October 30, 2017 - Photos From The Era Of The Balfour Declaration

This week, people around the world are marking the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, a letter issued by Britain's former foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, on November 2, 1917.

"His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country," the letter stated.

The declaration, which gave legitimacy to the aim of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine, is broadly viewed as one of the main catalysts behind the 1948 creation of the State of Israel.

Here are some key images from the era of the Balfour Declaration.


British soldiers patrol the streets of Jerusalem during a visit by Arthur James Balfour, a British Conservative politician, on April 2, 1925. The city's Arab residents were on strike as a protest against the Balfour Declaration, which supported plans for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

Balfour, while serving as foreign secretary, authored the Balfour Declaration in 1917. Here, he speaks at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1925.

Balfour points out a feature of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to Governor Sir Ronald Storrs during a visit to Jerusalem on April 9, 1925.

Balfour and former Prime Minister David Lloyd George are pictured in London before World War I.

Chaim Weizmann, the former president of the World Zionist Organization, and his wife, Vera, are pictured outside of St James's Palace in London, where a conference was being held to discuss the creation of an Israeli state out of British-controlled Palestine.

Former British Interior Minister Sir Herbert Samuel arrives in Jerusalem in July 1920 to take over as high commissioner of the British Mandate in Palestine.

Lionel Walter Rothschild, a figurehead of the British Jewish community to whom the Balfour Declaration was addressed, is pictured in July 1927.

The Balfour Declaration was just a few paragraphs in length, but it has had a profound impact on the Middle East for the last century.

© 2016 by SAG - Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation