Fighting for a Homeland

On the 104th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, Palestinians all over the country lowered their flags to half-mast, treating this historic day as a tragedy. The Palestinians don’t only want the Balfour Declaration reversed, but are calling for a complete destruction of Israel.

balfour declaration calls for Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people
The Balfour Declaration of November 1917 called for the establishment of what was then called Palestine as the homeland for the Jewish people.

On October 28, 2021 the PA Official Daily said,

Today, after 104 years, the world is still incapable of correcting this historical mistake and this severe injustice by putting an end to the colonialist Zionist project… After 104 years the conflict is still continuing, and it will not stop until this promise and its consequences are canceled.

Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 28, 2021

Notice that they said an end to the “Zionist project” not just the occupation.  Fatah posted on Facebook that “The Balfour Promise will remain a living headline for our tragedy that will not end, except with the end of the occupation state – the racist apartheid state.”

What is the Balfour Declaration?

The Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917 was a letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Baron Rothschild stating that “His Majesty’s government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” The Balfour Declaration was the precursor to the British Mandate, which was meant to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine. 

Does the Balfour Declaration Matter Today?

The Palestinian Media Watch is a non-profit Israeli research institute which does in-depth research of the Palestinian society. Regarding the Balfour Declaration, they said:

Unsurprisingly, the PA never mentions that prior to 1917, much of the Middle East and other regions were part of the Ottoman/Turkish Empire for 400 years. They never mention that an independent ‘State of Palestine’ never existed. They similarly do not mention that the Balfour Declaration was not merely a British whim, but rather a decision adopted and ratified by the international community at the San Remo Conference in 1920. The PA also never mentions that the Declaration was also adopted by the League of Nations in the 1922 Mandate for Palestine. At that time, ‘Palestine’ included both Israel (including Judea and Samaria) and Jordan.

The Israeli Government Rules it is Illegal for Jews to Purchase Property

Israel’s Defense Minister, Benny Gantz, notified the Supreme Court of Israel that he is ruling it illegal for Israeli Jews to purchase land as individuals in Judea and Samaria.

So if Jews are not allowed to purchase land in Judea and Samaria, who is allowed to acquire ownership of new property in the area? Jordanian citizens, Palestinian Authority residents, and foreigners of Arab origin are all allowed to purchase property in Judea and Samaria.

This anti-Jewish law actually comes from laws put in place by the Kingdom of Jordan and adopted by the IDF in 1971. Among other things, this set of laws also prescribes a death penalty to any Arab who sells land to a Jew. It is sadly ironic that so many people across the globe accuse Israel of being a “racist, apartheid state” when the reality on the ground in the Middle East is so much the opposite.

Defense Minister Gantz, when asked why he was ruling to uphold this Jordanian law, had only one answer: he feared it would lead international criticism and increased “friction” between Israelis and Palestinian Authority residents.

Terror Suspect Wins Election While Still Serving in Prison

You may remember hearing about a terrorist attack at Tapuach Junction in Samaria that happened earlier this year. On June 23, 2021, a Palestinian terrorist drove up to a bus stop and opened fire on Jewish civilians, murdering yeshiva student Yehuda Guetta.

The terrorist, Muntasir Shalabi, was aided in the attack by his relative Abu Rifat Shalabi. Abu Rifat was captured by the IDF following the attack and is currently serving time in an Israeli prison.

This week, Abu Rifat was hailed as a “hero who fights for the homeland” and was elected as mayor of the Palestinian town of Turmus Ayya. Shalabi will serve as the honorary head of the town until his release from prison. In the meantime, fellow candidate Naif Shalabi will be the acting mayor.

How long will the Palestinians continue treating historical moments as tragedies and terrorists as heroes? 

About the author

Justin Hilton is from Virginia Beach, VA and has lived almost full time in Israel since 2016. He works for HaYovel and The Israel Guys as Studio Producer and Content Manager. He is also an article author, photographer and customer support representative. Once a week, he hosts a show on The Israel Guys network.

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