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Lecture on The Balfour Declaration and its Impact on International Relations

Thursday
November 7, 2013
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On October 30, 2013, the Forced Migration and Refugee Unit at Birzeit University Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Institute of International Studies in cooperation with Tawasol Forum Society in Nusseirat organized a lecture on the Balfour Declaration and its impact on international relations.

The institute’s Professor of International History Raed Bader discussed the historical context of the Balfour Declaration, pointing out that the declaration was part of a series of attempts that aimed at exporting the ongoing conflict between European countries (Germany and France in particular) to the Ottoman Empire, the “sick man of Europe” at that time.

Bader also talked about a number of treaties and conferences that preceded and followed the Balfour Declaration, all of which aimed at the division of the Ottoman Empire into regions with Western influence. Consequently, the world witnessed the emergence of a number of colonies inside the Ottoman Empire and Palestine was one of those colonies.

This was followed by a shift in the balance of power from Europe to the United States, which supported the Zionist project in establishing a national homeland for the Jews in Palestine.

Professor Bader explained that the period between 1919 and 1929 was a quiet time on the international arena. This gave leaders of the Zionist movement the chance to move on the international scale, based on the Balfour Declaration and Sykes-Picot Agreement, gaining support and legalizing the establishment of a Jewish state in the land of Palestine, while utilizing their economic and political influence in the realization of this interest.

The year 1922 was highly significant for the Zionist project, as the League of Nations permitted the British mandate on the land of Palestine, which included the Balfour Declaration, an international legal commitment towards the Jews in the world.

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