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UK Foreign Secretary: 1917 Balfour Declaration terms ‘not fully realised’

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson [File photo]
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson [File photo]

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson said on Monday that a key proviso of a 100-year old British declaration which laid the foundations for Israel had not been fully met, striking a sympathetic tone towards the Palestinians.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to travel to Britain on Thursday to meet his British counterpart Theresa May and Johnson for the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration which said Britain viewed with favour “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”.

Palestinians have long condemned the declaration – named after Arthur Balfour, then the British foreign secretary – as a promise by Britain to hand over land that it did not own.

In an article written for the Daily Telegraph newspaper ahead of Netanyahu’s visit, Johnson described himself as a “friend of Israel”, but also said he was “deeply moved by the suffering of those affected and dislodged by its birth.”

“The vital caveat in the Balfour Declaration – intended to safeguard other communities – has not been fully realised,” he said referring to the clause in the document which said nothing should prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities.

Read: UK must recognise Palestine to rectify Balfour’s mistake

May met Netanyahu earlier this year to talk about boosting trade after Brexit but also raised the diplomatic sore point of Israeli settlements in occupied lands on which the Palestinians hope to create an independent state.

Johnson also made reference to the settlement issue in his article, saying that a two-state solution must include a viable and contiguous Palestinian state alongside a “secure Israel”, and proposed seeking a peace agreement based on 1967 borders with mutual territorial swaps.

A similar call in 2011 by then-U.S. president Barack Obama drew a blunt rebuke from Netanyahu, who said Israel would never pull back to its 1967 borders – something which would mean big concessions of occupied land. Netanyahu contends this would leave Israel with indefensible borders.

Read: 100 years after the signing of the Balfour Declaration… What to do now?

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Britain last year to apologise for the Balfour Declaration, saying that his people had suffered greatly as a result of it.

Earlier this year Britain said it there would be no apology for the declaration, and said it continued to work for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

Britain does not classify Palestine as a state but says it could do so at any time if it believed it would help peace efforts between the Palestinians and Israel.

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  • Meifumado

    The “palestinains” suffered because they turned down their own state in order to try and kill all the Jews in their new state.

    Why does the world have sympathy for a bloodthirsty genocidal people?

    • Bishadi

      Pity for what happened in ww2 and the zionist are riding the coat tails of sympathy for Jews.
      No zionism no problem. Jews are not the problem, the zionists are.

    • John

      The UN partition plan was a sick joke, anyone who knows what was offered and isn’t a fully signed up member of the criminal cult understands perfectly why the indigenous population rejected the theft.

  • RamboDave

    The Balfour Declaration was not made to gather more support for the war
    effort in November 1917. Rather, it was made as a reward to Jewish
    Zionists for having successfully brought America into the war on Britain
    and France’s side a few months earlier, in a pre-negotiated deal. It
    was a big payoff to the Zionists for what they accomplished..

    Here is the story of how Zionists Jews got America into WWI in 1917 and later won the war for Britain and France.

    Freedman was part of the Jewish delegation that was at the table during
    the Paris peace conference in 1919. He made this audio recording in
    1961.(see the link below)

    He explains how British and German Zionists Jews had made a deal with the British in late 1916, that if
    could bring the US into WWI to save Britain and France from likely
    defeat at that time, they would later be rewarded with a declaration
    granting a Jewish homeland in Palestine. After the Zionists
    accomplished this feat, the British kept their promise. The Declaration
    came out on November 2nd 1917.

    The complete speech is also on
    several YouTube channels. The system won’t allow me to paste in the
    YouTube connection. Therefore, go to YouTube, and type Benjamin
    Freedman. This is just an excerpt below:

    “The Zionists in Germany, who represented the Zionists from Eastern Europe, went to the British War Cabinet and — I am going
    be brief because it’s a long story, but I have all the documents to
    prove any statement that I make — they said: “Look here. You can yet
    win this war. You don’t have to give up. You don’t have to accept the
    negotiated peace offered to you now by Germany. You can win this war if
    the United States will come in as your ally.”

    How did they do it? It didn’t have much to do with the sinking of the Lusitania, which is the common
    The Zionists used Supreme Court Justice Brandeis, President Wilson’s
    best friend, as well as a massive propaganda campaign from their Jewish
    controlled press, to get the US into the war.

    The Germans only found out about this Balfour Declaration at the 1919 Paris conference.
    This is what led them (Adolph Hitler) to turn on the Jews, who up until that time had the good life in Germany.

    Needless to say, WWI would have ended in early 2017. The Holocaust would not have happened had
    betrayal by the Jews not occurred. Hitler never would have come to
    power. The 80 million people killed in WWII would not have happened. A
    peace deal with justice for everyone would have occurred in 2016 or
    2017, with no need for another war.

    The Jews brought all of this misery down on themselves (and everyone else too).

  • Bishadi

    balfor is not a god and even if the king, queen and guillotines made a declaration, is does not mean the apartheid is legal or right.
    Jerusalem is not israel, by the british now or then, either. See UN res 476, 478 and of December 2016, Res 2334. The majority of the world have already designated the city as a world heritage site and why the worlds govenments put their embassy’s in the capital of israel, tel aviv