London, 21 February 2017
The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) expressed its concern to number 10 the possibility of having any form of celebration on the centenary of Balfour Declaration.
The centre sent a letter to The Prime Minister, Theresa May MP refusing marking or celebrating the infamous declaration which led to today's Palestinian plight.
The letter below stated , " After 100 years of this Declaration, Palestinians remain displaced in the refugee camps and denied their right to return to their homeland. They are living under a fifty-year military occupation depriving them of basic human rights and suffer daily humiliation at Israeli checkpoints. Palestinians are made homeless due to the increasing settlement expansion, which Parliament has recently reaffirmed their illegality and an obstable to peace."
Below the letter sent to the PM
21st February 2017
Dear Rt Hon Theresa May MP,
The Prime Minister,
Subject: Celebrating the "Balfour Declaration Centenary"
The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) is very concerned about the possibility of the British Government or any of its institutions, bodies or senior figures; celebrating or marking the centenary of the Balfour Declaration. We have followed up closely the calls of the pro Israeli groups to celebrate or mark this infamous centenary.
As you may know, for millions of Palestinians the Balfour Declaration is not a source of pride but rather, displacement and agony. Britain’s Middle East Minister, Tobias Ellwood, said in a Parliamentary debate in November 2016 that Government will not “celebrate” the Centenary and will be taking “a measured approach”. Meanwhile, recent media reports suggest that your Excellency has "invited" Israeli Prime Minister to London to celebrate the occasion. The PRC is certain that you are fully aware that the Balfour Declaration has led us to this current moment of continued conflict and instability.
After 100 years of this Declaration, Palestinians remain displaced in the refugee camps and denied their right to return to their homeland. They are living under a fifty-year military occupation depriving them of basic human rights and suffer daily humiliation at Israeli checkpoints. Palestinians are made homeless due to the increasing settlement expansion, which Parliament has recently reaffirmed their illegality and an obstable to peace.
Moreover, Israel has repeatedly violated International laws and UN resolutions as well as committing war crimes in Gaza Strip in the last three military offensives in 2009, 2012 and 2014. The centre firmly believes that celebrating or marking the Balfour Declaration would lead to further damage to Britain's image not only in Palestine but across the region.
As you may aware, the British Mandate and involvement in the Arab world early in 20th Century is negatively perceived as a foreign "colonial" and "imperialist" project. Therefore, we kindly request that Number 10 issue a statement to confirm its position.
We call on HMG to openly apologise and recognise the suffering caused to Palestinians following the Balfour Declaration during the Mandate years and how it contributed to their current plight. This moral and ethical step would greatly contribute to advancing the cause of justice and achieving peace in the region.
The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) is a non-governmental organization, with UN ECOSOC special consultative status, registered in London that is dedicated to finding a solution for Palestinian refugees in accordance with international and humanitarian law through organising conferences, events, delegations and published materials, working with Palestinians alongside UN and government officials. We are also a member NGO on Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People since 2003.
The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC)