The Great Powers and Israel: The Role Britain Hopes to Play
The longer I live in the world of practical politics, the more wary I become of attributing rationalistic calculation to the actions of governments and politicians. Undoubtedly, there is a pattern of historical development, moving according to a complex of causes. But these causes, which can be seen so clearly in retrospect, are seldom the conscious motives of the politician, whether he works in the Kremlin, in Washington, or in London.
Britain’s relations with Palestine illustrate with unusual sharpness this gap between historical cause and conscious motive. Looked at from outside, it is almost impossible to avoid attributing to Bevin a deliberate and well-thought-out plan, designed to defeat every effort to create a Jewish state. He looms in the Jewish mind today like a monstrous, anti-Semitic Machiavelli, complete master of himself and of the diplomacy and strategy of Great Britain. Moreover, the whole chain of events from 1945 until the end of the mandate seems to confirm this picture of his personality. Even the most cautious observer might be induced to remark, “Even if he didn’t plan it this way, at least things have gone as though he did. And that comes to the same thing.”
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