Avi Shlaim in The Balfour Declaration and its Consequences (2005) affirms that there were two reasons to justify the declaration. One was because it resulted from good Zionist lobbying and the other because it was of imperial interest for the British. Some historians say that the decision of the British government reflects what James Gelvin calls “patrician anti- Semitism”, the overestimation of the Jewish power in the U.S. and in Russia. This logic indicated that the Russian Jews could pressure their own to keep them in the war while the North Americans were urged to fight in World War I (two advisors to Woodrow Wilson were advocates of Zionism). Furthermore, the British intended to avoid the foreseeable French pressure for an international administration, especially for the sacred places.
Lloyd George, in his Memoirs (1939), presented a list of nine factors that motivated his decision as Prime Minister to issue the declaration, including his opinion that a Jewish presence in Palestine would strengthen Great Britain’s position over the Suez Canal and their imperial dominance in India. Lloyd George said to the Royal Commission of Palestine in 1937 that the Declaration was issued “due to propagandistic reasons [...]” and that it “would be harder for Germany to reduce their military commitments and improve their economic position in the Oriental front”. Another reason was the profound conviction of the British Christian authorities to accelerate the Jewish redemption to promote their Messianic return. In the meantime, others presented it as an appreciation for the invaluable contribution by Chaim Weizmann (President of the World Zionist Organization) to the British military power through his scientific developments. Certainly, the British felt closer to the European Zionists than to the Middle East Arabs.