The World Supported the Balfour Declaration — and the Creation of Israel
Tuesday was the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, where Great Britain announced its support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in what was then called Palestine.
As with every year, the Palestinians marked the day with mourning. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas instructed all flags to be flown at half-mast every November 2. Palestinians got the secretary general of the Arab League to issue his annual statement calling on Great Britain to “correct this historical mistake and assume its historical, legal and moral responsibility by offering an apology to the Palestinian people and recognizing the Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967 lines with its capital East Jerusalem.”
They like to pretend that the Balfour Declaration is the source of their problems.
But it was just a letter. The “declaration” wasn’t a legal obligation.
What happened afterwards is arguably more important.
The Balfour Declaration was then endorsed by the French and Italian governments, as well as the United States. It was incorporated into the San Remo Resolution in 1920. Finally, it was then incorporated into the Mandate for Palestine by the League of Nations.
That’s when it became international law to support Palestine as a national home for the Jewish people.
Interestingly, the Arab opposition to the Mandate was not only against the concept of a Jewish homeland, but also against the concept that Palestine was a political entity of its own, rather than part of Syria.
(Of course, they also insisted that Jewish immigration be stopped totally.)
The Balfour Declaration was turned from a vague statement into international law. That is part of what gives Israel its legitimacy under international law today.
When the Palestinians say they want to reverse Balfour, they are saying they want to erase Israel.