100-Year of Balfour Declaration

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Dr Muhammad Khan

Once he signed the document, declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, President Trump has only acted as a tool for signing this document. Otherwise, it was part of United States policy to establish, sustain and strengthen the Jewish state in the heart of Arab world. In 1917, once two victorious European powers of World War-I; Britain and France conceived the idea of establishing a Jewish homeland, United States fully backed the idea. Nevertheless, since US had to emerge as a major power and subsequently as a super power, therefore, it maintained a covert support for the Jewish state until it overtly supported it during 1973 Arab-Israel war.
Two significant aspects must be kept in mind to understand the idea of conceiving, establishing and expansion of the State of Israel. The first aspect is; through a gradual process the Middle Eastern region was degraded and weakened which included; conspiracies against Ottoman Empire through Arab plotter like Sharif Hussain and subsequently disintegration of this huge Muslim Empire in World War-II. It would not have been possible to even conceive the idea of a Jewish state, had the Ottoman Empires remained intact or else had there been a strong and united Arab world after WW-I.
Proclamation of the Balfour Declaration-1917 was only possible, once there was no central authority in Middle East and Turks were fighting for their survival, away from Arab World. Within Arab world, there was a deep-rooted uncertainty since there were to evolve; mandates, nation states and protectorates as per the wishes of colonial powers as decided through Sykes Picot Agreement in 1916. Under such a circumstances, it was very convenient for France and UK to announce establishment of Jewish state through a Balfour Declaration.
It is worth mentioning that, neither Palestinians nor the Arabs were consulted for the Balfour Declaration, the basis for the foundation of the state of Israel. Just imagine the level of entrenched conspiracy that, “The entire text of the Balfour Declaration was included in the British Mandate for Palestine, which came into effect in 1923.” Despite a clear opposition to this declaration by British House of Lords in 1922 (60 to 29), none of these two documents made a mentioned of the Palestinians by name. Thus, the pledges made by British Government (His Majesty’s pledges with the people of Palestine) were disregarded, once, Winston Churchill, the Colonial Secretary overturned the vote in the House of Commons.
Today, on the eve of completion of 100 Years of the Balfour Declaration, United States declared the Jerusalem as the capital of Israel at a time once, the Arab world is again in a state of disarray, confusion, chaos, and both inter and intra-state rivalries. U.S and Israel have taken advantage of this historic moment of regional anarchy, while taking such a decision. Over the years, United States and Israel had to work hard to bring this region (Middle East) at the current states of instability through repeated conspiracies for bringing it to a state of catastrophe. This included; promotion of terrorists organisations, creating ideological split and the alliance system for the sale of US war munitions.
Since Britain was the unyielding supporter of the state of Israel, thus, upon establishment of this state in 1948 (after WW-II) forced out “750,000 and 900,000 Palestinian men, women and children from their homeland by Jewish militias, and an estimated 500 villages and towns were depopulated and demolished. Approximately 15,000 Palestinians are said to have been killed in over 70 massacres committed by Israeli militias during this time.” This was the beginning of Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel in 1948. The subsequent years (1948-2017) saw the worst massacres of Palestinians, killing millions which are still continuing.
From 1948 to 1973, generally there has been consensus among the post-colonial Arab world over the rights of Palestinians. The Camp David Accord-1978, paved the way for a split among the larger Arab world, based on Arab nationalism. Thereafter, there has been erosion of unity among the Arab states of entire region. Today, there are more allies of the state of Israel and US among the Middle Eastern states then the sympathisers of the poor Palestinians.
Whereas, U.S and Israel may be blamed for the current state of affairs in Middle East, no one stopped the Arab world from assessing the conspiracies of these two besides many others and taking counter actions for the integration of the region and sovereignties of the states. This aspect needed farsightedness among the Arab leadership, not insight anywhere even in 2017, upon completion of 100 years of Balfour Declaration.
The Emergency Session of the OIC held in Turkey on the request of Turkish President was a very clear demonstration of the Arab/ Muslim’s vision and unity. There was not any seriousness noted among the member states. So much so, only few heads of the states or governments attended the OIC session themselves.
Since the state of Israel has not only survived but substantially consolidated over the years, therefore, celebrating Golden Jubilee (100 years) of its idea and ideology in 2017. Declaring Jerusalem as its capital by US is indeed the announcement of next step; the beginning for the expansion of the state of Israel, where Arab world will be shrinking with each passing day. As a future strategy, Israel will be the dictating power in a Middle East which is marred by rivalries both at intra and inter-state level.
— The writer, Professor of Politics and International Relations, is based in Islamabad.

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