Quotation from Arthur Balfour “The Four Great Powers ... are committed to Zionism” — Aug. 11 1919

In a private memorandum to the British Cabinet dated August 11, 1919, expresses that the great powers do not care about the Palestinians - 90% of the population at the time - and that with help, Zionism will help solve the "Jewish problem".

" The contradiction between the letters of the Covenant [of the League of Nations] and the policy of the Allies is even more flagrant in the case of the ‘independent nation’ of Palestine than in that of the ‘independent nation‘ of Syria. For in Palestine we do not propose to even go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country though the American [King-Crane] Commission is going through the form of asking what they are.
The Four Great Powers [Britain, France, Italy and the United States] are committed to Zionism. And Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long traditions, in present needs, and future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land. In my opinion that is right.
What I have never been able to understand is how it can be harmonized with the [Anglo-French] declaration, the Covenant, or the instruction to the [King-Crane] Commission of Enquiry.
I do not think that Zionism will hurt the Arabs, but they will never say they want it. Whatever be the future of Palestine it is not now an ‘independent nation’, nor is it yet on the way to become one. Whatever deference should be paid to the views of those living there, the Powers in their selection of a mandatory do not propose, as I understand the matter, to consult them. In short, so far as Palestine is concerned, the Powers have made no statement of fact which is not admittedly wrong, and no declaration of policy which, at least in the letter, they have not always intended to violate.
If Zionism is to influence the Jewish problem throughout the world Palestine must be made available for the largest number of Jewish immigrants… "

British Government, Public Record Office Cabinet No. 27/23 (1918). Reproduced by Doreen Ingrams, The Palestinian Papers , London, John Murray, 1972.
Foreign Office No. 371/4183 (1919).
Link Lien  (discussion) which refers to Edward Said.

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