Next month marks the 90th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. It’s only short, so here it is for reference.
November 2nd, 1917.
Dear Lord Rothschild,
I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet:
"His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country".
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.
The new statesman commemorates the occasion by reprinting Peter Mansfield’s essay, ‘Did we double-cross the Arabs?’ from their 3 November 1967 issue. [Hat tip to Moshe Machover] Among the interesting revelations in the article is that,
Edwin Montagu, Secretary of State for India [no less! –EH] and the only Jew in the Cabinet, regarded the Declaration as an anti-Semitic act bec
Lord Montague’s ‘A Dissenting Note on the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917 – On the Anti-Semitism of the Present Government’ was reprinted on Counterpunch last November. I hasten to add that Montague explicitly had no ‘…desire to deny that anti-Semitism can be held by rational men…’ In his view,
Zionism has always seemed to me to be a mischievous political creed, untenable by any patriotic citizen of the
being a philosopher more than a politician, Balfour could be unusually candid. In August 1919 he wrote a memorandum on
The contradiction between the letter of the Covenant and the policy of the Allies is even more flagrant in the case of the independent nation of
He went on to say that in his opinion this was quite right but that he did not see how this policy could be harmonised with all the other declarations and pledges that had been made by the Allies. 'In fact, so far as