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History of Israel

Balfour Declaration

Arthur J. Balfour
Arthur James Balfour

The letter below is known as the "Balfour Declaration" as it was issued by Arthur James Balfour, the British foreign secretary (1916-1919) under David Lloyd George as Britain's prime minister. There is much speculation about the events that led to the formulation of this declaration. Yet, with the Christian beliefs of the members of the cabinet, the biblical prophecy of the return of the People of Israel to Zion is considered a main reason for the cabinet's decision to issue the Balfour Declaration.

Text of the Letter:

Foreign Office
November 2nd, 1917

Dear Lord Rothschild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.

"His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, 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."

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Yours sincerely,
Arthur James Balfour

Balfour Declaration
Balfour Declaration

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