On the hundred-and-fifth anniversary since the Balfour Declaration, the Palestinian Forum in Britain (PFB) calls on the UK Government to apologize for the Balfour Declaration and take the necessary steps to correct this grave injustice.
In a letter sent from Britain’s then Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Arthur Balfour, to the Zionist leader Lionel Rothschild, Britain supported the foundation of Israel within the lands of historic Palestine. Amongst the many consequences of this Declaration was the Palestinian nakba (catastrophe), and the close to 7 million Palestine refugees, as well as the 105 years of crimes against humanity, land theft, and injustice, that has come as a direct consequence of the decision to provide a protective umbrella for the colonization of Palestine.
Indeed, as a result of the Balfour Declaration, Zionist militias committed over 40 massacres during the nakba alone, and initiated a number of crimes against Palestinians prior to the nakba. When Israel was officially declared a state in 1948, the starkest consequence of the Balfour declaration was realized: Israel was created, with hundreds of thousands of Palestinians forcibly displaced and moved into exile in the process, and thousands of Palestinians killed. To this day, Palestinians still remain a victim of this sin, with scores of Palestinians dying every month and many without their basic and inalienable human rights due to Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian land.
On this occasion, the Chairman of the PFB, Zaher Birawi, said, “On the 105th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, we demand that Britain recognize its crime against the Palestinian people, and we will continue to work diligently in order to force Britain to apologize for this original sin and provide compensation to the Palestinian people. We are confident that this will happen forthwith, and that all of those who have committed crimes against our people will be held accountable.”With the emergence of a new Prime Minister in the United Kingdom, the PFB demands that this issue is addressed, discussed in the Parliament, and that concrete action is finally taken in order to rectify the tragedy of Balfour.