New York Post


From Disraeli to Bevin

Should the Oldest Nation Be Excluded From the Conclave of Nations?


One day during the last century, (in the 1800’s) when the British House of Commons was deliberating on a bill to abolish restrictions against Jews holding seats in Parliament, and when many influential members were demanding that the “Christian” character of that body be preserved, Disraeli, later Lord Beaconsfield, a builder of the British Empire, made a memorable speech; I read it years ago and I quote from memory.

“Honorable Gentlemen: I sincerely hope that their House will exist always. But I cannot omit to remind you that the Egyptian Pharaohs, the Assyrian kings, and the Roman Caesars are dead and their empires have vanished, but the Jewish people have outlived them all.”

These words came to mind on reading that Sir Alexander Cadogan has let it be known that Great Britain will oppose the admission of the State of Israel to membership in the United Nations. The British Delegate to the Security Council has indicated that Great Britain may use its power of veto to bar the admission of Israel to the conclave of nations.

The veto power in the Security Council belongs to each of the Big Five. There is some question as to whether this power can be used in this sort of case. It is also open to question whether a state that exists on subsidies is independent and morally free to use a veto power. It is certainly paradoxical that a country like China is among the Big Five.

Great Britain, under the leadership of Bevin, swiftly approaches the international status of the Heavenly Empire, now a “republic” under Chiang Kai-shek. These “Big Two” exist on subsidies.

The British Empire that grew under Lord Beaconsfield and Joseph Chamberlain, its two great builders, is in our theme what the Turkish Empire was at the end of the last century, “the sick man of Europe.” She has many possessions. But like Turkey in the past, she depends on others to defend them.

It is characteristic that the great statesmen of EnglandBeaconsfield and Chamberlain—the Great Joe—dreamed of a Jewish State even before there was a Zionist movement. Beaconsfield expressed his ideas in his novel Tankred; at the Berlin Congress of 1878 he vainly looked for an organization in world Jewry that would be willing and able to found a Jewish State in Palestine, for at that Congress the fate of Turkey was being decided. It was 17 years before the first Zionist Congress.

In 1903 Joseph Chamberlain offered Uganda in Africa to Dr. Herzl as a refuge for persecuted Jews, where the Zionist Organization could build a State; he regretted that he could not offer Palestine, then in Turkish hands; but he was willing to let the Zionists have the adjacent Sinai penninsula.

In 1917 Lloyd George and Lord Balfour bound their government to create a Jewish National Home in Palestine.

But all this was in the days when Great Britain was in the ascendancy, and at its helm were men of unusual stature. Compare the state of Britain and the record of Lord Beaconsfield or Lord Balfour with the state of Britain and the record of Bevin, and you will realize how far the Empire has sunk: from the top of the world to the status of an empire on relief—like the old Turkey or present-day China—and a growing enemy of liberty to boot.

The idea of the United Nations and of international peace originated with the Hebrew Prophets. The nations “shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Micah 4:3).

The time is not yet come; but the purpose for which the United Nations—and the Security Council—were created and the idea underlying their existence were conceived by the Jewish people 2,500 years ago.

“When their ancestors were announcing eternal truths to humanity in the hills of Judea,” said Disraeli to the members of Parliament, “your ancestors, my dear Gentlemen, were wild herdsmen trotting behind herds of pigs in the hills of these isles.”

In the three years of its existence, the United Nations has done nothing to improve the position of millions of slaves in Africa. The war in China has not been ended. Relations between the United States and Russia have greatly worsened, and the “One World” has become definitely “two worlds.”

Nothing has been done to ameliorate the condition of the homeless millions in every part of the globe; nothing appreciable has been achieved in the field of public hygiene. In Egypt there was a large pogrom; the United Nations kept silent.

The oil empire has undermined the U. N. in Israel and the Arab countries, but the U. N. received a gift from an oil magnate—a plot of land on the east side of Manhattan—and we have not heard in the world organization much criticism of the international grab for oil and the political methods employed. The atom bomb race goes along unchecked, with every passing hour bringing humanity closer to its destruction.

I wonder if Israel should enter this organization. The Hebrew Prophets certainly had in mind a brotherhood of greater integrity.


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