New York Post
THURSDAY, AUGUST 26, 1948
From Disraeli to
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.
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 England—Beaconsfield
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
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.