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23. The Balfour Declaration (November 2, 1917)1

Foreign Office November 2nd, 1917 Dear Lord Rothschild,2 I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jew­ ish Zionist aspirations which has been sub­ mitted 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 NOTES
1. Chaim Weizmann and Nahum Sokolow, who were instrumental in securing the Balfour Declara­ tion, submitted what they felt to be a moderate formula to the British government to recognize Palestine as lithe national horne of the Jewish people" (emphasis added) and for providing a "Jewish National Colonizing Corporation" for the resettlement and economic development of Pal­ estine. This formula was not accepted. The British government substituted the indefinite article a for

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 brin! this declaration to the knowledge of the Zi onist Federation. Yours, James Balfou

the. The declaration, after having been approve, by the British cabinet, was signed by the foreig secretary, Arthur James Balfour, and sent to Lor, Rothschild, who was asked to convey it to th World Zionist Organization. 2. Lionel Walter Rothschild, the second Baro Rothschild (1868-1937), honorary president of th Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland, the time of the Balfour Declaration.

Source: "Book of Documents," submitted to the General Assembly of the United Nations by the Jewisl Agency for Palestine (New York: Jewish Agency for Palestine, 1947), p. 1.


24. Zionist Manifesto Issued After the Balfour Declaration (December 21, 1917)1
To the Jewish People: The second of Novem­ ber, 1917, is an important milestone on the road to our national future; it marks the end
Source: The Jewish Chronicle, December 21, 1917, p. 16.

of an epoch, and it opens up the beginnin of a new era. The Jewish people has but on other such day in its annals: the twen~

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The time has come to cast the balance of the account. spoken. The Hovevei Zion had the greatest share in the practical colonization. None the less. . You can come to your ha­ ven and your heritage. But to do that you must begin l ": <­ . and the glory of immortality rests upon it. . From then till now.ref•'f:. from which you can place your foot upon holy ground. And Great Britain will certainly carry with her the whole political world. to determine what is the next step. •. To appreciate and to understand accu­ rately is the first essential. That in itself is a gigantic step forward. That was a preface. The Declaration of His Majesty's Govern­ ment coincides with the triumphant march of the British Army in Palestine. The aspirations of 1897 now find solid ground in the British Govern­ ment's official Declaration of the second of November. inspired by a sacred and elevating ideal. It founded institutions of all kinds for colonization in Palestine. It is necessary to go further. 1897. while the army of Great Britain is taking possession of Palestine. and laboured with all its strength in Palestine. The Zionist movement wrestled with its op­ ponents and with itself. The world's history. the country which is preeminent in colonization. The outstanding feature of the Declaration is. 1917. This must be set forth in plain words. A great deal was written. will not fail to in­ scribe in golden letters upon its bronze tablets that Great Britain.: . as to demand the new and greater efforts which are imperative. the school of constitutionalism and freedom. After eighteen hundred years of suffering your recompense is offered to you. and on you only. It collected means outside Palestine. and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object. The Declaration puts in the hands of the Jewish people the key to a new freedom and happiness. a few words must be addressed to the Jewish people. The Declaration is the threshold. But we must go further.•. •. be­ cause the period which then began was Ex­ pectation. the Jewish people has been trying to find itself. and par­ ticularly Jewish history." The progress which our idea has made is so colossal and so obvious that it is scarcely necessary to describe it in words. Balfour assures us that Great Britain will help us in the establish­ ment of a National Home in Palestine. life looks forwards. the birthday of the New Zionist Organization at the first Basle Congress. the shield of civili­ zation. All depends on you. whereas the period which now begins is Fulfillment. full of hope and faith. has given us an official prom­ ise of support and help in the realization of our ideal of liberty in Palestine. But the analogy is incomplete. the first herald of the national ideal. who had tried to give practical shape to the yearning which had burnt like a light in the Jewish spirit during two thousand years of exile and had flamed out at various periods in various forms. and productive of many valuable and enduring results. that Mr. The turning point is the Declaration of the British Government that they "view with fa­ VOur the establishment in Palestine of a Na­ tional Home for the Jewish people. the Jewish people. not so much by way of expla­ nation. you can show that the noble blood of your race is still fresh in your veins. This is the beginning of the fulfillment. and done to get this demand recognized. . to achieve a national resurrection. but it is not all. which in 1897 by its programme de­ manded a home for the Jewish people in Pal­ estine I"ecured by public law. The flag of Great Britain waves over Jerusalem and all Judea. for over twenty years. To look back is the function of the histOrian. .ZIONISM 583 eighth of August. that what has been a beautiful ideal­ and according to our opponents an empty dream-has now been given the possibility of becoming a reality. The advance-guard was the organized Zionist party. It is at such a moment. The work was carried out by the Zionist Organization on a much greater scale and in a more systematic man­ ner than had been possible for the Hovevei Zion. full of experiments and illusion. That chapter of propaganda and experiments is complete.•.

The methods of the period of realization cannot be the methods of the time of expectation. your property. you may now pass from the misery of exile to a secure home. Secondly. ex­ peditions. the founding of new offices and commISSIOns. N. firm as steel. your freedom. Now that fulfillment is dis­ placing expectation. Be worthy of that protection. Thirdly. But it must be the acknowledgment of free men to a country which breeds and loves free men. be free men. the study of practical problems. You are now under the protection of the British mili­ tary authorities. . outcasts and refugees. The means of yesterday are ridiculously small compared with the needs of to-day. every speech must deal with a project. He was president of the World Zionist Organization from 1920 to 1931 and from 1935 to 1946 and the president of the State of Israel from 1949 until his death. thoroughly Hebrew. thoroughly free and democratic. negotiations. and necessary forthwith. The beginning may decide all that follows. He was president of the Jewish Agency for Palestine and the World Zionist Organization from 1931 to 1935. but well-disciplined. The moment has come to lay the foundations of a National Home. It is a time for action. we must have ample means. W. and begin immediately to build the Jewish National Home upon sound foundations. We need new conceptions. Chaim Weizmann (1874-1952). a word to our brothers in Pal­ estine. we need discipline and unity. in connection with which he under­ took missions to the French and Italian govern­ ments and to the Papal Curia. The whole Jewish people must come into the Zionist Organization. and other indis­ pensable tasks. Nahum Sokolow (1860-1936). be quick but not impa­ tient. That would be an anachronism. From now onwards every gathering of Jews must have a practical aim. Sokolow. We ask for confidence. every thought must be a brick with which to build the National Home. can also find healing and be quickened into new life. new acts. skill. 4 NOTES 1. who will guard your lives. a home where the Jewish spirit and the old Hebrew genius. is ours by virtue of our intelligence. new words. These are the directions for your work to­ day. the whole Jewish people must now unite. our loyal acknowledgment of the support of Great Britain must be sponta­ neous and unmeasured. Fourthly. and courage. which so long have hovered broken-winged over strange nests. In the first place. relief and reconstruction in Palestine-for all these. 4. Weizmann. that which was poten­ tial in the will of the Jewish people must become actual and reveal itself in strenuous labour. poor and rich. One of the most important figures of post-Herzlian Zionism. Tschlenow.THE JEW IN THE MODERN WORLD work anew. the most prominent figure in the Zionist movement since the end of World War 1. thorough­ ly national. Propa­ ganda. Despite reservations about its ambiguous for­ mulation. We must show that what Great Britain has given us through her generosity. 3. he was associated with Chaim Weizmann in the negotiations leading to and following the Balfour Declaration. Yehiel (Echiel) Tschlenow (1863-1918). Small and great. Be united and tenacious. preparations for settlement. with new power and with new means-the ideas and the phrases and the methods of the first period no longer suffice. driven by every storm and carried on every wave. Fifthly.2 E. the Balfour Declaration-as is reflected in this document-engendered genuine enthusi­ asm in Zionist circles. This is no time for hair-splitting controversy. colossal material means are necessary. 2. Worn and weary through your two thou­ sand years of wandering over desert and ocean. a leading figure in Russian and in world Zionism. must rise to an­ swer the call of this hour with the necessary personal sacrifice. 3 Ch.