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PA: Balfour the devil has horns and fangs

Itamar Marcus  |

  • PLO official: The Balfour Declaration “is illegal,” “the [greatest] crime of this era,” and “the greatest historical injustice”

Today, on the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, the PA portrayed Arthur Balfour as a devil with horns, fangs, and large red ears.

In 1917, Arthur Balfour, then British Foreign Secretary, wrote the letter stating that Britain was in favor of “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” This was later adopted by the League of Nations, which made the British Mandate “responsible for putting into effect the declaration,” leading to the UN vote in favor of partitioning Mandatory Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state in 1947.

Every year, PA leaders condemn the Balfour Declaration  as “the ominous promise,” “the most despicable plot,” and “a crime against humanity,” as Palestinian Media Watch has documented, and this year the PA is sticking to tradition.

In the official PA daily, the PA put a bloodstained image of a poster with a distorted image of former British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour together with a collage of images of Israeli Prime Ministers David Ben Gurion, Moshe Sharett, Levi Eshkol, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin, Benjamin Netanyahu, Golda Meir, Yitzhak Shamir, Shimon Peres, and Ehud Barak, with an Israeli flag behind them.

Text at top of poster in English: “(All errors in source –Ed.) Who Dosent own…. to those who don’t deserve”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 2, 2020]

The accompanying article refers to the declaration as “the ominous Balfour Promise,”  and goes on to describe it as “the West’s first step towards establishing an entity for the Jews on the land of Palestine, while acceding to the desires of global Zionism at the expense of a people that has been rooted in this land for thousands of years.”

PLO Executive Committee member and Chairman of the PLO Department of Refugee Affairs Ahmad Abu Houli said in a press release that the Balfour Declaration “is illegal,” and “the [greatest] crime of this era,” leading to “the greatest historical injustice”:

“Abu Houli added that the Balfour Declaration is still the [greatest] crime of this era, and that it caused the greatest historical injustice, which is remaining unchanged due to the Israeli occupation that is crouching over our Palestinian land, and due to [the situation of] the Palestinian refugees… who are expecting the support of the international community and the end of the historical injustice.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, Nov. 1, 2020]


The following are longer excerpts of the statements cited above:

Headline: “103 years since the ominous Balfour Promise”
“Today, Monday, Nov. 2, [2020,] is the 103rd anniversary of the issuing of the ominous Balfour Promise (i.e., Declaration), by virtue of which Britain gave the Jews the right to establish a national home in Palestine.
The Balfour Promise was tantamount to the West’s first step towards establishing an entity for the Jews on the land of Palestine, while acceding to the desires of global Zionism at the expense of a people that has been rooted in this land for thousands of years (sic., there is no Palestinian history prior to modern times)…
Our Palestinian people did not submit to the promises, to the British decisions, and to the facts that the Zionist movement and its armed gangs began to establish on the ground, but rather it rebelled time and again. The first rebellion was the 1929 Al-Buraq Rebellion (i.e., the 1929 Hebron Massacre and accompanying riots), and after it the 1936 rebellion (i.e., 1936-1939 Arab Revolt)…
The Jews succeeded in exploiting this piece of paper of [then British Foreign Secretary] Arthur Balfour… the [British] Mandate [for Palestine], and the partition resolution of Palestine that was accepted by the [UN] General Assembly in 1947 (i.e., UN Resolution 181; see note below) in order to realize their dream, and on May 15, 1948, Israel was established. This entity gained membership in the UN due to pressure from the large states. Israel became the first state in the history of the global political system that is established on the land of others, and that merits international support that causes it to behave arrogantly in the region, to expand, to swallow up additional Palestinian and Arab lands, and to behave brutally and mercilessly towards the Palestinians who were left on their land.
The Balfour Promise gave the Jews a national home, while they are not residents of Palestine; at the time of the promise’s issuing, there were only 50,000 Jews in Palestine out of all the Jews in the world at the time, whose number was estimated at approximately 12 million. This was at a time when the number of Arab residents of Palestine in the same period was close to 650,000.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 2, 2020]

The same article appeared the day before on WAFA, the official PA news agency’s website [Nov. 1, 2020], without the images and using the term “the Balfour Declaration” rather than “the Balfour Promise.”

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 favor of partitioning Mandatory Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state in 1947. In response, Britain ended its mandate on May 15, 1948, and the Palestinian Jews, who accepted the Partition Plan, declared the independent State of Israel. The Palestinian Arabs rejected the plan and together with 7 Arab states attacked Israel, in what is now known as Israel's War of Independence.

UN Resolution 181 (the UN partition plan for Palestine) was passed by the UN General Assembly in 1947. It called for the partition of the British Mandate of Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem as a separate entity under the rule of a special international body. The Arab state was meant to be comprised of the western Galilee, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, and the remaining territory of the Mandate west of the Jordan River would be the state of Israel - Jordan (known at the time as Transjordan) had already been established in what had been the part of the Mandate that was east of the Jordan River. The resolution was accepted by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, but Arab leaders and governments rejected it.

“PLO Executive Committee member and Chairman of the [PLO] Department of Refugee Affairs Ahmad Abu Houli said that the Palestinian leadership will not allow the American ‘deal of the century’ (i.e., US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan) to be carried out, and that it will fight the decisions of annexation, Judaization, and settlement…
In a press release today, Sunday [Nov. 1, 2020], for the 103rd anniversary of the Balfour Declaration that will occur tomorrow, Monday, Abu Houli said that our Palestinian people will continue its legitimate struggle and popular resistance (i.e., term used by Palestinians, which also refers to the use of violence and terror) in all fields against the American deal of the century…
Abu Houli added that the damage and refugee status that were caused to our people were a result of the ominous Balfour Declaration… He emphasized that the Balfour [Declaration] is illegal and contradicts all the conventions, international treaties, and principles of human rights, and that what has happened as a result of it is illegal (i.e., the establishment of the State of Israel)…
Abu Houli added that the Balfour Declaration is still the [greatest] crime of this era, and that it caused the greatest historical injustice, which is remaining unchanged due to the Israeli occupation that is crouching over our Palestinian land, and due to [the situation of] the Palestinian refugees… who are expecting the support of the international community and the end of the historical injustice that was caused to them, through their return to the lands from which they were uprooted in 1948, in accordance with [UN] Resolution 194 (see note below –Ed.).
He demanded that Britain apologize before the Palestinian people for the Balfour Declaration, recognize the State of Palestine within the June 4, 1967 borders whose capital is Jerusalem, bear its responsibility towards the Palestinian people, and support its just cause. This is due to it being the main state responsible for its tragedy, and as compensation for its crime that is still showing its signs.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, Nov. 1, 2020]

The Trump peace plan – US President Donald Trump announced his Israel–Palestinian peace plan "Peace to Prosperity" – commonly known as “the deal of the century” - on Jan. 28, 2020. Main points of the plan: 1- Israeli sovereignty would be applied to the Jordan Valley and all Israeli towns and cities in the West Bank. 2- Jerusalem, including all its holy sites, would remain under Israeli sovereignty with accommodations made to enable access for Palestinians. 3- The remainder of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and part of what is currently Israeli land in the Negev, the Galilee, and Jerusalem - creating a territory almost equal in size to the West Bank and Gaza Strip - would form the Palestinian state, with its capital in neighborhoods in East Jerusalem that are outside of Israel's security wall. 4- The Palestinian state would be demilitarized, with Israel responsible for external security and controlling all airspace. 5- All Palestinian prisoners except murderers, and those who attempted or conspired to murder would be released. 6- Palestinians in refugee camps would be absorbed into their host countries and, subject to certain limitations, into the Palestinian state. 7- Before becoming a state, the Palestinians would have to carry out extensive reform of their laws and institutions, including implementing a new governing system; granting its people due process and basic human rights and freedoms; end all incitement to and incentivizing of terror; end all glorification of terror and martyrdom; disarm Hamas; and adopt a culture promoting peace. The goal of the plan is to create a Palestinian state beside Israel, living in peace and security. The implementation would be facilitated through extensive international investment.