| ||Israel Was Not Born of the Holocaust
| ||The Times of Israel - Jack Schwartz
The Jewish state owes its creation to a string of contingencies which either predated, or were independent of, the destruction of Europe's Jews between 1941 and 1945. The Balfour Declaration, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, was a British commitment to a Jewish homeland during World War I. It gave international standing to what was already a vibrant Zionist presence marked by waves of immigration in the previous three decades.
By the end of the 20-year interwar period in 1939, the Jewish Yishuv was a thriving entity, socially integrated, economically viable, and politically organized with a motivated defense element that would only grow in discipline and effectiveness.
After the war, Great Britain was spent. Its colonial empire became too costly and too draining, and it opted for withdrawal in possessions such as India. It is no accident that, in the guise of partition, Britain withdrew from both India and Palestine the same year.
This had little to do with the Holocaust and much to do with the calculations of the British Colonial Office as to the cost-benefit ratio of keeping an embattled outpost in Palestine rather than maintaining control of Suez and a base at Aden in the Arabian Sea.
The actual UN vote on partition which put in motion a Jewish state was based more on self-interest than sentiment. Russia and its satellites supported the Zionist cause with an eye toward diminishing British power in the Middle East.
Had the vote taken place with an expanded de-colonized UN a few years later, it is doubtful the decision would have gone in Israel's favor.
The writer is a former book editor of Newsday