Thursday, March 22nd | 6 Nisan 5778


Be in the know!

Get our exclusive daily news briefing.

October 28, 2016 9:56 am

The Meaning of the Palestinians’ War on the Balfour Declaration

avatar by Ruthie Blum

Email a copy of "The Meaning of the Palestinians’ War on the Balfour Declaration" to a friend
Photo: From the Facebook page "Palestine Belongs to Palestinians!"

Photo: From the Facebook page “Palestine Belongs to Palestinians!”

Encouraged and empowered by the recent UNESCO resolution that rejects Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, the Palestinian Authority is boasting about plans to hold a series of global events throughout the coming year to decry the establishment of the state of Israel.

The purpose of the campaign, described by the Qudsnet News Agency as “massive,” is to “make the international community, and especially Britain, confront their historical responsibilities and call on them to atone for this major crime committed, and raise the issue of the historical injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people.”

The “major crime” in question is the Nov. 2, 1917 Balfour Declaration, sent by the UK foreign secretary to Jewish community leader Walter Rothschild, to be delivered to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland.

“His Majesty’s government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors 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,” it stated.

Though this was well before the term “Palestinians” – or people calling themselves “Palestinians” – even existed – distorting history is part and parcel of their effort to delegitimize Israel in any and every way possible. The UNESCO vote is but one tiny example of this practice, which is gaining momentum with the help of Western leftists.

Another is the incessant cacophony about Israeli settlements constituting an “obstacle to peace.”

Ironically, the very fact that all PA factions make no bones about considering the Jewish state a catastrophe worthy of annual mourning – and deserving of the slaughter of innocent Jews — does not serve to dissuade proponents of a two-state solution from their claim that new apartments in the West Bank are unnecessarily provocative.

On the contrary, though Abbas said clearly that no Jews would be welcome in PA-controlled territory under any circumstances, when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called attention to this blatant antisemitism, it was he who was mercilessly berated far and wide, especially by the White House and State Department.

Saeb Erekat, the Palestinians’ chief “peace” negotiator, took the opportunity, as he always does, to use US criticism of Israel as a way to prove that the Jewish state was born and lives in sin.

In a Washington Post op-ed on Tuesday, Erekat did this in the context of the Balfour Declaration, which he called the “symbolic beginning of the denial of our rights.” Chastising the world for not taking significant steps to end the travesty of Israel’s existence, he spewed customary lies about how the Jewish state came into being. “The Palestinian people were violently dispossessed from their homes and exiled from their homeland in 1948, endured the occupation in 1967, only to be forced into the historic compromise recognizing the 1967 border as the borders of the state of Palestine,” he wrote, conveniently omitting the true story of Israel’s war of Independence and Six-Day War 19 years later – the assault of surrounding Arab armies on a tiny fledgling country that spent much of its time trying to come to an arrangement with those bent on its annihilation.

Erekat’s piece was in keeping with Abbas’ announcement in July that the PA was going to file a lawsuit against Britain for the Balfour Declaration. This was conveyed by PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki to the Arab League Summit in Mauritania, which Abbas was unable to attend, due to the death of his brother.

In spite of the fact that Omar Abbas had been treated for cancer at a Tel Aviv hospital – along with the family members of many honchoes in Fatah and Hamas – the PA leader was going ahead with his litigation against the UK over the 100-year-old document, “after which hundreds of thousands of Jews arrived from Europe and other places in Palestine at the expense of our people.”

With such a blatant admission of its actual position on Jewish statehood — going so far as to wage war on the Balfour Declaration — the PA should be treated with the disdain and derision it deserves.

Ruthie Blum is the managing editor of The Algemeiner.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

Share this Story: Share On Facebook Share On Twitter Email This Article

Let your voice be heard!

Join the Algemeiner
  • SaciPerere

    “make the international community, and especially Britain, confront their historical responsibilities and call on them to atone for this major crime committed, and raise the issue of the historical injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people.”

    The “Palestinian people” should be changed to “European Jewish people” for the major crime of locking them in Europe for Hitler to round up like cattle.
    As a reference for today’s millennials:

    Although the 1938 Evian Conference was convened to address the Jewish refugee problem and Conference delegates expressed empathy for Jews under Nazism, the representatives offered only excuses for not letting in more refugees. No country — including the United States, Canada, Australia and Britain (including British controlled Palestine — the 1939 [MacDonald] White Paper severely restricted Jewish immigration to Palestine to please the Arabs) — was willing to accept substantial numbers of Jewish refugees with the exception of the tiny Dominican Republic which offered to accept up to 100,000 Jewish refugees. As a result, the Evian Conference was a failure and left the Jews with no escape from Nazi Germany and Austria (annexed by Hitler in March 1938). The fact that the Evian Conference did not pass a resolution condemning the German treatment of Jews was widely used in Nazi propaganda and further emboldened Hitler in his assault on European Jewry leaving them ultimately subject to Hitler’s “Final Solution to the Jewish Question.”
    …. ”

    Why isn’t this shoved in the face of the international community to respond to their
    lax attention to current antisemitism?
    The context of Arab collusion with the Nazis is also lacking in today’s discourse.
    It seems that the leaders are more scared of the Left and their media than Iran.

  • Efram Paul

    It should be. But unfortunately, antisemitism is always able to ignore facts in order to promote their ugly, irrational hatred.

  • Ken Kelso

    Also remember the British never created a Jewish state.
    From 1917 to 1948 the British didn’t give 1 inch of land to the Jews.
    On the other hand the British gave 75% of the British mandate borders to the Arabs in 1922 and named the country after the Jordan river in 1946. (Jordan)

  • Ken Kelso

    Great article on Palestinian Rejectionism

  • Isahiah62

    the rights of Jews in other counties was immediately violated by ARABS who ethnic cleansed the Jews, confiscated their money and businesses and refused “right of return” to Jews who had lived in those countries for CENTURIES.
    They seemed mighty happy about the founding of Israel in 1948 as it was a way to judenfrei, the dream of final solution wanted by Hitler for EU , was fully realized by Muslims.

    And Arabs who did stay in Israel do have full rights.

    USA Jews if you want Israel to survive I suggest a vote for TRUMP…

    “Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accuses Israel of being an occupying force in her new memoir Hard Choices and claims that the Jewish state denies “dignity and self determination” to Palestinians in the West Bank.

    Clinton recalls being surprised by what she termed “life under occupation for the Palestinians,” according to the book.

    Pro-Israel officials and insiders on Capitol Hill have
    called Clinton’s comments tone deaf and said that her claim that Israel
    is an occupying force reveals a bias against the Jewish state.

    “When we left the city and visited Jericho, in the West
    Bank, I got my first glimpse of life under occupation for Palestinians,
    who were denied the dignity and self-determination that Americans take
    for granted,” Clinton writes.

    Clinton’s comments demonstrate that she supports the Obama
    administration’s efforts to pressure and marginalize Israel, which
    current Secretary of State John Kerry recently accused of becoming an
    “apartheid state,” said one senior GOP Senate aide, who worked with
    Clinton when she was at the State Department.

    “What we see here is the true Hillary Clinton, no longer
    muzzling herself for fear of reelection in New York or Senate
    confirmation fights—the woman who embraced Suha Arafat after smiling
    through anti-Semitic tirades,” said the former senior GOP Senate aide
    who for years battled Clinton’s State Department.”


  • Matt McLaughlin

    Ever since it was announced months ago that the Balfour Declaration
    could have provided an injustice in having London sponsor a Jewish
    homeland in Palestine (1917) there has been a rush to defend Israel. For
    now, put Israel on the back burner and focus on Christian Zionism,
    something that pre-dates Jewish Zionism by decades. Take notice of Lord
    Ashley (later the Seventh Earl of Shaftesbury) and the work he did to
    procure Palestine for Jews beginning in the early 19th century. Let’s
    examine the Protestant myth for Palestine and how it applied to Jews and
    everyone else. Good intentions most certainly were a motivator in
    Protestant England’s invasion of Jerusalem a month after the
    declaration(12/1917). But keep in mind too please, the Balfour
    Declaration was not debated in either of the Houses of Parliament and
    never approved by the British legislature. What are its parents?