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Friday, April 09, 2010

Syria asks Britian to apologize for Balfour Declaration

Palestine Today reports that Syrian politician and former adviser to Hafez al-Assad, George Jabbour, is asking the UK to apologize for the 1917 Balfour Declaration that promised a Jewish national home in Palestine.

Jabbour is asking British political parties, ahead of the upcoming elections, to put this apology in their platforms.

He says that Britain, through the Balfour Declaration, was "responsible for the suffering of the Palestinians and of depriving the people of their Palestinian identity."

This is amusing because at the time of the declaration, there was no political entity called "Palestine" and practically no Arabs who identified themselves as "Palestinian." Palestine was simply part of Southern Syria and, until France took over Syria, the Arab nationalists in the area worked towards a pan-Arab nation, not an independent Arab "Palestine."

In other words, Great Britain didn't destroy the Palestinian Arabs' identity as such - they helped create it from scratch.