Mohamed Ali Eltaher



Page 65



What came to be called “The Balfour Declaration” was a letter dated November 2, 1917, from Arthur James Balfour, British Foreign Secretary, writing on behalf of the British Government, to Lord Walter Rothschild, a Zionist activist and leader of the British Jewish community.  The letter was originally drafted by the Jewish Zionist Federation.

1917 - Balfour Declaration

Like Prime Minister Lloyd George, Balfour was a Christian fundamentalist, who believed that the return of the Jewish people to Zion, i.e. to the “Promised Land”, would herald the second coming of the Messiah. The thought of him, Balfour, playing a role in that divine entreprise was instrumental in getting him embarked on a political crusade to make this happen. As a fundamentalist Christian, his main motivation was that the return of the Messiah to earth is supposed to signal the conversion of all the Jews to Christianity. Little did Balfour know that the idea of a second coming of the Messiah is not germane to the Jewish people, because, according to Jewish tradition, the expected Messiah has not come yet to earth in the first place. Besides, the Jews are certainly not interested in a second coming that forces them to be converted into Christianity.

This outwardly simple letter transformed what was a private endeavour by a Jewish Zionist group to acquire a National Home for the Jews, into official British Government policy. That is the British Government undertook to use its might and power to make this endeavour a reality on the ground. Except, that the promise was not to give away British land, but to take away somebody else’s homeland, i.e. that of the millennial Palestinian nation, who, according to the letter, were reduced from being the overwhelming majority of the native population, to a mere “existing non-Jewish communities”!

For further readings about the Balfour Declaration and other related matters, please consult the following works:

- “A Peace to End All Peace” by David Fromkin, Henry Holt publishers, New York 1989
- “Paris 1919” by Margaret Macmillan, Random House publishers, New York 2000
- “Trial and Error: The Autobiography of Chaim Weizman”, Harper, New York 1949

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