Lines: 60 Archive/File: holocaust/england/churchill churchill.002 Last-Modified: 1994/02/20 "Eden would not co-operate with Churchill on the anti-Nazi group known as Focus: Leo Amery was Churchill's most influential supporter in it; other MP members included General Spears, Brendan Bracken, Harold Macmilland and Harold Nicolson. Focus had been formed in 1936 with money from wealthy and influential British and American Jews as a counter-move to Hitler's persecution of German Jews. Churchill, who was quickly recruited, addressed mass rallies at the Albert Hall, spoke at lunches for important people and became its driving force. A manifesto was issued, with great publicity, and Focus developed into an important political pressure group opposing the Government's appeasement and calling for immediate rearmament, for which Churchill argued vehemently. Violet Bonham Carter, Sinclair, the Liberal leader, and the trade unionists Citrine and Bevin helped to give the group credibility. Once involved in Focus, Churchill became 100 per cent pro-Zionist. He testified to the Peel Commission on Palestine that all Palestine should be handed over to the Jews regardless of Arab interests, which was in sharp contrast with his views on Palestine when he had been Colonial Secretary in 1922. Then he had been parsimonious about the number of Jews to be admitted, and said that only 'good citizens' amongst the Jews should be allowed in: 'We cannot have a country inundated by bolshevik riff-raff who would seek to subvert institutions in Palestine as they have done in the land from which they came.' In office he had twice suspended Jewish immigration and favoured abandoning Britain's Palestine mandate from the League of Nations under which Britain garrisoned and governed Palestine in the 1920s and 30s.<10> The Peel Commission in 1937 recommended limitations on Jewish immigration; its report coincided with an escalation of Hitler's persecution of Jews inside Germany, which was creating an urgent demand for a vast increase in the number of Jews allowed to enter Palestine. Yet the Chamberlain Government imposed quotas on German Jewish immigration both to Palestine and to Britain. As the U.S.A. also restricted Jewish immigration, great numbers of fugitives from Nazi tyranny had nowhere to go, and after an abortive London Conference of Jews and Arabs, a White Paper in 1939 stated that no further Jewish immigration into Palestine should be allowed against Arab wishes. It was a British rejection of the Balfour Declaration of 1917 establishing Palestine as a national home for Jewish people, at a moment when European Jewry faced disaster. The Commons divided on non-party lines, with Churchill opposing the White Paper strongly; the Government majority sank to 89 against its normal 240.<11>" (Lamb, 7-8) <10> Cohen, Churchill and the Jews, pages 101, 147 <11> Cmnd 6019, HMSO Work Cited Lamb, Richard. Churchill As War Leader. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1991.
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