Why did Britain help Jews establish the Jewish state? (21 March 2017, 23 Adar, 5777)
The Balfour Declaration in 1917 and the British Establishment of what Became the State of Israel
The British issued the Balfour Declaration in 1917 and proceeded to establish a Mandate over the area of Palestine. This laid the foundations for the State of Israel.
The British did much more to bring about the creation of modern Israel than they themselves admit and much, much more than is commonly realized.
# The British kept their promises to the Zionists. They opened up the country to mass Jewish immigration; by 1948, the Jewish population had increased by more than tenfold. The Jews were permitted to purchase land, develop agriculture, and establish industries and banks. The British allowed them to set up hundreds of new settlements, including several towns. They created a school system and an army; they had a political leadership and elected institutions; and with the help of all these they in the end defeated the Arabs, all under British sponsorship, all in the wake of that promise of 1917. Contrary to the widely held belief of Britain's pro-Arabism, British actions considerably favored the Zionist enterprise. #
Tom Segev, "One Palestine Complete", USA, 2001, p.5.
All this is a subject for another time.
At present, granted that they did do something the question is why did they do it?
The Bible and the British
The British are identifiable as Israelites because they were located at Ends of the Earth (Isaiah 24:16, 26:15, 41:8-9 43:6 49:6); dwelt in Islands (Isaiah 24:15 49:6 60:9 Jeremiah 31: 9-10); were associated with Tarshish meaning the Atlantic Ocean area (Isaiah 60:9); were in the west (Isaiah 24:14, Hosea 1:10); Located to the Northwest of the Land of Israel (Isaiah 49:12 ) and numerous other proofs. Their national coat of arms included a Lion and Unicorn which were destined to be symbols of Israel in the End Times (Numbers 24:7-9). They would also Rule Over OTHER Peoples (Genesis 27:29 48:19); be Recognizable as a "Brit-Am" (Isaiah 42:6 49:8) i.e. a Covenant of the People or Commonwealth; They would be Seafarers (Isaiah 42:10); They would be the Dominant World Power (Numbers 24:7-9 Micah 5:7-9); the Battle-Axe of the Almighty or "Police-Man of the Globe" (Jeremiah 51:20 Zechariah 10:7); possess the GATE(s) OF YOUR ENEMIES i.e. International Strategic Points (Genesis 22:17 24:60); and so on.
Anglo-Hebrews. Britain, and its Offshoots and the USA as Israelites. Biblical Proofs
We believe that the British did what they did to help the Jews because many of them are descended from the Ten Tribes of Israel and amongst those Israelites Joseph is predominant especially from the Tribe of Ephraim. This however is the real explanation on the spiritual subconscious level. This may have been their destined task as being who they were BUT they were not conscious of it. Every such spiritual foundational causative principle has more prosaic interfaces. In other words even though the real reason is Hebrew Ancestry (the British are descended from Israelites especially Joseph) expression may given unto it by other forces. The moving elements in the British Psyche leading to British Zionism that may be measured in physical historical terms include: The Restoration Movement from the 1600s or earlier; a Literal Bible Heritage; Moral Imperative; a Need to Leave a Mark on the World; the Instinct to Remain Involved; a tradition that involved Defiance of the World and have often been a Protector of the Jews as exemplified by Henry-viii.
An explanation for the above points is briefly given below.
Restoration Movement from the 1600s or earlier.
In England there were scholars, philanthropists, military adventurers, mystics, writers, politicians, and religious innovators who were all of the opinion that restoring the Jews to their homeland was necessary.
Some of these saw this as a first step to converting the Jews to Christianity but most viewed it as something desirable in itself.
From the 1600s to 1917, individuals with similar views were to be found in France, Germany, Spain, the USA, and probably elsewhere as well.
Nevertheless, the Restoration Movement was overwhelmingly British.
Franz Kobler, "THE VISION WAS THERE", UK 1956 pp.7-9, wrote:
#"Nowhere more than in Britain has the idea of the Restoration of the Jews been developed into a doctrine and become the object of a movement extending over more than three centuries. Only in Britain the leading spokesmen of many generations have been inspired by the vision of a revived Israel. Only there the creation of a Jewish National Home has been a serious and almost continuous political issue which was finally translated into reality"
# "The movement [i.e. Restoration of the Jewish Independent Kingdom] [is].. an integral part of British religious, social and political history forming a parallel, not an annex, of the histories of Jewish Messianism and Zionism .... The recognition of Israel's Restoration as an organic part of British political ideas... a genuine religious, humanitarian and political trend within British history."
Franz Kobler, "THE VISION WAS THERE", UK 1956 pp.7-9.
Literal Bible Heritage
People of the British Isles had a tendency to take the Bible literally. This was exemplified by the religion of the Plymouth Brethren who although small in number had some influence.
They understand the Bible to require the Restoration of the Jews for the fulfillment of prophecy.
The British were never wholly selfish. They freed the slaves. They introduced some reforms. The Jews in Russia and elsewhere were suffering from pogroms and persecution. They wanted to help.
If help was to be given they wished to be the ones giving it.
By analogy someone pointed out that with the fall of France in 1940 there were people in Britain who felt relieved. It was good to be alone at last to do what was needed to be done.
To Leave a Mark on the World
The world was changing. There were independence movements in the Empire. Socialism and libertarian ideas were becoming popular. New forces were coming up. It was only a matter of time before Britain would need to adapt. It would be good to have created a Jewish Home, to leave a legacy while they were still able to do so.
To Remain Involved
Britain was going down, becoming smaller. Nevertheless no matter what its size it would need to remain a player. Inserting an extra card or two might make things interesting at some point.
Defiance of the World: Protector of the Jews
Henry-viii (1491-1547) is known for having executed two of his six wives and doing other deeds of dubious probity. Nevertheless Henry was not all bad. He accomplished much of value. The attitude of Henry towards the Jews tells us something of the English character. The Jews had been expelled from England in 1290. Prince Arthur, the brother of Henry, was the heir presumptive. Arthur as a boy was married off to Catherine of Aragon, the daughter of the King of Spain. The marriage agreement included a clause that the exclusion of Jews would remain in effect. Arthur died prematurely, Henry later married Catherine widow of his brother, and became king. Marranos were descendants of Jews from Spain who had been forced to convert to Christianity. They were often suspected of secretly remaining attached to Judaism. Henry had Jewish Marrano musicians from Italy at his court. The Papal legate protested. Henry sent them out and then brought them back again, one by one. Henry attempted successfully to intervene with the King of Spain to lighten the persecution of Marranos Jews in the Netherlands which then was ruled by Spain. Henry tried to get his marriage annulled on legal Religious grounds. His experts appealed to Jewish Rabbinical sources and consulted with Rabbis in Italy. David S. Katz has written on this.
This was not so much a love of Jews but rather a refusal to relinquish use of them. To be fair, practical, and innovative.
We must also acknowledge the presence of Jewish Zionism and the influence of Jews and their sympathizers everywhere. This too was a determinative element and perhaps the one that had overwhelming importnace. Nevertheless the other factors existed and are not to be dismissed.