Arabs demand apology for 'crime' of Balfour Declaration

Palestinian Arab groups say Britain must correct the mistake of the Balfour Declaration by supporting a Palestinian state.

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Dalit Halevi,

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PLO flag
Flash 90

The national and Islamic forces in the Ramallah district, an umbrella group that is comprised of all the Palestinian Arab organizations, on Wednesday issued a statement calling on Britain to apologize for the "crime of the Balfour Declaration," in which Britain pledged to establish a national home for the Jewish people.

The November 2, 1917, Balfour Declaration was sent by then-British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour and proclaimed Britain’s support for the establishment of a Jewish national home in then-Palestine.

Wednesday's statement followed a protest rally by the national and Islamic forces outside the office of the British Cultural Council in Ramallah ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

Bassam al-Salihi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) executive committee, said that the Palestinian Arabs are demanding that Britain recognize it made an error and apologize for the Balfour Declaration.

He added that Britain should correct its historical mistake against the Palestinian people by recognizing a Palestinian state and implementing the resolutions of the international institutions and by granting the right of self-determination to the Palestinian people and the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Ramzi Rabah, a member of the political bureau of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said that the "crime" of the Balfour Declaration led to "the sowing of a Zionist entity that steals and invades," as he put it.

In recent months, the PLO has headed a campaign in an attempt to force Great Britain to apologize for the Balfour Declaration. The organization has gone so far as to threaten to sue Britain over the document.

The British government in April rejected the demand to apologize for the Declaration, saying, “The Balfour Declaration is an historic statement for which HMG (Her Majesty’s Government) does not intend to apologize. We are proud of our role in creating the State of Israel. The task now is to encourage moves towards peace.”








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