Tag Archives: Suez Canal

100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration: Palestine – Ethnic cleansing and dispossession (Excerpt)

By Dr. ISMAIL ZAYID*

Click to enlarge.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

[…]

It was the second of November 1917 when Arthur Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary, issued his infamous declaration in the form of a letter written to Lord Rothschild. It read:

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people…, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.”

It is interesting to note that the four-letter word “Arab” occurs not once in this document. To refer to the Arabs who constituted, at the time, 92 per cent of the population of Palestine and owned 98 per cent of its land, as the non-Jewish communities is not merely preposterous but deliberately fraudulent. I do not need to tell you that this letter has no shred of legality, as Palestine did not belong to Balfour to assume such acts of generosity. Dr. Arnold Toynbee described the British role, in issuing this document, accurately:

“We were taking it upon ourselves to give away something that was not ours to give. We were promising rights of some kind in the Palestinian Arabs’ country to a third party.”

Similarly, the well-known Jewish writer, Arthur Koestler, summed it up aptly when he described the Balfour Declaration as a document in which “one nation promised a second the country of a third.” Continue reading

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Balfour Declaration: New Statesman editorial, November 1917

Painting of the Suez Canal by Albert Reiger (Click to enlarge)

Painting of the Suez Canal by Albert Reiger (Click to enlarge)

“The British Government’s declaration in favour of Zionism is one of the best pieces of statesmanship that we can show in these latter days. Early in the war the New Statesman published an article giving the main reasons why such a step should be taken, and nothing has occurred to change them. The special interest of the British Empire in Palestine is due to the proximity of the Suez Canal. The present war has killed the idea that this vital artery ought to be used as a line of defence for Egypt, and there is a general return to the view of Napoleon (and indeed of history long before his time) that Egypt must be defended in Palestine. Continue reading

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Russian-Iranian canal could connect Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf

Zavtra*

(April 8) – Russia and Iran are discussing building a navigable canal from the Caspian sea to the Persian Gulf, announced the ambassador of Iran in Russia Mehdi Snai at the meeting with students of St. Petersburg State University, reports TASS. Continue reading

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Trade routes: Russia dreams of creating an alternative to Suez

Railways across Siberia and the Far East might become alternatives to the sea route.

Russia dreams of creating an alternative to Suez

Eastern promise: freight trains at 
sidings in Siberia. The expansion plans have been criticised as ‘utopian.’ Source: Max Avdeev

Ilya Dashkovsky, RBTH (Aug. 26.) –  An ambitious program of railway expansion in Russia’s Far East opens up the prospect of creating rapid new trade routes between Asia and Europe. At least $17bn is to be invested in modernising the ageing Baikal-Amur (BAM) and Trans-Siberian railways. Supporters of the plan say that it will create a total of half a million jobs and boost industry in Siberia and the Far East region, pointing out that there is already a shortage of rail capacity for transporting freight. Continue reading

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