Balfour Declaration | Just Vision Skip to main content

The glossary is comprised of nearly 250 terms related to the Israeli-Palestinian context. Given the rapidly shifting landscape, these terms cannot capture the full range of nuances, narratives and historical events. This tool is meant as a starting point and we encourage you to continue your exploration of this topic through further research. Last update and review: September 2015.

Balfour Declaration

A diplomatic declaration in the form of a letter, dated November 2, 1917, from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Baron Rothschild, a leader of Britain's Jewish community. The letter expressed the British Government's support for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." The Declaration was at odds with British territorial commitments to the Arabs as laid out in the McMahon-Hussein correspondence, which seemed to pledge post-World War I Arab sovereignty over much of the region including Palestine. The Declaration was also at odds with the secret and concurrent Sykes-Picot Agreement between Britain, France, and Russia, which carved the Middle East into spheres of British and French influence and/or control. The Declaration was disapproved of by Palestinian Arabs who also had hopes for national independence. See the full text of the letter at "The Balfour Declaration," UNISPAL.