Skip to main content

PA Foreign Minister: Balfour Declaration was “mistake and historical wrong” that Britain should apologize for, because it contributed to Israel’s establishment

Headline: “Al-Malki: It is the right of our people to settle accounts with those who caused its Nakba (i.e., “the catastrophe,” Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel), and Britain must apologize and recognize the State of Palestine”
      “[PA] Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Malki emphasized that Britain must apologize for the Balfour Promise (i.e., Declaration) and correct this historical mistake by recognizing the State of Palestine in the borders of June 4, 1967…
Al-Malki said today (Thursday) [June 28, 2016] in an interview with Radio Mawtini: ‘Palestine hoped that Britain would demonstrate historical and political courage and responsibility, and would come and officially declare that it apologizes to the Palestinian people for the Balfour Promise on its hundredth anniversary.’
He added: ‘The [PA] leadership decided to emphasize in its speech at the Arab Summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania, the right of the Palestinian people to settle accounts with those who wronged it, even if it was a hundred years ago. This was after it became clear to it (i.e., the PA leadership) that the British government still does not think to apologize for the historical wrong, and that it is trying to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the Balfour Promise with the Israeli occupation state.’
Al-Malki noted that the Palestinian leadership expects British recognition of a Palestinian state in the ’67 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. This is as a correction of the mistake and the historical wrong it did with the Balfour Promise, which led to the Nakba (i.e., “the catastrophe,” Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel), uprooting, suffering, and prevention of the establishment of the Palestinian state, and it [Britain] did the opposite: It contributed to the establishment of the occupation state (Israel) [parentheses in source]. He noted that this decision was made by the British Minister of Foreign Affairs in a matter not related to his land, and that he had no right to issue it.”

The Balfour Declaration of Nov. 2, 1917 was a letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Baron Rothschild stating that “His Majesty's government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” and is seen as the basis for later international commitments to establish the State of Israel.