On the second of November of each year, the Palestinians recall that message, whose words number did not exceed 67 words, and which changed the parameters of the lives of Palestinians and lost all their rights.
That message was called the “Balfour Declaration” after the statement issued by the then British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour on November 2, 1917, according to which Britain granted the right to the Jews to establish a national home for them in Palestine, based on the false statement “a land without a people for a people without a land.” to be the start of the Palestinian catastrophes.
The origin of the story
The story began when the leader of the Zionist movement at that time, Chaim Weizmann, helped Britain to extract acetone, which was used in the manufacture of war munitions, during the First World War. There were not many forests in England that would meet this need, so they were imported from America, at high prices.
Weizmann, a professor of chemistry, was convinced that the hope of the Zionist movement depended on the victory of the Allies, so he put his talents at Britain's disposal, and after a few weeks was able to extract the required substance "acetone" from elements other than wood, such as grain and corn in particular, and thus found Britain a solution to dispense About importing the material from America and manufacturing the weapon itself.
Weizmann refused any recompense for his work, on condition that Britain do something for the "Jewish national home."
Consequently, Britain wanted to reward the Zionist movement for its aid in the war, and that was the promise, which granted the Jews the right to establish a national home for them in Palestine and to realize the Weizmann dream.
The British Foreign Secretary at that time, Arthur Balfour, sent a letter to Lord Lionel Rothschild, one of the leaders of the Zionist movement at the time, and the text of the letter stated:
The wording of the letter had given the Jews the right to steal inhabited land by its owners, which was considered a violation of all rights guaranteed by international laws and charters.
Why Palestine specifically?
Although the number of Jews in Palestine at that time did not exceed 5%, Britain had goals in choosing Palestine as a homeland for the Jews, most notably that “Britain wanted to weaken the Arab people, divide the Middle East, succeed in its colonial project in the region, plant an entity that separates "Al-Sham" from Egypt, and the failure of Arab unity so as not to pose a threat to "Israel", in addition to getting rid of the Jewish presence in the West and using it to divide the Arab region."
After the declaration
A year after the declaration, Italy and France announced their approval of it, followed by official American approval in 1919, and Japan joined in the same year.
Then the Jewish immigration from all over the world followed, and the British army occupied Palestine completely, after a few years, which was called the "British Mandate".
In 1948, Britain left Palestine and handed over the Palestinian lands to “armed Zionist organizations,” which committed massacres against the Palestinians and expelled them from their lands to establish their state on it, while that incident was known to the Palestinians as the “Nakba.”
Three-quarters of Palestine at that time fell under the control of the "Israeli" occupation, while Jordan ruled the West Bank and the Gaza Strip came under Egyptian administration.
After 19 years, specifically in 1967, "Israel" occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip with the Sinai Peninsula, and the Syrian Golan Heights.
After the signing of the "Oslo" agreement between "Israel" and the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1993, the West Bank, without Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, was subject to Palestinian autonomy.
These are the most prominent events that followed the Balfour Declaration, which established an occupation project that practiced all forms of crimes, in an attempt to control a land granted to it by a decision far from all international laws and covenants.
According to international laws, the Balfour Declaration is considered a violation of the principles of morality and international and humanitarian law, as it embodies a picture of a violation of the rights of the Palestinians, and the author of the permit is a person and not a state and sent it to a person who does not have an official capacity, and the permit is not considered legal because “Balfour” granted land that was not for Britain and the declaration was not a treaty.
Century and four years
Although 104 years have passed since the declaration and the Palestinian cause has gone through many changes and developments, a number of Palestinian pesronnalities have unanimously agreed that everything the Palestinian cause is going through today is the result of that statement, calling on Britain to apologize for its declaration.
The Acting Director of the General Authority of the Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad, Majed Al-Zir, said that "the Palestinian people have renewed for a century their adherence to their right and their rejection of the British commitment to the Jews that Palestine be their national home."
He added in his speech to "Palestinians Abroad" that the Palestinian people did not stop during those decades standing firm and united in the face of this infringement of their rights."
He stressed that the passage of time did not mean for the Palestinians anything but more affirmation of their right in this field, explaining that in this time and with the development of means of communication, technology and legal tools, the Palestinian communities and the Palestinian people everywhere stand in front of the truth and put it before the British that the Palestinians are still demanding their rights.
He called on Britain to stand in front of its political, legal and moral responsibilities towards the Palestinian people, and to apologize as it apologized to the peoples who were under British colonies throughout the British colonization for centuries all over the world, and to pay all possible entitlements in all fields to the Palestinian people after the apology.
Regarding the repercussions of the declaration on Palestinian refugees, the Director General of Dar Al-Awda for Studies and Publishing, Yasser Ali, stressed that the Balfour Declaration led to the occupation of Palestine, and resulted in more than 900,000 refugees, the destruction of more than a thousand villages, and the creation of the longest refugee process in history, and also the cause of a tragedy for Palestinian refugees in camps and diaspora, in addition to the "Israeli" massacres against the Palestinian people.
For his part, Archbishop Atallah Hanna told "Palestinians abroad" that "Balfour's declaration was a reason for conspiring against Palestine and a reason for all the projects that aimed to liquidate the Palestinian cause, and the 'Nakba' and setbacks that befell the Palestinian people have led to the displacement of a large number of Palestinians who are today in refugee camps and in the diaspora.”
He stressed that since the "Balfour Declaration" until the "Trump Promise" and despite all the conspiracies that have passed against the Palestinian people, the Palestinian people have not surrendered to any conspiracy or project aimed at liquidating their cause.
On the other hand, the strategic expert, Dr. Wael Shadid, during his talk to "Palestinians abroad", linked the relationship between the Balfour Declaration in the past and the recent Arab normalization, as he said that "the Balfour Declaration cannot continue and can only be achieved through normalization."
He explained that normalization for the Zionist entity is a basic existential necessity and an internal economic and political interest for it, as well as an external policy within the region's "geo-strategic" formation so that it can have a role.
Shadeed also demanded the necessity of declaration's rejection, and the importance of raising cases to Britain to bear this responsibility.
He added, "Britain and the United Kingdom must pay compensation "in trillions" to the Palestinian people as a result of what they have suffered from displacement during the past 104 years."
Movements and popular condemnation
The European continent witnessed several popular stands in front of the British embassies, on the 104th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, with the participation of a number of Palestinians and Arab and European in solidarity with the Palestinian cause.
Many Palestinian institutions in Europe commemorated the Balfour Declaration, through vigils in front of the British embassies in Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Italy and other countries.
The institutions also handed memoranda to the British government, calling for an apology to the Palestinian people for the Balfour Declaration and compensation to the Palestinians for the 'Nakba' they suffered because of this declaration.
The memorandum stated that Balfour's statement is illegitimate and baseless, as no colonial power has the right to give what it does not own to those who do not deserve it.
The institutions also called on the UK to take practical steps to restore the historic right of the Palestinians to their homeland.
The participants in the vigil raised the Palestinian flags, stressing the adherence of the Palestinians in Europe to the right of return.
It is noteworthy that the European continent witnesses a popular, political and legal movement annually on the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, with the aim of putting pressure on Britain and holding it responsible for the declaration and its disastrous effects on the Palestinian people and their legitimate rights.
This is an affirmation that the Palestinian people do not forget their stolen rights, based on the principle that rights do not lose time, no matter how long the years are, and that no right is lost behind demands.