Prime Minister Netanyahu says Balfour paved way for international recognition of Israel, Arab refusal to accept Jewish rights root cause of conflict.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took part in the festive Knesset session marking the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration Tuesday.
"The Balfour Declaration set a fire in the hearts of world Jewry and instilled a tremendous momentum in the Jewish Yishuv ... To be clear, without the dedication, sacrifice, courage, and land preparation in our country, we would not have been able to see our independence, but the Balfour Declaration prepared the international ground and supported Zionism in Europe, America, and in other parts of the world. It thus contributed greatly to the revival of our people," Netanyahu said in his speech at the event.
"Unfortunately, shortly after that, Britain reneged on what was promised in the Balfour Declaration. This was a great tragedy, because our lack of sovereignty over 1948 prevented the rescue of millions of Jews who perished in the Holocaust," he continued.
The Prime Minister addressed the efforts of the Palestinian Authority and its allies to delegitimize the Balfour Declaration and force Britain to issue an apology for the declaration. "Even after the adoption of the Declaration, even in the Arab world, the Balfour Declaration was sympathetic, and [Emir] Faisal recognized the right of the Jews to reestablish their national home in the Land of Israel while establishing a unified Arab kingdom in the Middle East. He supported cooperation between Jews and Arabs on the basis of mutual understanding and brotherhood. However, the the Arab nationalists attacked the Balfour Declaration. The declaration provided cover for incitement and violence, not least with the encouragement of Mufti Amin al-Husseini." (Read More)