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The Balfour Centenary, Britain's Broken Promise:Time for a New Approach

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Methodist Central Hall Westminster

Storey's Gate

London

SW1H 9NH

United Kingdom

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The Balfour Centenary

Britain's Broken Promise: Time for a New Approach

Learning from the past for the sake of the future

Please join us at this unique event marking the centenary of the Balfour Declaration. In words, film and music, it will acknowledge Britain’s historic responsibilities in the Middle East. It will offer an opportunity to commit ourselves to support Palestinians and Israelis in building a peaceful future based on equal rights for all.

Among the speakers will be:

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Principal, Mansfield College, Oxford University

Rt Hon Tom Brake MP

Dr Philippa Whitford MP

Richard Burden MP

Sir Vincent Fean, former UK Consul-General, Jerusalem

Rabbi Danny Rich, Senior Rabbi, Liberal Judaism

Dr Imad Karam, award-winning film-maker


Britain’s Broken Promise: Time for a New Approach

The 1917 Balfour Declaration was a first step towards the creation of a sanctuary for a persecuted people, the Jews.

It was also the start of a process which has rendered Palestinians stateless, living under occupation in their own land, in refugee camps, or scattered throughout the world.

CONTRADICTORY PROMISES

The Declaration pledged Britain’s support for a ‘national home’ in Palestine for the Jewish people on theunderstanding that the rights of 'existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine’ would not be prejudiced. The failure to uphold this second clause, for which Britain bears much responsibility, has caused conflict between Palestinians and Israelis ever since.

This was just one of Britain’s contradictory promises during the First World War. After the War we secured a mandate from the League of Nations which included a ‘sacred trust’ to prepare the people of Palestine for independence. But in the end Britain walked away.

The British Government recognises the right of both Israelis and Palestinians to self-determination. Israelis have achieved this. Now is the time to help Palestinians achieve this, in cooperation with both peoples and the rest of the international community.

IF BRITAIN LEADS

It will mean committing ourselves to work for peace with justice in the region on the basis of equal rights for both Israelis and Palestinians. It entails upholding international law, including the Geneva Conventions, without fear or favour. This is a huge, long-term challenge. Governments will only take it on if their citizens do so first. If Britain gives a lead, others will follow.

This Centenary event is an opportunity to reflect on Britain’s legacy, consider our individual and collective responses, and make ourselves heard.


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Methodist Central Hall Westminster

Storey's Gate

London

SW1H 9NH

United Kingdom

View Map

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