May 13, 2012
Where is Palestine?
Palestine, variously known in history as Canaan, Judaea, Eretz Yisrael, Filastin, and Syria Palaestina, has long been a malleable geographical entity. Renamed by its successive Canaanite, Israelite, Roman, Christian, Mamluk, Muslim, Ottoman, and British conquerors, it became the revered "Holy Land" to 19th-century Western visitors. World War I transformed geographical nomenclature. On November 2, 1917, British Foreign Secretary Lord James Balfour issued his famous declaration proclaiming his government's approval for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." But where was "Palestine"? After violent Arab riots during 1920-21, the British government attempted to mollify infuriated opponents of a "Jewish Palestine." Winston Churchill, British secretary of state for the colonies, offered reassurance that the Balfour Declaration did not contemplate "that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home, but that...(Read Full Article)