The 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration has set the stage for some long overdue historical truth-telling.
In the words of Prof. Anat Biletzki, who had been active in various human rights organizations in Israel for over 40 years, “The Balfour Declaration is usually celebrated in Israel and by many – most- Jews outside Israel as providing the international legitimation of Jewish sovereignty in Palestine. Instead it can and should be seen as the explicit omen and stamp of approval for a nationalistic and colonialist Zionism.”
On November 11 in Harvard Square (Cambridge, MA) Biletzki will be joining two dozen speakers and workshop facilitators at an all-day conference: ‘Balfour’s Legacy: Confronting the Consequences.’
Speakers include the internationally-syndicated political commentator and author Rami Khouri.
To Khouri, “The Balfour Declaration captures all the negative dynamics that have plagued the Arab world and parts of the non-Arab Middle East for the past century – colonial interventions that displace indigenous people from their ancestral homeland, foreign political manipulations that reconfigure our lands and borders without consulting our people, and decision-making on the basis of the best interests of foreign capitals rather than local people.”
Professors Leila Farsakh, Lawrence Davidson, Susan Akram and Amahl Bishara will examine how the Zionist Project was implemented in historic Palestine, and consider its long-term consequences for Palestinians, world Jewry, the United States, the United Nations and international law.
Following an afternoon keynote address by Yousef Munayyer, the executive director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, panels will focus on the potential for connecting struggles to build power and the challenges and opportunities of organizing for Palestinian rights in the Age of Trump.
Action-oriented workshops will develop many of the themes laid out by panelists: building solidarity campaigns, fighting anti-BDS legislation, the future of Zionism, campus organizing and Israel’s water wars.
Balfour’s Legacy will take place on November 11 from 8am – to 6 pm at First Parish in Cambridge (3 Church Street, Harvard Square) and is free of charge. It is organized by The Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine and The Trans Arab Research Institute and co-sponsored by 25 organizations.