A warning that Palestine is an “island” in a “sea of Islam” which is determined to destroy the Zionist experiment is sounded by Hilaire Belloc, noted author and Catholic propagandist, writing in Universe, Catholic weekly.
While paying tribute to Zionist achievements, Mr. Belloc holds that “the whole position” of Palestine is “unstable. It stands like a pyramid upon its apex, only prevented from falling if the natural effect of gravity is counteracted by some one holding up the sides.”
“The reason of this situation is mainly the attitude of all Islam towards the Zionist experiment. The boundary between Palestine and the French Syrian mandate is purely arbitrary. There is no natural frontier to the South either, and still less through the desert to the East.
“Though all Palestine were made Jewish tomorrow and all its native inhabitants deported, the new State would still be a little island drowned in a sea of Islam. For hundreds of miles in every direction there is a Mohammedan world which regards the Zionist movement as temporary and is determined to destroy it. The quarrel is not to be appeased. It is permanent; and that is why the Zionist experiment, in proportion to its success will be an increasing anxiety to this country.”
Mr. Belloc paid tribute to the achievement of Zionism in Palestine. “The Jews have a further asset,” he wrote, “which is that through them the English Government in Palestine is immensely prosperous. This little state has a surplus which amounts, I believe, to something like Â£5 a head, perhaps more.
“It is through this ceaseless incoming torrent of money that Great Britain has been able to build the fine new port of Haifa, for instance, the only modern and secure port upon the whole Levantine coast from the Turkish boundary to Alexandria, the only large and well-equipped port, capable of fortification and utilizable by modern armed vessels in all the eastern Mediterranean except Alexandria.”