Marking the centenary of the Balfour Declaration in 2017 as a contribution to justice, peace and reconciliation in the Middle East.
Britain’s actions in the Middle East nearly a hundred years ago still reverberate throughout the region – and across the world.
Acting in ways which, for an outside nation, now seem supremely arrogant, Britain made different promises to both Arabs and Jews about who might expect to control the land then known as Palestine. Because these promises fundamentally contradicted each other, the stage was set for a struggle to control the land which has intensified into the bitter enmity which we call the ‘Israel-Palestine conflict’. Many are unaware of Britain’s imperial hubris in Palestine, but modern-day Israelis and Palestinians, and those in surrounding countries, still live with its consequences.
The “Balfour Project” has been created by a group of concerned British individuals who believe that the approaching centenaries should be marked in our nation with awareness and honesty. We believe British people need:
- to learn what our nation did a hundred years ago, and understand how those actions are perceived today by all concerned
- to acknowledge, with honesty and humility, where reprehensible attitudes and unethical behaviour in our nation contributed to the ensuing impasse. The historical record clearly identifies elements of racism and anti-Semitism, deceit and cynical hypocrisy, arrogance and exploitation.
In responding to Jewish aspirations, Britain deliberately ignored the rights and expectations of the Palestinian Arabs who inhabited the land. Without questioning the right of Israel to exist, the Balfour Project believes it is time for the British people to express our shame at this unacceptable double standard. There is evidence that healing and reconciliation can flow from acknowledging the wrongs of the past.
Our objective is simple: to be a catalyst for justice and peace.
Dr Mary Embleton, Historian
Professor Mary Grey, Theologian, writer and activist.
Dr Imad Karam, Academic and film maker
Peter Riddell. Peace activist
Dr Monica Spooner, Medical Doctor
Professor Roger L Spooner OBE, Scientist
Rev Dr Stephen Sizer Anglican vicar and author
David Cannon, Systems analyst
Anne Clayton, Coordinator of Friends of Sabeel UK
Abe Hayeem Architect, peace activist.
Simon Keyes, Director, St Ethelburga’s Centre
James Laing, General Secretary of the Council of Lutheran Churches in the UK
Professor Nur Masalha Professor of Religion and Politics
Professor Ilan Pappe
Massoud Shadjareh, Chair of the Islamic Human Rights Commission
Dr Peter Shambrook, Historian and author.
Mariam Tadros, Trustee Embrace the Middle East
Mindful of Britain’s responsibility, the Balfour Project will encourage understanding of what led to the Balfour Declaration, and what flowed from it.
The Balfour Project will facilitate a network of educational, political, religious and humanitarian groups who share this vision.
The Balfour Project network hopes to produce a wide range of multimedia resources suitable for children and adults, and promote a series of international conferences and cultural exchanges to enable participants to engage with empathy those who have been negatively impacted by the Balfour Declaration.
The Balfour Project seeks to contribute to justice and peace in the Middle East, and in particular the resolution of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.That fact that material or web sites are shown here does not imply that all of their contents are endorsed by the ‘Balfour Project’ team.