Palestine and Zionism: Historic Consequences


Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh – TRANSCEND Media Service

27 Mar 2015 – These are sections from two of my books published in 2004 and 2012 that directly relate to happenings today in Yemen and elsewhere in the Arab world. History has a way to teach those who understand it but those who don’t know history repeat the same mistakes like relying on Arab “leaders” and western powers.


The events leading up to the support of Britain and France for Zionist aspirations have received little historical discussion.  In examining historical documents of powerful nations like France and Britain, we find these nations issuing declarations to support the Zionist aspirations.   This came in France first with a letter sent from Jules Cambon, Secretary General of the French Foreign Ministry to Nahum Sokolow (at the time head of the political wing of the World Zionist Organization based in London) dated June 4, 1917:

“You were kind enough to inform me of your project regarding the expansion of the Jewish colonization of Palestine.  You expressed to me that, if the circumstances were allowing for that, and if on another hand, the independency of the holy sites was guaranteed, it would then be a work of justice and retribution for the allied forces to help the renaissance of the Jewish nationality on the land from which the Jewish people was exiled so many centuries ago. The French government, which entered this present war to defend a people wrongly attacked, and which continues the struggle to assure victory of right over might, cannot but feel sympathy for your cause, the triumph of which is bound up with that of the Allies. I am happy to give you herewith such assurance”.

Some five months later, on November 2, 1917, the British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour conveyed to Lord Rothschild a similar declaration of sympathy with Zionist aspirations.  It stated that:

“His Majesty’s Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

Palestinians and others in the Arab world were immediately alarmed. This declaration was issued when Britain had no jurisdiction over the area, and was done without consultation of the inhabitants of the land that was to become a “national home for the Jewish people.”  The declaration also wanted to protect “rights and political status” of Jews who choose not to immigrate to Palestine.  However, the native Palestinians are simply referred to as non-Jews and their political rights are not mentioned but only their “civic and religious rights”. Lord Balfour wrote in a private memorandum sent to Lord Curzon, his successor at the Foreign Office (Curzon initially opposed Zionism) on 11 August 1919:

For in Palestine we do not propose to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants … The four great 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 inhabit that ancient land.

While the usual collaborative elites agreed to his formulation of vague promises to ‘look into’ their demands, most people did not concede.36 At the request of the British government, King Abdel-Aziz Al-Saud called on Arab rulers to issue a statement calling on the Palestinians to end the revolt. The public declaration, issued on November 11, 1936, stated:

“We were pained by the current situation in Palestine. We in agreement with the Kings of the Arabs and Amir Abdullah [Hashemite family of Hejaz who were put by the British as ruler of Jordan] call on you to adopt quietness and stop the strike to prevent the spilling of blood relying on God and on the good will of our friend The British government and her declared desire to achieve justice. And trust that we will continue to strive to towards helping you.”

This was an easy way out for the AHC, which was not convinced of the strength of the Palestinian people and had only reluctantly joined the revolt…………..

End Quotes

 We should familiarize ourselves with eth Suykes-Picot agreement 1916, with the Jules Cambon and Belfour Declarations of 1917, with Paris Peace Conference 1919, with the San Remo Conference 1920, the Seville Treaty down to the Oslo and Camp David accords and many other treacherous plans by the “west” and by the Zionist movement to divide and conquer with help of petty tin-pot dictators in the Arab world. Only in that context can we understand things ranging from JSIL (Jewish State of Israel in the Levant) to ISIS/Daesh and in between. We can then understand why Saudi Arabia is keen to intervene in domestic affairs of a fellow Arab Country like Yemen with military might while it was silent in foreign invasions by Israel of other Arab Countries (e.g. Syria, Palestine, Lebanon). My final word is that if the people (especially those professing Sunni Islam) stay quiescent and allow this large scale slaughter in Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere that benefits Israel, then they will only have continued enslavement.


Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment, author of Sharing the Land of Canaan and Popular Resistance in Palestine. He is a professor at Bethlehem University and director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History.


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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 30 Mar 2015.

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