The Balfour Declaration

Tomorrow, Nov. 2, is the anniversary of the issuing of the Balfour Declaration (1917), in which the British promised to work towards the establishment of a Jewish National Home.

James Parkes, in his book, The Emergence of the Jewish Problem (1946) described the reactions to the Balfour Declaration by Jews and Arabs:

Zionist opinion, when the probable wording of the Declaration was made known to them, pressed for the phrase ‘the establishment of Palestine as the National Home’. The phrase finally adopted, ‘the establishment in Palestine of a National Home’, expressed approval of a much more moderate programme. In words it recognises no more than the rights of the Jews to share the country with others, and leaves the political character and future development of the National Home completely obscure. But the Arabs on their side criticize the latter because they are referred to simply as existing non-Jewish communities, and only their civil and religious rights are assured. It is in fact a document which, rather vaguely, promises to assist an undefined situation to emerge, and says as little as possible as to what possible consequences may be for any of the parties involved. (p. 11)

The Jerusalem Post has chosen to mark the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration with an article about Winston Churchill’s “complex Zionist evolution.” The article was written by Michael Makovsky, author of the recently published Churchill’s Promised Land (Yale University Press/New Republic Books).

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One Comment on “The Balfour Declaration”


  1. […] Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration Yesterday, Nov. 2, was the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.  We mentioned this anniversary last year, with a post about the problematic term “Jewish National Home.” […]


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