Reviewing the “faults and failures” of Herzlian diplomacy a generation ago, Dr. J. Levin of Berlin, in an article in the “Judische-Liberal Zcitung” of November 27th, criticizes the Zionist leaders of today for still carrying on the same methods.
“Thirty years ago,” he says, “when one could believe that the Arab subjects of an absolutist Turkish regime would stand for anything that its ‘beloved sovereign’ wishes to impose upon it, such methods were at least understandable. But today the Sultanate is long a thing of the past, the Arab lands are no more ruled by the Turk, one must reckon with the sentiment of the people, which before the war was unthinkable. Policies are now being influenced by totally different social groups.
“The British government, it is being constantly repeated, is bound by the Balfour Declaration, it can do nothing else but keep its promise once given. But at the same time the post-war years show that the so-called ‘victorious states’ were not able to make good many promises which they gave. The Allied promises of independence to Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan came to naught when these countries became Soviet republics under the tutelage of Moscow. In December, 1918, the Supreme Allied Council decided provisionally upon the Eastern boundaries of Poland, the so-called ‘Curzonline,’ which took Vilna out of Poland; but this did not prevent the Poles from taking possession of Vilna.
“One could cite many other such cases, but these alone are sufficient to show that there are definite cases in which sincere, fiery promises by governments lose their validity. The certainty therefore that the Balfour Declaration must remain as a permanent basis of British policy in Palestine rests, even if one does not wish to doubt the loyalty of the British government upon an exaggeration of the all-powerfulness of the English as well as upon an unwillingness to see the changing conditions in the Orient and the extraordinary problems with which England must grapple in those countries between Egypt and India, where its influence extends.”