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looked forward with such keen anticipation as one agency which might save us in future from the horrors of recent events. He contended that this was not the case. He said emphatically, and on behalf of the British Government, and after conversation with his Highness that afternoon, that both the British Government and the Persian Government accepted unreservedly Articles 10 and 20 of the Covenant. When the Treaty of Peace was ratified, and as soon as the Council of the League of Nations came into effective existence, it was the intention of both governments to communicate the agreement to the Council of the League, with a full explanation and defence of its conditions.
The publication of the Anglo-Persian Agreement is said to have been received with some annoyance in France, and has even disturbed the wonted serenity of some of the spirits in the Senate of the United States. It is of course seized upon by certain radical and so-called “liberal” elements in all countries as another evidence of British hypocrisy and imperialism.
However, there appears to be nothing in this agreement which need seriously disturb us. The independence and integrity of Persia are recognized in the most absolute and categorical manner, and we see no reason for questioning the good faith of Great Britain in this matter. To be sure, Persia may go the way of Egypt* and Korea, but she may also go the way of Canada and Australia. The direction in which she moves will largely depend upon her own capacity (or the lack of it) for progress and self-government.
In these agreements the form of a Protectorate has been carefully avoided. As observed by Lord Curzon:
Great Britain had always respected the integrity of Persia, and, as regarded the political and national independence of that country, he contended that it was of British as well as Persian interest. Our main interest in Persia was its independence. We did not want Persia to be a mere buffer against our enemies; we wanted her to be a bulwark for the peace of the world. Great Britain had never asked for a mandate for Persia. Had it been offered we should not have accepted it. Great Britain preferred to treat with Persia as a partner on equal terms.
In some quarters suspicion had been aroused as to the real character of the agreement. This arose in the main from a misconception. It was stated that the agreement amounted to a protectorate by Great Britain over Persia. But that was not the case. He would have opposed any idea of a protectorate as contrary to our repeated engagements, and he would have opposed it in the last
4 In any comparison between the cases of Egypt and Persia, it should not be forgotten that Great Britain has never promised or recognized the "independence" of Egypt.
resort, because he would have regarded it as inimical to British interests. As a result of the war, Great Britain would have enough to do in the eastern part of the world without assuming the responsibility of a protectorate over Persia.
Those who believed that Great Britain, as a result of this agreement, was going to sit down in Persia to Anglicize or Indianize or Europeanize it were grossly mistaken. All they wanted to do was to give Persia expert assistance and financial aid which would enable her to carve out her own fortune as an independent and still living country.5
But whatever be the present intention of the British Government or the legal aspect of the question, it is useless to disguise the fact that in all human probability Persia will remain de facto under the virtual protection of Great Britain for an indefinite time to come. How, indeed, could it be otherwise under the circumstances? For a century or more the relations between Great Britain and Persia have been particularly intimate. During a considerable portion of this period Russia also exercised a strong political influence in Persia. The dangers lurking in the increasing rivalry between these two Powers were at least temporarily overcome by the AngloRussian Convention of 1907. By the first “Arrangement” of the Convention of 1907," Persia was divided into three spheres of influence—the British sphere to the south on the seacoast so beloved of Great Britain; the northern or Russian sphere; and an irregular neutral zone lying between these two sections. The collapse of Russia and the events of the Great War have apparently left Great Britain in sole occupation of Persia, in sore need of defender and guardian. This weak and helpless country stands in need of about everything essential to national well-being and success. In the first place, she needs protection both against internal disorder and external aggression. It is well to cry out against imperialism and the unscrupulous designs of self-seeking and aggressive nations. But is it also well in pursuit of a laissez-faire and anti-imperialistic policy to leave them a prey to the forces of aggression and chaos? Then Persia needs financial support as well as good administration. Above all, she needs roads and railways. Under the old Russian dispensation she was not permitted to construct a single railway. So far as British interests are concerned, it is unnecessary to point out the importance of securing, free from molestation, this great highway between Mesopotamia and India. And we do not see that these interests conflict in any way with the great aim of securing and maintaining the peace of the world. In fact we believe this end is best furthered by the predominance of British interests (the greatest of which is peace) in this quarter of the globe. As Lord Curzon well says on this head:
5 Op. cit.
6 For a discussion and analysis of this convention, see editorial in this Journal for 1907, Vol. 1, Pt. 2, pp. 979 f. For the text of the convention, see Supplement to this Journal for 1907. For subsequent events, see editorial on “England and Russia in Central Asia” in this Journal for 1909, Vol. III, pp. 170 ft.
In looking to the future, nothing seemed to him more certain than that a time of great trouble and unforeseen developments lay before the nations of the world. He doubted very much whether, as the result of the war, we had succeeded in pacifying Europe. But whether we had done so or not, it was quite certain that we should not for some time secure stability in Asia. The break up of the Russian and Turkish Empires had produced a vacuum which it would take a long time to fill by settled and orderly conditions. The rise of Bolshevism had introduced a new and disturbing element, and it might be that in escaping the dangers of the recent war we might be confronted by a peril even more serious in the future. If that forecast were not over-gloomy, if it were correct, nothing could be worse for the peace of Asia, and indeed for the peace of the world, than that there should exist in the heart of the Middle East a state which by reason of its weakness became a possible center of intrigue and the focus of disorder.
What they wanted to secure, if possible, was a solid block in which reasonable, tranquil and orderly political conditions would prevail, from Burma on the east to Mesopotamia on the west. So far as Great Britain was responsible, she would devote herself to that task. If that end was a right and reasonable end, it was necessary and vital that Great Britain and Persia work together in order to secure it. Great Britain and Persia were jointly prepared to defend that agreement, and they looked forward to the vindication of its real character by its success."
May this Agreement assist materially in ushering in a new era for Persia as well as aid in stabilizing Asia and thus maintaining the peace of the world! AMos S. HERSHEY.
7 Op. cit.
JEWISH NATIONALISM The principle of the “right of self-determination” has not yet been clearly defined or accompanied by guiding rules for its application. One result has been the discovery of “nations crowding to be born”-of the existence of national self-consciousness where unsuspected, and of confused racial situations, as in Hungary–where no practical rules could be devised to insure without discrimination this right of self-determination.
There has been no attempt to limit the application of this principle either in a political or in a historical sense. There has been no indication to what an extent historic wrongs might properly be righted. The privilege of raising embarrassing questions concerning the rights of the Egyptians, of the Irish, of the Filipinos and the negroes, not to mention other nationalistic problems, has in no way been circumscribed. Apparently there is no limit to the tendency to undermine the foundations of existing political arrangements. Everything is subject to challenge and revision: a situation that presages many years of uncertainty and unrest.
One of the most interesting nationalistic problems raised by this war is that of Jewish claims to Palestine. The Zionist movement of course has long favored the return of Jewish colonists to the home of the race. But this movement had no political significance until after the famous declaration on the subject by Mr. Balfour, British Secretary for Foreign Affairs, in November, 1918, following the occupation of Jerusalem by General Allenby's forces. This declaration was addressed to Lord Rothschild, the leading representative of Jews in England, and read as follows: .
The Government view with favor the establishment of Palestine as a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing will be done that may prejudice the civil or religious rights of existing non-Jewish communi. ties in Palestine.
The effect of this declaration on the scattered members of the Jewish race was almost dramatic. To many it was the realization of Talmudic prophecies; to Zionists the achievement of their dearest hopes; and to all Jews a historic event appealing poignantly to their emotions.
The Zionists were quick to follow up this important declaration
by the adoption of plans for the immediate penetration of Palestine under the aegis of British military occupation. A British Zionist Commission was organized with the consent and active coöperation of the Government to proceed to Palestine for purposes of investigation and counsel. A few foreign representatives were permitted to be added, one of whom, Mr. Walter Myer, was an American. This commission reached Palestine early in April, 1918, and proceeded to play a most active rôle. Among other things, it concerned itself in the administration of relief to needy Jews, in organizing Jewish civic communities, in advising with the military authorities, in political negotiations of a varied character, and in investigating conditions generally. One of the most impressive acts of the commission was the laying of the foundation-stone of a Jewish university on a spur of the Mount of Olives. Instruction in this institution is to be entirely in Hebrew, and is to be open to all nationalities. The commission was particularly preoccupied with political questions affecting the Moslems and the Christians, who had become greatly perturbed over the prospective establishment of a Jewish State. The Zionists endeavored to allay these fears by assurances to the effect that they did not seek political independence, but desired merely freedom for Jews to settle in Palestine under the protection of a liberal régime such as Great Britain would afford. They interpreted the words “national home” used by Balfour as having only a moral and ethical sense, and as having no political significance whatever. These efforts were apparently without success, as the Moslems and Christians have made common cause in refusing to sell any more land to Jews and in generally antagonizing the plans of the Zionists. Despite the protestations of some Zionists, there can be no doubt about the awakening of Jewish national self-consciousness as a result of the declaration by Balfour. The attempt to limit the meaning of “national home” has failed, and most Zionists now advocate openly the foundation of a “Jewish State.” The arguments in behalf of this scheme stress not so much the need of an asylum for oppressed Jews, as they do the need of a national rallying point. The heart of Zionism seems to be the preservation of the solidarity and integrity of the Jewish race. Its main objective is to arrest the process of assimilation of Jews throughout the world by reviving their sentiment of loyalty to the old home of their race.