Friday, January 29, 2010

Churchill: No Quarter for Zionists

"War is peace, freedom is slavery, & ignorance is strength." George Orwell, 1984

Had enough of waved, worn, daubed, tatooed, in-your-face Australian flags this week? Need a laugh after Tuesday's little proto-fascist festival? Then sit back and be entertained by the following cobber-ly correspondence between flag-waving uber-patriots, Chaim Weizmann and Winston Churchill:

"Dear Mr Prime Minister, May I appeal to you to consider once more the question of the Jewish Fighting Force? Ever since our conversation in September, 1940, I have known that we have your sympathy in this matter, and that it has not been for lack of goodwill on your part that the scheme, then approved, was allowed to drop. The disappointment among the Jews, and especially the Palestinian Jews, at being denied their own fighting force, national name, and flag, was very great, but such was their determination to take an active part in the war, that in spite of many further discouragements, 24,000 Palestinian Jews have volunteered for military service, and, I understand, have done well. Now I address to you a double appeal. First, that these men should be gathered into a Division of their own, and that that Division should be permitted to carry the flag with the Star of David to the European battle-field." Chaim Weizmann, 4/7/44

"My dear Doctor Weizmann, I am sorry to find that I have not yet replied to your letter of 4 July, about the question of the Jewish Fighting Force. I can assure you however that I have given my personal attention to your suggestions, with which as you know I have much sympathy... About the Flag. I should like to know what it looks like before I embark on this contentious ground." Winston Churchill, 5/8/44

"My dear Mr Prime Minister, Your letter of August 5th in reply to mine about the Jewish Fighting Force has given me great encouragement, and I thank you for it most warmly. In the first place it is a renewed assurance of your personal sympathy with the desire of the Jews to fight the Nazis under their own name and flag... The moment that the War Office is in a position to discuss concrete proposals, I and my colleagues will be more than ready. In the meantime, I have the greatest pleasure in sending you a sketch of the proposed flag - two horizontal blue stripes on a white back-ground with the Star of David in the centre. It is known to Jews all over the world as their national symbol. You helped us to raise it in Palestine a quarter of a century ago; its meaning has grown with our growth: under your supreme leadership we hope to see our young men follow it into battle alongside of the Union Jack." Chaim Weizmann, 5/8/44

"My dear Mr Prime Minister, The Government publishes to-day the announcement about the formation of a Jewish Brigade Group... We know how much we owe to you for the consummation of this project, and I would like at once to send you some expression - even if brief and inadequate - of our gratitude, both on my own behalf and on that of my colleagues, for all your help in this matter, as well as for your unwavering sympathy and encouragement in all our struggles. The decision to form a Brigade Group is one of great symbolic significance at this time of stress and strain for the Jewish people. We shall not forget." Chaim Weizmann, 20/9/44

"Dear Mr Prime Minister, Following on my letter of September 20th, I should still like to raise the question of the Flag for the Jewish Brigade Group. In my letter to you of August 5th, I enclosed, as asked by you, a sketch of our national flag. May I now submit to you a suggestion and a request? It is our conviction that the future of the Jewish nation is bound up with the British Empire, and this Jewish Brigade Group (the first self-contained all-Jewish fighting unit since ancient times) is part of the British Army. A strong feeling is arising amongst us that these facts should be expressed through the Jewish Flag carried by the Brigade being quartered with the Union Jack, as in the enclosed sketch. Would this meet with your approval?" Chaim Weizmann, 21/9/44

"My dear Dr. Weizmann, I think it would be better to adhere to the original design for the flag for the Jewish Brigade, which you sent me with your letter of August 10 last. I am glad to inform you that this design has been approved by the War Cabinet. As a matter of convenient administration, it would be better that the flag should not be flown in Egypt. But authority is being given for the Jewish Brigade to fly it as soon as they land in Italy." Winston Churchill, 28/10/44

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wonder just why Weizmann was so keen to form an armed 'Jewish Fighting Force' post haste? It was well-known that there was no 'Jewish majority' in Palestine at that time, a fact that Weizmann bewails to Churchill in 1944. If intent to drive the (disarmed) Palestinians from their homes was not obvious to Churchill, then I'm Tony Blair.