Remembering the importance of the Balfour Declaration this week

The calendar date this Thursday will be November 2, the exact calendar date exactly 100 years ago on which His Majesty’s British Government issued The Balfour Declaration, providing for the establishment of a Jewish National Home in what then was called Palestine. A month earlier, the British Army – aided by the Arab Legion and its leader-advisor T.E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”) – had finally (on its third attempt) vanquished Turkish rule in the area. Thus was realized Theodore Herzl’s dream of a modern political charter for our people in the Land of our Fathers, a mere quarter-century after he initiated the pursuit – and 13 years after his death.

There can be no doubt that, were it not for the Balfour Declaration, we would not be on the threshold of celebrating this Spring Israel’s 70th anniversary. No matter that Britain’s ensuing Mandate in Palestine soon produced deep enmity between us and them, we Zionists will always be deeply indebted to Great Britain on account of the Balfour Declaration. The Economist magazine – long a bastion of British journalism and historically a critic of Israeli foreign policy – offers a timely appreciation of the Balfour Document in its current issue. Read the Economist article online.