Rather than celebrate the calamitous declaration, the UK should recognise the injustice and help forge an independent Palestinian state
• Hanan Ashrawi is a Palestinian politician
Today we mark the centenary of the calamitous Balfour declaration. In 1917, with a few paragraphs and a stroke of his pen, the British foreign minister, Lord Balfour, unleashed historic forces that changed the fate of an entire people and a whole region. He committed a grave sin: promising the homeland of one people to another.
A century on, every Palestinian is still plagued by the consequences of that decision – whether it is the refugees yearning to return, still clutching the keys to their homes, Palestinians suffering under an occupation that has lasted 50 years, Jerusalemites experiencing the fraudulent transformation of the character, demography, culture and landscape of their city before their eyes, or Palestinian citizens of Israel who are undergoing an intricate and cruel system of discrimination and exclusion in a country that claims to be democratic.
A veneer of ‘religious conflict’ has been superimposed on what are political, legal, moral and human rights violations