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The Balfour Declaration : 98 Years On


Issued: 02 November 2015

The Media Review Network (MRN) realises that the dreams of national freedom for the Arab countries at the end of World War I were dashed by European imperialism, post-colonial despotism and neo-colonialism.

In the case of Palestine, the seeds for this imperialism and despotism were laid by the British Government in the form of the Balfour Declaration signed on 02 November 1917.

European Zionists secured British backing for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The World Zionist Organisation wrote at that time that Britain and France were kind enough to support a project regarding the expansion of Jewish colonization of Palestine. They further expressed the independence of the holy sites as guaranteed as a work of justice and the renaissance of Jewish nationality on the land from which the Jewish people were exiled.

On 02 November 1917 the British Foreign Secretary, James Balfour, sent Lord Rothschild a letter of sympathy for Zionist aspirations; this became known as the Balfour declaration.

These promises to European Jews of a ‘national home’ were issued when Britain and France had no jurisdiction over the area. The Arabs were not consulted in this matter, notwithstanding the fact that Britain promised the Arabs their independence and freedom in return for their support during WWI.

The MRN reaffirms the notion that nations that come into existence by dispossessing, imprisoning and slaughtering the indigenous population have two problems with history: its ugliness makes it hard to glorify and the short-sightedness of any claim that ‘this is our land’, exposes its inaccuracy and deception. Today we mark the 98th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. The Zionists of the world have failed to convince the freedom and justice loving peoples of the world that the land of Palestine was bequeathed to them by God.


Issued by:

Ibrahim Vawda

Senior Researcher, Media Review Network

Tel: (+27) 0 11 837 3220