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Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Israeli Security, Regional Diplomacy, and International Law

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Today, what is the legal standing of the Balfour Declaration?

 
Filed under: International Law, Israel, The Middle East

You asked me about the legal standing of the Balfour Declaration. I think today it is not of any legal status because it has been replaced by the Covenant of the League of Nations, which really repaired all the legal questions that remained with regard to the Balfour Declaration.

Because of the Balfour Declaration, from the legal point of view, you have the question: “Is it a binding declaration?” “Could England make such a declaration before it was actually in control of Palestine?” “What is a ‘national home?’” “What is Palestine, what does it mean ‘in Palestine?’” All these are questions that remain open, but we were lucky to hear the interpretation of Churchill in the Peel Commission where he really said that it really meant a state and it really meant in the whole of Palestine.