The Jewish people confronted to the European anti-Judaism and to the cynicism of the Western Allies

By Didier Bertin - March 2, 2014



Hebrews (עברים - root: pass - עבר) would mean Nomad is the name of a Semitic tribe located in southern Mesopotamia whose Abram later named Abraham and father of monotheism was a member. The name of Abraham's ancestor Eber or Ever עבר is constituted of this root עבר ; the names Abram and  Abraham is not related to this root but to the word "father"   אב .

According to oral and religious traditions mentioned in the Bible Abraham was Grandfather of Jacob, son of Isaac. Jacob was also known under the name of Israel after a dream in which he would have opposed the messenger of God and had 12 sons whose descendants are the people of Israel.

Abram left his city Ur approximately 2000 years BCE and went to Shechem and Mamre near Hebron in Canaan identified by him according to divine will as the land of his descendants issued from Sarah. Abraham lived in Mamre and the current location of Israel corresponds approximately to the area determined by Abraham as the country of his descendants.

4- Kingdom of Israel - Kingdom of Judah - Diaspora

The Kingdom of Israel was divided into two parts in 922 BCE. The North kept the name of Kingdom of Israel, but was destroyed by the Assyrians in 722 BC and the south known as Kingdom of Judah (name of one of the twelve sons of Jacob) also called Judea was maintained. Judea kept the beliefs, laws, traditions and religious organization of Israel despite the Babylonian invasion of the 6th century BCE, with adaptations, interpretations and codifications. The words Judaism and Jews in reference to Judea were utilized after the Babylonian invasion to designate the people of Israel and its cultural and religious heritage. 
Israel suffered many invasions, the last being that of the Romans in 63 BCE led by General Pompey. The Romans did not tolerate any local revolts and especially those in Judea. The dominance of a small number of Romans over very huge Empire was based on a combination of violent repression, slavery, crucifixions, slaughters and destructions known as "Pax Romana.” The “Pax Romana” could also be seen as abandonment of peoples’ prerogatives on their territory against the payment of heavy taxes, a protection against the barbarians and the benefit of the Roman civilization progress together with the weight of its limits. 
Judea was an illustration of Roman repression e.g. in 70, they destroyed the Temple of Jerusalem and Jerusalem in 135 after the revolt of Bar Kokhba, they expelled the people of Israel out of Judea to which they give the name of the traditional enemies of Israel " the Philistines." The renomination of Judea in land of the Philistines i.e. Palestine belonged to  a process of full de-jewification of Judea as retaliation. This Eviction of Israel people or dispersion or “Diaspora” has facilitated the spread of Christianity and its corollary "anti-Judaism." 



 Cultural factors, language, history, traditions, religion but also the anti-Judaism enforced the specificity of the Jewish people. Permanent Anti-Judaism strengthened the wish of the Jews to return to their ancestral land and gave a deep meaning to the repeated liturgical wish to return in particular for Passover. Zionism is a set of currents of thought which advocates a return to the homeland most often to escape anti-Jewish persecutions. 
The end of the eighteenth century and early nineteenth is a marked by a contrast between liberalism emerging in Western Europe and the harsh regimes of Central and Eastern Europe. While a Napoleonic decree emancipated politically the Jews in Western Europe in 1806, hatred, iniquity, discrimination and pogroms increased in Central and Eastern Europe. Nevertheless Liberal ideas still penetrated into Central Europe with the Napoleonic breakthroughs. Napoleon Bonaparte was one of the first to call the Jews to rally under his banner in order to restore the ancient Palestine. He was even considering creating a Jewish state. 
Henri Dunant, founder of the Red Cross proposed the creation of an "International Society for the Levant" whose task would have been to renovate the agriculture, implement industries and rebuild the port of Jaffa and Railways in order to organize the immigration of Jews to Palestine. 
Among the precursors of Zionism, one can cite the Talmudic Zvi Hirsch Kalischer, who published a book in 1862 in which he stated that the return to Palestine must be made through agriculture and created a Jewish Agricultural Society in Frankfurt. In Odessa, Leo Pinsker, who had witnessed the wave of pogroms that followed the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881, published in 1882 a pamphlet called "Auto emancipation," in which he explained that anti-Judaism was due the lack of Jewish state and advocated its establishment. 

In 1884, the first Zionist movement arose in Poland, in Katowice under the name of "Lovers of Zion". The French Charles Netter, uncle of the famous Professor of Medicine Arnold Netter, immigrated to Palestine in 1880 and created an agricultural College near Jaffa and Baron Edmond de Rothschild financed many projects.



Theodor Herzl founded the modern Zionism; he was born in Hungary, lived in Vienna and was an assimilated Jew both journalist and writer. The Anti-Semitism of the German philosopher Eugen Dühring, the pogroms in Russia, and the French anti-Semitism in particular of Drumont and illustrated by the Dreyfus affair in November 1894 led him to consider a political solution to counter hostility against the Jews. In 1895, he wrote "the Jewish State" (der Judenstaat) in which he presented the following ideas: 

1-The Jewish people endure anti-Semitism, which is increased by their vulnerability as minority position within dominant host nations. 
2. An international agreement must guarantee a Jewish territory in Palestine 
3. A political association and an economic company, must negotiate, and finance the development of the future state

The Political association was "the World Zionist Organization" and the economic company was the “Jewish National Fund” established in 1899 in London, which created the Anglo-Palestinian Bank two years later. 



At his death, Theodor Herzl left a project that Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion and others achieved. The Zionist movement was itself divided between the "politics", following the ideas of Theodor Herzl regarding the need of an international agreement on the principle of a Jewish state and the "pragmatists" who saw as priority the immediate settlement in Palestine. Pragmatists saw their position strengthened by the increase of pogroms abetted by the Tsarist regime as a diversion from the failure of the Russian Revolution of 1905. Pragmatists gave reality to the establishment in Palestine but immigrants suffered heavy threatens that only a political solution could erased. Zionism needed together pragmatic and politics aspects and Chaim Weizmann created the "synthetic Zionism" combining both.


V - CONSECRATION OF ZIONISM- Opportunist support of Great Britain

Chaim Weizmann who was born in Belarus in 1874 became a famous British scientist, Director of Scientific Research from the British Admiralty and inventor of the synthetic acetone in 1916 needed to maintain the explosives production during the WW1. He obtained from the British Government a statement expressed by "Lord Arthur Balfour, the Foreign Secretary Office of the Prime Minister David Lloyd George, on 2 November 1917, in the form of a letter addressed to Lord Rothschild:

“His Majesty's government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

It must be noted that Chaim Weizmann became the first president of the State of Israel in 1948. The name of Balfour must also be linked to the "Aliens Act" that he established in 1905, when he was Prime Minister, in order to prevent the Jews from Russia and Poland to take refuge in Great Britain when the pogroms were at a very high level.  The statement of the British Government in 1917 might thus also viewed as a way seemingly generous to regulate the movement of Jewish populations from Central Europe by finding them a haven far from Europe. 
The declaration of 1917 by Lord Balfour was supported by the French Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Pichon. Thus Zionism was consecrated by two great Nations. In April 1920, the new League of Nations (LON) including 42 founder-states confirmed their agreement at the San Remo Conference, with the British Government's statement called "Balfour Declaration". On 24 July 1922 the League of Nations (including 51 states on that date) gave Great Britain the "Mandate of Palestine”, to achieve the terms of the British declaration.

Palestine included the current territories of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank and of the current Jordan Kingdom (Transjordan). 
Israel was thus not only the result of the UN’s decision of 1947, but also of the LON’s decision of 1920.

One might think that from 1922 to 1939 Great Britain had enough time to create a Jewish national home in Palestine and allow to a large portion of the Jewish European population to escape the Holocaust. In fact, Great Britain quickly realized that the implementation of the Mandate could endanger the achievement of its own ambitions regarding the former Turkish Empire, the relations with the new Arab States and notably the control the oil resources and lines of communication in Middle East. 


VI-THE MANDATE –Main Articles

 "Article 2: The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.”

"Article 4: An appropriate Jewish agency shall be recognized as a public body for the purpose of advising and cooperating with the Administration of Palestine in such economic, social and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish national home and the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine, and, subject always to the control of the Administration, to assist and take part in the development of the country. The Zionist Organization, so long as its organization and constitution are in the opinion of the Mandatory appropriate, shall be recognized as such agency. It shall take steps in consultation with His Britannic Majesty's Government to secure the cooperation of all Jews who are willing to assist in the establishment of the Jewish national home.”



1-From Balfour Declaration to British Mandate

Eager to expand its empire to zones controlled by Turkey, Great Britain tried to arouse the Arab nationalist movements assumed to be above the traditional tribal conflicts when we can see that even today the western world concept of Nation has still a very restricted application in most of the Arab countries. During the WW1, Colonel Thomas Lawrence of the British military intelligence service, instigated the revolt of Arabs and united their forces to fight the Turks.

After having helped the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in creating new Arab nationalisms and choosing their leaders, Britain wanted by strengthening its relations with Arab states, to maintain control over most of the territories formerly under Turkish control and  in particular on the oil areas and channels of communication. The dismantling of the Turkish Empire in favor of Great Britain and France was the object of the Treaty of Sevres of 1920.

The Balfour Declaration and the mandate from the League of Nations became an embarrassment regarding the specific interests of Great Britain. Presumably it has not renounced the mandate to maintain the area under its control.

 2-Hostility of Great Britain regarding the implementing of its mandate and fight against the Jewish refugees during WWII

The Great Britain opposed gradually the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, violating the terms of the Balfour Declaration and those of the Mandate. This opposition was expressed in 3 White Papers published in 1922, 1930 and 1939.

 In 1922 the White Paper of the Government of Winston Churchill took into account his idea that “Palestine was not to become as Jewish as England is English", and wished rather to create "a center to which the Jewish people as a whole can, for grounds of religion or race, have an interest and pride and can immigrate to the extent of the integration capacity of the country."

The Jewish presence was maintained in principle but became subsidiary to the Arab presence. Winston Churchill then unilaterally changed the terms of the Mandate.

The publication of the White Paper of 1930 was made because of the riots of 21st October organized by the Mufti of Jerusalem, "Haj Amin El Husseini. For Great Britain, these disorders were merely a consequence of the development of Jewish national home and meant that it was necessary to reduce the number of Jewish emigrants and the acquisition of land by Jews.

In 1937, Britain proposed an unrealistic division of Palestine including population transfers between a coastal strip, part of Galilee and the establishment of a corridor to Jerusalem to allow Jews to keep an access to the city. The Arabs refused this proposal. Britain was then in a position to state in 1938 that sharing of Palestine became then impossible. Britain published a 3rd White Paper on May 17, 1939 which underlined essentially the claims of the Arabs and permanently restricted Jewish immigration to 75 000 new people spread over 5 years corresponding to WW2. Any additional immigration should have then to be authorized by the Arab authorities. This decision did not take into account the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe and especially in Germany and constitutes for Britain a heavy responsibility.

The weight of Nazi persecution in Europe was thus amplified by the refusal of Britain to allow immigration to Palestine. Jewish Agency was obliged to organize secret immigration named "Aliyah Bet" or "Ha'apala". Britain responded by announcing their intention to arrest and to deport any unauthorized Jewish refugees. In 1942 the ship "Struma" sank with 768 refugees from Europe after being pushed off of Palestine by the British.

 3-Start of unilateral sharing Palestine by Great Britain

Britain had supported the Arab Revolt of 1916 against the Turkish authorities, led by the Hashemite Sharif of Mecca, Hussein ibn Ali. Because of its ties with him, Britain unilaterally decided in 1921 to give one of his four sons Emir Abdullah, three quarters of the territory subject to the Mandate, that is to say Transjordan or the current Kingdom of Jordan. Similarly, Britain gave another of his sons, Faisal, Iraq territory (outside the Mandate), after having vainly tried to give him Syria.

Transjordan with an area of 89 342 km2 accounted for 76% of the land subject of the mandate of a total area of 117 634 km2.

Britain has thus taken in 1921 unilaterally a major initiative regarding the partition of Palestine. They took advantage of article 25 of the Mandate, which gave them a certain freedom of appreciation subject to LON‘s Council agreement as far as Transjordan was concerned. Great Britain gave Jordan an apparent independence in June 1945.



"The World Union of Revisionist Zionists" was created in August l925, by Vladimir Jabotinsky; he wanted to organize a massive immigration to Palestine to establish a Great Jewish State on the two banks of Jordan River. In 1935 the Revisionists, that is to say the extremists, withdrew from the Jewish Agency whose role in addition to the organization of the immigration was the administration of the Yishuv (Jewish population of Palestine) and created the NZO (New Zionist Organization). Vladimir Jabotinsky called then Ze'ev Jabotinsky was the leader of the ultra-extremism. He had a sort of admiration for Mussolini and was inspired by fascism when he created his paramilitary organization.

The ultra rightist ideas of Vladimir Jabotinsky were opposed to those of the Socialist Workers Movement predominant in the Jewish Agency. The opposition to the Zionist officials was so great that the extremist were suspected to have organized or inspired the murder in 1933 of Chaim Arlozoroff. The latter was a Socialist Zionist leader, member of the Political Bureau of the Jewish Agency and was considered by the extremists as being too much open to negotiation with Britain. Yitzhak Rabin would have been then the second Jewish leader after Chaim Arlozoroff, to have been murdered under the influence of the far right wing.

In 1931, Irgun Tsva'i Leumi or Etzel,  האצ"ל known as Irgun meaning National military organization was created after split with the Haganah - הגנה, the Jewish defense organization considered by the extremists as insufficiently aggressive and which became from this split,  the defense force controlled by the Jewish Agency. Irgun’s violence deteriorated more than they were the relations between Jews, British and Arabs in Palestine. This opposition between extremists and official Zionist authorities continued even after independence since in June 1948 the Israeli army under instruction of David Ben-Gurion sank the ship "Altalena” utilized by Irgun to import its weapons. 



 It is useful to bear in mind the figures of the Holocaust, to understand the strength of anti-Semitism at its peak. The Holocaust is unique regarding the high extermination performance whose result was the death of nearly 63% of European Jews. This paroxysm was unfortunately necessary to obtain from the nations a decision regarding the partition of Palestine. 

In 9 of the 20 European countries concerned by the Holocaust, the extermination was comprised between 69% and 91% of the Jewish population. The countries of Central and Eastern Europe i.e. 10 countries out 20, counted 5 400 000 victims that is to say 90% of the six millions victims because 84% of the European Jewish population lived in Central and Eastern Europe. In many countries of Western Europe the victims were less numerous but represented a significant part of the Jewish population of each of them.


 Holoc stat





Abdullah, a native of Mecca was crowned King of Jordan in May 1946. In fact that despite Great Britain no longer fully rule Jordan since 1945, it retained a substantial control as a result of the Anglo-Jordanian treaty ending in 1956.

This treaty allowed Britain to keep military bases, and have control of the Jordanian army called "Arab Legion" in ensuring the “de facto” command. Great Britain had created the Jordanian army in 1923, which was until 1956, under command of the British Lieutenant-General Sir John Bagot Glubb (1897-1986) nicknamed "Glubb Pasha".

It must be noted that when the British troops were leaving Israel in May 1948, British Lieutenant-General Sir John Bagot Glubb and his Arab legion were preparing his invasion. Sir John Bagot Glubb and the new King Abdullah retained benefits of their attack since they kept an additional part of Palestine: the "West Bank" and the East side of Jerusalem. After the armistice signed on 3d April 1949, King Abdullah integrated officially the new acquired territories in his Kingdom which was named “Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.”








  89 342



  22 072



   5 860






117 634







The revelation of the Holocaust made outrageous the maintenance of British policy of deportation and persecution of Jewish survivors trying to reach to Palestine. Among these scandals we may note the episode of the ship Exodus in July 1947 whose passengers were deported to Germany by British.

On November 29, 1947, the UN has accepted the partition of Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state with 33 positive votes against 13 negative votes and 11 abstentions. NB: Greece voted against despite 87% of the Greek Jewish community was exterminated.

After this vote Great Britain continued to cause troubles in the region until the official end of its mandate 6 months later:

• Through its influence on the Arab Legion of Jordan

• By continuing to restrict Jewish immigration

• By refusing to surrender his powers to a UN Commission

• By refusing to open a Jewish port

• By refusing to end the link between the Palestinian Pound and the British pound

The independence of the state was proclaimed on May 14, 1948, on the eve of the expiry of the British Mandate. Great Britain which was mandated to organize the partition since 1922 abstained to vote on November 29, 1947 to achieve the partition it should have implemented and waited until January 29, 1949 to recognize Israel.

In the days following the independence of Israel, the Arab legion of Jordan under command of Sir Glubb joined the armies of  Egypt, Syria and Iraq in to put an end to the existence of Israel whose population amounted to  only 650 000 inhabitants.

On January 7, 1949, Israeli warplanes shot down over Sinai five Spitfires flown by British pilots and thus unmasked the cynical action of the Britain.

The execrable management of the mandate over Palestine by the British mainly concerned by their own interests, led to war and widespread disorders in the Middle East.



United States influenced by isolationism started war against Japan and consequently against Germany only after they were attacked by Japan in Pearl Harbor in December 1941.  Despite their slogan "Europe first" they focused a major effort in the Pacific area.The main U.S. operation in mainland Europe was the slow and painful Overlord Operation on 6 June 1944 when the victory of the USSR over Nazi Germany was inevitable. The start of war of USA as their direct action on the ground in mainland Europe was particularly late leaving the USSR alone on the battlefields against Nazi Germany.

Jan Karski's requests to the US and British Governments for an emergency intervention to stop the Holocaust were vain; Jan Karski met Franklin Roosevelt and other national authorities and media with no results. No military action was taken in order to slowdown the ongoing genocide that was apparently not considered as a priority.

Despite the discovery of the Holocaust the behavior of the USA in 1947 and 1948 was extremely shocking: In 1947 the United States recognize the state of Israel "de facto" only and not "de Jure" as did the USSR and in 1948 when Israel was threatened of destruction by four Arab states, the United States imposed to Israel an embargo on weapons and volunteers while the Arab states continued to be equipped with weapons in particular by Britain.

The behavior of Britain and the United States may be considered "in fact consciously or unconsciously" as a participation to an extension of the risk of extermination of the Jews after the Holocaust. The FBI was particularly efficient to block the delivery of weapons from USA to Israel. Few U.S. weapons were smuggled to Israel and 2 000 American volunteers arrived undercover in Israel in breach with U.S. regulations.

Israel had acquired 84 air fighters mostly Czechs but lacked of pilots. Two-thirds of the pilots were undercover US volunteers having joined the Mahal (מח"ל = מתנדבי חוץ לארץ) i.e. volunteers from abroad.

English and American speeches must be understood with the pragmatism that characterizes these nations i.e. by taking into considerations the resulting acts only. The embargo of 1948 and the endless imprisonment of Jonathan Pollard are signals of hostility. U.S. suggestions regarding the peace process must be considered with an extreme caution and only target the electorate of the United States.



The victory of the USSR over Nazi Germany brought an end to fascism in Europe and to the Holocaust and permit to save the lives of 37% of the European Jewish population i.e. 3.6 million people out of 9.6 million. This victory was fittingly dedicated in 2012 in Israel by "Victory Monument" built in Netanya and also highlights the ingratitude of the European countries.

The USSR has provided a frank and unequivocal support to the independence of Israel because of the Holocaust and because of the progressive character of Israel in a region in the hands of the British forces and of reactionary Arab regimes.

Andrei Gromyko, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR supported the vote for independence at the UN in 1947 and said that the West had been unable to ensure the safety of the Jewish people. The recognition of Israel by the USSR was made fully "de Jure" and not in a minimalist and shameful way "de facto" as the United States. All countries members of the UN and under soviet influence supported the independence of Israel as USSR, People's Republic of Poland, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Soviet Socialist Republic of Belarus and Czechoslovakia.

The USSR had provided military aid to Israel, but the most significant weapons supplier was Czechoslovakia until 1951. Weapons were delivered following four routes within the Communist countries:

  1.      Poland and the Baltic Sea
  2.      Hungary, Yugoslavia and the Adriatic Sea
  3.      Hungary, Romania and the Black Sea
  4.     Yugoslavia and Israel by air:

In May 1948, 30,000 Czechoslovak rifles 4,400 machine guns and 47 million rounds of ammunition were delivered. Jewish War Veterans volunteers attended training in four Czechoslovak military bases in August 1948 before being sent to Israel.

84 aircraft were delivered by Czechoslovakia: Avia S.199, Spitfire and Messerschmitt.

According to British intelligence Czechoslovakia would have delivered in 1948 more than 28 million dollars of weapons to Israel. Czechoslovakia delivered Spitfires to Israel until 1951 using the Polish port of Gdansk.

More than 200,000 immigrants arrived from Eastern countries at that time and strengthened the Israeli army.

In 1951 this cooperation stopped after a bloody paranoid crisis of Stalin who fortunately died two years later.


XI - CONCLUSION: The Responsibilities of Europe


The re-birth of Israel is mainly due to the resilient European anti-Judaism during 2000 years. In 1920, the League of Nations was obliged to consider the reality of this fact and felt obliged to accept the need to create a Jewish national home and this well before the Holocaust. The mandate given by the League of Nations to Great Britain to achieve this mission was utilized by the latter to only serve its own interests and spill disorder in the Middle East.

To achieve its objectives Britain had imposed to Arabs an inadequate western nationalism, based on new artificial states built inside borders drawn in haste with imported leaders it chose. Its objectives were consistent with a conception of colonialism based on the unique economic exploitation and in particular that of oil. Until the last moment, Britain prevented the Holocaust survivors to reach the coast of Palestine, as it already did in 1905 with those of Pogroms by the way of the Aliens Act.

The objective of the Mandate was ultimately to prevent tragedies such as the Holocaust, in 17 years until the war Britain did not make the necessary efforts to create the Jewish homeland that could have prevented the Holocaust. Unfortunately the Holocaust was necessary to enable the UN to achieve in haste the Agenda of the Mandate followed by war and general disorders; all these events are an unforgivable fault of Britain.

The UN vote of 1947 allowed many Nations to redeem a good conscience despite the alerts on the Holocaust in course of achievement did not involve any reaction.  

Moreover in 1948 Britain and U.S. put Israel in a situation that would have led to its destruction and thus to the continuation of the Holocaust if the USSR and the Communist countries had not intervened to save Israel.

The victory of the USSR over Nazi Germany had already permitted to save 37% of the European Jews.

Nazi Germany with the help of most continental European countries under fascist control had led to the death 63% of the European Jews constituting thus the greatest victory of anti-Judaism in Europe. This victory tarnishes forever the image of Europe which shows a persistent taste for the anti-Jewish mire and some European institutions challenge today the uniqueness of the Holocaust and consider the reshuffle of History suggested by countries marked by durable anti-Jewish traditions.

The behavior of Europe until 1945 , the sudden rise in European anti-Judaism today, as the U.S. embargo in 1948 and the French embargo in 1967 disqualify all of these countries to be able to play any role in the peace process in the Middle East. The peace process must anyway be conditional on the cessation of anti-Semitism throughout European Union and especially in Eastern Member States that seem to suffer from lack of moral compass since the fall of communism.

The immoral behavior of Europe has transformed in a few years the Jewish people predominantly European into a people living essentially after extermination and flight of survivors in the United States and Israel. Only 10% of the world's Jewish population lives today in Europe as compared to approximately 74% in 1880.





Rounded figures

1880- Estimation




12 100 000


9 600 000


1 425 000





500 000


5 700 000



3 000 000


5 000 000


5 275 000



1 300 000


1 300 000


1 300  000



16 400 000


16 400 000


13 700 000