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20 - Oct - 2002

 
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Balfour Declaration Day - November 2, 1917

By: 12th House 

"His Majesty’s Government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

Background: Balfour Declaration Day

It's a little known fact, but during World War I, Jews and Zionists were instrumental in the Allied effort toward winning the war.

Because the British war effort was not very successful at first, the Brits sought new allies: the Jews and Arabs of Palestine. In 1916, the British began negotiating a deal with Zionists – British support for a Jewish homeland in trade for Zionist support for the war. On November 2, 1917, the British issued the Balfour Declaration promising British support for a Jewish national homeland in Palestine. The body of the Balfour Declaration stated:

"His Majesty's Government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

While short in length, the Balfour Declaration was a major step forward in the Zionist dream of restoration of the Jewish State in Palestine.

Event Ideas:

1) Learn about the Balfour Declaration – A major landmark date in the formation of the State of Israel was the issuing of the Balfour Declaration.

Here is an opportunity to teach yourself, your members and your community how Israel became a country. It is likely that there is a history, political science, or Judaic studies professor who will volunteer his or her time and knowledge on the British Mandate period and the Balfour Declaration.

Before the Balfour Declaration, Zionism was just a political movement of varying ideologies with a dream. The Balfour Declaration took that dream and recognized Zionism and its goals. There are many different perspectives of Zionism. Invite a member of one of the Zionist movements to your campus to facilitate a discussion on the different kinds of Zionism.

Alternative Dates:

Israel Independence Day Israel Declared Independence Yom Ha'atzmaut UN Day UN Partition Plan Accepted

Resources:

World Zionist Organization


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