The Balfour Declaration (1917), which is named after Arthur James Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary during the Word War 1, was the one of key developments in the early stages of the twentieth Century that influenced the Jewish communities of the world to believe that Great Britan would support the creation of a jewish state in the Middle East. The ramifications would be seen up until the present day.
Balfour sent an official letter declaring the establishment of a Jewish homeland in the area known as "Palestine" to Baron Walter Rothschild (the 2nd Baron Rothschild), a leader of the British Jewish community, who accepted it on behalf of Great Britain and Ireland.
The immortal words of the letter said the following:
" His Majesty's Government view with favor 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."
The Original Letter of the Balfour Declaration
Zionism is the belief in the establishment of a national homeland for the jewish people in their ancestral Biblical homeland. The word "Zionism" comes from Zion which is also called Jerusalem.
The letter was also incorporated into the league of Nations Mandate for Palestine, becomming further enshrined in international law.
In another letter Balfour sent, after the WW1 had ended, he answered some of the critics of the Declaration who said that it was not right for England to "impose" Zionism on the local Arab indigeneous population he said.
" I do not think that Zionism will hurt the Arabs, but they will never say they want it......Whatever be the future of Palestine, it is not now an 'independent nation' nor is it yet on the way to become one......If Zionism is to influence the Jewish problem throughout the world Palestine must be made available for the largest number of Jewish immigrants."
The rest is history and started a series of events that led to the foundation of the State of Israel and what is now to the occupation against the people in Gaza, and the continual violations in the West Bank, the illegal settlement activities in occupied Jerusalem, and the attempt to force the Palestinians out of their lands. Before we celebrate Happy Balfour Day we should remember this. I personally reckon that Balfour would be turning in his grave at the histiorical injustices carried out in his name.
Consequently occupation always generates resistance. Britains history in all this narrative is shameful, but the present day atrocities lay at the door of only one nation. End the Occupation, end the problems in my humble opinion.
Let us remember too, that it is the policies of Israel today, that are themselves an insult and a threat to Jews everywhere. The leaders of Israel were never satisfied with what they eventually got in 1948. They unfortunately set their sights much wider. And to this day carry out policies of expansion and domination in acts of provocation.
Until measures are made by Israel to improve the standard of living, and bring economic prosperity to the Palestinians living in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Bringing some chord of social justice, and recognition of the Palestinians identity , and stolen land given back to them,and an end to their continuing use of apartheid practices., their will be no peace. That is Balfours tragic legacy.