The Balfour Project was created by British citizens disturbed by aspects of Britain’s record in Palestine before and during its Mandate.
The historical record shows a string of broken British promises.
They principally include:
- 1915 McMahon-Hussein correspondence – Britain offered Sharif Hussein of Mecca an Arab State including Palestine
- 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement – Britain and France made a secret agreement to divide up the Middle East between them
- 1917 Balfour Declaration – Britain, in promising support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine also promised to safeguard the rights of the Arab population
- 1918 Anglo-French Declaration - Britain and France promised independence to the former subjects of the Ottoman Turks, including Palestine
- 1922 Palestine Mandate - The Mandate proposed to implement the Balfour Declaration and the ‘Sacred Trust’ of the League of Nations to prepare Palestine for independence
- 1939 White Paper – Britain went back on the promises to the Jews in the Balfour Declaration
- 1948 Surrendered Mandate – Britain abandoned its pledge to protect Palestinian rights by withdrawing its forces leading to 750,000 Palestinians becoming refugees.
These broken promises have sown the seeds of conflict which has plagued the Middle East ever since.
Accordingly, the Balfour Project invites the British public to
- inform themselves of British policy in Palestine, 1915-48
- acknowledge the harm caused by these actions.
We do this in the belief that the acknowledgement of wrong-doing is the first step towards rebuilding trust. And trust is vital if Britain is to have the opportunity to restore for the harm we have caused., and make a constructive contribution towards peace in the Middle East.
Message from the late Bishop John Austin Baker, former Bishop of Salisbury and Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons:
“There is no peace without repentance;
There is no repentance without knowledge;
There is no knowledge without education.
The Balfour Project so truly fulfils these principles that it can only do good, where good is desperately needed,and deserves all the help we can give”.