Wednesday, 2 November 2016
Palestinian activists have launched a campaign calling on the British government to apologise for the Balfour Declaration which pledged a homeland for the Jewish people in historic Palestine nearly a century ago as long as the rights of existing non-Jewish communities were not prejudiced.The Balfour Declaration was a letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Lord Rothschild, head of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland, which had no basis of legal authority, where the indigenous Palestinians at the time of Balfour's letter amounted to 90% of the total population which paved the way for the occupation of their land.
At a launch event at the House of Parliament last Tuesday, Palestinian groups and their supporters blamed the plight of the Palestinian people on the legacy of the pledge and wider British colonialism in the region.If the petition reaches 100,000 signatures, the British parliament will have to consider debating the subject.
Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Jenny Tonge hosted the launch at the House of Lords last Tuesday, where the plight of the Palestinian people was blamed on the legacy of the Balfour Declaration and wider British colonialism in the region.The activists, backed by the Palestinian diplomatic mission in the UK, intend to push the British government in the run-up to the document’s centennial in November 2017.
Today actually marks the 99th anniversary of the cursed Balfour promise or Balfour Declaration, by means of which those who had no ownership (Britain) permitted those who had no right to establish a national homeland on an established country Palestine. Lord Balfour bought about a promise that marked the confiscation of the Palestinians homeland with displacement of its people. I personally believe it is time that my rulers apologise about this historical injustice which Britain committed against the Palestinian people.
The nakba/catastrophe of 1948, when over 750,000 Palestinians were expelled was set in motion by imperialist agreements in World War 1 to carve up the Middle East in their own interests.The Palestinian conflict does not begin in 1948 but in 1917, with this declaration. It is necessary that we go back to this crucial watershed in the history of the Middle East and the roots of the continuing betrayal of the Palestinian people.As a result Palestinians were evicted from their ancestral homeland to be expelled to refugee camps, to live in exile across the globe, to this present day.The continuing seperation of the people of the West Bank and the open prison that is Gaza. And ever since Palestinians have endured ongoing violation of their basic human rights.Now, over 11 million Palestinians continue to suffer from Britain’s colonial legacy in Palestine.
Because of the broken promise, Britain can be given the blame for setting the stage for the conflict that exists today.As we approaching the 100th anniversary of this grave injustice, in the current moment the continuing gravity of the situation in Palestine cannot be overstated.Britain must accept its full responsibility in creating a situation which has left a legacy of deceit, injustice and oppression.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also called on the UK to apologize for the Balfour Declaration while in New York last week :- “We ask Great Britain, as we approach 100 years since this infamous declaration, to draw the necessary lessons and to bear its historic, legal, political, material and moral responsibility for the consequences of this declaration, including an apology to the Palestinian people for the catastrophes, misery and injustice this declaration created and to act to rectify these disasters and remedy its consequences, including by the recognition of the state of Palestine,” Abbas told UN delegates.
I acknowledge that Balfour was not unique in history in giving what he did not own to those that were not entitled to it. It is time for the British Government to apologise for the Balfour declaration, as this historic betrayal is still being felt and British politicians and companies continue to support the forces of colonisation..It is the least that they can do, but giving the fact that they have recently rejected another gross injustice, when agents of the state ran amok at Orgreave in the 1984 miners strike, I feel it sadly to be a bit of a long shot.But I like many others across the globe together with the Palestinian people will not give up hope. It is surely time for the British Government to say sorry for what has bought untold misery through nearly a century of conflict, ethnic cleansing, ongoing human rights abuse, brutal occupation and apartheid.It has a responsibility and duty and to redress the pain and suffering of individual Palestinians that has endured ever since.
Posted by teifidancer at 19:48