The Balfour Declaration: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

BOOK: The Balfour Declaration: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
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ALSO BY JONATHAN SCHNEER

Ben Tillett: Portrait of a Labour Leader

Labour’s Conscience: The Labour Left, 1945–51

George Lansbury

London 1900

The Thames

This book is dedicated in loving memory to my parents
.

In his indignation Cadmus killed the dragon, and by the advice of Athena sowed its teeth. When they were sown there rose from the ground armed men.…

APOLLODORUS 3.4.1

(Transl. J. G. Frazer)

Contents

Other Books by this Author

Title Page

Dedication

Glossary of Names

List of Maps

Postlude as Prelude

PART I
Sirocco

CHAPTER 1
     
Palestine Before World War I

CHAPTER 2
     
Ottomanism, Arabism, and Sharif Hussein

CHAPTER 3
     
First Steps Toward the Arab Revolt

CHAPTER 4
     
The Next Steps

CHAPTER 5
     
The Hussein-McMahon Correspondence

CHAPTER 6
     
The Sykes-Picot Agreement

CHAPTER 7
     
The Arab Revolt Begins

PART II
London and Zion

CHAPTER 8
     
Prewar British Jews

CHAPTER 9
     
Weizmann’s First Steps

CHAPTER 10
   
The Assimilationists

CHAPTER 11
   
The Road Forks

PART III
The Battle for the Ear of the Foreign Office

CHAPTER 12
   
Forging the British-Zionist Connection

CHAPTER 13
   
Defining the British-Arab Connection

CHAPTER 14
   
Managing the British-Zionist Connection

CHAPTER 15
   
Sokolow in France and Italy

CHAPTER 16
   
Revelation of the Sykes-Picot Agreement

PART IV
The Road Not Taken

CHAPTER 17
   
British Muslims, the Anglo-Ottoman Society
,
and the Disillusioning of Marmaduke Pickthall

CHAPTER 18
   
The Curious Venture of J. R. Pilling

CHAPTER 19
   
Henry Morgenthau and the Deceiving of
Chaim Weizmann

CHAPTER 20
   
“The Man Who Was Greenmantle”

CHAPTER 21
   
The Zaharoff Gambit

PART V
Climax and Anticlimax

CHAPTER 22
   
The Ascendancy of Chaim Weizmann

CHAPTER 23
   
Lawrence and the Arabs on the Verge

CHAPTER 24
   
The Declaration at Last

CHAPTER 25
   
The Declaration Endangered

Conclusion

CHAPTER 26
   
A Drawing Together of Threads

Acknowledgments

Notes

Bibliography

About the Author

Copyright

Glossary of Names

(These brief notes are meant to provide only the most basic relevant information for those reading this book.)

AARONSOHN, AARON 1876–1919

He gained fame as the foremost agronomist in Palestine before World War I, but is best known for putting his knowledge of the land to use for Britain during the war and for his Zionist activities. He perished in an airplane crash.

ABDULLAH IBN HUSSEIN 1882–1951

Second son of Sharif Hussein, a member of the prewar Ottoman parliament, he helped to instigate and then took a leading role in the Arab Revolt. After the war he became emir of Transjordan, and when the British mandate ended in 1946, he became king of Transjordan and then in 1949 king of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. He died by assassination.

ALI IBN HUSSEIN 1879–1935

First son of Sharif Hussein, he did not play a leading role in the Arab Revolt but nevertheless succeeded his father as king of the Hejaz in 1924, when the Wahhabi rebellion occurred. He abdicated one year later and spent the rest of his life in Baghdad in Iraq, where his brother Feisal ruled as king.

ALLENBY, SIR EDMUND 1861–1936

Promoted to general for his services on the Western Front, he took command of the British-led Egyptian Expeditionary Force in June 1917. His forces captured Gaza in October, Jerusalem in December, and Damascus in October 1918. He served as high commissioner for Egypt from 1919 to 1925.

ASQUITH, HERBERT HENRY

(FIRST EARL OF OXFORD AND ASQUITH) 1852–1928

The Liberal politician who served as prime minister from 1908 to 1916, he led Britain into the war and in May 1915 formed a coalition government with the Conservatives. Lloyd George replaced him as prime minister in December 1916.

AUDA ABU TAYI 1885–1924

The leader of a section of the Howeitat tribe of Bedouin Arabs, he threw his support behind the Arab Revolt and with Lawrence engineered the capture of Aqaba. Lawrence called him “the greatest fighting man in northern Arabia.”

BALFOUR, ARTHUR JAMES (FIRST EARL OF BALFOUR) 1848–1930

The Conservative prime minister from 1902 to 1905, he served on Asquith’s war council from the outbreak of hostilities until formation of the coalition government, upon which Asquith appointed him first lord of the Admiralty. When Lloyd George formed the second coalition government, he appointed Balfour to be his foreign secretary. After the war Balfour served in the Lloyd George government as lord president of the council.

CAILLARD, SIR VINCENT 1856–1930

A businessman with wide interests and direct experience of Turkey and the Ottoman Middle East, he served as financial director of Vickers armaments manufacturers from 1906 until after the war. In the attempt to arrange a separate peace with the Ottomans, he played the role of intermediary between Basil Zaharoff and David Lloyd George.

CECIL, ROBERT (FIRST VISCOUNT CECIL OF CHELWOOD) 1864–1958

Son of Prime Minister Lord Salisbury, cousin of Arthur Balfour, and himself a Conservative member of Parliament (although a free trader), he joined Asquith’s coalition government in 1915 as parliamentary under secretary of state for foreign affairs, a post he held for four years. After the war he devoted himself to work for the League of Nations and international peace.

CHEETHAM, SIR MILNE 1869–1938

A career diplomat, after numerous postings he arrived in Cairo as first secretary to the British high commissioner. During the interval between Kitchener’s departure in June 1914 and McMahon’s arrival in January 1915, he served as acting high commissioner and helped compose an early letter to Grand Sharif Hussein.

CLAYTON, SIR GILBERT 1875–1929

Before the war he served Sir Reginald Wingate, governor general of Sudan, as director of intelligence in Sudan and agent in Cairo. With the outbreak of war he became director of military intelligence at British headquarters in Cairo, head of the Arab Bureau, and eventually chief political officer of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force and military governor of Palestine. After the war he continued to play an active role in Middle Eastern affairs, but his career was cut short by a fatal heart attack.

CURZON, NATHANIEL
(FIRST MARQUESS CURZON OF KEDLESTON) 1859–1925

A Conservative politician who had served as viceroy of India from 1898 to 1905, he joined Asquith’s coalition government as lord privy seal in 1915. Lloyd George tapped him for his own coalition government a year and a half later, and for membership of the select War Cabinet, in which he served as lord president of the council. After the war Curzon replaced Balfour as foreign secretary and served until the Labour victory in the general election of 1923.

DJEMAL PASHA 1872–1922

An Ottoman military officer and early supporter of the CUP, he and Enver and Talaat effectively ruled the empire from 1913 until the end of the war. During 1915 and again in 1916 he led the Ottoman Fourth Army in unsuccessful attacks against British forces at Suez. Throughout the war he exercised dictatorial powers in Syria, earning widespread hatred. Afterward he fled to Germany, then to Switzerland, and finally to Central Asia. He was assassinated by an Armenian revolutionary.

ENVER PASHA 1881–1922

An Ottoman military officer and early supporter of the CUP, he was the architect of the triumvirate of three pashas who ruled the empire during 1913–18 and of the government’s pro-German policy. During the war he occupied the position of war minister, although he was generally an unsuccessful military leader. With the Ottoman defeat in 1918, he fled first to Germany and eventually to the Soviet Union. An advocate of pan-Turanianism, he died fighting the Russians in Central Asia.

FARUKI, SHARIF MUHAMMAD AL-1891–1920

A young Arab staff officer and member of the secret society al-Ahd, he crossed over to the British lines at Gallipoli, hoping to convince them to support Sharif Hussein’s revolt and the Arabian kingdom adumbrated in the Damascus Protocol. He did so, although he did not formally represent al-Ahd. Later he became Sharif Hussein’s agent in Cairo.

FEISAL IBN HUSSEIN 1885–1933

Third son of Sharif Hussein, leader and architect of the Arab Revolt, he became king of Syria for about four months in 1920, until the French kicked him out. The British made him king of Iraq in 1921, but they held a mandate to rule from the League of Nations so that Feisal’s kingship was qualified. The British granted Iraq nominal independence in 1932.

FITZMAURICE, SIR GERALD 1865–1939

Senior dragoman, or Turkish-speaking consular officer, at the British embassy from 1907 to 1914, an inveterate intriguer with reactionary views, he hated the CUP government and longed unavailingly for restoration of the sultan. During the war he served in naval intelligence, mainly in London.

GASTER, MOSES 1856–1939

The chief rabbi, or
haham
, of Spanish and Portuguese Jews in England, Gaster was a renowned scholar and linguist who played a leading role among British Zionists, but he was an abrasive personality. Eventually Chaim Weizmann elbowed him aside.

GRAHAM, SIR RONALD 1870–1949

A career diplomat, at the beginning of the war he accepted the post of chief staff officer to Sir John Maxwell, the general officer commanding troops in Egypt. He returned to London in 1916 to become assistant under secretary of state at the Foreign Office.

GREENBERG, LEOPOLD 1861–1931

An early recruit to Zionism, a prominent figure among British Zionists during the prewar era, Greenberg was the principal shareholder and editor of the London
Jewish Chronicle
. During the war he indirectly introduced Weizmann to Sir Mark Sykes.

GREY, SIR EDWARD (FIRST VISCOUNT GREY OF FALLADON) 1862–1933

A Liberal politician who served as Asquith’s foreign secretary, he opposed adding territory to the British Empire. Failing eyesight drove him from his post when Asquith’s coalition government fell in December 1916.

BOOK: The Balfour Declaration: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
4.44Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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