe but in Asia." [50] The statement followed a discussion of the subject at a Cabinet meeting earlier that day, at which we know, from Herbert Samuel's memoirs, that Lloyd George, who had been retained as legal counsel by the Zionists some years before, [51] "referred to the ultimate destiny of Palestine." In a talk with Samuel after the meeting, Lloyd George assured him that "he was very keen to see a Jewish state established in Palestine."

On the same day, Samuel developed the Zionist position more fully in a conversation with the Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey. He spoke of Zionist aspirations for the establishment in Palestine of a Jewish state, and of the importance of its geographical position to the British Empire. Such a state, he said, ''could not be large enough to defend itself.'' and it would therefore be essential that it should be by constitution, neutral. Grey asked whether Syria as a whole must necessarily go with Palestine, and Samuel replied that this was not only unnecessary but inadvisable, since it would bring in a large and unassimilable Arab population. ''It would,'' he said be a great advantage if the remainder of Syria were annexed by France, as it would be far better for the state to have a European Power as a neighbor than the Turk. " [52]

In January 1915 Samuel produced a Zionist memorandum on Palestine after discussions with Weizmann and Lloyd George. It contained arguments in favor of combining British annexation of Palestine with British support for Zionist aspirations, and ended with objections to any other solution.[53] Samuel circulated it to his colleagues in the Cabinet. Lloyd George was already a Zionist ''partisan''; Lord Haldane, to whom Weizmann had had access, wrote expressing a friendly interest; [54] though privately expressing Zionist sympathies, the Marquess of Crewe presumably did not express any views in the Cabinet on the memorandum; [55] Zionism had a strong sentimental attraction for Grey[56] but his colleagues, including his cousin Edwin Montagu, did not give him much encouragement. Prime Minister Asquith wrote: "I confess that I am not attracted by the proposed addition to our responsibilities, but it is a curious illustration of Dissy's favorite maxim that race is everything to find this almost lyrical outburst proceeding from the well-ordered and methodical brain of H.S." [57]

After further conversations with Lloyd George and Grey.[58] Samuel circulated a revised text to the Cabinet in the middle of March 1915.

It is not known if the memorandum was formally considered by the Cabinet, but Asquith wrote in his diary on 13

March 1915 of Samuel's "dithyrambic memorandum" of which Lloyd George was ''the only other partisan. '' [59]

Certainly, at this time, Zionist claims and aspirations were secondary to British policy towards Russia and the Arabs.

Britain, France and Germany attached considerable importance to the attitudes of Jewry towards them because money and credit were needed for the war. The international banking houses of Lazard Frères, Eugene Mayer, J. & W. Seligman, Speyer Brothers and M.M. Warburg, were all conducting major operations in the United States, as were the Rothschilds through the New York banking house of Kuhn, Loeb & Co.[N] Apart from their goodwill. the votes of America's Jewish community of 3,000,000 were important to the issue of that country's intervention or non-intervention in the war, and the provision of military supplies. The great majority represented the one-third of the Jews of Eastern Europe. including Russia, who had left their homelands and come to America between 1880 and 1914. Many detested Czarist Russia and wished to see it destroyed. Of these Jews, not more than 12,000 were enrolled members of the Zionist Organization.[60]

The goodwill of Jewry, and especially America's Jews, was assessed by both sides in the war as being very important. The once-poor Eastern European Jews had achieved a dominant position in New York's garment industry. and had become a significant political force. In 1914 they sent a Russian-born socialist to the Congress of the United States. They produced dozens of Yiddish periodicals; they patronized numerous Yiddish theatres and music halls; their sons and daughters were filling the metropolitan colleges and universities.[61]

From the beginning of the war, the German Ambassador in Washington. Count Bernstorff, was provided. by the Komitee fuer den Osten, with an adviser on Jewish Affairs (Isaac Straus); and when the head of the Zionist Agency in Constantinople appealed, in the winter of 1914, to the German Embassy to do what it could to relieve the pressure on the Jews in Palestine, it was reinforced by a similar appeal to Berlin from Bernstorff.[62] In November 1914, therefore, the German Embassy in Constantinople received instructions to recommend that the Turks sanction the re-opening of the Anglo-Palestine Company's Bank -- a key Zionist institution. In December the Embassy made representations which prevented a projected mass deportation of Jews of Russian nationality.[63] In February 1915 German influence helped to save a number of Jews in Palestine from imprisonment or expulsion, and "a dozen or twenty times" the Germans intervened with the Turks at the request of the Zionist office in Turkey, "thus saving and protecting the Yishuv." [65] The German representations reinforced those of the American Ambassador in Turkey (Henry Morgenthau).
  • [66] Moreover, both the German consulates in Palestine and the head of the German military mission there frequently exerted their influence on behalf of the Jews.[67]


German respect for Jewish goodwill enabled the Constantinople Zionist Agency from December 1914 to use the German diplomatic courier service and telegraphic code for communicating with Berlin and Palestine.[68] On 5

June 1915 Victor Jacobson was received at the German Foreign Office by the Under-Secretary of State (von

Zimmerman) and regular contact commenced between the Berlin Zionist Executive (Warburg, Hantke and Jacobson) and the German Foreign Office.[69]

Zionist propagandists in Germany elaborated and publicized the idea that Turkey could become a German satellite and its Empire in Asia made wide open to German enterprise; support for "a revival of Jewish life in Palestine" would form a bastion of German influence in that part of the world.[70] This was followed by solicitation of the German Foreign Office to notify the German consuls in Palestine of the German Government's friendly interest in Zionism. Such a course was favored by von Neurath [P] when asked by Berlin for his views in October, and in November of 1915, the text for such a document was agreed upon and circulated after the approval of the German Chancellor (Bethmann-Hollweg). It was cautiously and vaguely worded so as not to upset Turkish susceptibilities, stating to the Palestine consuls that the German Government looked favorably on "Jewish activities designed to promote the economic and cultural progress of the Jews in Turkey, and also on the immigration and settlement of Jews from other countries." [71]

The Zionists felt that an important advance toward a firm German commitment to their aims had been made, but when the Berlin Zionist Executive pressed for a public assurance of sympathy and support, the Government told them to wait until the end of the war, when a victorious Germany would demonstrate its goodwill.[72]

When Zionist leaders in Germany met Jemal Pasha, by arrangement with the Foreign Office, during his visit to Berlin in the summer of 1917, they were told that the existing Jewish population would be treated fairly but that no further Jewish immigrants would he allowed. Jews could settle anywhere else but not in Palestine. The Turkish Government, Jemal Pasha declared, wanted no new nationality problems, nor was it prepared to antagonize the

Palestinian Arabs, "who formed the majority of the population and were to a man opposed to Zionism." [73]

A few weeks after the interview, the Berlin Zionists' pressure was further weakened by the uncovering by Turkish Intelligence of a Zionist spy ring working for General Allenby's Intelligence section under an Aaron Aaronssohn. "It is no wonder that the Germans, tempted as they may have been by its advantages, shrank from committing themselves to a pro-Zionist declaration." [74]

It was fortunate for Zionism that the American Jews as a whole showed no enthusiasm for the Allied cause, wrote Stein, political secretary of the Zionist Organization from 1920 to 1929, "If they had all along been reliable friends, there would have been no need to pay them any special attention." [75]

In 1914 the French Government had sponsored a visit to the United States by Professor Sylvain Levy and the Grand Rabbi of France with the object of influencing Jewish opinion in their favor, but without success. A year later, it tried to reply to disturbing reports from its embassy in Washington about the sympathies of American Jews [76] by sending a Jew of Hungarian origin (Professor Victor Basch) to the United States in November 1915.[77]

Ostensibly he represented the Ministry of Public Instruction, but his real mission was to influence American Jews through contact with their leaders.[78] Though armed with a message to American Jewry from Prime Minister Briand, he encountered an insuperable obstacle -- the Russian alliance. "For Russia there is universal hatred and distrust ... We are reproached with one thing only, the persecution of the Russian Jews, which we tolerate -- a toleration which makes us accomplices ... It is certain that any measures in favor of Jewish emancipation would be equivalent to a great battle lost by Germany." [79] Basch had to report to French President Poincare the failure of his mission.[80]

At the same time that Basch had been dispatched to the United States, the French Government approved the setting up of a "Comité de propagande Francais aupres des Juifs neutres," and Jacques Bigart, the Secretary of the Alliance Israelite, accepted a secretaryship of the Comité. Bigart suggested to Lucien Wolf, of the Jewish Conjoint Foreign Committee in London, that a similar committee be set up there. Wolf consulted the Foreign Office and was invited by Lord Robert Cecil to provide a full statement of his views.[81]

In December 1915 Wolf submitted a memorandum in which he analyzed the characteristics of the Jewish population of the United States and reached the conclusion that "the situation, though unsatisfactory, is far from unpromising." Though disclaiming Zionism, be wrote that "In America, the Zionist organizations have lately captured Jewish opinion." If a statement of sympathy with their aspirations were made, "I am confident they would sweep the whole of American Jewry into enthusiastic allegiance to their cause." [82]

Early in 1916 a further memorandum was submitted to the British Foreign Office as a formal communication from the Jewish Conjoint Foreign Committee. This stated that "the London (Conjoint) and Paris Committees formed to influence Jewish opinion in neutral countries in a sense favorable to the Allies" had agreed to make representations to their respective Governments. First, the Russian Government should be urged to ease the position of their Jews by immediate concessions for national-cultural autonomy secondly, "in view of the great organized strength of the Zionists in the United States," (in fact out of the three million Jews in the U.S. less than 12,000 had enrolled as Zionists in 1913), [83] the Allied Powers should give assurances to the Jews of facilities in Palestine for immigration and colonization, liberal local self-government for Jewish colonists, the establishment of a Jewish university, and for the recognition of Hebrew as one of the vernaculars of the land -- in the event of their victory.[84]

On 9 March 1916 the Zionists were informed by the Foreign Office that "your suggested formula is receiving (Sir Edward Grey's) careful and sympathetic attention, but it is necessary for H.M.G. to consult their Allies on the subject." [85] A confidential memorandum was accordingly addressed to the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs in Petrograd, to ascertain his views, though its paternity, seeing that Asquith was still Prime Minister, "remains to be discovered." [86] No direct reply was received, but in a note addressed to the British and French ambassadors four days later, Sazonov obliquely assented, subject to guarantees for the Orthodox Church and its establishments, to raise no objection to the settlement of Jewish colonists in Palestine.[87]

Nothing came of these proposals. On 4 July the Foreign Office informed the Conjoint Committee that an official announcement of support was inopportune.[88] They must be considered alongside the Sykes-Picot Agreement being negotiated at this time, and the virtual completion of the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence by 10 March 1916, with the hope that an Arab revolt and other measures would bring victory near.

But 1916 was a disastrous year for the Allies. "In the story of the war" wrote Lloyd George,

the end of 1916 found the fortunes of the Allies at their lowest ebb. In the offensives on the western front we had lost three men for every two of the Germans we had put out of action. Over 300,000 British troops were being immobilized for lack of initiative or equipment or both by the Turks in Egypt and Mesopotamia, and for the same reason nearly 400,000 Allied soldiers were for all purposes interned in the malarial plains around Salonika.[89]

The voluntary system of enlistment was abolished, and a mass conscript army of continental pattern was adopted, something which had never before occurred in British history.[Q] [90] German submarine activity in the Atlantic was formidable; nearly 11/2 million tons of merchant shipping had been sunk in 1916 alone. As for paying for the war, the Allies at first had used the huge American debts in Europe to pay for war supplies, but by 1916 the resources of J.P. Morgan and Company, the Allies' financial and purchasing agents in the United States, were said to be nearly exhausted by increased Allied demands for American credit.[91] There was rebellion in Ireland. Lord Robert Cecil stated to the British Cabinet: "France is within measurable distance of exhaustion. The political outlook of Italy is menacing. Her finance is tottering. In Russia, there is great discouragement. She has long been on the verge of revolution. Even her man-power seems coming near its limits. '' [94]

Secretary of State Kitchener was gone -- drowned when the cruiser Hampshire sank on 5 June 1916 off the Orkneys when he was on his way to Archangel and Petrograd to nip the revolution in the bud. He had a better knowledge of the Middle East than anyone else in the Cabinet. The circumstances suggest espionage and treachery. Walter Page, the U.S. Ambassador in London, entered in his diary: "There was a hope and feeling that he (Lord Kitchener) might not come back... as I make out."

There was a stalemate on all fronts. In Britain, France and Germany, hardly a family numbered all its sons among the living. But the British public -- and the French, and the German -- were not allowed to know the numbers of the dead and wounded. By restricting war correspondents, the American people were not allowed to know the truth either.

The figures that are known are a recital of horrors.[R]

In these circumstances, a European tradition of negotiated peace in scores of wars, might have led to peace at the end of 1916 or early 1917.

Into this gloomy winter of 1916 walked a new figure. He was James Malcolm,  an Oxford educated Armenian [T] who, at the beginning of 1916, with the sanction of the British and Russian Governments, had been appointed by the Armenian Patriarch a member of the Armenian National Delegation to take charge of Armenian interests during and after the war. In this official capacity, and as adviser to the British Government on Eastern affairs, [95] he had frequent contacts with the Cabinet Office, the Foreign Office, the War Office and the French and other Allied embassies in London, and made visits to Paris for consultations with his colleagues and leading French officials. He was passionately devoted to an Allied victory which he hoped would guarantee the national freedom of the Armenians then under Turkish and Russian rule.

Sir Mark Sykes, with whom he was on terms of family friendship, told him that the Cabinet was looking anxiously for United States intervention in the war on the side of the Allies, but when asked what progress was being made in that direction, Sykes shook his head glumly, "Precious little," he replied.

James Malcolm now suggested to Mark Sykes that the reason why previous overtures to American Jewry to support the Allies had received no attention was because the approach had been made to the wrong people. It was to the Zionist Jews that the British and French Governments should address their parleys.

"You are going the wrong way about it," said Mr. Malcolm. "You can win the sympathy of certain politically-minded Jews everywhere, and especially in the United States, in one way only, and that is, by offering to try and secure

Palestine for them." [96]

What really weighed most heavily now with Sykes were the terms of the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement. He told Malcolm that to offer to secure Palestine for the Jews was impossible. "Malcolm insisted that there was no other way and urged a Cabinet discussion. A day or two later, Sykes told him that the matter had been mentioned to Lord Milner who had asked for further information. Malcolm pointed out the influence of Judge Brandeis of the

American Supreme Court, and his strong Zionist sympathies." [97]

In the United States, the President's adviser, Louis D. Brandeis, a leading advocate of Zionism, had been inducted as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on 5 June 1916. That Wilson was vulnerable was evident, in that as early as 1911, he had made known his profound interest in the Zionist idea and in Jewry.[98]

Malcolm described Wilson as being "attached to Brandeis by ties of peculiar hardness," a cryptic reference to the story that Wilson had been blackmailed for $40,000 for some hot love letters he had written to his neighbor's wife when he was President of Princeton. He did not have the money, and the go-between, Samuel Untermeyer, of the law firm of Guggenheim, Untermeyer & Marshall, said he would provide it if Wilson would appoint to the next vacancy on the Supreme Court a nominee selected by Mr. Untermeyer. The money was paid, the letters returned, and Brandeis had been the nominee.

Wilson had written to the Senate, where opposition to the nominee was strong: "I have known him. I have tested him by seeking his advice upon some of the most difficult and perplexing public questions about which it was necessary for me to form a judgment When Brandeis had been approved by the Senate, Wilson wrote to Henry Morgenthau: "I never signed any commission with such satisfaction." "Relief" might have been a more appropriate word.

The fact that endorsement of Wilson's nominee by the Senate Judiciary Committee had only been made "after hearings of unprecedented length" [99] was not important. Brandeis had the President's ear; he was "formally concerned with the Department of State." [100] This was the significant development, said Malcolm, which compelled a new approach to the Zionists by offering them the key to Palestine.

The British Ambassador to the United States (Sir Cecil Spring-Rice) had written from Washington in January 1914 that "a deputation came down from New York and in two days 'fixed' the two Houses so that the President had to renounce the idea of making a new treaty with Russia." [101] In November 1914 he had written to the British Foreign Secretary of the German Jewish bankers who were extending credits to the German Government and were getting hold of the principal New York papers" thereby "bringing them over as much as they dare to the German side and "toiling in a solid phalanx to compass our destruction." [102]

This anti-Russian sentiment was part of a deep concern for the well-being of Russian and Polish Jews. Brandeis wrote to his brother from Washington on 8 December 1914: "... You cannot possibly conceive the horrible sufferings of the Jews in Poland and adjacent countries. These changes of control from German to Russian and Polish anti-semitism are bringing miseries as great as the Jews ever suffered in all their exiles." [ U ] [103]

In a speech to the Russian Duma on 9 February (27 January Gregorian) 1915, Foreign Minister Sazonov denied the calumnious stories which, he said, were circulated by Germany, of accounts of alleged pogroms against the Jews and of wholesale murders of Jews by the Russian armies. "If the Jewish Population suffered in the war zone, that circumstance unfortunately was inevitably associated with war, and the same conditions applied in equal measure to all people living within the region of military activity." He added to the rebuttal with accounts of hardship in areas of German military action in Poland, Belgium and Serbia.[104]

It is noteworthy that the chairman of the non-Zionist American Jewish Committee responded to an appeal by the Brandeis group that all American Jews should organize to emphasize Zionist aims in Palestine before the Great

Powers in any negotiations during or at the end of the war, by dissociating his community from the suggestion that Jews of other nationalities were to be accorded special status. He said that "the very thought of the mass of the Jews of America having a voice in the matter of deciding the welfare of the Jews in the world made him shrink in horror."[107]

The new approach to the Zionist movement by Mark Sykes with James Malcolm as preliminary interlocutor took the form of a series of meetings at Chaim Weizmann's London house, with the knowledge and approval of the Secretary of the War Cabinet, Sir Maurice Hankey.

A Programme for a New Administration of Palestine in Accordance with the Aspirations of the Zionist Movement was issued by the English Political Committee of the Zionist Organization in October 1916, and submitted to the British Foreign Office as a basis for discussion in order to give an official character to the informal house-talks. It included the following:

(1) The Jewish Chartered Company is to have power to exercise the right of pre-emption over Crown and other lands and to acquire for its own use all or any concessions which may at any time be granted by the suzerain government or governments.

(2) The present population, being too small, too poor and too little trained to make rapid progress, requires the introduction of a new and progressive element in the population. (But the rights of minority nationalities were to be protected).

Other Points were, (3) recognition of separate Jewish nationality in Palestine; participation of the Palestine Jewish population in local self-government; (5) Jewish autonomy in purely Jewish affairs; (6) official recognition and legalization of existing Jewish institutions for colonization in Palestine.[108]

This Programme does not appear to have reached Cabinet level at the time it was issued, probably because of

Asquith's known lack of sympathy, but as recorded by Samuel Landman, the Zionist Organization was given official British facilities for its international correspondence.[109]

Lloyd George, an earnest and powerful demagogue, was now prepared to oust Asquith, his chief, by a coup de main. With the death of Kitchener in the summer of 1916, he had passed from Munitions to the War Office and he saw the top of the parliamentary tree within his grasp. In this maneuver he was powerfully aided by the newspaper proprietor Northcliffe, [V] who turned all his publications from The Times downwards to depreciate Asquith, and by the newspaper-owing M.P., Max Aitken (later Lord Beaverbrook).

With public sympathy well prepared, Lloyd George demanded virtual control of war policy. It was intended that

Asquith should refuse. He did. Lloyd George resigned. Asquith also resigned to facilitate the reconstruction of the Government. The King then sent for the Conservative leader, Bonar Law, who, as prearranged, advised him to offer the premiership to Lloyd George.[110]

Asquith and Grey were out; Lloyd George and Balfour were in. With Lloyd George as Prime Minister from December 1916, Zionist relations with the British Government developed fast. Lloyd George had been legal counsel for the Zionists, and while Minister of Munitions, had had assistance from the Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann; the new Foreign Minister, Arthur Balfour, was already known for his Zionist sympathies.

The Zionists were undermining the wall between them and their Palestine objective which they had found impossible "to surmount by ordinary political means" prior to the war.[111] Herzl's suggestion that they would

« Last Edit: May 31, 2014, 09:49:40 AM by Truth-Wars.co.uk »

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