Thousands march to UK parliament calling for justice on Balfour centenary

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Olive branches, a huge Palestinian flag carried by eight people, a large cardboard drawing of Lord Arthur Balfour and Theresa May cartoons were some of the creative props displayed during London’s lively march on Saturday, November 4th to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration.

The Justice Now: Make it Right for Palestine march and rally started outside the American Embassy and arrived some two hours later in Westminster’s Parliament Square. The mood among the 15,000-strong crowd was upbeat. Efforts of counter-demonstrators to disrupt the march and provoke people simply raised the voices of those calling for justice for Palestine.

The small group of around 30 Israel supporters managed to hold up the march for half an hour as the police tried to separate the two demonstrations. They waved Israeli flags and shouted: ‘Free Palestine for Hamas!’ ‘Terrorist sympathisers’ and ‘well done Balfour’. One held a placard entitled ‘Terrorist rally here’.

Police form barrier between Palestine march and counter-demonstration (Photo: Lydia Noon)

They ended up walking in front of the Palestine march, mostly separated by a barricade of police officers, causing one young demonstrator to comment: ‘Israel isn’t content with occupying Palestine, it occupies roads in London too’.

The march was organised and supported by groups such as Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al Aqsa, Palestine Forum in Britain and Amos Trust.

Speakers included British filmmaker Ken Loach, Palestinian politician and activist Mustafa Barghouti, trade union leader Sally Hunt, young speaker British-Palestinian Leanne Mohamed, Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn via video link and DJ and former Faithless band member Dave Randall.

Balfour’s continuing legacy

Balfour, a century of injustice (Photo: Lydia Noon)

“I admire and greet everyone that came here today – please accept our appreciation, you have made the government’s celebration fail and you have shown that Balfour was a crime,” said Mustafa Barghouti, addressing the crowd outside parliament.

“Netanyahu spoke here in London and he related himself to all British colonialists, he’s proud of this, I say to you today that we are proud of our cooperation and alliance with you – the good British people,” added Barghouti.

The Balfour Declaration was a 67-word letter written by British Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur Balfour to Lord Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community.

Penned towards the end of World War 1, on 2 November 1917, the declaration came at a time of rising anti-Semitism in Europe and of Britain’s expanding Empire. Balfour stated the British government’s support for the establishment of a Jewish national homeland in Palestine, without the consent of the Palestinians.

But Balfour hasn’t been consigned to the history books: it didn’t prevent the persecution of the Jews in Europe and it kick-started a chain of events leading to the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe) in 1948 that continues today – as does the British support of Balfour.

“At this moment the Balfour declaration is being implemented in the streets of Jerusalem and Gaza and the West Bank and that’s why we have to stop it now,” said Barghouti.

Far from apologising, Theresa May’s Conservative government invited Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a five-day visit at the beginning of November to celebrate the anniversary.

Theresa May spoke proudly of the British role in creating a Jewish state at a private dinner on November 2nd that the press was banned from attending. It was hosted by the current Lord Rothschild and Lord Balfour.

While he called the Balfour Declaration a “great humanitarian gesture,” Lord Roderick Balfour remarked recently that the caveat stating that: “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing Non-Jewish communities in Palestine” is not being adhered to.

Despite the calls from Palestinians and activists for the government to apologize, the prime minister made the government’s position clear at the celebration dinner in London’s Lancaster House: “I say absolutely not. We are proud of our pioneering role in the creation of the State of Israel.”

Labour party leader and lifelong supporter of Palestine Jeremy Corbyn sent shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry to the event in his place. Claims that he was “snubbing” the event provoked headlines in the British right-wing press, such as one in The Telegraph on October 31st: ‘Jeremy Corbyn shows little sign of accepting Israel’s right to exist’.

‘We will not stay silent’

“It wasn’t the British people that signed Balfour, it was the British ruling class,” said filmmaker Ken Loach on Saturday, saying that the Balfour declaration is a monument to imperialist arrogance.

Important caveat in Declaration is being ignored (Photo: Lydia Noon)

British advocacy organisation Palestinian Return Centre launched a petition in October 2016 that called on the British government to apologise for the Balfour Declaration, collecting almost 14,000 signatures before it was closed early because of June’s General Election.

Well-known figures and organisations that support Palestine such as Professor Ilan Pappe and rapper Lowkey were signatories in an open letter to Boris Johnson, taken out as a full-page advertisement in the Guardian newspaper on November 2nd. It called on the government to hold Israel accountable for its crimes under international law.

Also on the anniversary, activist solidarity group London Palestine Action covered Greater London’s transport network with a hundred signs containing the words ‘Decolonise Palestine’, in response to Transport For London banning Palestine Mission from displaying official advertisements about Balfour.

“We ourselves declare that our voices will not be censored, and we will not stay silent over any support and facilitation of the oppression, murder and expulsion of the Palestinian people,” read a statement on their Facebook page.

Voices of the march

Those on the march were also refusing to be silent.

“I call myself proud to be British – British Palestinian – but I think it’s abhorrent that we’ve got a government that are celebrating the [Balfour] centenary,” said Dalia el-Saleh from Bedford, near London, talking to Mondoweiss while taking part in the march with her family.

Dalia el-Saleh (Photo: Lydia Noon)

“This should be the opportunity for them to apologize following a hundred years of occupation and abuse of the Palestinian people. It’s time to be supporting Palestinians to have their own state and the right to return. And for a start, the government shouldn’t be inviting Netanyahu here to celebrate,” el-Saleh added.

Members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign drove for 10 hours from Glasgow and Edinburgh to be there on Saturday.

“It’s a duty, we pilgrimage here once a year to make a very clear statement that the Balfour declaration was wrong and is not in our name, especially as I’m a Polish Jew who has the history of persecution,” said Jola Hadzic, who lives in Glasgow but is originally from Poland.

Speaking to Mondoweiss in Parliament Square, looking after a large Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign banner, Hadzic said that her family has opposed Zionism for three generations; for the past 120 years.

“It’s clear from thousands of times that the government doesn’t speak for the people, you know it’s a big contradiction, as we can see here. I think that point was very clearly made today. The world is watching, Palestine is watching,” added Hadzic.

The Balfour centenary is the latest in a series of devastating anniversaries that have been marked by Palestinians this year: June signalled 50 years of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem and a decade since the siege on Gaza began. The next date to mark for Palestinians is in May 2018, 70 years since the Nakba of 1948.

But as recent demonstrations across Palestine and the world have shown, Palestinians remain steadfast in their demands for justice from the British government.

“We, the victims of the Balfour declaration demand, and will one day get, the apology for this crime, we will get the compensation for this crime,” said Mustafa Bougharati as he finished his speech at Saturday’s rally.

“And we will get the recognition of the Palestinian free state.”

Marching past 10 Downing Street (Photo: Lydia Noon)

About Lydia Noon

Lydia Noon is a freelance journalist currently based in Bethlehem.

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39 Responses

  1. amigo
    November 6, 2017, 1:51 pm

    “They ended up walking in front of the Palestine march,”

    Stay tuned for zionist claims to a 15030 strong pro Israel rally.

    • festus
      November 6, 2017, 4:00 pm

      Or for the marchers to be labeled Jew haters and Nazis who make Britain’s Jews feel not safe.

      • Jackdaw
        November 7, 2017, 3:53 am

        BDS activists play, “chase the Jew”.

        http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Israeli-businessman-hounded-in-UK-for-selling-Dead-Sea-products-513494

        No matter that Dead Sea products are harvested in Jordan and that the Ahava plant which produces the final product is located in Israel, proper, not the West Bank.

        Get him! Get that Jew!

      • eljay
        November 7, 2017, 8:28 am

        || Jackdaw: BDS activists play, “chase the Jew”. … ||

        According to the article, BDS activists play “chase the Israeli” who sells products of (alleged) exploitation.

        || … No matter that Dead Sea products are harvested in Jordan and that the Ahava plant which produces the final product is located in Israel, proper, not the West Bank. … ||

        According to the article, Mr. Ayalon owns Jericho Skin Care which, as far as I can tell, is this company. I can’t find any mention on its website of Ahava or Jordan, or any indication of the origin of its products. Please link to a definitive site to support your claim. Thanks.

      • Lillian Rosengarten
        November 7, 2017, 12:20 pm

        Why not just celebrate this demonstration and continue to resist Zionism for a Free Palestine!

      • Mooser
        November 7, 2017, 12:26 pm

        “Get him! Get that Jew!” “Jackdaw”

        Here we go, alternating from “nation” to persecuted individuals at 16megaHerzls per second.

      • oldgeezer
        November 8, 2017, 8:55 am

        @jackdoh

        ““chase the Jew”.”

        Ahava is Chinese owned now. It is still targeted due to it’s activities. It never had anything to do with the owners religion and still doesn’t. Criminal zionists sure like to hide your crimes behind innocent people. Throw a few more under the bus while you’re at it.

        “No matter that Dead Sea products are harvested in Jordan ”

        False. Some of their resources come from Jordan. The rest they mine(their terminology)/harvest on West Bank territory and were the only company licensed to do so.

        ” and that the Ahava plant which produces the final product is located in Israel, proper, not the West Bank.”

        While a new plant was opened in Israel there is no confirmation they have closed down the illegal plant in the west bank.

        Ahava will be a target of BDS until it ceases all illegal activity. And rightly so.

      • festus
        November 9, 2017, 10:23 am

        “BDS activists play, “chase the Jew”.

        http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Israeli-businessman-hounded-in-UK-for-selling-Dead-Sea-products-513494

        No matter that Dead Sea products are harvested in Jordan and that the Ahava plant which produces the final product is located in Israel, proper, not the West Bank.

        Get him! Get that Jew!”

        Classic and oh so typical smear tactic. Nobody said chase the Jew or get the Jew. Nobody at all. The “Israeli businessman” in question came up with the claim they were playing a game called “Get the Jew”. Which, of course, he made up whole clothe. No such game exists except in the minds of certain people and clearly nobody was doing any such thing. Now the claim is repeated by Jackdaw as if fact and he adds the implication that the BDS activists said ” Get him! Get that Jew!”

        Jackdaw and the Israeli businessman and their ilk are a people with no concern for the truth and with no honor.

  2. Jerry Hirsch
    November 6, 2017, 9:56 pm

    Mondoweiss caught in a lie again. Not 15,000 marchers but about one third that amount.

    “Anti Balfour March Fall Flat on Streets of London ”

    https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/.premium-1.821021

    • Maghlawatan
      November 7, 2017, 2:15 am

      Typical bot. All means to attract and distract.

      Meanwhile, Faithless band member was one of the speakers.
      God is a DJ. God doesn’t care about Zionism.

    • Emory Riddle
      November 7, 2017, 7:48 am

      Right. Here is the headline from your source:

      “Anti-Balfour Declaration March Falls Flat on Streets of London.”

      Real unbiased journalism! No agenda! What better source to rely on?

      • Jerry Hirsch
        November 7, 2017, 11:44 am

        Emory, Haaretz is a far left newspaper that is highly critical of Israel. Your denial of facts without any evidence to support your claim is so typical of the commenters on this site.

      • Mooser
        November 7, 2017, 12:42 pm

        “Your denial of facts without any evidence to support your claim is so typical of the commenters on this site.” “Jerry Hirsch”

        What was that creaking sound I just heard? Must be the sound of Mondo readers and commenters hanging their heads in shame.

      • amigo
        November 7, 2017, 1:59 pm

        “Emory, Haaretz is a far left newspaper that is highly critical of Israel” jerry H

        Dead right jerry.Those damn self hating Jews and their goy collabrogators at Haaretz cannot be believed under any circumstances.

        Better remove that Haaretz link you provided upthread before anyone thinks you are a Haaretz nik.

      • festus
        November 7, 2017, 4:34 pm

        Jerry H states “Your denial of facts without any evidence to support your claim..”.

        Not sure what facts Emory Riddle is denying…it seems he is solely questioning the neutrality of a story with such a histrionic headline.

        I guess Jerry H may be questioning any support of the original article in that he asserts the 15,000 in attendance number is overstated. His “documentation” for his claim is an article from Haaretz in which he claims it is stated that @ 5,000 people attended. First of all, unless you sign up (and you probably have to pay for that access) for the Haaretz website that Jerry H provided a link for, you cannot get into that article to determine if it actually says that. I for one certainly would not put it past any apologist for Israel to make something up whole clothe. But, for the sake of argument, let’s give Jerry H the benefit of the doubt and assume the article does say what he says it does. So you have one article that says 15,000 and another that says 5,000. In Jerry’s mind, the 5,000 number is a fact and if you give any credence to the 15,000 figure you are apparently in denial of “facts”. Further, you must invalidate everything in that article. And why is the 5,000 number a “fact”? Well, Jerry wants it to be a fact, ergo it is a fact. And if you doubt that, then it is a fact because Jerry H labels Haaretz “.. a far left newspaper that is highly critical of Israel.” Which I believe is the case (at least from the viewpoint of Jerry H). So a newspaper that Jerry H finds not credible due to being far left and critical of Israel becomes the final source of what is a fact when that “fact” conforms with Jerry H’s predisposition. All the other times it is a far left paper not to be trusted.

        Of course the 5,000 vs. 15,000 argument he began is merely a distraction from the pertinent content of the article which he does not wish to address.

        As an example, the point made by Ken Loach (love that guy) is both impossible to deny it terms of its obvious truthfulness and pertinence to the topic: “It wasn’t the British people that signed Balfour, it was the British ruling class,” said filmmaker Ken Loach on Saturday, saying that the Balfour declaration is a monument to imperialist arrogance.

  3. Nathan
    November 6, 2017, 10:49 pm

    “The next date to mark for Palestinians is in May 2018….”

    No, that’s a mistake. The next date is quite soon: 29 Nov 2017 (seventy years since the Partition Plan). Just as with the Balfour Declaration, the anniversary of the Partition Plan should be an opportunity to repeat all the demands for “apologies” and for “justice”. After all, just as it is claimed that the Balfour Declaration was given without the consent of the Palestinians, so too it is claimed that the Partition Plan was accepted against the wishes of the Palestinians. Moreover, just as it is always claimed that the Balfour Declaration led to the rise of Israel, so too it will be argued that the Partition Plan led to the rise of Israel.

    The call to “justice” is not a very clear issue. Someone should define “justice”. Since everyone is griping that the Balfour Declaration led to the founding of Israel, I suppose that the call to justice is about the undoing of Israel. No one says anymore that the topic at hand is the end of Israel for fear of losing the support of mainstream public opinion, so “justice” is never defined.

    However, “apology” is a clear topic of “bla-bla-bla”. I have never understood why anyone feels the need to hear an apology. It’s really a meaningless gesture, however apparently the anti-Israel activists need it just as they need the illusion of mainstream support.

    • eljay
      November 7, 2017, 9:57 am

      || Nathan: … Since everyone is griping that the Balfour Declaration led to the founding of Israel, I suppose that the call to justice is about the undoing of Israel. … ||

      For me, the call to justice is:
      – the undoing of colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist “Jewish State”;
      – reform of Israel into a secular and democratic state of and for all Israeli citizens and people up to n-generations removed from it;
      – fulfillment of obligations such as RoR and, as applicable, reparations paid;
      – accountability for past and on-going (war) crimes committed.

      || … However, “apology” is a clear topic of “bla-bla-bla”. I have never understood why anyone feels the need to hear an apology. It’s really a meaningless gesture … ||

      I agree that an apology without substance is meaningless, much like the Zionist call for “peace” without justice is meaningless.

      • Nathan
        November 7, 2017, 8:12 pm

        eljay – Your call to remove “Israeli citizens and people up to n-generations” is actually a plea to continue the conflict forever. You haven’t defined the variable “n”, but I would imagine that you have in mind the removal of the majority of the Jews from the country. It shouldn’t be too surprising to you that the Jews prefer the present conflict over your vision of “justice”. By the way, who is supposed to pay the reparations if the population of Israel is being removed from the country?

      • amigo
        November 8, 2017, 5:35 am

        ” By the way, who is supposed to pay the reparations if the population of Israel is being removed from the country?”nathan

        Can you provide a map of your version of Israel.

        And btw, why should anyone pay reparations to people who stole land and property from someone else.In any civilised society , such people go to jail and are thrown out of the property they stole and are forced to pay reperations to their victims.

        Jeez, the zionizt mind is something to behold —and study very carefully.

      • echinococcus
        November 8, 2017, 7:09 am

        The Nathan and his inept questions again.
        Of course the Zionist invaders must pay reparations for the 100+ years of invasion damage, duh. Just like the Nazi. To the last cent.

      • eljay
        November 8, 2017, 7:20 am

        || Nathan: eljay – Your call to remove “Israeli citizens and people up to n-generations” … ||

        Maybe you’re deliberately being obtuse or maybe you just have me confused with echinococcus. Either way, I haven’t called to remove any Israelis from within Partition-borders Israel.

        || … You haven’t defined the variable “n” … ||

        It’s so obvious I didn’t think it needed to be defined, but here goes: “n” is the # of generations a person can be removed/separated/distanced from a state and still enjoy preferential immigration rights.

        || … but I would imagine that you have in mind the removal of the majority of the Jews from the country. … ||

        You imagine incorrectly, but I suppose it helps to bolster your sense of victimhood.

    • Misterioso
      November 7, 2017, 10:23 am

      To be brief:
      Britain’s illegal (i.e, in violation of the well established legal maxim, “nemo dat quod non habet” – nobody can give what he does not possess) Balfour Declaration laid the foundation for the eventual dispossession and expulsion of Palestine’s indigenous Arab Muslim and Christian inhabitants. To quote Chaim Weizmann, “the Balfour Declaration of 1917 was built on air.”

      The King-Crane Commission made it clear where it stood regarding the Zionist’s historical claim to Palestine: “…the initial claim, often submitted by Zionist representatives, that they have a `right’ to Palestine, based on an occupation of two thousand years ago, can hardly be seriously considered.” (“The American King-Crane Commission of Inquiry, 1919” quoted in From Haven to Conquest, p. 217, edited by Harvard Professor Walid Khalidi) Or as Lord Sydenham stated before the British House of Lords on 21 June 1922: “If we are going to admit claims on conquest thousands of years ago, the whole world will have to be turned upside down.” (Hansard)

      The Balfour Declaration was also opposed by Gertrude Bell, one of the era’s greatest Arabists, a colleague of T.E. Lawrence and a member of British intelligence in Cairo. Realizing what it could lead to, she wrote the British cabinet of PM Lloyd George advising it that “an independent Jewish Palestine” was impractical because “[Palestine]…is not Jewish; ” the native population would not “accept Jewish authority…. Jerusalem is equally sacred to three faiths and should not be put under the exclusive control of any one….” (Sanders, The High Walls of Jerusalem, p. 585)

      By incorporating the Balfour Declaration the 1922 League of Nations British Class A mandate for Palestine did facilitate Jewish immigration to “secure the establishment of the Jewish National Home,” but it did not call for the creation of a sovereign Jewish state or homeland in Palestine or any form of partition. This was made very clear in the Churchill Memorandum (1 July 1922) regarding the British Mandate: “[T]he status of all citizens of Palestine in the eyes of the law shall be Palestinian, and it has never been intended that they, or any section of them, should possess any other juridical status.”

      Furthermore, regarding the British Mandate, as approved by the Council of the League of Nations, the British government declared: “His Majesty’s Government therefore now declare unequivocally that it is not part of their policy that Palestine should become a Jewish State.” (Command Paper, 1922)

      In May 1939, the British government issued the MacDonald White Paper, which in accordance with the Mandate, ruled out any possibility of a Jewish state, and declared Great Britain “could not have intended Palestine should be converted into a Jewish state against the will of the Arab population of the country.” It called for a Palestinian state in which Jews and Arabs would govern jointly based on a constitution to be drafted by their representatives and those of Britain. The constitution would safeguard the “Jewish National Home” in Palestine and if good relations developed between Jews and Arabs, the country would be granted independence in ten years. Land sales to Jews were to be restricted and the annual level of Jewish immigration was to be limited to 15,000 for five years, following which, Palestinian Arab acquiescence would be required.

      Re the Partition Plan:

      ­­­­Palestinians rejected the Partition Plan (UNGA Res. 181, Nov. 29/47) for entirely justified reasons based on international law. While Jews made up just 31% of the population (90% of foreign origin, only 30% had become citizens, thousands were illegal immigrants) and privately owned only between 6% and 7% of the land, the Partition Plan (recommendatory only, no legal foundation, contrary to the British Class A Mandate and the Atlantic Charter, never adopted by the UNSC) outrageously recommended they receive 56% of Palestine (including its most fertile areas) in which Palestinians made up 45% of the population. (10% of Palestine’s Jewish population consisted of native Palestinian/Arab Jews who were anti-Zionist.)

      48% of the total land area of mandated Palestine was privately owned (‘mulk khaas’) by Palestinian Arabs. As noted above, total Jewish privately owned land was only between 6% and 7%. About 45% of the total land area was state owned, i.e., by citizens of Palestine, and it was comprised of Communal Property (‘mashaa’), Endowment Property, (‘waqf’), and Government Property, (‘miri’.) (The British Mandate kept an extensive land registry and the UN used the registry during its early deliberations. It has in its archives 453,000 records of individual Palestinian owners defined by name, location & area.)

      Although Palestinian Arab citizens made up at least 69% of the population and to repeat, privately owned 48% of the land, the Partition Plan recommended they receive only 42% as a state. (The 2% of Palestine comprised of Jerusalem and Bethlehem was to be placed under international control, a corpus separatum.)

      Land ownership by Sub-district in all of mandated Palestine, 1947:
      Acre: 87% Palestinian Arab owned, 3% Jewish owned, 10% state owned; Safed: 68% Palestinian Arab owned, 18% Jewish owned, 14% state owned; Haifa: 42% Palestinian Arab owned, 35% Jewish owned, 23% state owned; Nazareth: 52% Palestinian Arab owned, 28% Jewish owned, 20% state owned; Tiberias: 51% Palestinian Arab owned, 38% Jewish owned, 11% state owned; Jenin: 84% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 16% state owned; Beisan: 44% Palestinian Arab owned, 34% Jewish owned, 22% state owned; Tulkarm: 78% Palestinan Arab owned; 17% Jewish owned, 5% state owned; Nablus: 87% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 13% state owned; Jaffa: 47% Palestinian Arab owned, 39% Jewish owned, 14% state owned; Ramleh: 77% Palestinian Arab owned, 14% Jewish owned, 9% state owned; Ramallah: 99% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, less than 1% state owned; Jerusalem (West and East): 84% Palestinian Arab owned, 2% Jewish owned, 14% state owned; Gaza: 75% Palestinian Arab owned, 4% Jewish owned, 21% state owned; Hebron: 96% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 4% state owned; Bersheeba (Negev): 15% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 85% state owned. (Village Statistics, Jerusalem: Palestine Government, 1945; subsequently published as United Nations Map no. 94b, August, 1950)

      Population of and land ownership in West and East Jerusalem in 1947: The total population of West Jerusalem (the New City) and East Jerusalem (the Old City) and their environs was about 200,000 with a slight Arab majority. (Professor Walid Khalidi, Harvard, “Plan Dalet,” Journal of Palestine Studies, Autumn, 1988, p. 17)

      The total land area of West Jerusalem (the New City) in 1947 was 19,331 dunams (about 4,833 acres) of which 40 per cent was owned by Palestinian Muslims and Christians, 26.12 per cent by Jews and 13.86 per cent by others, including Christian communities. Government and municipal land made up 2.90 per cent and roads and railways 17.12 per cent.

      East Jerusalem (the Old City) consisted of 800 dunams (about 240 acres) of which five dunams (just over one acre) were Jewish owned and the remaining 795 dunams were owned by Palestinian Muslims and Christians. (“Assessing Palestinian Property in the City,” by Dalia Habash and Terry Rempel, Jerusalem 1948: The Arab Neighbourhoods and their Fate in the War, edited by Salim Tamari, The Institute of Jerusalem Studies, 1999, map, pp. 184-85)

      In short, Palestinians were entirely justified and in full accordance with international law when they rejected the Partition Plan.

      Rubbing salt into the wound, the United States quashed a proposal based on international law put forth by Arab delegates at the UN that a referendum be conducted in Palestine to determine the wishes of the majority regarding the Partition Plan. The United States also thwarted their request to have the matter referred to the International Court of Justice.

      • Keith
        November 7, 2017, 10:41 am

        Excellent comment!

      • Tuyzentfloot
        November 7, 2017, 11:52 am

        Re the partition plan ,I think it’s a good place to recommend the long interview with Akiva Orr on here

        .
        In his account of the 1948 war it becomes a war of independence against the British.
        The British arranged with the arab states they had control over (they controlled Egypt but Jordan was much more autonomous and made its own deal)to go to war so that the British would have to reenter the region in order to save the Jews from extinction.
        That failed completely because the Zionists didn’t require the help.
        What the Palestinians thought or did or what was done to them then did not matter much to any of the players in this version of the events.

      • Jerry Hirsch
        November 7, 2017, 12:05 pm

        Misterioso, by your standard, the Palestinian Arabs 1,400 year occupation and colonization of the land should also be declared null and void. Honoring a fraudulent claim that old will also turn the world upside down.

        Because Arab armies conquered the land in the seventh century doesn’t grant their descendents indigenous rights. If that was true the Greeks, Romans, Crusaders, and Ottoman Turks should also be considered indigenous to the land of Israel.

        The Arabs are indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula. If they care so much about regaining their indigenous rights they should return there.

      • MHughes976
        November 7, 2017, 12:32 pm

        It is good to be reminded of King-Crane’s astonishment at those who took seriously the Biblical claims of Z, which of course Lloyd George did.
        However, ‘Nemo dat’, though it is a true logical principle, doesn’t seem all that relevant to me. The Declaration does not say ‘I hereby give’. It says ‘If it becomes mine, I will give it’ – ‘ meum si illud factum erit, dabo’. In Roman law this might not have been binding but it wasnt and isn’t illogical or unintelligible. It was the moral law, not the laws of logic, that was being broken. Britain could possess Palestine rightfully only if that possession were to be a necessary temporary measure in the best interests of the people who were there.

      • Mooser
        November 7, 2017, 12:46 pm

        “The Arabs are indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula. If they care so much about regaining their indigenous rights they should return there.”

        Now, there we go. Why, I can’t think of a better thing for world Jewry to concern itself with in the 21st Century. There’s a challenge worthy of our mettle! A tiki onan which will repair the world.
        And oh, how the world will honor us if we can accomplish it!

  4. JosephA
    November 7, 2017, 12:31 am

    Wonderful coverage of the anti-racist, anti-colonialist, pro-Indigenous people’s rally. Thank you.

    • festus
      November 8, 2017, 3:45 pm

      Jerry Hirsch November 7, 2017, 12:05 pm

      “Misterioso, by your standard, the Palestinian Arabs 1,400 year occupation and colonization of the land should also be declared null and void..”

      I don’t think Mr. Hirsch understands the terms occupation and colonization.

      • Brewer
        November 9, 2017, 6:07 pm

        “the Palestinian Arabs 1,400 year occupation and colonization of the land “

        Mr Hirsch not only doesn’t understand the “terms occupation and colonization”, he has not read any reliable History of the region, contemporary genetic analysis of the Palestinian and Middle Eastern Jewish origins or linguistic History and displays a disposition towards belief in fantasy, indicating (I suppose) that Israeli schools must teach this nonsense along with nursery rhymes at a very early age for it to have taken root in his consciousness in spite of all the contrary evidence and in defiance of common sense.

        In Biblical times, the people of this area were a collection of closely related (genetically speaking) tribes whose main differences were found in their belief systems. For a very brief period (mostly mythical), Judaism prevailed. In the post-Roman era, these myths were overlaid with a narrative largely invented within Judaism but also promoted by the emerging Christian adherents who, by the twentieth century, comprised about 20% of the Palestinian population. This narrative included the now utterly refuted idea of a Roman expulsion of Jews and confused belief systems with racial/tribal concepts.

        Leaving aside the Muslim faction for the moment, just who were these Christians? Their language (Aramaic) was also the language of parts of the Hebrew Bible, indicating that even within Judaism, rifts and schisms were already appearing. It is reasonable to assume that the Christian Palestinians were descendants of Jews who adopted this branch of Judaism.

        Might it not also be reasonable to suspect that when Islam came (and with it release from the oppression of Judaism under the Crusaders) many Christians and Judaics embraced this second offshoot? Bear in mind that the “conversion by the sword” is now a discredited myth although power has always played a part in the spread of belief systems.

        What Hirsch calls colonialism was in fact the movement of ideas, not people. The DNA record confirms it, the Historical record confirms it both positively in the literature of the day but also in the absence of any descriptions of population movement at the time. The belief that Jews have held strictly to one faith is a fantasy exposed by the various sects within Judaism, the changes within it and, in this modern era, the growing numbers of non-religious Jews both in Israel and Worldwide.

  5. Jane Porter
    November 7, 2017, 11:57 am

    To Misterioso, Yes really an interesting comment, and what a work to state all these informations about historical details that I ignored included the The statistics of owned properties.
    Thank you and bravo!

  6. Greta
    November 7, 2017, 1:21 pm

    The demonstration is over. By all accounts, it was a smashing success, between 10,000 and 20,000 of us walked for five hours in the drizzling rain from Grosvenor Square to Parliament. It took that long for all of us to get from one point to the other, listening to inspiring speeches at both ends. The streets were filled with Palestinian flags, and kaffiyehs were everywhere.

    It was great to see so many young people there. For those of us who have been involved in justice for Palestine for decades, we have often despaired that, once we died off, no one would pick up the banner and march. Saturday proved me wrong on so many counts. There were babies in strollers, on the shoulders of their fathers, walking next to their mothers
    .
    I remember in July 1967 when four of us stood outside the Israeli consulate in Chicago… my Palestinian husband, my two tiny children and me. I had to make a Palestinian flag because we couldn’t buy one. Fifty years later, there still is no justice for the Palestinians, but there will be.

    Britain told another people that it was OK to steal, murder, dispossess and drive out the indigenous Palestinians in favor of a European/colonialist enterprise that has proven to be a scourge on humankind. It is the final nail in the colonial project, and Israel, like other colonial projects, will disappear in the sands of time and will become a country for all its people if it ever intends to be accepted in the world community. No amount of bribing, blackmail or backsheesh is going to stop the people on the ground, and there is only so much the Israeli government can do to influence other governments and nothing they can do to stop the civil marches like Saturday’s.

    Palestine has been kept alive for seven decades because of the work of Palestinians, inside and outside of Palestine, supported by those of us who believe in justice. We know we are succeeding because of the constant whining of the supporters of the Zionist enterprise, and the ‘facts on the ground’ on Saturday were a testament to the growing involvement of people around the world, as thousands of us showed up in the rain, while a handful of Zionists impotently babbled on the sides of the road.

    I write this to tell all of you to not be discouraged, for I have seen huge changes in 50 years. It was never going to be easy; we fight not only Zionists and their supporters but the military/political/industrial complex that put Israel there in the first place. But we will persevere.

    Free, free Palestine. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free. Remember the Nakba and that ‘never again’ was meant for everyone. Greta Berlin

    • Kaisa of Finland
      November 7, 2017, 3:33 pm

      Greta, your comment made me to remeber this video:

      “Leve Palestina (Long Live Palestine) by a Swedish-Arabic musical group called Kofia, that was based in Göteborg and existed during the late 1970s and early 1980s. They played left-wing music supporting the struggle of the Palestinian people. The group had about ten members that remain unknown. This song is from the album Palestina, mitt land (Palestine, my country)..”

      After all this time the Palestinians have still not given up, and we won’t either.

    • Brewer
      November 10, 2017, 1:09 am

      Dear Greta. Lovely to see you here. I still miss our friend Earl, was with him in KL not long before he passed. Mike (Angelgabriel) stayed with me here in Kiwiville for some months and is currently visiting his home state. How time flies. Truthout is a long time gone!
      Regards to you and gratitude for all the good work.

  7. PeaceThroughJustice
    November 7, 2017, 2:23 pm

    Greta, I take it from George Galloway’s recent video that he was not invited by the organizers. Seems rather insulting. Do you have any insight into what may have been going on behind the scenes?

    Galloway on Balfour

    • Greta
      November 7, 2017, 3:52 pm

      I have no idea. I was not one of the organizers but flew in from Nice, France to participate. Many of the friends that I have known for years did the same, flying in from Paris and Brussels. Some came in by bus from around the UK. You would have to ask the organizers why.

    • Bumblebye
      November 7, 2017, 5:59 pm

      I think George is in hot water at the moment over some dismissive comments over the current sex abuse allegations flying around. By belittling the situation he’s been called a rape apologist and such like. There are no abuse accusations against him (that I’ve seen or heard of), but emotions are high at the moment. This is a possible reason. If he were to think his presence would cause harm, I’m sure he would absent himself.

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