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King George V (1910-1936) to King George VI (1936-1952)
The Balfour Declaration of 1917 : The former Prime Minister threw his weight behind a national home for Jewish people in their historic lands.
The Balfour Declaration of 1917

A letter from a former British Prime Minister led ultimately to the formation of the State of Israel, the only country in the Middle East to guarantee ‘complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex’.

AFTER the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the First World War, the region known then as Syria came under British control through the ‘Mandate for Palestine’.

The Mandate drew on the so-called ‘Balfour Declaration’ of 1917, a letter, dated 2nd November, from government minister Arthur Balfour to Walter Rothschild, a leading London banker and former MP for Aylesbury.

Balfour, a former Prime Minister, expressed the Government’s support for ‘the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people’, so long as the rights of others were not affected.

At first there was strong opposition in the region and in Europe, but gradually the horror of Jewish persecution around the world came to light.

All other considerations were eclipsed. The British Mandate formally ended at midnight on 14th May 1948, and in accordance with United Nations Resolution 181(II), David Ben-Gurion, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, declared the establishment of an independent State of Israel.*

* Independence Day (Yom Ha'atzmaut) is celebrated on or near to 5th of Iyar, which fell in 1948 on May 14.

In This Series

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Modern History (138) History of Israel (7) History of Modern Israel (6) History (406)

Picture: © DiggerDina, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC-BY-SA 3.0. View original
The Russian Orthodox church of the Holy Trinity can be glimpsed peeping through the arches of one of the municipal buildings in Safra Square, Jerusalem, capital of the State of Israel.

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Letters Game

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Numbers Game

Make the total shown using two or more of the numbers underneath it. You can add, subtract, divide and multiply. Use any number once only.

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Was it an over-excited imagination, or an answer to prayer?
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By Charles Dickens
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Lord Byron could not have hoped for a better omen in his support for the oppressed people of Greece.