The Balfour Declaration

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The Balfour Declaration:
A Document Born of Conflict, Bearing Middle-Eastern Hostilities

Ryan Milrad
Senior Division
Historical Paper
Throughout time, there have been numerous conflicts and abhorrence towards one another. No other act of war has lasted as long or shown more hatred to another race or religious section than the ongoing turmoil between the Arabs and Jews. The event that triggered this horrendous act of racism was the signing of the Balfour Declaration drafted by Arthur James Balfour. Chaim Weizmann influencing Arthur Balfour for a Jewish homeland and the fight over who possesses the Holy Land can be studied and scrutinized by the themes of geography such as place and location. The ongoing war and numerous acts of terrorism against Jews can be comprehended through analysis with the themes of movement, human-environment interaction, and region.

The background that precipitated the revolution started when Chaim Weizmann persuaded the British Government to issue a declaration that would establish a Jewish homeland, or spiritual ground. Arthur J. Balfour, who was the British Foreign Secretary, was the person responsible for signing the document (Key Press Release on the Recognition of the State of Israel, 2011). His intensions, along with C. Weizmann and the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland, were to establish a homeland for Jewish people (Zionism, 2011). The land given to the Jews was not just sacred land to the Jews, but for other religions as well (Palestine, 2011). For these reasons, the leaders of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland with the additional help of Chaim Weizmann, they were able to receive a declaration stating specific land to the Jews. This might have been a jubilant day for the Jews, but it resulted in future turmoil between many Arab countries and the soon to be proclaimed land of Israel.

This document was written and signed by Sir Arthur James Balfour in the United Kingdom, but affected the people living in Palestine at the time (Palestine, 2011). The document was published and received by Baron Rothschild on November 2, 1917 (British Official Statement on Palestine, 1951). Baron Rothschild was a leader of the British Jewish community at the time. Palestine was a piece of land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands. The document entitled a Jewish homeland for Jews in the land of Palestine (Balfour Declaration, 2011). Arthur Balfour states in the letter that, “…it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” The Jewish community would not dare go against with what was written in the letter, in fear of the consequences that could take place. The real frustration started when the Arabs living in Palestine, at the time, were taken off their land and became jealous of the fact that the Jews were able to produce agriculture in forsaken desert land, when all attempts were made by the Arabs (Official Statement of British Policy in Palestine, 1951). The location of the land given might not have been exact for Zionists, but at that point, it was not an option.

The reaction of people and places around Palestine and even in at the time was major. In large groups, Jews started to travel over to Palestine at once, which created the Zionist Movement (Palestine, 2011). Zionism is the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel, advocated, from its inception, tangible as well as spiritual aims. (A Definition of Zionism, 2011) Another response and different outlook to the signing of the Balfour Declaration was immediate stoppage of Jewish immigration to Palestine by the Arabs. The Arabs feared that if enough Jews were to eventually populate Palestine, the...
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