Polychronicon 143: the Balfour Declaration

Teaching History feature

By James Renton, published 21st June 2011

Interpreting the Balfour Declaration: a marriage of politics and history?

In a letter from the British Foreign Secretary, A.J. Balfour, to Lord Rothschild, the Anglo-Jewish leader, on 2 November 1917, the British Government declared its intention to ‘facilitate' the ‘establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people'. The Balfour Declaration, as it became known, was endorsed by the Great Powers, and came to be at the heart of the terms of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine that was awarded to Great Britain. These terms were approved by the League in July 1922, on the basis of which Britain ruled the Holy Land until May 1948. The end of the Mandate led to the establishment of the State of Israel, the first Arab-Israeli War, and the defeat of the Palestinian Arabs...

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