UK lawmakers debate legacy of 1917 Balfour declaration – London. British lawmakers urged the government to honor all aspects of the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which 100 years ago set out the U.K.’s support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine, in a parliamentary debate Wednesday.

The debate took place a few hours after British Prime Minister Theresa May reiterated that her government will mark the 100th anniversary of the declaration “with pride.”

However, Scottish Nationalist Party MP Joanna Cherry underlined that many of her constituents “have pointed out that the Balfour Declaration disregarded the rights, wishes and claims of the Palestinian people, who made up nearly 90 percent of the population in Palestine in 1917.”

“The Balfour Declaration and Britain’s subsequent acts when Palestine was under its control created the framework for Palestinian dispossession and the establishment in 1948 of a state whose basic laws and subsequent policies have privileged the rights of Jewish inhabitants above those of Palestinians,” she said.

Another Labour MP, Jullie Elliot, said “the centenary of the Balfour Declaration should not be celebrated in any way but should instead be a time when we can pause, think about the situation that we are in now because of this statement by a previous parliamentarian, and look carefully at its impact on the situation today.”

“It is time that the British government took responsibility for the actions of Lord Balfour and the government of 1917, and do their part in fulfilling the second part of the Balfour Declaration,” she said.

“The British Government should recognize the state of Palestine, to fulfil our moral obligation to the Palestinian people, including the 5 million refugees, who have a recognized right to return,” she urged.



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