As the great-grandson of Sir Leon Simon, let me assure you that I believe that the world would be a far better place if the Balfour declaration which he helped draft (“A scrap of paper that changed history”, 26 May) had never been drafted.
The fact that anti semites such as Balfour (and, later, antisemite evangelicals in the Bush administration) threw their weight behind the creation of Israel just goes to show that it was never in the interests of the Jewish people.
On the contrary, it was in the interests of Western imperialism to have a colonial settler state in Palestine, one that is wholly reliant on Western aid (military and economic) and that is wholly scared of the people who surround it (who were forcibly evicted from their homes in 1948). And it was in the interests of Western rulers to divert Jewish struggles away from anti-racism and social justice and towards the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian peoples.
More and more Jews are coming to see what my great grandfather failed to see, that the only just solution in the Middle East is a Palestine in which Jews and Muslims, Arabs and Europeans, live alongside each other with equal rights and an equal stake in the state; a solution in which the Balfour Declaration is finally put to rest.
DAN MAYER LONDON N10
(The Independent 3 June 2005)
- 108 British Parliamentarians demand British Prime Minister act robustly to any Israeli annexation of Occupied Palestinian Territory
- Tragedy in Gaza: Britain’s legacy Scotland’s role
- Impressions of Palestine, 1 April 1946: Pessimist Perspectives
- Should Britain recognise a sovereign Palestine now? Event report
- What is the UK’s role in Israel – Palestine today?
- Is There a Plausible Alternative to The Two-State Solution? By Tony Klug
- Book Review – ‘Britain’s Pacification of Palestine: The British Army, the Colonial State, and the Arab Revolt, 1936–9’ by Matthew Hughes
- Britain’s historic responsibility to the people of Palestine, Gaza and Israel
- Britain needs to recognise Palestine as an independent state
- The U.S. Recognition of Israel, 14 May 1948. Part III: ‘A Near-Run Thing’
Find out more
- 19th Century
- Anglo-French Declaration
- Arab Revolt
- Balfour Declaration
- British Mandate
- Christian Zionism
- First World War
- Hussein Ibn Ali
- League of Nations
- Lloyd George
- Lord Curzon
- McMahon Hussain
- Middle East
- Palestine Mandate
- Recognition of Palestine
- Sacred Trust
- Sherif Hussein
- Sykes Picot