Britain Proud of Balfour Declaration: 100 Years On, Says it Created ‘Great Nation’ of Israel

Britain is proud of its role a century ago in paving the way for the creation of Israel, with the key signing of the Balfour Declaration a matter of singular honour, according to UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

This Thursday marks the centenary of the Balfour Declaration — a one-sentence, 67-word letter from Britain’s then foreign secretary Arthur Balfour that threw London’s backing behind a permanent homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to London to mark the anniversary. Ahead of that visit, Mr. Johnson used a column in the Sunday Telegraph to outline his pride in Britain’s role in Israel’s creation.

In the article, Johnson said he was writing his thoughts down in the same room Balfour used 100 years ago, adding he praised the 1917 letter for its “incontestable moral goal: to provide a persecuted people with a safe and secure homeland.”

London, he added, remained committed to a two-state solution.

“I have no doubt that the only viable solution to the conflict resembles the one first set down on paper by another Briton, Lord Peel, in the report of the Royal Commission on Palestine in 1937, and that is the vision of two states for two peoples,” he wrote.

The borders, he wrote, should be as they were before the Six Day war in 1967, with Jerusalem “a shared capital” and “equal land swaps to reflect the national, security, and religious interests of the Jewish and Palestinian peoples.”

“A century on, Britain will give whatever support we can in order to close the ring and complete the unfinished business of the Balfour Declaration,” he concluded.

As Breitbart Jerusalem reported, British Cabinet Minister Sajid Javid last month gave his assurance that Britian will stop and applaud the centenary of the signing this Thursday. The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government stated:

Someone said we should apologize for the declaration, to say it was an error of judgment. Of course that’s not going to happen. To apologize for the Balfour Declaration would be to apologize for the existence of Israel and to question its right to exist.

The Palestinian Return Center rights group has called for the UK to apologize for the Balfour Declaration and pay reparations to those it says are affected by it.

In February, the group launched a petition on the British Parliament website calling on Britain to “openly apologise to the Palestinian people for issuing the Balfour Declaration. The colonial policy of Britain between 1917-1948 led to mass displacement of the Palestinian nation.”

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