This essay looks at the hearing held by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives in April 1922 on the subject of a Jewish National Home in Palestine, as well as the broader congressional debate over the Balfour Declaration at that crucial time. The landmark hearing, which took place against the backdrop of growing unrest in Palestine and just prior to the League of Nations' formal approval of Britain's Mandate over Palestine, offers a glimpse into the cultural and political mindset underpinning U.S. support for the Zionist project at the time as well as the ways in which the political discourse in the United States has, or has not, changed since then. Despite the overwhelming support for the Zionist project in Congress, which unanimously endorsed Balfour in September 1922, the hearing examined all aspects of the issue and included a remarkably diverse array of viewpoints, including both anti-Zionist Jewish and Palestinian Arab voices.
Plus ça Change: The 1922 U.S. Congressional Debate on the Balfour Declaration
Khaled Elgindy is a fellow with the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington. From 2004 to 2009, he served as an advisor to the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah on permanent status negotiations with Israel, and was a key participant at the 2008 Annapolis negotiations.
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Khaled Elgindy; Plus ça Change: The 1922 U.S. Congressional Debate on the Balfour Declaration. Journal of Palestine Studies 1 November 2017; 47 (1): 98–106. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jps.2017.47.1.98
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