The Balfour Declaration was a letter from British Foreign Minister Arthur James Lord Balfour, approved by the Cabinet and
on behalf of the British government, endorsing the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. It was given to Lionel
Walter Rothschild (pictured here) —who was the 2nd Lord Rothschild and an unofficial leader of the British Jewish community
—to bring to the Zionist Federation.
This letter was drafted after discussions in the British Cabinet and consultation with Zionist leaders. The letter represented
the first political recognition of Zionist aims by a major power.
November 2nd, 1917
Dear Lord Rothschild,
I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with
Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.
“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use
their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may
prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed
by Jews in any other country.”
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.
Arthur James Balfour