In an exclusive interview with JerusalemOnline, Israeli author Barry Shaw described how Western appeasement over the past century has encouraged violence against Jews and the State of Israel: “I see the same duplicity going on today with the EU/UN appeasing the Arabs and we saw the results with the violence and terrorism against the Jewish state.”

Photo Credit: Barry Shaw

Vladimir Jabotinsky once proclaimed, “It is better to have a gun and not to need it than to need a gun and not to have it.” In a recently published book titled 1917: From Palestine to the Land of Israel, Israeli author Barry Shaw in honor of the 100 year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration this year documented how Western appeasement has encouraged violence against Israel. He claimed that “the duplicity of the British,” who were supposed to work for the establishment of a Jewish homeland, instead “provoked the Arabs to rise up and protest violently the Jewish presence here.”

Shaw claimed that the West was not always into appeasing the Arabs. According to Shaw, in the beginning, the British were deeply committed to the establishment of a Jewish homeland: “David Lloyd George was raised on the Bible. He was Prime Minister when Great Britain was losing thousands of young men fighting in Europe. He knew the places in the Bible better than the battle sites in Europe during WWI. He appointed Lord Balfour to be his Foreign Secretary, who was also raised on the bible. These two influential men when they decided to open up a front in Palestine had a conviction that it would one day be the State of Israel and they felt instrumental in bringing this about.”

“They appointed General Allenby to drive the Turks out of Palestine,” he noted. “He wasn’t a Zionist but he was helped by one of the most underestimated Jews in history and that was Aaron Aaronson.  He was a remarkable and dominant figure. He was very well-educated and well connected in Europe and America. The Turks gave him freedom of movement for he was instrumental in creating an agricultural movement but he knew Palestine from the back of his hand. He created a network of agricultural research centers. When the Turks joined WWI, he saw an opportunity that if the British joined the war, this could be good for the advancement of creating a Jewish state. He turned the young men he had in his agricultural group into a spy network called Nili. He made his way to England and joined Allenby’s staff in Egypt. He was instrumental in helping Allenby to redraw his map. He helped Allenby to find water and which route to take. He helped Allenby to win the war over here in Palestine.”

Shaw told JerusalemOnline that when former Israeli President Haim Weizmann went to the British cabinet office to hear if the Balfour Declaration was going to be adopted as official British policy, Aaronson was with him as he waited to receive the news. He claimed that he was the first Palestinian Jew to meet all of the major British political and military figures. While he was away in England, Shaw noted that all of his espionage efforts were taken over by his sister, Sarah Aaronson: “She was one of the most remarkable woman in modern Jewish history. In my opinion, she is a mixture between a female James Bonn in that she led this spy ring in a dangerous situation and she was the Jewish Zionist Joan D’Arc. Another character that I pay tribute to is Jabotinsky, who together with Joseph Trumpeldor banged on the door of the British staff in Cairo to include a Jewish unit in the British Army and when they were rejected in Cairo, they went to England to bang on doors in Whitehall.”

“This leads us to Colonel John Patterson, another committed Christian Zionist, who was selected by the British War Ministry to lead the first Jewish fighting group in over 2,000 years,” Shaw told JerusalemOnline. “You have to be aware that since the Romans destroyed Israel and Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, it was impossible to think that the Jews would really fight for their survival in an organized manner. Even a 100 years ago, they saw a Jewish army as something impossible. But people like Patterson, Trumpeldor and Jabotinsky made that happen. But since then, we don’t only have a Jewish army but the best fighters in the world, fighting to defend Jews and the Jewish state.”

According to Shaw, this October, there is going to be a special event in Beersheba commemorating the contributions of Australia and New Zealand to the battle for Palestine during World War I.  He claimed that around 200 Australians are coming to Israel for this event and they will commemorate the battle for Beersheba by riding on horseback. He claimed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Australian Prime Minister will be attending alongside diplomats from many countries across the world. Shaw plans to distribute a copy of his book at this event in order to pay tribute to the bravery of the Australian soldiers: “We Jews think that we achieved statehood on our own. But one of the things I learned from my research is that something unique happened that did not happen for thousands of years, where people came together and became the power brokers.”

However, after the British got off to an excellent start with the Zionist movement, the British decided to appease the Arabs instead of helping the Jewish people, which led to riots breaking out in the 1920’s: “Jews were killed in Jerusalem. Women were raped. Properties were destroyed. One of the outcomes is that Jabotinsky was sentenced to 15 years in prison and deported from Palestine. Haj Amin Al Husseini, who was later on to become an ally of Hitler, was only sentenced to 10 years imprisonment but he escaped in order to avoid going to prison.”

According to Shaw, the relevance of his book today is that although according the Balfour Declaration the British were supposed to use ‘their best endeavors to facilitate” the establishment of a Jewish homeland, for anti-Semitic reasons, they in fact reneged on that and provoked the Arabs at the time to rise up against the Jews. However, he noted that in the 1920’s, when the riots broke out in Jerusalem, they did not do it in the name of Palestine but in the name of Syria. Nevertheless, he claims that nothing much has changed since then: “I see the same duplicity going on today with the EU/UN appeasing the Arabs and we saw the results with the violence and terrorism against the Jewish state.”