The Arab Thinking Forum in London held a seminar titled “The Balfour Declaration and the Efforts to Get Britain to Apologize” on Saturday, November 12th, at a hotel in West London discussing the possibility and the ways to urge Britain to openly and publically apologise for the promise that started the Palestinian tragedy.
Many participated in the seminar, including Kamel Hawash, Head of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in the UK, Tariq Hammoud, Director General of the Palestinian Return Center, and Atef Al-Shaer, Professor at the University of Westminster. The event was coordinated and organized by Mohamed Amin, President of the Arab Thinking Forum.
Muhammad Amin told AUK that the seminar aimed to mobilize social media and cultural awareness to get the UK to apologize for the Balfour Declaration, the promise that established the State of Israel and had the first and most prominent impact on the issue of the occupation of Palestine and the expulsion of the Palestinian people.
AUK platform covered the full event and it can be watched on our Youtube channel.
It also aims to study, consult and engage with the Palestinian and Arab communities about the most effective ways to handle the changing the UK government – and specifically the Conservative government – to its biased policies towards Israel.
UK’s responsibility towards the Balfour Declaration
Amin added that this seminar aims to publish books that talk about what the Palestinians, Arabs, and others can do to pressure the House of Commons to apologize for the Balfour Declaration.
Tariq Hammoud, Director General of the Palestinian Return Center and speaker at the event said: Today’s meeting discussed the problematic effect of the Balfour Declaration, the promise that is considered foundational in the Palestinian tragedy, and shed light on Britain’s historical responsibilities that are still continuing until now.
The lecturer at the University of Westminister, Atef Al Shaer, also said: “This gathering is meant to discuss the current Palestinian situation and what can we do to raise awareness of the Palestinian suffering and how can we demand the rights of its people from a country that still supports the Israeli Occupation.”
As for Kamel Hawash, he said: “Today’s event is important as it marks the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration and to; firstly, recall its consequences as a crime against all Palestinians who were either displaced or are still living under the state of Israel occupation; and secondly, to consider the possibility of filing cases demanding an apology from Britain.”
How to urge Britain to apologize for the Balfour Declaration
This seminar is not the first of its kind and is not the first to raise the topic of Britain’s responsibility to apologize for the Balfour Declaration, but its importance lies in the fact that it raised the question “What is it to be done and how?”. It provided a cultural guide, historical information, and legal advice on how to actively urge Britain to apologize.
The seminar also pointed out that part of the resistance is fighting against the Israeli narrative of the occupation, as they say, “There were n Palestinians when the State o Israel was established”, even though the Balfour Declaration and the history associated with it proves otherwise. So it is a legal, cultural, political, and historical fight.
It is worth noting that the Arab Thinking Forum in London organizes from time to time intellectual and political seminars that shed light on Arab and Palestinian issues in particular in Britain and the West in general. You can know more about it on their social media.