Palestine Plans and Counter-Plans
Despite the Paris Peace Conference and the German question, that main issue of the postwar world still looming unsettled in the background, the British public and press continue to be occupied with Palestine to a degree quite out of proportion to the real scale of the problem and of the country concerned. As front-page news, Palestine faintly resembles Trieste, another small place where interests are so intricately tangled that no settlement is yet in sight.
In the present state of world politics, with two civilizations dividing the world into two halves, great importance must be attached to the border areas situated between them. In the struggle for “spheres of influence,” one of today’s key zones is the Middle East. Soviet Russia is using national minorities as pawns in her game, encouraging the Azerbaijanis, the Kurds, the Georgians, the Armenians, to fight for national independence. Following up her success in Persia, Russia now threatens the British oil interests in Southern Persia, with the next showdown scheduled for Turkey. Let us not forget that Constantinople was once the administrative center of the entire Middle East, just as Vienna was of the Danube basin. Now Russia stretches her hands out towards both. Control of the Middle East and of the Danube area would make her virtual heir both of the Austro-Hungarian and the Ottoman Turkish empires, which would upset the whole balance of power in Europe as well as the Middle East. As a result, Britain has now had to fall back on Disraeli’s 19th century policy of keeping Russia out of the Mediterranean at all costs—a policy that the United States, under present circumstances, is compelled to back.
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