What is the Balfour Declaration?

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With especial thanks to Al Jazira News (https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/10/100-years-balfour-declaration-explained-171028055805843.html)

The Balfour Declaration

The Balfour Declaration (“Balfour’s promise” in Arabic) was a public pledge by Britain in 1917 declaring its aim to establish “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine.

The statement came in the form of a letter from Britain’s then-foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, addressed to Lionel Walter Rothschild, a figurehead of the British Jewish community.

It was made during World War I (1914-1918) and was included in the terms of the British Mandate for Palestine after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. READ MORE

The so-called mandate system, set up by the Allied powers, was a thinly veiled form of colonialism and occupation.

The system transferred rule from the territories that were previously controlled by the powers defeated in the war – Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria – to the victors.

The declared aim of the mandate system was to allow the winners of the war to administer the newly emerging states until they could become independent.

The case of Palestine, however, was unique. Unlike the rest of the post-war mandates, the main goal of the British Mandate there was to create the conditions for the establishment of a Jewish “national home” – where Jews constituted less than 10 percent of the population at the time.

Upon the start of the mandate, the British began to facilitate the immigration of European Jews to Palestine. Between 1922 and 1935, the Jewish population rose from nine percent to nearly 27 percent of the total population.

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