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Encyclopaedia Judaica

Jews in England 08: Relations England-Herzl Israel 1948-1970

Balfour declaration 1917 - Bernadotte Plan 1948 - English balance between Herzl Zionist Free Mason Israel imperialism and oil business with the Arabs

from: England; In: Encyclopaedia Judaica, vol. 6

presented by Michael Palomino (2008)

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<Relations with Israel.

[Balfour declaration 1917 - Bernadotte Plan 1948]

Britain's relations with Israel should be viewed in the perspective of half a century, beginning with the closing phases of World War I. In November 1917, with the war against Germany and her allies still at its height, the British govewrnment issued a statement of policy, the *Balfour Declaration, favoring the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine. The near euphorie and sense of gratitude to Britain that this announcement aroused among Jews everywhere was to give way a generation later to an atmosphere of bitterness and mutual recrimination, in which the British Mandate over Palestine finally came to an end (1948). But in the intervening years, despite all the frictions and difficulties, the foundations of Jewish statehood had in fact been laid.

The period immediately  following Israel's Declaration of Independence in May 1948 was a somber one in the relations between the new state and the former mandatory power.

[[Herzl's plan in his booklet "The Jewish State" to drive all Arabs away as all natives in the "USA" had been driven away and the First Mose chapter 15 phrase 18 which says that the Euphrates river will be the borderline of a "Greater Israel" is not mentioned by the Encyclopaedia Judaica. Herzl prophecy that gold will be found in Israel and the Arabs will be the slaves is not mentioned, as also mass rape of the Jewish army against Palestinian women and expulsion, destruction of Palestinian villages and concentration camps in the desert are not mentioned by the Encyclopaedia Judaica. Ben Gurion founded Israel in May 1948 without an indication of borderlines. And the growing anti-Semitism in the Arab world by the foundation of a "Jewish state" at the main crossing of the Asian and African Muslim world is also not mentioned by Encyclopaedia Judaica]].

Unlike the United States and the Soviet Union, Britain refused to recognize the newly established state for many months. At the United Nationas General Assembly in Paris in the latter part of 1948, the British delegation was the principal, though ultimately unsuccessful, protagonist of the so-called *Bernadotte Plan, a central feature of which was the proposal to transfer the Negev from Israel to the Arabs.> (col. 770)

[India independent 1947 - oil business - Iraq case - neutral oil business]

<For more than a century, the preservation of Britain's communications with India, the keystone of her empire, had been a dominant factor in Britain's interest in the Middle East. In 1947, India achieved independence almost contemporaneously with Israel. The strategic and political implicaitons of this event for Britain's status in the world were not immediately obvious. Britain remained the paramount power in the Middle East with military bases in Iraq, Egypt, and Jordan, and with a vital financial stake in the ever-increasing oil wealth that was being uncovered not only in Iran but in the Arab lands bordering on the Gulf, including Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrein, and the sheikhdoms.

In the mid-1950s a revolutionary change occurred: the collapse of British power and prestige ahtat accompanied the Suez debacle of 1956 was followed two years later by the muder of the king of Iraq and the lynching of his premier, Nuri Said, Britain's faithful friend and ally. The last british base in the Arab Middle East other than one in Aden was now relinquished. By 1968, as Britain's policy of withdrawal from direct military commitment to areas east of Suez began to be extended even to the Persian Gulf;

Aden too was abandoned. Middle East oil, so vital to the European (col. 771)

economy, continued to flow more or less uninterruptedly because of the mutual interests of the Arab governments on the one hand and of Western purchasers on the other. But the old power relationship, including its implications for Israel, had dissolved.> (col. 772)

[7 Jan. 1949: Jewish Zionist army shoots 5 British planes down - de facto recognition]

<Relations between Britain and what it termed "the Jewish authorities in Tel Aviv" reached an acute point when, on Jan. 7, 1949, in the course of renewed fighting between Israel and Egypt, the Israelit shot down five British planes that had been sent on a reconnaissance mission from the Suez Canal Zone. At this time, however, a strong reaction agaisnt the policy of Foreign Secretary Ernest *Bevin began to assert itself in Britain. The debate in the Hose of Commons on January 28 was a damaging one to the government. Three days later Bevin announced the de facto recognition of Israel and, shortly thereafter, the appointment of Britain's first diplomatic representative to Israel, Sir Knox Helm.

Gradually a new pattern of relations evolved between the two countries. The period of Bevin's influence had not bee (col. 770)

forgotten by the people of Israel, but Britain's initial role in having made the development of Jewish nationhood in Palestine politically and physically possible was increasingly recalled and recognized. Steady progress was made in day-to-day contacts through trade, tourism, and cultural relations. But despite these positive developments, B ritish policy toward Israel continued to be markedly reserved, for reasons connected with Britain's interests and commitments in the Arab world.

[[Oil business with British oil companies]].

[English Bernadotte plans until 1955]

As late as 1955, the British government still harbored ideas about the transfer of at least a part of the Negev to Egypt. This attitude was reflected in Prime Minister Anthony Eden's speech at the Guildhall on Nov. 9, 1955, in which he suggested a compromise on the frontiers set by the Partition Resolution of 1947 and those established unter the Armistice Agreements as a way out of the Arab-Israel impasse. This proposal was unequivocally rejected by Israel and eventually abandoned.

[Suez crisis: England and Israel together against Nasser's Egypt]

Less than a year later, Britain and Israel found themselves in unlikely association in military action agaisnt Egypt - Israel in Sinai, Britain in Suez. The events leading to this development were President Nasser's anationalization of the Suez Canal on the one hand, and his active sponsorship of the fedayeen terror gangs, organized on Arab territory for acts of murder and sabotage within Israel, on the other.> (col. 771)

[1960s: "Relaxed" relations - British armament delivery to imperialist Herzl Zionist Free Mason Israel - the Western countries with England not following the Arab boycott movement]

Nevertheless, Britain's role in the area in the 1960s must not be underestimated. As a great world financial and trading community, with the support of experienced and effective diplomats, Britain continued to exert extensive influence. The decline of Britain's authority in the Arab world siginificantly affected British-Israel relations. Although the traditional sensitivity of the Foreign Office to possible Arab reactions persisted, a more relaxed, less inhibited attitude toward Isarael began to assert itself. This was manifested not only in official contacts and public statements, but also in willingness to sell Israel such major items of military equipment as Centurion tanks, naval vessels, and submarines.

Within the aggreagate of Britain's overseas trade, Israel occupied a modest but increasingly significant place in 1968. The total bilateral trade between the two countries in 1967 amounted to about $ 215,000,000, and increase of nearly 57% compared with 1957.

In fact, the value of Britain's exports to Israel exceeded that to any of the Arab countries. Britain constituted Israel's most important overseas market, with agricultural products (notably citrus) and polished diamonds predominating. Israel-British economic relations have long been a target of the Arab boycott offices, but, as trade figures reveal, their success has been marginal.

The Suez Canal - blocked as a result of the *Six-Day War - remained closed. The resultant loss to British trade and shipping, although eventually much reduced, undoubtedly contributed to Britain's active interest in seeking a solution to the Middle East crisis.

British diplomats at the United Nations thus took a leading part in sponsoring and securing the passage of the Security Council resolution of Nov. 22, 1967. The war brought about a rupture in relations between Britain and a number of Arab countries, but these were reestablished, and Britain's policy ostensibly aimed at seeking to maintain a balance of friendship with both the Arab states and Israel.

[[Herzl and Mose imperialism is not mentioned, and expulsion of Palestinians is not mentioned either]].

Although there is not always an identity of views between Israel and Britain on the problems of the Middle East, theree was a broad base of common understanding in the late 1960s. The interst of the British people in Israel is not a passing phenomenon but rests on deep religious and spiritual foundations and was impressively demonstrated at the time of the Six-Day War. Attitudes and suspicions on the part of both countries survive from a more troubled period in their relationship. But the dominant motive was one of mutual regard that found its expression not only in political and economic spheres, but also in cultural relations and public opinion.

[AR. LO.]> (col. 772)

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Encyclopaedia Judaica: Jews in England,
                            vol.6, col.769-770
Encyclopaedia Judaica: Jews in England, vol.6, col.769-770
Encyclopaedia Judaica: Jews in England,
                          vol.6, col.771-772
Encyclopaedia Judaica: Jews in England, vol.6, col.771-772