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November 29, 2015 / 17 Kislev, 5776
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Churchill in Jerusalem

Churchill in Jerusalem

Photo Credit: Israel State Archive

Secretary of State for the Colonies Sir Winston Churchill speaking at the ceremony of laying the cornerstone of the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus, March 29, 1929.

In early March 1921, the Middle East Department of the Colonial Office issued the following announcement: “Distinction to be drawn between Palestine and Trans-Jordan under the Mandate.”

The British Mandate for Palestine was created by the League of Nations—the earlier version of the UN—in 1920, depositing in British hands the recently conquered territory of Palestine, stretching from the Iraqi border to the Mediterranean Sea. The purpose of the Mandate was to make good on Lord Balfour’s 1917 declaration, promising the Jews a “national home” in Palestine.

In less than one year, the British Government decided on that “distinction” thing, cutting off two thirds of the future Jewish Homeland.

It doesn’t look like we minded it a whole lot. We even invited the Secretary for the Colonies to speak at the Hebrew U. cornerstone ceremony practically the day after he cut our dream down by 65%.

We figured, that side would go to the Arabs, our side to the Jews. made perfect sense.

Here, we even honored Sir Winston with planting a tree on Mt. Scopus. It was all good.

chrchill planting tree

Photo credit: Israel State Archive

So how did we end up with that part, across the Jordan River, being one Palestinian State, then Gaza a second Palestinian State, then the Palestinian State Palestinian State, and another 25% of the Jewish Homeland also a Palestinian State.

Aren’t we, the Jews, supposed to be the smart ones?

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.

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