The Balfour Declaration: Time to say sorry. Time we made amends.

by Stuart Littlewood


In a letter to a local newspaper about Brexit and the way prime minister Theresa May is handling it, I happened to mention in passing the Balfour Declaration, criticising her plans to celebrate the centenary “with pride” and invite Israel’s PM Netanyahu to the fun. This drew a sharp response from someone spouting the usual Israeli propaganda ‘facts’ and saying my attitude harmed the Jewish community worldwide.

The Balfour Declaration is a deadly serious subject. It is a cause of great horror and grief, of justifiable international anger, and a matter for profound regret. This is a right time and proper time for debate. Let’s focus on it for the next few months because justice groups are urging the British Government to mark the Balfour Declaration centenary by saying sorry.

Mrs May could do some real good here. She could, at a stroke, help quell the destructive turmoil in the Middle East and begin repair to Britain’s tattered prestige. She could even open new trade routes into Islamic markets, vitally important as we leave the EU.

By eating a little humble pie and apologising on our behalf for 100 years of agony inflicted on lovely people in a lovely part of the world Mrs May could take a giant step for mankind on the world stage. She has between now and November to do it. Will she?

No, she’ll be celebrating Balfour in style with the Israeli prime minister and not giving a toss about the people Britain wronged.

Which is shocking when a UN report recently branded Israel an apartheid regime. It’s even more regrettable considering the desperate cry for help from the National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine in an open letter to the World Council of Churches and the ecumenical movement, signed by over 30 organisations in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

Here’s an extract: “We are still suffering from 100 years of injustice and oppression that were inflicted on the Palestinian people beginning with the unlawful Balfour declaration… followed by the Israeli occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem and Gaza and the fragmentation of our people and our land through policies of isolation and confiscation, and the building of Jewish-only settlements and the Apartheid Wall…”

Mrs May needs a jolt.

When I enquired whether the Balfour Declaration is taught in our schools I was told ‘no’. So what exactly is it?

Arthur Balfour, British foreign secretary in 1917, penned a letter to the most senior Jew in England, Lord Rothschild – pledging the Government’s “best endeavours” to facilitate the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people. Balfour also wrote: “We do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country.”

It amounted to a betrayal of our Arab allies in WW1. Many in Parliament objected, including Lord Sydenham who remarked: “What we have done, by concessions not to the Jewish people but to a Zionist extreme section, is to start a running sore in the East, and no-one can tell how far that sore will extend.”

At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 when the Great Powers carved up the territorial spoils of war a Zionist delegation produced Balfour’s promissory note. It planted a powder-keg in the Middle East and the fuse was now lit. Britain accepted the mandate responsibility for Palestine and eventually in 1947 the Great Powers pushed the United Nations into partitioning the territory, again without consulting those who lived there.

So what made Balfour do it? The more you delve, the more incredible the answers to those unaware of the growing influence of worldwide Zionism. Support for the movement and its ambition to create a New Israel was quite fashionable in the corridors of power around the time of WW1. The story I find compelling is that, while Britain struggled desperately against German U-boat successes and ammunition shortages, the Zionist power-brokers of Germany and Eastern Europe consulted with their opposite numbers in America and decided, given their grip on money and media, they could bring the US into the war against Germany and its Ottoman ally if Britain were to promise them Palestine for a Jewish homeland afterwards.

Balfour was a Zionist convert (as were many others including prime minister David Lloyd-George) and in the right position. The proposition was put to Britain in 1916. The Zionists delivered. The US entered the war. In the meantime immigrant Polish-Zionist chemist Chaim Weizmann offered a solution to the production of enough acetone, a critical ingredient in cordite for artillery shells, to satisfy the war effort. He demanded the same promise. Balfour handed them their ‘receipt’ in November 1917 even though Palestine was not, and never could be, Britain’s to give away.

‘Name of the game: erasing Palestine’

Balfour had inserted into his ‘declaration’ that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing and non-Jewish communities….” on the insistence of the only Jew in the British Cabinet, Lord Montague, who was anti-Zionist and opposed the deal. But this safeguard was jettisoned as soon as Britain lost control of events.

Not content with the territory allocated to them under the UN Partition Plan the Israelis declared statehood ignoring all boundaries. Their ‘Plan Dalet’ offensive, begun beforehand, had seized much Arab-designated land at gunpoint.  Jewish militia – the Irgun, Haganah, Palmach and Lehi – raided towns and villages forcing inhabitants to flee. Numerous attrocities were committed including the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem (headquarters of the British administration) in 1946 murdering 91, and the massacres at Deir Yassin and Lydda in 1948.

Today Israel illegally occupies the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including the Old City, and has Gaza in a stranglehold so pitiless as to have caused a long-term humanitarian crisis and irreparable environmental damage. For nearly 70 years millions of dispossessed Palestinians and their families have languished in refugee camps, and those who remain in their homeland – Christian and Muslim alike – live a miserable life under brutal military occupation.

The situation stands as a monumental stain on the flag of the United Nations, which hasn’t the backbone to take action. And the continuing repercussions throughout the Holy Land should concern all true Christians and Muslims especially regular churchgoers like Mrs May.

Miko Peled, the son of an Israeli general and a former soldier in the Israeli army – and now an important figure in the struggle for justice – confirms what many have been saying for years: “The name of the game: erasing Palestine, getting rid of the people and de-Arabizing the country… By 1993 the Israelis had achieved their mission to make the conquest of the West Bank irreversible…. That is when Israel said, OK, we’ll begin negotiations…”

My critic in the local newspaper called Hamas terrorists. Peled describes the Israeli army, in which he served, as “one of the best trained and best equipped and best fed terrorist organisations in the world.” Take your pick. But Hamas’ political wing is not proscribed as a terrorist organisation in the UK.

The accusation that criticising the Israeli regime harms Jewish communities is unacceptable. There are many admirable Jewish groups vehemently campaigning against Israel’s crimes. One-time Israeli Military Intelligence chief Yehoshafat Harkabi warned that Jews throughout the world would pay the price of Israel’s misconduct. So the problem appears to be ‘family’ matter between Jews everywhere.

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9 Responses to "The Balfour Declaration: Time to say sorry. Time we made amends."

  1. Zigi  July 23, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Educated Zionists & Israeli intellectuals well know that the Zionist project has survived in main because it`s historical claims are not questioned or challenged.
    There was NO Exodus , No glorious age of “Jewishdom” with King Solomon & David.
    It was all made up as were most all of the Biblical fairy stories ….
    Professor Israel Filkenstein (Tel Aviv University ) states that about 750 BC Jerusalem`s Jews amounted to a rag tag group of about 1,500 people …
    Jewish writers endowed with vivid imaginations continued down the ages inventing the “Flight into Egypt” the various pogroms , the Holocausts of WW! & WWII .& various other stories.
    With less than 0.2% of World’s Population Jews have caused more than enough damage.
    For example the attack on the “Liberty” , the Assassination of JFK , the 9/11& more.

    W.W.III may happen when the “critical mass” of Americans will recognize the truth about 9/11 & dumbed down Americans will finally be told the truth.

    • Ian Greenhalgh, Managing Editor  July 23, 2017 at 1:25 pm

      Good comment Zigi. In the time of the supposed Exodus, the Hebrews were a bunch of wandering sheep herders in the region that is now the northern Sinai and southern Israel. They are no more related to the modern-day Jews than you or I are to a donkey.

  2. Well Aware  July 23, 2017 at 12:47 am

    Benjamin Friedman’s speech is a must listen-and even more detailed is Douglas Reed’s book “The Controversy of Zion. Most people don’t know both Zionism and Communism came from the same place/people.

  3. roger  July 22, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    Stuart: your article has at present palpable importance. However, we must ask why Mrs. May, whom I believe doesn’t ignore the facts, wouldn’t command otherwise. The England’s power network controls the nation from ancient times, really inherited masonry from Roman army lodges and from then on, Jews built an edifice of power from which every European country started to feel the meddling into their affaires by the weight of British Army and Navy. Tough luck to Spanish Phillip II when became King of Spain and Portugal as since Portugal and England have the World’s oldest Treaty ( XIV Century) still alive. So England became an ally to the Ottomans in order to harass Spain and recover Portugal. The point it is that the Gibraltar Strait, has been envisaged by Jews as the gate to the Mediterranean and as such, the route to the ‘Promised Land’. So, no matter Edward I expulsion decree, they Jews never left England and they are seen again behind Richard Heart of Lion’s ransom. As Bernard Lazare’s “The Antisemitism and its causes”, he warns Jewry to be irreparable to the Jewish cause loosing England. Today Britons have to unite and rewrite the History of servitude to Jewery designs, not an easy undertake.

  4. frog  July 22, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    VT readers should listen to Benjamin Freedman’s 1961 speech at the Willard hotel, available on line, this x zionist spells it all out as an “insider”, the reason behind Americas entry into WW1.
    This wealthy x zionist jew spent millions of his own money trying to warn the American public of the tragedies ahead.
    I look forward to more reporting of this in coming months Stu, as November approaches.

  5. Aftab shah  July 22, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Britain wronged too many people in all parts of the world, so don’t you think the poor Mrs. May should go on a world tour and say sorry to all of them starting from Palestine !

  6. wjabbe  July 22, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    Isn’t the Balfour declaration just another polite way of making polite dinner conversation about the subject of land theft or the transfer of ownership of land from one party to another party? All these so called “empires” throughout history, Roman, British, Spanish, now U.S… all, at bottom, involve the theft of lands from others do they not? May the better armed force win? Americans basically stole the lands from the American Indians who were the defacto owners who did not have adequate armed forces to keep it. Both Spain and Britain and Rome all lost most of their empires due to the same problem didn’t they? In every instance this is a ruthless business. I have read posts likely from the boiler room at Tel Aviv basically turning criticism of Israel around on Americans for doing the same thing to American Indians, and frankly this is true and difficult to answer. Who really owns any land anywhere? At best ownership is temporary.

    • wjabbe  July 22, 2017 at 7:22 pm

      However, so far as I know, certain lands in the U.S. have been set aside and placed under American Indian Control. This control allows some of them to live off the lands as their ancestors once did if they so choose. But how many of them actually do live off the lands and hunt daily for food and provide shelter at night and drink only from rivers and streams and deal with all personal health problems themselves without using health clinics and hospitals with modern medical procedures available? I doubt if the number of American Indians who live off the land is very large. A great effort would be required to live off the land totally without availing oneself of the easy life afforded by “modern” society today. There is no turning back to the old ways now.

  7. davor  July 22, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    You can start amending by decapitating Oliver Cromwell statue. And then give some Canadian and Aussie estates to “whom it may concern.” Money poured into Israel could buy new Palestinian estates elsewhere, instead of buying F-16s for IDF.

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