By Gary Keenan
Barbara Hodgson’s excellent letter (More than a Memory, Oct. 8) regarding renowned British Arabist Gertrude Bell brings to mind the fact that the Middle East may well have been spared several decades of violence, death, and destruction if British Prime Minister Lloyd George had heeded her wise words regarding the 1917 Balfour Declaration.
While serving with British intelligence in Cairo, Ms. Bell advised the cabinet that “an independent Jewish Palestine” was impractical because “[Palestine]…is not Jewish;” the native population would not “accept Jewish authority…. Jerusalem, is equally sacred to three faiths, Jewish, Christian and Muslim, and should never, if it can be avoided, be put under the exclusive control of any one….” Yours sincerely,
Gary D. Keenan