PA daily columnist: Britain committed a “double crime against humanity” with the Balfour Declaration; Britain is to blame for the rise of “extremist religious groups” in the Middle East
Op-ed by Muwaffaq Matar, regular columnist for the official PA daily:
“It may be no exaggeration to say that Great Britain created the justifications for the growth of the religious terror organizations we are witnessing today, the moment it decided to establish a religious state (a state for the Jews) [parenthesis in source] in the heart of the Arab homeland. For it was clear that groups, parties and movements would arise under religious slogans to fight the Jewish state that had arisen in the region.
It is unsurprising that the extremist religious groups, movements, and organizations in the region today emerged from the Muslim Brotherhood, which was formed only a decade after the Balfour Promise (i.e., Declaration) and the arrival of the first Jewish pioneer settlers from Europe to Palestine… It may be that British Parliament’s symbolic vote in favor of recognizing the State of Palestine was a moral awakening, even if [it came] about 100 years after Great Britain’s crime, which promised the Jews of the world a land that was not theirs. All the same, we believe the Palestinian people will not forgive the ‘empire in which the sun never sets’, on the day it chose to steal [our] land and give it to foreigners who do not know it or have no connection to it…
The English – people of culture, science, literature and political thought – know well that Judaism is a religious faith and that it was never a nation. Balfour – who wanted to get rid of the impoverished English and European Jews in a preemptive move, to prevent them from joining the ‘Bolshevik Revolution,’ in agreement with the great Jewish capitalists in Europe – saw in them an opportunity to establish an outpost in the buffer zone between the Asian and African parts of the Arab homeland. This was after the smell of oil had begun rising from the Arab peninsula, and the Ottoman empire had begun to splinter and crack...
We can say that the British politicians of the period committed a double crime against humanity. The first and biggest [crime] was having caused the Palestinian people’s Nakba (i.e., ‘the catastrophe,’ Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel) and the attempt to tear it from its roots which date back to the dawn of history… The other, parallel crime was against political and humanistic thought, when it took part in the reestablishment of religious states.”
Note: 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 view 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.