The Balfour Declaration is a pledge by the British government to the Zionist movement to establish a national home for the Jews on the land of Palestine. The promise was made in a letter issued by then British Foreign Minister Arthur Balfour on November 2, 1917, addressed to the British Jewish millionaire Lionel Walter Rothschild.
Britain, through its mandate over Palestine in the years 1922-1948, crystalized its full support for the Zionist movement. This movement was able to form a state within the Palestinian state in a short period. By 1939, there was nothing left for this state but political declaration after it had acquired major projects, transferred Jewish capital from Europe to Palestine, and established armed gangs. Thus, the Balfour Declaration was not just a statement, as much as it was a real promise from Britain to the Zionist movement in which the alliance between Britain and the Zionist movement was materialized on the ground.
The result of this British promise was the declaration of the establishment of the so-called state of Israel on the fifteenth of May 1948, at the expense of the Palestinian people and their land. The Zionist gangs committed dozens of massacres, atrocities and looting against the Palestinians. More than five hundred villages were razed and the major Palestinian cities were destroyed and turned into Jewish cities in a bid to terrify the Palestinian citizens and to facilitate their displacement. These gangs also expelled most of the Bedouin tribes that lived in the Negev.
Specialists in international law have refuted this promise and confirmed that it is null and void for several reasons, the most important of which are:
• The promise was made in 1917, at a time when Britain did not have any legal jurisdiction over Palestine.
• Britain's occupation of Palestine occurred after the issuance of the promise. Nevertheless, the occupation does not allow the occupying state to dispose of the occupied lands and the British government announced on many occasions that the aim of its occupation is to liberate Palestine from Ottoman control and establish a national government in it.
• The promise gave Palestine to a group of people who do not have any right to receive it, settle in it or occupy it.
• The promise is not an agreement or treaty between countries or international sovereign entities. Lord Balfour is a British official but he does not have the right to make a contract on behalf of his country. Also, Lord Rothschild is a British Zionist citizen but he does not represent the Jewish community in the world and the Jewish community did not have an international legal body.
• The promise harmed the historical and national rights acquired by the inhabitants of Palestine as they have been in Palestine for thousands of years. The allied and victorious countries in World War I recognized for these Palestinians the right to self-determination and the right to choose the political and social system that suits them.
• The promise contradicts some articles of the League of Nations Charter or the Mandate Deed. For example, it contradicts Article Twenty of the Charter, and Britain had to adhere to this text and cancel its commitment to the Balfour Declaration but it did not. Rather, it intended to create all the conditions to support the Zionist movement and establish the Israeli entity.
• The promise also contradicts Article five of the Charter, which obliges the Mandatory state to protect Palestine from losing any part of its lands or from leasing it. However, Britain, by restricting its interest to Palestinian Jews, encouraging immigration and training Zionist elements, violated the aforementioned article and helped a group of foreigners or intruders to seize a part of Palestine and displace its indigenous people.
The legal experts confirm that the League of Nations violated its Charter when it allowed adding the Balfour Declaration into the Mandate and when it disregarded British actions that violated international principles and offended its mandate.
The text of the Balfour Declaration:
Dear Lord Rothschild,
I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.
“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.
Arthur James Balfour