Sunday 4 November 2007

Churchill: "It is a question of which civilisation you prefer"

"On 12 March 1937 Churchill was called to give evidence to the Palestine Royal Commission – widely known as the Peel Commission – headed by Lord Peel, a former Secretary of State for India. The purpose of its enquiries was to examine the nature of Britain’s pledge to the Jews and Arabs, and to give suggestions for the future of the Palestine Mandate. …

"Coupland* then complained that the Jewish Agency – set up in 1930 a liaison between the Jews of Palestine and the British Mandate, and headed by David Ben-Gurion – had its representatives in London "and they can speak to the Colonial Office and the Arabs feel on their side they are rather left in the cold. They have not the great engine the Jews have." Churchill replied brusquely, not hiding his preference: "It is a question of which civilisation you prefer"."
* Reginald Coupland, a distinguished historian of the Commonwealth and the Colonies
In Churchill and the Jews, (p.p. 110-119) by Martin Gilbert, Simon & Schuster (2007)

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