Know Your History: Mark Sykes, Post Balfour Declaration (NY Times Dec 12, 1917)
A new series where I bring to you news from the newspaper archives to debunk common misconceptions about the Middle East conflict.
On November 2nd, 1917, the famous Balfour Declaration was sent from British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Walter Rothschild for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland.
In December 1917, the New York Times reported about a speech by politician and diplomatic adviser Sir Mark Sykes, who described British considerations of the document beyond the purely Zionist aspects.
Read the entire thing – as usual it is a fascinating insight into the thinking of the time – but note in particular:
- Sykes’ acknowledging Palestine as the “cradle of [the Jews’] race” and “religious center of his faith”
- Syke’s speaking of an Arab nation “one in language and in blood”
- The Arabs were “pre-nationalist,” and destined to become a great civilization
- Zionism could be the cause of great reconciliation between Jews, Muslims and Christians
Note: I cannot provide a link to the full article since it is only available to those who have purchased a NY Times subscription. But I have provided screenshots below. As usual, click on the screenshot to enlarge.