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The Balfour Agreement, the major decline of the British Empire, British Petroleum (BP), Valdez, Horizon and their Israel connections - Bill Koenig

The Anglo-Persian Oil Company, the Balfour Agreement and the British Empire

The Anglo-Persian oil company, that became British Petroleum in 1954, pressured the British government and the League of Nations to back off their commitment to the Balfour agreement; thus, Israel received approximately twelve percent of the land intended for them.

At the time of the Balfour Agreement (1917), at the peak of its power, it was often said that "the sun never sets on the British Empire" because its span across the globe ensured that the sun was always shining on at least one of its numerous territories.

The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates, and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom, that had originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1922, the British Empire held sway over a population of about 458 million people, one-quarter of the world's population at the time, and covered more than 13,000,000 square miles (33,670,000 km2): approximately a quarter of the Earth's total land area. As a result, its political, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread. (Reference Wikipedia)

On September 11, 1922, the British government presented a memorandum to the League of Nations stating that Transjordan would be excluded from all provisions of dealing with the Jewish settlement. From that point forward, Britain recognized the land west of the Jordan as Palestine (which was 23 percent of the entire territory), and the land of east of the Jordan River as Transjordan (constituting 73 percent of the mandated territories). In 1923 Britain transferred a part of the Golan Heights to the French Mandate of Syria, in exchange for the Metula region.

Important to many Jews was the permission to settle in the British-controlled Mandate of Palestine. In order to try to maintain peace between the Jewish and Arab populations, especially after the 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine of the 1930s, Britain strictly limited immigration. This limitation became nearly absolute after the White Paper of 1939 all but stopped legal immigration. During the War, Zionists organized an illegal immigration effort, conducted by "Hamossad Le'aliyah Bet" (the precursor of the Mossad) that rescued tens of thousands of European Jews from the Nazis by shipping them to Palestine in rickety boats. Many of these boats were intercepted and some sank with great loss of life. The efforts began in 1939, and the last immigrant boat to try to enter Palestine before the end of the war was the Struma, torpedoed in the Black Sea by a Soviet submarine in February 1942. The boat sank with the loss of nearly 800 lives. (Reference Wikipedia)

The British Empire's days were numbered, and on the whole, Britain adopted a policy of peaceful disengagement from its colonies once stable, non-Communist governments were available to transfer power to, in contrast to other European powers like France or Portugal, which waged costly and ultimately unsuccessful wars to keep their empires intact. Between 1945 and 1965, the number of people under British rule outside the UK itself fell from 700 million to five million, three million of whom were in Hong Kong. (Reference Wikipedia)

The Exxon Valdez and the Israel connection

The Exxon Valdez accident happened less than 48 hours after President George H.W. Bush and Secretary of State James Baker's staff opened talks with the Palestinians on March 22, 1989. The Valdez problem began to develop late in the night of March 23 with the first spill at 12:05 a.m. on March 24.

On March 21, 1989: U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker concludes that Israel may have to negotiate directly with the PLO

Secretary of State James A. Baker III, attempting to soften the impact of his conclusion that Israel eventually may have to negotiate directly with the Palestine Liberation Organization, Tuesday reaffirmed the Bush Administration's opposition to the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

"It is the policy of the United States that we do not support an independent Palestinian state," Baker told a House panel. His statement was intended to reassure Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, who has vowed that his government will never relinquish control over the West Bank and Gaza Strip territories that Israel occupied during the Arab-Israeli war of 1967. (Los Angeles Times)

March 22, 1989: Palestine Liberation Organization today rejected a halt in the violent

After its first formal contact with the Bush Administration, the Palestine Liberation Organization today rejected a halt in the violent uprising in the Israeli-occupied territories to encourage peace negotiations.

The move was a rebuff to the approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict outlined by Secretary of State James A. Baker 3d, who has sought to encourage a reduction of violence and tension and bring about direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. (Reuters)

March 23, 1989: Arafat said that the second formal meeting between U.S. and PLO representatives was positive

Yasser Arafat said today that the second formal meeting between U.S. and PLO representatives was positive and reflected the desire of both sides to make the dialogue a success.

To a reporter who asked the smiling chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization whether Wednesday's meeting was responsible for his good mood, Arafat replied: "Yes, exactly."

He described the content of the meeting between U.S. Ambassador Robert H. Pelletreau and Yasser Abed-Rabbo of the PLO Executive Committee as "positive and serious," but gave few details of the discussion.

"There is a mutual interest and intention to lead this dialogue to success," Arafat said. (Associated Press)

Pelletreau and Abed-Rabbo met for 4 1/2 hours at the Tunisian government's Dar el Maghreibia guest house, with two senior advisers present on each side. The ambassador would not talk about the meeting and referred all inquiries to the State Department. (New York Times)

March 23, 1989: Jewish Leaders Avoid Comment on Peace Talks:

Jewish leaders from around the world issued a general statement of support for Israel on Wednesday but skirted the increasingly contentious issue of the shape of future Middle East peace talks.

The final proclamation, the fruit of a three-day solidarity conference here attended by about 1,500 delegates, kept to tried and true themes.

March 23-24, 1989: Exxon Valdez Accident

Exxon Valdez left the Valdez oil terminal in Alaska at 9:13 pm on March 23, 1989 bound for Long Beach, California. A harbor pilot guided the ship through the Valdez Narrows before leaving the ship and returning control to Joseph Jeffrey Hazelwood, the ship's master. The ship maneuvered out of the shipping lane to avoid icebergs. Following the maneuver and sometime after 11 pm, he left Third Mate Gregory Cousins in charge of the wheel house and Able Seaman Robert Kagan at the helm, both of whom had not been given their mandatory 6 hours off duty before their 12-hour duty began. The ship was on autopilot, using the navigation system installed by the company that constructed the ship. The outbound shipping lane was covered with icebergs so the ship's captain, Hazelwood, got permission from the Coast Guard to go out through the inbound lane. The ship struck Bligh Reef at around 12:04 am March 24, 1989.

Beginning three days after the vessel grounded (March 27), a storm pushed large quantities of fresh oil on to the rocky shores of many of the beaches in the Knight Island chain.

The result was the largest oil spill in US history: 11 million gallons covering 11,000 square miles, including 1,300 miles of pristine shoreline. The spill devastated the local economy as well as the environment. Estimated losses in the sport fishing industry alone were almost $600 million over the two years following the accident. Within days an estimated 250,000 seabirds perished, along with thousands of otters and seals. Despite billions of dollars in cleanup, the environmental effects of the spill still linger. Much of the oil seeped below the surface of affected beaches, decaying at a rate of about three to four percent per year. Animals that dig in the sand for their food continue to be contaminated. (Wikipedia)

British Petroleum's (BP) Horizon Oil Spill Began on April 20, 2010

BP's Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico began on April 20 — at the very time Obama's team was pressuring Israel to restart talks with the Palestinians.

WorldNetDaily reported, "On April the 19th, Israel celebrates its independence in 2010," Gallups says in narration on the video. "On April the 19th, Fox News reports that the U.S. will no longer automatically support Israel in the United Nations. The next day, on April the 20th, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explodes. Coincidence? Or the hand and judgment of God?"

BP and the U.S. are still working to contain the oil spill, which is much larger in size than Exxon Valdez.

The two largest oil spills in U.S. history corresponded to U.S. actions on Israel's covenant land and talks with the Palestinians. The spills have and will cause America to forgo more offshore exploration and become even more reliant on rogue nations for oil.

Obama compares oil spill to 9-11 terror events

Obama said the disaster would have a lasting impact on US environmental policy.

"In the same way that our view of our vulnerabilities and our foreign policy was shaped profoundly by 9/11, I think this disaster is going to shape how we think about the environment and energy for many years to come," he said in the Politico interview.

In his White House address on June 15 Obama called the BP spill the "worst environmental disaster America has ever faced."

Scientists said on Monday, June 15 that the British Petroleum oil leak is up to 2.52 million gallons a day, which is the equivalent of Exxon Valdez every five days.

According to an internal BP document released Sunday, June 21 by Rep. Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts, BP believed that the worst-case scenario could be as high as 100,000 barrels, or 4.2 million gallons of oil per day.

At least 4.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas — and possibly almost twice that amount — have leaked since April 20. That's based on estimates from the U.S. Geological Survey's "flow team" that 2,900 cubic feet of natural gas are escaping for every barrel of oil.

"This is the most vigorous methane eruption in modern human history," said John Kessler, a Texas A&M University oceanographer.

Scientists, including those working with the flow team, estimate that methane makes up between 40 percent and 70 percent of what is spilling into the Gulf.

Side Note:

On the same day the BP oil spill occurred on April 20, 2010, an attempt had been made that very morning to get a copy of Eye to Eye: Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel to Vice President Joe Biden at an event he was speaking at in Washington, DC hosted at a local hotel by the Brookings Institution. After Biden was finished speaking, he did not directly interact with the crowd, but a copy of the book was handed to an assistant of his who was on the way backstage to meet him with the request that the book be given to Biden. It is not confirmed whether he got the book or not.