UK’s Balfour Declaration is the official recognition of a project through which Israel set off establishing state in Palestinian lands.
Hundreds of Palestinians got together in the vicinity of a refugee camp in Gaza to mark the anniversary of Balfour Declaration. The protesters called for the recognition of Palestine as an autonomous state by London. Palestine, with thousand-year roots in history, faces political challenges in global community.
November 2 marks the 104th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. Through the controversial declaration, the United Kingdom voiced support for “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestinian lands. The declaration took its name from the then British foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, who issued the Balfour declaration.
Activists and democratic movements in Palestine planned and held the yesterday march. Protesters hoisted placards and sang chants imploring the UK to honor its commitment and declare Palestine as an independent country. They also stressed on their claim over Jerusalem as Palestinian capital and called for UK’s formal apology due to the deadly consequences of the Balfour declaration.
Palestinian people find UK as totally accountable for the criminal and immoral conduct by Israel during the past century. The believe that the UK authorized the establishment of an illegal state through seizure of lands and occupation.
“Since that pledge, our people have been in a continuous suffering and an open battle with the Israeli occupation in order to obtain their rights in their land that was gifted to Israel to establish its lands,” a Palestinian Hamas official said referring to the British role in the sufferings.
Palestinian political parties label the declaration as an ominous commitment resulted in mass migration, slaughter, and land expropriation. Until today, the global society has remained negligent on the atrocities against the people since seven centuries ago.
The Balfour Declaration is credited as the kick-off of a path that led to formation of Israel 31 years later. Over 750 thousands of Palestinian citizens were forcefully driven out if their homeland during the conflict that preceded the establishment of Israeli as a new state. Palestinian people refer to the establishment announcement in 1948 as the Nakba day, Arabic for misery.
In 1917, the UK made an open commitment to build “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. The declaration itself was a letter by Arthur Balfour to Lionel Walter Rothschild, a prominent Jewish character in UK.
The issuance of the letter occurred during WWI and became part of London’s major mandate for Palestine following the collapse of Ottoman Empire in Turkey. The mandate system was a curious style of imperialism and colonization in disguise. The arrangement moved authority from the losing powers — to the victorious countries. the countries included the Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria, Germany, and Austria-Hungary.
Palestine, as one of the targets, was a one-of-a-kind situation. Against the other postwar missions, the primary purpose of the UK Mandate was to provide the circumstances for the development of “national home” for Jews. The absurd part was that the target land hosted only 10% of Jewish community as its overall populations.
The UK began to encourage the movement of Jewish citizens of Europe to Palestine once the mandate kicked off. In the 13-year span ending in 1935, the population of Jews in Palestine increased from 9% to roughly 27%.
Palestine flies the national flags half-way on October 2, referring to the disaster that people went through following Balfour Declaration. Hundreds of thousands were the victims and millions still seek to feel home where they don’t belong to.