Tuesday, August 2, 2011

U.S. Diplomat Opposed the Zionist Idea in 1920

Anti-Zionist demonstration, February 1920
The Palestinian Arabs’ anti-Zionist demonstrations (see also yesterday’s posting) were not a one-time occurrence in 1920.  There were several such demonstrations in February, March and April 1920.  The latter, held during the week-long Nebi Musa festival, turned into an anti-Jewish pogrom.

Col. Storrs, opposed the
Several senior officials of the British Mandate were strongly opposed to the Balfour Declaration, with one, Col. Ronald Storrs, the military governor of Jerusalem and Judea, actually being accused by one of his colleagues of coaching Haj Amin el-Husseini on inciting the mobs.
Glazebrook (in top hat) and his
Consulate staff (VMI archives)
The British anti-Zionists found a sympathetic ally in the U.S. Consul General to Jerusalem, Dr. Otis Glazebrook, a former missionary who was a personal friend of President Woodrow Wilson. 

During World War I and prior to the United States entering the war, Glazebrook used his position in Jerusalem to protect Jews from local Turkish tyrants and to relay money from the American Jewish community to Jewish indigents.  In a 1931 obituary for the diplomat, the JTA reported, "Dr. Glazebrook distributed Jewish relief funds in Jerusalem during the war, for which he received high praise from Jewish leaders in the United States."

Original caption: "Demonstrators carrying Dr. Glazebrook
on their shoulders"
But in his secret cables to the State Department, Glazebrook was vehement in his opposition to the Zionist enterprise.  According to one account, the Consul warned in 1919 that local opposition to Zionism was "real, intense, and universal.... Any importation of Zionists would be met by force of arms."  Glazebrook also accused Jews of threatening to destroy the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. [HT: YM]

Perhaps it should not be a surprise, therefore, that the Arab demonstrators against Zionism hoisted Glazebrook on their shoulders as a hero.

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