Video: Palestinians declare Balfour anniversary National Reading Day

Ma’an news Agency (updated) 09/11/2013 13:03

(MaanImages/Abed Al Hashlamoun)

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Ministry of Education organized a national reading day in the West Bank’s Cremisan Valley last week to coincide with the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

The 1917 British declaration called for a national homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine. Palestinians believe it paved the way for the Zionist colonization of Palestine and the eventual establishment of the Israeli state.

Planning more settlements, Israel is currently building its separation wall through the Cremisan Valley, cutting off 58 Palestinians from their farmland and splitting apart a local monastery, convent, and winery.

Eighty-five percent of the Israeli separation wall cuts through the occupied West Bank, dividing Palestinian villages and farmland.

96 years later, Balfour Declaration still impacting Palestinians

Al Ray Agencies | 10:48 – 2 November 2013

A transcript of Balfour Declaration A transcript of Balfour Declaration

Gaza, ALRAY – Housing starts in Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem are up 70 percent this year, despite the renewal of so-called ‘peace talks.”

More than 550,000 Jewish colonizing settlers have moved onto Palestinian land, in attempts to Judaize and confiscate what is left of Palestine.  All of this is started with a 64-word letter that British Foreign Minister Arthur James Balfour wrote to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain, via Lord Rothschild.

Since the Balfour Declaration was made on Nov. 2, 1917, more than 7 million Palestinians have been made refugees and thousands are dead. The Balfour Declaration instantly changed the fate of Palestine and began the Zionists’ process of ethnically cleansing Palestinians from their homeland, which continues until today.

This sad date in history is a reminder of the injustice done to the Palestinian people in 1917, with the United Nation’s partition of Palestine in 1947, the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, and Israel’s occupation of the remainder of historic Palestine – the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza – in 1967.

Everything thing that has befallen Palestine — It’s partition, the settlements, random arrests and detentions, the Apartheid Wall, the siege on Gaza, and the millions of Palestinians living in exile and Diaspora — was made possible because of the Balfour Declaration,” said Dr. Hatem Bazian, The American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) chairman.

“To quote a former member of the British parliament, the conflict ‘started when Arthur Balfour, on behalf of one people promised a second people the land which belonged to a third people.’”

AMP asks people of conscience to pressure their elected officials to create a more balanced and equitable Middle East foreign policy so that all people can live in peace and security.

Palestinians’ struggle to gain liberty and to live free from Israel’s military oppression is not an aspiration; it is a right guaranteed under international law. The return of millions of refugees to their homeland is not an aspiration, it is a right guaranteed under international law. The reunification of Palestinians living in Gaza, the West Bank, in historic Palestine and in Diaspora is not an aspiration, it is a right guaranteed under international law.

Israel’s occupation of Palestine is the longest-lasting occupation in modern history.

Read here a transcript of Balfour Declaration:

Foreign Office

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.

Yours sincerely,

Arthur James Balfour

With this letter, the British government handed the predominantly Muslim Arab land of Palestine as a homeland to the Jewish people and laid the foundation for the establishment of a Jewish state in the region. Within a year, France, Italy and the United States offered their support.

Following this, Zionist leaders H. Weizman and N. Skoly officially declared the settlement of Jews to Palestine. However, the Jews did not just settle in Palestine. Terrorist organizations like Haganah, Irgun and Stern were set up to terrorize the Palestinian people. These incidents increased after the end of the First World War, as Palestinians found themselves intimidated and repressed on their own soil. At the end of the Second World War, the state of Israel was officially established on 14 May 1948.


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