Some of the talks at the second annual conference of the Balfour Project Healing the Wounds of History: Looking at the Balfour Declaration with New Eyes are now available.
The Balfour Project seeks to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration by:
- acknowledgement of Britain’s actions at the time of the Balfour Declaration and throughout the Mandate, and particularly the deceit surrounding our nation’s true intentions;
- pardon for our nation’s wrongdoing
- from Palestinians for having intentionally ignored their legitimate aspirations and from Jews for our part in the centuries of anti-Semitism.
- integrity in our nation’s future dealings with Jews, Palestinians, and all peoples.
The Contradictory Promises
• In 1915 Britain promised the Arabs that after the war they would be granted independence in their lands, in exchange for joining a wartime alliance against the Turks.
Promise No. 2
• This promised British backing for a Jewish homeland in Palestine, whilst also undertaking to safeguard the rights of the Arab population.
• Britain followed through on the first undertaking, (to the Jews) but intentionally reneged on the second, (to the Arabs).
• At the end of the First World War, Britain and France assured the former subjects of the Ottoman Turks that they would now be free to determine their own futures.
• The Mandate included the requirement that the Balfour Declaration should be implemented as well as the ‘Sacred Trust’ of the League of Nations to prepare it for independence.
• In Arab eyes, Britain failed to fulfill the undertaking which the Declaration and Mandate made to protect them.
• In Jewish eyes, Britain later weakened in her commitment to a homeland for them.
Message from Bishop John Austin Baker,
former Bishop of Salisbury.
“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”.