Talk:Balfour Declaration

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Iran is NOT an Arab Country[edit]

I urge the title of Arab-Israeli conflict title at the table located bottom of article to be changed to Islamic-Israeli conflict or have Iran removed from the contents as Persians are not Arabs. I will shortly change the title comply.

Acetone connection[edit]

I don't think that the acetone connection is accepted as the primary British movitation by more than a small minority of historians. This should be expanded with some mainstream opinions also. --bdm

I believe the origin of this is: David Lloyd George: War Memoirs, Vol II, p. 584 et seq. Ms Dugdale, in her biograhpy on her uncle, Arthur Balfour (in 1939), states (p.166, Vol II) that "Mr Lloyd George is not quite accurate in describing British policy in Palestine as a kind of quid pro quo for the patriotic action of the Zionist leader. The Balfour Declaration was not part of a bargain nor a reward for services rendered" Huldra 01:00, 12 October 2005 (UTC)
Also, under "Negotiations": the first story (about London etc) is quoted in the Dugdale book, but the "There is only one thing I want. A national home for my people" exchange is not there. Where is that story taken from? Huldra 01:20, 12 October 2005 (UTC)
I read that same thing, and the acetone thing in general, in the MacMillan book cited in footnote 2. Sfahey 02:17, 14 October 2005 (UTC)
Thanks! However, the MacMillan book cannot be the primary source, and as I do not have the book easily available, (=not in a library in my town) could anybody check what the ref. is? Perhaps "Trial and Error", the 1949 autobiography by Chaim Weizmann? (Actually, it looks as if I have the Weizmann book available, I´ll check there in any case -eventually-) Huldra 05:09, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

The point about the acetone connection is not that it was the primary cause of Britain issuing the Balfour Declaration -- obviously conscious imperial strategy lay behind this -- but rather, that it introduced Weizmann into the highest levels of the British establishment. A clear account of this can be found in Orientations, the memoirs of Sir Ronald Storrs, British military governor in Jerusalem. Storrs writes:

Weizmann became a lecturer in Chemistry at the University of Manchester, then in the constituency of Arthur James Balfour. The statesman whose heart was in science would take refuge from party routine with the scientist whose soul was in politics, and the first seeds of sympathy were sown. With the War came a demand for high explosives only less imperative than that for human lives, and acetone, a solvent in the manufacture of cordite, was found to be unprocurable outside Germany. Its absence appalled the British Admiralty, but not the brain of the Jewish chemist. At his word the school-children of the United Kingdom were seen picking up horse-chestnuts by millions, and the acetone famine ceased. Weizmann subsequently registered but did not press his claim for the invention, which was, on the skilful pleading of Sir Arthur Colefax, honoured, with sober generosity, by the British Government.
But acetone had registered another claim far more precious to the inventor; and the name and proposals of Weizmann and his colleagues, strongly supported by Arthur Balfour, Herbert Samuel and Mark Sykes, penetrated to the Supreme Council of the Nation and of the Allies. On November 2nd, 1917, one week before the expected fall of Jerusalem, there was launched upon the world despite two formidable oppositions – British Jewry, preferring to remain “hundred per cent Englishmen of ‘non-conformist’ persuasion”, and an India Office ultra-Islamic under a Jewish Secretary of State – the momentous and fateful Balfour Declaration.

Balfour Declaration and British Empire Colonial Charters[edit]

The language of the Balfour Declaration with relation to the then-current inhabitants of Palestine:

"it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine"

reminds me of the language in Doris Lessing's "Shikasta", pp 402-405, relating to the granting of self-government to the then Southern Rhodesia. I assume that Doris Lessing had read the documents relating the grant of self-government thoroughly during the time she was active in protesting British indifference to the inequalities in Rhodesia.

But it got me thinking - the Balfour Declaration is not nearly as unique in having such text or declaring such interests important, as some Zionists of my acquaintance would have me believe.

Ie, the Balfour Declaration didn't occur in either a legal or a political vacuum - but similar texts in the form of colonial charters and grants of self-government are harder to find than the Balfour Declaration of 1917 - because of the vested interests of Zionists in pushing their side of the story.

What I would like to know from anyone who has access to the archives of the British Empire, are those specific texts. Colonial charters from all the other British colonies including the North American Thirteen Colonies, and grants of self-government likewise.

This is too important an issue to be monopolized by any one segment.

Wesley Parish wes dot parish at paradise dot net dot nz [undated and unsigned]

Interesting passage you've unearthed. After a long passage on Southern Rhodesia, she briefly alludes to the Jews and Palestinians, so it seems that she was aware of the analogy as well. Here is the passage. Note the shift in relations that has occurred:
They dealt with: European rule over subjugated peoples in the Middle East, the irreconcilable promises made to Arabs and Jews, the arrogance displayed..."contempt, arrogance, stupidity, ignorance." / I interpose at this point that those so recent enemies the Arabs and Jews were inseparable, and took every opportunity of reminding us of their common origin, their similar religions, the compatibility of their cultures, and--so they intend--their common and harmonious future. (From Shikasta, by Doris Lessing)
Perhaps this could be filed under "The Balfour Declaration in Popular Culture". (talk) 09:40, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

16 Jan 2004 edit[edit]

Comparing revisions, it seemed best to revert all the way back to 14 Oct 2003 to get rid of all that was done by on the 25th. Hopefully the merging I'll be doing shortly will take care of incorporating anything we needed from the later changes. Zero, did I miss anything which needed including or removing? Jamesday 12:58, 16 Jan 2004 (UTC)

The account on the Wikipedia page about the Balfour declaration is incorrect, specifically the information about Britian doing everything in its power to prevent a jewish homeland. This is surely a matter of debate and is obviously a far more complicated issue than the author of the page would have you believe. There were far more things at play here, what about the Haganah and the Irgun which made the situation far more unworkable and attempted to load boats of Jewish immigrants despite the detrimental result such a move would have especially in breeding discontent and anger between Palestineans and Jews in Palestine. The Haganah of course wanted to create a problem so that the British looked as bad as possible, likening them to the Nazis in some instances. This propaganda went down particularly well in the USA where the Jewish lobby held sway over the US governments decisions in the region. I suggest the author of this section is an American with a hangover from the 1940's, don;t believe eveyrthing you hear, especially from an inflamatory organisation such as the Haganah.

US entry into WWI[edit]

The article says "In exchange for the commitment in the declaration, the Jewish community would seek to encourage the United States to join World War I.", however the letter was written in November 1917, six months after the US had entered the war!? Mintguy (T) 11:15, 4 May 2004 (UTC)

  • Mintguy: You are missing the point that these were talks and "negotiations" behind the scenes that were going on for YEARS BEFORE the declaration and many "ideas" were bandied about...Britain was desperate to get the US in on its side, and knew that the Jews of London could talk to the Jews of New York to help get the USA into the war effort, in the end it didn't matter much as the USA had to learn from its own experiences of the Lusitania's sinking by a German submarine to be convinced of Germany's war-mongering. IZAK 10:35, 7 May 2004 (UTC)
Well this point that I am missing is not made in the article, and the wording of the above sentence taken from the article doesn't allude to this in anyway Mintguy (T)

I have to agree with Mintguy. My first thought on reading the explanation was "Bull, the U.S. had declared war long before this letter was sent." While I can see that the supposed "secret" negotiations could possibly have been ongoing for some time, I think the current explanation overstates this factor unless there is some back-up. On the other hand, the Brits were having money troubles paying for the war effort by that time and the Rothschilds were one of the leading banking families of Europe at the time. dave at davenjudy dot org.

How many wars has this tribe started? Volksgeist 13:26, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree too with Mintguy. The Balfour Declaration was a public declaration, much after the actual negotiations which brought the US into WW1 were made. To simplify: the declaration was agreed to be given and signed after the promise of US entering WW1 materialized in favour of the British. Further simplification, e.g. once you give me the money, I will give you the car and sign over the papers, although the car and cash came first, the signing of the papers came after.

What people seem to miss here is that the Balfour Declaration was principally aimed at Russia, not America. The British government assumed that promising to work for a Jewish homeland would encourage Russian Jews to keep the Provisional Government in World War I. The Balfour Declaration was rendered redundant when the Bolsheviks overthrew Kerensky. As for US entry into the war, starting in August 1914 J. P. Morgan began lending to Britain. Because Morgan had a strong influence on the New York media, the picture presented to news readers was very pro-British from the start of the war. No one has yet managed to substantiate the claim that Woodrow Wilson declared war on Germany because of any secret negotiations leading to the Balfour Declaration. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:51, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Easter Egg Link[edit]

That was me...not intentional. I apologize. Thanks ~ Dpr 06:24, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

"Both sides were well aware of the significant Zionist influence within Bolshevik Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States."

What significant Zionist influence? In 1917, the White Anglo Saxon majority dominated government and finance in the U.S. at that time, and the wealthiest Jews in the U.S., predominantly of German origin, were generally not Zionist.

You make a causal link between the Balfour Declaration and that Soviet Russia did not join the War against the Allies. Why would the Communists join with the Junkers? There is no evidence that the new Soviet leaders, either Lenin or Trotsky, were motivated by Zionism. If anything, they saw it as a "bourgeois" distraction from the dialetic materialism they championed.


The idea that post-revolutionary Russia might join the war with the Germans was advanced by an American jewish leader named Oscar S. Strauss. He sent a letter to Secretary of State Lansing and President Wilson's advisor Col. House which resulted in the Root Commission that was sent to Russia. He said:

"It has occurred to me, as it doubtless has to the President and to you that nothing should be left undone that we can do to help sustain the present government in Russia. Should it fall and the monarchy be restored, which in that event would probably be the result, Russia with autocracy restored would certainly break away from the Allies and join the Central Powers.

Should this happen and Russia come under the directing hand of the Kaiser, it would so enormously strengthen the Central Powers as to give them possible victory and in any event would cause a terrible prolongation of the war and entail upon us immeasurably greater sacrifice and suffering.... The question therefore presents itself, What can we do other than is outlined in the President's address? This is my thought which I present simply in the way of suggestion for your wiser consideration.... We could send over to Russia a selected number of men of international experience, who might be highly welcomed and most useful in enlightening the masses in Russia," and etc..... see the footnote at

It is a fairly uncontroversial fact that there were two Russian revolutions in 1917 and that Lloyd George hoped to enlist the aid of the Russian Zionists of whatever political faction. see David Lloyd George, Memoirs of the Peace Conference, Volume II, chapter XXIII; New Haven, Yale University Press 1939. It is also undisputed that Jacob Schiff of Kuhn, Loeb and Company had taken "great delight in floating a spectacular bond issue of 200 million dollars for Japan to help them in their war with Czarist Russia, in 1904-1905. Schiff had been angered and infuriated with the anti-Semitic pogroms and policies of the czar. see: The difference between the Zionist and the so-called 'non-Zionist' members of the Jewish Agency only revolved around the issue of whether or not Jews had a moral obligation to settle in Palestine. Non-Zionist members of the executive, like Felix M. Warburg pursued plans to transfer the Arab population of Palestine just a passionately as any Zionist. see Baksheesh Diplomacy, by Raphael Medoff

Wilson's support for so-called "self determination" seems to have been chiefly motivated by a desire to avoid the re-establishment of the Russian Monarchy after the war. That sort of thing had been done by the Congress of Vienna. To the best of my knowledge Wilson never permitted self-determination in Haiti, Hawaii, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, or for the Amerindian nations.

Many members of the Russian Socialist-Revolutionary Party were Zionists or favored Jewish settlement and the development of Palestine. For example, Pinhas Rutenberg was a Socialist-Revolutionary who helped found the Jewish Legion and the Haganah. He also was the recipient of the Palestine 'Rutenberg' concessions. harlan (talk) 00:21, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Jewish National Homeland?[edit]

Why is there a page : [1] that redirects Jewish National Homeland to this article? The Balfour Declaration never mentions the word "homeland", it says: a "national home" -for the Jewish people. In my mind there is quite a difference between home and homeland -just check that wonderful source: Wikipedia! Shouldn´t this redirect just be deleted? Huldra 23:35, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Why would one want to delete it? Of what benefit would that be? Jayjg (talk) 03:53, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
It is a commonly used concept. Perhaps redir to Land of Israel would be more appropriate? Humus sapiens←ну? 06:24, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
My interest here comes from doing a major edit on White Paper of 1939. There you had statements like: "Even though the White Paper stated that it was committed to the Balfour Declaration, [...] it was a significant defeat for the Jewish side who viewed this as a great betrayal of British promises for a Jewish National Homeland in Palestine." [2]. Most confusing, IMO, when both linked to the same. And really; how many people think of the Balfour Declaration when they hear the expression "Jewish National Homeland"??
That it is a commonly used concept and that it should have an entry in Wikipedia: that is fine with me. If you guys think that a redir to Land of Israel covers the concept; well, that´s also fine with me. An alternative is, of course, to write something on the Jewish National Homeland page (i.e. no redir at all) about the consept (possibly with a: See also Land of Israel + any other relevant link) Huldra 08:03, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
I just did a quick check: there are several articles that use the Jewish National Homeland -link, and in all (as far as a could see) the redir to the 1917 Balfour Declaration is absurd (quite funny at times, but absurd :-) ), see:
Bilu: "..was a group of Jewish idealists aspiring to settle in the Land of Israel with the political purpose to establish Jewish National Homeland there."
Jewish Legion: "..When Britain waged war against the Ottoman Turks, during World War I, Zionists around the world saw it as an opportunity to promote the idea of a Jewish National Homeland." (this one actually isn´t completely crazy)
Leon Pinsker: "...His analysis of the roots of this ancient hatred led him to call for the establishment of a Jewish National Homeland, either in Palestine or elsewhere." (???)
Zionist terrorism: "...In the 1930s and 1940s, during their campaign for a Jewish national homeland," (..a bit late, weren´t they?) (just noticed: this last one linked direct to the Balf. Decl.: totally absurd..)
Actually: I think the conclusion here must be that a simple redir to Land of Israel probably will not do: you can then get (e.g. under Bilu) sentences which in effect say: "...aspiring to settle in the Land of Israel with the political purpose to establish the Land of Israel there." So: hopefully somebody will write something sensible on Jewish National Homeland´ page. Hey, just saw that Humus sapiens wrote the redir in the first place...Ahem..... Huldra 12:17, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
Ok: I have rm the redir on the above page, and I´ve copied this discussion into Talk:Jewish National Homeland. Any discussion about JNH should continue there. The JNH article is at the moment quite slim: a headline and a "see also: Land of Israel". I´m not going to work on that article: I´ll leave that to those who made it in the first place! Regards, Huldra 08:31, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

Arab/Palestinian view -contradiction on Wikipedia[edit]

Here, as in all (?) articles on Wikipedia relating to Declarations/Plans/White Papers about Palestine in the pre-1948 area, the Arabs/Palestinian view/reaction is underreported. Actually, here you have one sentence: "Like the preceding Sykes-Picot Agreement, the declaration is viewed by many Arabs as a gross betrayal of Britain's undertakings to support Arab independence in the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence of 19151916". This, however, is contradicted in the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement-article: "The Arabs accepted the Balfour Declaration of 1917 calling for a Jewish national home in Palestine." Which is correct??

German and Austrian 'Doubts' About Jewish Loyalties[edit]

The article suggests that the declaration led to doubts on the part of the German and Austro-Hungarian governments about the loyalties of their Jewish citzens:

the messages within the Balfour Declaration could not help but sow seeds of doubts within the minds of those ruling the Central Powers as to where the loyalty of their own domestic Jewish populations lay.

It is known that the government of the Ottoman Empire became suspicious, but is there any hard evidence of doubt on the part of the German, Austro-Hungarian (and Bulgarian) governments during WWI and, if so, what is it?

Norvo 12:56, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Contradictory assurances[edit]

Why does this have its own section? I'm not a historian but it doesn't seem to be that important -- just a modern day politician discussing "Britain's imperial past." Is this statement more significant than it appears? Ztrawhcs 01:24, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

This section is Lord Balfour, himself, speaking back in 1919. harlan (talk) 07:37, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Censorship of external links[edit]

This external link

  • Jewish anti-Zionist Benjamin H. Freedman speaks about the Balfour Declaration [3]

has been removed.

Freedman states that the declaration was the payment to the Zionist for influencing the entrance of the USA into the war. This interpretation of the Balfour Declaration is considered factual by many people. It is not known if it is true or not but, certainly, it is difficult to belief that this declaration, written from the hand of the prime minister, was the sole result of a negotiation about the cordite synthesis.

If the declaration was the payment is logical that happen alter the US joined the war. There is no contradiction here.

"If the declaration was the payment is logical that happen alter the US joined the war. There is no contradiction here."

Contradiction arises from the fact that Wilson wasn't even informed of the Balfour Declaration until September 1917. That comes from Leonard Stein, THE BALFOUR DECLARATION. There's no reason to believe that Wilson's appeal to Congress for a declaration of war in April 1917 was motivated by the Balfour Declaration. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:19, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Cite Source[edit]

"Both sides were well aware of the significant Zionist influence within Bolshevik Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States."

What significant Zionist influence? In 1917, the White Anglo Saxon majority dominated government and finance in the U.S. at that time, and the wealthiest Jews in the U.S., predominantly of German origin, were generally not Zionist.

You make a causal link between the Balfour Declaration and that Soviet Russia did not join the War against the Allies. Why would the Communists join with the Junkers? There is no evidence that the new Soviet leaders, either Lenin or Trotsky, were motivated by Zionism. If anything, they saw it as a "bourgeois" distraction from the dialetic materialism they championed.

The point being made is that the Balfour Declaration was a political tool and that its use by Balfour would have intended, but ultimately unknowable, consequences. The timing of its issue, in close proximity to the predominantly Jewish Bolshevik party taking power in Russia, cannot be ignored. Russian cooperation with Germany, who was responsible for sheparding Lenin from Switzerland back into Russia, would have been disastorous for England. Russia possessed the raw materials and foodstuffs that the Allied blockade was denying Germany and thus preventing Germany from winning WWI. Junkers or not, Lenin had every reason to cooperate with Germany given Germany's role in putting Lenin in power by defeating the Tsar. Given this context, Britain needed to do something to counter Germany's position with the Bolsheviks and the Balfour Declaration can be seen as part of Britain calculated attempt to offset German influence in Moscow.

"The timing of its issue, in close proximity to the predominantly Jewish Bolshevik party taking power in Russia, cannot be ignored."

Actually, the Bolshevik overthrow of Kerensky made the Balfour Declaration irrelevant. There's nothing odd about the timing. The fact that both events occurred close together should be taken as symptomatic of the crisis in Kerensky's government arising from the continuation of the war. The Balfour Declaration was a bid to keep Russia in the war by seeking to influence Russian Jews who supported Kerensky. This issue of making a special declaration to try to influence Russia to stay in the war arose because staying in the war was creating a fatal crisis for Kerensky's provisional government. That same crisis allowed the Bolsheviks to overthrow Kerensky. So there's nothing strange that the two events occurred back-to-back.

"Lenin had every reason to cooperate with Germany given Germany's role in putting Lenin in power by defeating the Tsar."

No, from the very first moment when the Bolsheviks overthrew Kerensky they began considering what could be done to send revolutionary propaganda into Germany to create a revolution there. Bruce Lockhart and some others realized this and advised that Britain should aid the Bolsheviks in propagating revolution into Germany. After the Brest-Litovsk Treaty was signed Lockhart and the rest turned against the idea and began encouraging intervention in support of the Whites. More about this appears in Michael Occleshaw, DANCES IN DEEP SHADOWS: THE CLANDESTINE WAR IN RUSSIA 1917-20. But none of this has anything to do with the Balfour Declaration. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:57, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Balfour & Aliens Bill[edit]

Not remarked on in this article as it stands or in Balfor bio article as it stands. Eg:

Consider the background to the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917, by which the British government committed itself to the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. This was a major coup for the Zionist movement. But it would be wrong to think that it was the product of pro-Jewish sentiment within the British establishment. On the contrary, British support for Zionism was spearheaded by anti-Semites within the civil and foreign service. These people believed that Jews, acting collectively, were manipulating world events from behind the scenes. Consequently, they vastly exaggerated the power and influence of the tiny Zionist movement. Balfour himself took a similar view. Moreover, some years earlier, as Prime Minister, he introduced the Aliens Bill (which became law in 1905), aimed specifically at restricting admission of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. He warned Parliament at the time that the Jews "remained a people apart." Source

I dont presume to judge Balfour by the standards of 2006 but it might aid the reader to know about his involvement in the Aliens bill, and to put some flesh on the bones of his involvement in the 1917 declaration. It can also help flesh out one reasons why support was given to the zionist- Antisemitism. D Mac Con Uladh 12:55, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

A peace to end all peace and the Turkish connection[edit]

According to David Fromkin (of Jerusalem Post celebrity), the most significant impetus for Zionism’s actualization originated during the Young Turk movement, when a single British intelligence failure (caused by general confusion, British condescending bigotry, and erroneous fact-checking) created an urgency for the strategic need to secure an exclusively Jewish homeland.

•Here’s his chapter in summary from A Peace to End All Peace: A foreign agent wrote back to Britain that he suspected the Jews of Turkey were being promised a homeland in Palestine by the Turks, which would have meant another resistor to British occupation in the region and a threat to the Middle-East/Africa land corridor and the Suez Canal's security.

•This intelligence was patently incorrect. Turkish Jews were loyal to Turkish interests and their own Turkish Jewish communities. The Jews were represented well in the society, for instance, they had 4 permanent members in the Committee of Union and Progress. There was no evidence of a Turkish Palestine land deal ever having taken place. It would have made little sense for the secular Turkish to promise a territory to Jews, a respected minority, for ascriptively religious reasons (although it is conceivable that inventing this intelligence SNAFU gave the British a pretext for what they did next…).

•In an effort to co-opt the Jews and foment resistance to the declining Turkish hegemony in the region and to protect their own local interests, the British planned their own Palestine land deal for the Jews. British governing elites began serious dialogues with Zionist elites, the results of which eventually manifested in the Balfour Declaration.

-- 09:03, 5 January 2007 (UTC)Behemoth101


Hi, a recent edit by had this:

Why are you publishing clearly anti-semitic conspiracy theories??? Please remove theme asap.
"Here in the United States, the Zionists and their co-religionists have complete control of our government. For many reasons, too many and too complex to go into here at this time, the Zionists and their co-religionists rule these United States as though they were the absolute monarchs of this country."

First, I think that this is just a quote, it's not a conspiracy theory, or even a theory. Second, please note the distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. Thanks. Asabbagh 00:27, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

I have removed more: this was only a part of an unsourced and highly POV essay on how the Jews (including a 1/4 Jew Lenin!) were manipulating the world powers. ←Humus sapiens ну? 02:04, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Hi, I checked and yes the essays you removed were inserted into this article with no source. My response above was assuming the user was talking about something already in the article and agreed to be NPOV. Your edit is valid. Asabbagh 02:28, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Humus sapiens[edit]

I did review what I was doing. In terms of using the talk page, I suggest you do the same before deleting sections of an article that you disagree with. You made the changes and then went to talk and stated what you did. Try doing the opposite next time and maybe you wont get reverted. Thank you. MetsFan76 03:03, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Oh, I thought my edit summary was enough. Sorry I didn't know this article has an owner. ←Humus sapiens ну? 03:18, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
I would like to direct you to WP:CIVIL. As an admin, I would have thought you would have read through the guidelines. MetsFan76 03:23, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
I have resisted your repeated attempts to add an antisemitic diatribe to the article and now you are giving me a lesson in civility and adminship? LOL. ←Humus sapiens ну? 02:05, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Metsfan, you've got to be kidding, no? That first section is an unsourced opinion essay; as for the second piece, since when to we post full unformatted texts of antisemitic diatribes into Wikipedia? Wow. --MPerel ( talk | contrib) 03:29, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

When I first saw the additions I figured it was someone's idea of a joke. I cannot believe someone is actually seriously trying to add it.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 06:45, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Ditto. MetsFan, please don't add that back again. SlimVirgin (talk) 08:10, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
I thought the essay was interesting, and would encourage you to publish it on a blog, etc. But it's not appropriate for an article in Wikipedia. --Leifern 16:08, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

-Just one comment on taking out that "essay". Now that the essay is out, there is nothing in this entry about the Jews financing World War One. That needs to be left in there. They were long known for financing wars.

Hi, If you have information which is linked to a source, then you can add it. Asabbagh 19:18, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

"Jews financing World War One."

Was J.P. Morgan Jewish? He was an enthusiast for financing England early on at the very beginning of the war. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:01, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

confusing use of inclusion/exclusion[edit]

Hi All,

I am confused by the use of the terms inclusion and exclusion in this article. The beginning of the third paragraph in Text development and differing views reads

At that time the British were busy making promises. Henry McMahon had exchanged letters with Hussein ibn Ali, Sheriff of Mecca in 1915, in which he had promised the Arabs control of the Arab lands, exclusive of the Mediterranean coast. The extent of the coastal exclusion is not clear. Hussein protested that the Arabs of Beirut would greatly oppose isolation from the Arab state or states, but did not, it seems, bring up the matter of the Jerusalem area, which included a good part of Palestine.

from which I understand that the excluded lands would not be controlled by the Arabs. But then I read:

This suggests either that the area of Jerusalem and Palestine was not part of the inclusion and was promised to the Arabs, as shown in some maps, and is believed by pro-Arab historians, or that Palestine was included, but that Hussein did not protest.

from which it sounds like it is the included lands that were not promised to the Arabs. Maybe this should be corrected?

other inconsistencies: Haim -> Chaim; belief's -> beliefs

Ptrslv72 22:38, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

removed link for Statute_of_Kalisz[edit]

There was a link to "statute of kalisz" from the portion of the Declaration "political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country". I removed it as a distant and only tangentially related link. If someone wants to create a general page about the political status enjoyed by Jews in other countries and link to kalisz from there, that would seem appropriate. --Zachbe 19:29, 10 September 2007 (UTC)


The article, in its present form, does not provide the compelling back story concerning the International Zionist's efforts, before and during WWI and active in the capitals of all of the major belligerents.

This effort, active in Washington, Berlin, Vienna, Paris, Moscow and other capitals of the secondary participants aimed to lobby, negotiate, and tease concessions from one or more of the warring powers that would lead to an assurance of protection for additional Jewish participation in Palestine.

The drama of this situation should be captured herein. The world's first international lobbying effort, the level of organization and commitment, the high stakes game of international poker that was played by the Zionists is a story that found fruition in the Balfour Declaration, yet is not reflected in this article.

The fascinating part of this story is how close the Zionists were to closing a deal with Germany to actually achieve a land grant in Palestine. The anchor on the deal was Germany's war time alliance with Turkey which occupied this same said land. How could Germany cede land to the Zionists that belonged, at the time, to one of its principal allies?

So fellow Wikipedians, how do we elevate this article to fully explore the more fascinating nuances of this subject and not just offer a tired rendition available in any junior high school history text? Sjttaylor 01:34, 7 November 2007 (UTC)—Preceding unsigned comment added by Sjttaylor (talkcontribs) 01:29, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Contradictory assurances section[edit]

The first sentence of the "Contradictory assurances" section ("In a 1919 memorandum he wrote as a Cabinet Minister, Balfour wrote of these contradictory assurances as follows:") is a bit confusing. The antecedent of "these contradictory assurances" is ambiguous, and in fact the word "contradictory" first appears in that very sentence.

DRE (talk) 23:09, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Image of Balfour Declaration[edit]

Why use an image of the Balfour declaration that has second hand marking on it? There are enough clean images of the original that have not been marked up.

Kopitarian (talk) 00:08, 17 February 2008

In a cheese?[edit]

What does the "in a cheese" mean in the intro? (talk) 22:15, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

It was vandalism, since removed. You just happened to read the article during the brief time this nonsense was present. The correct wording is "in a letter". Hertz1888 (talk) 00:34, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Quigley's report on Milner's draft[edit]

I made a minor change to reflect the fact that Prof. Quigley wasn't the first to 'reveal' Milner's work on the final draft. Others, including Doreen Ingrams, had published the draft and attributed it to Milner. see for example Ingram's Palestine Papers 1917-1922, page 12. harlan (talk) 22:25, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

New York is a Jewish State[edit]

Who said the British can give away Palestine... Now New York is clearly a Jewish state

The British overthrew the Turks who had ruled Palestine for 700 years. It was theirs to dispose of how they wanted. Balfour decided (as was his right) to return Palestine to the Jews who had been exiled from it. He and the League of Nations recognised the historic connection of the Jews to the land and the re-constitution of the state. The 're-constitution' recognised the Kingdoms that had existed prior to the exile. Britain reneged on the international law and treaty that it had signed because of the discovery of oil in Arabia! This culminated in the infamous 1939 white paper.

New York was taken from the red indians by force. It is occupied territory! Jews are there because Britain refused them entry to Palestine - contrary to international law and treaty. Now Jews are only 25% of the population of New York and so do not have a majority, so your comment is spurious at least! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:00, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Was it really Balfour's right? Did he really have sufficient authority to, without Parliament's approval, make such a far-reaching policy commitment? (talk) 08:08, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Mental state[edit]

The article fails to include any information relating to Balfour's sanity (or clear lack thereof). Could information be added about what conditions he was suffering from? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:36, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

You have got to be kidding, that is the most asinine- but it's the internet, what to expect? (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 23:46, 11 April 2012 (UTC).

If there is any citeable evidence concerning his health and its potential for effect on his actions at the time, then mention it. (The media of 1917 were less revealing about politicians' health issues than in the 21st century.) Although he was sane enough to produce another Balfour Declaration (unrelated to Jewish homeland question) in 1926.Cloptonson (talk) 22:31, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
I also question accusations of insanity on legal grounds - Balfour was a sitting MP (House of Commons, before going up to the House of Lords) throughout the First World War and certified clinical insanity would have barred him from sitting in Parliament under an Act of 1886 - a law under which his contemporary, Liberal MP Charles Leach, was expelled in 1916. No seat in Parliament - no seat in British Cabinet. Non-British readers, please note.Cloptonson (talk) 18:51, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

Balfour Day[edit]

The last paragraph of the summary has some lines about "Balfour Day" and has some claims that look ridiculous to me, and some brief Googling shows that the lines are inaccurate. Anyone take issue with me removing them? Thank you. Dimension31 (talk) 21:58, 13 July 2011 (UTC)


The article covers the Balfour declaration development and consequences, nicely, but says nothing of the motivation behind it. Why would the British government offer such a declaration? What would they hope to gain by this? The background section implies that Britain needed something to tip the scales in WWI in their favor, but does not say what aid they hoped to gain and how that aid could be acquired by this declaration. What did Rothschild have that could be exchanged for this important change in policy?

A great many conspiracy-related ideas can be found on the internet on this topic. Does anyone have any credible source which sheds light on this important aspect of this pivotal document? LoneStar77 (talk) 01:07, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

The topic of motivation needs significant expansion, agreed. --Frederico1234 (talk) 08:30, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Agreed, though it is not an easy task since there are barely two authors who agree on this question. Zerotalk 21:28, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Text development and differing views[edit]

It seems to me here that a little to much weight is given to supposed intentions of the Zionists and the private interpretation of British officials, without explicitly mentioning the stated intentions of the Zionist negotiators that were presented to the Cabinet and were the basis on which the Cabinet made its decisions. The Zionist position officially presented to the Cabinet during the drafting process was that they did not want "to set up a Jewish Republic or any other form of state in Palestine or in any part of Palestine." I think this should at least be mentioned in this section. Dlv999 (talk) 10:13, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

omission of fact[edit]

The article omits that the Balfour Declaration was made in return for for the advance of further loans to the British & French Governments to finance the war effort against Germany, it was a condition of the loan from the Rothchilds Bank, no declaration then no loan! It was not a "gift" freely made by Britain as asserted by Jeremy Paxman in his programme Empire 1/5 A Taste for Power (BBC1 TV Monday 27/2/12). Further it was not a "gift" because you cannot "gift" something if it does not belong to you.ROBINFREDERICK (talk) 08:02, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

This is news to me. Do you have a source for this? --Frederico1234 (talk) 08:26, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved to Balfour Declaration. Favonian (talk) 19:21, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Balfour Declaration of 1917Balfour Declaration – A quick search in google or google books shows that the vast majority of references to "the Balfour Declaration" refer solely to the 1917 document. Oncenawhile (talk) 09:09, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Conflicts and broken treaty commitments (contradictory assurances)[edit]

This section does not seem particurly relevant to this article. Does anyone disagree? Oncenawhile (talk) 20:23, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

If Balfour explicitly commented on the Balfour Declaration, that could be relevant. But in this quotation he doesn't directly mention it, and so presenting the quotation as it is seems to be OR. What would do instead would be a secondary source making that connection. Zerotalk 14:25, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Request to reconsider and un-move this article[edit]

I only recently became aware of the proposal to re-name this article. I would like to propose that the re-naming be reversed and that this article again be "Balfour Declaration of 1917", with a disambiguation page entitled "Balfour Declaration" for the two Balfour Declarations, of 1917 and 1926. Briefly, I do not think that Wikipedia should be trying to determine which Declaration is the "primary" one, as that runs contrary to the principle of Neutral Point of View.

The two different Declarations are of interest to two different communities. The 1917 Declaration is of relevance to the community interested in the history of Israel/Palestine, while the 1926 Declaration is of relevance to the community interested in the history of the Commonwealth and the constitutional development of the Dominions within the Commonwealth. I think it is a mistake to say that one of the Declarations is the "primary" one, since they address two completely different issues and areas. In fact, I would respectfully suggest that saying one of them is the "primary" one infringes on the Neutral Point of View principle. For people interested in the Commonwealth development, the 1926 one is the primary one, while for people interested in the Palestine/Israel issue, the 1917 one is the primary one. Wikipedia as a whole should not choose between those two views, in my opinion.

I've set out my thoughts on the related proposal to re-name Balfour Declaration of 1926 as Balfour Report of 1926 on Talk:Balfour Declaration of 1926. I oppose that change, because in my opinion, the proper term is "Declaration", as used by the Commonwealth governments which are most closely affected by it. Similarly, I would suggest that since the Declaration of 1926 marked a fundamental step in the constitutional evolution of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland and Newfoundland, as well as the authority of the British Parliament, it is of immense significance for the history of the constitutional development of the Commonwealth, both collectively and the individual nations.

Note that I am not trying to assert that the 1926 Declaration is the primary one. I am simply stating that the two documents are both of considerable significance and no attempt should be made by Wikipedia to determine which is the "primary" one. Both are of fundamental importance for their respective communities of interest, and Wikipedia should treat them equally. Otherwise, we descend into a personal and subjective assessment of relative importance, which I doubt would ever be settled.

As I mention on the other Talk page, there is ample precedent for the combined use of a disambiguation page and inclusion of the year in the article title as a way to avoid confusion about the topics. A good example is "Treaty of Paris" - there have been numerous Treaties of Paris, so there is a disambiguation page by that name, and the different articles all have the relevant year in their title. I use that as an example because it is similar to this issue: depending on which community of interest the reader is in, the reader will have a different view of what the term "Treaty of Paris" refers to. The combination of a disambiguation page and including years in the titles of the articles avoids any appearance that Wikipedia is favouring one view of history over another. The same course should be followed here, in my opinion. Mr Serjeant Buzfuz (talk) 09:19, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

It seems pretty clear (and is backed by the references provided above by Kauffner) that the 1917 document meets the requirements of WP:PRIMARYTOPIC, especially the first one regarding usage. I therefore see no reason to revert my closure of the move request. Favonian (talk) 10:54, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree. Although both documents were of historical significance, one overwhelms the other in the amount of interest shown to it. Also, this question has nothing to do with NPOV. Zerotalk 11:08, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support restoration of date disambiguation.
The problem is that sheer usage clearly favours the 1917 declaration, so much so that it becomes common knowledge that there was "only one" Balfour declaration of note. This is of course wrong. It's not WP's role to reinforce such incorrect views, even when commonly held. Disambiguated names will work, and anyone searching for "the" Balfour declaration will have no trouble in finding it. Andy Dingley (talk) 12:13, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
The dab notice at the top of this article adequately caters for your concerns. Zerotalk 12:32, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose restoration. While I respectfully acknowledge the points made by Buzfuz, not only is the 1917 version overwhelmingly the primary topic, but Balfour Declaration is not even the wp:commonname for the 1926 version. As per the links on Talk:Balfour Declaration of 1926, the common name is Balfour Report of 1926. Oncenawhile (talk) 12:38, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose This is a clear primary topic. The "1917" part is much less known so people would be confused what article they want to read, when this one is the most probable. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 13:08, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - This is a primary topic as has been stated above. Wikipedia should merely reflect common usage, not prescribe, and using "of 1917" is a prescription. --Tyrannus Mundi (talk) 21:40, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Zionism: Weizmann[edit]

"Weizmann." in the second paragraph of this section needs amplification. (It's his first appearance in the text.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kirker (talkcontribs) 00:10, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

Over a year later and no one has corrected this. Given the obvious amount of debate and effort put into the article it's somewhat remarkable that not one editor cares about this most fundamental example of bad style. Who is Weizmann? (talk) 23:25, 2 November 2013 (UTC)


A query of the statement reading: "In May 1916 the governments of the United Kingdom, France and Russia signed the Sykes–Picot Agreement ... ." Wasn't the Sykes-Picot agreement actually the initial agreement made between Britain and France, which then became the Tripartite Agreement when later ratified by Russia?     ←   ZScarpia   18:28, 13 December 2013 (UTC)


Please add a map like this: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:22, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

No, thank you, we only use reliable sources. Zerotalk 10:50, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

testimony of Lloyd George[edit]

I am questioning this text:

Lloyd-George (Prime Minister at the time of publishing the Declaration) had testified earlier (likely in 1939 at the time of the 1939 White Paper):

"...There could be no doubt as to what the Cabinet then had in mind. It was not their idea that a Jewish State should be set up immediately by the Peace Treaty... On the other hand, it was contemplated that when the time arrived for according representative institutions to Palestine, if the Jews had meanwhile responded to the opportunity afforded them ... and had become a definite majority of the inhabitants, then Palestine would thus become a Jewish Commonwealth. The notion that the Jews should be a permanent minority never entered into the heads of anyone engaged in framing the policy. That would have been regarded as unjust, and as a fraud on the people to whom we were appealing."[2][3]

The "1939" suggestion seems to be a conjecture by some Wikipedia editor and can be easily disproved. Neither source is reliable. The Jewish Agency document collection is from an interested party, while the congressional record is probably just copied from it. The quotation in fact comes from the testimony given by Lloyd George to the Peel Commission in 1937. Page 24 of the Peel Commission report has:

Mr. Lloyd George, who was Prime Minister at the time, informed us in evidence that:—
”The idea was, and this was the interpretation put upon it at the time, that a Jewish State was not to be set up immediately by the Peace Treaty without reference to the wishes of the majority of the inhabitants. On the other hand, it was contemplated that when the time arrived for according representative institutions to Palestine, if the Jews had meanwhile responded to the opportunity afforded them by the idea of a national home and had become a definite majority of the inhabitants, then PaIestine would thus become a Jewish Commonwealth."

That is the complete quotation in the Peel report (though there is more information in the text). Note how it is obviously the same testimony even though the wording is somewhat different. It does not have the "permanent minority" sentences though it does have a passage "reference to the wishes of the majority of the inhabitants" that has fallen into an ellipsis. This testimony quoted from the Peel report incidentally appears verbatim in another collection of Jewish Agency documents: The Jewish Plan for Palestine. Memoranda and Statements presented by The Jewish Agency for Palestine to the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (1947), page 60. The modified text with the "majority of the inhabitants" removed and the extra sentences appeared in verbal testimony of Rabbi Silver in 1947, see this, and was repeated in Weizmann's autobiography. Without a more objective source, we can't cite it except as a claim. However we can cite the version in the Peel report, which I will now do. Note that Lloyd George's evidence was given in private, not in the public hearings, see here. Zerotalk 00:56, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Edward Said (1992). Question of Palestine. Vintage Books Edition. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-679-73988-3. , Doreen Ingrams (1973). Palestine Papers 1917-1922. George Braziller Edition. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-8076-0648-3.  Documents on British Foreign Policy 1919-1931, First series Vol 4. page 345 memorandum from Lord Balfour to Lord Curzon, August 11, 1919, and quoted by The Origin of the Palestine-Israeli Conflict 2nd Edition, 2002, Jews for Justice. Verified 24 October 2007. [dead link]
  2. ^ Tulin, Abraham (1947). Book of Documents submitted to the United Nations General Assembly Relating to the National Home for the Jewish People. New York: Jewish Agency for Palestine. pp. 5,6. 
  3. ^ Hearings, Seventy-eighth Congress, second session, on H. Res. 418 and H. Res. 419. Ktav Publishing House. 1944. p. 27. 

Source for: "The Jewish State" is a poor/mis- translation.[edit]

this isn't OR, User:Onceinawhile. [ source - Page 3 & 4 of this translation.--{{U|Elvey}} (tc) 03:32, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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