Danon to PA: Learn history

UN committee discusses impact of Balfour Declaration on Palestinian people. Danon: An example of Palestinian incitement.

Nitsan Keidar,

Danny Danon
Danny Danon
UN photo

The United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People on Thursday marked the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration with an event focusing on its “impact on the Palestinian people.”

Speaking at the event, Professor Rashid Khalidi, a former adviser to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said, “For Palestinians, this declaration was a gun pointed at their heads” and that “the Balfour declaration constituted a declaration of war by the British Empire on the indigenous population of the land it was promising to the Jewish people as a national homeland. It launched a century-long assault at the Palestinian people.”

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon rejected Khalidi's comments and said in response, “These statements are another example of hateful Palestinian incitement and their refusal to recognize the legitimacy of the Jewish state.”

“While the Jewish people realized the dream of Zionism, our opponents continue to focus on hate and violence. The true lesson of history is that the Palestinians' refusal to recognize the right of the Jewish people to our homeland has not benefited them, and will never undermine the thriving vitality of the State of Israel. We’ll continue to proudly celebrate this historic milestone that led to Israel’s founding,” he added.

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.

Palestinian Arab organizations have for months been waging a campaign aimed at forcing Britain to apologize for the document. On Wednesday, the Palestinian Authority government in Ramallah demanded not just a British apology for the document, but also compensation.

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.”

On Sunday, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he was proud of the Balfour Declaration and of the role Britain played in creating the state of Israel.