The Balfour Project seeks to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration by:
- acknowledgement of Britain’s actions at the time of the Balfour Declaration and throughout the Mandate, and particularly the deceit surrounding our nation’s true intentions;
- pardon for our nation’s wrongdoing
- from Palestinians for having intentionally ignored their legitimate aspirations and from Jews for our part in the centuries of anti-Semitism.
- integrity in our nation’s future dealings with Jews, Palestinians, and all peoples.
The Contradictory Promises
• In 1915 Britain promised the Arabs that after the war they would be granted independence in their lands, in exchange for joining a wartime alliance against the Turks.
• After the war Britain and France kept control of most of the region in question.
Promise No. 2
• This promised British backing for a Jewish homeland in Palestine, whilst also undertaking to safeguard the rights of the Arab population.
• Britain followed through on the first undertaking, (to the Jews) but intentionally reneged on the second, (to the Arabs).
• At the end of the First World War, Britain and France assured the former subjects of the Ottoman Turks that they would now be free to determine their own futures.
• In fact, in the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, Britain and France had been planning how they would divide the Middle Eastern region between the western powers.
• When the League of Nations granted Britain a Mandate to administer Palestine, it included the requirement that the Balfour Declaration should be implemented.
• In Arab eyes, Britain failed to fulfil the undertaking which the Declaration made to protect them.
• In Jewish eyes, Britain later weakened in her commitment to a homeland for them.
Message from Bishop John Austin Baker,
former Bishop of Salisbury.
“There is no peace without repentance;
There is no repentance without knowledge;
There is no knowledge without education.
The Balfour Project so truly fulfils these principles that it can only do good, where good is desperately needed,and deserves all the help we can give”.