Tag Archive | "Balfour Declaration"

From the BALFOUR DECLARATION to the Holocaust: How the Zionist Project Won Palestine


NOVANEWS

Official British events to mark the centennary of the Balfour Declaration could be seen as questionable, to say the least.

Theresa May’s commitment to the commemorations were promised to Benjamin Netanyahu some time ago – regardless of the fact that the it will leave a bitter taste in the mouths of many or that we’re talking about one of the most divisive documents in modern history.

Both the critics and supporters of Israel are guilty of propagating historical illiteracy about the origins and meaning of Zionism.

Some anti-Israel activists see Zionism in super-simplistic terms as a source of all evil or as a Nazi-style ideaology, while its defenders demonise or shut down anyone – Jewish or non-Jewish – who raises any questions.

The reality and the real history isn’t anything like as simple as either of those positions – real history never is.

There is, even now, a common misperception that the modern State of Israel was created in Palestine entirely as a reaction to the horrors of the Holocaust: that what was inflicted upon the Jews of Europe by the Nazis and fascists was the justification for creating the ‘Jewish Homeland’ – essentially a sanctuary or safe space for a horrifically persecuted people.

This is somewhat true, from a certain perspective.

And nothing in this article is questioning the reality that Israel provided a very real sanctuary for Jews after the Holocaust. And, to be clear, nothing in this article is questioning the legitimacy of Israel as a state in this present period of time (even if we might question many of its modern actions – or indeed how it came about in the first place).

It is difficult to argue against the fact that, after the events of World War II, a Jewish State became a necessity.

And I personally wouldn’t have perceived a problem with it if we wanted to celebrate, say, the official creation of the State of Israel in 1948. That would make some sense: a commemoration of the recognition of a new, democratic state for a people who suffered immense persecution, particularly in the aftermath of the horrors of World War II.

But that’s not what is being commemorated.

What we’re commemorating instead is literally the signing of an agreement by the British state in 1917 – twenty years or so before the inhuman crimes of Nazi Germany – to secure an already-populated land for controlled immigration by a specific religious group with a territorial claim based on supposed Biblical justification.

 


What this article is questioning is the very tidy and selective manner in which the story of the Zionist project – and particularly the history from the Balfour Declaration in 1917, through to the Holocaust during the Second World War, and eventually the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948 – has generally been portrayed for decades.


 

There’s no doubt that the inhumanity of the Holocaust was what allowed the creation of Israel to be fully and finally legitimated and even necessary. However, the project to acquire that land for the so-called Jewish State – Zionism – preceded the Holocaust by decades and was a programme long in the making. It’s official advent was the British state’s issuing of the Balfour Declaration in 1917.

What is often ommitted from the modern, mainstream view is how this agreement came about, how it related to both the First and Second World Wars and also to the horrors of the Holocaust; and what’s even more ommitted is how Zionist leaders and advocates saw the Holocaust and saw the millions of European Jews – which is one of the most disturbing aspects of this whole subject.

And to be very clear (because there is so much misinterpretation or deliberate skewing that goes on), any reference to ‘Zionists’ or to ‘Zionism’ in this article is not a reference to ‘Jews’, neither is it a reference to the general population of Israel or to the general flow of people who migrated into Palestine.

This isn’t an article about religion or about race – but only about politics, deal-making, propaganda and history.

And it also isn’t an article about anything that has happened after 1948 – but only what happened before it.

 


This is an attempt at an unbiased (I hope) examination of elements of the Zionist story that most mainstream narratives usually ignore. And, be clear, this is written from the perspective of someone who supports the existence of the modern State of Israel (within pre-1967 borders): but, nevertheless, finds the history of the Zionist project – and the role of the Balfour Declaration – unsettling.

There is no reference here to conspiracy theory lore or revisionist history. There’s no reference here to the fabled Protocols of the Elders of Zion or any thoughts about Hitler having been a Zionist agent. And most of all, no reference to or insinuation of a ‘Jewish Conspiracy’ – because I don’t believe such a thing exists.


 

Also, when I use the term ‘Zionist’ here, I am generally referring to Zionist organisations and operatives who were active at the time of the Balfour Declaration in 1917 and the immediate couple of decades after this – and not necessarily to anyone who generally (for whichever reason) self-identifies as a ‘Zionist’ today.

You might notice that I keep putting in these disclaimers or clarifications – this highlights just how much of a mine-field this entire subject has been turned into, where anyone like myself (who doesn’t have an anti-Semitic bone in my body) has to carefully navigate these sensitive or toxic terms to make sure things aren’t being misunderstood.

As I’ve touched on before – and will touch on again shortly – this mine-field has been laid deliberately to make it very difficult for people to talk about anything related to Israel or ‘Zionism’ without potentially coming across like an anti-Semite. Even the term ‘Zionism’ is itself now really tricky, because it has been deliberately re-written to denote Israel as a population or even, increasingly, all Jews.

It was, originally, nothing of the sort.

 


 

The Balfour Declaration is widely seen as having been a massive misjudgement, made under questionable circumstances, and – to many – is also seen as incredibly divisive.

In fact, even later British governments were already questioning or even regretting the Balfour Declaration – to the extent that some felt duty-bound to honour an agreement that they didn’t necessarily even see the wisdom of.

Which raises the question of why the British government would even want to draw any more *attention* to it, let alone celebrate it.

Robert Fisk, writing in The Independent earlier this year, called it ‘the most mendacious, deceitful and hypocritical document in modern British history.’

At a time when even the EU and the Obama administration had recently issued sanctions against the Israeli government for allowing Zionist settlers’ continued demolition of Palestinian homes and villages and construction of illegal settlements in occupied territory, is it really an appropriate time to be celebrating a document that set decades of Middle-Eastern dysfunction into motion?

And, to be clear, we’re not talking about the establishment of the modern State of Israel in 1948 and in the shadow of the Holocaust – we’re talking about two decades earlier; and at a time when the British state and other Colonial powers were carving up the Middle East like a roast chicken dinner.

On some level, we might not be surprised. Theresa May is, after all, a staunch Zionist and friend of the Israeli government and who, previously, helped change British law in order to make it impossible to prosecute Israeli war criminals.

The most excessive part is Mrs May’s feeling “pride” in the Balfour Declaration, rather than merely honouring it. It isn’t as if she’s merely acknowledging an important event in history – but actually talking about how proud she is of it a hundred years later, when even she (in all her capacity for misjudgements) surely understands how inappropriate it might seem to many for a British Prime Minister in 2017 to appear so zealous about a highly questionable agreement that even Winston Churchill was expressing grave doubts about just years after it was signed.

Is it genuine passion for Israel? Or is it a perpetual need for the British state to pander to Zionist organisations in 2017, just as it did in 1917?

Even a hundred years ago, however, the British state’s commitment to Zionist colonisation of Palestine had provoked a lot of opposition and sceptcism.

Major British diplomats such as Lord Curzon or Middle East experts such as Gertrude Bell and T.E Lawrence were critical of the idea of imposing a Jewish state onto an area that was already populated. Gandhi called it an “inhuman” policy.

And neither public nor government opinion was unanimous in its support for what was seen as an excessive commitment made by Britain to further the Zionist agenda. Winston Churchill, in a 1922 telegraph, is recorded to have written of “a growing movement of hostility against Zionist policy in Palestine,” adding that “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.”

This is why Mrs May’s and Britain’s celebration of the Balfour Declaration is so odd: like an extraordinarily desperate doubling down on an idea that, even at the time, was being doubted, let alone a century later. You could even be passionately pro-Zionist and *still* understand that it’s probably not the best idea to overly celebrate the Balfour Declaration.

John Quigley, in his exhaustive article ‘Britain’s Secret Re-Assessment of the Balfour Declaration’, informs us that ‘Most British officials in the military administration that governed Palestine saw Britain’s support for Zionism as leading to no good.’

 


He writes, further into the extensive historical review, that ‘The British Cabinet could not ignore the reports of trouble in Palestine. It met on 18 August 1921, with Churchill present. The minutes of the meeting show that the possibility of renouncing the Balfour Declaration was discussed.’


 

In August 1921, in a memorandum to the Cabinet, Churchill warned that ‘The Zionist policy is profoundly unpopular with all except the Zionists… the whole situation should be reviewed by the Cabinet.’ Churchill himself was generally a supporter of the Zionist operation; but not so much so that he didn’t see that it was highly problematic and probably warranted serious re-evaluation.

And aside from this, the British pledge to the Zionists had in fact conflicted with promises it had also made to the Hashemite Arabs who had fought on Britain’s side in the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans.

On 8th March 1920, a Syrian state – that was to include Lebanon and Palestine – was declared by the General Syrian Congress and led by Faisal, son of Hussein (picture above) – the Hashemite Prince who had led the Arab Revolt in alliance with T.E Lawrence and the British and in whose name Damascus had been captured by the Arab army.

A number of British officials, including the renowned General Allenby (who had captured Jerusalem and whose campaign had benefited substantially from the Arab campaign under Faisal) had strongly advised the British government to recognise Faisal’s claim.

This would’ve meant the nullification of the Balfour Declaration.

It was a case of a particularly powerful or effective cabal managing to get its agenda through; aided in no small part by the chaos and uncertainty of World War I and its aftermath. Those who were, at the time, operating to facillitate the Zionist agenda were incredibly savvy, able to exert influence and pull strings in all the right places at all the right times.

This is arguably why the Zionist project succeeded where other interests failed.

For example, as mentioned already, the British government had also made promises to King Hussein of Mecca and the Hashemites, as well as promises to the Kurds – and in both those cases, the promises were not kept. In fact, both the Kurds and the Hashemite Arabs had fought and sacrificed lives on the side of the British during the war and yet still didn’t see their promises kept – whereas the Zionists were simply much better at persuading or coercing governments to adopt their interests.

The Arabs even had T.E Lawrence (of Arabia) – an international icon at the time – campaigning tirelessly for their cause, yet to no avail.

The Zionists, on the other hand, clearly knew how to win.

Lord Jacob Rothschild did an interview earlier this year, in which he spoke about the crucial role his ancestors played in the Balfour Declaration. The head of the powerful banking family told Times of Israel about how his family connected Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann to the British establishment and taught him how to “insert himself into British establishment life” in order to better push forward the Zionist agenda for Palestine.

For this matter, the involvement of the powerful Rothschild banking family in the Zionist project should not be underestimated. Says Rothschild, “it was the most incredible piece of opportunism.”

The prominent Jewish intellectual, Arthur Koestler, called it “one the most improbable political documents of all time.”

 


It it now much more widely understood that the British state’s commitment to Zionism was motivated in large part by Zionist lobbyists’ offer to use their influence in America to draw the United States into World War I – essentially in exchange for the Holy Land.


 

It is also well understood by now that some – though not all – of the violent anti-Semitism that emerged in Germany (particularly Hitler’s own hatred) was based on this perceived Zionist ‘betrayal’ of Germany in World War I: in essence, Hitler could blame political Zionists (somewhat rightly, arguably) and ‘Jews’ (wrongly, unarguably) for the problems Germany had been experiencing since the end of the First World War and the perceived ‘humiliation’ of the German people.

Aside from the genuine stream of vicious anti-Semitism that already existed across Europe, Hitler’s propaganda machine was able to turn a lot more of his own people against Jewish people on account of the role the Zionists were perceived to have played in Germany’s fate.

Whether or not Zionists were such a large part of why Germany lost the First World War is something we can question (there were undoubtedly combinations of different reasons, even if Zionist activity was one); but the point is that Hitler – correctly or incorrectly – wholly believed this to have been the case.

Alison Weir traces in her book, Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel, how drafts of the Balfour Declaration went back and forth between Britain and the United States for some time before a final agreement was signed.

 


But what is particularly extraordinary to note is that it wasn’t a simple case of the Zionists coercing governments into particular actions, but that the different powers were in fact practically vying to align themselves with the Zionist agenda.


 

It could’ve just as easily been Germany that might’ve issued its own Balfour-type declaration – and had it done so, there might have been a different outcome to World War I (which, in turn, may have meant World War II might never have happened either).

John Quigley, in the aforementioned study, points out the extent to which allying with the Zionist movement was seen as a major prize in both the war and in propaganda terms, informing us that British officials were actually worried that Germany would issue a statement of support for the Zionists before Britain did. ‘The issue of wooing Jewry was clearly deemed to be of great importance by the German and Ottoman governments’, Quigley explains.

Chaim Weizmann – the chief Zionist petitioning the British government – himself evidently played to this state of mind, warning British officials that they should hurry about issuing their support for Zionism, as Germany was going to try to “influence Jewish opinion, especially in America and Russia, and utilise it in the interests of German propaganda…”

Quigley highlights in his exhaustive study that, in a cabinet meeting of 4th October 1917, Mr Balfour himself had warned that ‘the German government were making great efforts to capture the sympathy of the Zionist movement’.

In fact, Jewish communities – including the Zionist elements – had a strong presence in Germany and it would’ve made sense for Germany to have utilised this in their favour. The fact that Britain got there first – and that the British state was seen as having been enticed into it by Zionist agents – must’ve caused enormous resentment in Germany, particularly given the punishments that were inflicted on Germany by Britain, France and the others after the war (an entirely pointless war that was essentially fought between cousins who sent millions to die for no real purpose).

Most historians or experts on the period would probably argue that the Zionists’ impact on Germany’s loss of the war and subsequent suffering wasn’t anything like as big as some claim.

This is probably true. Though there is a longstanding counter-argument that says Germany was actually winning the war and was even offering to discuss peace terms with Britain and France at the time that the Americans, via Zionist influence in exchange for the Balfour Declaration, entered the war and the tide turned.

History is always tricky and the story changes depending on who’s perspective you’re looking from – what seems fair to say, however, is that if Hitler and the Nazis two decades later needed an easy scapegoat to pin all of Germany’s problems on, the Zionists had very much provided one.

And the price, in the end, wasn’t paid by the Zionists but by ordinary Jews.

 


This linking of the Balfour Declaration in 1917 and the Holocaust some two decades later isn’t spurious. In fact, they are arguably chapters in the same story.


 

Even at this stage in the programme when the Balfour Declaration was being issued, attitudes were evident – and statements being made – that are now very disturbing when you consider what would unfold in Germany and Europe two decades later in World War II.

For example, during the course of the negotiations, Rothschild-aligned Chaim Weizman – the first “Jewish statesman” and the man who’d done the most to ensure British support for Zionism – had said that “The most valuable part of the Jewish nation is already in Palestine, and those Jews living outside Palestine are not too important”.

That’s the chief Zionist in Britain, saying “those Jews living outside Palestine are not too important.”

Weizman’s collaborator, Yitzhak Greenbaum, amplified this statement with the observation “One cow in Palestine is worth more than all the Jews in Europe”.

This same attitude towards the millions of ordinary Jewish victims of Nazi Europe has been sustained, surprisingly, for decades. “Sometimes it is necessary to sacrifice the few in order to save the many,” said Moshe Sharett, a former Israeli Prime Minister, in 1958.

 


But in actual fact, the Zionist role in the Holocaust may have been even deeper than just a disturbingly casual attitude towards the ordinary Jewish victims – as we will come back to in a minute.


 

Theodore Herzl‘s (1860-1904: considered the founder of the Zionist ideaology) original justification for wanting to separate Jews from non-Jews was understandable – you could even argue it was justified at the time, as it stemmed from genuine and widespread anti-Semitism and persecution of Jewish communities in various countries.

Even then, however, other Jewish thinkers and writers opposed the idea of Zionism, arguing that segregating Jewish people off from the rest of the world wasn’t a way forward.

The problem, arguably, was how zealous and singleminded the movement’s agitators became. In fact, Herzl himself justified the claim to Palestine by telling the British (years before Weizmann and the Balfour Declaration) that a Jewish homeland in Palestine would act as a European base in the Middle East against the Arabs (even though there was no threat from ‘the Arabs’ at this time or any conflict).

When Zionism emerged as an idealogy in the late 1800s, Palestine was populated almost entirely by Muslim and Christian Arabs. And the vast majority of Jews around the world were not Zionists and did not identify with that agenda.

But from the very beginning, the Zionist school of thought had a low opinion of the majority of ordinary, integrated European Jews, and placed absolute priority on the acquisition of Palestine.

This is in fact a crucial dynamic to properly understand, both historically and in the present day. While Zionism is a political ideaology that isn’t and was never embraced by all Jewish people, part of the agenda of the Zionist movement was to contiually force or incite ordinary Jews into identifying religously or nationalistically with the Zionist identity and, at the same time, to encourage non-Jews to increasingly view Jews as ‘Zionists’ or to associate Jews with the idea of Israel.

This programme has been amplified tenfold since the official foundation of the State of Israel in 1948 and has clearly worked – in the present day, most people have been conditioned to associate Jews automatically with Israel. And even the term ‘Zionism’ has been mistakenly (deliberately) conflated with Jews, despite the fact that many of the most ardent opponents or critics of Zionism are Jewish people.

Former ITN news reporter Alan Hart’s book, Zionism – The Real Enemy of the Jews, also examines this problem somewhat.

But there’s nothing new in this.

There were, from the very earliest days of the Zionist agenda, outspoken Jewish voices who entirely opposed that ideaology – and this remains the case today.

 


This in particular is a reason I personally always look to cite specifically Jewish criticism where possible – partly because I don’t ever want to quote actual anti-Semites, and partly to help us combat the horrible and widespread anti-Jewish hate-speech that pervades the Internet and to help dismantle the racist myth of the “Jewish Conspiracy” or the insidious “All Jews are in it together” line of propaganda that thrives on too many genuinely anti-Semitic platforms.


 

I’ve covered this a few times here before, in regard to how a deliberate, calculated policy has been undertaken to forcibly identify Jewish people with Zionism or pressure Jewish people into fixating their sense of identity onto Israel, while simultaneously raising the anti-Semitism card against anyone who criticises Zionism or right-wing nationalists in Israel.

Naomi Winborne Idrissi, a co-founder of ‘Jews for Boycotting Israel Goods’, for example complains that “The Israeli state identifies Israel with all Jews. It aims to speak for all of us. But we say Israel and Zionism does not represent us.”

Jane Eisner likewise notes that “the line between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is becoming ever thinner and more porous, and it may disappear altogether,” and talks about the “demographic trends that already connect the fate of diasporic Jews with Israel whether they like it or not.

There was hardly a more adamant anti-Zionist in Britain than the late Labour MP Gerald Kaufman – a Holocaust survivor who couldn’t be dismissed as anti-Semitic and therefore ended up being dismissed as a ‘self-hating Jew’.

The most famous example of this is the brilliant Hannah Arendt, who was one of the most famous, respected intellectual figures and progressives of the twentieth century.

Arendt, who fled Nazi Germany at the age of 27, was eventually labelled ‘an enemy of Israel’ for her views. As Daniel Maier-Katkin notes in this account, ‘Arendt’s experience in the 1960s offers an early example of repressive strategies for the punishment and repression of dissent.’

Arendt (pictured below) had been famously reporting on the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Israel in the 60s, when she had become disturbed by the nationalistic fervour in Israel, which the trial of Eichmann was being calculatedly used to intensify and maximise (for the sake of amplifying the sense of Jewish victimhood and reactionary Jewish nationalism: it’s essentially the same tactic the Netanyahu government has been adopting in Europe, particularly in the wake of French terror incidents seen to be targeting Jewish people).

The Council of Israeli Jews From Germany wrote to Arendt demanding that she withdraw her book from publication or face a “declaration of war.”

An old friend of hers, Gershom Scholem, even wrote a public letter declaring that Arendt had “insufficient love for the Jewish people” – which is frankly an extraordinary charge to level at a Holocaust survivor.

 


The point is to highlight that the Zionist ideaology and agenda was never favourable or even sympathetic to Jewish people – but only to those who were indoctrinated into the geo-political purpose of Zionism specifically.


 

Which, during the decades immediately after Zionism’s inception and also during the years of World War II and the Holocaust, was NOT the majority of Jewish people at all.

And while World War II was an unparalleled tragedy and horror for millions of Jews, it was – perversely – the most favourable thing that ever happened (even more than the Balfour Declaration in 1917) for the geo-political agenda of international Zionism.

The only interest and agenda of the international Zionist movement had been to acquire Palestine for the creation of a new Jewish homeland – this was largely accomplished by the Balfour Declaration in 1917; but there remained even after this a problem that most Jewish people still didn’t care about Palestine or identify with the idea of the national homeland ‘for the Jews’.

In fact, it is even well documented that a great many of the European Jews who did take up the offer to go to Palestine once the Nazis really began to humiliate, torment and demonise Jewish people in Germany and Europe actually decided to come back to Europe – because they just didn’t get what the fuss or the appeal was about Palestine (the photo below is a snapshot of Arab, pre-Zionist Palestine) and they felt lost there.

This subject was covered extensively in episodes of the superb documentary series about the Holocaust, Warning From History.

It is one of the most bittersweet elements of the horrors of what was done to Jews in Europe – the fact that a number of people actually managed to escape, but then came back, perhaps not realising how much worse things were soon to get for Jews in Germany.

But it also shows that the Zionist agenda, despite the Balfour Declaration, just wasn’t holding sway over most Jewish people.

It has become increasingly evident over the decades that this zealous and single-minded commitment to acquire Palestine overrode every other concern – to committed Zionists, the Holy Land was the only important thing, no matter what had to be done to pave the way.

The affairs, well-being or even lives of ordinary Jews (who weren’t particularly interested in the Zionist agenda) were seen as irrelevant or as mere collateral damage for the sake of a perceived greater goal.

 


It is this sense of zealous, extreme commitment to a single geo-political outcome that becomes increasingly disturbing the more you examine the historic evidence.


 

A 1993 piece by Mark Weber for The Journal of Historical Review thoroughly corroborates the historical reality of Nazi/Zionist collaboration in regard to Palestine.

‘Early in 1935, a passenger ship bound for Haifa in Palestine left the German port of Bremerhaven,’ he writes, beginning the article. ‘Its stern bore the Hebrew letters for its name, “Tel Aviv,” while a swastika banner fluttered from the mast. And although the ship was Zionist-owned, its captain was a National Socialist Party member. Absurd or not, this is but one vignette from a little-known chapter of history: The wide-ranging collaboration between Zionism and Hitler’s Third Reich‘.

Weber, who in 1988 had testified for five days in Toronto District Court as a respected ‘expert witness’ on Germany’s war-time Jewish policy and the Holocaust, proceeds in the article to lay out in entirely sober, historical terms, the substantial cooperation between international Zionists and Nazi Germany.

After offering a comprehensive historic account, he concludes, ‘During the 1930s no nation did more to substantively further Jewish-Zionist goals than Hitler’s Germany’.

 


It might surprise most people to discover that after the horrendous Nuremberg Anti-Jewish Race Laws were enacted in September 1935, only two flags were permitted to be displayed in all of Nazi Germany – one being the Nazi swastika, the other being the blue and white emblem of Zionism.


 

This isn’t something you’ll see noted in TV documentaries about the Holocaust or Nazi Germany. The logic of this, however, was that an increase in adherents to the Zionist agenda to colonise Palestine suited the Nazis, as they wanted Jews gone from Germany and Europe.

Most German Jews were fully assimilated and considered themselves Germans or Europeans and didn’t want to go to Palestine; but the Zionists continued to push their solution, and at this point in history, they appear to have been doing so with full Nazi cooperaiton.

Something very odd and unnerving happens when you actually look at any sequence of period posters, adverts or slogans for the Zionist programme in Palestine – in tone and style, they look incredibly similar to Nazi/Aryan propaganda images from Germany.

  

It’s a surreal thing to observe.

While the cruel, disgusting caricatures and anti-Semitic images the Nazis put out to demonise Jews in Germany show the horrible, ugly face and reality of anti-Semitism and Aryan supremacism, the Zionist images and posters for colonising Palestine almost seem to be modelled on Aryan-style propaganda. If you removed the lettering entirely and just saw the imagery, you’d think you were looking at German ‘Master Race’ imagery from the 1930s.

There are a number of accounts of Zionist collaboration with the Nazis and most of these are the work not of anti-Semites but of Jewish authors. The Transfer Agreement: The Dramatic Story of the Pact Between the Third Reich and Jewish Palestine is a book by Edwin Black. A son of Holocaust survivors, Black doesn’t seem to have much love for Palestinians (he is in fact pretty unpleasant about them in the book) and in fact himself remains a firm Zionist.

Yet he wrote comprehensively about the Transfer Agreement (Haavara) between the World Zionist Organisationand Nazi Germany.

Lenni Brenner’s work, 51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration With the Nazis, pretty much lays the matter to rest. Among other remarkable finds unearthed in Brenner’s research, it emerges that Avraham Stern, the leader of the notorious terrorist ‘Stern Gang’ in Israel had, in late in 1940, writtern to Hitler (the text having been discovered in the German embassy in Turkey after World War II), proposing that the Jewish militias in Palestine would fight on “Germany’s side” in the war against England (in exchange for the Nazis help in resolving the “Jewish Question” in Europe and their assistance in creating an “historic Jewish state”).

For perspective, these were Zionist nationalists now offering to fight for Nazi Germany and against the country that had given them Palestine (the Balfour Declaration) in the first place.

It should be noted that he had written this proposal at a time when Nazi troops had already invaded Czechoslovakia and Poland and already constructed the Auschwitz concerntration camp. Stern had also openly boasted that the Zionists were“closely related to the totalitarian movements of Europe in [their] ideology and structure.”

The civil rights activist, Brenner, also explores, among many other things, how when Adolf Eichmann was in Palestine in 1937, it was as the guest of the Zionists.

And how, for example, after the Holocaust began in 1942, Eichmann was dealing regularly with Dr. Rudolf Kastner, a Hungarian Jew who he considered a “fanatical Zionist.” Eichman said about Kastner, “I believe that [he] would have sacrificed a thousand or a hundred thousand of his blood to achieve his political goal. He was not interested in old Jews or those who had become assimilated into Hungarian society. ‘You can have the others,’ he would say, ‘but let me have this group here.’ And because Kastner rendered us a great service by helping keep the deportation camps peaceful. I would let his groups escape…”

Quite what Eichmann was thinking two decades later, as he stood trial in Israel for his Nazi crimes, we don’t entirely know. Because, in the late 60s – and at the same time that Holocaust survivor Hannah Arendt was being disturbed by the way Eichmann’s trial was being used to inflame Zio-nationalism and she being vilified as a ‘self-hating Jew’ for her concerns – Eichmann might’ve been wondering where all of his former Zionist collaborators had disappeared to while he was being sentenced to death.

While any reference to the Zionist collaboration with the Nazis in regard to Palestine was buried from popular consciousnness – and with the unparalleled horror of the Holocaust fresh in the minds and consciences of most people – the Zionist nationalists in Israel were using Eichmann to radicalise a generation of younger Israelis and Jews into a fanatical belief in the necessity of the Jewish State – because the Holocaust was what happened when Jews didn’t have Israel.

 


This notion that the fanatical Zionists may have had an astonishing lack of sympathy for or identification with the European Jews who were being liquidated in the Holocaust is reinforced by, of all people, David Ben-Gurion, who is quoted as having said (in 1938): “If I knew it was possible to save all the children in Germany by taking them to England, and only half of the children by taking them to Eretz Israel, I would choose the second solution.”

Ben-Gurion was the founder of the modern State of Israel and its first Prime Minister – and yet here he was, essentially dismissing the inhumane slaughter of millions of Jews as some kind of acceptable colateral damage for the sake of the Zionist goal.


 

But he was simply echoing the statements of Zionism’s hero, Chaim Weizmann.

He in fact seemed to regard those Jews who didn’t subscribe to the Zionist ideology as less important than those who wanted to go to Palestine; even if it amounted – in principle – to letting them perish at the hands of the most evil of anti-Semites.

But again, this was simply reinforcement of Weizmann’s and Greenbaum’s earlier position – “One cow in Palestine is worth more than all the Jews in Europe.”

And again, this exploration of the Nazi/Zionist collaboration and shared interest has been conducted by a number of writers and researchers, most of them Jewish. Raul Hilberg’s seminal The Destruction of European Jews, Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem, and Rafael Medoff’s The Deadening Silence: American Jews and the Holocaust, are a few well-known examples.

You can read the full text of Hilberg’s Destruction Of The European Jews here.

Rabbi Moshe Shonfeld went further and accused the Zionists directly of collaborating in the Nazi slaughter of European Jewry. The picture he paints is particularly grim.

He argues that, while European Jews in their millions were entirely at the mercy of the Nazis all across Europe, international Zionist leaders in America and elsewhere were deliberately goading Hitler towards further hostility against Jews.

They began in 1933 by initiating a worldwide boycott of German goods, with the American Zionist Rabbi Stephen Wisedeclaring “war on Germany”. Wise didn’t just declare war on Germany on behalf of the Zionist project – he did so, conciously and deliberately, on behalf of all Jews.

Shonfeld also quotes Chaim Weizmann – the Zionist figurehead and mastermind of the Balfour Declaration – as having said “Every nation has its dead in its fight for its homeland. The suffering under Hitler are our dead.” Weizmann referred to the Jewish victims as having been “moral and economic dust in a cruel world.”

Again – six-million Jews more or less dismissed as a necessary sacrifice for a greater goal.

But permanent Zionist and pro-Zionist policy has been generally to viciously disavow any Jewish figure or writer who questions the Zionist narrative or touches upon some of the more inconvenient elements of history. Such figures are often dismissed as ‘self-hating Jews’ or some such, like Hannah Arendt was (Arendt, for the record, was in favour of the State of Israel, but envisioned it being a secular, pluralistic democracy for Jews, Arab Muslims and Christians, and athiests).

None of this is conspiracy theory or speculation.

None of this is questioning even for a moment the reality of the Holocaust, nor is it – even for a moment – looking to shift any responsibility for the mass slaughter away from the evil Nazi perpetrators. None of it is referencing any popular conspiracy lore like the Protocols of Zion or the idea that Hitler was a Zionist puppet, nor playing to the racist ‘Jewish Conspiracy’ tropes that all-too-often underlie or accompany attempts to critique or vilify the Zionist project.

All this is is a case of removing the blinkers, sidestepping the contrived mythology and looking soberly at the evidence.

Evidence that, behind the commonly maintained narrative of the Zionist story (including the Holocaust and the Balfour Declaration), there is another narrative is usually ignored or not understood.

 


And what you find is something incredibly perverse in considering the Zionist attitude towards – and, in some respects, their possible complicity in – the millions of Jews slaughtered by Nazi Europe, and then perceiving how the horrors of the very same Holocaust are now used to prevent any questioning of Zionism itself.


 

In terms of the Balfour Declaration itself, there is – as demonsrated here – an obvious link between this agreement and what would later unfold in the Holocaust.

Not a causal link necessarily; but there’s no question that the two events in history were tied together. The text of the Balfour Declaration itself reads fairly innocuously; but the reality of history is not in official documents or even in official, consensus versions of history, but in the larger flow of interconnected actions, motives and events that form the bigger picture.

Examination of those interconnected actions, motives and events can often reveal more uncomfortable or inconvenient truths that the official or consensus version of history often overlooks or deliberately ignores.

When one examines statements by some of the most important Zionists – including early Israeli leaders – and their attitude towards the millions of “less important” Jews in Europe, one has no choice but to conclude that the mainstream narrative of the Zionist story (and therefore the Balfour Declaration) is highly selective and sanitised, to say the least.

 


Where does that leave things now? And how relevant is any of this to today?


 

Arguably not very. After all, 100 years on now from the Balfour Declaration, the State of Israel itself has every right to exist – just as no one would really now question the United States’ legitimacy as a nation, despite its vast theft of land from the Native Americans.

The moment has passed. The debate (concerning legitimacy) is over – and should’ve been more carefully argued or managed many decades ago at the time when Britain and the Colonial Powers were carving up nations and communities and making questionable deals.

Lots of nations or societies have their founding or creation mythologies – often a heroic or noble narrative that bears little relation to the sober truth (again, the United States is another example; North Korea is another too). But we generally don’t fixate on a nation’s legitimate right to exist or right to self-interest after a certain amount of time.

 


Has the Zionist project been a success?


 

Accomplishing the Balfour Agreement was itself a stunning success – statements even from the time and from the movement’s key players show that they were stunned they’d pulled it off.

But assessing that question beyond that depends entirely on perspective. From a Zionist perspective, it has been an absolute success – now missing only the final piece of the puzzle (the annexation of Jerusalem and seizure of the Temple Mount). The Zionist project has not only succeeded in creating its state, but in acquiring a nuclear arsenal, maintaining the permanent financial and military backing of powerful governments and patrons, establishing arguably the most cunning and effective foreign intelligence agency in the world, expanding its land far beyond the originally-agreed borders, and becoming almost immune from international law.

However, all those warned of or predicted endless problems have also been proven right.

It isn’t Britain’s fault that a nationalist Israeli government has done more and more to oppress or deprive the Palestinian population – something that was explicitly advised against in the Balfour Declaration. Or that Zionist/nationalist settlers continue to occupy illegal territory beyond the internationally-recognised borders, and continue to bulldoze Palestinian homes and communities and build illegal settlements.

In essence, this might be why the Zionist question – and the anger towards Israel – remains ongoing: the perception that the Zionist project is still ongoing.

The perception that acquiring Palestine in the first place somehow wasn’t enough and was never going to be enough. The perception that, even 100 years later, the ‘Zionists’ are still at it, still trying to take more, despite everything that was given to them.

It’s a big, complicated equation of subjects and considerations – the aim in this article was only to talk about a specific period in history and not the modern day situation.

The problem is in the very same Colonial Power that signed that situation into existence deciding, a century on, to celebrate that action as if it should be regarded a proud moment – and as if everything borne from that decision has been wonderful.

It is all the more misguided due to the common perception that this same state that signed the Balfour Declaration is also – to the present day – seen as one of the states that continues to support and protect the Zionist project even when international law or agreements are called into question and no matter how far from the terms of the original Balfour Declaration the Zionist project deviates.

What’s extroardinary is that, a century later, we don’t seem to have changed our approach to the world.

Think of the catastrophes we helped create in Iraq and Libya, for example. Yet, at a time when we should be engaged in critical self-analysis and looking to process our possible mistakes or culpability, we have a government that chooses to celebrate it instead.


Read more: Auschwitz, the Holocaust Survivors & the Lessons We Haven’t Learnt‘, ‘Hannah Arendt & the ‘Self-Hating Jews’ Who Survived the Holocaust‘, ‘Behind the Veil of the Anti-Semitism Crisis‘, ‘When Saudi Arabia Ruled the World‘, ‘Iraq & the Endless Conflict Equation‘…

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One hundred years of the Balfour Declaration


NOVANEWS
Balfour, Britain and the Israeli flag

By Lawrence Davidson

The Balfour Declaration

British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that Britain will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration later this year. The Conservative Party leader addressed her party’s “Friends of Israel” faction and declared that the Balfour Declaration was “one of the most important letters in history” while pledging that her government would celebrate itwith pride.”

Her determination to do so is a clear indication that those who control national politics also control official interpretations of history. In the case of the Balfour Declaration’s centenary, it is the ongoing alliance of Zionist special interests and British political power that is about to turn what has been a disaster for Britons, Jews and Palestinians alike, into a source of national pride.

I have told the story of the Balfour Declaration in documented detail in my book America’s Palestine. Here is a brief synopsis:

The November 1917 declaration was a World War I expedient undertaken by the then British government to enlist the aid of worldwide Jewry (mistakenly believed to be led by the fledgling World Zionist Organisation) to the British side. In exchange the British government promised to create a “Jewish national home” in Arab Palestine after the war. In so doing it sought to buy Jewish assistance with someone else’s currency – that is, with territory then belonging to the Ottoman Empire.

In the case of the Balfour Declaration’s centenary, it is the ongoing alliance of Zionist special interests and British political power that is about to turn what has been a disaster for Britons, Jews and Palestinians alike, into a source of national pride. 

Key members of the war cabinet in London, such as the foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, were believers in the myth of worldwide Jewish power, and on that basis were convinced that Jewish influence in Washington could help bring the United States into the war as a British ally, and at the same time keep their eastern front ally, the Russians, from leaving the war. Though the US did soon enter the war, it had nothing to do with Jewish influence, and the Russians, now led by the Bolsheviks, proceeded to make a separate peace with the Germans.

At the end of World War I the Ottoman Empire collapsed and Britain found itself in military control of Palestine. The government in London then proceeded to follow up on its promise to the Zionists. It did so by allowing the massive immigration of European Jews into Palestine. At this point the policy was driven by a blend of religious and racist beliefs, along with imperial ambitions. First, there was the fact that the Jews were seen as European allies who would allegedly help secure a strategic part of the Middle East for the British Empire, and second there was a mesmerising mythic belief that a Jewish national home was somehow in line with the fulfilment of biblical prophecy. In the end none of this played out well for the British. In 1948 they were driven out of Palestine by both violently hostile Zionists and Arab nationalists. They left with their tails between their legs.

It appears that Prime Minister May and her party’s “Friends of Israel” reject this history. Or, perhaps they don’t care about documented facts because all that now matters is keeping for the Conservative Party the financial backing of the Zionist lobby. Such is democratic politics in the West.

A disaster all around

It is worth repeating that the consequences of the Balfour Declaration have proven to be disastrous. British hegemony lasted but 30 years and, as just mentioned, ended in an ignominious withdrawal. The Palestinians have suffered decades of dispossession and ethnic cleansing. And the Jews, religious and secular, of the resulting state of Israel, now officially tied to the Zionist ethos, have been politically seduced and culturally converted to a racist ideology. Today, for many Jews, Zionism and Judaism are two sides of the same coin. One way you can demonstrate this latter point is by calling the ideology of Zionism into question. In doing so you will be labelled an anti-Semite.

Why has this situation come to pass? Certainly, the history of European anti-Semitism, culminating in the holocaust, has a lot to do with it. Anti-Semitism always constituted a threat for the Jews of the West. However, traditionally, that threat was mostly local. That is, even as the Jews of a particular shtetl in, say, southern Russia were being slaughtered, those elsewhere might be prospering. So, the danger was always there but only sporadically realised. But then came the Nazis and the dimensions of the threat changed radically. As a result, there was a total breakdown of European Jewish life. And, for a significant number, the old Torah-based insights and philosophies that explained the world no longer sufficed.

So what did those Western Jews who managed to survive do in such circumstances? Their customary social order was gone. They were adrift in a world which did not make sense except in terms of its mortal danger. Under such conditions an applicable single idea that appeared to be historically logical could serve as a life preserver, and that idea was Zionism.

Zionism seemed historically logical because it melded the historical success of the nation-state, which was after all the dominant political system of the age, with a biblical myth that rationalised a “Jewish state” in the Arab land of Palestine. To both the survivors of the holocaust and to those Jews who had watched the destruction of European Jewry from afar (i.e., from such places as the US), the whole package must have had an internal logic that was irresistibly comforting – promising permanent security in a Jewish national home.

Conclusion

While one can understand the seductive power of Zionism, it, like other exclusively racial or ethnic political ideologies, only led to predictable disaster. The truth is that it is impossible to create a state exclusively for one people (call them people A) in a territory already populated by another people (call them people B) without the adoption of racist policies by A and serious resistance on the part of B. Under such circumstances, for A, there can be no real security nor can there be anything like a healthy national culture.

The whole process has proved remarkably self-corrupting for Zionist Jews. It is ironic that now most Zionists are themselves anti-Semites. In this case the Semite targets are the Palestinians and the growing number of Western Jews who have come to support their cause.

Thus, the plans to celebrate the centenary of the Balfour Declaration is based on an illusion that something awful is really something prideful. The only way you can pull this off is if you have the power to twist the entire historical episode into something it is not – and that is what Theresa May is planning to do.

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The Hidden History of the Balfour Declaration


NOVANEWS
By John Cornelius

pic

IN THIS article the author relates what he believes to be the true story of how the British government came to issue what has come to be known as the Balfour Declaration.

The Balfour Declaration took the form of a letter, dated Nov. 2, 1917, from Arthur Balfour, foreign secretary of the British government, to Lord Walter Rothschild, head of the organization of British Zionists. This letter promised that the British government would work to bring about “a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine.” (See box.)

I have written three earlier articles in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, on this subject, and my views have evolved with the passage of time.1,2,3 What has not changed is my belief in a British-Zionist trade whereby the Zionists assisted in bringing America into the war and, in return, the British promised them Palestine.

Among the things that have changed is my concept of the timing of the agreement. The earliest article contained a chronology showing that the British received a plain-language copy of the Zimmermann telegram (ZT) a few days after it was sent, encoded, from Berlin to Washington, on Jan. 16, 1917, and that the first formal meeting between British Zionists and the British government took place on Feb. 7, 1917. It now appears that the basic agreement was made several months before that time and what was betrayed to the British was not the text of the ZT, but rather the code in which it was sent.

Autumn 1916

The story can begin about halfway through the First World War, in the autumn of 1916. We will examine three components of the situation at that time: the military and naval positions and the status of British Zionist negotiations.

On land, the war began in August 1914 with the German army facing enemies on two fronts. In accordance with a long-standing plan, the Schlieffen plan, Germany attacked France first, hoping for a quick victory there, after which it could turn its full attention to the Russian front. Events did not work out that way. The Germans did advance, through Belgium, deep into France, but they did not succeed in enveloping Paris from the west, as had been the intention. By the end of 1914 a sort of stalemate had developed. A year and a half later the location of the front had not changed greatly, and a continuous line of trenches ran from the Swiss border almost to the North Sea. Both sides mounted offensives from time to time, with heavy loss of life, but the location of the front changed by only a few miles.

The Germans fared better on the Russian front, but that does not concern us here.

By the middle of 1916 the French army was largely exhausted, and the next big Allied offensive was undertaken primarily by the British. The battle of the Somme began on July 1, 1916 and was one of the bloodiest in history. The British suffered 60,000 casualties (19,000 dead) on the first day alone. Total casualties were over a million, more or less equally divided between the two sides. The location of the front shifted by a few miles.

Well before the battle ended, the British must have concluded that they would not be able to drive the Germans out of France by frontal assault.

At sea, the situation was delicate. Early in the war, on Nov. 3, 1914, Britain had declared the whole of the North Sea a theater of war and instituted an illegal blockade of the adjoining neutral coasts and ports. The purpose of the blockade was to starve Germany into submission. The American government protested but took no action.4

On Feb. 4, 1915 the German ambassador informed the American government that from Feb.18 a counter blockade would be in force, and the territorial waters of Great Britain and Ireland, including the whole of the English Channel, were declared a war area.

On May 7, 1915 the British liner Lusitania, traveling from New York to Liverpool, was struck off the Irish coast by a single torpedo, which provoked a much larger secondary explosion. The ship sank quickly, with the loss of almost 1,200 lives, 128 of them American.

There was strong American reaction to the sinking of the Lusitania, both popular and diplomatic, and the U.S. came close to breaking off diplomatic relations with Germany. A meeting between the German ambassador and President Woodrow Wilson on June 2 had the effect of calming matters for a time, but an exchange of diplomatic notes occurred. The second American note, of June 10, led to the resignation of the American secretary of state, William Jennings Bryan, who believed that neutrality required that American citizens be forbidden from traveling on ships bearing the flag of any belligerent nation. And, in fact, Americans could perfectly well have traveled on American, Dutch, or Scandinavian vessels.

Although there had been no settlement of the Lusitania case, feeling died down for a time. Then on Aug. 19, 1915 the British passenger steamer Arabic was sunk off the coast of Ireland, with the loss of two American lives. Once again the possibility of war between the U.S. and Germany loomed. In this case, however, Germany revealed that, following the Lusitania sinking, German submarine commanders had been ordered not to sink liners without warning, and apologized and offered compensation. Although the Lusitania matter still was not settled, following the Arabic apology German-American relations remained tranquil for several months.

The next cloud on the horizon was the “Sussex incident.” On March 24, 1916 the French trans-channel steamer Sussex was reported torpedoed and sunk in the English Channel, with the loss of several American lives. There seems to be some question as to whether the Sussex was in fact torpedoed and sunk at all, but in any case, the American government issued an ultimatum, and the German government was forced to acknowledge that the Sussex had been sunk by a German submarine and to agree that henceforth German submarines would abide by the rules of “cruiser warfare,” a severe restriction which seriously handicapped the submarine as a strategic weapon.

Throughout the war, there were two schools of thought within the German government. One held that the submarine was a major strategic weapon, with the potential of winning the war for Germany. The other held that the continued use of submarines against merchant shipping would lead to continual incidents and ultimately bring America into the war on the side of the Allies, and that therefore the use of submarines against merchant shipping was against Germany’s interest. By the fall of 1916 this issue had not been resolved.

British-Zionist negotiations date back at least to 1903. In that year the sixth Zionist congress took place in Basel. It is referred to as the “Uganda” congress because it dealt with an offer by the British government to make available land in Uganda for Jewish settlement. The offer was seriously considered and was, in fact, approved by a majority of the delegates, but the debate proved to be very divisive, and ultimately the offer was not taken up.

During that period Arthur Balfour was British prime minister, and the Zionists had retained the London law firm of Lloyd George, Roberts and Co. This firm was chosen because one of the partners, David Lloyd George, was an MP and thus in touch with Foreign Office thinking.5 Both Balfour and Lloyd George must have given serious thought at that time to the question of what the British government and the Zionists could do for each other.

That Balfour continued to think about this is shown by his statement at what Chaim Weizmann calls their second meeting in 1915 (the first was in 1906): “You know, I was thinking of that conversation of ours, and I believe that after the guns stop firing you may get your Jerusalem.”6

British-Zionist negotiations date back at least to l903.

On the other hand, in her 1983 book, Dear Lord Rothschild, Rothschild’s niece, Miriam Rothschild, states that Balfour and Weizmann had met on several occasions between 1905 and 1915 and had established an excellent rapport.7

In any case, it would seem that a pattern of British-Zionist negotiations, and in particular of Balfour-Weizmann negotiations, had been established well before the fall of 1916.

It is interesting to note that the Encyclopedia Britannica states that Balfour succeeded Winston Churchill as first lord of the admiralty in May 1915, whereas in Trial and Error Weizmann states that in March 1916 he was summoned to the British admiralty in connection with a chemical process he had developed and was subsequently brought into the presence of “the First Lord of the Admiralty, who was at that time Mr. Winston Churchill.”

Whatever the truth of the timing may be, Weizmann established a pattern of frequent visits to the admiralty, ostensibly in connection with his chemical process, but which would also have provided the opportunity for frequent, prolonged and secret negotiations between Weizmann and Balfour.

What Happened Next

Once it became clear, in the fall of 1916, that the battle of the Somme would not result in the German army’s being forced out of France, the British, with their resources approaching exhaustion, had to consider what to do next.

Herbert Asquith, who had been prime minister since 1908, had begun, reluctantly, to consider a negotiated peace, but negotiations with the Zionists, through Weizmann and Balfour, provided another option for Britain, although not for Asquith. That option was the possibility of a formal, but secret, alliance between the Zionists and the Monarchy, whereby the British Monarchy would undertake to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine and the Zionists would undertake to help bring America into the war on the side of the Allies, thus assuring an Al-lied victory. An agreement with a British government would certainly be necessary, but British governments come and go, and a commitment from something less ephemeral than a British government would have been required by the Zionists.

It is proposed that such a secret agreement took place. There seems to be no way to date it accurately, but it seems likely to have occurred sometime in October 1916.

Once a formal agreement was in place, the next step was to arrange for several changes in personnel—on both the British and the German sides.

  • The first change was in the leadership of Room 40, the name given the British codebreaking organization. Room 40 was destined to play a key role in the vast deception to follow, and it was necessary to have a trusted actor at its head. Room 40 was first set up in the fall of 1914 under the direction of Alfred Ewing, who retained that position until October 1916. At that time Ewing was replaced by Captain Reginald Hall, director of naval intelligence. Balfour found a suitable position for Ewing in academia. See “Five Books,” p. 47.
  • In Germany, Gottlieb von Jagow, who had been foreign minister since 1913, resigned in November 1916 over the issue of unrestricted submarine warfare, which he opposed. Speaking of the situation in Berlin at that time, the then German ambassador to the U.S. stated, “the unrestricted submarine campaign was only made possible by the resignation of Herr von Jagow, who was the chief opponent of the submarine campaign,” and “as long as Herr von Jagow remained secretary of state, a breach with the United States was regarded as impossible.”8
  • Von Jagow was replaced by Arthur Zimmermann, undersecretary for foreign affairs since 1911. Before 1914, Berlin was the center of Zionist activity, and in 1912 the organization which was to become the Technion, or Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa had placed itself under the protection of Germany, and Zimmermann had arranged with the Turkish government for the purchase of land and the erection of a building.9 Zimmermann clearly enjoyed good relations with German Zionists and was thus susceptible to Zionist influence.
  • In November 1916, Woodrow Wilson was re-elected to a second term as U.S. president with the slogan, “He kept us out of war.” It was understood that Wilson’s aim was to bring about a negotiated end to the war without victory for either side.
  • In early December 1916, a political crisis, probably engineered, occurred in Britain, and Herbert Asquith, who had been prime minister since 1908, was forced to resign. The denouement came on Dec. 6, 1916. That afternoon King George V summoned several prominent political figures, including Balfour and Lloyd George, to a conference at Buckingham Palace. Later that same evening, Balfour received a small political delegation, which proposed that the difficult political situation could be resolved with Lloyd George as prime minister, provided Balfour would agree to accept the position of foreign minister, which he did.10
  • Lloyd George then quickly imposed a war dictatorship, and direction of the war was entrusted to a “War Cabinet” of five members, including himself as prime minister and Balfour as foreign minister. Mark Sykes was named secretary.

At that point, all necessary changes in personnel had been accomplished.

  • On Dec. 18, 1916, the American ambassador to Britain conveyed an “offer of peace” on behalf of the Central Powers to the Allies.
  • On the following day, David Lloyd George, in his first speech to Parliament as prime minister, heaped scorn on the peace proposal and vowed that Britain and its allies would fight on until victory.

In retrospect, it seems clear that this speech was a bluff and was meant to goad the Germans into resuming unrestricted submarine warfare.

That this was indeed the case is indicated by a series of messages from the U.S. ambassador to Britain, Walter Page, to President Wilson and the secretary of state, written in June 1917.11 These messages make it clear that Britain was on the verge of financial collapse, and that only American support could avert disaster.” These messages were made public only in 1925 and are, in my opinion, too little known.

  • On Jan. 9, 1917 the German government made the fateful decision to resume unrestricted submarine warfare at the beginning of the following month.
  • Date unknown—What would come to be known as the Zimmermann telegram was concocted in London. My source for this information is a letter to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, written in response to my first (1997) article, by author Russell Warren Howe.12 Howe stated that he had been taught at Cambridge that the ZT was “concocted in London to encourage Washington to join the Allies against the Central Powers.” My first reaction to this letter was doubt—because Zimmermann subsequently accepted responsibility for the ZT. But of course he had to, because he was responsible, even if the idea came from someone else.
  • Date unknown, possibly before the previous two entries—The key to German code 7500 (in which the ZT was to be sent) was provided to Room 40 by an informant. Howe states that Britain broke code 7500 (he calls it 0075) “a few weeks before the ZT.” By “broke,” he presumably means “acquired.”
  • Date unknown—One Herr von Kemnitz, an East Asia expert in the German foreign office and presumably a Zionist agent, presented Zimmermann with the text of a proposed telegram, the ZT, that he had supposedly drafted but had more likely received from London.13 Against the opposition of some of his colleagues, he persuaded Foreign Minister Zimmermann to send it.
  • On Jan. 16, 1917, two telegrams were sent sequentially, by cable, from Foreign Minister Zimmermann, in Berlin, to the German ambassador in Washington, Count Bernstorff. The first, which both Zimmermann and Bernstorff considered to be by far the more important, informed Bernstorff of the decision to resume unrestricted submarine warfare on Feb. 1, 1917, and gave him instructions on when and how to inform the American government. The second was what has come to be known as the Zimmermann telegram. (See box on facing page.) This second telegram was relayed to the German Embassy in Mexico City on Jan. 19, 1917.
  • The British intercepted the ZT on the day it was sent and promptly decoded it.

It should be noted that Zimmermann sent the ZT on his own authority. Neither the Kaiser nor Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg knew anything of it until it was made public in America.

After seeing these cables, Bernstorff attempted to have the German government rescind the unrestricted submarine warfare decision, but was unsuccessful.

  • Jan. 31, 1917—Bernstorff informed the U.S. government that unrestricted submarine warfare would commence the following day.
  • Feb. 3, 1917—The U.S. broke off diplomatic relations with Germany, and Bernstorff was told to leave the U.S.
  • Feb. 7, 1917—The secretary of the War Cabinet, Mark Sykes, met with Weizmann and other Zionist leaders in London, in what is widely, but incorrectly, believed to have been the first contact between the British government and the Zionists during the war. It is doubtful that Sykes himself had any knowledge of the October 1916 British-Zionist agreement.
  • Feb. 14, 1917—Bernstorff left New York on the Danish steamer Friedrich VIII to return to Germany. Safe conduct had been granted by the British.
  • Feb. 16, 1917—The Friedrich VIII entered Halifax, Nova Scotia harbor. Bernstorff remained incommunicado for almost two weeks.
  • Feb. 26, 1917—The State Department received a telegram from the American ambassador in London containing the plain language text of the ZT.
  • Feb. 27, 1917—Friedrich VIII permitted to sail from Halifax.
  • March 1, 1917 —Text of ZT published in U.S.
  • March 15, 1917—Czar Nicholas II abdicated, following the first of two 1917 revolutions in Russia. A provisional government was formed, later headed by Alexander Kerensky. Democracy appeared to have taken hold in Russia.
  • April 2, 1917—President Wilson addressed Congress. He spoke of the “wonderful and heartening” events in Russia, stated that “the world needs to be made safe for democracy,” and asked Congress to declare war on Germany.
  • April 6, 1917—Congress declared war on Germany.
  • Aug. 6, 1917—Zimmermann replaced as foreign minister in Germany.
  • Early November 1917—The Bolshevik revolution took place in Russia. The promise of democracy disappeared. The ex-Czar and his family were subsequently put to death. Kerensky was removed from power but came to no harm.
  • Nov. 2, 1917—Arthur Balfour sent a letter, including what has come to be known as the Balfour Declaration (BD), to Lord Walter Rothschild. For a number of years it was not known that the BD took this form. Lord Balfour’s obituary in The New York Times of March 20,1930 stated that the BD was the text of a speech delivered by Balfour on Nov. 4, 1917. See box p. 44.
  • March 8, 1918—Weizmann had a private and secret audience with King George V. According to Weizmann’s account in Trial and Error, the meeting consisted of an exchange of pleasantries, and one must wonder whether the meeting did not have some unstated purpose. One wonders, for example, if Weizmann did not emerge from the meeting in possession of a document signed by the King of England, possibly committing to more than did the BD.
  • Nov. 11, 1918-World War I ended.

Five Books: How the Betrayal of German Code 7500 to the British Was Covered Up

To establish that German Code 7500 was obtained by the British in 1917 by means other than codebreaking, it is instructive briefly to review five publications. These will be examined in the order in which they were published, which—because book three was first published classified and later declassified—is different from the order in which they were made public.

Our first book is The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page by Burton J. Hendrick.14Walter Page was a long-time (since 1881) friend of President Woodrow Wilson and was appointed by him to be U.S. ambassador to Great Britain, serving from 1913 until his death in 1918.

Volumes I and II of this three-volume work have a common index and were both published in 1922. Volume III deals largely with Page’s correspondence with President Wilson and Secretary of State Robert Lansing and was published in 1925, after Wilson’s death. It is important to remember that these volumes were written not by Page himself, who died in 1918—less than two months after the end of World War I—but by his biographer, Hendrick, who assembled the letters from many sources. We are concerned here only with Volume III.

Hendrick relates that in late February 1917 Balfour personally handed Page a copy of the document which has come to be known as the Zimmermann telegram. This document can be found in the box at right, and is referred to there as ZT-2. It is the version of the telegram that was forwarded by the German Embassy in Washington to the German Embassy in Mexico City on Jan. 19, 1917. Balfour stated that the telegram had not been obtained in Washington but had been bought in Mexico City.

Two other versions of the Zimmermann telegram may also be found in the box at right. These are ZT-1, the original telegram as cabled from Berlin to Washington on Jan. 16, 1917, and what we may call ZT-Hendrick. ZT-Hendrick appears nowhere else than in Hendrick’s book. It seems to be something the British gave Page, with an indication that it was an early, partial, decipherment of ZT-2 made sometime before Page was given the completely deciphered version. It is evident, however, that ZT-Hendrick is derived from ZT-1, not ZT-2.

ZT-1 and ZT-2 are, of course, English translations of German originals. There is no German original of ZT-H.

Some people in the U.S. government must have learned in early 1917 that ZT-1 and ZT-2 were sent encrypted in two different and unrelated codes. This did not become public knowledge, however, until F&M (see Book 3, below) was declassified in 1965.

It is difficult to see how the national interest was served by hiding from public knowledge for 48 years the simple fact that ZT-1 and ZT-2 were encrypted in different codes.

It was fortunate for the British that Page died when he did in 1918. Page was clearly an anglophile and eagerly accepted everything Balfour told him. Nevertheless, had he learned that the two versions of the ZT had been sent in different codes and that ZT-Hendrick could only have been derived from ZT-1, he would surely have realized that he had been deceived.

The second book is Arthur James Balfour by Lord Balfour’s niece, Blanche Dugdale, published in two volumes in 1936 (London) and 1937 (NY).15 This is a lengthy work, covering Lord Balfour’s entire life and political career. We are concerned here only with Chapter 10 of the second volume, in which the following significant paragraphs appear. The year referred to is 1917.

Ever since the middle of January, however, a piece of information had been in the possession of the British Government, which would move, if anything could, the vast populations behind the Atlantic seaboard States, who still read of the European War with as much detachment as if it had been raging on the moon. This was the famous telegram from Zimmermann, the German Foreign Minister, to the German Minister in Mexico, instructing him, if and when the United States should enter the War on the Allied side, to propose to Mexico an alliance which would restore to her, when peace came, her “lost territories in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico.”

The method by which this information had reached the British Intelligence Service made it impossible for some time to communicate it to the United States Government. Therefore for over a month Balfour read his dispatches from Washington of the slow wakening of the American will to war, but could do nothing to hasten the process. Till—at last—information about the Mexican plot reached London through channels which enabled the Intelligence Service to cover up the traces of how it had first been got.

This appears to open the possibility that the British government obtained either the Zimmermann telegram or the code in which it was sent from an informant, rather than by code-breaking, and in any case indicates that the British possessed the full text of ZT-1 shortly after it was sent.

The third work to be examined is a U.S. Army Signal Corps Bulletin, The Zimmermann Telegram of January 16, 1917 and its Cryptographic Background, by William F. Friedman and Charles J. Mendelsohn (F&M).16 This work was published, classified, in 1937 and was declassified in 1965. The senior author was born Wolfe Friedmann in Kishinev, Russia in 1891 and ultimately became known as the Father of American Cryptanalysis.

Friedman and Mendelsohn (F&M) undertake to determine how the British were able to intercept the Zimmermann telegram and how they were able to decipher it.

They reveal that the ZT (ZT-1) was first transmitted by submarine cable from Berlin to the German ambassador in Washington, Count Bernstorff, on Jan. 16, 1917, encrypted in German code 7500, and that Bernstorff then relayed it (ZT-2) as a Western Union telegram encrypted in German code 13042, to the German legation in Mexico City on Jan. 19. Two different codes were used because the German legation in Mexico did not possess code 7500, and the ZT had to be relayed to them in an older and less secure code.

The texts of the two versions of the ZT, the Berlin-to-Washington (7500) version and the Washington-to-Mexico City (13042) version, were identical, but they had different preambles. The preamble of the 7500 version was “For your Excellency’s personal information and to be forwarded to the Imperial Minister in Mexico by a safe route.” The preamble of the 13042 version was simply “The foreign office telegraphs on January 16.” (See “Three Versions” box on previous page.)

Code 7500 was a new and difficult code, only recently delivered by submarine to the U.S., and it is the professional judgment of F&M that the British would have been able to make, at best, a very rudimentary decipherment of the ZT by the time they made the verbatim text of the ZT available to the U.S.

F&M’s explanation of how the British obtained the text of the ZT is that, after making a meager beginning in deciphering the 7500 version, they were able to obtain a copy of the 13042 version, after which decipherment was soon accomplished. This fails to explain, however, how the British were able to obtain the text of the preamble of the 7500 version of the ZT, which they did.

The more likely explanation of how the British were able to obtain a verbatim copy of the original 7500 version of the ZT is that, at the time the ZT was sent, the British already possessed the key to that code.

Although F&M reproduce the Dugdale quotation given above, they are remiss in having failed even to consider the obvious possibility that the British might have obtained the text of ZT-1 (or code 7500) through an informant rather than by code-breaking. The possibility must be considered that this failure was by design rather than through oversight.

The fourth book to be considered is The Zimmermann Telegram, by Barbara Tuchman.17 This work first appeared in 1958, and a second edition appeared in 1966, i.e., after F&M was declassified in 1965.

The first edition of Tuchman’s book states that the British picked up the encoded ZT by wireless on Jan. 16, 1917, and found it to be in code 13042, which was related to codes the British already had deciphered. They were thus able, in short order, to produce a nearly complete copy of the decoded ZT.

In fact, the ZT was transmitted by cable, not radio, and encrypted in code 7500, not 13042.

Normally, the second edition of a book provides an opportunity, and also the duty, for the author to correct errors in the first edition. That did not happen with this book. The text is unchanged, but a “Preface to New Edition” has been added. In it, Tuchman reports the declassification of F&M and acknowledges that it “appears to modify my account”—a gross understatement. She acknowledges having been aware of the existence of F&M and acknowledges having been in contact with Friedman but professes to have been unaware of the content of the book.

The heart of Tuchman’s book is the de-tailed story in Chapter 1 of how the British deciphered the ZT in code 13042 on Jan. 16, 1917. A reading of F&M makes it clear that this story is false. It is conceivable that Tuchman believed this story when she first wrote it, but it is not possible that she still believed it when the second edition of her book was issued. It is the belief of this writer that Tuchman fabricated a false story of how the British obtained the text of the ZT in order to conceal the fact that they obtained it by betrayal rather than by codebreaking.

It is remarkable that Tuchman’s book continues to be read and believed more than 30 years after hard evidence has become available that the story is false.

The fifth and final book on our list is The Codebreakers, by David Kahn, published in 1967.18 This a lengthy work of 26 chapters and over 1,000 pages. We are interested primarily in Chapter 9, entitled “Room 40.” About half of that chapter is devoted to the ZT. A second edition appeared in 1996, but it does not alter Chapter 9.

Kahn’s explanation of how the British were able to decipher the ZT in code 7500 (which, like Tuchman but unlike F&M, he calls 0075) is that “somehow” the British obtained enough material in code 7500 to make a start at breaking it. Kahn quotes an incomplete version of the ZT as being what the British were able to produce. This same incomplete version is referred to by F&M as the “Hendrick version,” of which they say: “When all is said and done, the decipherment of the 7500 version of the Zimmermann telegram, even to the degree given in the Hendrick version, approaches the unbelievable.” Note that, unlike Kahn, who is a writer on cryptography, F&M were professional cryptographers.

One’s confidence in Kahn is eroded by the fact that, in discussing the question of why, after the ZT was made public, Zimmermann admitted authorship of it, Kahn states, “to this day no one knows why Zimmermann admitted it” (p. 297). This is disingenuous. Anyone who has looked into the matter knows exactly why he admitted it. The Germans were as much taken by surprise by the publication of the ZT as anyone else and wanted to know if it was genuine. Zimmermann was called on to testify before the Reichstag and had no choice but to admit it.

As an aside, note that Room 40 was the name given to the cryptoanalytic bureau set up in the British admiralty early in the war under the direction of Sir Alfred Ewing. Kahn reveals that Ewing remained the head of Room 40 from the fall of 1914 until October 1916, when he returned to academia, whence he had come. His departure was facilitated by Lord Balfour, and his replacement was Captain Reginald Hall, R.N., director of naval intelligence. We may infer that at this time British-Zionist negotiations were well under way and that Room 40’s role was being broadened from cracking German codes to include pretending to crack German code 7500.

We have examined our five books one-by-one. Let us now relate them to each other.

It is the unproven belief of the present writer that German code 7500, in which the original ZT was sent in January 1917, was obtained by a Zionist agent inside the German government, possibly either by means of photography or a photographic memory, and provided to the British government.

The second book cited, by Blanche Dugdale, is consistent with this belief in that it contains a veiled hint that the British might have obtained the plain language text of the ZT by means other than codebreaking, whereas the three following books totally ignore this possibility. Interestingly, the other three books give different, and incompatible, stories of how the British did obtain the text of the ZT.

It is clear that the authors of books three, four and five were acquainted with each other.

Since it was the first of these three books, F&M, of course, make no mention of Tuchman or Kahn.

In her “Preface to New Edition,” written after the declassification of F&M, Tuchman acknowledges having known of the existence of F&M, though not its content, and having spoken to Friedman. (There was no mention of either of these facts in the first edition.) Also in the same preface, Tuchman states that decipherment of code 7500 (which she calls 0075) will be analyzed in Kahn’s, at that time forthcoming, book. This implies contact between them.

Interestingly, Kahn makes no mention of Tuchman, nor does her name appear in the index, although Kahn’s account of the historical circumstance of the ZT seems to be largely borrowed from her book. Kahn does, however, mention Friedman. In the preface to The Codebreakers. Kahn mysteriously thanks Friedman for “a gift made in 1947, upon my graduation from high school, that was a major step in my cryptographic education.” One wonders if that “gift” might not have been the secret of how the British first obtained German code 7500 and of the need to protect that secret in perpetuity.

“Services Rendered”

In his seminal work, Arab Awakening (1938), George Antonius points out that in early 1917 three major obstacles stood in the way of Zionist efforts to obtain a commitment from the British government in support of their goals in Palestine.19First was the bargain concluded in 1915 with Sharif Husain of Arabia for an independent Arab state whose territory included Pales-tine. Second was the Sykes-Picot agreement, dividing the Middle East between Britain and France and placing the Holy Land under some sort of international administration. And third was the hostility toward political Zionism of an influential group of British Jews.

Antonius then continues:

“Undeterred, however, by those obstacles, Mr. Lloyd George appointed Sir Mark Sykes to open negotiations with the Zionists. What his motives were in wishing to come to an understanding with the Zionist leaders, and what the considerations were which induced the British Government eventually to issue the Balfour Declaration are questions to which the answers have been obscured by a smoke-screen of legend and propaganda. It is alleged, for instance, that the Jews used their financial and political influence to bring the United States into the War on the side of the Entente and that the Balfour Declaration was a reward for actual services rendered. All published evidence goes to disprove that allegation, and one can only infer either that it does not rest on any foundation or, if it does, that the services rendered by international Jewry in that connection were of so occult a nature that they have hitherto escaped the scrutiny of all the historians of America’s intervention.”

The initial meeting between Sykes and the Zionists took place on Feb. 7, 1917, and we can now see why the “services rendered” toward bringing America into the war have hitherto escaped the scrutiny of all the historians of America’s intervention. One would expect that Zionist actions aimed at bringing America into the war would have taken place sometime after the first British-Zionist meeting, but the first acknowledged contact between the British Government and Zionists was the Sykes meeting of Feb. 7, 1917. Yet by that time the Zionist contributions toward bringing America into the war already had largely been accomplished, although it is likely that Sykes himself was unaware of that.

The Balfour-Weizmann agreement of October 1916 was and remains entirely secret.

The Sykes meeting served as a sort of decoy.

In the few months between these two events, the following had taken place:

  • The civilian head of codebreaking “Room 40” in London had been replaced by the director of Naval Intelligence.
  • Von Jagow, who had served since 1913, was replaced by Zimmermann as German foreign secretary.
  • Asquith, who had served as British prime minister since 1908, was removed from power, and a new War Cabinet was formed, in which Lloyd George was prime minister and Balfour foreign minister—both friends of Zionism since 1903.
  • The key to German code 7500 was betrayed to Room 40.
  • A draft of the ZT was concocted in London and presented to Zimmermann by one of his subordinates in Berlin.
  • The ZT was transmitted by cable from Berlin to Washington on Jan. 16, 1917. It was copied by Room 40 and promptly de-coded. Note that this is incompatible with Tuchman’s story but entirely consistent with Dugdale’s account.

Thus, by the time of the Sykes-Zionist meeting of Feb. 7, 1917, the Zionist part of the bargain had been accomplished, and America was as good as at war. All that remained was for the British to find the best time and method for revealing the contents of the ZT to President Wilson and for him to convince Congress and the American people to go to war.

References:
  1. Cornelius, John. “The Balfour Declaration and the Zimmermann Note,” The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (Washington Report on Middle East Affairs), Aug./Sept. 1997.
  2. Cornelius, John. “Answering Critics of the Theory that Balfour Declaration Was Payoff for Zionist Services in WWI,” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Sept. 1998.
  3. Cornelius, John. “Palestine, the Balfour Declaration, and Why America Entered the Great War,” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Oct./Nov. 1999.
  4. Bernstorff, Count Johann Heinrich. My Three Years in America, New York: Scribner’s, 1920.
  5. Dugdale, Mrs. Edgar. The Balfour Declaration-Origins and Background, London: The Jewish Agency for Palestine, 1940, pp. 15-16.
  6. Weizmann, Chaim. Trial and Error, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1949, p. 152.
  7. Rothschild, Miriam. Dear Lord Rothschild, Glenside, Pa.: Balaban Publishers, 1983, p. 341.
  8. Bernstorff, pp.310-311.
  9. Weizmann, p. 143.
  10. Dugdale, Blanche. Arthur James Balfour, NY, Putnam’s, 1937, Vol. II, pp. 127-9.
  11. Hendrick, Burton J. The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, NY, Doubleday, Page & Co., 1925, Vol. III, Chap 14.
  12. Howe, Russell Warren. Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Letters to the Editor, Jan./Feb. 1998, p. 110.
  13. Link, Arthur S., Wilson, Vol. 5, Princeton, NJ, 1965, Princeton University Press, pp 433-5.
  14. Hendrick, Vol. III.
  15. Dugdale, Arthur James Balfour, Vol. II.
  16. Friedman, William F. and Mendelsohn, Charles J. The Zimmermann Telegram of January 16, 1917 and its Cryptographic Background, Laguna Hills, CA: Aegean Park Press, 1994.
  17. Tuchman, Barbara W. The Zimmermann Telegram. New York: Ballantine Books, 1958, 1966.
  18. Kahn, David. The Codebreakers. New York: Macmillan, 1967, 1996
  19. Antonius, George. The Arab Awakening. Philadelphia, NY: Lippencott, 1939.

 

Three Versions of the Zimmermann Telegram

ZT-I as sent in code 7500 from Berlin to Washington on Jan. 16, 1917
Source: German Hearings

Telegram No. 158.

Strictly confidential.

For your Excellency’s exclusively personal information and transmission to the Imperial Minister at Mexico by safe hands:

Telegram No. 1.

Absolutely confidential.

To be personally deciphered.

It is our purpose on the 1st of February to commence the unrestricted U-boat war. The attempt will be made to keep America neutral in spite of it all.

In case we should not be successful in this, we propose Mexico an alliance upon the following terms: Joint conduct of war. Joint conclusion of peace. Ample financial support and an agreement on our part that Mexico shall gain back by conquest the territory lost by her at a prior period in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Arrangement as to detail is entrusted to your Excellency.

Your Excellency will make the above known to the President in strict confidence at the moment that war breaks out with the United States, and you will add the suggestion that Japan be requested to take part at once and that he simultaneously mediate between ourselves and Japan.

Please inform the President that the unrestricted use of our U-boats now offers the prospect of forcing England to sue for peace in the course of a few months.

Confirm receipt.

ZIMMERMANN

ZT-2 as sent in code 13042 from Washington to Mexico City on Jan. 19, 1917

Source: Friedman and Mendelsohn, translated from the German version

The Foreign Office wires (telegraphiert) January 16:

No. I.

Absolutely confidential.

To be personally deciphered.

It is our purpose on the 1st of February to commence the unrestricted U-boat war. The attempt will be made to keep America neutral in spite of it all.

In case we should not be successful in this, we propose Mexico an alliance upon the following terms: Joint conduct of war. Joint conclusion of peace. Ample financial support and an agreement on our part that Mexico shall gain back by conquest the territory lost by her at a prior period in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Arrangement as to detail is entrusted to your Excellency.

Your Excellency will make the above known to the President in strict confidence at the moment that war breaks out with the United States, and you will add the suggestion that Japan be requested to take part at once and that he simultaneously mediate between ourselves and Japan.

Please inform the President that the unrestricted use of our U-boats now offers the prospect of forcing England to sue for peace in the course of a few months.

Confirm receipt.

ZIMMERMANN

ZT-Hendrick, date unknown

Source: Hendrick found among Ambassador Page’s papers

Zimmermann to Bernstorff for Eckhardt W. 158.

I6th January, 1917

Most secret for your Excellency’s personal information and to be handed on to the Imperial Minister in ? Mexico with Tel. No. 1…by a safe route.

We purpose to begin on 1st February unrestricted submarine warfare. In doing so, however, we shall endeavor to keep America neutral….? If we do not (succeed in doing so) we propose to (? Mexico) an alliance upon the following basis:

(joint) conduct of the war

(joint) conclusion of peace

Your Excellency should for the present inform the President secretly (that we expect) war with the U.S.A. (possibly) (…Japan) and at the same time to negotiate between us and Japan…(indecipherable sentence meaning please tell the President) that…our submarines…will compel England to peace in a few months.

Acknowledge receipt.

ZIMMERMANN

SIDEBAR 2

Mr. Morgenthau Doesn’t Go to Istanbul

A little known historical incident took place in the spring of 1917, shortly after the U.S. entered World War I on the side of the Allies. President Woodrow Wilson devised a plan for bringing about an early end to the war by detaching Turkey from the Central Powers. To this end, he sent a mission to Europe, where it was to meet with representatives of Britain and France in Switzerland and then make its way to Turkey. The mission was headed by Henry Morgenthau, Sr., who had been American ambassador to Turkey from 1912 to 1915 and had many contacts there. This story is related in Chapter 17 of Chaim Weizmann’s 1949 autobiography, Trial and Error.

The American mission never arrived in Switzerland, let alone Turkey. In early June of 1917, Weizmann, who was then in London, received a cable from Louis Brandeis in the U.S., informing him of the mission and suggesting that he contact it. Weizmann immediately contacted members of the British government and learned the nature of the mission. Weizmann was concerned that the Morgenthau mission might result in the war ending with the Ottoman Empire still intact, eliminating the possibility of a Jewish state in Palestine.

A subsequent conference with Lord Balfour lead to Weizmann’s being sent as the official British representative to meet with the American mission and a French representative. This meeting took place at Gibraltar after the American mission disembarked at Cadiz on July 4, 1917.

Weizmann reports that he had no difficulty persuading Morgenthau to drop the whole matter, so instead of proceeding to Switzerland and Istanbul, Morgenthau went to Biarritz, in the South of France, where, he said, he would communicate with General Pershing and await further instructions from President Wilson.

The Morgenthau mission was apparently secret, for Weizmann says he does not know how the story got out. He also says that in 1922, when Congress was looking into the merits of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, a senator stated that the leaders of the Zionist movement were unworthy men and that Weizmann, in particular, had prolonged the war for two years by scuttling the Morgenthau mission.

Morgenthau seems to have shown more loyalty to Zionism than to his president or his country.

Interestingly, author Barbara Tuchman was Morgenthau’s granddaughter.—J.C.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZIComments Off on The Hidden History of the Balfour Declaration

Chilean MPs to demand UK apology for Balfour Declaration


NOVANEWS

Image result for Balfour Declaration CARTOON

Palestine Information Center

SANTIAGO – A number of pro-Palestinian Chilean MPs are preparing for an international campaign starting from the Chilean capital, Santiago that calls on the United Kingdom to apologize to the Palestinian people for the Balfour Declaration, which paved the way for the establishment of Israel on the land of Palestine in 1948.

Chilean deputies from the parliament affirmed that the vast majority of the political spectrum in Chile advocates the Palestinian cause.

The deputy of the Christian Democratic party, Fuad Shahin, said in an interview with the Quds Press news agency that half of the deputies of the Chilean parliament support the Palestinian issue and back the UN anti-settlement resolution. They also push to stop importing goods form the Israeli settlements, and expedite the approval of the two-state solution and the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 territories.

George Sbakh, MP of the Christian Democratic party, told the Quds Press that the supporters of Palestine are not only in the parliament, but also in all Chilean official institutions, and they don’t face major challenges since supporting Palestine is common among Chilean people. Besides, pro-Israel activists in the Chilean parliament and government don’t pose any danger, he added.

A number of pro-Palestinian Chilean MPs received on Thursday a delegate of Palestinian notables in Europe accompanied by Palestinian journalists. Their visit to Chile comes as a part of activities seeking to shed light on the Palestinians of Chile who make up the largest percentage of Palestinian refugees in Latin American countries.

A group of Chilean MPs are preparing to launch a campaign demanding Britain to apologize to the Palestinian people for the Balfour Declaration on its centennial anniversary. They are also working to unify the endeavors of the pro-Palestinian parliamentarians in Latin America.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, UKComments Off on Chilean MPs to demand UK apology for Balfour Declaration


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