TEL AVIV – Palestinians are rallying in protest around the world demanding that Britain apologize for the Balfour Declaration – a hundred-year-old document that Palestinians blame for leading to the establishment of the State of Israel, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported on Wednesday.
The declaration, which is about to celebrate its centennial, marks then-British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour’s promise that his government would support a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, which was then under Ottoman rule.
According to Palestinian Authority officials, a major protest will be held in Ramallah on Thursday. Smaller rallies will be held in Jerusalem and other cities around the world, the report said, before adding that a large rally was being planned for London next weekend, with British parliamentarians in attendance.
According to Nabil Shaath, adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on international affairs, the aim of the protests “is to send a message to the British government to apologize to the Palestinian people for the Balfour Declaration and to compensate them.”
Shaath added that instead of apologizing, the UK was planning to celebrate the event, which he called a “crime” against the Palestinian people.
Mustafa Barghouti, a senior official at the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and BDS activist, blamed the Balfour Declaration for establishing the “basis for the apartheid system” in Israel. No rush “apartheid system” exists.
The PA’s Education Ministry, meanwhile, instructed Palestinian schoolchildren to write letters to the British government to recount how the Balfour Declaration has “impacted their life.” 100,000 letters will be sent to the British Consul General in Jerusalem on the day of the Ramallah protest, the report said.