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Balfour’s Legacy

Des Ecossais rejoignent les défenseurs (de + en + nombreux) du Droit

Friday 20 January 2006

From: RORC
Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 2:40 AM

Balfour Declaration of 2 November 1917 ushered an era of bloodshed and destruction in Palestine and the region for about a century. This Declaration has come now to new scrutiny.

On 12 & 13 November 2005 Scottish Friends of Palestine (SFoP) held a conference on ‘Palestine and the Legacy of Balfour’ on the occasion of the 88th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration at Haddington, close to Arthur J. Balfour’s birthplace.

It was attended by over 100 leading personalities in international law, human rights, media and community service. They included Salman Abu Sitta, Sahar Huneidi, Tim Llewellyn, Mike Berry, Terry Rempel, John Quigley, John Rose, Claudine Dauphine, Ilan Pappe, Ghada Karmi, Omar Barghouti, Mushtaq Khan and Noha Khalaf. The sessions were chaired by Members of the Scottish Parliament. The speakers covered various aspects of Balfour’s legacy, described the destruction and bloodshed it caused and urged the resolution of this tragedy according to international law.

The following declaration was made at the conference:

We, who are gathered here today in the home town of Arthur James Balfour and all those who accept this Declaration,

Cognizant of the inherent injustice of the infamous Balfour Declaration of 2 November 1917 and its utter disregard for the fundamental rights of the indigenous national Palestinian majority in Palestine,

Aware of the consequential tragedies of loss of life and property, destitution and dispersion of millions of people for over half a century in Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan,

Distressed particularly at the execution of the largest, longest ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from hundreds of towns and villages in their homeland which resulted in the long exile of 6 million Palestinian refugees until today,

Mindful of the unforgivable failure of the British Mandate to fulfil its obligations towards the protection, welfare and self-government of the Palestinians and the territorial integrity of Palestine,

Hereby declare that,

The Balfour Declaration and its consequences are legally invalid and morally wrong and must be reversed,

The continuation of the suffering of the Palestinians till this day is an evil deed which must be stopped and amends be made,

The restoration of the Palestinian rights, particularly the Right of Return and Self-Determination and respect for human rights and international law must be implemented being the only basis for permanent peace,

We further call upon,

The British Government to atone for Balfour sins by adopting and implementing a clear and strong policy for the support of the Palestinians’ Inalienable Rights and by making reparations for the suffering and damages to the Palestinians,

The European Union and the US to accept responsibility for the Palestinian catastrophe, support their rights, cease and desist from aiding Israel in all aspects and impose penalties on Israel for continued violation of international law,

The international community, particularly Human Rights NGO’s, to condemn Israel’s racist and Apartheid policies, boycott dealing with it and fully support the Palestinians rights, particularly the Right of Return,

All human beings of free conscience to help end the century-long evil which befell the Palestinians, restore their rights in Palestine and establish in Palestine a free democratic country free from racism, Apartheid and discrimination on any grounds.