British PM Rebuffs Palestinian Protests Against Balfour Centennial

PM May, Sticks by, Top Ministers, Election, Authority
(Reuters/Toby Melville)

Britain has rebuffed Palestinian demands to retract and apologize for the Balfour Declaration, a week before the country marks the hundredth anniversary of the historic decision to back the Jewish return to the land of Israel.

Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday that her country would celebrate “with pride” its role in the creation of the state of Israel.

“We are proud of the role that we played in the creation of the state of Israel, and we will certainly mark the centenary with pride,” May told the House of Commons during Prime Minister’s Questions.

A few days ago, the government agency that operates the London Underground refused permission for an ad campaign depicting the founding of Israel as a disaster for the Palestinians. The official reason given was that such ads were not in keeping with its policy of excluding provocative or offensive ads.

In July, The Palestinian Authority said it was preparing a lawsuit against the British government over the issuing of the Balfour Declaration.

PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told Arab League leaders gathered in Mauritania at the time that London is responsible for all “Israeli crimes” committed since the end of the British mandate in 1948.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is due in London next week to participate in the centennial.