Favoring the Arabs against the Jews is in the interests of the British Empire at present, declares an editorial in the current issue of the New York Nation, liberal weekly, commenting on the latest developments in the Palestine situation.
“The political strategists of the British Empire,” says the editorial, “balancing Jewish public opinion in the Western world against Arab opinion in the highly inflammable and intensely strategic countries about the Suez Canal and the Persian Gulf, have decided that on the whole it will be safer to let down the Jews than further to let down the Jews than further to inflame the Moslems.
“Mr. Baldwin and other Tory leaders have expressed their indignation at the abandonment of the Balfour policy. But the moral of the incident would seem to be: Put not your trust in empire. The Tories may be moved by electoral considerations; they are probably even more moved by fear that concessions to Arabs in Palestine may strengthen Eastern nationalism elsewhere, weakening the Empire in Egypt, in the lands about the Persian Gulf, and in India. They differ from the Labor government in their judgment of the profit to the British Empireâ€”that is all. It would be unrealistic, in 1930, to expect the British Empire, under Laborite, Liberal or Tory, long to defend the Jewish outposts in Palestine for merely sentimental reasons.
“To many Jews the Passfield statement will seem a complete justification of the principles of the so-called revisionists who insist that Zionists can be content with nothing less than a Jewish majority, even if forced, even though the native inhabitants are opposed.
“It seems to us rather that this bitter disillusionment proves the long vision and clear statesmanship of Dr. Judah Magnes, rector of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Dr. Magnes was bitterly attacked because he insisted that the Jewish national home must not rest upon British bayonets, but must be established in cooperation with the Arabs, even though their hands were red with Jewish blood. The event has proved that British bayonets are frail reeds for Jewish support, and Palestine lies in the heart of an Arab world.”