Barbara Kay: Honouring Lord Balfour, who made Israel possible

This coming November 2nd marks the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, which with its portentous words, “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people…” may be the most consequential foreign-policy statement in modern history.

  • ntt1

    they created Jordan for the Bedouins who helped defeat the ottomans and they created Israel for the resident Jews plus the thousands of survivors of nazi holocaust. It was always a two state deal.

    • Norman_In_New_York

      In fact, more than 800,000 Jews from Muslim countries were rescued and brought to Israel during its first ten years.

      • ntt1

        yes that is always swept under the rug.

      • Alain

        None of them were recognised as refugees by the UN and none of them received any benefits from the international community. Furthermore, they were never compensated for their properties and goods stolen by the Muslims. I am sure others see the major diference I am point out.

  • Waffle

    The Balfour Declaration of 1917 was a historic event and an important milestone in the hopes and aspirations of the Jewish people who had been defeated, expelled and enslaved from their historic lands by the Romans in 70 CE.

    It may have been evident at the time that the Ottoman Empire (of which the pejoratively-named Palestine was part) would crumble as the Allies, despite suffering defeats clung to hard-won victories. So the Declaration was aspirational.

    However, it was ratified 3 years later at the San Remo Conference.

    From the very beginning of the various mandates split among the victorious allies, the Arabs squabbled about the partitions.

    After WWII, the British tried their damndest to restrict Jewish immigration to the Palestinian Mandate and the Arabs violently opposed the UN partition plan of 1947.

    The Jews accepted the partition plan and miraculously fended off the Arab armies who were determined to exterminate them. The newly-independent survivors renamed their tiny sliver of land “Israel”.

    • Norman_In_New_York

      During World War I, some Jews living there felt that a British victory over the Turks was a necessary prerequisite toward creating a Jewish state. So they organized the Nili spy ring that fed intelligence on Turkish defenses to the Anzac forces that liberated the Negev and marched to Jerusalem as the Declaration was published. They also prevailed on the British to form the Zion Mule Corps, which fought at Gallipoli, and later, the Jewish Legion, which advanced up the Jordan valley and the Golan Heights to participate in the battle of Damascus, which knocked the Turks out of the war.

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