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A Centurey Of Injustice

A Centurey Of Injustice Balfour Declaration 1917. November 2nd

The Balfour Declaration

The Balfour Declaration was a statement in the form of a letter from the British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Lord Walter Rothschild, a leading figure in the British Zionist community, written on 2 November 1917.

The letter made it clear that the British government backed the establishment of a ‘national home for the Jewish people’ in Palestine. Three years later, in 1920, Britain was mandated to implement the resolution through the League of Nations.

Palestinians were not represented in the discussions that led to the declaration, nor were they cited by name in the letter. Indeed, they were defined by what they are not (“non-Jewish”), which set the pattern for their “invisibility” in later official discussions about their future.

The letter marks a pivotal moment in the history of Palestine, laying the groundwork for decades of dispossession, conflict and displacement affecting millions of Palestinian lives.

Foreign Office 
November 2nd, 1917

Dear Lord Rothschild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majestys Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet:

His Majestys 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.

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Arthur James Balfour




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