Lloyd George on the Balfour Declaration - Peter Myers, December 13, 2000; update April 8, 2010. My comments are shown {thus}.

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David Lloyd George, Prime Minister of Britain, explained in his Memoirs why his government made "a contract with Jewry" (the Balfour Declaration) in 1917.

Leopold Amery, author of the final draft of that contract, acted for the British side but secretly identified as Jewish. Could he represent both parties simultaneously? If so, why keep his Jewish identity secret? Was a conflict of interest involved? His son was executed as a Nazi collaborator.

(1) Lloyd George on the Balfour Declaration (2) The Secret of Leopold Amery (3) Leopold Amery, My Political Life

(1) Lloyd George on the Balfour Declaration

David Lloyd George, Memoirs of the Peace Conference, Volume II, New Haven, Yale University Press 1939; (ch. XXIII).

{p. 721} THE intention of the Allied Powers regarding the future of Palestine up to the end of 1916 are practically embodied in the Sykes-Picot Agreement. The country was to be mutilated and torn into sections. There would be no more Palestine. Canaan was to be drawn and quartered. But 1917 saw a complete change in the attitude of the nations towards this historic land. It was no longer the end of a pipe-line here, the terminus of a railway there, a huddled collection of shrines over which Christian and Moslem sects wrangled under the protection of three great powers in every quarter. It was a historic and a sacred land, throbbing from Dan to Beersheba with immortal traditions, the homeland of a spiritual outlook and faith professed by hundreds of millions of the human race and fashioning more and more the destinies of mankind. The carving knife of the Sykes-Picot Agreement was a crude hacking of a Holy Land. At the beginning of the War, Palestine was not in the picture. The mind of the Great Powers was on Belgium, Poland and Austria. The destiny of Palestine was left to the haggling of experts in the various Foreign Offices of the Allies.

In 1915 and 1916, Britain massed huge armies to check the menace of the Turk on the Suez Canal. At first they crawled drearily and without purpose across the desert towards the land of the Philistines. But in 1917, the attention of her warriors was drawn to the mountains of Judea beyond. The zeal of the Crusaders was relumed in their soul. The redemption of Palestine from the withering aggression of the Turk became like a pillar of flame to lead them on. The Sykes-Picot Agreement perished in its fire. It was not worth fighting for Canaan in order to condemn it to the fate of Agag and hew it in pieces before the Lord.

{p. 722} Palestine, if recaptured, must be one and indivisible to renew its greatness as a living entity.

The next factor which produced a momentous change was the decision to come to terms with Jewry, which was clamouring for an opportunity to make Canaan once more the homeland of their race. There are more Irishmen living outside Ireland than dwell in the old country. Still, Ireland is the homeland of the Irish people. No one imagined that the 14,000,000 of Jews scattered over the globe could find room and a living in Palestine. Nevertheless this race of wanderers sought a national hearth and a refuge for the hunted children of Israel in the country which the splendour of their spiritual genius has made forever glorious.

It seems strange to say that the Germans were the first to realise the war value of the Jews of the dispersal. In Poland it was they who helped the German Army to conquer the Czarist oppressor who had so cruelly persecuted their race. They had their influence in other lands - notably in America, where some of their most powerful leaders exerted a retarding influence on President Wilson's impulses in the direction of the Allies. {before the Balfour Declaration - Peter M.} The German General Staff in 1916 urged the Turks to concede the demands of the Zionists in respect of Palestine. Fortunately the Turk was too stupid to understand or too sluggish to move. The fact that Britain at last opened her eyes to the opportunity afforded to the Allies to rally this powerful people to their side was attributable to the initiative, the assiduity and the fervour of one of the greatest Hebrews of all time: Dr. Chaim Weizmann. He found his opportunity in this War of Nations to advance the cause to which he had consecrated his life. Dr. Weizmann enlisted my adhesion to his ideals at a time when, at my reguest, he was successfully applying his scientific skill and imagination to save Britain from a real disaster over the failure of wood alcohol for the manufacture of cordite. In addition to the gratitude I felt for him for this service, he appealed to my deep reverence for the great men of his race who were the authors of the sublime literature upon which I was brought up. I introduced him to Mr. Balfour, who was won over completely by his charm, his persuasiveness and his intellectual power. Dr. Weizmann then

{p. 723} brought to his aid the eager and active influence of Lord Milner, Lord Robert Cecil, and General Smuts.

During the summer of 1917, Mr. Balfour, with my zealous assent as Prime Minister, entered into negotiations with Lord Rothschild on the subject of the Zionist aims. Ultimately it is recorded that the War Cabinet on September 3rd, 1917, "had under consideration correspondence which had passed between the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Lord Rothschild on the question of the policy to be adopted towards the Zionist movement." That policy was after prolonged enquiry and reflexion decided by the Cabinet on merits, and I have no doubt in my mind that some such provision would by common consent of all the Allied Powers have been inserted in the Peace Treaty even had there been no previous pledge or promise. But the actual time of the declaration was determined by considerations of war policy. It was part of our propagandist strategy for mobilizing every opinion and force throughout the world which would weaken the enemy and improve the Allied chances. Propaganda on both sides probably played a greater part in the last war than in any other. As an illustration I might take the public declarations we made of the Allied intention to liberate and confer self-government on nationalities inside the enemy Empires, - Turkey, Germany, and Austria. These announcements were intended to have a propagandist effect, not only at home, but also in neutral countries and perhaps most of all in enemy countries.

On principle, the democratic Powers of Europe and America had always advocated emancipation of the subject races held down by the great Empires. {the Empires, on the contrary, had engulfed the whole world - Peter M.} But we were also aware that the proclamation of liberation as part of our war aims would help to disintegrate the solidarity of the enemy countries, and so it did. It would have the effect of detaching from the governing races in those countries Poles, Alsace-Lorrainers, Czechoslovakians, Croatians, Roumans and Arabs dwelling within the boundaries of the Central Empires.

The Allies redeemed the promises made in these declarations to the full. No race has done better out of the fidelity with which the Allies redeemed their promises to the oppressed races than

{p. 724} the Arabs. Owing to the tremendous sacrifices of the Allied nations, and more particularly of Britain and her Empire, the Arabs have already won independence in Iraq, Arabia, Syria, and Trans-Jordania, although most of the Arab races fought throughout the War for their Turkish oppressors. Arabia was the only exception in that respect. The Palestinian Arabs fought for Turkish rule.

The Balfour Declaration represented the convinced policy of all parties in our country and also in America, but the launching of it in 1917 was due, as I have said, to propagandist reasons. I should like once more to remind the British public, who may be hesitating about the burdens of our Zionist Declaration to-day, of the actual war position at the time of that Declaration. We are now looking at the War through the dazzling glow of a triumphant end, but in 1917 the issue of the War was still very much in doubt. We were convinced - but not all of us - that we would pull through victoriously, but the Germans were equally persuaded that victory would rest on their banners, and they had much reason for coming to that conclusion. They had smashed the Roumanians. The Russian Army was completely demoralised by its numerous defeats. The French Army was exhausted and temporarily unequal to striking a great blow. The Italians had sustained a shattering defeat at Caporetto. The unlimited submarine campaign had sunk millions of tons of our shipping. There were no American divisions at the front, and when I say at the front, I mean available in the trenches. For the Allies there were two paramount problems at that time. The first was that the Central Powers should be broken by the blockade before our supplies of food and essential raw material were cut off by sinkings of our own ships. The other was that the war preparations in the United States should be speeded up to such an extent as to enable the Allies to be adequately reinforced in the critical campaign of 1918 by American troops. In the solution of these two problems, public opinion in Russia and America played a great part, and we had every reason at that time to believe that in both countries the friendliness or hostility of the Jewish race might make a considerable difference.

{p. 725} The solution of Germany's food and raw material dificulties depended on the attitude of Russia and the goodwill of its people. We realised, and so did the Germans, that Russia could take no further part in the War with her army, but the question was: when would she conclude peace with Germany and what manner of peace would it be? Time counted for both sides, and the conditions and the temper of the peace between Germany and Russia counted even more. Would the peace be of a kind which would afford facilities for the Germans to secure supplies of grain, oil, and copper from the immeasurable natural resources of that vast and rich country, or would it be a sulky pact which would always stand in the way of Germany's attempt to replenish her stores from Russian resources? In the former case, we could not hope for a better issue of the War than a stalemate after another year or two of carnage. In the latter case, the stranglehold of our fleet would be effective, and the Central Powers would be deprived of essential food and material and their will and power of resistance would be weakened to a breaking-point. The Germans were equally alive to the fact that the Jews of Russia wielded considerable influence in Bolshevik circles. The Zionist Movement was exceptionally strong in Russia and America. The Germans were, therefore, engaged actively in courting favour with that Movement all over the world. A friendly Russia would mean not only more food and raw material for Germany and Austria, but fewer German and Austrian troops on the Eastern front and, therefore, more available for the West. These considerations were brought to our notice by the Foreign Office, and reported to the War Cabinet.

The support of the Zionists for the cause of the Entente would mean a great deal as a war measure. Quite naturally Jewish sympathies were to a great extent anti-Russian, and therefore in favour of the Central Powers. No ally of Russia, in fact, could escape sharing that immediate and inevitable penalty for the long and savage Russian persecution of the Jewish race. In addition to this, the German General Staff, with their wide outlook on possibilities, urged, early in 1916, the advantages of promising Jewish restoration to Palestine under an arrangement

{p. 726} to be made between Zionists and Turkey, backed by a German guarantee. The practical difficulties were considerable; the subject was perhaps dangerous to German relations with Turkey; and the German Government acted cautiously. But the scheme was by no means rejected or even shelved, and at any moment the Allies might have been forestalled in offering this supreme bid. In fact in September, 1917, the German Government were making very serious efforts to capture the Zionist Movement.

Another most cogent reason for the adoption by the Allies of the policy of the declaration lay in the state of Russia herself. Russian Jews had been secretly active on behalf of the Central Powers from the first; they had become the chief agents of German pacifist propaganda in Russia; by 1917 they had done much in preparing for that general disintegration of Russian society, later recognised as the Revolution. It was believed that if Great Britain declared for the fulfilment of Zionist aspirations in Palestine under her own pledge, one effect would be to bring Russian Jewry to the cause of the Entente.

It was believed, also, that such a declaration would have a potent influence upon world Jewry outside Russia, and secure for the Entente the aid of Jewish financial interests. In America, their aid in this respect would have a special value when the Allies had almost exhausted the gold and marketable securities available for American purchases. Such were the chief considerations which, in 1917, impelled the British Government towards making a contract with Jewry.

Men like Mr. Balfour, Lord Milner, Lord Robert Cecil, and myself were in whole-hearted sympathy with the Zionist ideal. The same thing applied to all the leaders of public opinion in our country and in the Dominions, Conservative, Liberal, and Labour. There were only one or two who were not so favourably inclined to the policy. One, in particular, doubted the wisdom from the Jewish point of view; that was Mr. Edwin Montagu. Lord Curzon, whilst professing a certain measure of interest in Zionist dreams, was anxious not to excite unattainable hopes in the breasts of Jewish zealots. He doubted the feasibility of any substantial achievement because of the barrenness of the Pales-

{p. 727} tinian soil. He prepared a careful statement of his opinion, which can be read with interest to-day in view of developments in Palestine since the War. It is written in Lord Curzon's best and most characteristic style. There is a great fund of detailed knowledge of his subject, acquired by a study of the authorities on the matter, stimulated by a flying visit through the country in his youthful days. But he had, by instinct and inheritance, profound distrust of the success of any bold experiment designed to change existing conditions. The writing has much distinction of phrasing. It is also lightened by some amusing passages.

{Curzon's statement}


I am not concerned to discuss the question in dispute between the Zionist and anti-Zionist Jews, viz, whether it is possible to reconcile the reconstitution of a national home for the Jewish race in Palestine with the contented assimilation of many millions of Jews in other counlries where they have acquired nationality and made a home.

I am only interested in the more immediately practical questions: (a) What is the meaning of the phrase "a National Home for the Jewish Race in Palestine," and what is the nature of the obligation that we shall assume if we accept this as a principle of British policy? (b) If such a policy be pursued what are the chances of its successful realisation?

For important as may be the political reasons (and they seem to me almost exclusively political) for adopting such a line of action, we ought at least to consider whether we are encouraging a practicable ideal, or preparing the way for disappointment and failure.

If I seek guidance from the latest collection of circulated papers (The Zionist Movement, G. - 164) I find a fundamental disagreement among the authorities quoted there as to the scope and nature of their aim. A "National Home for the Jewish race or people" would seem, if the words are to bear their ordinary meaning, to imply a place where the Jews can be reassembled as a nation, and where they will enjoy the privileges of an independent national existence. Such is clearly the conception of those who, like Sir A. Mond, speak of the creation in Palestine of "an autonomous Jewish State," words which appear to contemplate a State, i.e. a political entity, composed of Jews, governed by Jews, and administered mainly in the interests of Jews. Such a State might naturally be expected to have a capital, a form of government, and institutions of its own. It would possess the soil or the greater part of the soil of the country. It would take its place among the smaller nations of the earth.

{p. 728} The same conception appears to underlie several other of the phrases employed in these papers, e.g., when we are told that Palestine is to become " a home for the Jewish nation," " a national home for the Jewish race," "a Jewish Palestine," and when we read of "the resettlement of Palestine as a national centre," and " the restoration of Palestine to the Jewish people." All these phrases are variants of the same idea, viz., the recreation of Palestine as it was before the days of the dispersion.

On the other hand, Lord Rothschild, when he speaks of Palestine as "a home where the Jews could speak their own language, have their own education, their own civilisation, and religious institutions under the protection of Allied Governments," seems to postulate a much less definite form of political existence, one, indeed, which is quite compatible with the existence of an alien (so long as it is not a Turkish) Government.

At the other extreme the late Lord Cromer, who favoured the Zionist cause, explains that the resuscitated Palestine is only to be " the spiritual centre of the Jews" and a reservoir of Jewish culture - aspirations which are wholly different from those which I have just recorded, and which appear to be incompatible with the evolution of a comparatively small and for the most part agricultural or pastoral community .

I call attention to these contradictions because they suggest some hesitancy in espousing a cause whose advocates have such very different ideas of what they mean.

But I must proceed further to point out that, whichever interpretation we adopt, Palestine would appear to be incapacitated by physical and other conditions from ever becoming in any real sense the national home of the Jewish people.

That people number, we are told, about 12 millions, scattered in all parts of the world. Of this total, 9 1/4 {9.25} millions are in Europe (including 6 millions in Russia) and 2 millions in North America. The number in the United Kingdom is 245,000; the number already in Palestine was, before the war, 125,000.

Now what is the capacity as regards population of Palestine within any reasonable period of time? Under the Turks there is no such place or country as Palestine, because it is divided up between the sanjak of Jerusalem and the vilayets of Syria and Beirut. But let us assume that in speaking of Palestine in the present context we mean the old Scriptural Palestine, extending from Dan to Beersheba, i.e., Irom Banias to Bir Saba. This is a country of less than 10,000 square miles, including 4,ooo to the east of the Jordan, i.e., it is a country which, excluding desert lands, is not much bigger than Wales. Now Wales, in

{p. 729) spite of having one city of nearly 200,000 people, and two others of 200,000 between them, only supports a population of 2,000,000 persons.

Palestine, on the other hand, before the war contained a population the highest estimate of which was between 600,000 and 700,000 persons, of which less than one-quarter were Jews and the remainder (except for small Christian communities or settlements) Moslems. The Jews were to a large extent congregated in the few towns, e.g., in Jerusalem, where, out of a total population of 80,000, 55,000 were Jews - for the most part living on alms or charity, or old men come to end their days in the Holy City. The Jewish colonies, about which so much has been said, contained a population of only 11,000. The remainder of the Jews were in the other towns and parts of the country.

Since the War the Turks have reduced the country to a condition of abject debasement. The Jewish colonies have either been dislocated or broken up, the various missionary establishments, except the German and Spanish, have disappeared, the local inhabitants have been conscripted and to a large extent destroyed on the front, the urban populations have been reduced to beggary, and colonies of Turkomans, Circassians, Kurds, and other savage races have been planted about to hold the country in subjection.

Before the War it was calculated by competent authorities who had lived for years in the country that for many years it could not support an increased population. After the devastation wrought by the War it will be many decades before we can contemplate a population that will even remotely approximate to that of Wales. This is a position due not merely to the ravages of war, but to the present physical conditions of the country, brought about by centuries of neglect and misrule. Belore any considelable revival can be expected there must be a colossal expenditure on afforestation, on irrigation, on the rebuilding of the broken-down terraces which formerly supported the cultivation. The Scriptural phrase, a land "flowing with milk and honey," which suggests an abounding fertility, must be read in relation to the desert features of Sinai, to which it stood in glowing contrast, and loses somewhat of its picturesque charm when we realise that the milk was that of the flocks of goats that roamed, and still roam, the hills, while the honey was the juice of the small grape that was used as a substitute for sugar and still makes a palatable wine. Further, let it he borne in mind, when we speak of this devastated country as a national home for a great people, that in the steamy Jordan valley no Europeans can live or rear children, that only the higher parts of the country are suited for settlers who come from more northerly climes, that malaria, fever, opthalmia, and other ailments

{p. 730} abound, not to he eradicated save by great outlay and after a long time.

Palestine is, in fact, a poor land, containing no mineral wealth, no coal, no iron ore, no copper, gold or silver. It depends entirely on live stock (i.e. mainly, goats, which crop the bare hills) and agriculture. In parts, but in parts only, where there is sufficient water and a good climate, excellent crops of wheat and barley are produced. Olive oil, sesame, and oranges are the chief exports.

Such is the country - a country calling for prolonged and patient toil from a people inured to agriculture - and even so only admitting after generations of a relatively small population - that we are invited (if we can get hold of it, which we have not yet done) to convert into the national home of a people, numbering many millions, brought from other and different climates, and to a large extent trained in other industries and professions.

There arises the further question, what is to become of the people of this country, assuming the Turk to be expelled, and the inhabitants not to have been exterminated by the War? There are over half a million of these, Syrian Arabs - a mixed community with Arab, Hebrew, Canaanite, Greek, Egyptian, and possibly Crusaders' blood. They and their forefathers have occupied the country for the best part of 1500 years. They own the soil, which belongs either to individual landowners or to village communities. They profess the Mohammedan faith. They will not be content either to be expropriated for Jewish immigrants, or to act merely as hewers of wood and drawers of water to the latter.

Further, there are other settlers who will have to be reckoned with. There are 100,000 Christians, who will not wish to be disturbed; east of the Jordan are large colonies of Circassian Mohammedans, firmly established; there are also settlements of Druses and Moslems from Algeria, Bulgaria, and Egypt.

No doubt a prodigal expenditure of wealth will secure the expropriation of some of these. But when we reflect that the existing Jewish colonies, in the most favoured spots, after a prodigious outlay, extending over many years, have only in a few cases as yet become self-supporting, it is clear that a long vista of anxiety, vicissitude, and expense lies before those who desire to rebuild the national home.

I spoke earlier of the dreams of those who foresee a Jewish State, with possibly a Jewish capital at Jerusalem. Such a dream is rendered wholly incapable of realisation by the conditions of Jerusalem itself. It is a city in which too many peoples and too many religions have a passionate and permanent interest to render any such solution even dimly possible. The Protestant communities are vitally interested in

{p. 731} the churches and in the country as the scenes of the most sacred events in history. The Roman Catholics collect annually large sums and maintain extensive establishments at Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The Greek Orthodox Church regards the Holy Places with an almost frenzied reverence. Great pilgrimages come annually from the Slav countres and Russia. I recall a fourishing Russian monastery on Mount Tabor. The Hellenic clergy have large properties in the country.

Finally, next to Mecca and Medina, Jerusalem is the most sacred city of the Mohammedan faith. The Mosque of Omar, {ed. - the Dome of the Rock} on the site of the Temple of Solomon, is one of the most hallowed of the shrines of Islam. It contains the great rock or stone, from which Mohammed ascended on the back of his miraculous steed to Heaven, and which is regarded with so much awe in the Moslem world that when, a few years ago, an Englishman was alleged to have been digging under it, the uproar spread throughout the Moslem world. It is impossible to contemplate any future in which the Mohammedans should be excluded from Jerusalem. Hebron is a site scarcely less sacred to Islam. It is no doubt from a full consciousness of these facts that the wisest of the Zionists forgo any claim to the recovery of Jerusalem as the centre and capital of a revived Jewish State, and hope only that it may remain as a sort of enclave in international, if not in British, hands.

But is it not obvious that a country which cannot within any approximate period contain anything but a small population, which has already an indigenous population of its own of a different race and creed, which can possess no urban centre or capital, and which is suited only to certain forms of agricultural and pastoral development, cannot, save by a very elastic use of the term, be designated as the national home of the Jewish people? It may become the home of a considerably larger number of Jewish settlers than now, mainly brought from the Eastern parts of Europe (though the chancE of their coming in large numbers or being sent for political reasons from Austria and Germany is by no means lo he ignored); this colonisation may be supported by the expenditure of large sums of money; the productiveness and health of the country may be slowly improved by the application of enterprise and science; a Jewish community, freed from the misrule of the Turks and enjoying equal rights with other sections of the population, may become prosperous and even powerful. But again I ask, is this what we contemplate when we say in our proposal formula that "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish race"? If we contemplate no more, is it wise to use language which suggests so much more?

In reality is not the maximum policy that we can possibly hope to

{p. 732} realise one which, if the Turks are defeated and turned out of Palestine, will: (a) Set up some form of European administration (it cannot be Jewish administration) in that country. (b) Devise a machinery for safeguarding and securing order both in the Christian and in the Jewish Holy Places. (c) Similarly guarantee the integrity of the Mosque of Omar {Dome of the Rock dome.html} and vest it in some Moslem body. (d) Secure to the Jews (but not to the Jews alone) equal civil and religious rights with the other elements in the population. (e) Arrange as far as possible for land purchase and settlement of returning Jews.

If this is Zionism there is no reason why we should not all be Zionists, and I would gladly give my adhesion to such a policy, all the more that it appears to be recommended by considerations of the highest expediency, and to be urgently demanded as a check or counterblast lo the scarcely concealed and sinister political designs of the Germans. But in my judgment it is a policy very widely removed from the romantic and idealistic aspirations of many of the Zionisl leaders whose literature I have studied, and, whatever it does, it will not in my judgment provide either a national, or material, or even a spiritual home for any more than a very small section of the Jewish people.

C. of K. October 26, 1917.

{end of Curzon's statement}

His objection, it will be seen, is not so much to a systematic settlement of Jewish emigrants in Palestine, but rather to the extravagant expectations formed by extreme Zionists as to the possibilities of Jewish settlement in so small and arid a land. He was clearly of opinion that the population of Palestine had already reached its possible limits of expansion, certainly on anything like a big scale. The evidence given by the Zionists at the Peace Conference completely destroyed his arguments in this respect, and the success of Jewish colonisation since then, despite the timidities of successive governors, has neutralised his anticipations.

Mr. Montagu's objections were of a different order. He belonged to a small and dwindling minority of Jews - mostly wealthy - who had no desire that Israel should be regarded as a separate race and a distinct nationality. Such of them as still professed their adhesion to Judah regarded it as a definite religion and not

{p. 733} as a peculiar people. Mr. Montagu had not even these religious predilections. as he himself once mournfully said to the late Lord Morley, "I have been striving all my life to escape from the Ghetto." He was therefore a convinced and a bitter anti-Zionist. This was his statement:

{Montagu's statement}

It was suggested that a question raising such important issues as to the future of Palesline ought, in the first instance, to be discussed with our Allies, and more particularly with the United States.

On the question of submitting Lord Milner's draft for the consideration of the United States Government, Mr. Montagu urged that the use of the phrase "the home of the Jewish people" would vitally prejudice the position of every Jew elsewhere and expand the argument contained in his Memorandum. Against this it was urged that the existence of a Jewish State or autonomous community in Palesline would strengthen rather than weaken the situation of Jews in countries where they were not yet in possession of equal rights, and that in countries like England, where lhey possessed such rights, and were identified with the nation of which they were citizens, their position would be unaffected by the existence of a national Jewish community elsewhere. The view was expressed that, while a small influential section of English Jews were opposed to the idea, large numbers were sympathetic to it, but in the interests of Jews who wished to go from countries where they were less favourably situated, rather than from any idea of wishing to go to Palestine themselves.

Mr. Montagu urged strong objections to any declaration in which it was stated that Palestine was the "national home" of the Jewish people. He regarded the Jews as a religious community and himself as a Jewish Englishman. He based his argument on the prejudicial effect on the status of Jewish Britons of a statement that His Majesty's Government regarded Palesline as the national home of Jewish people. Whatever safeguarding words might be used in the formula, the civil rights of Jews as nationals in the country in which they were born might be endangered. How would he negotiate with the peoples of India on behalf of His Majesty's Government if the world had just been told that His Majesty's Government regarded his national home as being in Turkish territory?

{end of Montagu's statement}

But urgent diplomatic and military reasons at last ensured complete unanimity on the subject. Even Mr. Montagu surrendered his opposition, and accepted the declaration as a military expedient.

{p. 734} Mr. Balfour had been in communication with Lord Rothschild, who was the head of the Zionist Movement in this country, and who was pressing on behalf of his fellow Zionists for a declaration which could be issued to the Jews throughout the world, guaranteeing that the Allies would make it one of the conditions of the Peace Settlement with Turkey that there should be a National Home for the Jews in the land from which they had been driven as a people, but with which their name would always be associated. When the matter was brought to the attention of the Cabinet on the 3rd of September, 1917, it was decided to communicate with President Wilson informing him that the Government were being pressed to make a declaration in sympathy with the Zionist Movement, and seeking his views as to the advisability of such a declaration being made. It took some weeks to obtain his personal opinion on the subject, but, when it arrived, Mr. Balfour reported that "President Wilson was extremely favourable to the Movement." He also informed the Cabinet that "the German Government were making great efforts to capture the sympathy of the Zionist Movement." He and Lord Milner urged the Cabinet to issue a declaration in favour of the Zionist demand. Mr. Balfour, in support of it, said:

{quote} This movement, though opposed by a number of wealthy Jews in this country, had behind it the support of a majority of Jews, at all events in Russia and America, and possibly in other countries. He saw nothing inconsistent between the establishment of a Jewish national focus in Palestine and the complete assimilation and absorption of Jews into the nationality of other countries. Just as English emigrants to the United States became, either in the first or subsequent generations, American nationals, so, in future, should a Jewish citizenship be established in Palestine, would Jews become either Englishmen, Americans, Germans, or Palestinians. What was at the back of the Zionist Movement was the intense national consciousness held by certain members of the Jewish race. They regarded themselves as one of the great historic races of the world, whose original home was Palestine, and these Jews had a passionate longing to regain once more this ancient national home. Other Jews had become absorbed into the nations among whom they and their forefathers had dwelt for many generations. Mr. Balfour then read a very sympathetic declaration by the French Government which had been conveyed to the

{p. 735} Zionists, and he stated that he knew thal President Wilson was extremely favourable to the Movement. {end quote}

The question came up for final decision before the War Cabinet. By that time Lord Curzon had withdrawn his objection. Mr. Balfour then proposed the now famous declaration of sympathy with the Zionist aspirations:

{quote} His Majesty's Government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national honle for the Jewish people, and will use its best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country. {end quote}

In support of it he stated

{quote} that he gathered that everyone was now agreed that, from a purely diplomatic and political point of view, it was desirable that some declaration favourable to the aspirations of the Jewish nationalists should now be made. The vast majority of Jews in Russia and America, as, indeed, all over the world, now appeared to be favourable to Zionism. If we could make a declaration favourable to such an ideal, we should be able to carry on extremely useful propaganda both in Russia and America. He gathered that the main arguments still put forward against Zionism were twofold: (a) That Palestine was inadequate to form a home for either the Jewish or any other people. (b) The difficulty felt with regard to the future position of Jews in Western countries. As to the meaning of the words "national home," to which the Zionists attach so much importance, he understood it to mean some form of British, American, or other protectorate, under which full facilities would be given to the Jews to work out their own salvation and to build up, by means of education, agriculture, and industry, a real centre of national culture and focus of national life. It did not necessarily involve the early establishment of an independent Jewish State, which was a matter for gradual development in accordance with the ordinary laws of political evolution.

LORD CURZON stated that he admitted the force of the diplomatic arguments in favour of expressing sympathy, and agreed that the bulk of the Jews held Zionist rather than anti-Zionist opinions. He

{p. 736} added that he did not agree with the attitude taken by Mr. Montagu. On the other hand, he could not share the optimistic views held regarding the future of Palestine. These views were not merely the result of his own personal experiences of travel in that country, but of careful investigations from persons who had lived for many years in the country. He feared that by the suggested declaration we should be raising false expectations which could never be realised. He attached great importance to the necessity of retaining the Christian and Moslem Holy Places in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and, if this were to be effectively done, he did not see how the Jewish people could have a political capital in Palestine. However, he recognised that some expression of sympathy with Jewish aspirations would be a valuable adjunct to our propaganda, though he thought that we should be guarded in the language used in giving expression to such sympathy. {end quote}

All the representatives of the Dominions, and the leaders of public opinion in our country of every party, welcomed the declaration and pronounced themselves wholeheartedly in favour of the policy. The French Government gave their ready and cordial assent before the declaration was issued, and the same thing applied to the Italian Government.

There has been a good deal of discussion as to the meaning of the words "Jewish National Home" and whether it involved the setting up of a Jewish National State in Palestine. I have already quoted the words actually used by Mr. Balfour when he submitted the declaration to the Cabinet for its approval. They were not challenged at the time by any member present, and there could be no doubt as to what the Cabinet then had in their minds. It was not their idea that a Jewish State should be set up immediately by the Peace Treaty without reference to the wishes of the majority of the inhabitants. On the other hand, it was contemplated that when the time arrived for according representative institutions to Palestine, if the Jews had meanwhile responded to the opportunity afforded them by the idea ol a National Home and had become a definite majority of the inhabitants, then Palestine would thus become a Jewish Commonwealth. The notion that Jewish immigration would have to be artificially restricted in order to ensure that the Jews should be a permanent minority never entered into the heads of anyone engaged in

{p. 737} framing the policy. That would l-ave been regarded as unjust and as a fraud on the people to whom we were appealing.

President Wilson thus interpreted the declaration in his explanation to the American public: "I am persuaded that the Allied nations, with the fullest concurrence of our Government and our people, are agreed that in Palestine shall be laid the foundations of a Jewish Commonwealth."

The Zionist leaders gave us a definite promise that, if the Allies committed themselves to giving facilities for the establishment of a National Home for the Jews in Palestine, they would do their best to rally to the Allied cause Jewish sentiment and support throughout the world. They kept their word in the letter and the spirit, and the only question that remains now is whether we mean to honour ours. Immediately the declaration was agreed to, millions of leaflets were circulated in every town and area throughout the world where there were known to be Jewish communities. They were dropped from the air in German and Austrian towns, and they were scattered throughout Russia and Poland. I could point out substantial and in one case decisive advantages derived from this propaganda amongst the Jews. In Russia the Bolsheviks baffled all the efforts of the Germans to benefit by the harvests of the Ukraine and the Don, and hundreds of thousands of German and Austrian troops had to be maintained to the end of the War on Russian soil, whilst the Germans were short of men to replace casualties on the Western front. I do not suggest that this was due entirely, or even mainly, to Jewish activities. But we have good reason to believe that Jewish propaganda in Russia had a great deal to do with the difficulties created for the Germans in Southern Russia after the peace of Brest-Litovsk. The Germans themselves know that to be the case, and the Jews in Germany are suffering to-day for the fidelity with which their brethren in Russia and in America discharged their obligations under the Zionist p]edge to the Allies.

Through Sir Mark Sykes and Colonel Lawrence we informed the Arab leaders, King Hussein and his son, Feisal, of our proposals. We could not get in touch with the Palestinian Arabs as they were fighting against us.

{p. 738} There is no better proof of the value of the Balfour Declaration as a military move than the fact that Germany entered into negotiations with Turkey in an endeavour to provide an alternative scheme which would appeal to Zionists. A German-Jewish Society, the V.J.O.D.,* was formed, and in January, 1918, Talaat, the Grand Vizier, at the instigation of the Germans, gave vague promises of legislation by means of which "all justifiable wishes of the Jews in Palestine would be able to find their fulfilment."

In January, 1916, the British Government's policy in regard to Palestinian Holy Places and Zionist colonisation was officially communicated in the following message to Hussein:

{quote} That so far as Palestine is concerned, we are determined that no people shall be subjected to another, but in view of the fact: (a) that there are in Palestine, Shrines, Wakfs, and Holy Places, sacred in some cases to Moslems alone, to Jews alone, to Christians alone, and in others to two or all three, and inasmuch as these places are of interest to vast masses of people outside Palestine and Arabia, there must be a special regime to deal with these places approved of by the world; (b) that as regards the Mosque of Omar, it should be considered as a Moslem concern aloue, and shall not be subjected directly or indirectly to any non-Moslem authority.

That since the Jewish opinion of the world is in favour of a return of Jews to Palestine, and inasmuch as this opinion must remain a constant factor, and further, as His Majesty's Government view with favour the realisation of this aspiration, His Majesty's Government are determined that in so far as is compatible with the freedom of the existing population, both economic and political, no obstacle should be put in the way of the realisation of this ideal. {end quote}

The Arab leaders did not offer any objections to the declaration, so long as the rights of the Arabs in Palestine were respected. Pledges were given to the non-Jewish population of Palestine who constituted the great majority of its inhabitants, as well as to the Jews. These were the result of conversations which we had with such Arab leaders as we could get in touch with. There was a twofold undertaking given to them, that the establishment of a

* Vereinigung Judischer Organisation en Deutschlands zur Wahrung der Rechte des Osten. (Alliance of the Jewish Organizations of Germany for the Safeguarding of the Rights of the Orient.)

{p. 739} Jewish National Home would not in any way, firstly, affect the civil or religious rights of the general population of Palestine; secondly, would not diminish the general prosperity of that population. ...

{p. 742} Another consideration is this. Ought we not to try and keep the Arabs of Palestine in close touch with the Arabs of the country both to the east and to the north? If you, so to speak, segregate them under the charge of a separate Power which has no interest in those regiotls, you will really sterilise them and arrest their growth. On the other hand, our position and influence in the surrounding Arab areas must be always so great that the Arabs of Palestine would have, I think, a much better chance in our hands than in those of any others.

The final consideration is this, that, from all the evidence we have so far, the Arabs and Zionists in Palestine want us. The evidence on that point seems to be conclusive. Our most recent telegrams include two, in one of which the Zionists propose to General Clayton that Great Britain should assume a permanent tutelage over Palestine until both the Jews and the Arabs decide otherwise hy decisive majorities. General Clayton, in his telegram of the 21st November, proposed a form of declaration as follows: "That it is desirable at an early date to issue a declaration to the effect that the tutelage of Palestine shall continue until both Jews and Arabs in Palestine agree mutually that it should cease. Agreement would necessitate a majority of both Jews and Arabs respectively in favour of complete autonomy, and tutelage would continue if either party refused to agree." General Allenby agrees that a declaration in the above sense would have a good effect, provided it came from the Entente Powers. Obviously it is impossible that any such declaration should come from us. It might come at a later date from the Conference. The point I wish to put before the Committee is this, that when we go into the Conference we should for our part drop altogether the idea of international management of Palestine in the future, that we should make the best arrangement we can for its boundaries, and then, if it becomes a question of America and ourselves, believing in our own mind that it is best for the interests of the people of both parties that we and not America should be the Power, we should give every encouragement to this view I have put forward, namely, that under the principle of self-determination both the Zionists and the Arabs should be left to speak for themselves. {end of Curzon's statement}

At the same meeting of the War Cabinet Eastern Committee at which Lord Curzon made the above statement, Lord Robert Cecil dealt with the question of the mandatory power:

{start of Lord Robert Cecil's statement & discussion}

The French are entirely out of the question, for the reasons given by Lord Curzon, and also because the Italians would really burst if you suggested it - and the Greeks too. Therefore there is no question at all

{p. 743} of the French, and it is entirely a question of the Americans or the British. I should be glad to see the British there. At the same time I should not like to rule out the Americans. There are advantages in having the Americans there. Upon the strategical aspect I do not express an opinion, but I am not much impressed by the argument that in order to defend Egypt we had to go to Palestine, because in order to defend Palestine we should have to go to Aleppo or some such place. You always have to go forward; at least, I gather so. You could not stand still in Palestine any more than you could anywhere else. As to that, I think our policy ought to be to say that, as far as we can do so decently, we think we are the best people to do it for the League of Nations, but that if they will not let us do it we would rather the Americans did it than anybody else. I do not believe the French will allow us to do it.

LORD CURZON: I do not feel at all clear that the Americans would be willing to do it.

LORD ROBERT CECIL: That is a different matter. They may wish us to do it under the pressure of the Arabs and the Jews.

GENERAL WILSON: If we do think that we would be the best people there, I think we had better go there. It lies between us and the Americans.

LORD ROBERT CECIL: There is not going to be any great catch about it.


LORD ROBERT CECIL: Because we shall simply keep the peace between the Arabs and the Jews. We are not going to get anything out of it. Whoever goes there will have a poor time.

GENERAL SMUTS: It would affect Jewish national opinion, and nationally they are a great people.

LORD ROBERT CECIL: They are likely to quarrel with the protecting Powers.

GENERAL WILSON: If well handled I do not think so.

GENERAL MACDONOGH: I suggest the most important thing in the consideration of the position of Palestine is not its topographical relation to Syria or anything else, but its being, as Mr. Balfour says, the home of the Jewish people, and therefore interesting the whole of the Jews all over the world. I see a good many of the Zionists, and one suggested to me the day before yesterday that if the Jewish people did not get what they were asking for in Palestine, we should have the whole of Jewry turning Bolsheviks and supporting Bolshevism in all the other countries as they have done in Russia.

LORD ROBERT CECIL: Yes. I can conceive the Rothschilds leading a Bolshevist mob.

{p. 746} circumstances should any claim by Turkey to share the sovereignty, real or nominal, of Palestine be admitted; and (1) The Committee is opposed to the institution of an international administration in Palestine. (2) The Committee favours the nomination of a single Great Power, either by the League of Nations, or otherwise, to act as representative of the nations in Palestine. (3) Such Power should not be France or Italy, but should be either the United States of America or Great Britain. (4) While we would not object to the selection of the United States of America, yet if the offer were made to Great Britain we ought not to decline. (5) The choice, whatever form it may take, should be, as far as possible, in accordance with the expressed desires (a) of the Arab population, (b) of the Zionist community in Palestine. (6) Every effort shoulcl be made at the Peace Conference to secure an equitable readjustment of the boundaries of Palestine, both on the north and cast and south. (7) In any case the pledges as to the care of the Holy Places must be effectively fulfilled.

{end of Lord Robert Cecil's discussion}

These discussions will explain why, when I met Clemenceau in London, I placed a united Palestine in the frefront of the requests I made to him. Clemenceau's ready assent saved a severe conflict on the subject with his successors. They would have preferred the Sykes-Picot partition which would, now that Russia had retired from the Alliance, have given France an equal voice with Britain in the control of the whole of Palestine except an enclave around Haifa. The Millerand Government would not have agreed to surrender the French share in this joint administration. This was clearly seen, when we came to the drafting of the Turkish Treaty. They then put up a persistent fight to recover a measure of thal condominium in Palestine.

The Americans, when sounded on the subject of the mandate for Palestine, were not inclined to accept the responsibility. France was mainly anxious to secure the Syrian mandate for herself. Italy put in no claim. It was therefore assumed that Britain would be the mandatory.

When the Emir Feisal appeared before the Supreme Council on February 6, 1919, he said: "Palestine, in consequence of its

{p. 747} universal character, he left on one side for the consideration of all parties intelested. With this exception, he asked for the independence of the Arab areas enumerated in his memorandum."

The Zionist Mission, representing "The Zionist Organisation and the Jewish population of Palestine," was received by the Supreme Council on February 27th, 1919. M, Sokolow read the following extract from a memorandum which he had circulated:

{quote} The Zionist Organisation respectfully submits the following draft resolutions for the consideration of the Peace Conference:

(1) The High Contracting Parties recognise the historic title of the Jewish people to Palestine and the right of the Jews to reconstitute in Palestine their National Home.

(2) The boundaries of Palestine shall be as declared in the Schedule annexed hereto.

(3) The sovereign possession of Palestine shall be vested in the l eague of Nations and the government entrusted to Great Britain as Mandatory of the League.

(4) (Provision to be inserted relating to the application in Palestine of such of the general conditions attached to mandates as are suitable to the case.)

(5) The mandate shall be subject also to the following special conditions: (1) Palestine shall be placed under such political administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment there of the Jewish National Home, and ultimately render possible the creation of an autonomous Commonwealth, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country. {end quote}

Dr. Weizmann, in the course of his speech said:

{quote} The Zionist Association demanded, in the name of the people who had suffered martyrdom for eighteen centuries, that they should be able, immediately peace was signed, to tell their co-religionists in the Ukraine, in Poland, and in other parts of Eastern Furope, that some of them would be taken to Palestine to be established on the land, and that there was therefore a hopeful prospect for Jewry. That was the essence of what the Zionists required, and with that object in view they had taken the liberty of drafting up the following resolution: To this end the Mandatory Power shall inter alia: (a) Promote Jewish immigration and close settlement on the land, {endquote}

{end of transcript}

(2) The Secret of Leopold Amery

The Secret of Leopold Amery

by William D. Rubinstein

History Today, Vol. 49, February 1999

William D. Rubinstein investigates the political and personal motivations of a leading Conservative politician, and reveals the truth he sought to keep hidden

{cartoon caption} Champion of the Empire and early supporter of Joseph Chamberlain, Amery served as Colonial (and, from 1925, Dominions) Secretary until 1929. In 1922, Punch celebrated his committment to Rhodesian tobacco. {end}

Leopold Amery (1873-1955) is remembered as a leading Conservative politician and Cabinet Minister, who was instrumental in bringing down Chamberlain's government in 1940. A product of Harrow, Balliol and All Souls, he is best-known as a lifelong supporter of Joseph Chamberlain's scheme for a high tariff wall around the whole British Empire and of later proposals for 'tariff reform'. Amery's younger son, Julian, (1919-96) was a prominent Conservative minister under Macmillan and Heath.

But Leopold Amery was also a man with an extraordinary secret, probably the most remarkable example of concealment of identity in twentieth-century British political history. In his autobiography (My Political Life, 1953-55) he stated that his mother, Elisabeth Leitner Amery, was part of a 'stream of Hungarian exiles' who emigrated after the 1848 revolution, fleeing to Constantinople, and eventually to England. That his mother was a 'Hungarian' is repeated in every biographical entry on him. This, however, was not the whole truth. She was in fact Jewish. I have been unable to discover a shred of evidence that Amery had any Magyar Hungarian ancestors or relatives. It seems virtually certain that Amery invented this out of the whole cloth to conceal his Jewish origins and that these have remained unknown until now. His real name, given in every source as Leopold Charles Maurice Stennet Amery, was actually Leopold Charles Moritz Stennett Amery.

While hiding his Jewish identily, Amery nevertheless became a life-long philosemite and pro-Zionist who used his infuence on behalf of Jewish causes whenever he could. He was the author of the final draft of the Balfour Declaralion which commined Britain to establishing a Jewish 'National Home' in Palestine. He was highly significant in helping to create the Jewish legion, the forerunner of what later became the Israeli army. As Dominions Secretary in the mid-1920s, he sympathetically presided over a seminal period in the peaceful growth the Jewish community in Palestine.

On Decemher 19th, 1945, Leopold's eldest son, John Amery (1912-45) was hanged for treason at Wandsworth Prison as a wartime Nazi.

Leopold's father, Charles Frederick Amery (1833-1901), came from an old West Country family and was serving as an official in the Indian Forestry Commission when Leopold was born in Gorakhpur. The only original published information about Leopold's mother is provided in Amery's autobiography in which he engages in elaborate, but clever, dissimulation about her and her family. Although the reader is told the name of her step-father, Dr Johann Moritz Leitner (1800-61), a Jewish-born British subject of Hungarian origin, who together with her brother, Gottlieb, are referred to only by the initials of their forenames, Amery does not disclose his mother's name at birth. He says nothing whatever about her real father or other relatives. While he must, according to this account, have had dozens of Hungarian relatives, they are never mentioned in the three volumes of the autobiography.

Amery's mother, Elisabeth (c.1841- 1908), who married his father in Marylebone in January 1773,, was born to a distinguished family of assimilated Hungarian Jews named Saphir who had converted to Prostantism and were remarkable for their intellectual abilities The man who was either her father or uncle, Moritz (originally Moses) Gottlieb Saphir (1795-1858) - to whom Leopold bore a startling resemblance was a significant figure in the cultural life of nineteenth-century central Elurope whose collected works were published in twenty-six volumes in the late nineteenth century. Hs nephew Adolph Saphir (1831-91) was converted to Protestantism by the Mission to the Jews of the free Church of Scotland, and moved to England, where he acquired a theological degree and was a prominent minister at the Presbyterian Church in Notting Hill. Elisabeth's elder brother Gottlieb William Leitner (ne Saphir) (1840-99) showed a remarkable facility for languages and became a profesor of Arabic at King's College, London, at the age of twenty-one. In 1876 Gottlieb provided Disraeli with the famous Hindustani translation of Queen Victoria's new title, Empress (or Emperor) of India, Kaisir-i-Hind. His obituary was included in the Jewish Chronicle newspaper, and he appears in several standard Jewish reference works. Elizabeth's step- father had also convened to Protestantism. Her mother Marie Henriette (c.1812-79) was probably named either Schonberger or Weiss at birth. Although Elisabeth herself was a practising Anglican, in ethnic terms she was of purely Jewish descent and thus, aecording to Orthodox Jewish law and tradition, her son Leon was also a Jew. All the evidence suggests that, for Amery, this was no minor genealogical curiosity but one of the central obsessions of his life.

Amery's mother, moreover, had a much more important formative role in raising her son than was common in most middle-elass Victorian households. She was involved, between 1882 and 1885, in a particularly sordid and bitter divorce with her husband, who had committcd adultery with a woman named Clara Zupansky 'at Vienna, at Montreal in Canada and elsewhere'. (The Zupanskys were another family of converted central European Jews: Clara Zupansky may well have been a relative of Elisabeth Amery.) As a result of the divorce, granted in November 1885, Elisabeth Amcry gained custody of her three children; and Leopold's father, who moved to America, played no further role in his life.

Why did Amery decide to bury his Jewish origins so completely? The obvious reason is fear of anti-semitism, but this needs to be placed in context. Britain was not Germany or Russia, and had little overt anti-semitism, especially of the violent kind found in much of Europe. Jews were a small, Iow-profile minority who were, if anthing, widely rspected, even admired, and often regarded as a Iegitimate Dissenting kind of sect. There was plainly more anti-Catholicism than anti-semitism in late Victorian Britain, and most opinion-leaders actively deplored anti-semitic outbursts in Europe such as the pogroms in Tsarist Russia. Between 1909 and 1939 five Jews sat in British Cabinets. It is difficult to see how knowledge of the fact that Leopold Amery's mother was Jewish could have done any real harm to his subsequent career.

One can point to four reasons why Leopold may have hidden his Jewish origins so completely. By the time he started at Harrow in September 1887 he had already adopted the name 'Maurice' in his full name, in place of 'Moritz', his legal name at birth. It is likely that he had already taken the decision to do everything possible to bury his Jewish past at this point, or possibly earlier, at boarding school in Folkestone. Harrow may well have had an undercurrent of antisemitism, but as an institution it was certainly not overtly antisemitic. The Harrow alumni handbook reveals that there at least fifteen Jewish students at Harrow at the same time as Amery, with names like Rothschild, Goldschmidt, Levy, Oppenheim, and Wertheimer.

At Harrow, Amery was the cleverest boy in the school, effortlessly winning prize after prize and three scholarships. While many of his classmates were the sons of Cabinet Ministers, aristocrats, millionaires, bishops, and generals, Amery's father was a minor official in the Indian Forestry Commission who had deserted his family, wandered around the globe with his mistress and been divorced by his wife. Being Jewish in addition may have seemed to the young Leopold to be one handicap too many and, moreover, the easiest one to discard, by a minor change of name and a combination of terminological inexactitudes and selective amnesia. Secondly, because of his relatives' concersions to Protestantism, Amery's precise religio-ethnic status was deeply confused. If his mother and her family had been practising Jews, it would seem less likely that he would have hidden this fact. But a family of Jews who had converted to Protestantism (and included among them a Free Church of Scotland minister) made Amery's status so peculiar, complex, and probably embarrassing that it seemed far easier simply to bury the whole issue. Thirdly, his mother made enormous sacrifices to send all her sons to Harrow. 'For her children she was ambitious,' Amery wrote, and this was especially the case for her clever eldest son. As a foreigner, Elizabeth might well have regarded any hint of alienness as a distinct handicap, and have encouraged Leopold to seem as English as possible.

Finally, when Amery entered political life as a pronounced imperialist and Chamberlainite and a super-patriot of Britain and its Empire, it must surely have seemed anomalous for him to have had so much foreign ancestry. Amery's paternal grandmother, Maria Trist, was 'a descendant of the old Exeter Huguenot families'. The super-patriot thus had only one authentically British grandparent, and hence joined a long line of strong nationalists, like Charles Parnell and Eamon de Valera, who were highly marginal, in their backgrounds, to the nations they championed. Perhaps, too, Amery might have wanted to hide the fact from Britain's Jewish community, which could well have viewed him as 'our man on the Tory front bench'.

What does seem certain, however, is that Amery was well-aware of his Jewish ancestry. He was one of the best-informed and most intellectually sophisticated men in British public life. As a child he had certainly met most of his Jewish relatives who lived in Britain. He was a leading pro-Zionist when he had no obvious reason to be. Whatever the reasons behind his concealment, keeping the secret became an obsession intrinsically more important than the nature of the secret itself.

Most men hiding their Jewish ancestry would surely take pains to distance themselves as far as possible from Jewish issues; some might well have become antisemites, but Amery behaved in precisely the opposite manner; it is no exaggeration to describe him as a 'secret Jew' who worked tirelessly on behalf of Jewish causes. Because of his increasingly significant political position, he was immensely influential in bringing about the success of the Zionist enterprise which eventually led to the establishment of the State of Israel.

In his autobiography, Amery claimed that 'beyond a vague knowledge' of Theordor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, he was 'completely unaware of the existence of the Zionist movement' until converted to its programme by Sir Mark Sykes, an enthusiastic gentile Zionist, during the First World War. Amery supported Zionism for two main reasons. He hoped to see the establishment in Palestine of 'a prosperous (Jewish) community bound to Britain by ties of gratitude and interest.' Secondly, he believed that the creation of a Jewish state would greatly diminish

... antisemitism, which is based, partly on the fear of being swamped by hordes of undesirable aliens from Russia, etc., and partly by an instinctive suspicion anainst a community which has so many international ramifications ...

Amery's views were close to those of the classical theorists of early Zionism, who believed that antisemitism stemmed largely from the wholly 'abnormal' socio-economic and political structure of European Jewry. They believed it would greatly diminish once the Jewish people had established a 'normal' state and society, which would radically alter the negative perception of Jews by the majority. In this Amery showed a sympathetic affinity for the nationalistic basis of Zionism rare in Britain. While he hailed the Òspiritual forcesÓ which have always inspired the Zionist movement, his support had little obvious grounding in any Judaic religious concention, but rather was based on the fact that it was a nationalistic movement which aimed to normalise the status of Jews. He also had little affinity for the ideology of socialist Zionism to which many pioneers of the movement adhered.

Amery's first and most significant contribution to the Zionist movement came in October 1917 when, as political secretary to the War Cabinet (a post he had been appointed to by Lord Milner the previous year), he redrafted the Balfour Declaration. Milner had given Amery several unsatisfactory early versions of the Declaration out of which he 'quickly produced' the celebrated letter sent by Foreign Minister Arthur Balfour to Lord Rothschild. This momentous document was, in effect, the founding charter of the state of Israel, which was established thirty-one years later. The full Cabinet, of which Amery was not at that stage a member, made only two minor amendments to his draft.

Amery's next contribution to the origins of Israel came with his key role in establishing the Jewish Legion, battalions of Jewish soldiers who served undcr British supervision in Palestine during the First World War. As Assistant Military Seeretary to Lord Derby, the Secretary of State for War, Amery acted as a crucial and sympathetic negotiator between British Zionists like Sir Simon Marks and the War Office. Marks, 'an old friend from South African War days ... turned to me ... and enlisted my help in conducting tyhe negotiations', Amery wrote. As a result, three battalions of the Jewish Legion were formed and served in Palestine. The Legion was probably the first explicitly Jewish fighting force since Roman times, and was the forerunner of what later became the Israel Defence Force. Amery took great pride in this, claiming:

I seem to have had my finger in the pie, not only of the Balfour Declaration, but of the genesis of the present Israeli nation.

Amery's time as Dominions Secretary in the Baldwin government (June 1925-29) saw him in charge of the Palestine Mandate. During this period an amazingly wide range of the infrastructure and characteristic institutions of the future Jewish state came into existence: Palestine was electrified, tens of thousands of wasteland were reclaimed or purchased from the Arabs, roads and railways were extended. Relations between Jews and Arabs were also relatively harmonious, and only became violent shortly after Amery left office in 1929. He became a friend and associate of most of the key Zionist leaders of the time, especially Chaim Weizmann, leader of the international Zionist movement, who paid tribute to Amery is his autobiograohy Trial and Error (1952) for his 'unstinted encouragment and support'.

Another long-time friend was Vladimir Jabotinsky, the controversial right-wing Zionist leader who founded what is now Israel's Likud party. Jabotinsky was regarded as an extremist by most mainstream Zionists, let alone by the British authorities. Amery was among his few friends in British government circles to whom he frequently turned for support and advice. In February 1937, Amery was one of the organisers of a dinner in honour of the wartime Jewish Legion at which Jabotinsky was the guest of honour, just a few days after Jabotinsky presented evidence to the Peel Royal Commission on the future of Palestine. according to Jacob B. Schectman, Jabotinsky's associate and biographer, the dinner was boycotted by the entire mainstream Zionist movement, with Weizmann sending a letter 'stating that he was Òcompelled to leave for ParisÓ just that very day'.

The Tory government of which Leo Amery was a leading member lost office in 1929. When the National government was formed in August 1931, Amery was one of the most prominent Conservatives excluded from office, and he held no further ministerial position until the formation of Churchill's wartime coalition in May 1940. He was an increasingly bitter critic of the National government's policies of whittling down Britain's committments to the Jews in Palestine in order to appease the Arabs. In May 1939 he attacked the notorious MacDonald White Paper on Palestine (which set a limit of 75,000 further Jewish immigrants to Palestine over the next five years) in furious terms. 'I have rarely risen with a greater sense of indignation and shame or made a speech which I am more content to look back on', he wrote in 1955:

I need not dwell here on the immediate consequences [of the White Paper], on the doors of mercy shut on the hapless refugees from Hitler's torture chambers, or on the growth, intelligible, though not excusable, of Jewish terrorism after the war.

Following the Munich Agreement, Amery also grew closer to Winston Churchill and the anti-Appeasement Tories. On the face of it, Amery and Churchill would seem to have been the most natural of political allies, and they had known each other since they were contemporaries at Harrow. Yet before Munich they were often at odds. Amery was a passionate advocate of Tarriff Reform which, in 1904, had promted Churchill to leave the Conservative party and join the Liberals specifically because of his opposition to Joseph Chamberlain's proposals.

Amery made the speech over the conduct of the war, for which he is best remembered, in the historic House of Commons debate of May 7th, 1940. Generally credited with bringing down the Chamberlain government and making Winston Churchill prime minister, Amery famously quoted Cromwell's speech to the Long Parliament, 'Depart, I say, let us have done with you. In the name of God, go'. On forming his coalition goernmenl, Churchill appointed Amery to be Secretary of State for India, outside of the smaller inner War Cabinet, a post he continued to hold as a member of the Cabinet, in the Conservative 'caretaker' government of May-July 1945.

Amery was deeply affected by news of the Holocaust, which began to filter back to Britain in the latter part of 1941. His autobiography ends in 1940, but his Diaries, edited by John Barnes and David Nicholson in 1988, contain occasional moving references to the Nazi genocide. On June 5th, 1944 Amery recorded that he met Chaim Weizmann:

...who had heen informed on Saturday of the monstrous German blackmailing offer to release a million German Jews in returm for ten thousand lorries and other equipment, failing which bargain they proposed to exterminate them. He wanted my advice and all I could suggest was that he should write to Winston urging publication of this infamous piece of blackmail and a declaration by him and Roosevelt that if the threat materialised just revenge would be exacted, not only on the actual perpetrators but on all the heads o-f the German Government.

This entryv is the more pignant when it is remembered that the infamous 'trucks for blood' deal concerned Hungarian Jewry. One senses here, as in other examples of Amery's comments on Jewish issules, an unusually emotional involvement and a hint that he was restraining himself from saying more.

Th Second World War also brought with it the central tragedy of Amery's life, and the most appalling and inexplicable part of this extraordinary sage: the defection of his eldest son to Nazi Germany, his subsequent trial for treason, and his execution in December 1945. As with so many aspects of Amery's hidden life, the full story remains to be written. Leopold Amery was surely the only Cabinet Minister in British history whose son was hanged for treason, yet no complete account of John Amery's career and execution has ever appeared. The most complete account remains Leopold's privately-printed pamphlet, John Amery: An Explanation, written early in 1946 and published as an appendix to the second volume of the Diaries.

Everything which is known about John Amery suggests that he was an extremely unpleasant, penerse, and deeply trnubled young man, 'inclined', according to his father, 'to revolt against the trend of public opinion... and... curiously indifferent to the consequences of his actions'. Sent to Harrow, from which he ran away at sixteen, he attempted to become a film producer, and went bankrupt at twenty-five. At the time of his death he had already been married three times. A fierce anti-Communist and Fascist sympathiser, John Amery found himself in France when the Third Republic collapsed; he gradually became a part of the Vichvite and collaborationist network, actively recruited by the Nazis. In 1943 he delivered six radio broadcasts in Germany urging a compromise peace between Britain and the Nazis. More seriously, he also toured prisoner of war camps in an attempt to create an anti-Communist 'legion of St George', consisting of interned British soldiers, who would fight with Nazi Cermany against the Soviet Union. In his preliminary hearing, John Amery stated that he never directly attacked Britain, and was not a Nazi, only an anti-Communist. Attempts by his brother Julian Amery to prove that he had, in the late 1930s, taken out Spanish citizenship (and thus did not commit treason against his country) failed, as did efforts by his counsel to show that he was mentally ill. To spare his family unnecesary pain, he pleaded 'guilty' to the eight charges or treason brought against him at the Central Criminal Court in Octber 1945, apparently the only time that someone accused of treason in a British court has pleaded guilty. The Times reported that Amery's 'long black hair, curling up at the back, was carefully brushed. He wore a brown overcoat and a black and yellow scarf which was knotted at the neck... [he] appecared most of the time to have a half-smile on his face.' The Home Secretay, James Chuter Ede, found no grounds for a reprieve, and John Amery was hanged for treason at Wandsworth Prison on December 19th. 1945.

John Amery was a convinced and vicious antisemite, and antisemitism was an important component in his pro-Fascism. It seems clear that Leopold Amery, a qualified barrister, had a fair presentiment of what his son could expect from his trial. His disapproval and disappointment at his son's actions led Leopold to draw up a new will in January 1943 which left everything to his wife and second son Julian. In his Explanation, Leopold admitted that his son's

...failure in the film world, and his unfortunate experience with money-lenders, similarly inclined him to accept the current Nazi and Fascist doctrine of the Jews as the prime instigators of Communism as wells as of the evils of international high finance.

However, it is hard to believe that John Amery needed to resort to backstreet money-lenders, Iet alone become a Nazi supporter as a result, when he had wealthy relatives to turn to. Instead, John Amery's antisemitism appears to have been purely ideological. In his wartime Proclamation to interned British soldiers when attempting to form the 'Legion of St. George', he appealed

...to all Britons to answer this call of arms in the defence of our homes and children and of all civilization against Asiatic and Jewish bestiality ... [W]e intend giving the world proof that we are not all sold out to the Jew and the plutocrat.

An obvious question is whether John Amery knew of his own Jewish ancestry. There is no direct evidence on this point, but I am fairly sure that he did (Julian Amery, his younger brother, almost certainly did). If so, John's antisemitism must represent part of an Oedipal revolt against his father, though a very unusual one, with the son of a right-wing father moving not to the extreme left (as one might expect) but to the most extrememe right. John Amery also found himself, together with everyone in his generation, having to choose sides between murderous extremes, and was, in a sense, a victim of the 'devil's decade' of rival totalitarianisms, although plkainly his chosen response was an evil one.

In his last years, Leopold Amery apparently drew even closer to his Jewish roots. He visited Israel with his son Julian in 1950, one of the earliest British notables to travel to the Jewish state after it was diplomatically recognised by Britain the previous year. He frequently addressed Jewish and Zionist bodies, opening, for example, an exhibition on 'Manchester and Israel' in 1954, a year before his death. It is arguable that Amery's autobiography might well have revealed all about his Jewish backlground, but for the tragedy of John Amery, whose Fascism and antisemitism would then seem so bizarre and embarrassing as to overshadow the rest of the book. Leopold Amery went to his grave in September 1955 keeping the secret he had then maintained for seventy years. It is impossible not to be moved by this story, which touches upon so many of the great events of the twentieth century and which includes such tragedy. Yet through his actions Leopold Amery was also instruimental in shaping a better world, one where it is no longer necessary to choose between violent tyrranies but where it is easier for men of goodwill to tell the truth.

FOR FURTHER READING Rebecca West's The Meaning of Treason (first published by Macmillan, 1949: reprinted of Virago Press, 1982). Leopold Amery, My Polilical Life ( 3 vols, Hulchinson 1953-55), John Barnes and David Nicholson, eds. The Empire at Bay: The Leopold Amery Diaries, 1919-45 (Hutchinson, 1988), Willam Roger Louis, ln the Name of God, Go! Leo Amery and the British Empire in the Age of Churchill (Norton, 1992), W.D. Rubenstein, A History of the Jews in the English-Speabno World: Great Britain (Macmillan, 1996), Chaim Weizmann, Trial and Error (Hamish Hamilton, 1949).

William D. Rubinstein is Professor of Modern Hitory at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and the author of The Myth of Rescue: Why the Democracies Could Not Have Saved More Jews from the Nazis (Routledge, 1997).


(3) Leopold Amery, My Political Life, v. 2. War and peace, 1914-1929 (London: Hutchinson, 1953-55)

{p. 112} A much more important issue to which I devoted no little time was that of Ireland. ... I still clung

{p. 113} to my belief that partition was no real solution ...

There was another issue, destined to raise future controversies hardly less intractable than those of Ireland, in which I found myself interested, and with which I was to be much more closely concerned in later years. That was Zionism. Turkey's entry into the war, raising the issue of the liberation of the whole of the vast Arabic speaking area of the Ottoman Empire, had naturally excited the hopes of the leaders of the Zionist movement that in all this there was, for the first time, a prospect of the realization of their dream. That this could only come with the support of the British Government was obvious. For one thing the conquest of Palestine was included in the British sphere of operations, and Britain alone could secure Arab acquiescence in the special treatment of this small corner of the Arab worldÑa postage stamp Balfour once called itÑwhich she was pledged to liberate. For another, because, outside the United States, Bible reading and Bible thinking

{p. 114} England was the only country where the desire of the Jews to return to their ancient homeland had always been regarded as a natural aspiration which ought not to be denied, if its fulfilment ever fell within the power of British statesmanship Under the leadership of that remarkable personality, Dr Chaim Weizmann, scientist, dreamer, skilled diplomat and practical statesman, the Zionists had begun their campaign of approach to British editors and political leaders from early in 1915. In the Asquith Cabinet, Herbert (Viscount) Samuel had raised the matter in an eloquent memorandum in March of that year. Lloyd George and, above all, Balfour were in warm sympathy, and the Foreign Office was generally favourable, though Asquith himself was unconvinced.

An anecdote, illustrating Balfour's interest in Zionism and Weizmann's persuasive personality, may be worth recording. During the election of 1906 Balfour had given an interview to Weizmann, then a chemistry lecturer at Manchester University, and had for the first time, been convinced that it was in Palestine, and Palestine alone, that the dream of a Jewish national home could be realized. Some ten years later, as First Lord of the Admiralty, he had occasion to summon to his room the chemist who was doing such invaluable work for the Admiralty in connexion with high explosives. As the technical discussion went on he suddenly recognized his old interviewer and asked him to dinner. At a reasonable hour Weizmann excused himself. It was a lovely full moon and Balfour offered to accompany his guest for the 200 yards from 1 Carlton Gardens to the Duke of York's column. At the column he persuaded Weizmann to turn back again to complete the point they were then discussingÑand so, pacing backwards and forwards for another two hours, Balfour drew out all that was in Weizmann's mind and heart about Zionism and much else.

Meanwhile a new factor had come into the picture in the shape of Mark Sykes. An old traveller in the Middle East, he had thrown himself ardently into the cause of Arab and Armenian liberation and had been more recently employed by the Foreign Office in secret negotiations with the French as regards our future respective spheres of influence in the Arab world. An Armenian-born engineer, Mr. James

{p. 115} Malcolm, had recently brought him into touch with the Zionist leaders. Mark's imaginative and receptive mind had at once seized upon all the possibilities of the Zionist movement. He became an enthusiastic Zionist, and his enthusiasm found an entirely new scope when he became a secretary to a War Cabinet which included such whole-hearted sympathizers as Lloyd George and Milner, soon to be joined by Smuts and, above all, with Balfour at the head of the Foreign Office. In his new capacity Sykes practically took charge of all the negotiations which led up to the Balfour Declaration. The Zionist movement owed much, at a critical moment in its history, to his infectious enthusiasm and to his indefatigable energy.

All this was outside my beat in the division of our spheres of work between Mark and myself. Beyond a vague knowledge of Hertzl's negotiations with Joseph Chamberlain for a Jewish settlement in East Africa I was, indeed, completely unaware of the existence of the Zionist movement.

{this is somewhat surprising, given that Rubenstein says (in item 2 above) that he was "a life-long philosemite and pro-Zionist who used his infuence on behalf of Jewish causes whenever he could"}

But Mark soon won me to active sympathy and interest. I confess that my interest was, at first, largely strategical. I was keen on an advance into Palestine and Syria on military grounds, and the idea of consolidating that advance by establishing in Palestine a prosperous community bound to Britain by ties of gratitude and interest naturally appealed to me. I already had doubts as to the permanence of our proctectorate in Egypt, and the solution which I then advocatedÑstill in my view the right solutionÑwas that we should confine our direct strategic control to the Suez Canal and to the area between its Asiatic bank and the Palestine border, thus interfering as little as possible with the internal independence of our neighbours, but providing a central pivot of support for our whole Middle Eastern policy, as well as assuring the effective control ot our sea and air communications with the East.

But it was not long before I realized what Jewish energy in every field of thought and action might mean for the regeneration of the whole of that Middle Eastern region which was once the home of the world's most ancient civilizations, and which in the course of centuries had gone derelict beyond hope of recovery by its own unaided resources. That regeneration would be far more effective and, one hoped, more acceptable,

{p. 116} if carried out by people who, bringing the knowledge and energy of the West to bear, still regarded the Middle East as their home, than by capitalists, technicians or administrators from outside. Most of us younger men who shared this hope were, like Mark Sykes, pro-Arab as well as pro-Zionist, and saw no essential incompatibility between the two ideals. Nor, in spite of all that has happened since, am I prepared to believe that the young nation of Israel may not eventually be accepted by its neighbours as one of themselves. Much depends upon the degree in which the restless energy and aggressive self-assurance of its people is tempered by those spiritual forces which have always inspired the Zionist movement. It is upon its influence as a cultural mission, far more than upon its effectiveness as a militarist colony, that the ultimate success of Zionism will depend.

By the middle of July negotiations had advanced so far that Balfour let the Zionists know that he was prepared to agree to a declaration accepting "the principle that Palestine should be reconstituted as the national home of the Jewish people". But at this stage strong objections were urged by a part of the Jewish community in this country, relatively small in numbers but eminent in their social and political standing, who viewed with the greatest misgiving a movement which might seem to cast doubts on their own status as Brltish citizens. Their view was voiced, in the ranks of the Government itself, with passionate conviction by Edwin Montagu who had recently succeeded Austen Chamberlain as Secretary of State for India. Such doubt as some members of the War Cabinet had felt about so novel and quixotic a policy as the official endorsement of Zionism were reinforced. Decision was postponed from week to week, and when the matter was to come up for definite decision early in October the issue was by no means certain. Half an hour before the meeting Milner looked in from his room in the Cabinet offices, next door to mine, told me of the difficulties, and showed me one or two alternative drafts which had been suggested, with none of which he was quite satisfied. Could I draft something which would go a reasonable distance to meeting the objectors, both Jewish and pro-Arab, without impairing the substance of the proposed declaration? I sat down and quickly produced the following:

{p. 117} "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish race, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clarly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country who are contented with their existing nationality.''

This judicious blend, by substituting the indefinite for the definite article, conveyed no suggestion that Jews, as such, belonged to Palestine, and left the future scope and authority of the National Home in Palestine to be decided by developments. The various provisos gave away nothing that was not self-evident. Anyhow it served its immediate purpose and was agreed with the Jewish leaders subject to two minor alterations, viz. the substitution of Jewish 'people' for Jewish 'race' and the abbreviation of the last line to "Jews in any other country". I was not present at the Cabinet on 31st October when it was finally decided to give publity to the declaration, as this was really Mark's subject. But Weizmann, in his autobiography, gives a vivid picture of his waiting outside, and of Mark coming out waving the text and exclaiming "It's a boy!" A boy destined to a vigorous and stormy youth, some of which I was to play my part in supervising; now a man with stern experience to look back upon and with a destiny under his own control. A control fittingly symbolized at the outset in the Presidency of the remarkable man without whose prophetic vision, persuasive fervour and statesmanlike sense of the possible, Israel would never have come into existence.

There was a side-line of the Zionist movement to which I was also destined to make an incidental contribution. An adventurous Ulsterman, Lieutenant-Colonel J. H. Patterson, best known as the author of The Man-Eaters of Tsavo, had in Egypt organized and commanded an ammunition column, the Zionist Mule Corps, composed of Jewish refugees from Palestine. In contact with fiery spirits like Vladimir Jabotinsky and Trumpeldor he soon became as ardent a Zionist as he had been an Ulster diehard, while his experience of the quality of his men under fire at Gallipoli convinced him that, with an ideal to fight for, Jews would make first-rate soldiers. ...


Questions & Observations

1. Why was the Balfour Declaration addressed to Lord Rothschild as the head of Jewry? Was not Rothschild seen by the Britsh as a pillar of their own establishment? Is this not the more anomalous, given Lloyd George's attesting that Jews had secretly been working for German victory?

Jews stopped being pro-German after the first Russian Revolution of 1917, which toppled the Tsar and installed the government of Kerensky (a Jew who later called for Trotsky to be freed from detention in Canada so as to be free to return to Russia). Only after the fall of the Tsar, did the US government announce that it would join the war on the British side. This was prior to the Balfour Declaration, yet Lloyd George still says that this "contract with Jewry" was necessary to speed up US intervention. At the time, there were no US forces at the front.

2. Why does Lloyd George say, "we had every reason at that time to believe that in both countries the friendliness or hostility of the Jewish race might make a considerable difference"?

Was not the Britsh Empire a much more powerful force than World Jewry? Did it not have direct ties with the US? Why then the need for Jewish middlemen?

Why does Lloyd George say, "secure for the Entente the aid of Jewish financial interests. In America, their aid in this respect would have a special value when the Allies had almost exhausted the gold and marketable securities available for American purchases"?

Why this reference to Jewish gold and capital if it's just fiction? In this desperate hour of need, were not the true forces of wealth revealed momentarily?

I draw attention to Lloyd George's statement "the Jews of Russia wielded considerable influence in Bolshevik circles. The Zionist Movement was exceptionally strong in Russia and America"

There is no implication here that the Bolshervik Jews were inherently opposed to the Rothschilds. On the contrary, it seems that Jewish forces were playing off the British and the Germans to see who would offer the better deal.

Indeed, Alfred M. Lilienthal, an anti-Zionist Jew, wrote in his book The Zionist Connection II (Veritas Publishing Company, Bullsbrook, Western Australia, 6084, 1983):

"With the outbreak of World War I, the Zionists moved their central headquarters from Berlin to Copenhagen, from where they could woo both the Central and the Allied powers" (p. 13). lilienthal.html

In public, Arthur Balfour, the Foreign Secretary in Lloyd-George's Government, was declared the author of the Balfour Declaration; but, privately, he had commissioned Leo Amery to do it. He did not know that Amery was a secret Jew.

Who's Who in Jewish History: after the period of the Old Testament, by Joan Cornay, revised by Lavinia Cohn-Sherbok (Routledge, London 1995) records:

"Leo Amery

"At Balfour's request, Amery produced the first draft of the declaration, which had to be modified later to meet the anti-Zionist objections of Anglo-Jewish leaders. At the time, Amery was also helpful to JABOTINSKY, with Weizmann's support, in gaining approval for a Jewish legion in the British army." (p. 24)

Amery was a secret Jew who authored the Balfour Declaration: herzl.html.

Amery's role in the Round Table, the secret society set up by Cecil Rhodes to run the British Empire: quigley.html.

Amery delivered an important speech in the House of Commons which helped to get Chamberlain out, and Churchill in, as Prime Minister. "In God's name, Go!" he said to Chamberlain.

Robert John on Behind the Balfour Declaration; and Arnold J. Toynbee's foreword to his book The Palestine Diary: balfour.html.

For more on the Balfour Declaration, see Benjamin Freedman's speech The Hidden Tyranny: freedman.html.

Write to me at contact.html.