On November 2, 1917, for the first time in modern history, a major political power expressed public support for the creation of a “national home” for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.
A letter from the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Lord Walter Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, contained the following historic language:
“His Majesty’s government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object …”
This groundbreaking policy statement took on even more significance when the Ottoman Empire collapsed the following year at the end of the World War I, leaving the UK in charge of the area then known as Palestine.
This commitment set in motion a series of events culminating with the partition plan, Britain’s withdrawal from the Palestinian Mandate and the establishment of an independent Jewish state of Israel.
These events did not flow peacefully, though. Watch to see why.
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