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100 Balfour Road

100 Balfour Road, movie poster [Twitter]
100 Balfour Road, movie poster [Twitter]

The 2 November this year marks the centenary of the Balfour Declaration – 100 years since Britain signed over a country that it did not own, displacing nearly a million people at the time. It’s one of the most crucial points in modern British history, yet any mention of the word “Balfour” is met with vacant stares and awkward coughs. Nobody seems to have heard of this mysterious Balfour (“Wasn’t he a Victorian poet?”) and his declaration (“Wasn’t that in Harry Potter?”)- do you know what the Balfour declaration was? Do you know anything about Balfour himself?

100 Balfour Road, an 11 minute short-film, seeks to educate the population on the Balfour declaration and what it meant for the Palestinian people in simple, close-to-home terms. The film itself is a metaphor, shown through the parallel modern-day example of the Joneses, an ordinary family living in suburban in London who are booted out of their home by soldiers and forced to live in appalling conditions in their back yard. Another family, the Smiths, take over the house and, with the support of the soldiers, mistreat and abuse the Joneses, depriving them of food, medicine and their basic human rights.

By using an all British cast and a typical British setting, the film is able to both strike a chord with its audience and inform them of the history of the Balfour Declaration and the devastating effect it had on ordinary people living in Palestine.

Read: The Balfour Declaration Explained

I, not knowing much about the subject at hand, left the screening feeling overwhelmed with sadness and empathy for all those affected by this tragic event. The film presents itself in such a way that it makes audiences realise it could have been them, it could have been their family, it could have been their loved ones. It could have been anyone, and it was many people, yet their struggles have been seemingly erased from memory.

100 Balfour Road packs a small but strong punch, educating and entertaining through its clever plotline and effective cinematography – not to mention the heart-wrenching acting.

Everybody from young children to adults, teenagers, older generations and every age in between should watch the film when it’s released later this month. I would recommend having some tissues handy because this film is sure to tug at your heart strings and turn on the water works – and for good reason too.

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  • Michael Abramov

    What the Balfour Declaration meant for the Palestinians (known then as the Arabs) was that although they had no problem with the British Mandate or the Ottomans or numerous other invaders running the land, they did not want Jews, en masse, in Palestine. Simple.

    • adalat hussain

      yes you expect 20% of Jews to take 80 % of land and the Palestinians to happy about it. They had no problem with British Turks ottomon. The were not murderers and vile like the Zionist. Jew and Muslims lived side by side until zionist railroaded Jews.

      • Mike Abramov

        Sir – In 1948. the Jews were given 18% of the desert known as Palestine. The Arabs had 72%. The Arabs went to war, and lost. Israel gained more land. In 1967, the Arabs went to war again, and lost. Israel gained more land. In 1973, the Arabs went to war again, and lost. The Israelis secured the West Bank and Golan Heights for good.

        Between 1941 and 1955, 800,000 Jews were expelled or had to flee Arab lands that they had lived in for over 1,500 years because the Arabs did not a Jewish homeland.

        The Ottomans turned the land of milk and honey in to a desert. They stripped the whole of Palestine of it’s trees in order to build their empire. This is what the Jews inherited, a desert.

        In 1941, there was a Fahud in Iraq. Read about it.

        • adalat hussain

          sir Arshole Mark Abramov, where did you learn your history? Your opening sentence “in 1948 Jew were given 18% of desert known as Palestine” is an indication of your ignorance or brainwashing. The whole world know the facts.
          The Arabs owned 94% Jews 6% before UN plan of partition so they were not happy about it. It was the Jews who went to war and forced them out. and it was not as though they had an army. It was not a war.
          Around 80 percent of the Palestinians were forced out of their homes on creation of illegal creation of Israel in 1948
          1,050,000 ie 7/8. of Arab population.
          150,000 Arabs remained. ie 1/8 of Arab population.
          Total Arab population 1,200,000
          As for war it is a long story but:
          On the early morning of June 5, Israel launched a surprise attack against Egypt’s air bases and destroyed the Egyptian air force while it was still on the ground, a move that unleashed the war.
          Who had planned the war? Israelis or Egyptian Air force that was still on ground. Think about it?
          You say Jews were expelled 1941- 55. Are you crazy Israel was formed in 1948. The Jews were given most of the land and had a state.Their own state is not going to expel them. You make thing up as you go along. that is Zionist trick.
          Enough of exposing your lies. I cam no going to go on and on,

          • Mike Abramov

            Firstly, do not be rude to me. I have not insulted you at any stage, but you have called me an arsehole. Why? Secondly, read my reply properly before your respond. My name is Mike not Mark.

            Between 1900 and 1948 Jews came to Palestine and bought land from the Arabs which accounts for the 6% you refer to. This is correct. In 1948, the partition of Palestine allocated 18% to Jews and 72% to Arabs. This too is correct.

            The Arabs who fled in 1948 did so either by the guidance of their community leaders or by their own choice, Many however stayed,.especially in Jaffa. Conversely, Hebron was a Jewish city that was taken by the Arabs in 1948 and then became an Arab city in the West Bank.

            The start of the 6-Day War was that Israel struck first. Abdul Gamal Nasser had been in power in Egypt since 1952 and was NOT a popular leader. He planned to gain popularity by invading Israel and showing his people what a great leader he was. Israel knew he was about to invade and firstly spoke to the American government to get permission to strike first. The Israeli tactic was to take out the fleet of French MIG fighters that Egypt were going to use. This in turn triggered reprisals by Syria Lebanon and Iraq. Israel won this war. Simple as that.

            ‘You say Jews were expelled 1941- 55. Are you crazy Israel was formed in 1948.’

            Plans for a Jewish state had been in progress since 1917 and endorsed by the San Remo Agreement in 1920. Iraq was under British Mandate after WW1. This means that the media was publishing reports about the progress of a Jewish state in Palestine. In 1941, after 1,500 years of peaceful co-existence, the Arabs rampaged through Baghdad and Basra stabbing over 100 Jews to death. How do I know this? My uncle was there as a fur trader. He spoke fluent Arabic and had a British passport.

            After 1948, the Arab countries that had a Jewish population began to turn against their Jews. Typically, the Jews of Alexandria in Egypt, the Jews of Damascus, Baghdad, Basra, Tunisia and to some extent Marrakesh. How do I know this? These people were the Jews I grew up with in the 1960s.

            In your last sentence you are calling me a liar because I am a Zionist. Why cannot we have a friendly conversation about our differences?

            Finally, may I remind you that in Burma your people are fleeing to Bangladesh apparently from the Hindu repression. May i suggest that your energies should be used to help the Muslims of Burma and that you should stop wasting your energy on the Israel/Palestine question which you know nothing about.