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Palestine - Balfour Declaration raises Arab hackles

By David Singer - posted Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The Palestinian Arabs are up in arms at the news that the original 1917 Balfour Declaration will be released by the British Library for display in Israel alongside Israel's Declaration of Independence at the opening of a new museum in Tel Aviv in 2015 on the site where Israel declared its independence in 1948.

An angry Palestinian Legislative Councillor Abdallah Abdallah is reported by Ben Lynfeld in the Scotsman this week as stating:

Britain should not be proud of this declaration. It is a declaration which deprived Palestinians of their national home and led to the expulsion of two-thirds of the Palestinians.

Britain should be apologising to the Palestinian people for the Balfour Declaration rather than sending it to Israel.


Lynfield inflates Abdallah's claim when he writes:

The document (Balfour Declaration) promised British support for the establishment of a Jewish "national home" in Palestine, whose inhabitants at the time were almost entirely Arab.

Abdallah and Lynfield's claims repeat unsubstantiated allegations that need to be challenged whenever they appear.

They are nothing but propaganda made with the intention of ultimately becoming accepted as incontrovertible statements of fact in the long running and unresolved conflict between Arabs and Jews.

Looking at the historical documentary records - both Abdallah and Lynfeld's claims are groundless.

The "Palestinians" or the "Palestinian people" are defined in Article 5 of the 1968 PLO Covenant as follows:


The Palestinians are those Arab nationals who, until 1947, normally resided in Palestine regardless of whether they were evicted from it or have stayed there. Anyone born, after that date, of a Palestinian father - whether inside Palestine or outside it - is also a Palestinian

All other residents of Palestine and their descendants - non-Arab Moslems and Jews - are not regarded as "Palestinians" according to the racist provisions of this Charter.

This "Arabs only" view is supported by Article 1 of the PLO Charter:

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About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at

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All articles by David Singer

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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