Winston Churchill defends the Balfour Declaration in 1921

This is what doesn’t exist today along with the kinds of politicians who can speak clearly and from deep principle. At the link is a discussion of Winston Churchill’s Defense of the Balfour Declaration which he made in 1921 while actually in the Middle East and while talking with the Arab leaders. Donald Trump is the closest equivalent today. The lesson we have learned since then is that a people with hatred in their souls cannot make peace because they will not make peace. That peace was possible was the hope he expressed then. What has the Arab population done in all that time to bring about a lasting peace between two peoples who would live together side by side in that fragment of the former Ottoman Empire? One can say there is fault on all sides, etc etc, but only the Israelis want mutual accommodation. Who would speak like this today? Who would not think such thoughts are pointless and mere air that can have no effect?

If a National Home for the Jews is to be established in Palestine, as we hope to see it established, it can only be by a process which at every stage wins its way on its merits and carries with it increasing benefits and prosperity and happiness to the people of the country as a whole. And why should this not be so? Why should this not be possible? You can see with your own eyes in many parts of this country the work which has already been done by Jewish colonies; how sandy wastes have been reclaimed and thriving farms and orangeries planted in their stead. It is quite true that they have been helped by money from outside, whereas your people have not had a similar advantage, but surely these funds of money largely coming from outside and being devoted to the increase of the general prosperity of Palestine is one of the very reasons which should lead you to take a wise and tolerant view of the Zionist movement.

The paper which you have just read painted a golden picture of the delightful state of affairs in Palestine under the Turkish rule. Every man did everything he pleased; taxation was light; justice was prompt and impartial; trade, commerce, education, the arts all flourished. It was a wonderful picture. But it had no relation whatever to the truth, for otherwise why did the Arab race rebel against this heavenly condition? Obviously the picture has been overdrawn. And what is the truth?

This country has been very much neglected in the past and starved and even mutilated by Turkish misgovernment. There is no reason why Palestine should not support a larger number of people than it does at present, and all of those in a higher condition of prosperity.

No reason at all, as it does today. But still no peace. A long article, but every word is worth your attention.

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