Balfour An Apology?

Committee Room 2a House of Lords

 Clive Hambidge

The Balfour narrative, biblically driven, was a prejudicial sweep of historical Palestine under an imperialist Zionist carpet underlying the 1922 League of Nations Mandate of the Balfour/Lloyd George deceit. The meta-physics of this ‘sociological’ religiosity seeks (indeed remains in) and re-turns to history, and, though remaining in history regurgitated as a present view: a new Zionist horizon of ‘conquest’ built on the suffering and continuing brutalisation of countless millions of Palestinians since 1948.  

In his ‘profoundly moving’ (Edward Said) Fateful Triangle The United States, Israel &The Palestinians Noam Chomsky quotes from a memorandum written by Balfour in 1919 which reads (in part): “in Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country.” [1]  Perish the thought, as Palestinians continue to perish.   

Palestinian men, women and children, terrorised since 1948 by Zionist Israel, are as Victor Kattan explains in his book From Coexistence to Conquest: “an indigenous people descended from those who lived in the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River in antiquity.” [2]  They still do. They still stand, they still resist, they still love. They are a peace loving people with the ashes of Israel’s atrocities perpetrated against their children in their mouths.

The Zionist project was ignited by Lloyd George, Rothschild, Balfour and for that I apologise. For an apology issuing (the point of the evening) from this UK Conservative, right wing, anti immigration, anti asylum, Islamophobic government, has a snowball’s chance in hell of happening. If the declarative Balfour insisted that ‘Zionist aspirations’ are: “of profounder import than the desires and the prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land.” then we understand this from the prime minister of this anti-Semitic time David Lloyd George: “you mustn’t give responsible government to Palestine.” The die was cast as was the Balfour Declaration of 1917.

Lloyd George’s lack of self questioning, self doubt -an inherent imperialistic characteristic- and his (British Israelites) evangelical state of mind, and his own recorded prejudices ‘in regard the Palestinians’ plus his ‘inflated’ ideas of Zionist power underlie his shameful allegiance with Zionism and not the suffering of Jews or Palestinians.

After the fall of Asquith, Lloyd George said: “a war minister must also have vision, imagination and initiative-he must show untiring assiduity, must exercise constant oversight and supervision of every sphere of war activity, [and] must possess driving force to energize this activity,”.

“Support for the World Zionist movement was a direct result of [Lloyd George’s] evangelical upbringing and the influence of clergy like Way, Simeon and Darby, as much as from a desire to dismember the Ottoman Empire and ensure British dominance in the Middle East.” (Stephen Sizers) [3]

It must also be stated that Lloyd George was absent in his presence at the 1917 Rome Conference. William Blake’s British Jerusalem was to be planted in Arab Palestinian Jerusalem, this time there was no Saladin to send the British packing! Anti-Semitic Britain and the U.S (many persecuted Russian Jews were emigrating in to the U.S) did not want more east European Jews immigrating in to their racist anti-Semitic vision and that must be judged and condemned by the present light of the murderous colonising adventure that is Israel today. An unforeseen advent of the past masquerading as a progressive project of the future rooted in a ‘God-driven history’, note ‘not God-given history’, of an imperialist colonialist past.

The intention in the 1917 world of Balfour was to keep out the suffering Jews of Europe from the UK and America and encourage the settler/colonising dusk of Zionism that now is the apartheid State of Israel which casts a gigantic shadow over historical Palestine and presently Jordan.

As I have written elsewhere:  British Colonialism, Zionism and the inherent racism formed an unholy Troika in the early part of the 20th century. Montagu, only “the second Jew to serve in a British Cabinet” as Secretary of State for India 1917-1922, sent a memo suggesting the British government’s policy was anti-Semitic: “When the Jews are told that Palestine is their national home, every country will immediately desire to get rid of its Jewish citizens … You will find a population in Palestine driving out its present inhabitants taking all the best in the country.” Accordingly, those Jews “in whatever country he loves” would “[remain] as an unwelcome guest in the country” he “thought he belonged to”. In Montagu’s case: Britain.

This inhumane Occupation, Colonialism and Apartheid seeded by Balfour is under International humanitarian law prohibited: “International law prohibits the unilateral annexation or permanent acquisition of territory as a result of the threat or use of force: should this occur, no State may recognize or support the resulting unlawful situation.”

Palestine has many friends and we remember. Clearly.  No revisionism, no clouding of judgment, recourse to anti-Semitism or falling prey to the pernicious permit of propaganda to falsify history. Just the plain ‘good-old fashioned truth’ and the guts, the grit, and the will, to tell it as it is, as it was, when the ‘dismemberment’ of historical Palestine began, when in 1948 the ‘Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine’, in a violent tide of hate. Political-military Zionism was underway.

As explained by the historian Ilan Pappe, across:  “the rural hills on the western slopes  of the Jerusalem mountains, halfway along the road to Tel-Aviv … Operation Nachshon … would serve  as a model for future campaigns: the sudden massive expulsion it employed,” meant the villages assaulted, were to be ruthlessly cleansed or decimated.  Pappe goes  on,  “the end result … was not to spare a single village,” and so it proved.[4] And this violation of Palestine through ‘Plan Dalet’ had also condemned Israel to be and remain a pariah state.   

We must press against the tyranny of Israel because Israeli tyranny presses against the human rights of the Palestinian people. For as written (in part) of the Preamble of the UN Charter signed in San Francisco 26 June 1945, coming into force 24 October 1945: “We the people of the United Nations [are] determined: to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small.”

History has shown a Palestinian stoicism, beyond mere obduracy, but cleaved to the Divine, a religious, conservative and devout people have stood. As have their collective rights. It is only natural, for this stoicism, is truly of nature herself. Hatred has had no bearing on Palestinian souls. For their souls have fashioned their strength.

“the forms of Nature have a passion in themselves

That intermingles with those works of man [woman]

To which she summons him,”

(William Wordsworth)

The Nakba of 1948, when the soul of any country, in the form of its people, then, as  the Palestinian people who were forced from their homes, from their land, never succeeded in renting them (ever) from their hope and inner knowledge of an inalienable Right of Return. And so it was that man enshrined this natural right thus:   United Nations General Assembly adopts resolution 194 (III), resolving that: “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.” And this stands too.

It is a natural right because it has evolved from natural law. Natural law being of a universal nature cannot be repealed or ‘restrained by human law’. So we have the natural-universal association with human rights. And, an internalisation of human subjectivity and the object of that subjectivity: the right for any human soul to manage their own affairs sui juris. From here we have the returned sense of purpose and no ‘legal disability’ to act according to conscience and natural directive. Here also then the inner covenant of the Palestinian soul with: The Right of Self Determination. And this stands too.

Palestine Return Centre (PRC)

The above suffused my thinking as a result of the PRC’s event of 25th October the 2016 which I attended. The right wing press collided as usual with the truth unfortunately no ‘God particles’ lit the evening. My particular attention was drawn to The Times’ article published the following day by the quasi-intellectual-hack and Times ‘sleuth’ or as titled “Investigations Editor” namely Dominic Kennedy who seized upon a rant by a member of the assembled that Hitler was (somehow) “antagonized over the edge to then want to systematically kill Jews wherever he could find them.”  He was not applauded. Kennedy ignored the reasonable debate and its reasoning. He thereby declared the rant true and demonstrated his own lack of empathy for the Palestinian men, women and children brutalised by Zionist Israel, and the truth of his own position.  So if one stays with Kennedy’s thinking (is it thinking?) then one must mention another member of the assembled, who apologised for the Balfour Declaration, and then further apologised (ironically) for “Israeli being a democracy”.  He was also ignored but he got one thing right. Israel is an apology for a democracy, as I stayed with the truth. This is a powerful emergent. Think Dominic Kennedy, as you strayed inevitably into the twilight zone of Israel’s propaganda.

So PRC seeks an apology. [5] Good. I support this and details will follow. Will freedom for the persecuted and arbitrarily imprisoned Palestinians follow soon? God I hope so. 

Baroness Jenny Tonge was chair. Professor Manuel Hassassian Ambassador of the Palestinian Mission to the UK was ill ‘though not seriously’ did not attend. Betty Hunter Honorary President of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign was not ill and present. And Karl Sabbagh, historian and writer, informed us Balfour was a dimwit, and he was. Majed Al-Zeer, PRC’s President, spoke with passion for the reasoning behind the campaign, and we all fully supported such a move. Except for Israel’s apologists. For the reasons I have outlined above.


Clive Hambidge is Human Development Director at Facilitate Global ( Clive can be contacted at:  


[1] Noam Chomsky, Fateful Triangle The United States, Israel &The Palestinians, p90, 1999. Balfour: “The contradiction between the letter of the Covenant and the policy of the Allies is even more flagrant in the case of the independent nation of Palestine than in that of the independent nation of Palestine than in that of the independent nation of Syria. For in Palestine we do not propose even to  go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country, though the American [King-crane] Commission has been going through the form of asking what they are: The four great powers are committed to Zionism and Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long tradition, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700.000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land.” p90.

[2] Victor Kattan, From Coexistence to Conquest, p1, 2009

[3] Also see Balfour Project

[4] Ilan Pappe. The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. First published by Oneworld Publications Limited,  p88, 2006



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