Balfour’s Shadow – A Century of British Support for Zionism and Israel

A review of the book authored by David Cronin

By Jim Miles GlobalResearch,

July 01, 2017

The Balfour Declaration, currently accepted by many as the founding legal statement for the establishment of Israel is really nothing more than a letter. It was a letter of policy between government personnel and became a major part of foreign policy then, and its shadow effects have continued on rather effectively to now. Balfour’s Shadow is a well written outline of the history of events after the letter: the immediate short term effects on British policy after WW I; the medium range policies that continued until after WW II; up to Britain’s current policy of advocating for and dealing with Israel. It is not a pretty story.

The letter was not necessarily well intended. Balfour himself was anti-Semitic. Yet the letter offered support to the Zionists for the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine. Several factors accounted for this, one of them being this very anti-Semitism, as many British felt that Jews would never assimilate into their society.

Several other factors came into play: Jewish support in the war effort was considered necessary; the British wanted to protect the Suez Canal as the main route through to its then colonies of south Asia, mainly India; and natural resources, oil, became a major interest after oil was discovered in abundance in the Middle East. A colonial outpost would, Britain believed, help consolidate control of the region against Arab interests in an era when British racism ran rampant throughout its colonial networks.

From that beginning, Cronin highlights the major factors in the relationship between Zionists, Jews, and the British government. He deals specifically with events pertaining to the government, and does not detail all that transpired during Britain’s occupation via the Palestinian Mandate. But the general thread of the history is exposed throughout the work, accessible to both those with a strong background in the history and those just entering into the discovery process of Middle East history. For the latter, Balfour’s Shadow provides enough detail that a reader should be motivated to research more information through other works (of which there are many).

Author David Cronin

(Source: @dvcronin / Twitter)

In general, Cronin reveals that the methods used by the British to control the indigenous population of Palestine laid the foundation for the ethnic cleansing and later suppression of the Palestinian people. Much history has been written about the Haganah, Stern, and Irgun ‘gangs’ fighting against the British, but the general trend of British behaviour was to support the increasing settlement patterns, evictions, and land grabs of the Zionist settlers.

After the nakba, Britain continued to supply Israel with military support ranging from hundreds of tanks, many planes, up to and including nuclear systems, in particular the sale of heavy water through Norway. This period was a transition from British global power to U.S. global power: after the fake war for the Suez Canal and the later pre-emptive war of 1967, the U.S. had clearly taken the lead in supporting Israel. Britain however did not let go.

Indeed, Britain became one of the strongest voices in support of Israel as military trade and financial/corporate interests continued with mostly behind the scenes activities.

Additional information is provided showing how the British worked to sideline the PLO by effectively recruiting Arafat as leader of a recognized PLO ‘government’, leading to the false promises of the Oslo accords and the continued annexation, settlement, and dispossession of the Palestinians.

For contemporary events, Cronin highlights the bizarre career of Tony Blair. At this point in time Blair was truly a “loyal lieutenant” for the U.S., adopting and promulgating U.S. policy for Israel and the Middle East in general. Bringing the work up to current events, “Partners in Crime” outlines the corporate-military ties between Britain, Israel, and the U.S.. Most of the corporate interest is military procurement going both directions – hardware to Israel, spyware and security ware to Britain. As always, these corporations (Ferranti, Affinity, Elbit, Rafael, Rokar, Lockheed-Martin) changed British views – at least of the elites – from tentative support to solidarity. These friendly relations also helped tie Israel into the EU more strongly.

Today, official British policy remains as an ardent supporter of Israel, with a lasting pride in Israel’s founding. The British colonial heritage rages on in the Middle East.

This is an excellent work most specifically for its focus on British attitudes concerning the development of Zionism/Israel, a history of war crimes and apartheid. Kudos to Cronin for his extensive use of many personal diaries and notices and of official records from War and Colonial office files as well as Foreign and Commonwealth files for more recent materials. It is concise and direct, an accessible read that can serve as a prerequisite for Middle East studies/Zionist studies and as a general guide to British policy for Israel. [1]

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Title: Balfour’s Shadow – A Century of British Support for Zionism and Israel

Author: David Cronin

Publisher: Pluto Press, London

Click here to order.

Notes

[1] Many books cover the development of Zionism and the creation of Israel. For a more highly detailed development of the historical situation preceding and leading up to the Balfour letter itself, the best I have read is: The Balfour Declaration – The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Jonathan Schneer. Anchor (Random House), Canada. 2012.

This review was first published in Palestine Chronicle, June 29, 2017.

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Abbas Fears the Prisoners’ Hunger Strike; 6500 Political Prisoners in Israeli Jails

“Abbas is publicly supportive of the strikers, but in private he is said to want the protest over as quickly as possible. Reports at the weekend revealed that he had urged Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, to intercede with America and Israel to help.”

Global Research, May 02, 2017
Jonathan Cook

The Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is due to meet Donald Trump in the White House on Wednesday to discuss reviving the long-cold corpse of the peace process.

Back home, things are heating up. There is anger in the West Bank, both on the streets and within the ranks of Abbas’s Fatah movement. The trigger is a two-week-old hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners.

Last Thursday, Palestinians shuttered their businesses in a show of solidarity, and the next day youths clashed with the Israeli army in a “day of rage”.

About a quarter of the 6,500 political prisoners held by Israel – almost all of them in Israeli territory, in violation of international law – are refusing food in protest at their degrading treatment. They want reforms to Israel’s industrial system of incarceration. Some 800,000 Palestinians – 40 per cent of males – have passed through Israel’s cells since 1967.

Israel hopes to break the prisoners’ spirits. It has locked up the leaders in solitary confinement, denied striking inmates access to a lawyer, taken away radios, and last week began confiscating salt rations – the only sustenance along with water the prisoners are taking.

The strike is led by Marwan Barghouti, the most senior Palestinian leader in jail – and the most popular, according to polls.

Abbas is publicly supportive of the strikers, but in private he is said to want the protest over as quickly as possible. Reports at the weekend revealed that he had urged Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, to intercede with America and Israel to help.

In part, Abbas fears the influence of Barghouti, a man often described as the Palestinian Nelson Mandela and seen as Abbas’s likely successor. Notably, the Palestinian president has repeatedly sidelined him within Fatah.

But Abbas is also concerned that the hunger strike will provoke violent clashes in the West Bank with Israeli security forces, damaging his efforts to persuade Trump to back his diplomatic campaign for Palestinian statehood.

Instead, he wants to prove he can snuff out any signs of what Trump might see as “terrorism”. That requires tight security cooperation with Israel.

The visit to Washington and the hunger strike have brought into sharp relief the biggest fault line in the Palestinian national movement.

Abbas’s strategy is strictly top-down. Its starting point is that western states – those that have consistently betrayed the Palestinian people over many decades – can now be trusted to help them attain a state.

From this dubious assumption, Abbas has sought to suppress anything that plays badly in western capitals. Pressure has only intensified under Trump.

By contrast, the “battle of empty stomachs” is evidence of a burgeoning bottom-up strategy, one of mass non-violent resistance. On this occasion, the demands are limited to prison reform, but the strike’s impact could spread.

Not least, the model of protest, should it succeed, might suggest its relevance to a Palestinian public disillusioned with Abbas’s approach. They too are living in cells of Israel’s devising, even if larger, open-air ones.

The starkly different logic of these two strategies is harder than ever to ignore.

To stand a hope of winning over the Trump administration, Abbas must persuade it that he is the sole voice of the Palestinians.

That means he must keep a lid on the hunger strike, encouraging it to fizzle out before prisoners start dying and Palestinian fury erupts across the occupied territories. His approach is reported to be creating severe tensions within Fatah.

Wishing only to add to those difficulties, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded last week that Abbas halt financial aid to the prisoners’ families, calling it compensation for terrorism.

Abbas also feels compelled to assert himself against his Hamas rivals in Gaza. That is why last week he stopped funding the fuel needed to generate electricity there, having recently cut medical services and salaries to Gaza’s civil servants.

His hope is that, as he turns the screws, Hamas will be toppled or forced to submit to his rule.

But more probably, the fissure with Hamas will deepen, forcing the cornered Islamist movement into another bloody confrontation to break free of Israel’s decade-old blockade. These divisions, most Palestinians increasingly understand, weaken rather than strengthen their cause. Mass non-violent resistance such as the hunger strike, by contrast, has the potential to reunite Fatah and Hamas in struggle, and re-empower a weary Palestinian populace.

Reports have suggested that Barghouti has reached a deal with jailed Hamas leaders committing to just such a struggle in the occupied territories once Abbas has departed.

A popular struggle of non-violence – blocking settlement roads, marching to Jerusalem, tearing down walls – would be hard to characterise as terrorism, even for Trump. It is the Israeli army’s nightmare scenario, because it is the only confrontation for which it has no suitable response.

Such a campaign of civil disobedience, however, stands no chance of success so long as Abbas is there to undermine it – and insists on obediently chasing after illusions in Washington.

A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net.

The Speech That Killed Sharon الكلمة التي قتلت شارون

Trump to meet Palestinian ‘double agent’

 

US president Donald Trump, a Judas Goat, has invited US Viceroy in the occupied West bank, Mahmoud Abbas, to visit the White House on May 3, 2017.

Abbas will visit Washington on May 3 and will meet with Trump to discuss possibilities to achieve peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said during Wednesday’s news briefing.

Mahmoud Abbas in an interview he gave to Japanese newspaper Ashai Shimbun on Wednesday, said:

President Trump knows that we are committed to a Middle East that lives in peace, justice and dignity, based on a two-state solution, international legitimacy and Arab Peace Initiative (2002).”

Trump, who met with Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this year, said he could live with either a one-state or two-state solution. Trump also said that his Jew son-in-law, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, whose family funds illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, would take the lead in the effort to broker peace in the Middle East.

Though projected as President of Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas lost that title in January 2009, when his PA mandate expired. He is kept in that position by the US, EU and UN to grab more Palestinian land which they have failed to secure from Gaza-ruling Islamic resistance Hamas. Gaza has second largest Palestinian population (1.7 million) outside Israel after Jordan (3.3 million). Hamas doesn’t recognize Mahmoud Abbas as representative of Gaza people or chairman of PA.

In 2014, Mahmoud Abbas said that Hamas doesn’t need to recognize Israel or any of PA-Israel peace agreements.

Jewish-controlled media is in habit of speculating a Fatah-Hamas unity government which has not materialized for the last 10 years.

Abbas is a known western stooge among the majority of the nine million Palestinian people living under Zionist rule, in Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan and around the world.

Donald Trump’s senior foreign policy adviser Jason Dov Greenblatt, whose brother Joseph Greenblatt is living in a jail on taxpayers’ money over investment fraud, visited Israel last month to discuss with the Zionist regime how to boost Abbas miserable ratings among Palestinians. During his meeting with Netanyahu, Greenblatt avoided condemning the new illegal Jewish settlements.

Trump’s one-sided support for the Zionist entity and his administration’s contempt for Palestinian rights proves Trump’s proposal to resolve Palestinian conflict will be written by Israelis.

On September 30, 2009, American political scientist and analyst James Gundun posted on his blog The Trench that the Jewish army cannot defeat Hamas.

Unless called to order by the Trump administration, Netanyahu, who faces no imminent electoral threat, is likely to continue his one-state/two-state tightrope act for the foreseeable future, while his government expands settlements, approves laws and implements other measures that lead Israel ever further down the path toward an undemocratic one-state future,” says Ron Skolnik, associate editor of Jewish Currents, April 12, 20017.

The Palestinians and the “State” Delusion

By: Rashid Shahin

After over 20 years of the futile “negotiations” the whole world (including the Palestinians) agrees that it has been fruitless.  It was aimless negotiations but a waste of time during which the occupation state of Israel has succeeded to shuffle the occupied land upside down and create deep demographic changes through accelerating the settlement that has never been done before.

Despite all the facts on the ground, some still hope to believe in that mirage and works to revive life in the dead body of the Oslo Accord. Still, some Palestinians are looking for an exit of some sort that would save them some self respect, or what has remained from their self respect, to prove that they can get something from a process that has resulted in nothing but more land grab, building settlements for more settlers obsessed with Talmudic heresies.

When talking of negotiations between enemies, it should be agreed upon from the beginning that there is a possibility for each party to recognize the other which  doesn’t exist in the Palestinian-zionist case. The Zionist party and since the very beginning of the struggle doesn’t recognize the existence of the Palestinian people, in the first place which was very clear from their deceptive slogan that was created in the early twentieth century of “a land without people to a people without land”.

bloody

Accordingly, the Palestinian leadership should take this in consideration and understand the fact that the Oslo process will never lead to a durable or comprehensive peace with the Zionists, with a state that was created initially by terrorist groups who committed heinous crimes in documented massacres against the Palestinian people to establish their atrocious states built on Talmudic heresies, on the rubble of the Palestinian people.

Gambling to reach to any peaceful agreement, even at the minimum level, with the Zionist state of gangsters (especially at the deteriorating Arab situation) is more futile than it was at the beginning of the Oslo process in Madrid Peace Conferencesupported by the first Intifada which was continued secretly later on in the suspicious Oslo Agreement.

Trying to copy the Iranian style (of negotiating) and identifying with it can’t work in the Palestinian case and dragging the situation into the Syrian case is a leap into the unknown.

Working at going back to the same futile negotiations again is nothing but a fruitless game that should be stopped especially after the facts on the ground imposed by the Zionist occupation, which is very clear not only to the Palestinian people in the street but also to all the world leaders.

Finally, we think that the status cue is a thousand times better than pursuing the mirage of the endless negotiations, especially it is clearer now (which is a fact that we should admit) that the Zionist occupation state is not intending to reach to a peaceful settlement for the struggle, and it is not ready ( as it has never been  before) to agree that the Palestinians get an independent state with Jerusalem its capital, and needless to mention the Palestinian refugees and the Right of Return.

The utmost reconciliation that the Zionist state might be willing to is to give the Palestinians an “expanded” autonomy, or a state with two different statuses, one to include the West Bank with annexing some of the bordering Palestinian towns that the Zionists want to get rid of, which is a typical racist style. OR, full occupation and annexing the West Bank. Accordingly we call to stop those futile negotiations with the Zionists that will end into nothing for the Palestinians.

 

Goodbye Palestine (But Watch for the Blowback)

Goodbye Palestine (But Watch for the Blowback)

BRIAN CLOUGHLEY | 02.02.2017 | OPINION

Goodbye Palestine (But Watch for the Blowback)

Donald Trump won’t be formally forbidding entry of Palestinians to his New Great America, because he doesn’t recognise Palestine and never will. But he has designed a way of preventing their travel and that of countless others by introduction of ‘extreme vetting,’ which will help to deny Palestine the legitimacy that the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly agreed upon five years ago.

The New York Times reported on January 25 that «the first of the two [of Trump’s] draft orders… calls for terminating funding for any United Nations agency or other international body that meets any one of several criteria [which] include organizations that give full membership to the Palestinian Authority or Palestine Liberation Organization».

It was ironic that also on January 25 the Times of Israel noted that former Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger would go to prison for fraud, breach of trust and tax offenses. His crimes resulted in a sentence of three years in prison and a fine of over a million dollars, and most people think he got off lightly, given the scale of his deception and grubby hypocrisy.

The irony is that the day before the Chief Rabbi was awarded his just punishment, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (himself under investigation for alleged swindling), announced that the state of Israel would continue to commit fraud, pledge itself to breach of trust and offend against international law and moral principles.

His decision to build 2,500 more homes for Israelis on Palestinian land was denounced as illegal by governments around the world (with a predictable exception), and the UN declared that such ‘unilateral actions’ were an obstacle to peace. The European Union criticised the announcement by saying that it «weakens rather than strengthens the prospects for a two-state solution to the Middle East peace process, and makes the possibility of a viable Palestinian state more remote» — which is exactly the intention of the government of Israel.

The EU also recorded that «settlements are illegal under international law and continued settlement expansion also calls into question Israel’s commitment towards reaching a negotiated agreement with the Palestinians», which highlighted the fact that Israel has no intention of ever attempting to reach a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians and is resolved to destroy them as a nation.

On 24 January the Israeli newspaper Haaretz observed with admirable objectivity that «Netanyahu has tried to destroy every possibility of achieving a two-state solution… With Trump behind him and a silent opposition, the prime minister is leading Israel to a binational state, which will be either not Jewish or not democratic».

No matter the crescendo of condemnation caused by Israel’s scornful rejection of so many humanitarian principles laid out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, there is no doubt that existing illegal settlements will be expanded and more will be built. Israel can afford, politically and financially, to defy the world because it is supported to the ultimate degree by Trump Washington. The President and the entire Congress are solidly on the side of the Zionist state, and with this firmly in mind Netanyahu arrogantly declared that «we came out with one stroke now and there will be more».

The government of the United States was conspicuously absent from those that condemned Israel for its contemptuous dismissal of December’s UN Security Council Resolution, which described settlement building as a ‘flagrant violation’ of international law, and when asked if Trump supported Israel’s flouting of international law, his press secretary, the truculent Sean Spicer, said that «Israel continues to be a huge ally of the United States. He wants to grow closer with Israel».

This was consistent with Trump’s tweet of December 28, just after the Council vote, to assure Netanyahu that «We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect. They used to have a great friend in the US but not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!»

January 20 is now receding to the tunes of erratic displays and decisions, and Trump has not been backward in reiterating his support for Israel.

His patronage became apparent on Inauguration Day, when, as the UK’s Daily Telegraph reported, the mayor of the Israeli settlement of Efrat was the first illegal settler ever to be a guest at a presidential installation. His invitation was not unexpected, however, because Trump has had a deep and personal association with Israeli settlements for a long time. In 2003, for example, he donated $10,000 to ‘Beit El, an affluent settlement of around 7,000 people just north of the Palestinian city of Ramallah.’ The gift was made in honour of David Friedman, Trump’s nomination to be ambassador to Israel.

In August 2015 The Times of Israel wrote that «Trump is not an unfamiliar face in Jewish circles. He has served as a grand marshal at New York’s annual Salute to Israel Parade. After Hurricane Katrina, he was among a group of celebrities who decorated Jewish federation tzedakah boxes to be auctioned off to support hurricane disaster relief. In February, he was honored with an award at the annual gala for the Algemeiner, a right-wing Jewish news organization». And it goes further than that.

As recorded by Slate, «In 1995, a company called Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts went public on the New York Stock Exchange. Trump was its chairman and, beginning in 2000, its CEO. The company lost money every year of its existence and went bankrupt in 2004. Its total 1995–2004 losses: $647 million. When it went bankrupt, bondholders had to settle for less than what they were owed. Employees lost their jobs and contractors went unpaid».

Trump’s bankruptcy lawyer was David Friedman.

Donald Trump and his attorney David Friedman, following an appearance in US Bankruptcy Court on February 25, 2010, in Camden, New Jersey. (Bradley C Bower/Bloomberg News, via Getty Images/JTA)

The UK’s Telegraph reported on January 29 that Friedman had led an American support group that raised funds for the Beit El settlement. Of even more significance, ‘the family of Trump’s powerful son-in-law Jared Kushner have also donated thousands to Beit El.’

It’s good to keep things in the family, but it is apparent that Palestinian families do not figure in the Trump list of priorities any more than the world’s refugees pluck any chord of sympathy in his flinty heart. He is determined to isolate the people of Palestine and will use whatever means at his disposal to do so. His casual malevolence is becoming the emblem of Brand Trump, and it does not matter who suffers as a result of his bizarre posturing on the world stage. His support for the equally malevolent and vindictive Netanyahu will result in obliteration of the Palestinian people – and will create even more resentment and terrorism. It’s called Blowback, and in the end, America and Americans will suffer.

‘Israel’ Plays its Trump Card

21-01-2017 | 13:20

Local Editor

Right-wingers in occupied al-Quds are ecstatic; Palestinian leaders are apoplectic. Welcome to a new era of the Arab-‘Israeli’ conflict.

 

‘Israel' Plays its Trump Card


On the issue of Trump’s presidency and the ‘Israeli’ benefit, Neri Zilber wrote for the Foreign Policy:

“We are entering a new era,” Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proclaimed last month, the day after the UN Security Council adopted a resolution condemning illegal ‘Israeli’ settlement construction in the West Bank and east occupied al-Quds/Jerusalem.

“Just as President-elect [Donald] Trump said … it will happen much sooner than you think. In the new era there is a much higher price for those who try to harm ‘Israel,’ and that price will be exacted not only by the US, but by ‘Israel’ as well.”

The Zionist government, as Netanyahu made clear, views the new US administration as a ‘shield’ against the rest of the world, and “anti-‘Israel'” measures like the Security Council resolution the Obama administration allowed to pass last month.

The US President called brokering ‘Israeli’-Palestinian peace the “ultimate deal.” Yet the only diplomatic activity taking place right now is focused not on any positive steps toward a two-state solution, but managing the impending rise of Trump.

The Netanyahu government’s optimism appears to be well-founded. In the immediate aftermath of the US election, Trump invited the ‘Israeli’ premier to the White House “at the first opportunity,” adding for good measure that the two leaders have known each other for years.

Trump’s choice for ambassador to the occupied territories, David Friedman, is a long-standing supporter of West Bank illegal settlements, even heading the US fundraising arm for one prominent settlement. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior advisor, is also known for his pro-‘Israel’ activism, with his family’s foundation donating to various West Bank illegal settlements.

Coming on the heels of the UN Security Council resolution and former Secretary of State John Kerry’s subsequent speech excoriating ‘Israel’ for its illegal settlement project, Trump tweeted that things will be “very different” when he officially takes office, imploring the Zionist entity to “Stay Strong.”

‘Israeli’ Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon made the threat first articulated by Netanyahu more explicit. “Perceptions,” he told ‘Israel’ Army Radio late last month, “are important” for the other Security Council members. Recent comments by both the British prime minister and Australian foreign minister, blasting Kerry’s speech and the Security Council resolution, respectively, proved Danon’s point. If foreign leaders want good relations with the new US administration, the path runs through ‘Israel.’

While the first test of the Trump administration’s intentions will come with respect to al-Quds, ‘Israeli’ intelligence assessments peg the adjoining West Bank as the most unstable arena over the coming year.

This “new era” of Trump, peremptorily embraced by Netanyahu and belatedly feared by Abbas, will without doubt put one central article of faith so common among both ‘Israelis’ and Palestinians to the test: that world affairs, whether in Washington or other major capitals, always inevitably revolves around them.

Source: Foreign Policy, Edited by website team

 

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