The Balfour Letter: Seeds of Discord

In November 1917, Britain’s Balfour Declaration opened the door to the founding of Israel 30 years later. And it has had a major impact on the Middle East.

The British government issued a public statement that contained a letter from Foreign Minister Arthur Balfour to Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community. He forwarded it to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland.

It began, “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” and was the first public statement of support for Zionism by a major political power.

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