New York Post


Bevin Mucks It Up

But British Middle-East Policy Goes Right On
– “If the Jews Have It, Britain Wants It”


Look at the map of the world. See the space occupied by the British Commonwealth–12 million square miles, a quarter of the world, 1,200 Palestines. Look at the space occupied by the Arabs from Morocco, to Sudan, to Arabia, and Iraq–3 ½ million square miles, or 350 Palestines. Of Palestine, the State of Israel gets half; a half of this is the Negeb. The British are trying to amputate the State of Israel by taking away the Negeb.

The British, who, for a long time, threatened to leave Palestine, never really intended to do so. But when they were compelled to do so, they made up the following scheme: to prevent the population in the Arab part of partitioned Palestine from electing a government of its own choice; to occupy the country with the troops of John Glubb, a brigadier in the British service of the puppet Abdullah; to amputate the Negeb from the Jewish part of Palestine; to acquire extraterritorial rights in Haifa; and to annex Jerusalem, an international city by the decision of the United Nations, to the British protectorate as Abdullah’s capital.

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The Negeb is a desert; practically no Arabs live there. During the past twelve years Jews, who until then had only one experimental station, Ruhama, on the northern border of the Negeb, began to reclaim this land and established there more than 30 agricultural settlements. The settlers brought water from afar. They planted castor trees and the trees grew. Since the Negeb has no native population, the United Nations allotted it to the State of Israel since the allotted territory in the cultivated areas of Palestine is very small. The Egyptian Army was unable to penetrate these lonely settlements because of the determination of the settlers to remain there alive or dead.

The British may be interested in the Negeb for a military base in the vicinity of the Suez Canal, though their base on the island of Cyprus, favorably located, is only one or two hours’ flying distance from the canal. Since the Israelis are opposed to giving up the Negeb, the British suspect that the Israelis must know some thing about buried treasure there, perhaps oil.

A member of the British Parliament gave loud voice to this suspicion. The British never really understood why the Jews came to Palestine, a country of malaria; why they cling now to the desert in the Negeb. The British hold more than a quarter of the globe in their hands, and they do not care for deserts. If the practical Jews are so eager to have a desert, there must be gold or oil or other riches there.

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The cunning Jew does not say this; he makes believe that he intends to fulfill the prophets’ words that deserts shall bloom. The British know of hundreds of millions of acres of desert. Nobody has wanted or wants to reclaim them. Is this idealism on the part of the Israelis? The British never heard of such fanaticism anywhere in the world. Surely there must be gold hidden somewhere in the Negeb. If so, then the British would like it for themselves.

The British look at the Israelis incredulously and wonder if they really try to live in the desert just because they want to.

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The British are no dreamers, but practical men. In the Colonial Office there is no ledger in which to enter intangibles like idealism. The time of Richard the Lion-Hearted, who went on a crusade to free Jerusalem from the Moslems, is truly past. Today it is the British who do all the scheming to make Jerusalem, designated by the United Nations to be an international city for all the peoples of the world, a city under an Arab king, which it was not even when the Turks ruled over Palestine.

When the goal of Richard the Lion-Hearted was finally achieved and the Holy City, by the decision of the nations of the world, was proclaimed the City of Peace on Earth, the British shelled it for four weeks with field guns placed on the hills around the city–every foot of which is precious to all human hearts–in order to make it a capital for king Abdullah. Richard the Lion-Hearted must have turned over in his grave.

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Ernest the Bovine-Hearted is today supreme in the British Isles. Stewart Alsop has commented in the Herald Tribune on Britain’s Palestine policy: “The general British reaction to Bevin’’s policy [on Palestine] was recently summed up by one of Bevin’s staunchest supporters, who remarked, ‘Everyone knows that Ernie’s making a proper muck of it, but every one’s a hundred percent behind him.’”

A Shylock spirit lives in the Colonial Office and gangrene infects the British Isles. The historic Shylock, the prototype of Shakespeare’s character in “The Merchant of Venice,” was a gentile; his name Paolo Mari Sechi and he demanded a pound of flesh from the debtor, a Jew, whose name was Sansone Geneda. The story was told by Leti, Vita Sixto Quinta, Venice, 1587.