Thinking about Balfour
Nick Gray of Balfour 100 examines how Christians shaped the modern Middle East a hundred years ago
There are many centenaries to be marked at the moment, as we progress through 100 years since the “war to end all wars” took place. So many of these remind us of the horrific and tragic loss of life incurred on all sides of the conflict in battles big and small between 1914 and 1918. November 2017, however, sees the centenary of a political expression of intent made in the midst of wartime strategy that went on to become one of the most influential yet controversial documents in 20th century history.
The Balfour Declaration, named after the Foreign Secretary of the day who signed it, was an expression of approval for the concept of establishing a homeland for the Jewish people in the area that was biblical Israel but was then known as “Palestine” . It was an attempt to combine British strategic needs and the historical justice of returning a dispersed Jewish people to their biblical and historical homeland.