The little-known origins and history of the Balfour Declaration

The Landman Document

An excerpt from Count Leon de Poncins State Secrets


Is it possible, is it even conceivable that the Jews, by sheer weight of their influence alone, could unleash a world war? It is probably unbelievable, and yet this is exactly what has happened three times in the course of the last half century, in 1900, with the Transvaal war, in 1917, with the entrance of the Americans into the war on the side of the Allies, and in 1939, with the commencement of the Second World War.

In this chapter I am simply going to deal with the case of the entry of the United States into the First World War in 1917 on the side of the Allies, and I will show that this contention rests on solid proof.

Let us briefly recall the facts. By 1917 the English-French alliance was in a difficult position and in danger of losing the war against Imperial Germany. The latter, whose hands had been freed from the Russian front by the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, was about to hurl all its strength against the western front, which was in danger of being swept away by the violence of their attack. The Allies urgently needed American aid.

The United States did not hesitate to enter the war on the Allies’ side. The official pretext invoked in favour of this move was the sinking of the English liner, Lusitania, by a German submarine, which resulted in the deaths of a certain number of American passengers.

But the negotiations and pressures which brought about this situation are the subject of this chapter, for the facts which we are about to relate are virtually unknown to the public.

In 1929 a Polish writer, E. Malynski, published a book revealing the unknown facts behind these historic events entitled La Démocratie victorieuse, a work which was subsequently shown to be quite prophetic.

Basing his argument on a profound knowledge of international politics and upon a logical deduction of the facts, Malynski concluded that America’s entrance into the war on the side of the Allies was due to Jewish influence.

‘If there had not been the Lusitania affair, the asphyxiating gases, or the intrigues of German and Austrian ambassadors on American territory, in which they were surely not unique, other ways would have been found to achieve the same results. No provocation would have been too severe to obtain them, since democracy was in danger and it urgently needed American intervention to come to its aid.

‘Democracy was in danger, and that is the most important point and indeed the pivot of all contemporary history. The rest is just empty meaningless phrases, fodder which is thrown to beasts who are being led to the slaughter-house.

‘The apparent spontaneity of their enthusiasm for war, which shook the American people, should not astonish those who know America, or who lived there for some years before 1914. For at that time thousands and thousands of non-Jewish people, who had nevertheless been intoxicated by a costly and clever publicity campaign, demanded at the tops of their voices that diplomatic and commercial relations should be broken off with the Tsar’s government – a measure which would gravely prejudice the American portfolio – for the sole reason that a mean and obscure little Jew, who was completely unknown in his own town, but whose international ubiquity had organized his defence, had been brought before a court of assize and the regular jury of a provincial city in the Russian empire on a charge, whether justly or unjustly, of committing a ritual murder.

‘On both occasions, the result was exactly the same: the nation which above all others claims to be free and in sovereign command of its own destiny was brainwashed to the hilt.

‘In 1914 any American would have laughed to scorn the idea that in three years time he would be struggling and suffering in France for the sake of affairs which had no connection with those of his own country.

‘And yet, when 1917 came, the same man enlisted enthusiastically. Every soldier whom we happened to interview and questioned as to his personal motives for fighting, invariably replied: ‘we are fighting for democracy.’ They were one step ahead of their fellow soldiers from other nations, who went for their own country’s sake.

‘It is only when we realize that France was invaded by hundreds of thousands of inhabitants from Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois, Wyoming, California, Louisiana, and subsequently from Ontario, Manitoba, Rhodesia and New South Wales, whose only possible motive was to hasten the triumph of democracy, that we begin to understand something of the power of Israel. The power to stir up a whole nation of solid, egotistical and utilitarian individuals, and to persuade them that their greatest privilege is to set out and get themselves killed at the uttermost ends of the earth, with no hope of gain for themselves or their children and almost without their understanding against or for whom they are fighting, or why, is a simply incredible phenomenon which makes one afraid when one comes to think about it.’ (E. Malynski: La Démocratie victorieuse)

I remember very well showing this book to the director of a big London daily paper, and asking him his opinion of it. He said that British opinion would never accept it, and he did not conceal from me the fact that he thought the author was suffering from a form of mania.

However, in March 1936, a Zionist Jew named Samuel Landman published a work called Great Britain, The Jews and Palestine under the auspices of the Zionist Association, which deals with Zionism and the entry of the United States into the war. As the preface of the book clearly states, the author is a very well-known English Zionist. He was the honorary secretary of the Zionist Council of the United Kingdom in 1912, editor of The Zionist from 1913 – 1914, and author of various Zionist publications which came out during the war. From 1917 – 1922 he was the solicitor and secretary of the Zionist organization, and later became its legal adviser. As a Jewish document, therefore, it may be considered to carry official weight.

Landman’s work contains a staggering confirmation of Malynski’s thesis. Needless to say, he does not reveal everything, but what he does state reveals a number of stupefying horizons, for he proves in detail that it is the Jews, set in motion, as they themselves admit, by their own exclusively Jewish interests and possessions, who launched America into the world war. The passage which follows is taken without abridgement from the opening pages of Landman’s Great Britain, The Jews and Palestine:

‘As the Balfour Declaration originated in the War Office, was consummated in the Foreign Office and is being implemented in the Colonial Office, and as some of those responsible for it have passed away or have retired since its migrations from Department to Department, there is necessarily some confusion or misunderstanding as to its raison d’étre and importance to the parties primarily concerned. It would, therefore, seem opportune to recapitulate briefly the circumstances, the inner history and incidents that eventually led to the British Mandate for Palestine.

‘Those who assisted at the birth of the Balfour Declaration were few in number. This makes it important to bring into proper relief the services of one who, owing above all to his modesty, has hitherto remained in the background. His services however should take their proper place in the front rank alongside of those Englishmen of vision whose services are more widely known, including the late Sir Mark Sykes, the Rt. Hon. W. Ormsby Gore, the Rt. Hon. Sir Ronald Graham, General Sir George Macdonagh and Mr. G. H. Fitzmaurice.

‘In the early years of the War great efforts were made by the Zionist Leaders, Dr. Weizmann and Mr. Sokolow, chiefly through the late Mr. C. P. Scott of the Manchester Guardian, and Sir Herbert Samuel, to induce the Cabinet to espouse the cause of Zionism.

‘These efforts were, however, without avail. In fact, Sir Herbert Samuel has publicly stated that he had no share in the initiation of the negotiations which led to the Balfour Declaration. (England and Palestine, a lecture delivered by Sir Herbert Samuel and published by the Jewish Historical Society, February 1936.) The actual initiator was Mr. James A. Malcolm and the following is a brief account of the circumstances in which the negotiations took place.

‘During the critical days of 1916 and of the impending defection of Russia, Jewry, as a whole, was against the Czarist regime and had hopes that Germany, if victorious, would in certain circumstances give them Palestine. Several attempts to bring America into the War on the side of the Allies by influencing influential Jewish opinion were made and had failed. Mr. James A. Malcolm, who was already aware of German pre-war efforts to secure a foothold in Palestine through the Zionist Jews and of the abortive Anglo-French démarches at Washington and New York; and knew that Mr. Woodrow Wilson, for good and sufficient reasons, always attached the greatest possible importance to the advice of a very prominent Zionist (Mr. Justice Brandeis, of the US Supreme Court); and was in close touch with Mr. Greenberg, Editor of the Jewish Chronicle (London); and knew that several important Zionist Jewish leaders had already gravitated to London from the Continent on the qui vive awaiting events; and appreciated and realized the depth and strength of Jewish national aspirations; spontaneously took the initiative, to convince first of all Sir Mark Sykes, Under-Secretary to the War Cabinet, and afterwards M. Georges Picot, of the French Embassy in London, and M. Goût of the Quai d’Orsay (Eastern Section), that the best and perhaps the only way (which proved so to be) to induce the American President to come into the War was to secure the co-operation of Zionist Jews by promising them Palestine, and thus enlist and mobilize the hitherto unsuspectedly powerful forces of Zionist Jews in America and elsewhere in favour of the Allies on a quid pro quo contract basis. Thus, as will be seen, the Zionists, having carried out their part, and greatly helped to bring America in, the Balfour Declaration of 1917 was but the public confirmation of the necessarily secret ‘gentleman’s’ agreement of 1916 made with the previous knowledge, acquiescence and/or approval of the Arabs and of the British, American, French and other Allied Governments, and not merely a voluntary altruistic and romantic gesture on the part of Great Britain as certain people either through pardonable ignorance assume or unpardonable ill-will would represent or misrepresent.

‘Sir Mark Sykes was Under-Secretary to the War Cabinet specially concerned with Near Eastern affairs, and, although at the time scarcely acquainted with the Zionist movement, and unaware of the existence of its leaders, he had the flair to respond to the arguments advanced by Mr. Malcolm as to the strength and importance of this movement in Jewry, in spite of the fact that many wealthy and prominent international or semi-assimilated Jews in Europe and America were openly or tacitly opposed to it (Zionist movement) or timidly indifferent. MM. Picot and Goût were likewise receptive.

‘An interesting account of the negotiations carried on in London and Paris, and subsequent developments, has already appeared in the Jewish press and need not be repeated here in detail, except to recall that immediately after the ‘gentleman’s’ agreement between Sir Mark Sykes, authorized by the War Cabinet, and the Zionist leaders, cable facilities through the War Office, the Foreign Office and British Embassies, Legations, etc., were given to the latter to communicate the glad tidings to their friends and organizations in America and elsewhere, and the change in official and public opinion as reflected in the American press in favour of joining the Allies in the War, was as gratifying as it was surprisingly rapid.

‘The Balfour Declaration, in the words of Prof. H. M. V. Temperley, was a “definite contract between the British Government and Jewry” (History of the Peace Conference in Paris, vol. 6, p. 173). The main consideration given by the Jewish people (represented at the time by the leaders of the Zionist Organization) was their help in bringing President Wilson to the aid of the Allies. Moreover, officially interpreted at the time by Lord Robert Cecil as ‘Judea for the Jews’ in the same sense as ‘Arabia for the Arabs,’ the Declaration sent a thrill throughout the world. The prior Sykes-Picot Treaty of 1916, according to which Northern Palestine was to be politically detached and included in Syria (French sphere), was subsequently, at the instance of the Zionist leaders, amended (by the Franco-British Convention of December 1920, Cmd. 1195) so that the Jewish National Home should comprise the whole of Palestine in accordance with the promise previously made to them for their services by the British, Allied and American Governments, and to give full effect to the Balfour Declaration, the terms of which had been settled and known to all Allied and associated belligerents, including Arabs, before they were made public.

‘In Germany, the value of the bargain to the Allies, apparently, was duly and carefully noted. In his Through Thirty Years Mr. Wickham Steed, in a chapter appreciative of the value of Zionist support in America and elsewhere to the Allied cause, says General Ludendorff is alleged to have said after the War that: “The Balfour Declaration was the cleverest thing done by the Allies in the way of propaganda, and that he wished Germany had thought of it first” (vol. 2, p. 392). As a matter of fact, this was said by Ludendorff to Sir Alfred Mond (afterwards Lord Melchett), soon after the War. The fact that it was Jewish help that brought USA into the War on the side of the Allies has rankled ever since in German – especially Nazi – minds, and has contributed in no small measure to the prominence which anti-Semitism occupies in the Nazi programme.’ (S. Landman: Great Britain, The Jews and Palestine, pp. 3-6)

It should be obvious that this is a document of capital importance, and yet the press has kept absolutely silent about it, and it has remained virtually unknown.

In order fully to understand the significance and importance of this confession, let us briefly resume the facts which led to its publication.

In 1917, the Allies were in distress and desperately needed American aid, but all their efforts to bring the United States into the war on their side had failed. It was then that the English commenced secret negotiations with the American Zionists. The latter proposed a deal: “If you will promise to hand over Palestine to us if you are victorious, we will guarantee to bring America into the war on your side.” If America was brought into the war, it seemed almost certain that Germany would be unable to resist the strength of the resulting coalition.

The deal was concluded, and the American Zionists fulfilled their part of the bargain, and brought the USA into the war, and by the celebrated Balfour Declaration, the British Government made Palestine into a national home for the Jews.

Up to this moment, everything seemed satisfactory. Both sides had fulfilled their engagements. However, England, in her distress, had not foreseen the consequences of this decision. The Arabs had not been consulted in the course of these negotiations, and it soon became apparent that while one party in the British Government was promising Palestine to the Jews, another branch of the same Government was promising the same land to the Arabs through the intermediary action of Lawrence of Arabia.

These two pledges were manifestly inconsistent, and if England on the one hand was obliged to accommodate the Jews, on the other she had important interests of her own in the Arab countries of the Near East. The Jews had one capital advantage. They were on the spot in both London and New York, whereas the Arabs were a long way away from the centre of action.

At first the British Government played the Jewish card to the full, and endeavoured to maintain a precarious balance between the Jews and the Arabs. At the time of the Balfour Declaration the Jews had promised that they would not infringe the rights of the Arab population, but the whole world knew that it was an impossible undertaking, and one which the Jews had no intention whatever of respecting.

Thus, to start with the British Government was in favour of establishing a Jewish community which would be built up by immigration, but confrontations with the Arabs rapidly became aggravated. Hitler’s rise to power, and his anti-Jewish position, brought matters to boiling point. The British tried to calm the Jews, and cut down on the immigration of international Jews to Palestine. But how is one to reason with the Jews when they are in the grip of their messianic fervour? The influx of Jewish aliens drove the Arabs to flight from a country which they could legitimately consider as their own, since they had lived there for centuries, and they piled into refugee camps in which they have since eked out a miserable and hopeless existence. Massacres, such as at Deir Yassin, provoked a general exodus, and hundreds of thousands more fled to these camps. The Arab States, for their part, did nothing to ameliorate the condition of these unfortunate refugees, and consequently the situation became more and more explosive for the English, who were confronted with a Jewish rebellion armed and supported by secret organizations such as the Irgoun and the Stern gang. Palestine was virtually in a state of war with the British.

It was under these conditions that the Anglo-American Zionists published a threatening warning to the British Government by means of the Landman document. Addressing the British Government as if they were speaking to an equal, they said in effect:

You forget that you did not give us Palestine as an unsolicited gift (Balfour Declaration). It was handed over as the result of a secret bargain concluded between ourselves. We have scrupulously observed our part in bringing America into the war on your side. We call on you to fulfil your obligations in turn. You are aware of our power in the United States: take care that you do not attract the hostility of Israel, otherwise you will come up against grave international difficulties.

The publication of such a serious, revealing and compromising document was grossly imprudent, but it was also a calculated risk. Faced with the terrible menace of Hitler, the Jews were obliged to run risks, but on the other hand they were sure of themselves and of their power over the press in democratic countries. The document had to be published in order to effect the appropriate extortion from the British Government, but it was essential that it should on no account come to the knowledge of the general public. Consequently, the press in the western world kept silence, and the public remained in total ignorance of its existence. If it had been published at large, there might well have been a violent upheaval when it was discovered that the British and American Governments were acting under Israel’s orders. The preparation of war against Hitler would have been singularly hindered. It is one thing to fight for the defence of one’s own country. Fighting for Israel is another, much less inspiring prospect.

In conclusion, the Landman document demonstrates that the Jews are capable of exerting a considerable influence over public opinion and the American Government, and of bringing the USA into the war. It is a clear-cut case of a well organized minority orientating public opinion and manipulating it to its own liking. The Zionists themselves were surprised at the ease and rapidity with which they succeeded in overturning American opinion. It also shows that the world-wide influence of Jewish organizations vis-à-vis national governments is some considerable factor, since the former were able to discuss matters on an equal level with the Government of the British Empire, and finally conclude a deal with the latter on a reciprocal basis.

Thus the secret history of America’s entry into the war in 1917 on the side of the Allies is revealed as the secret history of the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine – and both these events, it cannot be disputed, are of the utmost importance if one is to understand the evolution of the modern world.

Finally, it is a measure of the value of the press, which is supposed to be a source of objective information, and which is so avid for sensational news, that for thirty years it has maintained a total black-out on a document of absolutely capital importance, so that not so much as a whisper alluding to its existence has been made in the numerous histories of the First World War.

Doubtless, looking back, we may have reason to thank the Jews for pushing America into the war on our side in 1917, but in 1917 it was simply fortuitous that their interests coincided with those of the Allies. Today, in 1975, it is not so reassuring to learn that America’s foreign policy is in the hands of a Jewish Zionist of German extraction, Dr. Henry Kissinger, the man who was first of all President Nixon’s private adviser, and who was then promoted to Secretary of State.

Count Leon de Poncins, State Secrets, 1977, pp. 9-17



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