Balfour Declaration Centenary

Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate during a period of relative harmony between Jews and Arabs in the 1880s. Norbert Schiller Collection Phot. Bonfils

by Dr. Nagia Abdelmoghney Said

The Balfour Declaration that paved the way for the creation of Israel.

The second of November 2017 marks the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, which promised Jews a homeland in Palestine, based on the premise that the rights of the pre-existing, non-Jewish population would not be prejudiced. Yet, the Balfour Declaration signaled the start of a process that has rendered Palestinians stateless, living under occupation in their own land, in refugee camps, or scattered throughout the world. Britain’s collusion with the so-called Zionists has contributed to this unforgivable human tragedy of the Palestinian Diaspora. According to Samih K. Farsoun, an AU Professor Emeritus of Sociology: “Palestine was dismembered as a patrimony and destroyed as a society, and most of its Arab people dispossessed and dispersed into a modem diaspora.”

To commemorate this occasion, several events are scheduled in London, one of which is organized by the “Balfour Project Trustees.” Titled “Britain’s Broken Promise, Time for a New Approach,” this event will be held at the Methodist Central Hall in Westminster, on the 31st of October. The event will be geared towards acknowledging Britain’s historic responsibilities in the Middle East, as well as offering an opportunity to commit to support Palestinians and Israelis in their efforts to build a peaceful future based on equal rights for all. This entails upholding international law, including the Geneva Conventions, without fear or favour.

Another event, organized at the Royal Albert Hall on the 7th of November by the Balfour 100 Ltd Group (formerly known as the United Christian Alliance for Israel), supports Israel and glorifies its legacy, despite all the misery and suffering it has inflicted upon Palestinians. Given the stark contrast between these two programs, honest and sincere individuals concerned with Palestinian human rights are advocating for the cancellation of this event.

Jimmy Carter and Anwar Sadat riding in an open limousine through the streets of Cairo in February 1978, shortly before Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty. Phot. Norbert Schiller

Casting our eyes back to history, the late president Sadat’s 1977 visit to Jerusalem initiated a rigorous peace process, which eventually led to the Camp David Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel, the Madrid Accord between Israelis and Palestinians, and the Beirut Arab Peace Initiative. Yet, Israel continues its discriminatory and expansionary policies…

In a message to the Balfour Project Trustees, Ambassador Hussein Hassouna, former Arab league representative at the UN, stressed, “urgent efforts are needed with the full backing of the international community to establish a just and lasting peace in the Middle East; peace based on equal rights and security for all; a peace that will restore justice to the Palestinian people and enable them to realize their national aspirations and establish an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

A Palestinian boy peers through the bullet-shattered window of a school bus in 1948. An orthodox Jew after the creation of Israel. Norbert Schiller Collection

Ambassador Mounir Zahran, chair of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, expressed his appreciation of the Balfour Project Initiative’s commemoration of this historic event, as well as their rightful request a new approach to redress Britain’s Broken Balfour Promise.

The Egyptian Moral Rearmament Association (EMRA) sent a message to the Balfour Project trustees, which stated: “Distortion of facts leads to wrong conclusions and unfair policies. Achieving durable and lasting peace needs enjoining what is right and truthful and applying justice as fairness. Healing the past and forging the future requires a clear vision, sincere intentions, and persevering efforts to achieve a secure and prosperous future from the personal to the global.”

Cairo, October 29, 2017
Dr. Nagia Abdelmoghney Said
Vice president of The Egyptian Moral Rearmament Association (EMRA)

This story first appeared in Arab West Report

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One Comment

  1. Dr.Nagia Abdeloghney Said

    Thank you for publishing this article on your website and adding appropriate historic photoes to it. May the truths be revealed and may justice prevail. Thanks again.

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