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The Balfour Declaration

Najeh Shahin
najehshahin@yahoo.com
2017 / 11 / 16

Balfour Declaration / Historical Context
Najeh Shahin
Perhaps we should talk about Napoleon s promise. Was not he the first leader who actually thought of establishing a homeland for the Jews in Palestine? If not defeated near the walls of Acre, not defeated in Abi Qir and not defeated in Waterloo, we could have see the beginnings of Israel at that early times of the nineteen century instead of the beginning of the twentieth century.
It may not be possible to answer the question above: "If" is necessary in the work of the historian, the political scientist, and politicians, but “if” opens the door of Satan in the terminology of the supporters of political Islam.
The Balfour Declaration is therefore not a pure British invention, but a "ghost" that traveled throughout Europe, as Marx put it in the Communist Manifesto. The project of the Jewish state in Palestine can only be understood in the context of exporting the surplus of the European population to Asia, Africa and the "New World". In order to explain this with a significant example, we remind the reader that immigrants, especially from the category of the puritans, treated America as the "Promised Land"´-or-some sort of the Promised Land. They called many areas in the East Coast of U.S names such as Palestine, Nazareth, Israel, Bethlehem, Hebron, etc. There is a political marriage with a mythical flavor between the colonization of the world, its settlement and its antagonism, and the religious narrative of the return of the people of God to its land. No matter how absurd it seems to us at current moment, America and Canada were treated as the Promised Land.
But the moment had been reached with Napoleon to think of the "original" Promised Land. Thus, the idea returned from its alienation in the “new world” to go back to its original land and a country called Palestine.
However, the British hegemon was the country who was destined to fulfill the Napoleon’s vision. The empire was suffering from some cash money shortage after three years of war against Germany and Turkey, and Rothschild and other Jewish moneylenders had enough of the urgently needed cash. This, of course, easily explains that the letter of the Minister of Balfour was addressed to Rothschild though it was publicly and officially announced. But of course this is not a sufficient reason, as the logicians might say: Of course there is the importance of the project per se that prompted Napoleon to think about it. The existence of a Jewish state in Palestine had been vital to the interests of France, Britain, Germany, etc., which turned out to be important to any colonial power dominating the global political scene and becoming the world s dominant power. One must sometimes wonder: will this fact be true to China in the case of its inheritance of the American hegemony?
The message to Lord Rothschild is astounding in many ways, especially its promise of the preservation of the civil and religious rights of the non-Jewish communities in Palestine, while it speaks of the political rights of the Jews and the impact of the promised Jewish state on the political status that the Jews enjoyed in Europe. From the right beginning the Jews had been political citizens while the Palestinians were treated as vague communities who had only “humane” rights.
This refers us back the older “New world’s” promised land: The Jews were European citizens could go with their free will to settle in Palestine, just as their peers went to settle in America, and they did not lose any of their rights as citizenship, including their political status. The Indigenous American “red Indians”´-or-Palestinian "Indians" had had only vague civil rights and some ambiguous religious rights.
Thus, the Balfour declaration had opened the door wide to inflict the political injustice upon the Palestinian people, which does not matter in this context whether it had been an accomplished nation at that moment´-or-was part of an Arab nation in the process of formation. The lack of crystallization of political identity does not justify the colonization of a country and the cleansing of its people. But this is what the Europeans have done since the beginning of the sixteenth century in all continents of the world. Palestine was not an exceptional case. It is noteworthy here that Algeria was subjected to a similar sort of colonization as that of America and Palestine, but the bravery of the Algerian revolution had completely undermined the French colonization project.
Today, some Palestinians and Arabs are asking/begging Britain to apologize for the Balfour Declaration. Of course, Britain will not do it, but if even Britain did, it would be change nothing in the reality of colonized Palestine. But we would like to point out in this context that the political identity of Britain, which released the Balfour declaration, has not yet changed. Britain had lost its global hegemony which was taken over by the United States. Britain s insistence on not apologizing and even going as far as celebrating the anniversary is an indication of the continuation of the European global war against the looted and weakened continents. In this sense, we must emphasize that the Palestinian and Arab conflict cannot escape the confrontation of global colonialism in all its spheres, including the Zionist entity called Israel which was established on the land of the Palestinian, thanks to the Balfour Declaration and the unlimited British / European support.




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