Friday, November 02, 2007

Anniversary of Balfour declaration

Israel Matzav does a great and thorough job discussing the history and importance of the Balfour Declaration from November 2, 1917.

The Palestine Post had this to say at the 25th anniversary, during the depths of the Holocaust:

Notice how even then, as Jews argued that the immediate establishment of a state would save countless lives from the Nazis, they still bent over backwards to point out that Jewish immigration to Palestine helped the Arab community and did not displace a single person. Notice also that even then it was assumed that the Palestine spoken of in 1917 included Transjordan. (See also my posting on Eastern Palestine.)

In 1947, on the eve of the UN Partition vote, the Arabs decided to strike on this anniversary, As usual, the strike ended up helping the Jews more than it hurt them:

But while the real Palestinian Arab people took advantage of a nice day off by visiting Jewish shops, their self-declared thought-leaders looked at things a little more violently, figuratively bashing Balfour's head with Arab hammers:

The Jewish claim on Palestine does not depend on the Balfour Declaration, of course, but it was an important moment in modern Zionist history that illuminates much about the conflict.