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History Corner






Charles Douglas-Home On Israel As A Middle-East State: 1968


Charles Douglas-Home, ‘Why there can be no military solution’,

The Times, 20 May 1968.


‘It is no good pretending that because the Jews are allegedly descended from Isaac and the Arabs from his brother Ishmael that they are therefore all part of the same family, with similar characteristics.

As far as the great mass of European originated Jews are concerned, that is not so.

They are more Russian, more Polish, or more German than they are Middle Eastern, and few of them could have known or heard much about the Arabs until they emigrated to Israel.
Israel is not a Middle Eastern state yet.

But it is true that those very Jews who came from central and eastern Europe are worried that it might be tuned into one eventually by the high birth rate, not so much of the 300,000-strong Arab minority within Israel but of the oriental Jews who came to Israel from Arab countries like Iraq, Morocco and Yemen, and who are definitely more Middle Eastern in character than they are European.

At present they are not only in a minority but have little influence or participation in the leadership of the country. . . . [B]ut it is just as likely that over a period of time they will by dint of their numerical majority within the society gradually impose their own stamp on Israel, away from the character of a small eastern European state which it is today, and more towards a Middle Eastern one.’