As the great-grandson of Sir Leon Simon, let me assure you that I believe that the world would be a far better place if the Balfour declaration which he helped draft (“A scrap of paper that changed history”, 26 May) had never been drafted.
The fact that anti semites such as Balfour (and, later, antisemite evangelicals in the Bush administration) threw their weight behind the creation of Israel just goes to show that it was never in the interests of the Jewish people.
On the contrary, it was in the interests of Western imperialism to have a colonial settler state in Palestine, one that is wholly reliant on Western aid (military and economic) and that is wholly scared of the people who surround it (who were forcibly evicted from their homes in 1948). And it was in the interests of Western rulers to divert Jewish struggles away from anti-racism and social justice and towards the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian peoples.
More and more Jews are coming to see what my great grandfather failed to see, that the only just solution in the Middle East is a Palestine in which Jews and Muslims, Arabs and Europeans, live alongside each other with equal rights and an equal stake in the state; a solution in which the Balfour Declaration is finally put to rest.
DAN MAYER LONDON N10
(The Independent 3 June 2005)
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