London – 4 April 2017
Lord Norman Warner urged the British government to make an apology over the notorious Balfour Pledge during a lengthy debate hosted at the British House of Lords on Monday.
Lord Norman called on the British government to assume its historical responsibility for the tragic fallouts of the Balfour pledge, which gave, one hundred years ago, green light for the establishment, in Palestine, of a national home for the Jewish people.
In Warner’s terms, the British government has failed to protect the rights of existing non-Jewish communities, in a barefaced contravention of the text of the letter.
Speaking at the debate round, Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay said that the British government will mark the Balfour centenary with pride, adding that a guest of government invitation was extended to the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to visit the UK on the centenary.
“We are proud of our role in the creation of Israel,” said Baroness Anelay of St Johns. “However we recognize that the declaration should have called for the protection of political rights of non-Jewish communities in Palestine, particularly their right to self-determination. This is why we support a two-state solution.”
Warner leveled heavy criticism at the successive British governments, both under the British mandate and subsequently, for having failed to protect the Palestinian people, urging the government to rather mark the centenary with a gracious apology for the agony that that failure has caused.
Lord Warner’s comments were delivered few days after his chairmanship of a seminar staged by PRC to discuss the issue. A plethora of academics and diplomats were in attendance. A number of pro-Israel speakers were kicked out of the room for breaching the rules set for the debate round.