Was the Balfour Declaration a Colonial Document?

So goes the accusation. But the public commitment Britain made to the Jews in Palestine is very different from the Sykes-Picot accord and other secret “treaties” carving up native lands.

Lord Allenby, Lord Balfour, and Sir Herbert Samuel in 1925. Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images.

Lord Allenby, Lord Balfour, and Sir Herbert Samuel in 1925. Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images.

Observation
Oct. 28 2020
About the author

Martin Kramer teaches Middle Eastern history and served as founding president at Shalem College in Jerusalem, and is the Walter P. Stern fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

“His Majesty’s Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” This is the operative sentence in the Balfour Declaration, issued 103 years ago on November 2 by British Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur James Balfour on behalf of the British government, and transmitted by Balfour to Lord Walter Rothschild for passing along to the British Zionist Federation.

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More about: Balfour Declaration, Israel & Zionism, Israeli history