Britain must apologise for the Balfour Declaration

Ever since UK Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour pronounced the Balfour Declaration on 2 November 1917, promising a homeland for the Jews in Palestine, Palestinians have endured ongoing violation of their basic human rights.

With only 67 words, seismic changes were forced on the Palestinians, making contradictory, irreconcilable and ambiguous promises: one nation promised another nation the land of a third nation.

By promising Jews, who made up 6 per cent of the inhabitants of Palestine, their own state, the declaration totally compromised the rights of the other 94 per cent of the population. It referred to the majority population as “the non-Jewish community in Palestine” and contradicted the 1916 McMahon-Hussain agreement and the principles of national self determination.

In Palestine, Britain did not propose even to go through the formality of consulting the inhabitants of the country about the future of their land.

Millions of Palestinians continue to suffer from the unjust and misguided British policy in Palestine. Great injustice leaves great scars. It is time Britain apologised as a first step towards rebuilding for the future.

Source and full piece: Redress Online, 02 Nov 2012

Tom Sullivan