Zionist Dialogue

The Children of Cyprus

By Herbert Belkin

So close, and yet so far. After the war, over 50,000 Holocaust survivors tried to make the almost sacred journey from blood-soaked Europe to Palestine. Their journey was forcibly interrupted by a British blockade, and the survivors were imprisoned on the British island colony of Cyprus. These tragic Jews were not prisoners of war, but prisoners of a British government policy. The interception and imprisonment came about because of a 1939 British policy change that revoked the Balfour Declaration promise of a Jewish homeland, and sharply limited Jewish immigration to Palestine. That policy of restrictive Jewish immigration was continued after the war by Ernest Bevins, the British Foreign Secretary.

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