The Lloyd George Government of the UK: Balfour Declaration the Promise for a National Home to Jews (1916-1920)
Karadeniz Technical University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of International Relations
Keywords: Palestine, Zionists, Britain, Ottomans, Arabs, Faisal
Palestine, throughout modern known history has been geographically called "the least of all lands". Meanwhile because hosted holy shrines of three monotheistic religions, it was/is one of the most praised/precious small piece of land on the globe. Palestine came under Ottoman rule after Sultan Selim's Egyptian Campaign in 1517 and until the year of 1917 was an Ottoman land during 400 years. Before Ottomans, following old Roman experience, small colonies or administrations had been planted in Palestine with the express intention of preventing the political regeneration of the Jews. Under Ottoman rule, Jews and other two religions have been peacefully living in Palestine. In 1897 at Basel Congress, World Zionist Organization decided to establish a Jewish State in Palestine. They asked Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II for a national home in Palestine but could not achieve what they desired. Abdulhamid II also restricted Jewish pilgrimage to Palestine to prevent any possible de facto unpermitted foreign settlement of Jews. But, due to corruption and bribery of local rulers that rule could not be implemented properly. Nowadays addressing their future plans Zionists were asking to send high number of Jews to Palestine and the progress taken by bribery was not enough such kind of stream. The opportunity Zionists looking for emerged during WWI while British search of support for unsustainable war economy. In the year of 1916, a Zionist sympathizer Lloyd George became British Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of his Cabinet Arthur Balfour proclaimed his famous publication promising a national home hence Israeli State for Jews. To realize that aim Palestine had to be occupied and become a British colony. This paper will search archive documents and related second hand publications to shed light on Zionist activities and establishment process of Israel, special focus will be put on the role of Lloyd George Government. Arab reactions, especially the attitude of Sheriff Hussein and his son Faisal to the developments also will be discussed.