SIR – Mrs May, the UK Prime Minister, has stated she wants a celebration to mark the 100th anniversary of the infamous Balfour Declaration, i.e. the establishment of a Jewish national home, other than a Jewish state, in Palestine.
At the end of World War I, the Ottoman Empire collapsed and Britain found itself in military control of Palestine. The government in London then proceeded to follow up on its 1917 Balfour promise to the Zionists, seen by many as payback time for Zionist financial support during the war.
Britain did so by allowing the massive immigration of European Jews into Palestine. At this point the policy was driven by a blend of religious and racist beliefs, along with imperial ambitions.
In the end none of this played out well for the British: In 1948, they were driven out of Palestine by both violently hostile Zionists and Arab nationalists. The British left with their tails between their legs.
It is worth repeating that the consequences of the Balfour Declaration have proven to be disastrous. British hegemony lasted but thirty years and, as just mentioned, ended in an ignominious withdrawal.
The Palestinians have suffered decades of dispossession and ethnic cleansing and the Jews, religious and secular, of the resulting state of Israel, now officially tied to the Zionist ethos, have been politically seduced and culturally converted to a racist ideology.
While one can understand the seductive power of Zionism, it, like other exclusively racial or ethnic political ideologies, only led to predictable disaster. The truth is that it is impossible to create a state exclusively for one people in a territory already populated by another people.
In the circumstances, for the arriving colonisers, there can be no real security nor can there be anything like a healthy national culture. The whole process has proved remarkably self-corrupting for Zionist Jews.
It is ironic that now most Zionists are themselves anti-Semites. In this case, the Semite targets are the Palestinians and the growing number of western Jews who have come to support their cause.
It appears that Prime Minister May and her party’s ‘Friends of Israel’ reject this history. Or, perhaps they don’t care about documented facts because all that now matters is keeping for the Conservative Party the financial backing of the Zionist lobby. Such is democratic politics in the West.
Thus, the plans to celebrate the centenary of the Balfour Declaration is based on an illusion that something awful is really something prideful. The only way you can pull this off is if you have the power to twist the entire historical episode into something it is not – and that is what Theresa May is planning to do.