104 years since balfour, AMP salutes the steadfastness of the Palestinian people
On this day, 104 years ago, one of history’s most unjust declarations was made. On November 3rd, 1917, the British government issued the Balfour Declaration, which laid the foundation for the establishment of a Jewish-Zionist state at the expense of the indigenous Palestinian population. General Allenby had not even taken Jerusalem when the Balfour Declaration was made, promising the land of Palestine to the Zionist movement.
Named after the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary, Arthur James Balfour, the declaration which bears his name committed Great Britain to “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for Jewish people,” deliberately overlooking the fact that the Palestinian people have continuously inhabited and owned the land for millennia.
The indigenous Palestinian population’s political and national rights were ignored in the Balfour Declaration, not to mention their ethnic and national identity. Instead, Great Britain promised not to “prejudice the[ir] civil and religious rights,” and referred to Palestinians as “non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” The percentage of Jews living in Palestine in 1917 did not exceed 7%, yet the British attempted to rewrite history in order to justify their colonial policy.
The blatant denial of Palestinians’ nationality paved the way for the erasure of their indigeneity and facilitated the Zionist takeover of Palestine. Moreover, it led to the massacres and crimes that followed against the Palestinian people to this day. In fact, the entire Middle East was destabilized as a consequence.
Today, the State of Israel, backed by the military and diplomatic might of the United States, continues this century-long pattern of denying the Palestinian people their right to self-determination. In violation of international law, Israel refuses to allow Palestinian refugees their right of return to the homes from which they or their ancestors were forcibly displaced by Israel during the Nakba in 1948; denies Palestinian citizens of Israel their equal rights; and imposes upon Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip a brutal military occupation and suffocating siege.
On this dark day in Palestinian history, AMP salutes the steadfastness of the Palestinian people in their long-denied quest for justice, liberation, and their eventual self-determination, and recommits itself to work towards that noble end.
American Muslims for Palestine