The Balfour Declaration: the Legal Right to a Jewish State
British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour's declaration was in the form of a letter to a leader of the British Jewish community. It stated:
Balfour speaking at the founding of Hebrew University.Behind him sit Chaim Weizmann and Chief Rabbi Avraham Kook
The British Army had just captured Be’er Sheva after months of trying to break through the Ottoman army’s Gaza-Be’er Sheva defense line. The British goal was to push north and capture Jerusalem by Christmas.
Balfour about to lay the Hebrew University cornerstone
The three British giants of Palestine attending the 1925 opening of Hebrew University, from left to right: Lord Allenby (commander of British forces in Palestine 1917), Lord Balfour, and Sir Herbert Samuel, first British High Commissioner of the Mandate
Balfour visiting "Jewish Colony" 1925
Arab commercial strike in reaction to Balfour's visit (1925)
Black flags flying on Arab house
Would the State of Israel have come into being without the Balfour Declaration in 1917? Perhaps. The Jews' return to Zion was well under way -- well before 1917 and certainly well before the Holocaust. The Jewish building of an infrastructure for a state had begun.
"The Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."
The Mandate also mentioned "the historical connections of the Jewish people with Palestine." It was ratified by 50 nations.Note: Unfortunately, some of the pictures presented here were already in stages of disintegration when they were digitalized by the Library of Congress. They are presented without cropping the damaged sections.