The Balfour Declaration was the British promise to make the Ottoman Palestine a national homeland for Jews.

The British position was somewhat hypocritical. Since the Ottoman Empire sided with the Central Powers in World War I, the British not only fought the Ottomans, but also encouraged revolt among the Ottomans’ Arab vassals. The result was that the conflicting national aspirations (between Arabs and Jews) were unleashed, and the conflict still torments the Middle East today.

Thus, the "friendly" resolution offered by the British only partially recognizes that the British had a hand in creating the ethnic crisis to begin with.

The Balfour Declaration, given in November 2nd, 1917, by Arthur James Balfour (1848-1930), British Foreign Secretary, to Lord Rothschild (1868-1937), then Chairman of the British Zionist Federation.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
November 2nd, 1917
Dear Lord Rothschild.

    I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty's Goverment, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspiration which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.
    His Majesty's Goverment view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievment of this subject, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights if existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by jews in any other country
    I should be greatful if you would bring this declaration to the knowlage of the Zionist Federation.

The declaration may be quite confusing and not clear (What exactly is a national home? Where would it be located inside Palestine? What would the British Government do exactly? etc.), but still, it represents the International acknowledgement of the Zionist movement and of the Jewish need for a home land in Palestine/Israel, which later formed the basis for the declaration of Israel as a Jewish state.

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