Balfour’s bitter legacy

Empowering Weak & Oppressed


Safar 12, 1439 2017-11-01


by Editor (Editorials, Crescent International Vol. 46, No. 9, Safar, 1439)

Exactly a century ago this month, the British colonialists promised to create a “national home” for the Jewish people in Palestine. Commonly known as the Balfour Declaration, named after its author, Arthur Balfour (image below) who was then British Foreign Secretary, the “promise” was illegal. Britain had no right to hand over Palestine, the land of the Palestinians, to another people residing in Russia and Europe. The Palestinians were not even consulted. Instead, Balfour’s letter merely stated “that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine…” (emphasis added). There was no mention of their political rights. This led in due course to the forcible eviction of the Palestinians from their ancestral homeland to make way for Jewish aliens from Europe and Russia. Its disastrous consequences have continued to afflict the region and its people ever since.

Balfour was no friend of the Jewish people; he was a notorious anti-Semite but there were two reasons for his decision. First, he acted on the prodding of Lord Walter de Rothschild, a wealthy Jewish businessman, who asked Balfour to help facilitate the creation of a homeland for the Jewish people even though they were a tiny minority (merely 6%) in Palestine. In turn, Balfour wanted Rothschild and the influential Jewish community to convince the US to join the war (aka the First World War) in support of Britain and France against Germany. Second, Balfour saw in this plan the prospect of transferring the “Jewish problem” from Europe to Palestine.

Under the Sykes-Picot agreement that had preceded Balfour’s declaration by a year, the Muslim East (aka Middle East) was carved up between French, British, and Russian spheres of influence. Joining the British-French conspiracy were Arabian clan chiefs whose treachery led to the defeat of the Ottoman Sultanate that hitherto ruled the region.

This Western conspiracy led to the emergence of a number of Arabian nation-states. Tribal or even clan based, these regimes were unstable and hence dependent for survival on their colonial masters. This is still the case except that these illegitimate regimes have now moved under the protective umbrella of the US.

The creation of clan-based entities in the Muslim East — “Saudi” Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, and other entities — was a prerequisite for implanting the Zionist entity in Palestine. These Arabian regimes were also the “first line of defence of Israel,” in the infamous words of David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister.

In the 100 years since Sykes-Picot and the Balfour Declaration, the region has been engulfed in even more intractable problems. The Arabian regimes have not solved a single problem of their people. They are not equipped to do so. Created as dependencies, they continue to exist as dependencies. Far from liberating Palestine, these regimes have frequently fought each other causing much bloodshed, death, and destruction. Now they have arrived at a point where they have openly embraced the Zionist occupiers of Palestine, abandoning even the pretence of liberating the Palestinian people.

Led by the Najdi Bedouins (aka Bani Saud), these regimes have declared war on the committed Muslims that are struggling for their fundamental rights. Shamelessly, they have embraced the Zionist occupiers of Palestine calling them “cousins” while declaring Islamic Iran as their “enemy.”

Those Muslims attuned to the message of the noble Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) should not be surprised. After all, Allah (swt) Himself has warned them about the fickle and treacherous nature of the Bedouins (9:97–98; 48:16; 49:14).

Understanding the root cause of a problem is halfway to finding a solution. The illegitimate nature of the regimes is primarily responsible for most of the ills that afflict the Muslim East. These regimes have to go and should be replaced by governments based on Islamic principles. One country — Islamic Iran — has achieved this. In less than 40 years since the victory of the IslamicRevolution, Iran has taken giant strides in almost all fields of human endeavor. Its independence based on Islamic self-determination has given it confidence that has enabled it to make huge progress. It is not dependent on any external power for protection because it relies on the sole superpower — Allah (swt). Today, it is the pre-eminent regional power that has forced friend and foe to respect it.

Iran’s Islamic revolutionary example offers a clear path for all other movements to break the chains of slavery. It will not be painless or cost-free but nothing is achieved without sacrifice. We are already witnessing the results of Iran’s power through the success of the Islamic resistance in places like Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria.

In occupied Palestine, it is not enough to merely defeat the Zionists. The Jewish population has to be de-Zionised. Similarly, the Arabian Peninsula, especially Makkah and Madinah have to be cleansed of Bani Saudi to reverse the disastrous consequences of Sykes-Picot and Balfour.

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