Scottish paper promotes Palestinian narrative on Balfour

Here’s an article in the Nov. 3 print edition of the Scottish Express – ‘On This Day’:

First, contrary to the assertion that the Balfour Declaration failed to protect Palestinian Arabs, the letter in fact says that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”.

But, the more important distortion is the claim that the Balfour Declaration is “one of the main causes of the Israel/Palestine conflict”, absurd reasoning which conflates cause and effect.  It wasn’t the Balfour Declaration, which set in motion international recognition of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in their historic homeland, that caused the Israel/Palestine conflict.  It was the Arabs’ and Palestinians’ consistent rejection of the morally intuitive idea endorsed in Lord Balfour’s letter – that “Jewish people constitute a nation and deserve an equal place among the family of nations in its own homeland” – that caused the conflict.

If Arabs and Palestinians had accepted the idea behind the Balfour Declaration, and tolerated but one Jewish state in a tiny sliver of land between the Mediterranean and Jordan, there wouldn’t have been the calamitous wars of 1948 and 1967, and Palestinians might have recently celebrated their 72nd year of independence.

In fact, to this day, Palestinians – who of course didn’t have distinct national aspirations until decades after Balfour – and their leadership describe the British letter as a “crime against humanity” and, drawing upon conspiratorial antisemitic discourse ubiquitous in Palestinian society, a fiendish plot by “global Zionism”.

The 100 plus year Palestinian campaign against Balfour in fact simply reinforces in the minds of many Israelis that the Palestinian leadership’s major grievance isn’t “refugees”, settlements or final borders, but with the very idea of a Jewish state.

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  1. says: Grimey

    This stale b******t is only being re-hashed to coincide with Biden’s expected friendship with Iran – otherwise such history distortions are valueless.

  2. says: frank haskell

    More importantly a declaration is a statement of fact. The issue is confused because rather than deal with the facts as Mr. Levick has, it is attempting to address consequences assumed to be the result of what the British perceived to be the facts at that time. Are declarations legally binding?
    This was prior to the UN and even the formal beginnings of the League of Nations which conferred a Mandate to be “administered” by the British. In this instance it conferred on Jewish people rights denied them formerly under sharia law and the Ottoman Turks.
    It was not intended to set Jews against Arab Muslims and Christians.
    If there is an argument to be made that even with the drafting of the Balfour Declaration a sense of equality was “imposed” by the British and fought between the parties until the end of the Mandate and British withdrawal, technically the Balfour Declaration then ceases to be an issue.
    It is actually a red herring to deflect the greater issue of Human Rights as a universal right.
    Google, “UN Declarations are generally not legally binding; however, they represent the dynamic development of international legal norms and reflect the commitment of states to move in certain directions, abiding by certain principles.”
    Universal Declaration of Human Rights is contested today especially by nations and groups like ISIS that hold sharia law under which Dhimmitude is imposed upon non Muslims and denies them of human rights.In essence the “Palestinians” hold the same objections to the Balfour Declaration they hold the UNs Universal Declaration of Human Rights .

  3. says: Neil C

    More cloak and dagger stuff from the Scottish Express, distort the truth by deflecting the argument using a false premise and hope that nobody notices. Of course the world seems to have forgotten (because the BBC has) about San Remo in 1920 where it was decided to form 22 Arab states and one Jewish state from the defeated Ottoman Empire, it’s relevance is paramount in discovering the truth which is probably why nobody mentions it. Let’s be honest here even in 1947 UN resolution 181 never mentioned the Palestinians once because in those days the Palestinians were Jews as in the Palestine Football Team all Jews, the Palestine Symphony Orchestra that was founded in 1936, all Jews. Arabs only ‘adopted’ the name Palestinians in 1964 when the PLO was formed.

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