Recent years have seen an intensified effort by Israel’s foes to demonize and
delegitimize the Jewish state.
From organizing flotillas to Gaza to
pushing for boycotts and sanctions, these misguided militants have sought to
rebrand Israel as a bellicose and aggressive nation.
Consisting of an
increasingly strident chorus of Islamist radicals, Western anarchists and pro-Palestinian activists, they have made it their mission to besmirch Israel on
college campuses, in the international press and at every available
Not content with critiquing Israeli governmental policy,
this knot of knaves has gone a step further, seeking to undermine the validity
of Israel’s existence by portraying it as an illicit entity in the region. Left
unanswered, these charges may begin to stick, further weakening Israel’s image
abroad and damaging her standing worldwide.
It is time for Israel to
fight back and to wage a counteroffensive in the war of ideas. We cannot sit by
idly and watch as lies, slander and defamation are hurled our way. Our right to
this land is undeniable and inviolable and we must assert it with all the
intensity and determination that we can muster.
A good place to start
would be to give the world a quick history lesson and remind them that we are
here by right and not out of pity.
After all, it was 95 years ago this
week, on November 2, 1917, that the British government issued one of the most
significant documents of the modern era – the Balfour Declaration – which
reaffirmed the right of the Jewish people to renew their ancient Biblical
homeland in Israel.
Written by foreign secretary Arthur James Balfour and
approved by His Majesty’s government, the declaration stated clearly and
unequivocally that Britain’s leaders “view with favor the establishment in
Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best
endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object.”
when the League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations, approved the
Mandate for Palestine in July 1922, it formally incorporated the Balfour
In the preamble, it stated that, “the Principal Allied
Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting
into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the
Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of
the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish
The Mandate, which was approved by more than 50 member nations,
also noted “the historical connections of the Jewish people with
In other words, Israel was later established with the full
backing and support of the international community, and it was the Balfour
Declaration which laid the conceptual groundwork for that to happen.
Norman Bentwich, who served as the British-appointed attorney-general for
mandatory Palestine, noted in his book, Mandate Memories, “The Balfour
Declaration was not an impetuous or sentimental act of the British government,
as has been sometimes represented, or a calculated measure of political warfare.
It was a deliberate decision of British policy and idealist politics, weighed
and reweighed, and adopted only after full consultation with the United States
and with other Allied Nations.”
Hence, the creation of the Zionist state
was neither a rogue act nor an unlawful deed. It was fully grounded in
international law and approved by the nations of the world. Anyone who claims
otherwise is simply twisting the truth.
And Balfour Day, the day it all
began, therefore presents us with a wonderful opportunity to jog the world’s
memory and silence those who say that we are sitting on stolen land. It is a day
we should be celebrating as a seminal moment in Israel’s modern- day
In case you think that the Balfour Declaration is little more
than ancient history and that no one really cares about such things, think
For a number of years, the Palestinians have been waging a
campaign specifically targeting the Balfour Declaration which has included
rallies, protests and even calls by Palestinian officials for an apology from
An October 24 report on Iran’s Press TV stated that a
London-based Palestinian group is launching a crusade to compel the UK
government to express regret for its “past atrocities starting with the Balfour
Clearly, if the Palestinians deem it important enough to
wage war against, the dusty old pages of the Balfour Declaration are still
And that is why it is imperative that we once again
embrace Balfour Day each year and commemorate it as widely as possible. We must
utilize this occasion to educate Jews and non-Jews alike regarding the justness
of our cause, which far too many seem to have overlooked.
The battle over
Israel’s legitimacy is well underway, and we must use every tool at our disposal
to defend the truth. By restoring some historical consciousness and context to
the dispute, we can even the playing field and make a better and more compelling
case that Israel’s right to exist, regardless of what our critics might say, is
not something that is open to debate.
Happy Balfour Day!