Schools in the Palestinian Authority and the Gaza Strip over the past two days have marked with great fanfare and ceremonies the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration (it was written on November 2, 1917, and published November 9), and as they do every year, these events have become a show of hatred against Israel, its demonization and the denial not only of its right to exist but of its very existence. In a variety of activities, plays, rituals, and slogans, the educational authorities teach the children from kindergarten and elementary school all the way to high school that the Balfour Declaration is the root of all evil which brought the Jews over in the first place, and enabled the “plunder of historic Palestine.”
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on October 31 enacted a presidential decree ordering the national flag to be flown at half-mast on November 2 of each year, to mourn the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. According to WAFA, the decree “orders the flag of Palestine to be flown at half-mast in all of the government ministries and departments, and in all the Palestinian embassies and representative offices abroad.” The PA’s official news agency explained that “the decree aims at reminding the world in general and the United Kingdom in particular of the suffering of the Palestinian people and their rights to achieve independence, statehood, and self-determination.”
Speaking of the United Kingdom, the PA Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Sunday that diplomatic efforts are underway “to get Britain’s apology to the Palestinian people for the infamous Balfour Declaration.” The ministry suggested that “Britain’s apology is an integral part of its recognition of its responsibility for the declaration, and for the resulting displacement and blight that befell the Palestinian people.”
Ahmed Al-Deek, a PA foreign ministry official, called on the UK “to take the initiative to recognize the State of Palestine as another part of its compensation for this sin and aggression it committed against our people and the suffering and historical injustice that is still ongoing.”
Last year, Haaretz and many other publications ran the above image of a poster depicting Lord Balfour with fangs and devil’s horns, alongside images of several Israeli leaders (including the late Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, and Ehud Barak who offered Yasser Arafat practically the entire liberated territories, including eastern Jerusalem), also stained with the blood of shahids, innocent Arabs, take your pick.
Here’s a funny thing: the Haaretz image was lifted from an Arab tweet in Hebrew. Now, Arabs are unable to pronounce the P and V sounds (which is a bummer when your own nation’s name starts with a P). They are also notoriously insecure about this Shibboleth and occasionally over-compensate. As in the maligned Hebrew text above the gory pictures, which includes the words “lifgidat” instead of “livgidat” (to the betrayal); and “Palfur” instead of “Balfour.” Otherwise, the cheerful note promises that “your last memory of Balfour’s betrayal will be the mothers of our dead drinking the blood of your soldiers and settlers.”
Where is Stephen King when you need him?
Incidentally, here’s the original Balfour Declaration:
You’ll notice that the declaration does not promise a Jewish State, only a homeland, with provisions for non-Jews. Not a word about “Palestinians,” mostly because the term was not in great use at the time. The British government knew all about Palestine, it just didn’t see fit to name the non-Jews there anything other than, well, non-Jews.
Across the Palestinian Authority, from Jenin in the north to Hebron in the south, and also in the Gaza Strip under the Hamas administration, November 2 is a black day in the local—albeit manufactured—ethos. It’s an opportunity to mention that historic Palestine was stolen from them in that declaration of 1917 and given to the Jews.
At a girls’ school in the village of Rantis near the Green Line, they staged Jewish shootings of PA Arabs in an attempt to perpetuate the narrative. PA children ignited the wording of the declaration together with a picture of Balfour inside a kindergarten class and erased with a red marker the Star of David that symbolizes the Jewish settlement enterprise in the land.
The imperialist-Zionist snake that takes over the map of Palestine on the podium is one of the symbols with which every Balfour Declaration hate ceremony is saturated. The cartoons with the anti-Semitic image of the exiled Jew with his evil face and long nose, or the Haredi Jew rolled inside the Balfour Declaration – they are also symbols of this day.
PLO Executive Committee member and Chairman of the PLO Department of Refugee Affairs Ahmad Abu Houli last year issued a press release saying the Balfour Declaration “is still the greatest crime of this era, and that it caused the greatest historical injustice.”