Canadian Zionists join world wide campaign to mark centenary of Balfour Declaration

bal

Almost every city and town in today’s Israel has a “Balfour Street”, named after Britain’s foreign secretary Lord Arthur Balfour who promised a “national home” for Jews in Palestine. Canadian Zionists, like their counterparts in many countries around the world, are organizing activities to commemorate the Centenary of the “Balfour Declaration’ and promote Israel in Canada. Read more….

To Zionists, the “Balfour Declaration” has an almost mythical status – like the Magna Carta or the US Declaration of Independence. One hundred years ago, on November 2nd 1917, Britain’s Foreign Minister Arthur Balfour sent a letter to British Zionist Lord Rothschild, promising that Britain would help establish a “national home” for the Jewish people” in Palestine, which at that time was under the Ottoman Empire.

balfour and declaration

The 1917 “Balfour Declaration” promised British support for the creation of a “national home for the Jewish people” but to the disappointment of Zionists did not call for a “Jewish state”

In fact, the Balfour Declaration had no legal status at all – it was a merely a promise by one imperial power about what it proposed to do with lands that were at the time under an other empire. But it did subsequently take on international legal status when its provisions were incorporated into the “mandate” that the League of Nations gave to Britain to rule over Palestine.

This year, Zionists around the world are organizing to use the Centenary of the Balfour Declaration to mobilize international support for a single Israeli state from the Jordan river to the sea, including the area that the international community says is “Occupied territory”.

Reflecting Britain’s role in the creation of the State of Israel,  the Queen of England (who is also the Queen of Canada) has been invited to make a celebratory trip to Jerusalem at the end of the year. A very slick international website has been launched called Balfour 100 with lots of excellent photos and research materials. There is even a rather interesting youtube interview with the current Lord Rothschild  (the fourth) about his great uncle and the origins of the Declaration.

Canadian Zionists gear up

Canadian Zionists are already getting involved.

In a recent article in the Winnipeg Free Press, Mike Fegelman, Executive Director of Honest Reporting Canada argued that marking the Balfour centenary is an historic opportunity for Canadian Zionists to promote Israel.

An organization called “Canadians for Balfour 100”  has been created which, according to its website, is “committed to intensive pro-Israel education”.

One of the first activities of Canadians for Balfour 100 (CB100) was to send a letter to Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu, celebrating the election of US president Donald Trump. The Jewish People’s right to Judea, Samaria and Gaza, needs to be heard by the world directly from your lips, to eradicate and counter the lie that Israel is an occupier”, urged CB100 co-chairs Goldie Steiner and Irving Weissdorf  just prior to Netanyahu’s visit to the White House. (Judea and Samaria are the terms Israel uses to describe what the international community refers to as the “occupied Palestinian territories” of the West Bank.)

CB100 also offers a legal opinion arguing that UN Security Council resolution 2334, which unanimously condemned Israeli settlements in the occupied territories is non-binding and a simple propaganda exercise by Israel’s enemies.

Based on this and other information on its webpage “Canadians for Balfour 100” seems to be using the Balfour declaration to mobilize public support for a single Israeli state from the river to the sea, including the area that the international community says is “Occupied territory”.

Canadians for Balfour 100 is supported by a number of prominent Zionists including journalist Barbara Kay of the National Post. It also enjoys affiliation from a number of Canadian national organizations including Bnai Brith Canada, Hasbara Fellowships Canada, and the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. The group’s advisors include Alan Baker, a former Israeli Ambassador to Canada.

___________________________________________

Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue. If you support our educational mission, why not join? Or make a donation? Or learn more about what we do?  Contact us at: membership.ctip@gmail.com.

10 comments

  1. Peter, hola! I notice that Malala mentioned Palestine in her address to Parliament. I hope our MPs took note.

    Best, Don

    On Thu, Apr 13, 2017 at 7:47 AM, Canada Talks Israel/Palestine wrote:

    > Peter Larson posted: ” Almost every city and town in today’s Israel has a > “Balfour Street”, named after Britain’s foreign secretary Lord Arthur > Balfour who promised a “national home” for Jews in Palestine. Canadian > Zionists, like their counterparts in many countries around th” >

  2. It always amazes me that when Zionists talk about the Balfour Declaration, they never mention the second clause of its main sentence. That clause read, “…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”. They also seem to assume that the declaration said “state”, where it actually said “homeland”. If they are going to honour the Balfour Declaration, they must honour all of it.

    1. @David

      If they are going to honour the Balfour Declaration, they must honour all of it.

      There is a difference between honour and obey regardless of changing circumstance. Balfour was an important stepping stone. Balfour represents the moment, the transition when Zionism went from being a fringe idea of little import to an actual political program which a small group of highly motivated individuals could potentially carry out. The Zionist program would have happened without Balfour. But take away enough Balfour like moments and it doesn’t happen.

  3. The British foreign office effectively retracted the Balfour declaration five years after it was issued. Britain became hostile to Zionism with the issuance of the first and second white papers https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Churchill_White_Paper

    Any Israeli high school graduate can tell you that the Balfour deceleration has no leagal binding, and that it’s only importance is that it re-energized Zionism among Eastern European Jews and introduced it to Western European Jews.

    By 1917 the Zionist movement was not doing well, a decade after the second Aliyah and 13 years after the death of its charismatic leader Zionism needed a fresh restart. The Balfour decleration established Haim Weizmann as the new leader of the movement and was another trigger to the third Aliyah.

  4. Chapter 25 of the UN Charter makes UNSC resolutions binding. Yet another failure on the part of Israel to live up to it’s committments. No surprise as this has been the case since it’s declaration of independance. Totally untrustworty even when you have it in writing.

    1. @Anonymous

      I think it is a little much to say that Israel is lying about their intentions when they have openly stated repeatedly officially and unofficially since the early 1970s they reject 1967 borders and intend on adjustments. They not be willing to be obedient, but they aren’t being dishonest.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s