“They Shall Be Restored”

George Reynolds, Janne M. Sjodahl

On this Condition: when "they shall believe in me, that I am Christ." The Hebrews have certainly not yet, as a whole, accepted Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah, although many individuals have done so; but the ancient prejudices and inherited hatred have been greatly allayed among the educated classes. The Lord, apparently anxious to fulfil his promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has, therefore, already begun the gathering of their descendants in the Land of Promise. In 1896, Dr. Theodore Herzl was prompted to issue his famous pamphlet, "The Jewish State," which became the foundation stone of modern Zionism. In November 1917 Lord Balfour declared that "the British government would look with favor upon the restoration of Palestine as the Jewish homeland." This declaration may at first have been intended as a statement of the British policy only, and it may have been chiefly a bid for the support of the fifteen million Jews in the world for the cause of the allies in the world war. A Hebrew battalion was also organized against the Turks in Palestine, and Zionism obtained a recognized status in the world. After the great war, in 1922, the Balfour declaration was ratified by the League of Nations, and since then the gathering has proceeded rapidly. According to Mr. Gedaliah Bublick, a noted newspaper editor in Tel Aviv, Palestine, there were in 1920 only 55,000 Jews in the country. Sixteen years later there were 400,000, of whom ten thousand were immigrants from America. Owing to the antiSemitic pressure in many countries, Zionism is one of the most important movements, at present.

During the month of August, 1929, sporadic attacks were made by Arabs on Jewish settlements, which were vigorously repulsed by the Jews. A royal British commission found, after inquiry, that the Arabs had very little reason for complaint, the Palestinian government having favored them in the matter of employment, taxation and budgetary allotments. But the discontent continued.

During the summer of 1936 an American commission, unofficial, consisting of U. S. Senators Copeland, Austin and Hastings, went to Palestine to investigate the cause of Arab outbreaks. During the month of December, that year, they reported the existence in the country of a political conflict between Jewish and Arab aspirations. Certain agitators, they found, were seeking to establish an Arabian state, and they feared that the Jews nourished similar plans. But the Balfour declaration did not contemplate anything but a Palestinian state, in which Jews and Arabs would have equal rights. The commission found no ground for prohibition of Jewish immigration. There is room for hundreds of thousands more settlers in Palestine, and if the Trans-Jordan is opened to the Jews, millions can find refuge in the land promised to Abraham and his descendants. (Gen. 15:18-21)

Zionism is a question of more than academic interest to the United States. For, on December 3, 1924, Great Britain and the United States, represented by the late Lord Balfour and the then Secretary of State, Charles Evans Hughes, resp., entered into a treaty by which the United States consented to the mandate of Great Britain over the Holy Land, as given by the League of Nations, and stipulated that the consent of the United States would be required to any change in that mandate.

Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1