Behind the Balfour Declaration, Britain’s Great War Pledge To Lord Rothschild.

Here are some excerpts from the work of Robert John which provides additional information via his work titled Behind the Balfour Declaration, Britain’s Great Pledge To Lord Rothschild posted on the Institute for Historical Review web site. This may be regarded as a confirmation and validation of Vadimir Moss’s article titled Bolshevism and the Jews, posted in the previous article.

Normally I would just make comment and then add the hyperlink for the body of work to be viewed directly from the web site but in this case there is so much reading required which precedes the paragraphs of particular interest that I thought it necessary to lift them out and place them directly on this page. Of course anybody wishing to read the whole content of Robert John’s work may do so from the hyperlink  and in fact it is the best way to read it because the way that paragraphs are separated and indented in the original do not copy well.

Here is a most pertinent quote from Robert John’s work considering this day of Remembrance for the fallen of the Great War of 1914-18, which was promised to be the war to end all wars, and those which have followed since:

Quote: ”Yale said he had a talk with Weizmann “somewhere in the Mediterranean in 1919,” and asked him what might happen if the British did not support a national home for the Jews in Palestine. Weizmann thumped his fist on the table and the teacups jumped, “If they don’t,” he said, “we’ll smash the British Empire as we smashed the Russian Empire.”

In this context it is well to read the section on The Great War.

Behind the Balfour Declaration
Britain’s Great War Pledge To Lord Rothschild
By Robert John

http://www.ihr.org/node/242

According to Lloyd George’s Memoirs of the Peace Conference, where, as planned many years before, the Zionists were strongly represented,

”There is no better proof of the value of the Balfour Declaration as a military move than the fact that Germany entered into negotiations with Turkey in an endeavor to provide an alternative scheme which would appeal to Zionists. A German-Jewish Society, the V.J.O.D., [HH] was formed, and in January 1918, Talaat, the Turkish Grand Vizier, at the instigation of the Germans, gave vague promises of legislation by means of which “all justifiable wishes of the Jews in Palestine would be able to meet their fulfillment.”
Another most cogent reason for the adoption by the Allies of the policy of the Declaration lay in the state of Russia herself. Russian Jews had been secretly active on behalf of the Central Powers from the first; they had become the chief agents of German pacifist propaganda in Russia; by 1917 they had done much in preparing for that general disintegration of Russian society, later recognised as the Revolution. It was believed that if Great Britain declared for the fulfillment of Zionist aspirations in Palestine under her own pledge, one effect would be to bring Russian Jewry to the cause of the Entente.

It was believed, also, that such a declaration would have a potent influence upon world Jewry outside Russia, and secure for the Entente the aid of Jewish financial interests. In America, their aid in this respect would have a special value when the Allies had almost exhausted the gold and marketable securities available for American purchases. Such were the chief considerations which, in 1917, impelled the British Government towards making a contract with Jewry.[189]”

As for getting the support of Russian Jewry, Trotsky’s aims were to overthrow the Provisional Government and turn the imperialist war into a war of international revolution. In November 1917 the first aim was accomplished. Military factors primarily influenced Lenin to sign the peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk in 1918.

The Zionist sympathizers Churchill and George seemed never to lose an opportunity to tell the British people that they had an obligation to support the Zionists.

But what had the Zionists done for Britain?

Where was the documentation?

“Measured by British interests alone,” wrote the Oxford historian Elizabeth Monroe in 1963, the Balfour Declaration “was one of the greatest mistakes in our imperial history!”
The Zionists had the Herzlian tradition — shall we call it — of Promises, “promises.” Considerable credit for the diplomacy which brought into existence the Jewish national home must go to Weizmann. A British official who came into contact with him summarized his diplomatic method in the following words:

”When (the First World War) began, his cause was hardly known to the principal statesman of the victors. It had many enemies, and some of the most formidable were amongst the most highly placed of his own people … He once told me that 2,000 interviews had gone into the making of the Balfour Declaration. With unerring skill he adapted his arguments to the special circumstances of each statesman. To the British and Americans he could use biblical language and awake a deep emotional undertone; to other nationalities he more often talked in terms of interest. Mr. Lloyd George was told that Palestine was a little mountainous country not unlike Wales; with Lord Balfour the philosophical background of Zionism could be surveyed; for Lord Cecil the problem was placed in the setting of a new world organization; while to Lord Milner the extension of imperial power could be vividly portrayed. To me, who dealt with these matters as a junior officer of the General Staff, he brought from many sources all the evidences that could be obtained of the importance of a Jewish national home to the strategical position of the British Empire, but he always indicated by a hundred shades and inflections of the voice that he believed that I could also appreciate better than my superiors other more subtle and recondite arguments.[190]”…………..

In the U.S., in July 1917, a special mission consisting of Henry Morgenthau, Sr., and Justice Brandeis’s nephew, Felix Frankfurter, was charged by President Wilson to proceed to Turkey, against which the United States did not declare war, to sound out the possibility of peace negotiations between Turkey and the Allies. In this, Wilson may have been particularly motivated by his passion to stop the massacres of Armenian and Greek Christians which were then taking place in Turkey and for whom he expressed immense solicitude On many occasions. Weizmann, however, accompanied by the French Zionist M. Weyl, forewarned, proceeded to intercept them at Gibraltar and persuaded them to return home.[147] During 1917 and 1918 more Christians were massacred in Turkey. Had Morgenthau and Frankfurter carried out their mission successfully, maybe this would have been avoided.
This account appears in William Yale’s book The Near East: A Modern History. He was a Special Agent of the State Department in the Near East during the First World War. When I had dinner with him on 12 May 1970 at the Biltmore Hotel in New York, I asked him if Weizmann had told him how the special mission had been aborted. He replied that Weizmann said that the Governor of Gibraltar had held a special banquet in their honor, but at the end all the British officials withdrew discretely, leaving the four Jews alone. “Then,” said Weizmann, “we fixed it.”
The same evening, he told me something which he said he had never told anyone else, and which was in his secret papers which were only to be opened after his death. He later wrote to me, after he had read The Palestine Diary, saying that he would like me to deal with those papers.
One of Yale’s assignments was to follow Wilson’s preference for having private talks with key personalities capable of influencing the course of events. He did this with Lloyd George, General Allenby and Col. T.E. Lawrence, for example. Yale said he had a talk with Weizmann “somewhere in the Mediterranean in 1919,” and asked him what might happen if the British did not support a national home for the Jews in Palestine. Weizmann thumped his fist on the table and the teacups jumped, “If they don’t,” he said, “we’ll smash the British Empire as we smashed the Russian Empire.”

Brandeis was in Washington during the summer of 1917 and conferred with Secretary of State Robert S. Lansing from time to time on Turkish-American relations and the treatment of Jews in Palestine.[148] He busied himself in particular with drafts of what later became the Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate for Palestine, and in obtaining American approval for them.[149] A considerable number of drafts were made in London and transmitted to the United States, through War Office channels, for the use of the American Zionist Political Committee. Some were detailed, but the British Government did not want to commit itself to more than a general statement of principles.

On 18 July, such a statement, approved in the United States, was forwarded by Lord Rothschild to Lord Balfour. It read as follows:

”His Majesty’s Government, after considering the aims of the Zionist Organization, accepts the principle of recognizing Palestine as the National Home [CC] of the Jewish people and the right of the Jewish people to build up its national life in Palestine under a protectorate to be established at the conclusion of peace following the successful issue of war.
His Majesty’s Government regards as essential for the realization of this principle the grant of internal autonomy to the Jewish nationality in Palestine, freedom of immigration for Jews, and the establishment of a Jewish national colonization corporation for the resettlement and economic development of the country.

The conditions and forms of the internal autonomy and a charter for the Jewish national colonizing corporation should, in the view of His Majesty’s Government, be elaborated in detail, and determined with the representatives of the Zionist Organization.[150]”

It seems possible that Balfour would have issued this declaration but strong representatives against it were made directly to the Cabinet by Lucien Wolf, Claude Montefiore Sir Mathew Nathan, Secretary of State for India Edwin Montagu, [DD] and other non-Zionist Jews. It was significant they believed that “anti-semites are always very sympathetic to Zionism,” and though they would welcome the establishment in Palestine of a center of Jewish culture, some — like Philip Magnes — feared that a political declaration would antagonize other sections of the population in Palestine, and might result in the Turks dealing with the Jews as they had dealt with the Armenians.[154] The Jewish opposition was too important to ignore, and the preparation of a new draft was commenced. At about this time, Northcliffe and Reading [EE] visited Washington and had a discussion with Brandeis at which they undoubtedly discussed Zionism.[155]
Multiple pressures at key points led Lord Robert Cecil to telegraph to Col. E.M. House on 3 September 1917: “We are being pressed here for a declaration of sympathy with the Zionist movement and I should be very grateful if you felt able to ascertain unofficially if the President favours such a declaration. ” [156] House, who had performed services relating to Federal Reserve and currency legislation for Jacob W. Schiff and Paul Warburg, [157] and was Wilson’s closest adviser, relayed the message, but a week later Cecil was still without a reply.
On 11 September the Foreign Office had ready for dispatch the following message for Sir William Wiseman, [FF] head of the British Military Intelligence Service in the United States: “Has Colonel House been able to ascertain whether the President favours sympathy with Zionist aspirations as asked in my telegram of September 3rd? We should be most grateful for an early reply as September 17th is the Jewish New Year and announcement of sympathy by or on that date would have excellent effect.” But before it was sent, a telegram from Colonel House dated 11 September reached the Foreign Office.
Wilson had been approached as requested and had expressed the opinion that “the time was not opportune for any definite statement further, perhaps, than one of sympathy, provided it can be made without conveying any real commitment.” Presumably, a formal declaration would presuppose the expulsion of the Turks from Palestine, but the United States was not at war with Turkey, and a declaration implying annexation would exclude an early and separate peace with that country.[158]
In a widely publicized speech in Cincinnati on 21 May 1916, after temporarily relinquishing his appointment as Ambassador to Turkey in favor of a Jewish colleague, Henry Morgenthau had announced that he had recently suggested to the Turkish Government that Turkey should sell Palestine to the Zionists after the war. The proposal, he said, had been well received, but its publication caused anger in Turkey.[159]
Weizmann was “greatly astonished” at this news, especially as he had “wired to Brandeis requesting him to use his influence in our favour … But up to now I have heard nothing from Brandeis.” [161]
On 19 September Weizmann cabled to Brandeis:

”Following text declaration has been approved by Foreign Office and Prime Minister and submitted to War Cabinet:
1. H.M. Government accepts the principle that Palestine should be reconstituted as the national home of the Jewish people.
2. H.M. Government will use its best endeavours to secure the achievement of the object and will discuss the necessary methods and means with the Zionist Organization.[162]”

Weizmann suggested that non-Zionist opposition should be forestalled, and in this it would “greatly help if President Wilson and yourself support the text. Matter most urgent.” [163] He followed this up with a telegram to two leading New York Zionists, asking them to “see Brandeis and Frankfurter to immediately discuss my last two telegrams with them,” adding that it might be necessary for him to come to the United States himself.[164]
Brandeis saw House on 23 September and drafted a message, sent the following day through the British War Office. It advised that presidential support would be facilitated if the French and Italians made inquiry about the White House attitude, but he followed this the same day with another cable stating that from previous talks with the President and in the opinion of his close advisers, he could safely say that Wilson would be in complete sympathy.[165]
Thus Brandeis had either persuaded Wilson that there was nothing in the draft (Rothschild) declaration of 19 September which could be interpreted as “conveying any real commitment,” which is difficult to believe, or he had induced the President to change his mind about the kind of declaration he could approve or was sure he and House could do so.[166]
On 7 February 1917, Stephen Wise had written to Brandeis: “I sent the memorandum to Colonel House covering our question, and he writes, ‘I hope the dream you have may soon become a reality.” [167] In October, after seeing House together with Wise, de Haas reported to Brandeis: ”He has told us that he was as interested in our success as ourselves.” To Wilson, House stated that “The Jews from every tribe descended in force, and they seem determined to break in with a jimmy, if they are not let in.” [168] A new draft declaration had been prepared; Wilson had to support it.
On 9 October 1917, Weizmann cabled again to Brandeis from London of difficulties from the “assimilants” Opposition: “They have found an excellent champion … in Mr. Edwin Montagu who is a member of the Government and has certainly made use of his position to injure the Zionist cause. ” [169]

Weizmann also telegraphed to Brandeis a new (Milner-Amery) formula. The same draft was cabled by Balfour to House in Washington on 14 October:

”His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish race and will use its best endeavours to facilitate achievement of this object; it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed in any other country by such Jews who are fully contented with their existing nationality and citizenship.[170]”

It was reinforced by a telegram from the U.S. Embassy in London direct to President Wilson (by-passing the State Department), stating that the “question of a message of sympathy with the (Zionist) movement” was being reconsidered by the British Cabinet “in view of reports that (the) German Government are making great efforts to capture (the) Zionist movement.” [171]
Brandeis and his associates found the draft unsatisfactory in two particulars. They disliked that part of the draft’s second safeguard clause which read, “by such Jews who are fully contented with their existing nationality and citizenship,” …………

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