You know that awful feeling of doom when bad news makes your blood run cold? It’s happened to me at least four times already this year:
That fourth one had the Times of Israel crowing with delight. Its report succeeds in portraying Prince Charles as the perfect stooge while Boris Johnson is having a bad hair day as usual. Such a visit would, of course, legitimise Israel as an illegal occupying power and destroy the last shred of British credibility in the Middle East and indeed the rest of the civilised world. But that counts for nothing among the bird-brains that run our country.
Let’s remember how this Balfour lunacy began, Arthur Balfour (later Lord Balfour) being British foreign secretary at the time and a Zionist convert.
His Declaration of 1917 – actually a letter to the most senior Jew in England, Lord Rothschild – pledged assistance for the Zionist cause with total disregard for the consequences to the native majority in the land the Zionists had targeted: Palestine.
Calling itself a declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations, it said:
His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing and non-Jewish communities…
Balfour also wrote:
In Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country. The four powers are committed to Zionism and Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long tradition, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now occupy that land.
The “running sore in the East” and how it turned septic
Obviously, there was opposition. Lord Sydenham warned:
The harm done by dumping down an alien population upon an Arab country may never be remedied. What we have done, by concessions not to the Jewish people but to a Zionist extreme section, is to start a running sore in the East, and no-one can tell how far that sore will extend.
Well, we know now, a hundred years on.