In 2010, on this day sixty years after the Slattery Report (the Problem of Alaskan Development), recommended the provision of land in Alaska for the temporary refugee settlement of European Jews who were being persecuted by the Nazis during World War II, the first citizens of the newly formed Federal District of Sitka exercised their newly obtained right of return to Palestine.
Right of ReturnBecause under the arrangements for the "Reversion", on the stroke of midnight 31st December 2009, the sixty year lease on the independent Jewish settlement created on the Alaskan coast had expired. The Acting Mayor of the Federal District of Sitka Sarah Palin had reached a broad settlement with both the Tlingit Alaska Natives and also the Governments of Palestine and Jordan.
"Jerusalem, a city of blood and slogans painted on the wall, severed heads on telephone poles"Unsatisfied by the American lease, at the climax of World War Two Zionists sought to create a Jewish Homeland in Palestine. Their expectations had been unfairly raised by the Balfour Declaration, in which the British Government stated that whole of Mandatory Palestine would become the Jewish National Home. But by the time the State of Israel was declared, Britain was committed to the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan. Five Arab armies immediately attacked the new nation including the Arab Legion headed by a British Officer, John Glubb.
After months of savage fighting, an Arab Palestine State was created. But the so-called "West Bank" of Jordan, comprising East Jerusalem, Samaria and Judea remained Jordian "occupied territories". Jewish institutions and houses of worship were destroyed, and inhabitants expelled. And it was the grand children of those Palestinian refugees that travelled to Sitka who were now offered a right of return negotiated by Sarah Palin.
During the sixty years since the failed attempt to create a Jewish homeland in Israel, Sitka had thrived. Undoubtedly the high point of Jewish Civilization was the "Safety Pin", a tall building erected for the 1977 World Fair held in Sitka and a source of pride for its inhabitants.
This article is a part of the Sitka thread.