There are many texts that change the flow of history. But there is no other text that is as destructive as the one I will mention now and that will perhaps threaten world peace forever. Even if the British offer unshakeable peace to the whole world, they will not be able to overcome this century-old shame.
Toward the end of World War I, on Nov. 2, 1917, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour wrote a letter to Lord Rothschild, a famous supporter of Zionism, saying: “His Majesty's Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” They not only prevented the "eternal peace," which was conceptualized by famous philosopher Kant, but also paved the way for both the division of the Ottoman state and the persecution of millions of Palestinians by saying that they would use “their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this objective.” This document of shame was crowned with the lie that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.”
Despite being the subject of hundreds of books, the contents and results of this short text are still being discussed. In fact, it is not a diplomatic document, but a document of shame. Moreover, its objectives have not been completed and are still underway. But there is another aspect of this document that has never been discussed at all.
This document is the victory of both Zionism and anti-Semitism, which gave rise to Zionism. This declaration responded to the dreams of anti-Semitic Europeans as well as presenting a Jewish state to European Zionists who financed the war in the most troubled times.
Zionism will strike Europe
In Europe, Zionism did not directly come out with the motivation to seek a homeland in Palestine. On the contrary, it was built on anti-Semitism, namely the pressures that Europeans put on Jews and that grew into a massacre at times. Although the last century of the issue concerns our region, this is a problem that Europe exported and developed in itself.
Britain was in need of Jewish capital, which mobilized the European economy that shrank during World War I. Jewish capital holders financed the war in a generous manner – in return for which they demanded Palestine. The multifaceted British politics were introduced: On the one hand, Europe would fulfil its needs, and on the other, it would get rid of the Jews, whom they regarded as a "tumor." Thus, a hundred years ago, they gave the green light for a Jewish state in Palestine through the Balfour declaration.
This development meant that Jerusalem, the holy place of Christians, was in danger. Therefore, at the very least the Vatican was expected to seriously oppose. But, unfortunately it did not. As the Ottoman state's ambassador to Bern expressed at the time, all the European newspapers began to publish articles supporting Jews, so much so that even the German media, which was the enemy of the Entente States in the war, criticized the fact that their government was late in supporting this plan.
In fact, this plan was not the first in Britain's attempt to seek a homeland for Jews. Teodor Herzl, the theologian and practitioner of Zionism and the author of the book of “The Jewish State,” was looking for a homeland in Palestine since the First Zionist Congress. For this purpose, he appealed to Abdul Hamid II several times. When it proved inconclusive, Britain offered Uganda as a homeland to the Jews in 1903. However, this project was abandoned as a result of the Zionists’ insistence on Palestine.
If the desire of Europeans, especially the British and Americans, to enable Jews to found a state had been driven by their love for Jews, would they not have to provide a homeland to them in Europe? On the contrary, they systematically strove to ostracize Jews from Europe since the 1450s. Indeed, this last plan was preparation to get rid of them. They would ward off the Jews from their region whatever the cost. To this end, they also targeted Palestine by betraying their own kiblah.
That's why the Balfour declaration is a double document of shame and it will come back like a boomerang. One day Jews will take revenge for anti-Semitism from their enemies. Today, the real fight which is concealed through some organizations found against terrorism, radicalism and anti-Semitism is a historic battle between Jews and anti-Semitic Christians and will reappear one day.
The picture of Turkey after a hundred years
Having played an important role in the history of Palestinian geography, Turkey has maintained its sensitivity from the beginning. While Turkey has greatly supported the Palestinian cause with its historic and conscientious responsibility, it has also pursued a balanced policy with Israel under the realist state policies. Turkey has not avoided making more sacrifices in the process of Israel’s rising persecution and siege of Palestine since the 2000s.
However, Turkey has failed to prepare effective scientific theories and analyses for the resolution of the problem which is highly emphasized. In fact, Turkey holds all the deeds of Palestine - the key to the ownership issue which is the greatest problem of Palestine. Forget about benefiting from these documents; universities, research centers and NGOs are not even aware of them. Archive studies and attempts to identify ownership problems initiated by some institutions, such as the Palestinian Platform, have been rendered fruitless for several reasons. This year, which marks the 500th anniversary of Jerusalem coming under the Ottoman administration and the 100th anniversary of it leaving the administration, has been an occasion to produce academic studies, but unfortunately, it has been wasted.
Due to my article titled “Guide to prepare Turkey for the 100th year,” Press Advisor Yakup Bulut contacted me on behalf of Deputy Prime Minister Hakan Çavuşoğlu, saying that they plan to have many activities regarding these issues by 2023. I am grateful for their awareness and interest. But even Israel’s attempt to commemorate the battle of Beersheba (now an Israeli city), where the British repelled Turks a hundred years ago, with preparations that have lasted for a year now, indicates that we are too late.