Sabeel-Kairos statement to MPs and Bishops on the occasion of the Balfour centenary
We have recently sent the Sabeel-Kairos Response to the Balfour Declaration, to all Members of Parliament and Anglican Bishops in the UK. This statement was put together by Palestinians and international advocates at the 10th International Sabeel Conference earlier this year. Please read the full statement below.
‘On the occasion of the centenary of the Balfour Declaration it is incumbent on us to remember that the establishment of the State of Israel, the direct consequence of the Declaration, has had a catastrophic effect on the Palestinian people.
In 1948 the Palestinians were dispossessed and dispersed so that today they have become a nation of 5 million people under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza, 6 million in refugee camps or in exile and 1.8 million as citizens of Israel.
The damage done to Palestinian society, culturally, economically and socially, is indisputable and needs to be acknowledged at the highest level.
The Balfour Declaration led to the creation of a state for Jews but the Palestinians have remained stateless. As a response to this, in October 2014, the British Parliament overwhelmingly voted to recognise the Palestinian right to statehood. It would be only fitting for the present government to now recognise this state for Palestinians.
We call on the government to mark the Balfour centenary first by acknowledging the Balfour Declaration’s damaging consequences for the Palestinian people and second to make amends by extending its unequivocal support for the recognition of the State of Palestine’.