The Balfour Declaration, 2 November 1917, expressed the support of the British government during WW1 for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, then an Ottoman region with a minority Jewish population. And it added: “it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”. The British government later confirmed that the words “in Palestine” meant that the Jewish national home was not intended to cover all of Palestine. The raison d’etre for the declaration was to rally support against the Ottoman Empire. The British government acknowledged in 1939 that the local population’s views should have been taken into account, and recognized in 2017 that the declaration should have called for the protection of the Palestinian Arabs’ political rights.
In 1920 the Brits took over the mandate for Palestine, coping badly with rising tensions between the indigenous Arab population and an influx of Jewish refugees from fascist Europe. Initially the Jews in Palestine had been peaceful but under attack some turned militant; the British put down an Arab Revolt against Jewish immigrants (1936 to 39), weakened the Palestinian Arab leadership and de-weaponised them which hampered their efforts in the 1947 civil war. In 1946 Jewish terrorists blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing over 90 UK embassy staff. The Brits then exited in disarray saying they could not settle the conflict between Arabs and Jews. On 14 May 1948 at 4pm Israel was born.
The Balfour Declaration 1917 chart has Sun Mercury in Scorpio square Neptune Saturn in Leo, trine Pluto inconjunct Jupiter; with Saturn opposition Uranus – idealistic, controlling, autocratic, over-hopeful. At that point Mars had just moved out of Leo into Virgo. When Israel kicked off, the bleak Saturn Pluto conjunct was in Leo, with the Moon and Mars also in Leo and Mars Saturn squared onto an 8th house Taurus Sun. It is a formidably stubborn, aggressive and enduring chart.
The Balfour Declaration chart showed considerable concern and disappointment in 1949/50 as it became clear that the Israeli leaders were intent on belligerent self-protection and territorial expansion, with Arab Palestinians being driven from their homes and in some instances massacred.
At present the Israel-Palestinian conflict remains one of the world’s most intractable and unsolved problems. Tr Uranus in Taurus from 2019 to 2025 will elbow the Israel chart sharply, especially 2023 to 2025. But it is tr Pluto in Aquarius beginning the long haul in opposition to the Israel Moon from 2027 and especially through the 2030s, starting on a Pluto Half Return and then tr Pluto opposing Saturn and squaring the Israel Sun and then opposing Mars across into 2040 that will force changes on Israel and change its trajectory and priorities.
It always was an impossible dilemma given the Jewish people’s long history of persecution, culminating in the atrocity of the Holocaust. But as the Saudi King Ibn Saud (evidently) remarked it was unfair that the Arab Palestinians had to pay for assuaging European guilt. There should have been international policing from the start but the USA and Europe were trying to haul themselves out of the wreckage of WW11 so looked the other way. That plus the damage that superpower meddling always leaves behind – Palestine, Iraq, Kashmir, India v Pakistan, Ireland, Africa – a goodly chunk of the turmoil there can be blamed squarely on the British Empire.