Refuting Balfour’s Detractors

Jerusalem Center at the UK House of Commons Refutes Balfour Declaration Detractors

On November 29, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and The Henry Jackson Society co-sponsored a standing-room-only event at the British House of Commons to refute Palestinian attempts to demand nullification of the Balfour Declaration.

Jerusalem Center at the UK House of Commons

Participants included:

  • Amb. Dore Gold, Jerusalem Center president and former director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Former British Minister of Justice and current MP Michael Gove
  • Israeli Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev
  • Professor Andrew Roberts, a British historian and journalist
  • Amb. Alan Baker, former legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Dr. Yair Hirschfeld, who took part in negotiations leading to the Oslo Accords

The event took place 99 years after British Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur James Balfour wrote his historic letter stating that his government views “with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

Last July, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki announced that the Palestinian Authority would file a lawsuit against the British government over the 1917 letter, and the Palestinian Return Center subsequently launched the “Balfour Apology Campaign” in the House of Lords.

“The Jerusalem Center event in the House of Commons is designed to note the ramifications of the Palestinian demand to nullify the Balfour Declaration, as well as to expose the Palestinian organization for what it really is,” noted Amb. Gold. “Rather than take the affirmative step of recognizing the Jewish right to a nation-state in Israel, the Palestinians are doing the exact opposite by denying actively the very request for a Jewish homeland.”

Gold said both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are united “in this attack on the Balfour Declaration in its 100th year. I think they are trying to achieve several other goals: They want to put the State of Israel into the colonialist box, seeing Israel as a colonialist entity born of British imperialism.”

Gold noted that a goal of the discussion at the House of Commons was to emphasize that the return of the Jews to the Land of Israel began “well before General Allenby marched into Jerusalem” in December 1917. He pointed out that there was already a Jewish majority in Jerusalem in the mid-19th century, well before the Balfour Declaration.

Today, the EU considers Hamas a terrorist organization, and Hamas also helps Islamic State operate in Sinai. The campaign against the Balfour Declaration is part of the diplomatic warfare being waged against Israel and the current assault on the declaration is part of the ongoing Palestinian refusal to recognize the rights of the Jewish people, including the right to establish their own national home.

Jerusalem Center at the UK House of Commons

The House of Commons event was live-Tweeted in English and Hebrew and received wide attention on social media platforms.