The Balfour Declaration

It is no exaggeration that the history of Israel/Palestine for the last hundred years has turned on the seminal Balfour Declaration of November 1917. Loved and loathed in equal measure, this was the letter that changed the future.

The following extract from the ‘Companion Guide’ to the Balfour Project film, ‘Britain in Palestine, 1917-1948’ highlights the pivotal event.  Concise, but thoroughly documented, the article explains its origins, and why members of the War Cabinet were predominantly disposed to make a commitment to a ‘Jewish National Home in Palestine’, despite opposition from many Jews. What was the role of Chaim Weizmann? What were the lesser-known ‘safeguarding clauses’ of the declaration, and why were they included?  How did the writers of the declaration view the Arab majority living in the land in question?

Here is one essential first step to comprehending the deep-seated strife between Israelis and Palestinians.

This is just one of the many topics covered in the Companion Guide so do buy a copy.

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