The Ottoman Balfour Declaration

As Martin Kramer has explained in Mosaic, the Balfour Declaration was not a unilateral move by Britain but was supported by an international consensus of the Western Allies then fighting in World War I. What’s more, writes Wolfgang Schwanitz, the Jewish claim to the land of Israel also came to be supported by the Ottoman empire, which was then fighting with Germany against the Allies. The Ottoman grand vizier, Talaat Pasha, issued an official statement lifting all restrictions on Jewish immigration to Ottoman-controlled Palestine and expressing his “sympathies for the establishment of a religious and national Jewish center” there. Although the statement was a dead letter, delivered eight months after the British seizure of Palestine and less than three months before Istanbul surrendered, Schwanitz argues that it should nonetheless be taken seriously:

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Read more at Middle East Quarterly

More about: Balfour Declaration, Germany, History & Ideas, Israel & Zionism, Ottoman Empire, World War I

Why Iran-Backed Forces Attacked Abu Dhabi

Jan. 26 2022

On Monday, Houthi rebels in Yemen fired ballistic missiles at Abu Dhabi, which were intercepted with American aid. The week before, the Iranian proxy group launched drones at the Emirati capital, killing three; similar attacks have targeted Saudi Arabia and other locales in the UAE. The Biden administration recently ceased to consider the Houthis—whose slogan includes the phrases, “Death to America,” “Death to Israel,” and “Curse the Jews”—a terrorist group. Eran Lerman calls that decision “a beginner’s mistake,” that was

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Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, U.S. Foreign policy, United Arab Emirates, Yemen