The balfour declaration.
(photo credit: American Colony-Jerusalem-Photo Dept.)
WASHINGTON – Two senators will introduce legislation on Friday that would have Congress mark 100 years since the signing of the Balfour Declaration, a document that proved critical to the founding of Israel.
One Republican and one Democrat, Sens. James Lankford of Oklahoma and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, will propose their concurrent resolution alongside House colleagues.
The Balfour Declaration was a British government document that declared the empire’s support for the establishment of a Jewish state in the former Ottoman territory of Palestine, then under British rule, that upholds the “civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” as well as the rights of Jews living elsewhere worldwide.
The Senate resolution notes that the Jewish people has “had a homeland in modern-day Israel for more than 3,000 years.”
Lankford told The Jerusalem Post, “It is entirely appropriate for the United States Congress to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, a statement that ultimately led to the reestablishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Israel is one of our closest friends and allies, and it is important that we stand with her and honor this important milestone.”
Manchin, also speaking with the Post, described the 1917 declaration as “a pivotal moment in Jewish history and the creation of the modern State of Israel.”
Abbas says Britain should apologize for Balfour declaration promising right to Jewish homeland (credit: REUTERS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Britain to mark the centennial of the document’s signing.
“Her majesty’s government is proud of Britain’s part in creating Israel, and we shall mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration on Thursday in that spirit,” Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told the House of Commons on Tuesday, noting that the government also remains committed to those non-Jews who “suffered” from the consequences of Israel’s birth.
The Senate resolution – which would be nonbinding in law – would affirm Congress’s commitment “to maintaining the strongest of bilateral ties with the State of Israel,” and “recognizes the importance of the establishment of the modern State of Israel as a secure and democratic homeland for the Jewish people.”