THE BALFOUR DECLARATION
November 2, 1917
During the First World War, British policy became gradually committed to the idea
of establishing a Jewish home in Palestine (Eretz Yisrael). After discussions in the
British Cabinet, and consultation with Zionist leaders, the decision was made known in the
form of a letter by Arthur James Lord Balfour to Lord Rothschild. The letter represents
the first political recognition of Zionist aims by a Great 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
Arthur James Balfour