Suing Lord Balfour | IFCJ
Skip Navigation

Suing Lord Balfour

Lord Balfour, portrait by Lawrence Alma-Tadema (Photo: wikicommons/National Portrait Gallery)

Recently, Stand for Israel told you how the Palestinians have threatened to sue Great Britain over the 99-year-old Balfour Declaration, a letter from 1917 that created support for a Jewish state. Now, the Council on Foreign Relations' Elliott Abrams writes that such a threat is a waste of time by Palestinian leadership, who should instead be trying to help their people:

Is it to be the International Criminal Court, where perhaps they could seek a warrant to arrest Lord Balfour? Problem: he died in 1930. Perhaps he has heirs whose property might be attached. In fact, he never married and had no children. Or perhaps the PLO might try to attach all the streets named for Balfour throughout Israel, or the community there called Balfouria after him.

And this PLO approach might become a model: perhaps Germans still unhappy with the Versailles Treaty might sue England and France. Like the Balfour Declaration, that was only a century ago–and Versailles was an actual treaty, not a mere “declaration.” If declarations are actionable in international courts, there will be a bonanza for lawyers. Every country in Latin America might sue the United States over the Monroe Doctrine, or perhaps every European country the Monroe Doctrine prohibited from intervening in this Hemisphere might sue us. Lawyers could ponder the difference between a “doctrine” and a “declaration.”

But there is something more serious to ponder: that the Palestinian leadership is wasting its time and energy on this nonsense instead of trying in practical ways to improve the lives of Palestinians. Suing Lord Balfour, or to be more exact suing the United Kingdom over the Balfour Declaration of 1917, is a substitute for decent governance and the evasion of even an effort to provide it. I imagine that Palestinians are fully aware of this and understand that this initiative is a form of bread and circuses. It’s likely that they will not find this whole episode as ridiculous and amusing as we in the West do.

Tags: History

Previous Post

Next Post

Bless Israel For Her 70th

Help Her Survive

For elderly Jews like Tatiana in the far reaches of the former Soviet Union, the harsh winter months threaten their very survival. You can help provide winter relief essentials like heating fuel and warm clothing as well as food and medicine to an elderly widow who has no one else to care for her.

Donate Now
Landscape photo of Jerusalem with the Dome of the Rock in the foreground.

Visit Israel

Here you’ll find an array of useful information on accommodations, transportation, exchanging currency, Israel's climate and customs, and much more. So get the most out of your trip to Israel with the help of The Fellowship.

Read More

About The Fellowship (IFCJ)

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) funds humanitarian aid to the needy in Israel and in Jewish communities around the world, promotes prayer and advocacy on behalf of the Jewish state, and provides resources that help build bridges of understanding between Christians and Jews.

Read More