Abbas to Britain: “You committed a crime against the Palestinian people… the Balfour Promise - a promise of one who is not the owner to one who is undeserving”
Official PA TV News, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' speech to the Palestinian ambassadors’ conference in Bahrain on April 11, 2017
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "We will continue to make our demands of Britain. Our demands are not secret. They asked: What do you want from us? We said: Say ‘Sorry’ and recognize the State of Palestine. They said: It is problematic. We said: So we will submit a lawsuit against you in the international courts and in the courts in Britain. will not concede our rights. You committed a crime against the Palestinian people, and that is the Balfour Promise. A promise of one who is not the owner to one who is undeserving. You were not the rulers and did not hold the mandate [over Palestine] and were not present there at all, and I do not know from where you brought it to us at all. You sit there in Britain and say: We want to give that area there, Palestine, to the Jews. Even worse is the content of the Balfour Promise, in which is stated: A national homeland for the Jews, and those who happen to be there, the dispersed who happen to be there, they have religious and civil rights. At that time the Arab Palestinians - Muslim and Christian - were 98% (sic, according to British estimates for the 1914 population of Ottoman Palestine, Jews were 12% of the population, see below). How do you say to us that we happened to be there, and that we have only civil and religious rights? In any case this was a plot, but what is important is how we deal with this matter, and we will deal with it wisely."
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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.” In 1922, the League of Nations adopted this and made the British Mandate “responsible for putting into effect the declaration,” which led to the UN vote in 1947 and the establishment of the State of Israel.
According to the 1922 British Mandatory survey: "The information available in regard to the pre-war population is accessible from Turkish sources, and, though not strictly accurate it provides data of an interesting nature. The following record was taken in 1914 - [Breakdown according to districts, Total:] 689,245. It is difficult to obtain any reliable figures regarding the division of this population into religions, but from other sources the Jewish population was calculated to be 84,660 [i.e., 12% of the population], of whom 11,660 were in Jewish Colonies and the reminder in towns." [J. B. Barron, ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922. Government of Palestine. p.3]
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