British Christians denounce Balfour Declaration, claiming “it’s one of the greatest mistakes in history” 28Aug13 August 28, 2013

Palestine News Network    -   27 August 2013

kairos_group_340_220British Christians responded on Sunday 25th August, to ‘A Moment of Truth’, the Kairos Palestine document at the Greenbelt Arts Festival, in Cheltenham.

Rafaat Qasis, of the Kairos Palestine, told PNN that the document which was launched in 2009 by leading Palestinian Christians has received an international response in several countries and was reflected through the formation of committees and workshops that call for the actual work to implement what came in the document.

The document that was launched Sunday in Britain announced that Belfour Declaration, which is a November 2, 1917 letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Lord Rothschild that made public the British support of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, is a mistake and that it has betrayed the Palestinian people. It says, “It’s one of the greatest mistakes in our imperial history.” Stressing that the declaration was silent on the political rights of the non-Jewish communities – in particular Palestinian Arabs – who by the start of the 1920s, made up almost 90% of the population in Palestine.

The Kairos Palestine document explains why British Christians have a particular responsibility toward the situation in Israel and Palestine and why there is an urgent need for them to be involved in supporting the call of the Palestinian Church for international action. It also identifies “the reality on the ground” in the Holy Land, the truth of life in the occupied Palestinian territories; West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

The document denounce Israel’s brutal and cruel policies and measures it carries out against the Palestinians from daily humiliation of women, men and children, deaths of civilians, demolishing of homes, the ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem, the brutality of administrative detention, the relentless confiscation of land and natural resources, and thousands of olive trees destroyed. It also denounced the continuing construction of illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian owned-land.

The document declared its commitment to listen to Palestinian voices and supports the growing Palestinian non-violent resistance movement, the release of prisoners from Israeli jails and the plight of thousands of refugees to return to their homeland. The document also encourages alternative tourism and spreading awareness to tourists and pilgrims about Palestinians’ daily life under occupation.

The document also condemns Israel’s blatant disregard for international laws and resolutions, and underestimation of the human rights, calling on societies and political leaders to put pressure on Israel and take legal actions to end the occupation and its brutal, arbitrary and racist practices towards the Palestinian people.

The document was built upon previous kairos documents such as Kairos South Africa, 1985, that called for confession, repentance and the rejection of violence. It challenges Christians around the world to hear the cry for justice and recognize that now is a crucial (kairos) moment to act now to attain justice, peace and security.”

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