How the Balfour Declaration Became International Law Despite Attempts to Undermine It

A century ago, the victors of World War I met in the Italian city of San Remo to discuss how to divide up territories that had previously belonged to the Ottoman empire. It was here that Arthur Balfour’s famous promise effectively became international law. But things almost didn’t turn out that way. With support from British officers, Emir Faisal—son of Sharif Hussein of Mecca, promoted by T.E. Lawrence—was attempting to make himself the ruler of a Syrian kingdom that included the Land of Israel. Meanwhile, the French were poised to back away from their previous assurances regarding the Jews. Faisal had signed an agreement with Chaim Weizmann, the chief Zionist diplomat, in January 1919 pledging his support to the creation of a Jewish state, but, as Efraim Karsh writes, he “was speaking from both sides of his mouth.”

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at BESA Center

More about: Balfour Declaration, Chaim Weizmann, History of Zionism, International Law, Mandate Palestine, Treaty of San Remo

Turkish Reconciliation with Israel Could Happen, but It Won’t Come Easily

Jan. 27 2021

In recent weeks, Ankara has made a variety of gestures that suggest a desire to reestablish its once friendly relations with Jerusalem, which have deteriorated since Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to power in 2002. On Monday, unverified reports circulated in the Western press that Turkey is prepared to expel Hamas, which has had its main base of operations there since 2015. Erdogan’s reasons for seeking to make amends are not hard to divine: he faces a hostile White House, tensions with the European Union, a sputtering economy, and a rocky relationship with his sometimes-patron in Moscow. But, Lazar Berman writes, much has changed since 1949, when Turkey became the first Muslim-majority country to recognize the Jewish state:

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey