On November 2, at an invitation of the National Committee for the Commemoration of 100 year anniversary of Balfour Declaration, angry mass rallies were launched in all Palestinian cities and abroad, condemning the crime committed by Britain against our people when the then Foreign Secretary of Britain in a letter promised the Zionist movement a homeland in Palestine. The account here shows that Palestinians, still struggling against a colonial regime that the British Mandate in 1948 and with the support of the United Nations handed over to the then newly formed state of Israel, continue to struggle for their rights.
The process set in place with this letter that lead to the expulsion of the majority of the Palestinian people from their homes and land in order to establish the Israeli regime of ongoing colonisation, occupation and apartheid, make resistance util to date the only form of dignified existence for the Palestinian people.
For more about the Balfour Declaration, see for example Omar Barghouti's piece "Balfour sparked a national tragedy for the Palestinian people – with BDS, we are fighting back".
The protests on the ground were decentralised across the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Ministry of Higher Education allocated the first class on November 2 in schools to talk about the Balfour Declaration, and handed over 100,000 letters written by Palestinian students to the British Consulate in Jerusalem, condemning London's intention to celebrate the centennial of the Balfour Declaration.
JERUSALEM: The occupation suppresses an angry march asking Britain to stop celebrating colonialism but to work for an end to the occupation
The Israeli occupation forces repressed a large march in front of the British consulate in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied Jerusalem that demanded an apology for the ominous Balfour Declaration. The march was attended by dozens of Palestinian personalities from Jerusalem, including the Mufti of Jerusalem, and beyond. A large number of representatives of Palestinian national forces and civil society, legal figures in Jerusalem as well as a large number of the schools students of Jerusalem gathered for the mach that moved towards the British consulate in the city center. Protesters raised Palestinian flags and chanted "We call on Britain not to celebrate the shame of colonialism and to work instead to end the occupation”.
The occupation forces attacked the participants and beat the protesters in front of the consulate, using the the fact that Palestinian flags are being raised – an act illegal in Jerusalem – and arrested the activist Mohammed Abu Najma.
RAMALLAH: people demand an apology from Britain
Hundreds of people gathered in the center of Ramallah to commemorate the centennial anniversary of Balfour's ominous letter. The march was addressed by a number of official, political and national figures. People voiced their anger about Britain’s sell out of their land and about ongoing British colonial arrogance in celebrating 100 years from the Balfour Declaration, even in the light of the ongoing tragedy created by it.
The demonstrators carried Palestinian and black flags, raised slogans denouncing British support for the occupation, and chanted angry slogans calling Britain to correct this historic mistake.
GAZA: Massive march condemning the colonial promise
At the invitation of the national factions in Gaza, thousands of citizens in the Gaza Strip took part in a central march condemning the disastrous Balfour Declaration, holding Britain fully responsible for the historic injustice inflicted upon our people by this ominous promise. The march started in the center of Gaza city and moved towards the United Nations headquarters west of the city, where the participants raised Palestinian and black flags as well as banners denouncing the ominous promise. They demanded Britain to apologize to our people and recognize our full national rights.
HEBRON: People under siege mobilize against Balfour
Hundreds of citizens took part in a protest rally against the Balfour Declaration in the city of Hebron, organized by the National Campaign to Lift the Siege of Hebron. Participants raised protest signs against the Balfour Declaration and its celebration.
NABLUS: the festival of anger over the Balfour declaration
Yet another mass rally was held in Nablus, during which participants called on the British government to apologize to the Palestinians for the Balfour Declaration.
Even at official level, criticism was heard. The Palestinian presidency demanded that the British government publicly apologize to the Palestinian people and act to correct this historical mistake. Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit affirmed that the Balfour Declaration and its commitments represent the culmination of the international bias against the Palestinian people and constitute an embodiment of indifference to their historical rights in the land of Palestine.
Even in Britain, various protest, rallies and media interventions have been organized. British parliamentarians and dignitaries from British civil society, including diplomats, academics and clerics, joined in a letter demanding that the British government not allow the breach of the Geneva Conventions, which Britain participated in drafting and ratification after the Second World War, to continue; that it should take action to ensure implementation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions.