The Balfour Declaration

In November 2nd 1917, the British Foreign Secretary A. J. Balfour wrote a declaration in the name of the United Kingdom to L. W. Rothschild, a leader of the British Jews. It was the product of intense lobbying by Zionists such as Chaim Weizmann, President of the British Zionist Federation, who later became the first president of Israel. In this declaration, the United Kingdom formally endorsed the establishment of a national home for Jewish people in Palestine, although it clearly stated that the civil and religious rights of non-Jewish communities in that land should not be compromised. Through this declaration, the British government hoped to rally Jewish support to the Allied powers during the World War I, and to consolidate their holding of the Suez Canal, of great importance to ensure the passage to colonial India. The declaration was incorporated in the British Mandate over Palestine and endorsed by the League of Nations in 1922. Thus the UK became responsible of securing the establishment of the Jewish national home in Palestine. The immigration progressively started, causing great unrest in the region, to the extent that in 1939 the British government issued a White Paper to limit the immigration. We found this interesting since it is an important part of the background of the creation of Israel.


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