"There can be no doubt that the authors of this particular 'guarantee' were the Zionists themselves, and that the phrase was introduced from America. The clause 'it being clearly understood' and what follows has enough of a turn of its own to arouse attention. It is not automatic phraseology: it is no oft-employed cliche. If it were to be found in some previous document relating to the question, then obviously it was transferred from there into the Balfour Declaration.
"It is so to be found, and it was transferred. When the September version of the Declaration was dropped because of the Magnus-Montagu opposition, the Cabinet or the Zionist camarilla in it gave its own attention to finding a substitute. But this attention, as before, consisted largely in picking and choosing amidst the Zionists' suggestions. Baulked of the open mastership of Palestine which the September version would have given them, and driven to pay lip-homage to the Arabs, the Zionists, on one side of the Atlantic or the other, evidently offered a suitable formula drawn from the manifesto of the Jewish organizations of the United States, of the 2nd of October, 1916, a year or so before (quoted in Chapter VIII).
"In this manifesto the said organizations, inter alia, had demanded full rights for the Jews wherever they lived. The manifesto went on to define these, and the definition was thus worded: 'it being understood that the phrase 'full rights' is deemed to include civil, religious and political rights.'
"There most certainly is the source, the rough copy of the celebrated Balfour guarantee. The identity of words is not to be dismissed as a mere coincidence. The juxtaposition of 'it being understood that' and of the table of rights which follows points unmistakably to reproduction.
"Observe, though, what a difference occurred in the use of the new formula. In the United States the Zionist drafters had employed the formula to define their own rights. In the Balfour Declaration they had to employ it to define, for safeguarding purposes, their own rights, but also, so to speak, to undefine the Arabs' rights. They conceded therefore to the Arabs the notorious 'civil rights': for themselves they dropped the word 'civil' altogether. They had seen from the beginning it had no value, since in the manifesto they had taken care to demand religious and political rights in addition to civil rights. In the Balfour Declaration they took the same care.
"But they improved the phraseology in the 'Balfour Declaration.' Not only was 'civil' jettisoned, but with great agility the cardinal word 'political' was shuffled from 'rights' on to 'status.' To have granted in the same clause only civil rights to the Arabs but to the Jews political rights would have been too glaring a contrast. It might have drawn attention even from the indifferent eyes of 1917. Therefore, for the Jews their 'rights' were left apparently unclarified but really expanded in principle through the removal of the constricting adjective, while 'political status' was brought in as something of another order peculiar to the Jews, and to do the work of a definite guarantee."
To be continued...