Balfour Declaration


Balfour Declaration
   The Balfour Declaration was issued by the government of Great Britain on 2 November 1917. Substantial effort by the Zionist organization, with a special role played by Chaim Weizmann, preceded the government's decision, made after lengthy discussion and some divisiveness. The declaration took the form of a letter from Arthur James Balfour, the foreign secretary, to Lord Rothschild, a prominent British Zionist leader. It stated as follows: "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."
   The declaration was vague and sought to assuage the fears of prominent Jews in Great Britain as well as those of the non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine. Nevertheless, it engendered much controversy then and since. Among the problems was its apparent conflict with arrangements made during World War I by the British with the French and the Arabs concerning the future of the Middle East after the termination of hostilities. Foremost among those was the Hussein-McMahon correspondence, which the Arabs saw as a promise that an independent Arab kingdom would include all of Palestine, although the British later argued that they had excluded the territory west of the Jordan River from that pledge. The Balfour Declaration provided a basis for Zionist claims to Palestine.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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  • BALFOUR DECLARATION — BALFOUR DECLARATION, official statement which arthur james balfour , the British foreign secretary, addressed to Lionel Walter Rothschild (2nd Baron Rothschild) on November, 2, 1917. It conveyed a declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Balfour Declaration — n. a declaration by the British government (Nov., 1917) favoring the establishment in Palestine of a Jewish “national home” …   English World dictionary

  • Balfour Declaration — a statement, issued by the British government on November 2, 1917, favoring the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jews but without prejudice to the civil and religious rights of existing non Jewish communities in Palestine. *… …   Universalium

  • Balfour Declaration — The name Balfour Declaration is applied to two key British government policy statements associated with Conservative statesman and former Prime Minister Arthur Balfour. *The first is the Balfour Declaration of 1917: An official letter from the… …   Wikipedia

  • Balfour Declaration — a statement, issued by the British government on November 2, 1917, favoring the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jews but without prejudice to the civil and religious rights of existing non Jewish communities in Palestine. *… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Balfour Declaration — declaration by the British government in November 1917 which favored the establishment of Palestine as a Jewish homeland …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Balfour-Declaration — In der Balfour Deklaration vom 2. November 1917 erklärte sich das Vereinigte Königreich einverstanden mit den zionistischen Bestrebungen, in Palästina eine „nationale Heimstätte“ des jüdischen Volkes zu errichten, wobei die Rechte bestehender… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Balfour Declaration — In der Balfour Deklaration vom 2. November 1917 erklärte sich das Vereinigte Königreich einverstanden mit den zionistischen Bestrebungen, in Palästina eine „nationale Heimstätte“ des jüdischen Volkes zu errichten, wobei die Rechte bestehender… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Balfour Declaration —    See Great Britain; Palestine; Zionism …   Historical dictionary of the Holocaust

  • Balfour Declaration — /ˈbælfə dɛkləreɪʃən/ (say balfuh dekluhrayshuhn) noun a statement by the British government in 1917 of its support for the establishment of a national home in Palestine for the Jewish people, providing that the rights of existing non Jewish… …   Australian English dictionary


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