Author Archives: admin

The Balfour Declaration

It is no exaggeration that the history of Israel/Palestine for the last hundred years has turned on the seminal Balfour Declaration of November 1917. Loved and loathed in equal measure, this was the letter that changed the future. The following extract … Read more here 

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Evaluating the Balfour Declaration: Breaking the Deadlock in the Middle East

On Saturday May 18th 2013, the Balfour Project held a one day conference at The Stripe, University of Winchester exploring the different legacies of the Balfour Declaration and how a greater understanding of history can contribute to justice and peace … Read more here 

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The best book on the Balfour Declaration is…

Book Review: Palestine the Reality by J.M.N. Jeffries By John McHugo  Many people trying to get to grips with the Israel/Palestine conflict begin with the First World War and the contradictory promises Britain made at that time. These were pledges … Read more here 

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Peel Commission Report 1937

League of Nations 30 November 1937 C.495.M.336.1937.VI.Geneva, November 30th, 1937. LEAGUE OF NATIONS MANDATES P A L E S T I N E ——– REPORT of the PALESTINE ROYAL COMMISSION presented by the Secretary of State for the Colonies to … Read more here 

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Screening with Q&A – Britain in Palestine: 1917-1948

3pm UK time, Thursday 7th May 2020 Click here to register. 

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The Making of From Balfour to Banksy

Miranda Pinch It all started on the evening of April 18, 2017, the day that the date of the next British General Election was announced. I was attending a Balfour Project meeting in the House of Lords. After the meeting … Read more here 

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Thoughts on Nabil Fahmy’s suggestions for Palestinian policy

Click here to read Nabil Fahmy’s The “Deal” of the Century? Nabil Fahmy writes: ‘The Trump plan imposes Israeli security and economic control over a self-autonomous Palestinian entity’ Below are Sir Vincent Fean’s thoughts on Fahmy’s suggestions. Dr Nabil Fahmy, … Read more here 

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Palestine/Israel: Britain’s role, then and now

Online talk by Sir Vincent Fean, Balfour Project, 2 April 2020 Read the transcript below: Vincent: A welcome to all. Thank you all for joining the Balfour Project today. I think it’s important to have this discussion to keep the … Read more here 

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Book Review: The Hundred Years’ War On Palestine A history of settler colonial conquest and resistance

By Rashid Khalidi Profile Books £25.00 Review by Tim Llewellyn In the midst of Jerusalem’s Old City, on the cusp of the Muslim and Jewish quarters, reposes the Khalidi family library, an archive of scriptures, literature and letters in Arabic, … Read more here 

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Burying the Nakba: How Israel Systematically Hides Evidence of 1948 Expulsion of Arabs

This article from Haaretz, which was published in July 2019 describes how Israel is suppressing information on what actually happened during the Nakba. Even information that was previously available. The first part of the Nakba took place whilst the British … Read more here 

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A welcome move

As concerned citizens of Israel, we welcome the publication of the UN database of companies doing business with Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.  The settlements deprive Palestinians of their basic freedoms and block their economic development. They sabotage the … Read more here 

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Where Is the World for the Palestinians?

By El Hassan bin Talal AMMAN – It should come as no surprise that US’s proposed peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians bears all the hallmarks of a real-estate transaction. This supposed “Deal of the Century” certainly embodies none … Read more here 

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Jerusalem and The Deal of The Century: What it Is, What it Isn’t, Does it Matter?

Daniel Seidemann on the Trump plan’s implications for Jerusalem An Israeli lawyer based in Jerusalem, Daniel Seidemann is the world’s leading expert on the city’s built landscape and a key reference source for many governments. Founder of the Terrestrial Jerusalem … Read more here 

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Balfour Project Denounces President Trump’s Proposal which will only perpetuate the Israeli/Palestinian conflict; calls upon the British Government to take immediate remedial action to uphold a genuine two-state solution.

There’s a strong parallel between the Balfour Declaration and the Trump Vision. In both of the two historical circumstances -and the Trump plan is historical – a foreign state arrogated to itself the right to bestow to one people territory … Read more here 

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A Statement by the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem on the “Deal of the Century”

After a thorough consideration of the United States of America’s Middle East peace plan, also known as, the “Deal of the Century”,and after reviewing the reactions of all concerned parties on the matter, we, Patriarchs and Heads of the Holy … Read more here 

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As prominent Israelis dedicated to peace, we oppose Trump’s apartheid plan

Published in a letter to the Independent 30 January 2020 As Israelis dedicated to a peaceful future for our country and for our Palestinian neighbours, we state our principled opposition to the Trump administration’s plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This … Read more here 

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Remarks by HRH The Prince of Wales at a reception in Bethlehem

24 January 2020 Throughout my life, I have tried, in whatever very small way I can, to foster greater understanding between people of different faiths, to heal divisions and to remind people of so much that we share in common … Read more here 

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You are right, Prime Minister: Israel needs a Palestinian State. We should recognise it, now: Open Letter to Boris Johnson from Sir Vincent Fean

Dear Prime Minister, This month HRH Prince Charles visits Israel and Palestine together for the first time, invited by Presidents Rivlin and Abbas. He will undertake engagements on your behalf in both countries. This is historic, and welcome. For more … Read more here 

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The time is right to recognise Palestine

Text of letter published in The Times, January 20th 2020 THE TIME IS RIGHT TO RECOGNISE PALESTINESir, Today Britain attends her last EU foreign affairs council. On the agenda is the Middle East peace process, which must address recognition of … Read more here 

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Holy Land Coordination 2020

We must not ignore the voice of people in the Holy Land Every year we come to encounter and hear the people of the Holy Land. We are inspired by their enduring resilience and faith in a worsening situation. In … Read more here 

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The status of West Bank settlements under international law.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cannot rewrite international law. By John McHugo , Balfour Project Trustee and International Lawyer Following the comments by the US Secretary of State on Monday, we have felt it necessary to clarify the legal … Read more here 

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Let’s not pretend Washington ever really tried to stop Israeli settlements

Aaron David Miller and Daniel Kurtzer, The Washington Post Published 6:19 am EST, Friday, November 22, 2019 By most accounts, the Trump administration’s decision to treat Israel’s settlement enterprise as a legal endeavor is a retreat by the United States from … Read more here 

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Book Review: The Balfour Declaration – Empire, the Mandate and Resistance in Palestine by Bernard Regan

by John McHugo In The Balfour Declaration: Empire, The Mandate and Resistance in Palestine, Bernard Regan shows us what Britain did (and what Britain thought it was doing) by issuing the Balfour Declaration, by incorporating it into the League of … Read more here 

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Britain in Palestine Exhibition

We have PDF copies of these panels at A1 size. We also have printed copies mounted on polystyrene and suitable for use in an exhibition. If you would like to set up an exhibition and hire these mounted panels or … Read more here 

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Book Review: Legacy of Empire – Britain, Zionism and the Creation of Israel by Gardner Thompson

By Tim Llewellyn, Oct 10th 2019 “…[T]he Mandate has proved to be unworkable in practice…[and] the obligations undertaken by the two communities in Palestine have been shown to be irreconcilable.” (Ernest Bevin, British Foreign Secretary, in the House of Commons … Read more here 

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Scottish Parliament endorses Balfour Project Call to Action Sept 3rd 2019

Claudia Beamish MSP (Labour) introduced a members’ business debate on motion S5M-16637, “Towards an independent Palestinian state: a Scottish proposal” calling for action leading to an independent Palestinian state and acknowledging Britain’s historical responsibilities in what was to become Israel … Read more here 

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Israel’s election, Palestine, and Britain’s best response: Equal Rights

This article was first published on the Conservative Middle East Council website Analysis 23 September 2019 Sir Vincent Fean KCVO Sir Vincent Fean is Chair of Trustees of the Balfour Project. Between 2010-14, Sir Vincent was British Consul-General in Jerusalem. … Read more here 

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115 British Parliamentarians demand British Prime Minister act robustly to any Israeli annexation of Occupied Palestinian Territory

115 British Parliamentarians demand British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson act robustly to any Israeli annexation of Occupied Palestinian Territory. In the letter, sent from the Britain-Palestine All-Party Parliamentary Group, the Parliamentarians insisted that the British Government and its partners in … Read more here 

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Tragedy in Gaza: Britain’s legacy Scotland’s role

Conference Edinburgh March 2019 Gaza, under Israeli military occupation since 1967, is home to two million Palestinians. Most are there because in 1948, when Britain abandoned its Mandate for Palestine, Gaza gave refuge to Palestinians forced to flee from the … Read more here 

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Impressions of Palestine, 1 April 1946: Pessimist Perspectives

Edit Post Private Memo by Evan M. Wilson (U.S. State Department) William M. Mathew Evan M. Wilson (1910-84), graduate of Haverford College and Oxford University, was in the employ of the U.S. State Department between 1937 and 1961, serving as … Read more here 

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Should Britain recognise a sovereign Palestine now? Event report

Talk by Sir Vincent Fean at recent Meretz UK Event Meretz UK hosted an event on 7th July in London’s Jewish Community centre JW3, to discuss the prospects, advantages and likely outcomes of recognition of the state of Palestine alongside … Read more here 

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What is the UK’s role in Israel – Palestine today?

Speakers: Sir Tom Phillips and Sir Vincent Fean Chairing the debate: Prof. Yossi Mekelberg, Professor of International Relations at Regent’s University, London and senior consulting research fellow for the MENA programme, Chatham House. OneVoice Europe hosted an event on 26th … Read more here 

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Is There a Plausible Alternative to The Two-State Solution? By Tony Klug

  Dr. Tony Klug has written extensively on Israeli-Palestinian issues. He is a special advisor on the Middle East to the Oxford Research Group and a consultant to the Palestine Strategy Group and the Israel Strategic Forum. His Ph.D. thesis … Read more here 

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Book Review: Britain’s Pacification of Palestine – The British Army, the Colonial State, and the Arab Revolt, 1936–9 by Matthew Hughes

by Ian Black The 1936–9 Arab Revolt against British rule in Palestine, and its suppression by the British army, was a precursor to the devastating war against the nascent Israeli state that the Palestinians lost a decade later. Matthew Hughes‘s extensively researched new study … Read more here 

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Britain’s historic responsibility to the people of Palestine, Gaza and Israel

John McHugo Edited text of speech for the Balfour Project event The Tragedy of Gaza in Edinburgh 17 March 2018 My role is to explain why Britain carries a historic responsibility to the people of Palestine generally, to the people … Read more here 

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Britain needs to recognise Palestine as an independent state

Ian Black It’s time to get off the fence and resolve this most toxic of global conflicts in the only way possible Over the Bank Holiday weekend, coinciding with the start of the Ramadan fast for Muslims and the run-up … Read more here 

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The U.S. Recognition of Israel, 14 May 1948. Part III: ‘A Near-Run Thing’

William M. Mathew A. GEORGE MARSHALL: ‘A NEAR-RUN THING’. Truman’s fundamental position was straightforward – at least retrospectively. As President, he was in charge. In ‘differences of opinion between the White House and the State Department on the business of … Read more here 

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The U.S. Recognition of Israel, 14 May 1948. Part II: Truman’s Belated Support

William M. Mathew The obvious question presents itself: given the near-universal presidential negativity, how was it possible for Truman to make the clear decision in mid-May 1948 to recognise the new state of Israel within minutes of its creation? Our … Read more here 

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The U.S. Recognition of Israel, 14 May 1948. Part I: Roosevelt, Truman, Marshall: A Sequence of Contingencies

Part I: Uncertainties William M. Mathew Abstract Zionism`s two most notable international successes in the 20th century were the U.K. Balfour Declaration, 2 November 1917, and the U.S. recognition of the nascent state of Israel, 14 May 1948. Neither, however, … Read more here 

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Gaza, one year on

Letter to the Times 30 March 2019 Sir,A year on from the avoidable deaths of 60 people at the Gaza fence, rockets and reprisals are recurring. This dismal pattern of behaviour must be broken. Two million people are imprisoned in … Read more here 

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Towards an independent Palestinian state: a Scottish call to action

Israel/Palestine: Equal Rights 17 March 2019 From Edinburgh, and the home university of Arthur Balfour,we acknowledge Britain’s historical responsibilities in the Holy Land, from before the Balfour Declaration through the British Mandate to today. Gaza was, is, and always will … Read more here 

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‘The news from Gaza: dispelling myths and telling the truth’

The Glasgow Balfour Project event. March 14, 2019. ( Held at the Sir Charles Wilson Building, Glasgow University, 7.30pm-9.30pm Thursday March 14, 2019) Hala Safadi, a film-maker from Gaza, made the essential point: “The truth is always censored for the … Read more here 

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Conferences in Glasgow and Edinburgh

 March 14th and 17th 2019 On March 14th at  300 people at Glasgow University heard former British and Israeli diplomats and distinguished journalists speak on ‘The news from Gaza: dispelling myths and telling the truth’.  The following Sunday at Edinburgh University … Read more here 

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Book Review: The Arab Awakening by George Antonius

The Balfour Project is most grateful to the Times Literary Supplement for allowing us to reprint this review of The Arab Awakening, by George Antonius, the review by Harry Pirie-Gordon being published on November 26, 1938. Readers might also like … Read more here 

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Palestine 1948: Britain Surrenders to Terror

Peter Shambrook Being British, the 500-year-old British Empire story fills me with a mixture of pride – and pain and shame.  Regarding the events of 1948, locating truth is extremely challenging, given the irreconcilable national narratives.  So I come at … Read more here 

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Palestine and Britain: forgotten legacy of World War I that devastated the Middle East

By James Rodgers Rare photograph of the formal transfer of Jerusalem to British rule. For those of us of an age to have known only peace in Western Europe,the centenary of the end of World War I is a an … Read more here 

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Swedish recognition of Palestine: politics, law, and prospects for peace

Dr Jacob Eriksson, University of York Sweden’s decision to recognise Palestine on 30 October, 2014, was a controversial one and this article explores two key aspects. First, it contextualises the decision in relation to doctrines about the recognition of states … Read more here 

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Times letter, 13 September – The Oslo Accords, 25 years on: time to recognise the state of Palestine alongside Israel

Letter published in The Times newspaper, 13 September 2018 Oslo and Palestine Sir, How painful now to recall the hope we had in the Oslo Accords. 25 years on, cynicism and resignation  rule. The Israeli occupation since 1967 is so … Read more here 

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Book Review: Enemies and Neighbours – Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017 by Ian Black

By Tim Llewellyn This is a dispassionate book, written by someone who knows almost everything, about the tragic progress of Britain’s experiment with Zionism in Palestine to the present day’s existential horror. Black does not make judgments. His careful selection … Read more here 

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Why the state of Palestine is an existential must for the security and viability of the state of Israel

 Ilan Baruch, Jerusalem, 23.7.2018    In his ground-breaking speech at the Bar-Ilan University (June 2009), shortly after his second term as PM had begun, Benjamin Netanyahu accentuated the Jewish narrative as the bedrock of Israel: 3500 years of bonding between … Read more here 

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