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London - UK's Johnson Says 1917 Jewish Homeland Declaration Terms 'Not Fully Realized'

Published on: October 30, 2017 04:25 PM
By: Reuters 
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Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson gives a speech at the British Embassy during his European tour on Brexit, in Paris, France, October 27, 2017.    REUTERS/Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/PoolBritain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson gives a speech at the British Embassy during his European tour on Brexit, in Paris, France, October 27, 2017.  REUTERS/Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/Pool

London - Foreign secretary Boris Johnson said on Monday that a key proviso of a 100-year old British declaration which laid the foundations for Israel had not been fully met, striking a sympathetic tone towards the Palestinians.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to travel to Britain on Thursday to meet his British counterpart Theresa May and Johnson for the anniversary of the Balfour declaration which said Britain viewed with favor “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”.

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Palestinians have long condemned the declaration - named after Arthur Balfour, then the British foreign secretary - as a promise by Britain to hand over land that it did not own.

In an article written for the Daily Telegraph newspaper ahead of Netanyahu’s visit, Johnson described himself as a “friend of Israel”, but also said he was “deeply moved by the suffering of those affected and dislodged by its birth.”

“The vital caveat in the Balfour Declaration - intended to safeguard other communities - has not been fully realized,” he said referring to the clause in the document which said nothing should prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities.

May met Netanyahu earlier this year to talk about boosting trade after Brexit, but also raised the diplomatic sore point of Israeli settlements in occupied lands on which the Palestinians hope to create an independent state.

Johnson also made reference to the settlement issue in his article, saying that a two state solution must include a viable and contiguous Palestinian state alongside a “secure Israel”, and proposed seeking a peace agreement based on 1967 borders with mutual territorial swaps.

A similar call in 2011 by then-U.S. president Barack Obama drew a blunt rebuke from Netanyahu, who said Israel would never pull back to its 1967 borders - something which would mean big concessions of occupied land. Netanyahu contends this would leave Israel with indefensible borders.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Britain last year to apologize for the Balfour Declaration, saying that his people had suffered greatly as a result of it.

Earlier this year Britain said it there would be no apology for the declaration, and said it continued to work for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

Britain does not classify Palestine as a state, but says it could do so at any time if it believed it would help peace efforts between the Palestinians and Israel.



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Read Comments (5)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Oct 30, 2017 at 05:32 PM Anonymous Says:

If all else fails, give the land to those who are not terrorists.

2

 Oct 30, 2017 at 07:13 PM grandbear Says:

Jordan is the palestinian state as it is shown on old maps.The arabs made war upon the new state and lost . Now they expect to be given a state where they can launch a new war against the jews.

3

 Oct 30, 2017 at 10:02 PM AmYisroel Says:

When the brits stop occupying ireland in what they call northern Ireland than they can talk until then mind they're own business

4

 Oct 31, 2017 at 01:05 AM lazy-boy Says:

actually the Balfour document gave much more land to the Jewish homeland which was not realized and did NOT call for a two state solution, it called for living in peace with the Arabs, which the ARABS have refused to do, (the Jews have tried to live in peace with them but lately have realized that it is impossible).

5

 Oct 31, 2017 at 05:58 AM Breslover-Kotzker Says:

Not a word about the other Middle Eastern states created by Great Britain in the same time period as Israel.
Syria=civil war, death and disaster.
Iraq=same as Syria.
Kurdistan=ignored by the UK to appease the Arabs.
Heshamite Kingdom of Jordon=a non-historical state, stripped from the British Mandate for Palestine without negotiation or consideration for it's effect on the Jewish Nation (not state, the Jewish People). All to appease the Heshamite King and pleasure the Saudi King.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia=non-historical, created for Saudi favors.
The Charedi Yishuv that already existed in Eretz Yisroel=ignored for expedience and deference to "israeli intelectuals".
UAE, Oman, Yemin, Qatar = all chess pieces in the UK, EU & UN game of post colonial arrogance.
But Boris sticks to tradition = blame Israel.
Reality = blame the UK.

6

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