Balfour Apology? by Clive Hambidge

Massive DC Rally And March For Gaza 2

Image by Stephen Melkisethian via Flickr

by Clive Hambidge
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Facilitate Global
London, England, Nov. 5, 2016
November 9, 2016

Committee Room 2a House of Lords

The Balfour narrative, biblically driven, was a prejudicial sweep of historical Palestine under an imperialist Zionist carpet underlying the 1922 League of Nations Mandate of the Balfour/Lloyd George deceit. The meta-physics of this ‘sociological’ religiosity seeks (indeed remains in) and re-turns to history, and, though remaining in history regurgitated as a present view: a new Zionist horizon of ‘conquest’ built on the suffering and continuing brutalisation of countless millions of Palestinians since 1948.

In his ‘profoundly moving’ (Edward Said) Fateful Triangle The United States, Israel & The Palestinians Noam Chomsky quotes from a memorandum written by Balfour in 1919 which reads (in part): “in Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country.” [1] Perish the thought, as Palestinians continue to perish.

Palestinian men, women and children, terrorised since 1948 by Zionist Israel, are as Victor Kattan explains in his book From Coexistence to Conquest: “an indigenous people descended from those who lived in the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River in antiquity.” [2] They still do. They still stand, they still resist, they still love. They are a peace loving people with the ashes of Israel’s atrocities perpetrated against their children in their mouths.

The Zionist project was ignited by Lloyd George, Rothschild, Balfour and for that I apologise. For an apology issuing (the point of the evening) from this UK Conservative, right wing, anti immigration, anti asylum, Islamophobic government, has a snowball’s chance in hell of happening. If the declarative Balfour insisted that ‘Zionist aspirations’ are: “of profounder import than the desires and the prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land.” then we understand this from the prime minister of this anti-Semitic time David Lloyd George: “you mustn’t give responsible government to Palestine.” The die was cast as was the Balfour Declaration of 1917.

Lloyd George’s lack of self questioning, self doubt -an inherent imperialistic characteristic- and his (British Israelites) evangelical state of mind, and his own recorded prejudices ‘in regard the Palestinians’ plus his ‘inflated’ ideas of Zionist power underlie his shameful allegiance with Zionism and not the suffering of Jews or Palestinians.

After the fall of Asquith, Lloyd George said: “a war minister must also have vision, imagination and initiative-he must show untiring assiduity, must exercise constant oversight and supervision of every sphere of war activity, [and] must possess driving force to energize this activity,”.

“Support for the World Zionist movement was a direct result of [Lloyd George’s] evangelical upbringing and the influence of clergy like Way, Simeon and Darby, as much as from a desire to dismember the Ottoman Empire and ensure British dominance in the Middle East.” (Stephen Sizers) [3]

It must also be stated that Lloyd George was absent in his presence at the 1917 Rome Conference. William Blake’s British Jerusalem was to be planted in Arab Palestinian Jerusalem, this time there was no Saladin to send the British packing! Anti-Semitic Britain and the U.S (many persecuted Russian Jews were emigrating in to the U.S) did not want more east European Jews immigrating in to their racist anti-Semitic vision and that must be judged and condemned by the present light of the murderous colonising adventure that is Israel today. An unforeseen advent of the past masquerading as a progressive project of the future rooted in a ‘God-driven history’, note ‘not God-given history’, of an imperialist colonialist past.

The intention in the 1917 world of Balfour was to keep out the suffering Jews of Europe from the UK and America and encourage the settler/colonising dusk of Zionism that now is the apartheid State of Israel which casts a gigantic shadow over historical Palestine and presently Jordan.

As I have written elsewhere: British Colonialism, Zionism and the inherent racism formed an unholy Troika in the early part of the 20th century. Montagu, only “the second Jew to serve in a British Cabinet” as Secretary of State for India 1917-1922, sent a memo suggesting the British government’s policy was anti-Semitic: “When the Jews are told that Palestine is their national home, every country will immediately desire to get rid of its Jewish citizens … You will find a population in Palestine driving out its present inhabitants taking all the best in the country.” Accordingly, those Jews “in whatever country he loves” would “[remain] as an unwelcome guest in the country” he “thought he belonged to”. In Montagu’s case: Britain.

This inhumane Occupation, Colonialism and Apartheid seeded by Balfour is under International humanitarian law prohibited: “International law prohibits the unilateral annexation or permanent acquisition of territory as a result of the threat or use of force: should this occur, no State may recognize or support the resulting unlawful situation.”

Palestine has many friends and we remember. Clearly. No revisionism, no clouding of judgment, recourse to anti-Semitism or falling prey to the pernicious permit of propaganda to falsify history. Just the plain ‘good-old fashioned truth’ and the guts, the grit, and the will, to tell it as it is, as it was, when the ‘dismemberment’ of historical Palestine began, when in 1948 the ‘Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine’, in a violent tide of hate. Political-military Zionism was underway.

As explained by the historian Ilan Pappe, across: “the rural hills on the western slopes of the Jerusalem mountains, halfway along the road to Tel-Aviv … Operation Nachshon … would serve as a model for future campaigns: the sudden massive expulsion it employed,” meant the villages assaulted, were to be ruthlessly cleansed or decimated. Pappe goes on, “the end result … was not to spare a single village,” and so it proved.[4] And this violation of Palestine through ‘Plan Dalet’ had also condemned Israel to be and remain a pariah state.

We must press against the tyranny of Israel because Israeli tyranny presses against the human rights of the Palestinian people. For as written (in part) of the Preamble of the UN Charter signed in San Francisco 26 June 1945, coming into force 24 October 1945: “We the people of the United Nations [are] determined: to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small.”

History has shown a Palestinian stoicism, beyond mere obduracy, but cleaved to the Divine, a religious, conservative and devout people have stood. As have their collective rights. It is only natural, for this stoicism, is truly of nature herself. Hatred has had no bearing on Palestinian souls. For their souls have fashioned their strength.

“the forms of Nature have a passion in themselves
That intermingles with those works of man [woman]
To which she summons him,” — William Wordsworth

The Nakba of 1948, when the soul of any country, in the form of its people, then, as the Palestinian people who were forced from their homes, from their land, never succeeded in renting them (ever) from their hope and inner knowledge of an inalienable Right of Return. And so it was that man enshrined this natural right thus: United Nations General Assembly adopts resolution 194 (III), resolving that: “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.” And this stands too.

It is a natural right because it has evolved from natural law. Natural law being of a universal nature cannot be repealed or ‘restrained by human law’. So we have the natural-universal association with human rights. And, an internalisation of human subjectivity and the object of that subjectivity: the right for any human soul to manage their own affairs sui juris. From here we have the returned sense of purpose and no ‘legal disability’ to act according to conscience and natural directive. Here also then the inner covenant of the Palestinian soul with: The Right of Self Determination. And this stands too.

Palestine Return Centre (PRC)

The above suffused my thinking as a result of the PRC’s event of 25th October the 2016 which I attended. The right wing press collided as usual with the truth unfortunately no ‘God particles’ lit the evening. My particular attention was drawn to The Times’ article published the following day by the quasi-intellectual-hack and Times ‘sleuth’ or as titled “Investigations Editor” namely Dominic Kennedy who seized upon a rant by a member of the assembled that Hitler was (somehow) “antagonized over the edge to then want to systematically kill Jews wherever he could find them.” He was not applauded. Kennedy ignored the reasonable debate and its reasoning. He thereby declared the rant true and demonstrated his own lack of empathy for the Palestinian men, women and children brutalised by Zionist Israel, and the truth of his own position. So if one stays with Kennedy’s thinking (is it thinking?) then one must mention another member of the assembled, who apologised for the Balfour Declaration, and then further apologised (ironically) for “Israeli being a democracy”. He was also ignored but he got one thing right. Israel is an apology for a democracy, as I stayed with the truth. This is a powerful emergent. Think Dominic Kennedy, as you strayed inevitably into the twilight zone of Israel’s propaganda.

So PRC seeks an apology. [5] Good. I support this and details will follow. Will freedom for the persecuted and arbitrarily imprisoned Palestinians follow soon? God I hope so.

Baroness Jenny Tonge was chair. Professor Manuel Hassassian Ambassador of the Palestinian Mission to the UK was ill ‘though not seriously’ did not attend. Betty Hunter Honorary President of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign was not ill and present. And Karl Sabbagh, historian and writer, informed us Balfour was a dimwit, and he was. Majed Al-Zeer, PRC’s President, spoke with passion for the reasoning behind the campaign, and we all fully supported such a move. Except for Israel’s apologists. For the reasons I have outlined above.


[1] Noam Chomsky, Fateful Triangle The United States, Israel &The Palestinians, p90, 1999. Balfour: “The contradiction between the letter of the Covenant and the policy of the Allies is even more flagrant in the case of the independent nation of Palestine than in that of the independent nation of Palestine than in that of the independent nation of Syria. For in Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country, though the American [King-crane] Commission has been going through the form of asking what they are: The four great powers are committed to Zionism and Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long tradition, in present needs, in future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700.000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land.” p90.

[2] Victor Kattan, From Coexistence to Conquest, p1, 2009

[3] Also see Balfour Project

[4] Ilan Pappe. The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. First published by Oneworld Publications Limited, p88, 2006


Clive Hambidge is Human Development Director at Facilitate Global. He can be contacted at:

from the archives:

Abby Martin: The Demolition of Palestinian Homes for Israeli Settlements Reached a 10-year High in 2016 Part 3

The Suffering of Palestinian Refugees in Jordan by Clive Hambidge

Abby Martin: Inside Palestine’s Refugee Camps Part 2

Abby Martin: How Palestine Became Colonized, Part 1

Chris Hedges and Amira Hass: Inside the Occupied Territories

Chris Hedges and Miko Peled: Apartheid Israel

13 thoughts on “Balfour Apology? by Clive Hambidge

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  4. Dear David

    Thank you for your extraordinary insights. I have saved them and reflect when in need of wisdom and the state of Natural and Divine laws which increasingly permeate my morning and evening meditations.

    I did not speak but coverd the event for a number of outlets. The upshot was that Jenny was forced from the Liberal democrats. She has said that in frees her to be even more active for the Palestinian cause. I was part of a panel to speak on the agonoy of the Dalits in India. I spoke in particular of the plight of the women abused even by their own community. Invited by the London Institute of East Asia Studies (LISA) the event took place at the London University for Advanced legal Studies. I said there: “In judicial process from civilizing values the same principles of morality must be applied in law to a trangressor of an accepted law as also the trangressed. Here we have right assocciation to the moral proposition passing good judgments in good conduct of matters requiring a moral principles concordant with the atmospeherics of equality.” further: “we lay claim to one another, in virtue of capacity, or incapacity. Still life claims in infinite mood all in death and death is (Yama) claimed by life. one cannot aviod one by denying the other. And, on this we are in states of suffering or joy where do yuo find yoursleves?

    I gave an interview by a Bharani TV company on the issue of human rights and the UK selling of arms to the saudi’s. I said at the end of the interview if a few men think thier collective plans are good then believe me Allha/God/Bhahma/Shiva’s plans are better.

    Yes, yes,yes!! “the cognitive environment and selective methodology to identify contexts for empirical study, & the consequential evidence from which to draw meaningful inferences.”

    So Love, Love, love. or as Robert Fisk repeats again and again in interviews: “Terror, terror,terror,terror,terror,terror.” i would add here and hereafter and then here once more one must choose.

    I value your person and words so much as I value and love Lo. The very substance of consciousness is in the process of flowering may we all be part of this evoluiton.

    In Deep Regard & Love


  5. Thanks Clive for this timely reminder. I gather this is a transcript of a commendable presentation you delivered to an event chaired by Baroness Jenny Tonge qv

    Arrogance and religiously sublimated guilt have played such a strong part in this heinous, cascading, category of errors. Montagu certainly got it right.

    I’ve been pondering your last response here on DS, ever since you raised the plausibility of compiling a coherent manifesto for right action.

    So many histories, multiple narratives, countless stories, arguments, dreams, theories, hypotheses, beliefs, convictions, representations, dramatizations, reconstructions, interpretations, sentiments, passions, fantasies, phobias…

    It is immensely challenging to tease out a successful and inclusive means of acquiring sufficient necessary understanding, to totally engage the essence of so many versions of reality; to begin to formulate an intelligent, moral strategy for life ~ simply because we do not operate in any kind of cultural, ethical or hereditary vacuum, nor are we ourselves as a species tabula rasa.

    Hermetic isolationism or assumed purity of intent is an illusion. This year’s Reith lecturer Kwame Anthony Appiah has spoken about ‘mistaken identities’ ~ most eloquently and perspicaciously, I would add.

    We are embedded in a diversity of contexts, motivated by complex impulses (and contentious aspirations.) We all have life trajectories, personal histories. How we relate to our surroundings and to other sentient beings or may be (perhaps unwittingly) even influenced or affected by “non-corporeal” or praternaturally conscious entities, is actually deeply mysterious and not in the least ‘obvious.’

    My own (pragmatic, but constantly maturing) mystical orientation is toward what I tend to call ‘radical metaphysics,’ but also ~ instrumentally ~ to what might be summarily conceptualized as a progressive, or reflexive ecology of learning; more simply put, creative spiritual development.

    However, even with the best will in the world, we shall never diminish the echo-chamber sophistry of today’s PR driven career merchants, unless we guard against our own tendencies to buttress our perceptions with flattering alliances. So I think we must invite from others and also demand from ourselves, a coherent measure of exemplary self-interrogation.

    Skeptical/sceptical analysis needs to prevail, but it should never preclude unique ‘imaginal’ synthesis.

    We cannot eliminate the alleged ‘impossible,’ which Conan Doyle’s eponymous detective so strenuously sought to discredit in his search for truth, unless, or until we can define all potential cognitive/existential error ~ precisely, philosophically, literately, forensically and comprehensively. Of course, these are really only the recurring ‘problems’ to which we may plausibly seek appropriate, ie fitting ‘solutions….’ so it may also serve our purposes to invoke great Art, poetic originality; to gain better traction and a grander perspective.

    At this point I think I must defer, or at least aspire, to the enviable cogency of Karl Popper, whom I should add, in his later years became more and more actively enchanted by the ‘archetypal,’ albeit partially fragmented, wisdom and metaphysical scope of the pre-Socratic (Greek) philosophers.

    So, who do we suppose they originally learnt from? I even find myself these days, not just dwelling upon the antiquity of Indian yogic praxis, Chinese alchemy and Daoist esotericism, but also ~ somewhat alarmingly ~ talking quite a lot to my exquisite cat….who isn’t even ‘mine’ technically speaking, as she actually belongs to my neighbour, & only lives with me…in Northwest Devon close to the rolling Atlantic swells.

    So on that happier note, perhaps I can share a sensitive short video that permaculturalist Geoff Lawton posted yesterday about the power of forests ~ it conveys a sentiment I strongly endorse; altho’ with all due respect to the film-maker and immense gratitude to Popper for deepening our questioning and repertoire for intelligent inquiry, I do not agree that science ever ‘proves’ anything. It can only provide us with the cognitive environment and selective methodology to identify contexts for empirical study, & the consequential evidence from which to draw meaningful inferences….

  6. Great synopsis of the history, and Bruce makes a very valid point. Thank you for posting this. More people need to be made aware of the sad history which led to the for formation of Israel.

    • And thank you for reading it, and sharing it on FB, although I’m not certain as I don’t receive notifications of “shares” unless it’s my posts that are being shared.

  7. I think more emphasis needs to be placed on colonialism and Neo – colonialism. By this I mean looking historically at 1917 to 1948. Day by day in Palestine and UK. Do not forget how many Muslims were controlled by England and how this also played a role in the Imperial policy towards Palestine. The dead hand and dead heads of the past govern still.

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