The British Foreign Office Remains True To Type

editor Thursday 4 May 2017 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email Printer friendly

By Melanie Phillips.. The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, appears to be a genuine supporter of Israel. In which case she needs to address the fact that her Foreign Office is not. The Palestinians have been demanding that the British government apologise for the 1917 Balfour Declaration which supported “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”. This declaration was embodied in the 1922 Mandate under which Britain accepted the administration of Palestine and the obligation to settle the Jews there. The demand for an apology led to a British petition signed by more than 13,000 people. A few days ago the government dismissed it. “The Balfour Declaration”, it said, “is an historic statement for which Her Majesty’s Government does not intend to apologise. We are proud of our role in creating the State of Israel”.

Let’s put to one side that, in the 1930s, the British actually reneged on the Mandate, betrayed the Jewish people and instead of settling them in Palestine kept them out during the Holocaust. The statement dismissed the demand for an apology. So far, therefore, so good.

Yet just as happened after the Declaration itself, the Foreign Office then proceeded to negate its own position. For it went on to say in effect that the Balfour Declaration was a mistake. Read the full story.

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