History,  Israel

From the Vaults: The Guardian and The State of Israel

Below I enclose extracts from two editorials. One is from The Guardian and the other from its predecessor, The Manchester Guardian. The earlier one is from October 19 1917. Here the newspaper campaigns in favour of the Zionist movement:

The Future of Palestine

The Manchester Guardian, October 19, 1917, p.4.

The exact international status of Palestine is not of immediate importance so long as two principles are clearly recognised – first, that the best guarantee of future peace and progress is the constitution of a political home for the Jewish people in Palestine, where the national genius will have full opportunity for free development; and, secondly, that we should definitely drop the false sentiment which has made us in the past the allies of Turkey and adopt as the inspiration of our Eastern policy a great liberal idea such as this of the restoration of the Jews to Palestine undoubtedly is.

Need it be said that the Balfour Declaration was issued two weeks later?

The Guardian might have been exaggerating in the 1979 editorial from which I copy an extract—but it is of note:

Peace in the teeth of the evidence

The Guardian, March 27, 1979, p.8.

This newspaper played a modest part, and perhaps more than that, in the creation of the state of Israel. A series of leaders and contributed articles during the editorship of C.P. Scott did much to place Zionism firmly on the British agenda and thus to bring about the Balfour Declaration.

Those were the days.