< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://bokertov.typepad.com/ btb/" >

Monday, November 03, 2003

Never at a loss for something to do,

"Palestinians seek apology for Balfour Declaration"

JPost: Palestinians on Sunday marked the 86th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration by demanding an apology from Britain for promising "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."

Palestinians throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip marched in the streets and held rallies to condemn the role Britain played in the establishment of Israel.

The Palestinian Council for Defending Refugees' Rights said Britain must apologize for the injustice done to the Palestinians as a result of the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine."We hold Britain responsible, morally and legally, for the injustice done to the Palestinian cause," the council said. "Britain is responsible for disarming our people prior to the establishment of the State of Israel, thus depriving our people of their right to self-determination and independence. Therefore, we are demanding that Britain apologize for what happened in Palestine."

Youssef al-Kazzaz, the director of the Voice of Palestine, the Palestinian Authority's official radio station, also demanded an apology from Britain for the "criminal" Balfour Declaration. "Britain alone bears the responsibility for the ill-reputed Balfour Declaration," he said. "Britain alone should therefore make an official apology to the Palestinians for what this declaration caused, including occupation, displacement, killings, and settlements. That decision gave Israel a free hand to carry out its known policies in Palestine." Kazzaz called on Palestinians and Arabs living in Britain to form special committees to put pressure on the British government to issue a similar declaration acknowledging the Palestinians' right to establish their own state. "Otherwise, the Palestinian people in their homeland and elsewhere would continue to hold Britain responsible for this crime in favor of Israel," he said.

The Arab Liberation Front, a breakaway group from the PLO, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine issued statements in Gaza City saying that Britain bears the historic responsibility for the creation of Israel. Hamas also issued a statement demanding an apology from Britain, saying it is morally and legally responsible for the suffering of the Palestinians.
See also the (Lebanese) Daily Star: Palestinian officials and nationals trampled on US, UK and Israeli flags Saturday, during a ceremony held to commemorate the 86th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, issued by the British government in 1917 to establish a Jewish state in Palestine.

At the request of the Loyalty to the Resistance Movement, more than 200 people representing an alliance of Palestinian forces and factions gathered near the Khaled Bin al-Walid Mosque in the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp to denounce the declaration.

Text of the Balfour Declaration
Foreign Office
November 2nd, 1917

Dear Lord Rothschild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.

"His Majesty's Government view with favour 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."

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Yours sincerely,
Arthur James Balfour

(L) 1920 and (R) 1921-23 Maps from Focus on Jerusalem Map Room

Do you see why some people believe that there is already a Palestinian state . . . in Jordan? Hmmmmm?