Basheer Nafi: There is no official evidence that Britain supported the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine through the Balfour Declaration

Historians in the News
tags: Israel, Palestine, Basheer Nafi



The author of the British document which recognised the right of Jews to set up a "homeland" in Palestine later expressed misgivings about the possibility of it becoming a state , new research reveals.

There is no official evidence that Britain supported the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine through the Balfour Declaration, claimed Palestinian historian Basheer Nafi during a conference on Saturday marking the centenary of the agreement.

While "the Balfour declaration was the source of all evils in the Middle East ... it seems [the Declaration] was not meant to engender the amount of evil it came to bring about," said Nafi, senior research fellow at Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, during the conference held at the British Library, where the Balfour Declaration is now kept.

The event, organised by Middle East Monitor, brought together three panel discussions covering how the 1917 declaration came into existence while explaining Britain's role in the establishment of the Israeli state. 

Nafi insisted that Britain did not mean to officially condone the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine but a state eventually came about. ...




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