Quotation from Arthur Koestler “One nation solemnly promised to a second nation the country of a third” — 1949

Writer, commenting on the "extravagance" of the Balfour Declaration of 1917 (extravagance approved by Koestler).

Author : Thematics :
" It culminated in the famous Balfour Declaration, one of the most improbable political documents of all time. In this document one nation solemnly promised to a second nation the country of a third.
No second thoughts can diminish the originality of this procedure. It is true that the Arabs in Palestine lived under Turkish overlordship ; but they had been living there for centuries, and the country was no doubt " theirs " in the generally accepted sense of the word. It is true that the Arabs had vast underpopulated territories at their disposal and the Jews had none ; that the Arabs were a backward, the Jews a forward, people ; and that the latter claimed to have received that country three thousand years earlier from God himself who had only temporarily withdrawn it from them. But arguments of this nature had never before in history induced an act of State of a comparable kind. "

Arthur Koestler, Analyse d’un miracle,   Calmann-Lévy, 1949. Quoted by André Larteguy Mourir pour Jérusalem , p. 366.

Arthur Koestler, Promise and Fullfilment, Macmillan, 1949, p.4.

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