Former Lloyd George Spokesman Indicts Palestine Administration
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Former Lloyd George Spokesman Indicts Palestine Administration

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That when the Balfour declaration was given to the Jewish people. it was implied that ultimately a Jewish state would be established in Palestine, is the gist of an article by Herbert Sidebothom, once spokesman for Lloyd George, during whose premiership the Balfour declaration was issued, appearing in this week’s “New Palestine.”

Mr. Sidebothom points out that although more than eleven years have elapsed since the Turk lost control of the Holy Land, the Jews today are less secure than they were under the Moslem yoke. While England’s Mandate task has been easy physically, says Mr. Sidebothom, and while Palestine has not cost the British taxpayer a single penny since 1923, recent events there lead to the inevitable conclusion that either the English are less competent to govern the country that the Turks, or that for some reason England has not put her heart into the work.

That the second is the true explanation, Mr. Sidebothom has no doubt. He blames the English administration in Palestine for the troubles, and not the Arabs. His most interesting statement is that when the Mandate promise was given, the ultimate ideal was the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine.

To quote Mr. Sidebothom, “It is not the Arabs, poor dupes, who are on trial, but the British administration; and the charge is a very definite one, namely that there has been sufficient disloyalty in the administration to produce all the effects of a breach of trust and to fasten on the good name of England the suspicion of

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either incompetence or ill will.”

In tracing English responsibility for the recent outbreaks, Mr. Sidebothom explains that the tendency of the Palestine administration to compromise, the fat lie about the expenses of Palestine to British tax-payers and the unpopularity of Lloyd George all contributed to the conspiracy of silence broken only by the whittling down of the big ideal of which England had been appointed guardian.

A misreading of the Arab character, the anti-Zionist bias of the old-time population of Jerusalem, and the undercurrent of opposition to Zionism on the part of the Palestine administration are also blamed for the recent outbreaks by Mr. Sidebothom.

Mr. Sidebothom not only criticizes, but he offers some suggestions for reform, among which are the withdrawal of the Colonial Office Memorandum of 1922, in which the National Home promise was whittled down as a sop to the Arabs, the avowal by England of its intention to create in the future a Jewish state in Palestine, the establishment of a police force on which the government can rely, a purging of the administration to get rid of those unsympathetic to the policy of the Mandate and lastly a new High Commissioner, for which place he suggests general Smuts.

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