The UK government marked a “day of ultimate shame” by celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which led to Israel’s creation, says a scholar in London.
Dr. Rodney Shakespeare made the remarks on Saturday, two days after UK Prime Minister Theresa May commemorated the 1917 declaration by holding a series of events attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
After throwing a banquet for the occasion on Thursday night, May said that her country was “proud of our pioneering role in the creation of the state of Israel,” as well as the “relationship we have built with Israel.”
The document, signed by then British Foreign Minister Arthur James Balfour emboldened Israel to proclaim existence after capturing huge swathes of Arab land in a war in 1948.
In 1967, it proceeded to capture more Palestinian territory in another war and then started propping up scores of settlements across that occupied territory in a move to gradually annex it.
The declaration “essentially started the processes by which will come to occupy another person’s land and eventually expel them and embark on a process of colonization,” Shakespeare said.
Noting that the original declaration “did apparently take account of other people’s religious right,” Shakespeare said the document still ignored their political rights.
There is a consensus that Israel has been in violation of a key caveat of the declaration, which states that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities.”
Roderick Balfour, a great-great-nephew of Lord Arthur Balfour, has also echoed the same stance.
“Israel treats the world with contempt as it expands all the time and at the same time as it is expanding, it is hand in glove with the USA and Saudi Arabia to smash up any other state which dares to say a word against Israeli illegal expansion,” Shakespeare argued.
“That is why the Israeli tried to smash up Syria and that is why they hate Iran,” he continued.
“So today is really the commemoration of a day of ultimate shame, which has led to the colonial settler state which has racist undertones,” Shakespeare asserted.