Almost one year before the end of World War I in 1918, with the defeat of the Ottoman Empire nearly guaranteed, the British, along with France, were preparing to carve up the Ottoman Empire's Middle Eastern territories for their own interests. The plan was not to create a Jewish "Home Land", but rather to create an imperialist outpost to advance their interests by suppressing and dividing the Middle East and North Africa. The advancement of technology and industrial revolution in Europe and the US necessitated the exploration and plunder of new lands to provide the necessary raw materials for their industrial and technological development. Imperialist countries, namely Britain and France, had their eyes on the immense natural resources, especially oil, of the Middle East and North Africa. Notably, this plan included occupying Palestine with the assistance of the Zionist movement, solely to maintain the flow of needed resources to imperialist countries.
This was made very clear on November 2nd, 1917, 100 years ago, when the Balfour Declaration was written. The Balfour Declaration was a letter sent from the British Foreign Minister, Arthur James Balfour, on behalf of the British cabinet to a prominent Zionist leader in England, Lord Rothschild. This was the first acknowledgement by the British Government of their support of the Zionist cause for a “Jewish” national home in Palestine.
The strongly worded letter clearly states, “His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” This open support by the British Government was not a matter of some kindness towards Jews who were facing strong anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination.
The Balfour Declaration was one of the crucial turning points for the Zionist movement, giving the green light for the creation of the Jewish state in Palestine. From some mere tens of thousands of Jews in Palestine in 1917, to close to a half a million Jews during the UN partitioning plan of Palestine in 1947, the Balfour Declaration was essential in assisting Zionist interests in Palestine. As well, from the 1930s until the creation of Israel on Palestinian land in 1947, many Zionist organizations in Palestine were committing terrorist acts and beginning the groundwork for the theft of Palestinian land.
Let this upcoming 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration – the blueprint of the Israeli occupation of Palestine – encourage Jews and all human loving people to, more than ever, increase our efforts for the liberation of Palestine.
It should be noted that at the time of the Balfour Declaration the majority of Jews did not support Zionism or a migration to Palestine. It was primarily the rise of Nazism in Germany in the 1930's and the murder of millions of Jews in the Holocaust that gave the Zionists and imperialist powers the opportunity to use these fascist crimes to cement the creation of Israel. Therefore, from the outset it was a conscious move made by the British government to use Palestine as a wedge for British, and then later other imperialist countries, to intervene and meddle in the Middle East.
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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 endeavors
to facilitate the achievement of this object, it
being clearly understood that nothing shall be
done which may prejudice the civil and religious
rights of existing non-Jewish communities in
Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed
by Jews in any other country.
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration
to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.
Arthur James Balfour
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