Thursday 9 August 2007

“Lawrence, like Churchill, saw virtue in the Zionist enterprise”, Martin Gilbert

“The presence of Lawrence of Arabia [at the Cairo conference, March 1921] was of inestimable benefit to Churchill in his desire to help the Jews of Palestine. Lawrence, like Churchill, saw virtue in the Zionist enterprise. His friendship with the Arab leaders with whom he had fought during the Arab Revolt was paralleled by his understanding of Zionist aspirations, and his keenness to see the Zionists help the Arabs forward in Palestine – and elsewhere in the Middle East – to modernity and prosperity. … On the first anniversary of the Balfour Declaration in November 1918, Lawrence had told a British Jewish newspaper: ‘Speaking entirely as a non-Jew, I look on the Jews as the natural importers of western leaven so necessary for countries of the Near East*.’”

* Message to the Jewish Guardian, 28.11.1918
Churchill and the Jews, by Martin Gilbert, Simon & Schuster (2007)

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