This week, we marked 99 years since the Balfour Declaration was written.

Lord Arthur Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary at the time, wrote the famous letter to the leader of the Zionist Federation, Baron Rothschild, saying:

His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

StandWithUs produced this great video to mark the occasion:

Also this week, in the House of Lords in the UK, there was an event run by the Palestinian Return Centre launching the Balfour Apology Campaign – calling the letter “a crime”.

MK Oded Forer wrote an excellent analysis of the campaign:

What this obsessive focus on a letter written 100 years ago, as opposed to the liberation of Judea and Samaria 50 years ago, tells us very clearly and distinctly is that this has never been about the “occupation”; it is, however, about opposing any recognition of the Jewish People’s rights to sovereignty in their ancestral homeland…

The Balfour Declaration was the first modern international recognition of Jewish historic and legal rights in the Land of Israel, which had been conquered, colonized and occupied for 2,000 years since its indigenous people were expelled.

The Palestinians know that the Balfour Declaration was a pivotal point in the recognition of Jewish national rights by the international community, and that this, in turn, led to the majority support for the reestablishment of the Jewish state in the Land of Israel. They believe if they unravel this recognition they can undermine Israel’s legitimacy as a Jewish and democratic nation and move a step closer to its demise…

[T]his conflict has never been about the “occupation” or the creation of a Palestinian state. It was and remains about the undermining and denying of Jewish history, rights and international law in order to undermine and seek the destruction of the State of Israel.

 

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