The Balfour Declaration: How British PM Theresa May Got It Wrong
How can one small statement, get it so wrong! I am obviously pleased to see the British Prime Minister stand up for Israel and for the historic Balfour Declaration against the ridiculous rantings of Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, calling to sue Britain for having issued the Declaration.
However, language is important. At the Annual Conservative Friends of Israel luncheon on December 12th, Prime Minister Theresa May declared her pride in:
creating a homeland for the Jewish people.
You see, herein lies a major reason for Israel’s problems on the stage of public opinion. The wording.
First of all “people” should be capitalized. We are not just a collection of random people who happen to be Jews – we are The Jewish People.
Second, Israel is not “A homeland FOR” the Jewish People — it is “THE homeland OF” the Jewish People. In other words, it could not have been anywhere else but where it is.
And finally, our homeland was not CREATED by the Balfour Declaration — it was RECOGNIZED by the Balfour Declaration. This bears repeating: our ancient homeland was recognized, not created, by Balfour; and its re-establishment was achieved by all that followed Balfour’s letter.
When you cement into people’s consciousness a certain interpretation of events, as represented so simply by the statement issued by PM May, you make it hard for people, insufficiently knowledgeable about Israeli and Middle Eastern history, to understand the rationale behind Israel’s struggle today against those who want to destroy her. Many do not understand that Jews from around the world are branches of the same Israelite tree.
The roots of that tree are deep in the soil of the Land of Israel and archaeological research on the land keeps uncovering the depth and breadth of these roots. Multiple branches were broken off and, while some stayed close to the trunk of the tree, most were sent whirling off in all directions all around the globe until finally the winds started blowing back toward the Land of Israel. Balfour recognized all of this and officially declared that Palestine was Jewish.
In concession to those Arabs who also lived on that land (let us for now put aside the fact that many of them gravitated to the area after the Jews started working it), over half of Palestine was given to the Arabs and called “Jordan”.
Britain can be proud, therefore, of its part in the re-establishing of Israel, as a modern state, on the lands of our ancient Jewish Homeland. Just let them word it correctly from now on. OK?
[Feature Image is licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0 (OGL).]